Lee Trim Gauge: .358 Winchester -anyone know what length it sizes to?


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coop923
November 2, 2011, 01:54 AM
I can't seem to find any data for the length the .358 Winchester Lee trim length gauge trims to. I'm actually loading .356 Winchester, but aside from the rim, everything else should be the same.

I wanted to try to work up a load using the Hornady LEVERevolution bullets.

Hornady lists the the following statement regarding trim length in .356 Winchester:

"Loading FTXTM bullets requires some specialized techniques in certain cases. To achieve a high ballistic coefficient we had to lengthen the ogive, or nose, of the bullet. Sometimes this requires that the cartridge case to be trimmed shorter than the suggested .010" under SAAMI Max length that we recommend for conventional bullets. Follow prescribed trim lengths exactly as presented in the FTXTM data for optimum results."

SAAMI max case length is 2.015"; so I'm thinking that means the Lee gauge would cut to 2.005", but I haven't been able to confirm that. Hopefully someone can tell me. Hornady recommends trimming to 2.000"

I guess I'd have to alter a Lee gauge to cut shorter or trim my cases using a different style trimmer. I haven't bought a Lee gauge yet for .356 as my cases are pretty new and have not needed trimming.

I guess I could just order one, put it in a drill press and file it down until it cuts the right length, right? Any ideas or thoughts?

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ArtP
November 2, 2011, 02:50 AM
I own a fair amount of Lee equipment and find some of it to be very good with no reason to pay extra for the high-end stuff. The Lee trimming system is not one of them.

I'd not waste any time and instead shop for a different trimmer which allows custom lengths. I traded for a Lyman trimmer and really like mine, but if you had to buy one new, they're $50-60. In fact I just finished trimming 100 cases with it today. You'll need a $5 pilot for each caliber you want to trim, but not a big deal and you can buy pilots in sets.

To me, speed does matter some, and the way each piece of brass is held in place with the Lyman is very fast to change and lock down for trimming. Essentially, there's a ball bearing in the middle of the "chuck" that centers into the primer pocket, then, as you pull a lever toward you a set of "jaws" lock around the extraction ring of the case, holding it in place while you spin the tool end of the cutter. It's simple and clever.

Going through a lot of brass that needs trimming, it's not hard to find one that measures the exact "trim to" length specified in the manual. Once you find one, you can then set the cutter length, trim a different piece and check to see that it's right. I find it easier to just trim every piece, rather than measure and sort. It's just as fast to mount a case in the trimmer and see if the cutter tool has anything to cut, than it is to measure with calipers.

coop923
November 2, 2011, 09:40 AM
Thanks ArtP. I guess I'd be running into an issue with the shell holder and the rim trimming .356 with the Lee .358 setup too.

ranger335v
November 2, 2011, 10:56 AM
"To achieve a high ballistic coefficient we had to lengthen the ogive, or nose, of the bullet. Sometimes this requires that the cartridge case to be trimmed shorter than the suggested .010" under SAAMI Max length that we recommend for conventional bullets."

They didn't tell you WHY they shortened the necks; It was so they didn't have air to crimp too. Meaning the long ogive bullets were simply seated below where the mouth was in hard contact with the bullet shank. Therefore, it's really not critical and, if you don't crimp, it's irrelivant unless the case is much too long for the chamber.

I have both Lyman's Universal and Accura trimmers for specific needs. When I want to trim just a few cases, less than two boxes, and do it quickly I use the Lee system with a cordless drill. What some gripe about Lee's trimmer lenght is the 'variation' they get from session to session; I suspect the complaint is unjustified. First, no factory rifle benefits from trimming within a 1 thou range - and the lenghts will change with each firing more than that anyway. Second, the precise length that will be cut with any system depends greatly on how consistant and skilled the owner is - and a LOT of loaders really aren't very skilled! Third (part of that skill thing) is the gage stud has to be screwed into the cutter head exactly or the user himself injects error into the tool!

You will have no mechanical problem using Lee's trimmer as you wish, all that matters to the case is the length from the mouth to the head and the rim plays no part in that. Only if your bullet is seated where the case mouth has a gap between itself and the bullet can it matter anyway.

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