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Old April 23, 2006, 03:57 PM   #1
goosevr1
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Do you trim your pistol cases?

Have been reloading bottle neck rifle cartridges for a while but just got into reloading .45acp and .38sp.

If you reload these caliburs, do you trim each case down to it's trim to length on each reload? I can't imagine the guys with the dillions churning out rounds sitting there trimming their brass for hours...

I've gotten to the point where I started using RCBS X-Dies on my .308 just so that I don't have to trim...
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Old April 23, 2006, 04:20 PM   #2
caz223
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Please, do not trim .45 acp, under any circumstances.
I really doubt you'd need to trim .38 special, but if you do, it would be due to overzealous crimping, or working the brass too much when sizing.
Auto brass gets shorter (Typically.) and revolver brass gets longer, but the magnum brass gets longer faster.
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Old April 23, 2006, 04:21 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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I do not trim autopistol ammo and do not routinely trim revolver cases.
I did trim a batch of mixed .357 magnums so they would roll crimp the same, but that is all I have ever done.
A straight case is liklier to shorten than lengthen with use.
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Old April 23, 2006, 04:35 PM   #4
Smokey Joe
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To trim or not to trim...

Goosevr1--The above posters have it right, on trimming (or rather, NOT trimming) straightwall pistol cases.

That said, I'd check my bottleneck rifle cases, like yr .308, every few firings at least. Bottleneck cases DO lengthen, especially when FL resized, and you don't want yr cases to lengthen to the point where the case mouth contacts the rifling when chambered.

When that happens, the rifling essentially has crimped the case mouth on the bullet, except that the crimp cannot open and let the bullet out when the round is fired, as would normally occur. This leads to high chamber pressures when firing yr rifle--possibly high enough to damage yr rifle, or even, you!

So, check the length on rifle cases, and when they hit the max length given in yr reloading manual ( 2.015" for .308Win, in my Lyman's 48th ed. manual) trim 'em down to the trim-to length (2.005", same source).

But straightwall pistol cases are not so much of a concern.
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Old April 23, 2006, 04:45 PM   #5
joneb
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I trim all of my revolver brass for a consistant lenght, after sizing. I don't worry about again unless I were to notice crimping issues.

I think this will give more consistant tension on the bullets and help with accuracy by reducing pressure variations.
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Old April 23, 2006, 06:13 PM   #6
Ammo Junky
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I no longer trim pistol brass unless it is over sammi max. Which is almost never. I do sort by length for mag revolver brass. Measure the oal of the brass and sort into batches of .003 to .005 so you have a reasonably consistant roll crimp. .004" is about equal to 1/16 turn on a crimping die, so less variation than that is not going to hurt. .38 and semi auto stuff I really don't crimp at all, maybe a silght taper crimp if the bell is over done, so no trim / measurment is nessicary. NOOOO way i would load 9mm etc if I had to trim cases :barf: . Just shoot me now and get it over with.

Last edited by Ammo Junky; April 24, 2006 at 06:24 AM.
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Old April 24, 2006, 01:25 AM   #7
44 AMP
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trim?

Auto cases, almost never need trim. revolver cases, sometimes. Usually for uniformity of length rather than excessive length (but sometimes they do grow). Rifle brass is a whole nother ballgame.

Just check length before every loading for a few loadings, and you will see.
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Old April 24, 2006, 07:46 PM   #8
Daniel BOON
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no I don't

when it gets to where they won't roll crimp, out they go; brass, even once fired is too cheap to bother trimming. in my opinion.
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Old April 24, 2006, 08:14 PM   #9
Ammo Junky
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brass, even once fired is too cheap to bother trimming. in my opinion.

I never thought of it that way, but the way I hate trimming :barf: , you got a good point.
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Old April 24, 2006, 09:04 PM   #10
epr105
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Prices are going up! It will not be cheap that much longer......buy the stuff that you can now at a reasonable price.
I only trim magnum cases and rifle cases.
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Old April 24, 2006, 09:36 PM   #11
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epr105's warning is a good one. Copper prices have gone from $1.50/lb to $3.00/lb during the last 12 months.

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Old April 25, 2006, 02:39 AM   #12
Crosshair
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Quote:
Copper prices have gone from $1.50/lb to $3.00/lb during the last 12 months.
Good think I have been saving all the bad 308 brass I have (I use range pick up brass.) Mabee I can make some money off it.
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Old April 25, 2006, 05:36 AM   #13
donkee
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if it's automatic brass and it's too long or short, it gets pitched. I usually trim .38 spl brass after the first firing and most likely won't have to again before it gets worn out........
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Old April 25, 2006, 09:13 AM   #14
Johnny Guest
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No, uh-uh, not, never . . .

I've been handloading/reloading for slightly over 40 years, and I've never trimmed a handgun case.

I probably would if, for some reason, I loaded any bottleneck pistol cases.

Best,
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Old April 29, 2006, 08:31 AM   #15
beenthere
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Trimming

I'm with Johnny and for about 45 years. By the time they need trimming the case mouths are starting to get a bit ragged. I'll sometimes file those cases down and use them for low pressure shot loads.

When my wife had both hands operated on I used some with 105 grain cast bullets in 38 Spl for very low recoil. It was 2 years till she could shoot standatd 38 Specials and that let her use her normal revolver.
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Old May 3, 2006, 10:42 AM   #16
1tomcat
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I do not trim my 38 and 357 cases however when loading you have to leave your belling die loose so you can adjust the bell for each case and also the bullet seating die so you can adjust the crimp
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Old May 3, 2006, 09:43 PM   #17
joneb
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I'd rather trim my revolver cases and be done it, I've had case lenghts vary .008 in a 50rnd box of cartridges, not to mention case lenght variations between different manufacturers. When useing a heavy roll crimp on magnum loads I don't want to have the trouble of under crimp, and over crimping to the point the case is deformed and won't chamber in the cylinder.
Case trimming solves the problem .
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