case trimming?


November 10, 2008, 06:58 PM
I trim my cases with the lee trim stud and cutter everytime I reload a case, is it necessary to do this everytime? As long as its under the max case length in a reloading book it should be fine right?

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November 10, 2008, 07:22 PM
most reloading manuals have a trim to length listed, as long as you are at or below this length you should be fine. :)

November 10, 2008, 07:45 PM
I never trim auto cases for pistols. I trim revolver cases once to begin with, and not again, usually.

Rifle brass must be trimmed when it gets too long.

As long as its under the max case length in a reloading book it should be fine right?

November 10, 2008, 08:04 PM
I trim rifle brass for safety (and yes, as long as you're under max you should be fine) and pistol brass for consistent crimps. Trimming is not one of my favorite steps (especially for pistols) but the load consistency is worth it.

November 10, 2008, 08:07 PM
i don't trim cases for my .40s&w reloads.

The Bushmaster
November 10, 2008, 10:37 PM
Walkalong says I'm anal about this, but I trim all my brass to insure consitancy. Well...Not all. I don't trim 9mm X 19...:D

November 11, 2008, 01:23 AM
you are sizing the cases 1st,right?
If they are within spec then there is no reason to trim them.

November 11, 2008, 05:09 AM
Bottle neck cases "grow" more than straight wall cases and will require trimming more often. I have trimmed .223 cases and set my seating die accordingly, but had to readjust it while still within the specs to keep crimp in the groove/cannelure. So even when within proper specs trimming or die adjustment may be necessary.

The Bushmaster
November 11, 2008, 09:19 AM
Hairballusmaximus (too long)...That's why I trim all my cases (except 9mm X 19) I rarely trim to minimum length, but to somwhere in the middle. It insures that I get a uniform crimp on all cases of that particular set of 50 or 20 depending as to whether they are handgun or rifle. I keep the trim length to within +/-.002". .45 ACP I trim to .890 +/- .002" mainly because my Colt 1911 seems to prefer that length. Could just be me, but...It also means I don't have to keep adjusting my crimp dies to allow for short or long cases within a set...

November 11, 2008, 05:02 PM
Bushmaster, Hairball works just fine too. Do you find that the cases grow less when not trimmed to the minimum, like what you do, trim somewhere in the middle?

The Bushmaster
November 11, 2008, 09:38 PM
No...They grow just as much just as fast. I determined that it wasn't necessary to always trim them to minimum as long as they were all the same length +/- .002. I actually prefer them to be at or near maximum length. It just insures that the crimp will be uniform on all finished cartridges...Most often, with my RCBS Case Trimmer 2, I can keep them within +/- .001...

O K...Hairball it is...Bushy here...:D

November 11, 2008, 09:51 PM
I trim uniformly to the minimum, because I get a visual distance from cannelure to case. It's another "check."

Pistol brass? I have 40sw brass on it's 14th or so load, and I won't trim a single piece of it.

November 11, 2008, 09:55 PM
Bushmaster and Hairballusmaximus.

You can save yourself a lot of trimming (rifle) if you would give RCBS X-Dies a try. I started using X-Dies for 223 and I am slowly replacing all my sizer dies with and X-Die. The X-Die eliminates the need to keep trimming and IMO the life of the brass is greatly extended since it isn't stretched when the mandrel is removed.

.38 Special
November 11, 2008, 10:21 PM
I measure a sample from each lot of cases after firing. I almost never find enough growth to merit trimming. It's gotten to the point that with many cases -- lightly loaded revolver cases in particular -- I don't even measure anymore.

November 11, 2008, 10:42 PM
i was gonna trim all my cases even, but they weren't long enough for the lee .45 colt case trimmer to trim anything yet

The Bushmaster
November 12, 2008, 10:12 AM
I've thought about that, Idano. I have to full length size my .30 WCF cases and the only other rifle I reload for is a .30-06. Haven't desided if it's worth it or not yet. But thanks anyway

November 12, 2008, 11:10 AM
I am pretty close to needing to resize a bunch of .223, (getting low on reloaded .223) and have considered trying the X Die myself.

November 12, 2008, 11:39 AM
I haven't even thought of resizing my 45 LC cases - but I don't shoot anything like max loads.

I guess I should measure some of them to see if they need to be trimmed?


Claude Clay
November 12, 2008, 11:52 AM
i do not trim any pistol cases
rifle cases are trimed close to max and after the 3rd firing seem to stay below max length. i can replicate a military or factory round, but shooting for accuracy generally means loading lighter than max and cases last (almost) forever.

November 12, 2008, 05:07 PM
Idano, does the X-die still full length size? I shoot the .223 through a Bushmaster and have read/been told in auto/semi-auto they have to be full-length resized every time.

Mark whiz
November 12, 2008, 05:50 PM
Trimming frequency will also depend on what type of action a firearm has.......especially with rifles. A bolt action is MUCH easier on brass than a semi-auto, as a semi-auto is yanking the case out of the chamber before it has even had a chance to go thru the full cycle of expansion and return. Semis like the AR and M1As can really beat up brass - I find that I usually have to trim my M1A brass after the 3rd reload, and that is trimming them to near-minimum spec.

How hot you load your rounds will affect trimming as well, as very hot loads tend to stretch brass more.

November 12, 2008, 11:22 PM
i resize my 45 colt cases so the bullet does not fall onto the powder, they did w/out resizing so i resize an it is fixed, very tedious work as i still use a lee classic loader, ~300 rds in a week or so isn't too bad.... especially w/only 50 rds of brass to use lol

November 13, 2008, 01:20 AM

Yep, the X-Die is a full length resizing die and in fact is available in small base too. Like I stated earlier I am a believer in X-Die technology; I have been using it now for 6-7 years. I drive a 55 grain bullet in my AR with 23 grains of DP2200, .5 grains below max, without a crimp. In that time some of my brass has been reloaded 10-15 times or more. I bet I haven't had to toss more then 10 cases in all those year and those were for loose primer pockets not split necks. The only time I ever trim my brass is before the first time I ever run it into the X-Die, after that because of the design of the die and mandrel the brass never grows again after the first time it is resized in the X-Die.

It truly is one of those things you have to try to and see for yourself before you'll be a believer. Since I started using X-Dies I couldn't justify buying either a Giraud or Gracey case trimmer. Oh well that money can now go toward either the Dillon RF 100 Primer filler or the K.I.S.S bullet feeder for my Hornady AP:)

November 13, 2008, 09:12 PM
Sounds like an X Die needs to be ordered. I'll put it on the sticky by my keyboard right under thumb safety.

November 14, 2008, 02:17 AM
Idano, Thanx for the info. I will def look into picking up an X-Die. Sounds like it will save me a lot of time trimming as I am using 2000+ brass at a shot.

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