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Thread: Case trimming the neccessary evil...

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Case trimming the neccessary evil...

    I do not like trimming cases, in fact I have posted in the past that I loathe and detest case trimming.

    I don't like doing it with run of the mill standard rifle cartridges, and don't usually bother with normal handgun rounds.

    However, I don't mind doing it when making wildcat or otherwise unobtainum cases, like my current attempt at making .380 shotshells from 5.56mm brass. Weird huh?

    Anybody else like me that doesn't like to trim normal, easily available cases; but finds it somewhat enjoyable to make oddball rounds?

    Robert

  2. #2
    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
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    I can see where you're at with that... The mission is different.
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I enjoy trimming cases. I enjoy making 30-30 the most. Trimming is just part of it. I've not done in wildcatting yet.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I enjoy it enough that I recently sold my trimmer. I never trim handgun brass and all my rifle brass got trimmed in a marathon session last year. I have a chop saw and jig for making .300 BO; but after doing one batch I will buy them already formed, thank you very much.

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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy sparkyv's Avatar
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    Dr. Seuss, is that you?

    I do not like trimming cases,
    I have posted in the past
    I loathe and detest case trimming.
    I don't like doing it
    and don't usually bother
    Sam I Am.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    I do not like trimming cases, in fact I have posted in the past that I loathe and detest case trimming.

    I don't like doing it with run of the mill standard rifle cartridges, and don't usually bother with normal handgun rounds.

    However, I don't mind doing it when making wildcat or otherwise unobtainum cases, like my current attempt at making .380 shotshells from 5.56mm brass. Weird huh?

    Anybody else like me that doesn't like to trim normal, easily available cases; but finds it somewhat enjoyable to make oddball rounds?

    Robert

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Electricity is your friend when it comes to case prep.Especially trimming! My Wilson trimmer works great for 100 or so cases. But for more than 100 I'll change cutters and use my Giraud.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have the same feelings about trimming and here is what I do.
    1. For any cartridge that I shoot a lot I check the length of the chamber. Most of the time the chambers are .015 to .040 longer than factory brass, so I often skip trimming until the brass stretches a lot.
    Most metric chambers seem to be .040 (1mm) longer than the case lengths.

    2. When I do trim it is often minimal to just square up the mouths of the cases that have stretched the most.

    3. In the case of neck sizing and precision FL sizing brass stretching is reduced and trimming can mostly be eliminated.

    4. I will define precision FL sizing as FL sizing without pushing the shoulder back. I use the Hornady case gage to set my dies. It is tedious to get them set to the exact length of the chamber from head to the shoulder datum but cases do not stretch much after such sizing.
    To get cases sized to exactly the same head to datum measurement they should be sized using 2 or 3 short strokes at the top of the ram motion. I also spin the case 1/3 of a turn to make sure the sizing is even.
    5. I have a 6X47 Rem benchrest rifle that I use a straight line, bushing type neck die to size. I have never had to trim cases for that rifle since the necks are sized only enough to grip the bullet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    I do not like trimming cases, in fact I have posted in the past that I loathe and detest case trimming.

    I don't like doing it with run of the mill standard rifle cartridges, and don't usually bother with normal handgun rounds.

    However, I don't mind doing it when making wildcat or otherwise unobtainum cases, like my current attempt at making .380 shotshells from 5.56mm brass. Weird huh?

    Anybody else like me that doesn't like to trim normal, easily available cases; but finds it somewhat enjoyable to make oddball rounds?

    Robert
    EDG

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Agree with detesting it.

    I will never trim handgun brass...been loading for 50 years and see no reason to change.

    But I am anal with rifle brass and can justify it as I shoot so little. 5.56 and 7.62 Nato are the calibers I shoot the most in rifles and use the RCBS powered trimmer to process military brass.

    I am looking at using RCBS X-dies for the above calibers as I understand no trimming is needed after the initial trimming. IIRC Larry Gibson did some testing with them and was impressed with how well they worked.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    I don't hate or love it! It's just part of making the best cartridge I can. I use the electric RCBS trim pro. I trim my brass to the shortest case in the batch before I weigh and then sort by weight. A lot of work that most loaders do not do but I enjoy handloading and my finished cartridge WILL be better than any factory can do.
    Larry

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I positively hate to trim brass.
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

    WWG1WGA!

