case trimming - necessary for hangun rounds?


April 25, 2007, 09:48 AM
I'm planning on reloading my once fired .45 acp soon. I'm new to reloading.

I've read that I need to 'trim' the cases to appropriate length before loading, is this a necessary step in handguns? How far out of spec can the cases of .45 acp get?

Just trying to put off the expenses of a case trimmer until we get into .223 reloading!

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April 25, 2007, 09:52 AM
Just my personal experience, but I find that low pressure rounds (like .45 ACP and .45 Colt) do not stretch out of spec. I have reloaded both calibers until the case split and they chambered fine right up to the end.

April 25, 2007, 10:00 AM
I have never trimmed a .380, 9MM, .40, or .45 case. I trim straight walled revolver rounds once at the beginning to help get a consistent crimp and usually not again for the life of the brass. :)

April 25, 2007, 10:12 AM
I've never trimmed a pistol case. They just don't stretch like rifle cases, especially shooting target loads. I think you can wait to buy that timmer until you start loading .223s.

Navy Vet & SWIFT Boat OIC

Matt Dillon
April 25, 2007, 06:43 PM
If you want uniform roll crimps in straight walled cases (Like .38 special and .357 magnum), you must trim the cartridges uniformly.

April 25, 2007, 07:14 PM
You will find most people do not trim pistol brass. I don't.

April 25, 2007, 07:15 PM
Having shot bullseye for years .38 revolver and .45 acp-never had to trim. I'de run them through a case length gague and never found them all that different.

April 25, 2007, 08:28 PM

I'm another long-time reloader who has never trimmed handgun brass.

I never saw the need for this extra step.

April 25, 2007, 10:19 PM
I've never trimmed staight-walled pistol brass. On rare occasion, I've trashed one or two that were significantly too long. I also use a the very forgiving Lee crimp dies.

April 26, 2007, 06:28 AM
For my .45 ACP target ammo (plinking) I don't care. Unlike rifle, it's mixed, untrimmed, unless I see something that looks REALLY long. I'll prob trim it then... if I don't throw it out. If you do matches or long range, do it, otherwise save your time IMO.

April 26, 2007, 01:16 PM
I generally don't trim pistol brass with the exception of the .460 that I keep a fairly close eye on.

April 26, 2007, 01:52 PM
I dont trim autoloader pistol cartridges, they just wear out long before they strech, I tried an experiment by separating 44mag and 357mag brass between light target use and full house bubba loads, and measured the stretch, I trimmed all cases to start with, I reloaded the lightly loaded cases more than 10 times with only about .005 worth of stretch on the worst couple of cases. The near max loads, both loaded with H110 would stretch about .010 after about 3-5 loadings, the 44 being worse than the 357. I am not sure if the difference was due to the tolerences of the revolvers (4" 686 and taurus 446) but streach they did, especially with the risks involved with too long cases loaded to near max potential I separate brass and trim the ones used for hot loads about every 3 loadings, but don't trim the lightly loaded ones. I probably would at least check and trim if needed for any high pressure pistol caliber, 38super, 10mm, magnums, and so on

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