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Case trimming dilemna, RKI needed

okiefarmer

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I have spent many hours in my man chair during cold nasty winter months trimming .308 and 5.56 brass with my little hand drill setup and a LEE case trimmer. Worn down numerous pins to where I was coming out with shorter brass than I wanted. About a year ago, I bought a Trim-it II trimmer and with Dad's passing, then getting the farm cleaned up for sale, just now found time to get this new toy up and running. Love it, but seem to be getting more variation on final length. The LEE ran super consistent (well, until one wears the pin down, but it measures off the entire case. With the Trim-it, it measures off the bottleneck, so once I get the thing set correctly, and reach that magic length, I have found later cases to roam all over the fucking board. How is this possible? Can there be that uch variation in length of the main body of case from base to bottleneck?

School me here. I like a consistent length, I usually put a slight crimp in the cannelure of all my rounds and that station is going to use length from base of case. Will a few thousandths make that much difference, prolly not, I'm just an anal loader.

TIA,
Okie out
 

okiefarmer

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Oh, hell no. Why would they be. Milsurp stuff seldom is, at least the stuff I've got in the past. But would that make a difference? I could go through the pile I've got trimmed to cull out some similar headstamps just to check for that issue.

Thanks
 

TerryN

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Are you sizing the brass first and then trimming? FWIW, I have seen the technique used cause a .010" variance in trimmed brass length. I had my trimmer set up (back in the days when I cranked the handle) and perfectly adjusted - for me - to turn out perfectly trimmed brass. A buddy came over offered to help trim some, and really leaned into it. That brass was all .010" shorter than the brass that I had trimmed.
 

Jaxxas

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Oh, hell no. Why would they be. Milsurp stuff seldom is, at least the stuff I've got in the past. But would that make a difference? I could go through the pile I've got trimmed to cull out some similar headstamps just to check for that issue.

Thanks

Well you are the anal one in this conversation.......

ymmv.....
 

okiefarmer

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L E Wilson case trimmer yields consistent length cases.
What does the Wilson trimmer base length from? Never used one of those. Edit to add: I looked at one on yootoob real quick. I've got an old Lyman trimmer that work like that, even got the little drill driver. I just thought this Trim-it would be faster, and it got good reviews everywhere I looked.
 

Jaxxas

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Sorry if I offended you, not my intention. I honestly didn't think HS would make that much difference. But. my handle ain't jackass, er I mean jaxxas either. 😁 😁
No offense, you talked about being anal in the OP, separating cases is where I went when getting anal......
 

okiefarmer

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No offense, you talked about being anal in the OP, separating cases is where I went when getting anal......
So, it may be a big nothing booger then in your opinion?? The LEE was very overall consistent, all fits in a case guage, so no problemmo on chambering. I don't drive tacks with anything I shoot, and just really don't want to start getting the magnifying glass out (at my age with failinf eyes) to start culling cases. I think I Might be GTG.
 

tac-40

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Terry had the right idea. You should size your brass before trimming because that should give you a constant shoulder position and thus case length (since your trimmer measures off the shoulder. While I cannot remember checking to see if this happens, but sizing may affect on the overall length too since moving the shoulder back may cause the case to shorten.
 

okiefarmer

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Terry had the right idea. You should size your brass before trimming because that should give you a constant shoulder position and thus case length (since your trimmer measures off the shoulder. While I cannot remember checking to see if this happens, but sizing may affect on the overall length too since moving the shoulder back may cause the case to shorten.
I had been FL sizing before I trimmed with the LEE, thinking along this same line, so proceeded with the same procedure with this new trimmer. It just caught me off guard that I was getting different overall all case length now that I am trimming off the shoulder. Makes one think there might be a slight difference in body length in various HS cases. And I noticed that when I separated just a handful in my bucket I'm working on tonight. We are only talking about .005 max on these 5.56 cases, which may not be enough to lose much sleep over. I think that cannelure channel is much wider than that, so I may never see much variation when putting that taper crimp on the last station.

