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Thread: Trimming Cases :)

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Trimming Cases :)

    I wuz trimming some 358W cases tonight and I tried to remember when I read a discussion on when and to what point does one trim?
    So here we go. The book says max or ideal case length of the 358W is 2.015.

    So, at what point do you chaps consider it stretched and needing trimmed? 2.016? More?
    And then when you do trim what do you shoot for, exactly 2.015 or less? How much less?
    For me it was 2.010...
    Let the fun begin!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Tuned in

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    Everyone has their own ideas on trimming, I don't think there are many wrong ways to go about it. I like to trim about .010" short of the call out or to the length of the shortest case in the batch. I don't worry a bunch what the exact number is, my goal is to get them all the same at some leangth that is at least .010" (.020" is what I like if I were looking for a number) off the end of the chamber.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    I wuz trimming some 358W cases tonight and I tried to remember when I read a discussion on when and to what point does one trim?
    So here we go. The book says max or ideal case length of the 358W is 2.015.

    So, at what point do you chaps consider it stretched and needing trimmed? 2.016? More?
    And then when you do trim what do you shoot for, exactly 2.015 or less? How much less?
    For me it was 2.010...
    Let the fun begin!
    2.015 is the case length.

    Trim To, length is .010 less, ( 2.0050 )

    Get into trouble length is reportedly, .010 More than the published case length of 2.015.

    I check the length on Each and All cases after they are sized.

    I usta, just make sure they weren't longer than a gauge and trim if they were.

    Then, I got a Caliper, and measured them all, and trimmed to the shortest one, if it was in limits.

    NOW, I trim them ALL to the Trim Length.

    I perceive that many folks don't pay enough attention to cartridge length, and as a result fail to trim them properly, or at all.

    I trim cases with a Forster Case Trimer using the proper collet for the caliber.

    Recently, most times, I use the Lee Case Trimmer tools that are cartridge specific, because I don't have to adjust anything, I can use power, I can chamfer the neck, inside and out, and smooth the end, before I take it out of the case spinner.

    When trimming with power, even with the Forster, it needs to be done kinda slow like, or the ends will edge over on the outside, making them harder to chamfer, and smooth up.

    Like Andy says, they should ALL be the SAME length, especially if you are gonna crimp.

    IME, After firing and sizing again they WON'T all be the same length, some may be too long, so you gotta check'em, and trim'em and make them allee same, AGAIN.

    Do not neglect this important duty. OR, a calamity awaits you.

    Smitty of the North





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    For all my semi auto's I trim to the min case length. For many others I have simply set the trimer to something between max and min case length and leave them set. I use trim dies so there is no change in length. All sized cases are run through the trim die for consistency.

    Not trying to highjack the thread but...for what it is worth I recently purchased a very well made case trimmer from Little Crow. One of the best trimmers available? At least that is what they say. I am having trouble getting consistent trim lengths from case to case out of the trimmer. At 100 bucks for the model for different cases I can not recommend the tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redale View Post
    For all my semi auto's I trim to the min case length. For many others I have simply set the trimer to something between max and min case length and leave them set. I use trim dies so there is no change in length. All sized cases are run through the trim die for consistency.

    Not trying to highjack the thread but...for what it is worth I recently purchased a very well made case trimmer from Little Crow. One of the best trimmers available? At least that is what they say. I am having trouble getting consistent trim lengths from case to case out of the trimmer. At 100 bucks for the model for different cases I can not recommend the tool.
    Wal, I dunno. I never tried one like that, BUT I have a thought, if it applies.

    Using the case trimmers, I've used and with POWER, it matters how fast and how violently I use it.

    Smitty of the North
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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I use a old Forrester I have had for many moons, works ok, but there is room for improvement as I can take too much off with a little too much effort...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    I use a old Forrester I have had for many moons, works ok, but there is room for improvement as I can take too much off with a little too much effort...
    I suggest you try the LEE thingys, and be gentle.

    The Forster is only as accurate as how well the case head fits the Collett, and case lots can differ. I think the Lee is more accurate.

