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Old February 4, 2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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What do you use to make case mouths round again?

I have been doing a lot of case prep over the last couple of weeks, most of it rifle cases. I've done .223, 6.5 and 7mm Muaser, .30-30 and .30-06. I noticed that mostly with the .223 and .30-06 there would be case mouths that were dented or otherwise out of round. Most of these cases were fired from semi-autos. Some were bad enough that the length gauge pin on the trimmer would not fit.

I looked in the tool box and came up with a big line-up punch. It has a long gentle taper to it and if I put it into the case mouth and give it a little bit of twist it seemes to make things pretty much perfectly round again. I'm not jamming it in there and stretching the mouth into a funnel, just enough to re-round the mouth. That way the case can be trimmed to length smoothly and evenly and there are not issues with the chamfer/deburring tool.

Here is the Zip Trim set up with some case prep tools. The brass is .30-06 in this pic, with the two next to the line-up punch showing how far into the case it goes to make them round again. You can see the gentle taper of this punch, which should not stretch the case mouth as it rounds it back into shape. Also, in the green bin to the left are all the spent primers I've removed from the brass I've done. Some of the brass was already decapped, but this accounts for most of what I've done so far.

So what is the option of choice for you when you have to take the dings out of a case mouth?
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Old February 4, 2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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Resizing die.
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Old February 4, 2012, 04:24 PM   #3
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Resizing die.
same here
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Old February 4, 2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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So you resize before you trim to length? Right now I only have an O frame press with a universal decapper and primer pocket swager dies to work with. Everything else is at a friend's house, and he's on vacation right now. I'm doing case prep so we can do some loading when he gets back.
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Old February 4, 2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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Yup Re-sizing die. Unless the angle is to much then I use a punch to bend it back. If its to bad I chuck them.
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Old February 4, 2012, 05:25 PM   #6
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So you resize before you trim to length?
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Old February 4, 2012, 05:45 PM   #7
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I resize before trimming. Reason is when you resize the brass it will slightly grow in length so by sizing it afterwards insures the trim length is correct. Resizing after trimming could conceivably increase the case length.
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Old February 4, 2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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If you are going to fl size, it is critical you trim AFTER you size.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:36 PM   #9
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Always FL size before trimming. Only way to assure the case length is correct.
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:47 PM   #10
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OK, so I guess I just got a lot of practice with the Zip Trimmer, chamfer and deburring tool...... Some of that FC .30-06 brass must have been in dire need of trimming as witnessed by the long curls of brass that came off them. You can see one of the curls just below the line-up punch in the pic.

The .30-06 will all get FL sized (and retrimmed), but since I only have one each of 6.5X55 Swedish Mauser and 7mm Chilean Mauser I will neck size them and set the shoulders back by .001. Both of those Mausers are well over 100 years old and will not be seeing any hot loads. I have enough '06 brass that I will dedicate a batch just for the M 17 Enfield and neck size them once they are fire formed to that bolt action rifle's chamber, too.

Thanks for helping me out with my learning curve.
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Old February 5, 2012, 07:46 AM   #11
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I full length resize before trimming. It makes a huge differance. The only ones I know that do not trim aster FL resizing use a progressive press. They will decap then trim. Most of them have some kind of a die that lests them know if the brass is too long, or some kind of a trim die. I am not sure how they work.

Oneoldsap he is learning to reload, and has a friend that is teaching him. That friend happens to be on vacation at this time. He is starting out learning how to properly prep the brass. He has no powder, dies, or projectiles. Just a decapping die, a primer pocket swager, and a zip trimmer with lock studs, and case length guages.

I will bet once upon a time there was time when you did know a thing about reloading, and had to eiteher read it, or someone took you under thier wing, and taught you. I know you probably do not talk that roughly in person, your statement seems like it would sound harsh in person.

Remeber instedad of condeming beginers we try to help them, and tell them about safty, and give them referances to good learning material.
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Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; February 5, 2012 at 07:55 AM.
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Old February 5, 2012, 08:14 AM   #12
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daddycat you need your OWN loading equip, man. It's easier especially if you Break something! (no I never break anything).

Use your sizing die: because that's what it's made for.
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Old February 5, 2012, 09:58 AM   #13
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Welcome to TFL and reloading, but I am not sure you are greenhorn to reloading. That is one ton of spent primers you have there.

