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Thread: Actual Case Length Verses Manual Case Length

  1. #1

    Default Actual Case Length Verses Manual Case Length

    This is our first go around with reloading and we are in the process of prepping a bunch of 45 Auto's. We were checking the case length and ran into the length on everyone we checked being smaller than the Lyman manual states. The manual say .898 from end-to-end. When we mic'd them we had .893, .890 and .886.

    All of these cases have been fired only once. They are Remington and a French (I think) company called Aquila

    So my question is what is the allowable difference in length? I would think the cases would be longer if they were stretched from firing not shorter. We haven't trimmed since we were checking length just to see what we found compared to the book?

    How short is to short?

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    I do not get concerned with a .010 under sized. You to not want to go to long as it might not fit in the chamber. The overall length when loaded should be kept real close also, Think about the 38 special/357 magnum , they both fire from the same cylinder. The 410 shot shell and the 45 long colt also fire from the same cylinder.

  3. #3

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    I just checked one of my Lyman manuals and it give .898 as maximum length and .895 as trim to length for the .45 ACP. You will need to trim all to the same length so you can get them to crimp right. Have you run these cases through a sizer die before measuring them.

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    This is Mexican stuff. The .45 ACP has always been popular south of the border.

    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    This is our first go around with reloading and we are in the process of prepping a bunch of 45 Auto's. We were checking the case length and ran into the length on everyone we checked being smaller than the Lyman manual states. The manual say .898 from end-to-end. When we mic'd them we had .893, .890 and .886.

    All of these cases have been fired only once. They are Remington and a French (I think) company called Aquila

    So my question is what is the allowable difference in length? I would think the cases would be longer if they were stretched from firing not shorter. We haven't trimmed since we were checking length just to see what we found compared to the book?

    How short is to short?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Remember that the .38/.357 and .45/410 are rimmed cartridges while the .45 ACP is rimless.

    That being said- I've been reloading the .45 ACP for since the '60s and never trimmed a case yet. Don't recall ever even measuring one yet or having any issues in any of the guns I've owned.


    Quote Originally Posted by gerberman View Post
    I do not get concerned with a .010 under sized. You to not want to go to long as it might not fit in the chamber. The overall length when loaded should be kept real close also, Think about the 38 special/357 magnum , they both fire from the same cylinder. The 410 shot shell and the 45 long colt also fire from the same cylinder.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    I just checked one of my Lyman manuals and it give .898 as maximum length and .895 as trim to length for the .45 ACP. You will need to trim all to the same length so you can get them to crimp right. Have you run these cases through a sizer die before measuring them.
    Nope, just de-primed and cleaned..

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    Remember that the .38/.357 and .45/410 are rimmed cartridges while the .45 ACP is rimless.

    That being said- I've been reloading the .45 ACP for since the '60s and never trimmed a case yet. Don't recall ever even measuring one yet or having any issues in any of the guns I've owned.
    That's interesting.. Do you use a tapered crimp?

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I'm with tvfinak.... I've reloaded thousands of rounds of .45ACP on my Dillon550. I run them through the tumbler, inspect for splits and load. I use a taper crimp (you pretty much have to with an ACP) and never have any issues. The taper crimp is much less finicky for minor differences in case length than a roll crimp for revolvers.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I'm with tvfinak.... I've reloaded thousands of rounds of .45ACP on my Dillon550. I run them through the tumbler, inspect for splits and load. I use a taper crimp (you pretty much have to with an ACP) and never have any issues. The taper crimp is much less finicky for minor differences in case length than a roll crimp for revolvers.
    That's why I asked about the taper crimp. I understand that it's not as finicky. Interesting stuff..

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    This is Mexican stuff. The .45 ACP has always been popular south of the border.
    Only with the cartels, 45acp, 9X19, 9X18 are all military/NATO handgun rounds and not legal to have in Mexico. 9X20mm is the most common handgun round down there among citizens/sportsmen because its legal and easy to make from most 9X19 platforms. The stuff you learn growing up in a border state.
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    I've never handloaded 45 ACP, but case length would be a valid question, considering it headspaces on the end of the case.

