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View Full Version : Is it normal to never trim your brass?


Dark Mod
07-01-2011, 8:07 AM
I bought a case trimmer with my press when i first started reloading but never used it. Is it normal to have NEVER trimmed your brass before? it never needed it for some reason... i reload for 30-30, 7.62x54r, and .357 magnum.

I also have never used the chamfer/deburring tool, What is the point of chamfering and deburring?

I hope im not missing some crazy important step leaving all this out, but i never use the factory crimp die, and i NEVER flare the case mouth before seating the bullet (they seem to go in just fine without flaring).

Am i retarded? i hope im not missing something super important...

Low-Pressure
07-01-2011, 8:40 AM
My rifle cases need some trimming after 3 reloads, haven't not trimmed any straight walled cases yet. The deburring tool is used to de-burr trimmed cases, in your case you obviously have not needed to use it yet. Rifle cases usually do not need any mouth flaring done to it, but I flare my straight wall cases (handgun usually).
Looks like you have a secret or came up with a procedure that work for you!

JagerDog
07-01-2011, 8:42 AM
Your loads will be more consistent if your brass is consistent. Neither of those cals are particularly hard on brass providing the headspace on the firearm is in spec. How many reloads are you talking about? Debur/chamfer after trimming.

If you can stuff bullets without belling the mouth on .357, then it would seem your re-sizing opp needs a looksie or you have more patience than a man should...LOL. Rifle cals don't get flared.

Full Clip
07-01-2011, 8:46 AM
If you're measuring each piece and they're good, no trim necessary! Just keep inspecting. After an initial trim, I find my brass -- especially 7.62x39 -- rarely needs another for 3-4 reloads, at which time it's usually toast anyways. (Or lost!)

Divernhunter
07-01-2011, 11:48 AM
I go against the grain on this as I rarely trim any of my brass. My ammo shoots very well also. Pistol brass(straight walled) will not need trimming. I do not trim my rifle brass except my 50bmg stuff. Then again I do not try to get 25 reloads out of a case.

ireload
07-01-2011, 12:18 PM
I trim for both rifle and pistol. I like my ammo uniform. Consitent when crimping. Yes I'm OCD on that matter.

noylj
07-01-2011, 2:49 PM
All cases, except auto-pistol cartridges that head-space on the case mouth, can be trimmed. Don't trim the auto-pistol cases as they are ALWAYS too short to begin with and don't get longer.
If you are crimping such cases, then they should be trimmed to the same length.
Depending on how much you size/work your bottleneck cases, they generally should be trimmed after every 3 firings. The cases will grow and you can end up with the case and bullet jammed into the barrel's lede (start of rifling) and have a real pressure problem when you fire the case.

Whiterabbit
07-01-2011, 3:21 PM
I've never trimmed either. Not because I don't think I need to, but because nothing has spec'd out yet. When I start to have problems, THEN I will buy a trimmer.

I'd hate to waste my money on something I dont use or dont need yet. Prolific on this board.

But believe you me, if tomorrow I measure some brass and it's not right, I'm off to pick one up. It'll be any week now I am sure.

---------

And I'm jealous you don't need to expand. Without a mouth flare, I will shave my bullets right down during seating. And it's a fine adjustment, too.

Peter W Bush
07-01-2011, 3:21 PM
All cases, except auto-pistol cartridges that head-space on the case mouth, can be trimmed. Don't trim the auto-pistol cases as they are ALWAYS too short to begin with and don't get longer.
If you are crimping such cases, then they should be trimmed to the same length...

Can you explain this a little further, please? What calibers are you talking about, specifically?

Divernhunter
07-01-2011, 9:07 PM
My brass would have to grow a heck of alot to get into the rifling. I have 1/4-3/8"+ of bullet that rides in the rifling showing beyond the end of the brass. Plus I have measured my rifles for freebore and such and some bullets would actually be out of the case to touch the rifling on some bullet/rifle combos.

Actually I would like some of my brass to be longer to start with so I could load the bullet closer to the rifling.

GeoffLinder
07-02-2011, 7:26 AM
You don't need to trim straight-wall pistol cases (.44 .357, 9mm, .40 SW, etc...). They don't grow in length from re-sizing like bottleneck rifle cases do.

You should trim bottleneck rifle cases, especially if you re-use them more than 1 or 2 times.

Rifle cases should be measured to see if they are at max or over max length after they have been re-loaded once or twice. Re-sizing causes case necks to grow longer and at a certain point this will become an issue.