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I'm not that big of a fan of Shaving either....

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have bought several trimmers over the years and made others. I do alot more rifle than handgun and trim as needed according to use and need. My easiest to use trimmer and also very accurate is one I made from a bench top drill press. reworked the spindle stop to a dead stop on the base carbide cutter with pilots and the drill press runs at 2500 rpm for trimming. The old stop has a 1" indicator mounted so I can visibly see 0 on each case. I can trim a bucket of 308 or 223 in no time. And with a different stop I can turn case necks as needed.

    I also do wildcats and even then cutting the trim time down is a plus. The herrets removing 1/4" is at the mid point for removal not enough to justify a saw but more than a crank type trimmer is comfortable for. My dedicated drill press makes this easy. I also have gracey trimmer that works well for 223,308, and 243. But not good for the straight walled rifle cases.

    In the past I have used RCBS, Lyman, lee, Wilson trimmers. When setting up for the summers high power match ammo they are slow. a couple thousand cases with them is a big chunk of time. With the gracey or my drill press its pretty quick. My drill press cutter uses carbide inserts and I think thy have been rotated once. so 3 edges on first fave and 4 on second side to go before replacing. And if needed I can change them mid batch and maintain size.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    It ain't no big deal.
    And it gives me something to do instead of going to one of those crooked BINGO parlors.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit-chat. This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE !!
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have formed about 300 or 400 US military .30-06 cases to 7.65 Mauser and 8X57 Mauser. That leaves the cases about .300 too long.
    .300 inch times 300 cases is 100 inches of brass that I have turned into shavings using a Forester trimmer and a drill motor.
    That cutter is still sharp and I bought that trimmer in 1976.
    EDG

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    I do not like trimming cases, in fact I have posted in the past that I loathe and detest case trimming...

    Robert
    I hear ya, I have 1500 .223 to trim and deburr this week. YUCK!

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I hate case trimming as a whole. Maybe a little less when making a wildcat case. But I still hate it. I have three way cutters and a bunch of Forster lathes that are setup. Itís not necessarily the trimming part that I hate. Itís putting the cases in and removing them from the collet. The design tears up the palm of my hand. W/ the amount of 5.56 that I need to process Iím going to get the Dillon trimmer or something like the WFT.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    A Giraud is your friend for 1500 5.56 cases. They are expensive, but worth the money.
    Tony

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
    A Giraud is your friend for 1500 5.56 cases. They are expensive, but worth the money.
    Tony
    Thanks brother, I have a powered setup already but its hard on the hands just handling all that brass.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
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    I got the new Lyman Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer.
    I have to say it works very nicely.
    After full length resizing, it head spaces on the shoulder and allows adjustments to .001".
    A bit rough on the fingers after a few hundred but hey....take a break and do something else while you rest your fingers.
    I have done THOUSANDS of .223 brass on it.
    Many .308's also.
    After many years of the Forster Classic manual trimmer this is a great way to trim brass.
    I REALLY looked at the Dillon Trimmer but couldn't justify the cost.
    Collector and shooter of guns with selector switches and threaded barrels. Collector of suppressors, SBR's, AOW's and SBS's. Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I measure the chamber length on my rifles - many ( most) have long chambers that will accommodate brass much longer than factory spec. Using an 'M' die and no crimp, bullet pull is the same. I do trim cases if a crimp is necessary for tube feeds. After the first firing of new brass, I will measure all and trim to the shortest length, with moderate loading cases are then good until worn out - 10, 15, 20 or more loadings depending on caliber and load. I do not use neck expanders that are pulled through the neck of bottleneck brass - a cause of brass stretching, as does excessive full length sizing. Little stretching with straight cases, no trimming unless I notice crimps getting 'ragged'. I've got a drill powered WFT trimmer for 223, 308, also to power trim 308 to 300 Savage, but mostly use a Wilson, have Forster and Lee but like the Wilson better

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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