The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 8, 2018, 08:47 AM   #1
ADClope
Member
 
Join Date: October 5, 2016
Posts: 54
Trimming .44 Rem Mag Cases for consistent crimp?

Is this necessary?

Picked up my first revolver lately (SW 686), chambered in .44 Rem Mag.

I do trim all of my rifle brass, but have not, historically trimmed 9/45.

But it seems that the crimp is more important out of this platform, and with differing case lengths, the crimp will be inconsistent.

So my thought was trim them all to the "trim to length" and then set crimp.

Just wondering if this is necessary.
ADClope is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 09:28 AM   #2
Ruga Booga
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2017
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 114
Yes if you want a consistent crimp the cases must all be the same length.
Ruga Booga is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 09:50 AM   #3
reddog81
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,191
If using brass all from the same lot it shouldn't be necessary to trim. If using random batches of brass it might be helpful to trim them all to consistent lengths.

FWIW a 686 should be .357 Magnum. A model 69 would be the L frame .44 Magnum.
reddog81 is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 10:15 AM   #4
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,364
You'll find that very few experienced revolver shooters trim brass. You'll also find that brass is longest after it's sized, so don't use the pre-sizing length for your case length. If you buy brass in bulk, you'll never have to trim it. I have brass that's thirty years old and has been loaded dozens of times and it doesn't need trimmed. If it fits inside the cannelure of the bullet it will crimp consistent enough that you won't be able to measure any difference in accuracy between trimmed and untrimmed. Some powders require a good crimp for uniform ignition....such as H110 and W296. A lot of powders aren't the least bit fussy. With the heavy recoiling revolver loads a crimp does more to keep the bullet in place during recoil than having it uncrimped and moving and jamming the gun. Don't get too hung up on the crimp thing regarding accuracy in a handgun....it's just not critical unless you are using a lot of junk range pick-up brass.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 10:34 AM   #5
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 2,856
I started reloading the 44 Magnum in about '90 and have reloaded everything from a 123 gr ball over a dusting of Bullseye to a 310 gr "ingot" over a near max. charge of WC820 for T-Rex hunting. I have gotten some very accurate ammo and from my Dan Wesson 44H, I got many sub 2" groups at 50' (indoors range). My Puma will give good groups also; 3"-4" @ 50 yards (I'm not the worlds best open sight shooter). I use a standard roll crimp, a Redding Profile crimp and the last couple years I have used a Lee collet crimp. I have yet to trim a 44 case...

I believe it's one of those "if you wanna, go ahead" things. I doubt if you will see much if any improvement in performance or accuracy, but it will give you something to do on a boring Saturday afternoon (or make you feel better about your handloads...)...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
I've learned how to stand on my own two knees...
mikld is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 11:33 AM   #6
John D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2000
Location: No. Arizona
Posts: 377
In nearly 30 years of reloading, I've never trimmed a 44mag case
John D is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 12:19 PM   #7
Don Fischer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2017
Posts: 1,509
Never owned a 44mag. But, have loaded a lot of 32 Long, 9mm, 38 spec ans 357 mag. My experience is that straight wall case's simply never need trimming.
Don Fischer is online now  
Old December 8, 2018, 01:31 PM   #8
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 20,228
are you sure its a 686 in .44 Magnum???
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 02:45 PM   #9
Real Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 2,663
If your reloading is a real craft, you will do whatever is necessary to ensure that all the brass running through a particular die setting is the same length within pretty strict tolerance. At the power and pressure levels of the 44 Mag, even moderate reloads, the quality of the crimp can effect performance, if you need a practical justification beyond craftsmanship.
__________________
Not an expert, just a reporter.
Real Gun is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 04:22 PM   #10
cw308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2010
Location: Plainview , Long Island NY
Posts: 3,671
I have a S&W model 29 44 Mag . I trim all the brass to the same length with a roll crimp. Never had a problem .
cw308 is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 04:56 PM   #11
Pathfinder45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2008
Posts: 2,753
This is what I do for 45 Colt, which is essentially no different from 44 Magnum: All new and once-fired brass gets trimmed to consistent length, one time, and never again. In my tight-chambered Vaquero, they just don't grow in length. For conventional seater-crimper dies, you really do need to have consistent case length to get a consistent crimp. That being said, there are some other crimp-only dies that are worth having, where case length is less critical.
Pathfinder45 is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 07:14 PM   #12
Chainsaw.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2015
Location: Issaquah WA. Its a dry rain.
Posts: 1,765
Different manufacturers have different length brass. If you want to use mixed head stamp brass across you loads then yes you should trim. If you separate head stamps into different lots and adjust to each lot you shouldn’t need to BUT, I have found brass that was very out of square at the case mouth. Trimming will alleviate this if the brass remains long enough to be at spec.

I use any 44 mag brass that is to short and cut it down to 44 special length.

So yes, depending on your objective (consistent crimp) and how fastidious you are trimming can be necessary. But once a peice of brass is trimmed you most likely will never need to trim it again.
__________________
Just shoot the damn thing.
Chainsaw. is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 08:02 PM   #13
rclark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2009
Location: Butte, MT
Posts: 2,211
I've never trimmed a straight walled case. From .32 to .45. Been reloading since the 80s. Rifle yes. Revolver/Pistol no.
__________________
A clinger and deplorable, MAGA, and NRA member. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes colloquially referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.
rclark is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 09:40 PM   #14
Real Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 2,663
Quote:
You'll find that very few experienced revolver shooters trim brass.
No one has a way to know that, but they can project that there are lots of others like them. Deciding to trim brass is not for lack of experience.
__________________
Not an expert, just a reporter.
Real Gun is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 10:26 PM   #15
GeauxTide
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: Helena, AL
Posts: 3,825
Quote:
I've never trimmed a straight walled case. From .32 to .45. Been reloading since the 80s. Rifle yes. Revolver/Pistol no.
Same for me, except 10 years earlier.
GeauxTide is offline  
Old December 8, 2018, 11:02 PM   #16
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 4,902
I tried to avoid it. Was in denial for years. But . . .

