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Old August 29, 2008, 11:00 AM   #1
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Brass Length Question

Ok, I am relatively new to reloading...started this past December. My Father-in-law helped me get started. He reloads for hunting only and is not as interested in shooting as sub MOA groups as I am so all though he mentioned sizing the brass he told me he did not worry to much about it because he was simply looking to load for deer hunting and the brass length did not really play into what he was trying to accomplish. He indicated he could get 1-2 inch groups without worrying about it and really only looked to address case length after he had fired 4-5 rounds through his brass. So here is my question...I have been talking to some folks at the range and they have all indicated that case length is very important if you want to shoot real tight groups. So I have started measuring my case lengths. I just purchased a 6.5x55 and bought new brass for it. I measured the brass the length and found that it varied a lot from one case to another and all was appreciably shorted than the 2.165 that the book indicated was max. Most was around 2.158. I seperated out the brass according to length. When you all face this do you just shave all of the cases down to a certain length? Or do you seperate the different lengths and and monitor the groups this way? I am just curious what is the best way to handle the different lengths you find.

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Old August 29, 2008, 11:22 AM   #2
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I think most of us choose to trim all the cases to a consistent length. That makes it much easier without having to keep up with several lots of different lengths and having to reset your seating die for each different lot. Buy a good case trimmer and a 6" dial caliper, then go for it.
Good shooting and be safe.
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Old August 29, 2008, 11:31 AM   #3
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The Max case length for the 6.5x55 is as you say 2.165. Understand this is Max, it should not be any longer. There are two main measurements for brass length, Max and "Trim Length" Trim length is usually .010 less than Max length. This is about the shortest you want your brass trimmed down to. In the 6.5x55 you can trim your brass down to 2.155 or .010 less than max(2.165) or anywhere in between. Just make em all the same.

I think you may have confused some of the guys at the range with your terminology. I believe they are referring to OAL or Over All Length when they talk accuracy. The total length of bullet and brass can have a huge affect on accuracy in some rifles. Brass length alone, not so much.

Do you have any good up-to-date manuals to study? They are a great help to new reloaders. In fact they are a must.
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