1st time reloading .308..? about case length


January 19, 2012, 10:45 PM
Ok...here is the situation. I've reloaded mostly pistol cartridges and I am just getting set up to reload .308 rifle rounds. So I bought 125 pieces of .308 fired brass for a pretty good price...don't know how many times it's been fired. I set up my Lee turret with Lee .308 dies. I lubed all the cases and ran them all through the full length resizing die and decapped them as well. I measured the case length and found most to be 2.015 to 2.025. In my reloading manual it has the max case length as 2.015.

Is it REALLY necessary to trim all of these cases? If so to what length?

I have the Lee "pull string" trimmer and have trimmed .223 cases before but not .308. All I'd have to do is get the .308 insert....I've got the universal shell holder.

Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

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January 19, 2012, 10:58 PM
my manuals say trim them to 2.005"

i use a possum hollow trimmer in a cordless drill. i could probably trim 125 pieces in less than an hour with one of them. you can also chuck that lee trimmer in a drill and move a lot faster.

January 20, 2012, 02:34 AM
With all my brass, be it new, once fired or other wise, I resize and trim all of it to the same length. This one of the important elements of building accurate reloads and prevents other more serious issues related to pinching which causes excessive pressure increases caused by delaying the bullets exit from the case mouth.

January 20, 2012, 04:45 AM
I use a Lee case trimmer for all brass. Gets them all the same length, no fuss & muss, best of all, no guessing.

January 20, 2012, 05:03 AM
Unfortunately, trimming rifle cases is a necessary task.

Any cases over the max case length should be trimmed, which sounds like all of them. The convention is to trim them 0.010" less than maximum but a couple thousandths either side of the trim length is ok.

I usually trim my cases a couple thousandths longer than the trim length. Then, I only trim the ones that are too long at subsequent firings. This ends up being about 25% or them. The super accuracy crowd is a bit more finicky on case length.

Once trimmed, they will not need trimming again for a couple to several firings depending on the gun you are shooting them in and the chamber.

Cases that are too long can bump up against the end of the chamber creating a high pressure situation. Not particularly desirable.

There are lots of good trimmers on the market from dirt cheap to astronomically expensive. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. You may have to try one or two before you are happy with one.

A power adapter, usually to allow the use of a drill motor or drill press, makes this disagreeable task more pleasant.

January 20, 2012, 07:14 AM
Unfortunately, trimming rifle cases is a necessary task.Yep. Trim them (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=121063&d=1273706145). If they get too long, and get into the throat, they can "pinch" the bullet running pressures up drastically.

Kevin Rohrer
January 20, 2012, 08:16 AM
If you get a case length gauge from Wilson, Dillon, etc, it will instantly tell you if cases needed trimmed and if they have been re-sized sufficiently.

And, Yes, bottle-neck cases do occasionally need trimmed.

January 20, 2012, 11:26 AM
I trim .308 to 2.000 and I can get 4-5 reloads out of the brass before it requires trimming again, and I usually toss it at that point. I figure I've gotten my money's worth out of it by then.

January 20, 2012, 12:27 PM
Yes it is REALLY necessary.

January 21, 2012, 11:02 AM
The cases which are 2.025" have prolly been fired more than 3 times. You should not load those. Use the ones that are under 2.015" and trim them to 2.005".

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