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Old January 24, 2005, 12:45 PM   #1
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Trimming .45 ACP Brass


I want to start by thanking everyone for sharing their knowledge here. I've picked up a lot over the past year by reading these forums.

On to business...

I just bought an RCBS Trim Pro Manual Kit as an upgrade from another manufacturer, and I have a problem with the 45 caliber pilot being way too tight for resized 45 ACP brass. The pilot is so tight I have to force it into the mouth, and turning it in the trimmer really screws up the inside of the cases. Now I know a lot of you don't resize 45 auto brass, but I'm kind of picky, and I'd like to be able to. I'm just getting into reloading 45 ACP, so I don't know if this is a common deal with that cartridge, but I've never seen this problem with 44 Mag or 30-06 with my old trimmer. The RCBS pilot for 44 caliber works fine with my resized 44 brass. I tried both Winchester and Federal brass, and I even tried buying another 45 cal pilot. Same problem across the board. My other thought is that I might have a bad resizer die. Like I said, I'm just getting started reloading this caliber so I haven't completed any rounds with my new die set. I have an email in to RCBS, but I figured I'd try asking here first.

Any thoughts/advise?

Thanks again.
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Old January 24, 2005, 01:15 PM   #2
Robert M Boren Sr
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It could be that the pilot is wrong, did you mic it out? Also try belling the case before trimming. Or use your champher tool for the inside and see if that helps. To be honest with ya, I don't see why you need to do this. The only problems I've had with my loads was with the cases that I had trimmed. Just my two cents worth.
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Old January 24, 2005, 03:20 PM   #3
Join Date: November 29, 2004
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I run my 45 cases through a case gauge rather than measure them with a caliper. It seems to somewhat rare to find a case long enough to the point where it would need trimming. As I use large quantities of brass it seems more efficient to toss those who don't make it through the gauge rather than try to fix them.

If you really want to you could mount the pilot in a drill and polish the surface down a bit or to where you feel like it works best.
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Old January 25, 2005, 08:29 AM   #4
Master Blaster
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I just bought an RCBS Trim Pro Manual Kit as an upgrade from another manufacturer, and I have a problem with the 45 caliber pilot being way too tight for resized 45 ACP brass.
Call RCBS, their customer service is excellent, they will send you another.
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Old January 25, 2005, 09:26 AM   #5
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Northwest NJ
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When I trim 45 ACP brass, I size it and bell it first. This leaves a snug fit with the pilot, but not too tight to make the job more tedious than it has to be.

If its tight, I assume you are sizing the brass before trimming, as you should.
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Old January 25, 2005, 10:59 AM   #6
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After all my years of reloading i have never had to trim any 45acp or 9mm, are you sure they are too long?
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Old January 25, 2005, 04:58 PM   #7
Join Date: December 14, 2004
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I have never trimed pistol brass because it was too long. In fact, most brass, even new brass is closer to the trim-to length than to the maximum. I trim brass once to make sure it is all a uniform length. This is most important on brass that gets a roll crimp, but I find it makes a difference (group size wise) on brass that gets taper crimped as well.
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Old January 26, 2005, 01:21 AM   #8
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I am familiar with the problem you have encountered. I use the .44 RCBS Trim Pro pilot on the sized .45 cases. Have done it for years with no problem. I also use a .34 pilot on 9 mm, .38 & .357 sized brass.
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Old January 26, 2005, 08:24 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your replys. Like I said before, I realize that a lot of people don't resize straight pistol brass. None of what I have is oversized, I just want to start with uniform lengths. RCBS suggests slightly expanding the case mouth before trimming. Haven't tried it yet, but I may just chuck up one of the pilots in a lathe and turn it down a little instead.
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Old January 26, 2005, 02:49 PM   #10
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Some folks just can't help but tinker!
Then again, If I had a lathe....

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Old January 27, 2005, 06:37 AM   #11
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chuck pilot into drill, apply to sandpaper to desired diameter is reached.
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Old January 27, 2005, 01:56 PM   #12
Dave Wendt
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Trimming.45ACP Brass

I have found that there are two pilot's for the .45. One is stamped .45R. This is for the 45-70. The other is stamped .45. This work's for the .45 ACP. I had the same problem and RCBS cleared up the matter by sending me the .45 ACP pilot. Hope this help's.
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Old January 27, 2005, 02:00 PM   #13
Sam Adams
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In .45 ACP the case tends to shorten with each firing. There should be no need to trim, ever. You'll either lose your cases or have them split before they'll need a trimming.

That being said, I'd call RCBS if I were you - part of what you pay them for is customer service, so go and get your money's worth.
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