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Newbie rifle reloading question(s)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JimmAr, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. JimmAr

    JimmAr Well-Known Member


    What causes the need to trim a case? Is this specifically for when the brass has been reloaded several+ times and is wearing to the point that resizing stretches it out, or can this happen after a single use of fresh brass?

    Ive been researching quiet a bit.. from what ive read(if im wrong correct me) the duration of time where its a must to trim ultimately depends on the type of brass and its amount of reloads all together..

    The purpose behind my question is im in the process of getting together a single stage press for long range accurate reloading with redding comp dies.. so any help is appreciated. Trying to stay away from buying the trimmer.. for a short time, its another $125 for a good one.. and you usually get what you pay for with trimmers..

    Its the next thing on my to buy list however just have to wait a little while.. save up some $$.
  2. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Well-Known Member

    Brass "stretches" from the working of the case due to expanding out to the chamber diamentions when fired and then being "squeezed" back to a smaller diameter in the die. The brass flowing foreward in the die during this sizeing is the cause of the growth. The brass can need trimming after one fireing/sizeing cycle or 4-5 it depends on how much the brass is being worked. A larger chamber and tight die will cause stretching faster then a tight chamber and looser die.
  3. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Well-Known Member

    If you want consistent precision accuracy you need the best components, rifle, tools and practices. You're starting with single stage, and redding dies. Good start, but don't scrimp half way through. All rounds, to be equal, need to be sized the same. Dies, anealing and fireforming aside, different qualities in the brass will make them stretch differently and require trimming to become uniform for the next load session. Eventually you will want a good trimmer. I am not a long range shooter but I'd think you should look for something that not only trims length but also uniforms neck thickness and center.

    Even for my hunting loads for belted magnums and other bottle neck rounds, I still trim to length with a basic Lyman case length trimmer. -maybe not to spec, more to what my chamber allows.

    You will find that less trimming is neccessary when you only neck size your fireformed brass for that particular rifle/chamber. (Some will say that neck sized rounds are apt to be more consistent too...)

  4. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    You need a trimmer for rifle brass. The pressures involved, and the bottleneck shape of the case leads to more stretching during firing and/or resizing. One of the best trimmers (IMHO, the best) is the Wilson trimmer, which is only $35 + $8 for a case holder. It is incredibly well designed in its simplicity, robustness, accuracy/consistency and ease of use. Sinclair sells a micrometer adjuster for it, which is very nice, but not really necessary.

  5. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Excessively long brass can pose a hazard if the neck of the brass intrudes into the throat, which in turn can cause excessive pressures because the release of the bullet is impaired by the brass being wedged around it. It's a rare but feasible occurrence.
    I use a Lyman trimmer which has most of the pilots I need. They're less than $60 complete for a basic functional case trimmer.

  6. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

    The cases increase in length mainly due to any headspace difference between the rounds fired and the chamber it fired from. The case will fire form to the dimension of the case when you shoot the round off in your rifle. If you were to only neck size the cases from then on, the increase will slow down considerably due to you working the body of the case less. If you full length size, you will work the body of the case down in size some and bump the shoulder of the case back some as well. With neck sized only cases you will probably get better accuracy, since the case is shaped close to the dimensions of your specific rifle and its neck will be aligned with the barrel, but the round may not fit into another rifle and it will be less forgiving of debris in your own chamber due to the tighter clearance. The full length sized cases will have "grown" due to your sizing a larger case back down to a smaller size (small difference that it is), and if done a few times (sometimes only once) the case will eventually get long enough that you will have to trim it.
  7. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Well-Known Member

    That's a darn good suggestion. For $43 you'll be able to keep your cases the correct length. It may not be a super duper power model, but if it works that's all that counts.
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Working the brass. Trim length is checked before each loading. When its over maximun, you must trim.
  9. Grassman

    Grassman Well-Known Member

    Doe all cases need to be trimmed, or only the longer ones? I'm going to start loading 22-250. Another newby here.
  10. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Well-Known Member

    I load all my brass in "batches" and measure a few random cases when I resize the fired batch to load a new one. If I find any over max lenght I trim the whole batch back to min lgt.
  11. Historian

    Historian Well-Known Member

    You might try using an RCBS X type sizing die. The concept behind the design is to prevent the neck from stretching beyond spec when the case is sized. I have just started using one for my .223 loads and I am very pleased with the results. You do have to trim the cases back so the neck is about
    .02" shorter than spec. but if the die works as advertised, you won't ever have to trim them again. We'll see.

  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It has been my experiance that the 22-250, especially when running near maximum loads, needs trimming quite often.

    The necks tend to thicken after a few loadings too, and may need reaming or outside turning.

    It's good practice to try fitting a new bullet in a fired case before sizing. If the bullet is a tight fit, the case needs reaming or outside neck turning to allow the bullet to be able to release in the chamber.


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