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Thread: Trimming hulls

  1. #1
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    Trimming hulls

    Okay Folks here's another question from an aspiring slug and round ball shooter. My biggest problem so far is getting to the proper height with my wad stacks. Ajay, you have been a big help. What is the down side if any to trimming the hulls to fit the combination of wad and slug or RB. So far I've only been shooting break-barrel smooth bores. Working on getting slug barrels for my autoloaders. Rifled 20ga. 11-87 barrel ordered and on the lookout for a slug barrel for my Beretta 391. Feeding might be a concern for an autoloader but what do you think about trimming for the break-barrels? Gp

  2. #2
    Greetings Gpidaho, I would not trim the hull just to fit one particular load instead add a .125" nitro card in the base cavity or under the slug or RB would only help the load. If you choose to trim for that load then mark them to continue to use them for that load only.
    To trim the hull you could use this method.
    Find the right socket to fir the hull with fiction fit and:
    You will find the wads after firing in good shape and in most cases ready to reuse.


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
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    I've got an old ideal shell trimmer that works on exactly the same principal as the tubing cutter pictured above, with the exception that it holds the base of the shell at a given distance from the cutter to make things consistent. I use it for making 2" and 2 1/2" shells for old guns.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
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    I trim plastic hulls with a HF 2" chop saw. I roll crimp so I generally trim only to fit hulls to a shorter chamber or remove a fold crimp.

    BB

  5. #5
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    As always, I should have posted more information. I have both the Harbor Freight chopsaw and the BPI Trim Doctor II so accomplishing the trim is an easy matter. As Ajay mentioned it's easy to add nitro cards but with the wads that are the perfect fit for my fixed bore 20ga. adding three nitro's still left me with enough hull that the fold crimp collapsed in on the .575 ball. I have loaded a couple rounds where I trimmed the hulls and roll crimped as B.B. has posted but haven't tried them yet. So, safety wise, is there a down side? I've got a bunch of hulls. Gp

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Roll crimping produces lower pressures. May affect powder burn.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  7. #7
    Pressure is your friend. Higher pressures lead to more consistent, cleaner burning
    loads. While fold crimping is far better but your loader must fully help support the hull while crimping.
    In my 20 ga I had the same problem from time to time and had to help support the hull while crimping like this:

    When the hulls were bulging I had to use this set up to press the loaded hull back.


    Ajay Madan
    Super Blazing Sabots

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I use some 3/4" pipe cut and turned on my lathe for hull trimming. I have several lengths so I can trim about each 1/4" down to 2" for shorties that I haven't tried yet.

    Typically I use my hulls longer than I should so fold crimps get a little ugly... those get trimmed off then roll crimped.

    I doubt the jump from a short hull has much if any effect on RB's due to their round shape and solid nature but certainly some hollow base slugs are affected by too much jump from short hulls. I've seen several recovered slugs that showed obvious signs of tipping.

    There is a downside of shortening hulls and likely more effect when 2 3/4" hulls (or cut shorter) are used in 3" chamber. It is likely better to use filler to raise the payload than shorten hulls much... but again, a guy would have to test that out side by side to be sure.

    The upside of short hulls is potentially more in a magazine and being able to use hulls until they are cracked at the mouth then shorten and use some more... repeat until there is no room for powder and payload!

    Longbow

  9. #9
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for answering my many questions. As yet I haven't crushed a case as Ajay posted but given time I'm sure it will happen. The support ring looks like a good idea. I do see the merit of leaving the cases as long as possible as my shotguns are all 3" chambered, then again trimming off the old crimp gives you options and gives longer life to the hulls that are just starting to split. I'll use the wad stack where I can and trim if I feel the need. Gp

  10. #10
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    I was going to suggest using a the same basic method as AJ 's but using a PVC cutter instead as it is quicker to use a "pliers type" of tool if you have a lot to do.

    The key is supporting the hull so it doesn't collapse.

    Randy.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I use a copper pipe cut to the length I need. They can fit on the rim or fit on the junction of brass base / plastic hull. Stuff the empty shell/hull in and trim with your pocket knife. VERY easy and fast. (consistent, too)

  12. #12
    Boolit Master MOA's Avatar
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    I use my Dremel set up in a Dremel workstation.




  13. #13
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    Lots of good ways to trim hulls mentioned here, but to the OP, any experiences on how shooting round ball from a shortened case effects accuracy with the longer jump to the forcing cone? Thanks for all your comments. Gp

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check