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Old March 28, 2012, 04:34 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2011
Posts: 388
There are so many factors that you can drive yourself crazy if you want to. Let's look at some of the basics.

Trimmed to length: What length to trim to, SAAMI minimum spec or are you going to measure your chamber and trim to actual chamber length minus .020" or something similar?

After-trimming: Chamfer, debur, buff case mouth/polish case with 0000 steel wool?

Sizing: Are you going to FL size every time or are you going to neck size only unless you need to set the shoulder back? How far do you set the shoulder back if/when needed or just FL size then?

Cleaning your brass: Do you decap first? Tumbler, sonic cleaner, SS pin tumbler, boil in vinegar, etc?

Primer pockets: Clean them or not? Clean with what, Lee type tool, brush type tool, PP uniformer, if milsurp do you swage or ream the crimp out, etc...

Flash hole: Debur, uniform, or do nothing?

Case sorting: By headstamp, lot, weight? If by weight then in what increments? XX.X grains but anything within 0.Y grains is OK or do they all have to be exact weight?

Crimp: Roll crimp, taper crimp, Lee FCD crimp, no crimp?

Those are just a few of the more common factors and if you go through all possible combinations you would probably have to live to be a hundred years old or more...

For some stuff a quick cleaning and load 'em is fine. My daughter likes to shoot up all the .38 Special I bring to the range every time we go, so those get the "quickie" treatment. A 158 grain pill over 3.5 grains of WST and into the box it goes. If you're trying for a ragged hole at long range, that's just not going to cut the mustard though.
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