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Old November 10, 2011, 06:39 PM   #1
Punkwood2k
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Case trimming on .45 ACP?

I searched but couldnt find an answer for this.. sorry if its a repost...

I've read everywhere that rifle cases need to be trimmed for proper length because of lengthening of the neck..

But when it comes to straight walled cases for handguns, like my .45 ACP, I've read both ways. That you need to check for length and trim, and that straight case handgun loads dont need to be checked for case length / trimmed ever?

Which way is the truth? I dont want to invest in a case trimmer unless I have to at this point, and .45 & 9mm are the only loads I am doing to start with..
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Old November 10, 2011, 06:43 PM   #2
4runnerman
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Most and heavy on MOST of the time primer pockets will fail or cases split long before any trimming is ever needed. I have loaded my 45 ACP cases over 20 times and still no trimming is needed
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Old November 10, 2011, 06:43 PM   #3
g.willikers
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I never have, either one.
OAL of the loaded round is important, but the length of the case itself doesn't seem to be.
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Old November 10, 2011, 09:24 PM   #4
wncchester
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The TRUTH is, we never want to load/shoot cases that are too long. It's also true that few straight wall cases are or ever get too long.
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Old November 10, 2011, 09:27 PM   #5
Shane Tuttle
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Quote:
OAL of the loaded round is important, but the length of the case itself doesn't seem to be.
It is if your firearm relies on the case mouth to headspace properly.

Punkwood, many straight-walled pistol brass will actually shrink over time rather than stretch...especially .45ACP. On the same token, I still check for length. If too short, I chuck 'em...
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Old November 10, 2011, 10:17 PM   #6
m&p45acp10+1
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I have loaded thousands upon thousands of .45 acp and have as of yet had one too long. The same can be said for 9mm Lugger also. .41 Mag I trimmed a batch to keep them the same length due to the fact that I heavily crimp them.
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Old November 10, 2011, 11:12 PM   #7
Punkwood2k
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Cool, Thanks for the input guys!
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Old November 10, 2011, 11:27 PM   #8
IllinoisCoyoteHunter
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With 45 acp I shoot lead bullets. I headspace off the ogive of the bullet, not off the case mouth. So, for me case length doesn't matter (unless it was too long, but as stated above the 45acp cases generally shrink over time.)
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Last edited by Shane Tuttle; November 11, 2011 at 06:26 PM. Reason: BULLETS!
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Old November 11, 2011, 08:54 AM   #9
oldpapps
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Being a cheap scate I have always scrounged. With that in mind, long ago I gave up even checking the length of strait walled brass.
Back in the 70's and early 80's I was range officer and picked up the range. As officers at the time carried their own weapons, I would gather a wide range of brass.

Also at that time I was role crimping heavy loads in 357s and 44s. To get a consistent role, I trimmed several cases. I no longer role crimp anything.

The only other time I recall trimming strait wall cases was when I cut down rifle brass for use in pistols. 303s cut for shot loads in a 44 Mags and 308/30-06/8MMs cut for shot loads in my old 1917 S&W 45 ACP revolver.

Check the length of a sampling of different grouping of the brass of your choice. Pick out the longest and shortest, load them and fire them. I'll bet that both function the same.

Now bottle necked brass, well, that is another world....

Enjoy and be safe.

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Old November 11, 2011, 09:39 AM   #10
Jim243
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Quote:
Which way is the truth? I dont want to invest in a case trimmer unless I have to at this point, and .45 & 9mm are the only loads I am doing to start with.

I have mixed feelings about this question. First I don't want to tell you something that might get you into a bad situation. But I also don't want to tell you something that will require you to spend a lot of time doing a step you may not need.

Pistol brass will not streach to the same extent as rifle brass (less powder and pressure). Pistol brass indexes on the the case mouth, rifle brass generally indexes on the case shoulder (exception is rifle straight wall cases).

My reloading buddy, he will trim ALL cases pistol or rifle, but that's him. I do not trim pistol brass. 99% of all pistol cases will not need to be trimed. But it is that one percent that will get you into trouble.

Here is an easy fix. Using your caliber, set it to the case trim lenght and lock it in, then take your cases and run them through the jaws to test their length. Those cases that fit use, those that are too long toss away or save till you get a trimmer.

Another cheap way is to use a Lyman Case Length Gauge and test the cases with it.



As long as you realize that a too long case may keep your pistol from going to full battery and are willing to clear the jam, you should be OK. Like I said 99% will be just fine, it is that 1% that will cause problems (if ever). His son-in-law had a XD-45 that fired out of battery and blew up the gun.

Good luck and stay safe.
Jim
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Last edited by Jim243; November 11, 2011 at 09:50 AM.
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Old November 11, 2011, 05:05 PM   #11
Charlie_98
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I've been shooting and reloading .45ACP for 25 years, I've never trimmed a piece of handgun brass (in any caliber.) True, the .45 does headspace on the case rim, but I usually crack the necks or lose the brass before headspace becomes an issue.
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Old November 11, 2011, 05:08 PM   #12
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I don't trim for .45 ACP but I can't make a blanket statement against checking length on straight walled brass, because Hornady likes to make cases real short for that Leverevolution ammo.
I cull the stuff cause it's gonna cause me a mixup one day trying to crimp a cannelure.
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Old November 18, 2011, 07:00 PM   #13
glenwood
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trim 45 acp brass

I have over 2000 rounds through my Taurus 1911. The last two times out I got jams several times. To release the jam I used a screwdriver to tilt up the cartridge and then the slide slammed shut. I ejected the cartridges and put them in my pocket. At home I checked the cartridges and noted the brass lenght. On the four that jammed the length of the brass was about .995 to .997. this is less than the max. .998. I checked the rest of the fired brass. They measured from .988 to .992. I have never checked brass lenght before so I do not know if they grew in size or where this way new. I have fired this brass at least five times without this problem. One further note. At about 1500 rounds a problem developed. Smacking the magazine in place the top bullet would jam the same way. A gunsmith said there was a tight spot . Her polished it out and this problem is gone. I use four magazines one of which is a Wilson Combat. I do not think it is a magazine problem. I do not think it is a brass problem since the brass is still within specs. Any ideas.
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Old November 18, 2011, 07:15 PM   #14
k4swb
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Trimming that brass

The difference in great reloaded ammo and so so ammo relies on consistency. In order for ammo to be consistent brass that is crimped in any way must have the same length. If it does not then the shorter brass will be crimped less than the longer.

Having said that, I seldom trim handgun brass unless it is going to be used for something that i want to be better than just so so.

This is the main reason you SHOULD be able to load better ammo than the factory. You can control everything to make each round essentially the same.
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