    Smitty of the North
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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Gonna have one on way from Midway on Monday Smitty. I read a lot of reviews and they were very solid and I see I can get it set up for 358 which is great! I am going to get the insert for power drill use as well as the big round ball - looks like a very versatile tool setup. One more thing my kids will look at when I leave this world and go "wonder what pops used this thing for "!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Maybe it's just me but I just cut new brass to min the first time, then not worry about it until they reach max the 2nd time then it's about time to toss them anyway.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    On the few rifle calibers I trim, I use mostly the Lee trimmers. I have a mini lathe that I chuck the pieces in which make trimming very fast. They all seem to trim a bit under minimum but I don't mind cause they are all the same and I don't have to retrim for a while.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I usually get around 5 loadings before I have to trim some, and then its only part of the batch.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Well, I heat treated about 35 rounds of 358 for the first time, interesting but I don't think it will replace Monday night football. I noticed that 2 cases when I trimmed them the neck caught on the Forrester trimmer and bent the neck to the point I pitched them.
    So I assume that may have been too much heat and it made them brittle...
    Trial and error are my best way to learn. Hopefully I can find some powder soon to reload these - geez!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    ...too much heat and it made them brittle....
    Quite the opposite. The heat softens them. Flexing, as in firing, resizing, and especially enthusiastic crimping hardens them and makes them candidates for splits. The point of annealing is to soften them back up to avoid splits.

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    What BB said. Softer. It sounds like a dull cutter maybe, mashing the soft brass over till it mashes over enough that it binds up and twists the neck. Are you using the pan method to anneal? If you stand them in water to about 1/2" below the shoulder you just about can't overheat them with a plumbers torch cuz the water sucks off the extra heat. It's hard to mess up with the pan method and it's super easy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Quite the opposite. The heat softens them. Flexing, as in firing, resizing, and especially enthusiastic crimping hardens them and makes them candidates for splits. The point of annealing is to soften them back up to avoid splits.
    I always get that mixed up too. My attempts to anneal worked out much the same as Smokey's.

    I know, I overheated it but I didn't know if I'd made it harder, more brittle, or softer, or elastic.

    When I get up the time and inclination again I will do it this way, I theenk.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgD5D0Wzu-c

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    What BB said. Softer. It sounds like a dull cutter maybe, mashing the soft brass over till it mashes over enough that it binds up and twists the neck. Are you using the pan method to anneal? If you stand them in water to about 1/2" below the shoulder you just about can't overheat them with a plumbers torch cuz the water sucks off the extra heat. It's hard to mess up with the pan method and it's super easy.
    Hi fella's. I appreciate the inputs for sure!
    I did not set them in water, I used the electric drill method as I tend to not have a lot of patience
    For my first attempt at annealing I did pretty well, but until I load and fire this batch I likely will not know if I did good or not... Since I found the load I like the powder of choice has been avoiding me - A2520, but it will show up someday - I think?

    Oh. the torch head I used split into 3 flames and I was trying not to heat too far down the case, I think next time I will use a single flame torch I have at my farm and try the water immersion method.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Sooooo, for sure now, how does one tell, Color Wise, JUST WHEN to stop heating and dunk?

    I know to turn the lights down but the color, I mean you gotta go by color with this method. I don't know, and I've heard different things.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    ...and I've heard different things.
    Ain't that the truth.

    The most official thing I've ever read was right here and worth digging for. Several years back Murphy did quite a write up on it. He uses a welding pen of a specific temperature to assure he gets it just right. I never could get them here, so had to kinda improvise. Nothing official to my approach and I can't even call it "right." I'd defer to what Murphy sezz in that series of posts if you can go back in the files and dig it out.

    All I can tell you is that after reading his posts I pushed it further. I now go until I get a little bit of a glow, then knock the case over into the water. If my memory isn't off the rails (more likely each day!) he was going further, but I'm nervous to do that without the pen to confirm with my eyes what his words were saying on here. Results certainly say I'm getting them hot enough, but I won't stand by my color description in the face of anything he has to say.

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    Well they will anneal without you seeing any heat color at all. 800*f will fully anneal brass but heat colors start at a very dull red in dim light at about 900*f. Fully annealed is fully annealed so getting them too hot doesnít bother them as long as you donít get them so hot they flow or slump which is a full bright red or about 1150-1200*f. So heat till you just start to see a color change starting and dunk them. If using the drill method or any method where the case head isnít protected by sitting in water (a heat sink) you need to not be getting them very hot or you will anneal the head too and that is very bad.
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