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Old May 15, 2002, 08:27 PM   #1
PALongbow
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Trimming 44 mag. Cases???

At what lenght do I want to start trimming my 44 mag cases? I know what the maximum recommended case lenght should be for a 44 mag case, but what should I start looking for and when do I start trimming my cases?

Ron
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Old May 15, 2002, 08:55 PM   #2
Steve Smith
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Are you sure you don't have better things to do? I mean really....




Its doubtful that you will ever have the need to trim a straight-walled pistol case.
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Old May 15, 2002, 09:00 PM   #3
Bacchus
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How many times have the cases been fired?

You probably won't need to trim them unless they're way out of spec.
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Old May 15, 2002, 10:22 PM   #4
dick w. holliday
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the only time i trim them is when they split and then they start a new life as a 44 spec.....Dick
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Old May 16, 2002, 12:10 AM   #5
topstrap
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Actually that is the one thing that really makes the biggest difference in how accurate a revolver is at long distances. Having the cases all the same length gives them the same crimp which really makes them group much better. If you're shooting at shorter distances and don't need the tightest groups possible then it's not a big deal. For silhouette and shooting at small targets (2" to 6") targets at the 220 yard line or further on out occasionally then it makes a big difference. I don't use a magic length, take one of the shortest and make them all the same. I also use only Federal brass since it seems to hold up the longest.

Just my opinion, everyone has one but this helps my group size.

You'll feel that when the case is crimped some of them will be a bit harder to crimp than others.... Just take an afternoon and trim them all down, load some that are trimmed and some that aren't. Make sure to have a good crimp on the trimmed ones since they will probably be a bit shorter than the others. That is important, try some groups and see if it doesn't make a difference.

I have a 4 power leupold on my 10" Freedom Arms and it is accurate enough to take advantage of anything you do to increase the accuracy at long distances.

Good luck...


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Old May 16, 2002, 04:25 AM   #6
WESHOOT2
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LEE tool

Get the LEE hand-held case trimmer, about $10 for both pieces.

Solved..........
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Old May 16, 2002, 07:27 AM   #7
Tom Matiska
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When it starts to effect the crimp. Strong uniform crimps are the rule with full power mag loads (or 44 Spec loads out of a 19 0z Bulldog). I'd rather trim more often and adjust the dies less often.

Tom
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Old May 16, 2002, 09:01 AM   #8
Steve Smith
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Wow, topstrap, just some more proof that competition changes the way the think about things. Thanks for your input!
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Old May 16, 2002, 11:40 AM   #9
C.R.Sam
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For accuracy.....trim em all to same length, even NEW ones, use cases from same manufacturer and lot, log number of reloads and keep like cases together.

For defense and fun, trim em when split, they get short enough you have .44 specials. Then .44 Russian.

Sam
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Old May 16, 2002, 12:19 PM   #10
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Unless you're loading for competition shooting it's a waste of time. I think you'll find that as you reload a case time and again the things get shorter rather than longer. Again this applies only to straight wall cases.
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Old May 16, 2002, 02:47 PM   #11
labgrade
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Good call, Steve.

I was goning to mention that doesn't matter to what level you'll do your "precision loading," consistent case length matters a bunch when doing any crimping operation as it all "indexes" off the length of your case = varying case length = varying crimp (which can cause a combustion, accuracy difficulty).

A main variable we see in reloading is inconsistency of components. The whole idea is to make each & every reload the same, so we can throw out that one variable that doesn't give us our perfect load.

If a crimp is important to a heavy magnum straight-wall pistol case, why wouldn't one make sure that all cases are the same length? Same-same goes for seating depth in a bottle-neck rifle cartridge, no?

Consistency's the game for really decent load development.

(& this from someone who really could care about most things pistol cases ... but, I've learned a lesson or two when I want 'em to go where I want .... )
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Old May 16, 2002, 02:55 PM   #12
Steve Smith
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I have a good perspective of this because of my involvement in HP. The same rules apply, of course. I did not consider the silhouette shooter that really needs the added benefit of a consistent release every shot. Shooring a handgun at 100 yards typically doesn't show the problems that shooting at over 200 would. Good info.
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Old May 16, 2002, 03:27 PM   #13
zot
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I have the Lee depth gauge and cutter,but on the PiggyBack it would be a pain to check cases that are low velocity plinky loads.
and my brass allways splits too low for cutting down to .44
Russian, maybe I could make a .44 SHORT Russian?????
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Old May 16, 2002, 11:43 PM   #14
topstrap
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I kinda forgot that most people don't cosnsider the 44's and other straight wall pistol rounds very accurate out too far. They are far more accurate than most realize. There are many other factors than need to be controlled first before the gun or the shooter can take advantage of the increased accuracy the trimmed and sorted rounds give.