Thanks guys
 

Jaxxas

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So, it may be a big nothing booger then in your opinion?? The LEE was very overall consistent, all fits in a case guage, so no problemmo on chambering. I don't drive tacks with anything I shoot, and just really don't want to start getting the magnifying glass out (at my age with failinf eyes) to start culling cases. I think I Might be GTG.
You are probably fine, when I was reloading about the first thing I did was separating cases, just another variable.......
 

mack1611

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What does the Wilson trimmer base length from? Never used one of those. Edit to add: I looked at one on yootoob real quick. I've got an old Lyman trimmer that work like that, even got the little drill driver. I just thought this Trim-it would be faster, and it got good reviews everywhere I looked.
Works well for precision rifle reloading, the Wilson trimmer holds cases by their body taper rather than the case head.
 

W.E.G.

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There is no need to crimp.

If you feel good neck tension when seating the bullet, that is all you need.

If you wonder if your crimp is "enough," take a loaded round and walk over to your gun safe. Using ONE HAND, press the nose of the bullet against the gunsafe. I press pretty hard - but I have spindly arms. If you curl 150-pound dumbells, you migh want to not give it 100%. I can't push the bullet on any of my handdloads deeper into the case by pressing one-hand against the gunsafe.

Crimping rifle ammo is for when you are using shitty cases with poor neck tension. Unless you handload differently than most hobbyists, you will KNOW if you're getting shitty neck tension. If you are getting shitty neck tension, reduce the diameter of the expander on your sizing die by five ten-thousandths..
 

STG_58_guy

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Terry had the right idea. You should size your brass before trimming because that should give you a constant shoulder position and thus case length (since your trimmer measures off the shoulder. While I cannot remember checking to see if this happens, but sizing may affect on the overall length too since moving the shoulder back may cause the case to shorten.
This confuses me. I was taught that FL resizing causes the brass to flow and was the reason we have to trim. Therefore I always trim after I FL resize. Is that wrong?

I've seen the trim based on shoulder datum thing talked about on Johnny's Reloading Bench. I would never be able to find the episode or I'd post it here. The idea was that trimming to the shoulder datum had pluses and minuses. The danger of having a neck too long is that it could get pinched in the throat and cause high initial pressures. Measuring to the shoulder is the surest way to avoid this fault, since that datum determines the position of the chambered round. On the other hand, almost everyone seats their bullet based on overall length, or ogive to base. So that causes the position of the neck on the bullet to change, if trimmed to the shoulder datum, as the OP pointed out. But all this was discussed around guys trying to make precision loads. They were worried about neck tension and how far off the landes the ogive ended up. It sounds like it wouldn't matter for your application.

One thing that would be interesting to measure is your base to shoulder datum after resizing, and see how much variation you get there. I have a contraption I use to measure that and I see +/- 0.001 or less. Hornady sells a nice tool for that. I bought one but I haven't used it yet.
 

gw104

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You all can do what you want but, if that bullet has a cannelure, it gets crimped. Seems that military ammunition is crimped and thats new brass. I'm sure if none of it needed crimped the manufacturers wouldn't do it and the bullet makers wouldn't put a cannelure on the bullet. Something about that bolt slamming back and forth makes me like the crimp. Just saying.
 

STG_58_guy

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You all can do what you want but, if that bullet has a cannelure, it gets crimped. Seems that military ammunition is crimped and thats new brass. I'm sure if none of it needed crimped the manufacturers wouldn't do it and the bullet makers wouldn't put a cannelure on the bullet. Something about that bolt slamming back and forth makes me like the crimp. Just saying.
A lot of videos out there that show that chambering a round a few times in FALs, AR's, and other military auto loading rifles makes the cartridge overall length shorter. Hard to imagine that would happen to a round that passes W.E.G.s gun safe test.

Sounds like a test one could do at home pretty easily. Outside with the rifle pointed in a safe direction obviously.

Again , Johnny's Reloading Bench channel has several excellent videos on the subject with tests. I think he settled for a light crimp on 223 rounds even without a cannelure but he has the right press to get that done easily and is way fancier in his process than I am. I'd have to review the episode to be sure and it would take me an hour to find it.

I have a hard time getting good consistent crimps. I'm a reloading duffer.

I enjoy Johnny's Reloading Bench very much. When I grow up I'd like to be like Johnny (but his name isn't Johnny!).


Maybe this one

 
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