Straight-wall pistol cases are always supposed to have the case mouths flared to help seat the bullet properly. Not doing this can cause a myriad of problems like jacket shaving, un-square seating, case crushing, etc...

kostner
07-02-2011, 8:06 AM
You don't need to trim straight-wall pistol cases (.44 .357, 9mm, .40 SW, etc...). They don't grow in length from re-sizing like bottleneck rifle cases do.

You should trim bottleneck rifle cases, especially if you re-use them more than 1 or 2 times.

Rifle cases should be measured to see if they are at max or over max length after they have been re-loaded once or twice. Re-sizing causes case necks to grow longer and at a certain point this will become an issue.

Straight-wall pistol cases are always supposed to have the case mouths flared to help seat the bullet properly. Not doing this can cause a myriad of problems like jacket shaving, un-square seating, case crushing, etc...
This is good info I have never trimmed brass but will start checking.

FLIGHT762
07-02-2011, 8:56 AM
My brass would have to grow a heck of alot to get into the rifling. I have 1/4-3/8"+ of bullet that rides in the rifling showing beyond the end of the brass. Plus I have measured my rifles for freebore and such and some bullets would actually be out of the case to touch the rifling on some bullet/rifle combos.

Actually I would like some of my brass to be longer to start with so I could load the bullet closer to the rifling.

There are two important measurements that have nothing to do with the other. Your maximum case length is dependent on the length of your chamber's "second shoulder" (in bottle necked rifle cases) where the case mouth of your brass will seat. If the case neck is too long, you will jam (compress) the excess case neck brass into the second shoulder, causing higher pressures. That is why SAAMI has a recommended maximum case length for a SAAMI specification chamber. You can buy gauges (Sinclair has them) to check the length. http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pid=32925/Product/Sinclair_Chamber_Length_Gage

If you actually measure your chamber's neck length with the gauge, you can determine if you can let your cases grow past the SAAMI maximum. If you haven't measured, you should trim to the SAAMI specs.

The second important measurement ( as you are aware of) is the cartridge overall length, where the bullet ogive to the lands is important.

Here's a good chamber drawing from Fulton Armory. Click on the picture for a full sized photo. You can see the secondary shoulder where case length can be an issue.
http://www.fulton-armory.com/%5Cfaqs%5CAR-FAQs%5Cheadspace.htm

I just wanted to point out, both measurement are important.

Divernhunter
07-02-2011, 11:57 AM
I was wondering if anyone would catch this. I have measured the case neck part in some of my rifles to know how much they can grow. We made a cast of the chamber/thoat to double check.

Really you cannot let the cases grow too much but I get tried of people telling the story of "If they are not trimmed to exact lenght all the time the gun will explode" type of myth. That was my point in a sarcatic way. In truth I rarely trim my brass and have never had any trouble in many years of reloading many, may thousands of rounds. BUT then I do not try to get 20 reloads out of my brass. Seldom do I use it more than 5 reloads. But with the cost of brass now I may start and then I may need to start trimming. It will be eaiser now that I have the RCBS power trimer as well as the hand powered one.

Sorry if my remarks were misinterpeded. I probably shoud have pointed out they were somewhat tounge in cheek.

Latigo
07-02-2011, 1:12 PM
I wish I was rich enough to buy a truck load of reloading amnuals. I'd sure hand some out here. Sheesh.

fairfaxjim
07-02-2011, 1:42 PM
I wish I was rich enough to buy a truck load of reloading amnuals. I'd sure hand some out here. Sheesh.

Don't waste your $, it doesn't look like your intended audience would be reading them.

Fishslayer
07-02-2011, 1:47 PM
You'll have much more consistent roll crimps in your .357 (or any caliber) if you trim, chamfer & deburr.

I've been told once you trim pistol brass you won't have to do it again.

I don't bother with .45ACP & 9mm because they're not roll crimped.

Dark Mod
07-02-2011, 2:01 PM
I wish I was rich enough to buy a truck load of reloading amnuals. I'd sure hand some out here. Sheesh.

Why buy a manual when there is so much good info on the Internet for free

CK_32
07-03-2011, 1:10 PM
I trim everytime I reload for my match loads for my 700. For my plinking AR loads I do it when needed.

Briancnelson
07-03-2011, 1:37 PM
Pistol brass may need trimming if you shoot very hot loads.

My .38 +p brass occasionally stretches out of true far enough to need trimming.

My 9mm does not, for the most part, and the .357 I load for my friend generally doesn't.

damndave
07-03-2011, 9:26 PM
My piston brass no.

My rifle brass yes.