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Thread: Trimming automatic pistol brass.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Trimming automatic pistol brass.

    I trim my revolver brass for a consistent crimp. But I've never trimmed my automatic brass. The taper crimp does an acceptable job of dealing with the inconsistencies. I'm wondering though if I would see any benefit to trimming. Particularly in 45 acp but it's an across the board pondering.

    I know most here don't bother, but are there any that do trim automatic pistol brass?

    Bazoo

  2. #2
    No point in trimming auto brass. It usually shortens with use. I believe since it headspaces on the case mouth that every time it gets slammed into the chamber, it acts as a check to keep it from getting any longer.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    You never have to trim brass for semiautomatic handguns. You'll lose them in the grass before they ever need trimming.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Here is an article that deals with the need for trimming of handgun cases in some detail.
    http://www.massreloading.com/loading45ACP.html

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I have never trimmed a pistol case. But I only shoot .38, 9mm, 40, and .45ACP.

    Seems like a waste of time.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    LUBEDUDE's Avatar
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    Thanks Taz, that was a good read.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    if you have to trim it, something is very wrong.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Trimming automatic pistol brass.

    I fully agree with "never trim pistol brass". I reload it until it splits, has some other physical damage or is lost. That that is not lost goes to the recycler for primer or powder money.

    I have never had a roll crimp issue with any revolver due to variation in case length, or a chambering problem in semi-autos for the same reason. If I did refer back to recycling.

    That is what I have been doing since 1967, anyway.
    NRA Endowment Life Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    The only reason I ever trimmed revolver brass was because the variances would show themselves during crimping. Even though every bullet was seated the exact same depth, during roll crimping, it would move the bullet based on how long the case was. All of a sudden OAL's can vary .010" or more just from crimping. The easy solution for me was to go to a collet crimp die. For the most part it eliminates this problem altogether. Because auto cases don't crimp into a groove, they don't have this problem either. Another aspect on a revolver is that a longer case would crimp slightly harder than a shorter case. Since a taper crimp isn't a crimp (or shouldn't be used as such), this is not a factor in an auto case. I wouldn't blame somebody for running the cases through a gauge to make sure they aren't too long, but trimming doesn't gain you anything. That time is better spent sorting head stamps if you need the best of the best accuracy.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I trim 44 magnum... But those grow if you shoot full house rounds... I don't trim other pistol rounds.
    WWG1WGA

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    I shoot NRA bullseye pistol ,where everyone is looking for the last fraction of an inch of accuracy. 2% of shooters trim their brass, 98% do not. Some of the top,top shooters may use new brass to accomplish the same thing. There is very little to gain by trimming brass. Using a premium bullet is far more important.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. WV, thanks for that tidbit. How many of those folks sort by headstamp?

    Thanks Tazman. That was interesting. Would be neat to uniform the primer pocket and keep on testing.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks Tazman! The article illustrated a problem I was having with .45 Colt cases- after a few reloadings I couldn't get the cases in the shellholder. Turns out the small extraction groove was shrinking enough to prevent the case from entering the shell holder.
    Loren

  14. #14
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    I’ve been reloading since the 80’s and I’ve never trimmed pistol brass
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    ^^^ditto

    FWIW, I used to worry about the revolver crimp and case length. Then I got the Lee crimp dies. They don't depend on case length and IMHO they make a better crimp.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Don't trim either, but a while back on another forum there was a lot of discussion on making accurate 9mm pistols and ammo. One poster ran tests of run of the mine versus trimmed 9mm and repored a significant increase in accuracy with the trimmed cases. Think it was the Bullseye-L forum.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Interesting rich thanks.

    Well I will have to do some testing myself.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    I did one batch back when I first got my Gold Cup.

    I had a box of high end, name brand match bullets, and trimmed a sorted batch of known once fired, same head stamp,
    name brand cases just try and see just how accurate it, the pistol, and myself could be.

    It went well, but not enough difference to do all that again unless I was shooting for the Bianchi Cup.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 02-05-2020 at 08:54 PM.
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    It was God, guns, and guts.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for your addition Ed.

    I'm not the best shot, but I'm no slouch either. I seen a difference in the wife's 686 between mixed brass and sorted/trimmed brass. I did not test same headstamp but not trimmed.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I normal check for length of what is too short in 9mm and then I would short them more to make my own type of shorts in the 9mm to shoot in my wheel gun. that way it is easy for me pick them out . That is what I normal do with my handgun brass.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

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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