I did notice you are missing the pin on your case length gauge for the Lee Ball & Cutter. This maybe why you are getting long curls of brass when you are trimming. The problem is that you may not be cutting (trimming) the cases to the correct length. While the photos show the cases look correct this may not be so. You need to get a new set of case lenght gauges for that trimmer.

Other than that it looks like you should be OK. I also notice that you are using I think a Forester or RCBS chanfering tool. They are very aggressive on removing brass so go easy on that so you do not take too much brass off the mouth of the case.

One last point, Lee makes what they call a "RGB" set of dies (Really Good Buy) that is really cheap. I would suggest you go ahead and get a set of these in 30-06. That would allow you to resize the cases on your O'ring press at home. Don't forget to get some case lube to lube the cases.

Other than that, welcome and keep on trucking.
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Old February 5, 2012, 10:41 AM   #14
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Jim is correct about the trimmer missing a piece. Even if the cases are proper length without the part you may end up with crooked casemouths. The flash hole pin keeps the case lenght guage, and trimmer square in the case.

Oh and a lot of guys that work with semi auto brass use a punch on brass with case mouths out of round to keep from bending the case mouth in on the expander of the die.
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Old February 5, 2012, 11:21 AM   #15
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DaddyCat, Welcome to TFL and the wonderful world of reloading.

You'll notice that most people here are very helpful and go out of their way to help and offer explanations of why or why not, to do something.

Occasionally you will run in to someone who does not offer anything but criticism.

I am not sure which reloading manual(s) you are using, but please go back and re-check the steps.

I also have a long tapered punch that I use to get the case necks round again. Usually though the expander ball is enough to do it on it's own, but I figured a little help on my part helps keep my equipment running a little smoother.

I reload for the .30-06, .30-30, .243, and .222 in rifle and .45 Colt, .38 Special/.357 Magnum. I enjoy doing the case prep work when I just do not feel like reloading.
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Last edited by Uncle Buck; February 5, 2012 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Inappropriate comment
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Old February 5, 2012, 12:46 PM   #16
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The case length gauge is complete. Just need to look a little closer, the pin is there.
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Old February 5, 2012, 03:35 PM   #17
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I use my needle nosed pliers , have been known to flare rifle cases for lead bullets withem also !!

I use the lee system but on a cordless drill.

Watch the 1s that are smashed together comepletely ,sometimes they spilt when straightened .
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Old February 5, 2012, 03:56 PM   #18
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Thanks to all for their input, it is appreciated. The pin is there on the end of the length gauge, it's just hard to see in the pic. Here is a better one:

I do have a couple of reloading manuals, but they are also at my friend's house as I gave him about everything I had that had anything to do with reloading. I did look online and the case trim length for the .30-06 is listed on the Barnes Bullets site as 2.484". I checked a couple dozen of my trimmed cases and they come out at 2.483" +/- .001 which seems pretty close to spot on. We have dies for the .30-06 along with 6.5X55 and 7mm Mauser, among others. When he gets back we will get together and actually load some ammo.
I will be getting Lee collett neck sizing dies for the bolt action chamberings I shoot.

Jim, all those primers are just from what I've done in the last couple of weeks. Lots of decapping practice for sure. Like anything else, you have to learn to walk before you can run. At this point I am getting a lot of practice on case prep which is fine with me. Maybe I should have had a different order of operations, but I don't think there will be any adverse impact from what I have done so far. In the future I will probably do case prep as follows:

Decap brass, clean cases, size brass appropriately (FL or neck, depending on which rifle it is for), trim/chamfer/deburr, and maybe polish as a last step. Does that sound right to you?

Oneoldsap, your commitment to and concern for safety is commendable.
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Old February 5, 2012, 04:03 PM   #19
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If the case mouth is badly out-of-round I use the Lee Decapper. If the decapper pin won't go in, the case goes in the trash. It's inexpensive and pretty tough.
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Old February 6, 2012, 08:49 PM   #20
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It's OK that you trimmed first, but it's better to trim after sizing. The necks aren't all messed up and you'll get more consistent lengths (but its' not something measurable on a target).
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Old February 7, 2012, 02:39 AM   #21
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same same

I've got a tapered punch too, similar to yours, but w/ not quite so long a shaft. Used it for years on assorted cals. Bumps the mouth just enough to get it over the expander ball in the die.
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