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Thread: Best Way to Cut Down Cases

  1. #1

    Best Way to Cut Down Cases

    I am going to try and load some shot shells for a 45 LC Ruger, with a stepped cylinder. I have options right now, fire form some 303 British and/or use some 460 brass (which a fellow member supplied). Either one I use, I am going to have to shorten the overall length of the brass and probably anneal the mouth.

    What is an easy way to trim it? I have seen the "mini chop saw", but really don't want to buy it for just a few shells. However, I don't want to use something that will cause me to damage/throw the brass out.

    Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    triggerhappy243's Avatar
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    303 brit brass is too small for the 45. look at a stock 45 cal. round that is longer. I use 303 brit for my 44 mag loads.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    For making 45 Colt cylinder length shotshells, the parent case you want is the 7.62x54R Russian. Plan to reduce and perhaps thin the rim. If thinning is required, it can be done from the end, which will also reduce the rifle primer pocket depth to pistol primer spec.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Plate plinker's Avatar
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    Could a pipe cutter so this to rough length and then use a proper case trimmer to finish?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    I would use a trim die for 45 Colt and back it off for the desired length
    Use a jewelers hack saw and done
    Mike
    Last edited by skeettx; 03-18-2018 at 02:58 PM.
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by crandall crank View Post
    I am going to try and load some shot shells for a 45 LC Ruger, with a stepped cylinder. I have options right now, fire form some 303 British and/or use some 460 brass (which a fellow member supplied). Either one I use, I am going to have to shorten the overall length of the brass and probably anneal the mouth.

    What is an easy way to trim it? I have seen the "mini chop saw", but really don't want to buy it for just a few shells. However, I don't want to use something that will cause me to damage/throw the brass out.

    Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.
    crandall crank, If you have not already read this, Please do so:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...at-44-mag-case

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    UPDATED

    separate 2 pieces of wood with a 1/16th-inch spacer/cardboard and clamp together
    drill holes (centered on the spacer) 2/3's of the way through with a bit the size of the case


    remove spacer and screw/clamp cases into jig






    chuck grit metal cutting disk into the drill press and adjust to desired height + a couple thou



    cut brass



    trim to the desired length with a case trimmer

    I used this to create Tokarev brass from 223

    Being a grit metal cutting wheel, you'd have to be extremely stupid to get any serious damage from it.

    If you use longer pieces of wood your fingers will be well out of harm's way.

    Notice 2 pieces of wood clamped to the table acting as a guide.

    I used 18" pieces of wood fasened together by T-nuts on one side and flat-headed machine screws from the other.




    You can also use a mini tubing/pipe cutter.
    Last edited by Grmps; 03-25-2018 at 01:23 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Harbor Freight mini chop saw around $25 bucks with coupon.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    A fie and trim die works well and one can be made in a lathe or mill from a length of 7/8 14 bolt. It can be done in a drill press also. Mke it so when the shell holder is locked to the bottom its at the desired height +.010. Run case into the die cut with jewelers saw. Form and then trim to finished length in a case trimmer. Deburr and chamfer then load. The wood block fixture works also. If I was to make the trim die up I think I would fit a o-ring in the base of it to help hold case down consistently in the shell holder and to keep it from spinning. A simple groove 3/8" in and cut to width and depth for o-ring. this would provide some "grab" for the case when inserted. The trim die may need a extended shell holder to get above the press though

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grmps View Post
    separate 2 pieces of wood with a 1/16th-inch spacer/cardboard and clamp together
    drill holes (centered on the spacer) 2/3's of the way through with a bit the size of the case


    remove spacer and clamp cases into jig


    chuck metal cutting disk into the drill press and adjust to desired height + a couple thou



    cut brass


    trim to the desired length with a case trimmer

    I used this to create Tokarev brass from 223
    THIS............ is a slick idea.

  11. #11
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    Really going to be a slick and red idea if one does not keep that finger out of the path of the open blade!

    Other than the danger in the pic; I may set up for something similar later this spring to cut down split neck .223 brass to size down for making .30 caliber Jackets to swage for 160 to 180 grain .308's. I have a Corbin die set for making .308's out of 9mm, but they come out at a little over 130 grains and I'd like to get 147 Grains and above out of the old rejected .223's in my old bras bucket.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    Bandsaw or a hacksaw would work for a few.
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have use a mini pipe cutter.Then finish on the trimmer.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  14. #14
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    The best way won’t be worth it for just a few cases.

    A dremel with a cutoff wheel will do it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    The best way won’t be worth it for just a few cases.

    A dremel with a cutoff wheel will do it.

    What kind of cutting tools do you have that you can use?

  16. #16
    I have a good assortment of hand tools for various trades, including carpentry and framing, plumbing and electrical. I have a couple pipe and tubing cutters, dremel, hacksaw. However, I DO NOT have a metal lathe, mill or drill press. I also do not currently have a trim die.

    I know, I know, it would be nice to have all that, but space, time and money is limited.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    +2 on the dremel tool with cutoff wheel. I can envision a dremel tool in a holder with a shell holder on a swing track and a lever to move it across the cutting wheel. My opinion of the tube cutter. It will leave you a pretty deep crimp, and on a tapered surface, the cutter will not track a complete circle. Grmps' seems to have it all covered. yeah

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Of what you have, I would use the Dremel. I've done it that way before.
    But since you did title the thread "Best way"...
    Mini lathe. It's what I use now, and I would not want to go back to not having one in my reloading shop.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    That idea of wood "clamps" and a grit cut off wheel appeals to me. I've tried several tubing cutters, but they all gave me the same problem....wandering, because the cases are tapered. This resulted in some pretty weird cases that required major trimming to length afterwards.

    I was considering a quick release shell holder for my little drill press, with a standard trimming bit, but the idea of the wood clamps would be far easier to build and faster to use. The only thing I would do differently would be to drill the holes all the way through so the bases slide on the press table. That would keep the OAL pretty uniform. I heartily approve!
    Last edited by 3006guns; 03-22-2018 at 01:01 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Tubing cutter works pretty well on cases big enough to get a grip on. Makes s nice uniform cut that is ready to trim and deburr.
    ~ Chris


    Casting, reloading, shooting, collecting, restoring, smithing, etc, I love it all!
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