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Trimming 45 colt brass

This is a discussion on Trimming 45 colt brass within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Do any of you see the need to trim 45 colt brass? Have reloaded some of my starline and it all seems to stay within ...


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Old February 11th, 2017, 01:49 PM   #1
 
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Trimming 45 colt brass

Do any of you see the need to trim 45 colt brass? Have reloaded some of my starline and it all seems to stay within spec. Was talking to a fellow shooter and he uses Winchester and claims he has to trim his? I have not seen this brass but I question the need? Does anyone else trim their 45 colt brass?



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Old February 11th, 2017, 01:58 PM   #2
 
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Iv'e shot the same 45lc brass for years, never had to trim any.
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Old February 11th, 2017, 02:57 PM   #3
 
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Just started reloading .45 Colt and I've been watching the case length closely; I haven't noticed any need to trim. That said, I load them to "medium", not to the max, so I'm not really stressing the brass. I might change my tune once I fire and reload some of the 300 grain "bear loads" I made up this Fall.

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Old February 11th, 2017, 03:41 PM   #4
 
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When getting any new brass I'll size and then trim all of them to the length of the shortest case. This is always longer than the trim to length. A one time deal with no need for trimming after initial prep. Trimmed up a batch of 45 Auto Rim today. If your cases are different lengths how are you going to get a uniform crimp? Reloading quality ammo is all about uniformity. I'll invest the extra time and effort. YMMV.
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Old February 11th, 2017, 03:47 PM   #5
 
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Don't trim any handgun brass unless I have spare time on my hands but then I'm just a plinker and not a "precision shooter"

One exception in the past was 30 carbine in a Blackhawk..they tended to grow a lot.
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Old February 11th, 2017, 03:59 PM   #6
 
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Yes, I trim my 45 Colt Starline brass. I check it every time and then trim all the cases to the shortest length. I guess I am just anal about it.

I had a problem with some of my 38 Special brass years ago. After it was loaded and crimped, it would not chamber without pushing very hard. After some head scratching, I started doing some measuring and discovered the cases were to long. When I crimped them, there was a small bulge that would not let the loaded round slide into the chamber. After that, I just check and trim all my brass in all calibers to the correct length to save headaches.

By the way, some of my 38 brass is over 70 years old and has large primer pockets.
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Old February 11th, 2017, 04:05 PM   #7
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My procedures are exactly the same as Bepe's. I also sort my brass by headstamps and number of times fire so when I get ready to load a batch, all case lengths will be nearly identical ... makes for some nice uniform crimps.
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Old February 11th, 2017, 04:31 PM   #8
 
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The only time I ever trimmed any handgun brass was when I had a 92 Rossi in .45 Colt, and my necks kept splitting on the brass, which was only once or twice fired. After trimming them I never had any more trouble.
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Old February 11th, 2017, 04:56 PM   #9
 
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Thanks everyone for your ideas and thoughts. Guess I'd better double check some of my older brass again. Also check out all of my new brass when I incorporate them into the brass cycle. 500 new pieces of starline to check out. Should keep me busy. Thanks again.
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Old February 11th, 2017, 05:00 PM   #10
 
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What sort of tool works best to trim the straight-wall pistol cases? I'm thinking specifically of 45 ACP...

thanks,

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Old February 11th, 2017, 05:02 PM   #11
 
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Been reloading for 45 years.....Never trimmed any handgun brass....Never will............
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Old February 11th, 2017, 05:34 PM   #12
 
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I thought that's what a taper crimp was for, eliminating trimming of straight wall handgun brass.

Shot hundreds of thousands of 38 spl and 45 acp in competition, never trimmed any. Guns shot 38's inside 1 1/2" and 45's shot inside 2" groups out of a Ransom machine rest at 50 yds.

Guess that was good enough.
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Old February 12th, 2017, 06:14 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaguru View Post
I thought that's what a taper crimp was for, eliminating trimming of straight wall handgun brass.

Shot hundreds of thousands of 38 spl and 45 acp in competition, never trimmed any. Guns shot 38's inside 1 1/2" and 45's shot inside 2" groups out of a Ransom machine rest at 50 yds.

Guess that was good enough.
A taper crimp is used to eliminate FTF's in auto loaders, it has nothing to do with trimming. If it does I'd like to hear about it.

I've had to trimmed a few of my .357 brass in the past, never with the 45 ACP.


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Old February 12th, 2017, 06:47 AM   #14
 
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I have never trimmed my straight wall brass either. Seems to shoot to POA just fine. Rifle yes I do trim.
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Old February 12th, 2017, 09:23 AM   #15
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Mark204,
Quote:
A taper crimp is used to eliminate FTF's in auto loaders, it has nothing to do with trimming. If it does I'd like to hear about it.
You asked so here it is: For semi-auto ammo, taper crimps are used for three reasons. The first being to help secure the bullet in the case and prevent it from pulling out or pushing in during feeding. The risk when you don't crimp, or don't crimp enough is .... a bullet can get seated too deep while feeding and cause chamber pressure to elevate to dangerous levels. Sometimes the bullet gets pulled forward when the slide slams home. This can place the bullet against the lands and also increase chamber pressure. Either way, a bullet that is not secured tightly in the case will move forward or rearward .... maybe both, which will cause erratic chamber pressure with poor accuracy and possibly result in disaster.

The second reason is the very design of a semi-auto chamber. If you look closely in any semi-auto barrel, you will see a "stop" in the bore where the camber meets the lands and is just a little larger than bullet diameter. The concept is .... the cartridge will enter the chamber until the case mouth contacts the "stop". This is called head spacing on the case mouth versus a rimmed revolver case that headspaces on the rim. Headspacing is measured from the cartridge head to the breach face so the deeper a case is allowed to seat, the longer headspace will be. Typical handguns have about .010" of headspace (assuming SAAMI spec case length in pistols) Headspacing is one of the leading issues with accuracy in any gun so by controlling case length, you also control headspace and accuracy.

Last is your concept ... to assist with feeding. Cartridges feed much better when the sharp case mouth is not stubbing on the feed ramp or chamber mouth. Some pistols are more tolerant and feed pretty good even if the cases are not crimped while others gag and malfunction when cases are not perfectly crimped.

So how does trimming affect crimp? Both Roll and Taper crimping are sensitive to case length so when all cases are trimmed to the same length, your crimp die will apply the same exact crimp to each case. This solves all three of the above issues.

My cases get trimmed after the first firing. This makes all cases in the batch exactly the same length and results in very uniform crimps. Straight wall revolver and semi-auto cases do not "grow" much when fired .... less than .001" per time fired, unlike bottle neck rifle cases that grow about .005" per time fired. As such, I never trim them again. For match grade ammo, only cases that have been fired 3 times or less will qualify and those cases will maintain a very uniform length.

Is it a hard core requirement to trim straight wall cases? No, they will still function but they function just a little bit better when the brass is the same length so a uniform crimp can be applied. I guess it all depends on what accuracy you expect with your pistol and how much risk you are willing to assume for Kabooms.

One thing that has not been addressed is "over crimping". Many people think if they apply a harder crimp, it will hold the bullet tighter. With lead bullets, that is probably true but with jacketed bullets that don't compress, a harder than normal crimp means you will stretch the case and actually end up with less neck tension. This becomes obvious if you really over do it because the case will start to buckle like an accordion. A simple test after you complete a round will tell the tail .... measure the COL then grab a cartridge and push it nose first against your reloading bench with all your might. Measure COL again, if it is the same, you have a solid crimp. If COL is less, chances are you over crimped the case.
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