Different manufacturers will have different length brass. They stretch at different rates. Different loadings will have different stretch. The list of variables goes on and on.

When I finally decided to start paying attention, my crimps were inconsistent. It was pretty obvious actually. So yes, I trim my 44 and 357 Mag brass. Brass <1.278 does not get trimmed. >/= 1.278 gets trimmed to 1.274". That seems to be plenty consistent. I completed trimming all my 44 Mag brass the winter before last. It was well worth the effort. I don't shoot a lot of 44 Mag, so I won't likely have to trim in the future. 357 may be a different story.

On a side note: 38/44 Special don't seem to need trimming. At least, not to me. Faster powders and taper crimping (about 90% of the time) seems to preclude trimming.
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 11:52 AM   #17
rclark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2009
Location: Butte, MT
Posts: 2,211
Quote:
It was well worth the effort.
(revolver/pistol) So your groups shrunk by how much after you trimmed the cases? No more tying up the revolver because an occasional bullet slipped it's crimp because of slight length inconsistency on heavy recoil? Your Extreme Spreads over the chronograph were cut in half? Ie. How was is 'well worth the effort'? Curious mind wants to know .
__________________
A clinger and deplorable, MAGA, and NRA member. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes colloquially referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.
rclark is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 12:38 PM   #18
Dufus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,808
I bought my first 44 Mag (SBH) in 1974. I also bought a set of dies at the same time.

I've never shot any factory ammo out of any of them.

Since then, I have never trimmed. I developed a method of crimping that disregards different case lengths if there are any.

I have never had a gun locked up by a bullet moving under recoil. I have had only one fail to fire, and it fired on the second round, but was weak. That particular batch of ammo was loaded in 1976 and shot in 2016.
Dufus is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 12:51 PM   #19
Real Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 2,663
Quote:
(revolver/pistol) So your groups shrunk by how much after you trimmed the cases? No more tying up the revolver because an occasional bullet slipped it's crimp because of slight length inconsistency on heavy recoil? Your Extreme Spreads over the chronograph were cut in half? Ie. How was is 'well worth the effort'? Curious mind wants to know .
None of that matters. As long as I am happier with what I see under magnification of my crimps, believing my ammo is as good or better than virgin commercial, it's all good. Do what works for you.
__________________
Not an expert, just a reporter.
Real Gun is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 12:56 PM   #20
cdoc42
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 743
I've been shooting a .44 Mag since 1975 and I have never trimmed a case. As long as the crimp is still somewhere in the cannelure, I don't worry about it. Any inaccuracy with off-hand shooting is more likely due to me than caused by a case that should have been trimmed.

Are rifle cases trimmed primarily to conserve accuracy or to be certain the round will chamber?
cdoc42 is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 01:59 PM   #21
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,490
Case pressures that aren't too high don't stick the case to the chamber walls faster than the case backs up against the breech. When that happens, there is no case growth. The exact threshold varies with the chambering and how rough the chambers are inside. Right around 30,000 psi peak loads is the general rule of thumb with bottleneck rifle cases, but they have some forward pressure via their shoulders, so they don't back up as fast. Bottom line, it's not surprising to hear many have never seen the cases stretch. The 45 Auto rather famously gets a little shorter each load cycle. Around half a thousandth per cycle in my measurements.

As mentioned, if you have mixed brass or brass made by a manufacturer who just didn't bother to keep his manufacturing stations dialed-in to matching case cut lengths, and then combined their output later (common). Your best bet is just to sit there with a caliper and measure them all and sort them into groups by length before deciding to trim. As mentioned, this should be done after resizing.

Like the others, I assume you got a model 629 (stainless 29) or a model 69 Combat Magnum. Fingers typing faster than brain recall is all too familiar to me.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 02:19 PM   #22
cw308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2010
Location: Plainview , Long Island NY
Posts: 3,671
Cases for auto's very rarely have to be trimmed using a taper crimp just to remove flare . Cases for revolvers use a roll crimp and the only way to have a consistent crimp all the cases have to be trimmed to the same length . I'm sure the serious accurate hand gun shooters are , most of us aren't competing to take the time in making every handgun round exact . I do with rifle reloads and you can see the difference .
cw308 is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 02:43 PM   #23
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 16,490
Hard to say without measuring. This group from my Redhawk was at 50 yards shooting big box store American Eagle 240 grain ammo. The low and right shot comes from one chamber that always puts them there. I considered reaming them all to match better, but decided I don't need 6 when I have 5. Not for accuracy work.

__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 03:16 PM   #24
cw308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2010
Location: Plainview , Long Island NY
Posts: 3,671
Nice shooting Unclenick , what barrel length ? I have a S&W mod.29 44 Mag. Scoped with a 8 3/8 barrel and can't come close to that . I'll stick to 308 benchrest .
cw308 is offline  
Old December 9, 2018, 05:11 PM   #25
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 4,902
Quote:
It was well worth the effort.
I didn't conduct accuracy tests. At the load bench, crimps and lever effort are a lot more consistent now. When dealing with big magnum rounds with slow propellants, I figure that's gotta be a good thing.
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12825 seconds with 10 queries