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Old April 10, 2013, 03:13 AM   #1
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45 ACP and trimming cases


230 gr bullet without cannelure.
Used in Colt Combat Elite
Taper crimp

I have never trimmed the cases to a uniform length in the past because I figured with a taper crimp and no cannelure why bother. I am considering trimming to uniform length this time.

Any input guys?
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Old April 10, 2013, 04:28 AM   #2
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New cases should always be trimmed. After that not with pistol cases.
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Old April 10, 2013, 05:48 AM   #3
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I shoot about 400 .45 ACP each month, all range pickup brass, and I've never had a problem due to case length. I think it is a waste of time.
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Old April 10, 2013, 06:27 AM   #4
aiming fluid
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I don't bother but if you have the time then sure, why not? I've not found the need but than again nothing in trimming a case will improve my pistol accuracy. I would need a magic wand for that!

I do know that 45acp will get shorter over time. If your new, freshly trimmed brass gets mixed with some older stuff it will again not all be the same length.
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Old April 10, 2013, 06:52 AM   #5
Misssissippi Dave
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I have yet to trim one of these cases. Then again I have only loaded several thousand of them. Some cases have been loaded 20 times maybe more. I figure it would be a waste of my time. I'm not saying it couldn't or shouldn't be done. I am saying I won't consider doing it for my reloading needs.
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Old April 10, 2013, 07:07 AM   #6
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I dont trim my pistol brass either. I supose if you want a perfect consistant crimp you may want to trim. I dont crimp my 45
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Old April 10, 2013, 07:36 AM   #7
William T. Watts
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none of my cases exceeded .898

I have once fired Federal and Winchester cases, Virgin Starline, none of the cases I checked exceeded .898 which is the max length. I will check my case length before loading, I do not see trimming as part of my regular case prep. The occasional case that exceeds the max length I would put aside for trimming at a later date. William

Last edited by William T. Watts; April 10, 2013 at 08:05 AM.
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Old April 10, 2013, 08:22 AM   #8
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I've never trimmed my 45 acp brass either. Loaded thousands without a problem.
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Old April 10, 2013, 08:27 AM   #9
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Never trimmed 45acp + 1
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Old April 10, 2013, 08:49 AM   #10
serf 'rett
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Have you measured a large sample of your cases? How much varaiance did you find? When sorted by headstamp and measured, did you find any significant length differences within the same head stamp or between headstamps?

When these questions are answered, the "should I trim?" question is easier to address.

I load on a single stage press. I sort by headstamp. While applying the taper crimp (mostly just removing the case mouth expansion plus perhaps an additional 0.001 squeeze) I can often feel when I have a short case. I mutter some explatives aimed toward the sorry rat that trimmed a pistol case, followed by performing the thumb push test to check for a loose bullet leading to setback. But that's me.
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
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Old April 10, 2013, 11:53 AM   #11
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Are you having some problem that may be cured with trimming?

If not, why?

I have loaded, as have so many of the other responders, many thousands of .45s and I have never seen any reason to trim any.

I don't recall trimming any .40S&Ws or .45 ACPs ever.

Be safe,

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Old April 10, 2013, 01:10 PM   #12
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I'm sure it wouldn't hurt anything, but if you have a lot of time on your hands with nuttin' else to do, go ahead... 90% of my 45 ACP brass is purchased "once fired" and I just load them up and shoot them...
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Old April 10, 2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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I've never trimmed a .45 acp case ....or any handgun caliber over 40 yrs, since I started reloading...( and I shoot at least 2,500 rounds a yr in .45 acp ) ....and 20,000 more rounds in other handgun calibers...

Not necessary in my opinion....( and I pick up indoor range brass ...all the time ) ....can't remember the last time I purchased any cases for handguns, in any caliber...

If I don't need what I pick up ....I pass them on free to other guys that need them...
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Old April 10, 2013, 07:10 PM   #14
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Straight wall cases generally do not grow when fired. Bottle neck cases will grow.
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Old April 10, 2013, 07:38 PM   #15
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I check the lengths but haven't had to trim....everything I reload for 45 is for practice.
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Old April 11, 2013, 02:07 AM   #16
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I never trim straight walled pistol brass.
Then again I never crimp pistol brass either in 9mm or .45ACP which is all I shoot in pistol calibers.
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Old April 11, 2013, 02:18 AM   #17
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I have never trimmed a .45 case and I have checked thousands, never found a case that needed it but I do trim my 9mm cases as I sometimes find remington
cases that are long this is just to get a consistent crimp.
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Old April 11, 2013, 08:42 AM   #18
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In 50 years of shooting various .45's, I've never trimmed a .45 ACP case. Remember that the round head-spaces on the case mouth...trimming will shorten the case and unless done to exact spec's will affect the head-space. As to accuracy with non-trimmed cases, taper crimped enough to remove the belling necessary to seat lead alloy bullets, I've had great results with accurate pistols. The .45 is inherently accurate, and trimming is unnecessary...using a light chamfer tool to remove any burrs is warranted but actual trimming, unnecessary. Best Regards, Rod
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45acp , taper crimp , trimming brass

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