I still remember the look of my shooting buds face when I hit that 385 yard Turkey on the first shot at the YO Ranch sighting in range with the Freedom Arms 44. Just happened to guess right but we've shot a lot at long distance targets so I knew I'd be within a few feet of the target. A good silhouette shooter can consistantly bail a IHMSA chicken off the 200 meter shootoff stands with a revolver. I kinda cheat now, my eyes have kinda changed a lot and I use a scope and use that gun in unlimited anysight because I like revolvers so much.

Just like what Steve, labgrade, C.R. Sam and others said, anything you can do to make every round the same as the previous one is going to increase accuracy. But on the same note, I do NOT weigh my powder charges, I did years ago but that was before I discovered having a consistant crimp is far more important than the slight powder weight difference. I'll include a pic others have probably already seen that were shot with the Freedom with unweighed powder charges but trimmed brass.

Hope this helps a bit..

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Old May 17, 2002, 07:35 AM   #15
Tom Matiska
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...I think you'll find that as you reload a case time and again the things get shorter rather than longer. Again this applies only to straight wall cases

I consider this to be a possible danger sign.

Most stretch I've had in my 44 was with the fastest powders (case expands and grabs chamber wall before setback)

Little stretch with slower powders like H110. (bullet separates and case sets back before expanding to chamber wall)

Only time cases got smaller was with light loads of H110. Case does not expand to chamber adequately, pressure builts up way too slow. Outside of cases were sooty, a few collapsed, "sandblasted" myself and others with unburned powder specks. If your cases are getting shorter, you may be dangerously close to finding out why slow powders should never be under-loaded. Consider more crimp, more primer, more powder, or faster powder if you are experiencing this.

Tom
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Old May 17, 2002, 10:23 AM   #16
badboybob
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Tom the shortening of my cases is very minute. My son shoots hot .45 loads and he experiences the same. Neither of us has had a problem after reloading many thousands of rounds (in my case over 40 years of reloading). I match the powder and load that will shoot most accurately in the gun I am loading for. I believe the shortening I have is from resizing, not shooting.
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Old May 17, 2002, 10:40 AM   #17
Steve Smith
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Topstrap, concerning weighing your charges, you're doing what a lot of competitors are doing...throwing a volumetrically measured charge rather than weighing. The key is finding a good powder that will measure well and having a good measure as you are aware of. Federal doesn't weigh their charges, they measure by volume, even for the FGM. If the AMU (Army Marksmanship Unit) is using FGM for their shortline loads, then that tells you something. Those that are weighing every charge are mainly doing it for the psychological reinforcement.
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Old May 17, 2002, 12:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
"...A .44 short russian..."
Ya' mean a .44 S&W?

Not a .44 S&W Special, just a .44 S&W.
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Old May 17, 2002, 08:44 PM   #19
topstrap
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Steve,

Isn't this a great place, I only wish there had been an Internet when I was going thru the learning stages long ago, it was mostly try something and if it works pass it along. I have a neighbor that absolutely lives to get up in the morning and try a different load combination. He thrives on it, weighing the brass, measuring the brass, reaming the primer pocket, measuring the brass 147 different ways, checking the bullets and sorting them, etc, he does all the things a BR shooter will do plus things he dreams up. It goes on and on... kinda funny to listen to him in a way but he's serious about it. But.......... the one thing he hasn't worked on improving on is his shooting techniques..... After all that the groups aren't much better than what you'd get with a factory load in a hunting rifle. But, he's happy with the performance and it does keep him busy all day.

You can have the most accurate gun and load in the world but if you haven't developed the proper technique to shoot that gun then all that work is wasted. I'm sure you've seen the same thing at your shoots.

I've been the kind that if the load I use shoots well enough to group and hit what I am aiming at then I'd much rather be behind the trigger than at a bench. I think most guns will way outshoot most of the folks shooting them until you get to the higher level of competitors that can take advantage of the extra degree of accuracy the tweeking will gain for you.

It's nice to be able to get on here and share info both ways with others, I still learn something every evening on here and when I see something I feel I can share I enjoy that also but realize there are others that might disagree. It'll sure save the newer shooters and reloaders a lot of time and aggrivation when they can get their questions answered on here and if they are passed along something that isn't quite right then someone else will usually try to make a correction and offer other suggestions. Everyone should still be careful when given any load data on here until after they can verify that it is safe by referring to a loading manual. If a load isn't given in a manual then there is usually a good reason why they didn't put it there.

I appreciate having a site such as this and others for us to come to.
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Old May 18, 2002, 05:18 PM   #20
PALongbow
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topstrap,

You are so right. This site has helped me significantly with my relaoding and the information found here is priceless.

I appreciate all the responses and help that I have received. I reloaded years ago and got away from it for many years until just this year when I bought the RCBS Rockchucker kit and a Ruger SRH revolver 44 mag. I really missed reloading and shooting but my efforts were focused primarily on shooting custom longbows and harvesting deer with the longbow. I have accomplished that goal a few times over the past couple of years but now I want to take a deer with this revolver. Thats my new goal.

Thanks for the help and bare with me on the questions.

Ron
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