    Thanks, for posting that.

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    I've been loading the 45ACP for over 40 years and have yet to measure one let alone trim one. Case stretch almost doesn't happen with straight low pressure cases. You would think headspace would be a problem but as the extractors are pretty robust, they tend to hold the case well enough that headspace isn't a problem unless it's too long. That only seems to be a problem if the bullet is loaded to long and hits the leade. As others have said, I wouldn't worry about case length on the 45ACP.

  13. #13

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    'sposed to headspace on the mouth...
    the literature suggests the extractor holds the case back to the firing pin.
    One can adjust seat depth a bit of lead bullets to get he bullet close to the rifling, still feed, fit the mag etc..

    I used to roll crimp 45AC with no problems, 230 gr lead RN cast

    Currently use the taper crimp and a Universal Star press.
    I never measure or trim cases. I do gauge them to make sure they will chamber though...mostly load swage STAR 185 SWC lead or 200 gr lead H&G 068 and BE....

    thanks!

    The LEE factory crimp works as well....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    This is our first go around with reloading and we are in the process of prepping a bunch of 45 Auto's. We were checking the case length and ran into the length on everyone we checked being smaller than the Lyman manual states. The manual say .898 from end-to-end. When we mic'd them we had .893, .890 and .886.

    All of these cases have been fired only once. They are Remington and a French (I think) company called Aquila

    So my question is what is the allowable difference in length? I would think the cases would be longer if they were stretched from firing not shorter. We haven't trimmed since we were checking length just to see what we found compared to the book?

    How short is to short?
    Since you put up this post three days ago you probably already have your brass loaded. However, if you do not I'll throw in my $0.02. There is some really good stuff in the other replies but I'll go a different direction. Since this is your first time loading its best to start good reloading practices from the beginning. With more experience you will see the benefits of the info in this thread.

    For now seperate your brass according to head stamp (brand). Run each piece through a resize die and measure the brass OAL. Compare the actual OAL with that found in your reloading manual. Any that are over maximum need to be trimmed. Again look in your manual to determine what the trim to length is and trim your brass to that length or a little longer by .001" - .003". Any brass that is within the trim to length and the maximum length do not need to be trimmed. However, while you are set up you may as well trim them all. Any brass that is less than the trim to length should be discarded. When I discard brass, regardless of reason, I crush the case mouth with a pair of pliers. That way no one, including me, will mistake it for usable brass. After you have trimmed your brass to the proper length be sure to chamfer and deburr the cases. Your brass is now prepped and ready to proceed with the rest of the reloading steps.

    If you do not have a case trimmer just about all of them will get the job done. The Lyman trimmer that comes with nine pilots and a universal holder is my current favorite. Some like it and some don't. It works for me. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoot...3Bcat104635080

    And FWIW I'm the guy who still loads using the batch method on a single stage press most of the time. I also weigh each powder charge regardless what I'm loading. A Hornady Auto Charge helps a lot with this type loading.

    Best Wishes and welcome to the affliction of hand loading. There's no going back now!!!

    Dan

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanAKAL View Post
    For now seperate your brass according to head stamp (brand). Run each piece through a resize die and measure the brass OAL. Compare the actual OAL with that found in your reloading manual. Any that are over maximum need to be trimmed. Again look in your manual to determine what the trim to length is and trim your brass to that length or a little longer by .001" - .003". Any brass that is within the trim to length and the maximum length do not need to be trimmed. However, while you are set up you may as well trim them all. Any brass that is less than the trim to length should be discarded. When I discard brass, regardless of reason, I crush the case mouth with a pair of pliers. That way no one, including me, will mistake it for usable brass. After you have trimmed your brass to the proper length be sure to chamfer and deburr the cases. Your brass is now prepped and ready to proceed with the rest of the reloading steps.

