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Joined: 01/24/2010
Posts: 59
Casing preparation questions

Hey all, I have a few questions regarding the casings I use for reloading.

1)  The reloading books I use call out my casing length to be 2.090, but the case trimmer I have (Lee) for my caliber trims them to 2.093-2.094.  Anyone know why this would be different?  If I didn't trim them down to 2.090....is that significant enough to affect my load accuracy?

2)  After I shoot a round, the casing ends up about .005-.012 longer than spec.  Do you guys trim your casing every time you reload them to get them to spec?

3)  On occasion, I will trim a casing shorter than spec (usually .002-.004 to short).  Are these still usable or do you discard them?

4) Do any of you have a good method of cleaning your casings after they have been resized and tumbled in order to get the "tackiness" off the shell?  I wipe my down and it is time consuming and annoying (although it is good "brain down-time").  Is there a solvent that these can be soaked in that will dry on its own once removed?

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Help!   Thanks.

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Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 181
I trim my cases about every

I trim my cases about every 3rd reload.  If they're feeding O.K., a little long won't effect accuracy.  If your bolt is sticking or you find it hard to close the bolt/feed the round, then trimming your cases would be my first suggestion.  As a note, if you're using a Lee trimmer, you really can't screw trimming up.  While the Lee can be a little painfull on the fingers, it's pretty much idiot proof.  All I use for case trimming is Lee products.  Also, if your cases are a little short, could be due to crimping or chamfering the mouth of the case.

In terms of getting the tackiness off your brass, if you're using a tumbler, let your brass tumble for about 3 - 4 hours.  I will normally start my tumbler before going to work and stop it when I return home, about 10 hours total.  Often times, my primer pockets come out pretty clean also saving me more time.  If you're using corn media and not receiving desired results, switch to walnut media.  Cost a little more, but it cleans brass better in my opinion.

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Joined: 01/24/2010
Posts: 59
AFHunter....thanks for the

AFHunter....thanks for the reply.  I use my Lee case trimmer and it is fool proof like you say, but it does not trim down to the length my specs are calling out.  I then use my Lee trimmer and do it by hand to get the last .003-.004 trimmed off.  Once in a while I trim a little too much and that is where my casings are under the spec length by .002-3004.  Are these still OK to use or should I throw them?

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Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 181
Still shouldn't be an issue

Still shouldn't be an issue if you trim them a little short.  I assume the ".002-3004" should read ".002 - .004".  As long as that's the case, you'll be fine.  Keep in mind, brass stretches when it's fired, hence the need for trimming.  If you trimmed them a little short, once fired, they'll get back to original length.  I usually let mine run out about .003 before trimming them.  One last thing, when using the Lee trimmer, make sure the shellholder screw the case down tight.  If it's a little loose, that could cause the shorter trim length.

CVC
CVC's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3586
I tend to be a bit anal and

I tend to be a bit anal and don't shoot/reload huge numbers so I trim every time.  Figure I might as well keep everything uniform and consistent since it doesn't take that much time to do.  I don't have a problem with tackiness when I clean my brass.  I doubt that a little short makes much difference, but if I was trying to establish a best load then I would make sure everything was consistent just to rule out any variables that might affect accuracy.

Once I got the load figured out then it wouldn't matter quite as much, but I still do it.  Trimming brass is the worst part of reloading for me.  I hate it.

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