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Thread: Cutting down cases

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Cutting down cases

    I am going to cut down some 50 Alaskan cases for my 12.7x44 rolling block and was wondering what everyone uses to cut down the cases. Seems like too much for a case trimmer to cut off.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I must own the tightest chambered rolling block in the world. I reduce length with a Lyman case trimmer, the rim diameter by chucking it in a drill press and resting a bastard file - followed by emery cloth, then thin the rim thickness by using a file on the case side of the rim.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    A tube made to length from front of rim to mouth + .020 would allow for a saw or file to be used. Slide the case in and lock in place. cut with a jewelers saw or fine file. A drill press and lee utter and shell holder will remove it pretty quick mount the case holder in a block of steel and the cutter pilot in the chuck. Set th drill presses stop for slightly over and you can do it under power

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    p.s. I do use a drill chucked up to the case trimmer.

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    If the excess brass is 1/4 or more, I use a tubing cutter for most of it. Then its over to the Universal expander and then the case trimmer.

    If I have a file/trim die, a hacksaw cut and filing the end smooth.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold Sven205's Avatar
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    Not the same caliber, but I use one of these to cut 223 brass down to 300 blkout length.

    http://https://www.harborfreight.com/2-in-mini-bench-top-cut-off-saw-62136.html

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    That little saw will be the best investment you will ever make cutting down cases. I also use it for cutting copper tubing for making jackets for swaging.
    The saw is a little tight for working with it if you have big fingers but it's a fine tool.
    I made a wood block so I can level the case to make a square cut and all of my brass is mostly for the black powder rifles and they have a rim. I put the rim against the block and cut
    The cut is clean, square and the length is exact case for case. The rimless cases you can make a stop gauge at the head if you want.
    I been working with this saw for about 5 years+ and have yet to change the blade or belt.


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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Second on the Harbor Freight saw and don't forget the coupons for 20% off and free flash light. Iv'e used mine for around 2500 blackout cases and a 100 7x57's from 06 brass and Dad uses his for the brass liners in the pens He makes. I used mine so much it needs a new drive belt but I don't mind cause of the money saved and fun Iv'e had with it they are a pretty handy saw to have a round our local HF is always sold out of them between the hobby crowd and the blackout brass makers.

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    Third vote for the Harbor Freight chop saw with a little jig to regulate the length. For years I have used a lathe to trim brass, and still do if it's only a few cases. But once you make up a little trough/jig for the case length, the chop saw is much faster.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    It is nothing Unusual for the RB's have a Tight chamber. You must remember the original 12.7x44 were rimfire case made with Copper cases. The only thing that was changed was the changing In the Block from Rimfire to Cf. I do have some original RF collectors cartridge and they chamber very easy
    Quote Originally Posted by cwtebay View Post
    I must own the tightest chambered rolling block in the world. I reduce length with a Lyman case trimmer, the rim diameter by chucking it in a drill press and resting a bastard file - followed by emery cloth, then thin the rim thickness by using a file on the case side of the rim.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
    NRA Endowment Member
    International Ammunition Association
    ARTCA
    New York, the Empire State Where Empires were Won and Lost

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Another vote for the HF chop saw. Cut down 223 cases with a commercial jig. I do use the trimmer to clean up the case mouth. Dab of bees wax on the blade and do make sure all the blade and belt screws are tight. Also watch for steel cases that are 'flash' coated brassy.
    Whatever!

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by salpal48 View Post
    It is nothing Unusual for the RB's have a Tight chamber. You must remember the original 12.7x44 were rimfire case made with Copper cases. The only thing that was changed was the changing In the Block from Rimfire to Cf. I do have some original RF collectors cartridge and they chamber very easy
    Good point! I trim around 0.06" to get to length, so I don't know how well a saw would work.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwinsett View Post
    I am going to cut down some 50 Alaskan cases for my 12.7x44 rolling block and was wondering what everyone uses to cut down the cases. Seems like too much for a case trimmer to cut off.
    Kwinsett. I faced the same issue with my 12.7 also. I already had a Drexel tool from a prior Xmas gift and my local HD carried the drill press frame to hold it so I just oriented the dremel vertically with the thin abrasive disc. I used a 3/4" plywood sheet about 12x12 with a smooth slick finish so the base of my cases would slide easily. I just hold the case in my fingers and spin it carefully in the cutter disc. Adjusted the height so it was just a hair longer than my finished length and then finished off the process in my Foerster classic trimmer with the correct collect and pilot.

    Here's the setup I use on shortening paper shotshell. It's the same on straight walled brass too.










  14. #14
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtebay View Post
    p.s. I do use a drill chucked up to the case trimmer.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
    That’s what I do. I made some 44 special cases out of 44 mags. You should’ve seen the brass fly off of those when I spun them down.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub RickF's Avatar
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    Another vote on the Harbor Freight chop saw, it works great for me.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I too use the HF mini cut off saw. I make these little mandrels that clamp in the vise. Once adjusted for length, I just slip the case on. It stops it at the same place every time. I cut about 2/3 through the case, rotate it 180 and finish the cut. It works great.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I use a HF mini lathe (7x14). Make a mandrel for the chuck to center and stop the case, remove primer and use live center in primer pocket. Lock down cross feed and use a sharp HSS bit sharpened to 60 Degrees. It cuts quickly, accurately and very close to final size. It would take a while to list all the other useful tasks it will do.

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold Sven205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndnchf View Post
    I too use the HF mini cut off saw. I make these little mandrels that clamp in the vise. Once adjusted for length, I just slip the case on. It stops it at the same place every time. I cut about 2/3 through the case, rotate it 180 and finish the cut. It works great.
    I like the mandrel idea, I'm using a stop jig that lines up at the base but this looks like a good way to do it too.

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks guys. I see a mini chop saw in my future.

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    I made a holder to use tubing cutter that I can adjust for different length brass out of stuff laying around in garage.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTF1p3qByEA&t=58s

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