    If you do not have a case trimmer just about all of them will get the job done. The Lyman trimmer that comes with nine pilots and a universal holder is my current favorite. Some like it and some don't. It works for me. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoot...3Bcat104635080

    And FWIW I'm the guy who still loads using the batch method on a single stage press most of the time. I also weigh each powder charge regardless what I'm loading. A Hornady Auto Charge helps a lot with this type loading.

    Best Wishes and welcome to the affliction of hand loading. There's no going back now!!!

    Dan
    Dan,

    We did end up loading those rounds and they came out, overall length spot on the total length. I have to assume that is because the bullet is always seated at a certain depth in the casing regardless of the case length. I used a Lyman taper crimp and it worked wonderfully.

    As far as equipment, we have practically everything we need. Mrs. Santa was very very good to us this year. Digital scales, trickler, mic, trimmer, auto cleaning station (very much worth the money by the way) etc. etc.

    I realize your saying that the cases should be the right length but if the overall is correct does it matter that much?

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    There is a right way, a wrong way and a way that just works. With the 45acp I go with the way that works. Because of the taper crimp, the case length isn't critical if it's even close. I think it was invented so you could ignore measuring ever case. Because of low pressure and a short straight case and a strong good gripping extractor, head space isn't something that needs careful attention on the 45acp. I think you could use 45GAP cases and get away with it. If you're bored, you could go through the whole bench rest thing for the 45acp. Match case length, ream each primer pocket, deburr the flash holes. drill each hole to the same size, only use one brand and lot of brass and weigh them and throw out anything that is over a couple of grains different and hand weigh every charge. But when you get done, I really doubt that you could tell if they worked any better than if you just loaded a batch of random cases. Most of us load the way we do because it works and the process we use makes us feel good. If someone can show me a 1911 45acp that groups 1/2" at 100yds because of loading methods, I'll will probably change my method of loading. Some gun cartridge combos just don't deserve the time and effort of others. YMMV.

  17. #17

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    Will someone explain to me how you are crimping different length cases without trimming them all to the same length? I shoot a 40 S&W and do not load much for it because I hate trimming cases. I would load for it and shoot it much more if I did not have to trim them. I have RCBS carbide dies. Do I need something special to crimp brass of different lengths? I also load 44 Mag. that I would shoot more if I don't have to trim cases. I guess you are never to old to learn.

  18. #18
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    Default Case lengths

    I've been loading the .44 Mag since the 60s and haven't trimmed a case yet. I do segregate by brands but I'm not even sure if that is necesssary - just an old habit. I do roll crimp as light as possible to keep the bullets from backing out and let it go at that. Other than one real long one I got the other day I really don't notice any difference in the crimp. The real long one was really odd- about an 1/8" longer - I don't have any idea how it came about.

    I don't load for the .40 but I've loaded for a bunch of other autos including the 10mm and like the .44 I've never trimmed on yet.

    IMO - don't worry about the case length unless some issues show up - and that is unlikely in my expereince.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    Will someone explain to me how you are crimping different length cases without trimming them all to the same length? I shoot a 40 S&W and do not load much for it because I hate trimming cases. I would load for it and shoot it much more if I did not have to trim them. I have RCBS carbide dies. Do I need something special to crimp brass of different lengths? I also load 44 Mag. that I would shoot more if I don't have to trim cases. I guess you are never to old to learn.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    Will someone explain to me how you are crimping different length cases without trimming them all to the same length? I shoot a 40 S&W and do not load much for it because I hate trimming cases. I would load for it and shoot it much more if I did not have to trim them. I have RCBS carbide dies. Do I need something special to crimp brass of different lengths? I also load 44 Mag. that I would shoot more if I don't have to trim cases. I guess you are never to old to learn.
    I'm new so don't take this a correct but I believe it's because I am using a tapered crimp. I think it's more forgiving since its not crimping a specific location on the case.

    Im sure someone with more expierience will tell me I'm wrong or add to what I said..

  20. #20

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    Does it take a different die to do a tapered crimp?

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