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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning everybody,

I am getting ready to load some 25-20's for a Marlin lever action. I scrounged up about 350 rounds of various brands of brass, Rem-umc, Savage, Western, WRA, etc. The problem is they are all different lengths. They range from 1.300" to 1.340". The book calls for a minimum of 1.320" and a maximum of 1.330", so no matter what some have to be trimmed. Since the case head spaces on the rim, I am thinking about trimming them all to 1.300". I know that the cases will be way below the minimum length, but this way I can get an even crimp. I am going to use Missouri Bullets cast lead bullet. Can anybody think of any problems that I may run into?
 

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I'd probably resort the cases by headstamp and pitch the ones that were below minimum. That's just me being a "book" guy though. Maybe then choose a headstamp group to work with first. No need in trimming all of them at once. You may change your mind as your loads develop. Good Luck!
 

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I trim my brass within .005", but none of my brass is as hard to come by as 25-20. It depends on how much brass you have to trim and how excited you are about doing that. A few thousandths won't matter much, but a couple of hundreths might. Trim length is usually .010" less than max so cut them to .310", only don't do it all in one day, unless you have a power trimmer, in which case have at it. Lee makes a Factory Crimp Die for 25-20; this is a collet die that squeezes the brass around the bullet and is less fussy about equal length of cases; I'd get one of those.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd probably resort the cases by headstamp and pitch the ones that were below minimum. That's just me being a "book" guy though. Maybe then choose a headstamp group to work with first. No need in trimming all of them at once. You may change your mind as your loads develop. Good Luck!
Hi DQL5150,

The brass is simply to precious to toss. It took me the better part of two years to find the cases that I have now. I had to buy some IDIOT"S reloads, just to get the brass. I spent hours pulling all the bullets because I didn't trust the guy. He claimed he was a better loader than Remington and Winchester.
If Winchester ever makes another run, I will buy 500. The only other option is to call Starline and buy 32-20 brass. Then you have to get the Redding forming and trim die to turn them into 25-20's. Those cost about $60.00.

Hi CtYankee,

I use a Forester case trimmer with a cordless drill to trim with. It makes life a lot easier and I am guessing that I will only have to cut this batch once, I hope.. I have seen the Lee FCD, but I do not own one for this caliber. I might look into that when I order a Lyman 25 caliber "M" die. I realized about an hour ago that I do not have one for 25 caliber. It sure helps to stop shaving the side of a lead bullet. Lord knows that I need all the help I can get with my tired old eyes.

Thanks to all of you for the advice. You have to love all the headaches of playing with older calibers and wildcats.
Have a good day!
 

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Yeah, if you have a power trimmer, cut them all down, you won't ever have to worry about length again. I find the Lyman "M" die to be the best. For the non-Lyman die sets I have I buy a Lyman "M" to go with it. When I first got into reloading Lyman still worked out of there old factory in Middlefield, CT. The customer service rep at the door had gone to Hig School with me - I got employee discount.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
CtYankee,

I just finished trimming all 327 cases. I even deburred them. I decided to just cut all of them to 1.300" and be done with it.
Now, I just need to get a "M" die ordered and FCD die. Going to get my credit card now. LOL!

I have had that rifle for almost two years and it is about time I get to play with it.

Thank you for the advice.
 

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I'd cut them all to 1.320"................The ones that are short will grow over time. If you have .002" of neck tension, (don't worry about a crimp) and enough shank in the neck I'd load them up and shoot em, BUT ONLY SINGLE LOAD THEM until they stretch.
I'd also anneal the shorties every time prior to re-sizing you'll get a little extra life out of them..........Also be on the look out for case-head separation, as the brass flows forward you will be thinning the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good morning Mark204,

With a tube feed, I will have to put some type of crimp on them. Since I will not be the only one playing with it, I don't want the bullet being pushed back in the case if somebody else forgets to shoot it in single shot mode.

Yes, I agree about annealing them. Since I do not know how many times they have been fired already, annealing them is ready in my plans.

I had not thought about the case head separation problem, but now I will be on alert for it. Thank you!
 

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Good morning Mark204,

With a tube feed, I will have to put some type of crimp on them. Since I will not be the only one playing with it, I don't want the bullet being pushed back in the case if somebody else forgets to shoot it in single shot mode.
Yes you definitely need a crimp with any type of tube fed rifle for the reason you stated, that’s why I suggested what I did. Under any other circumstances I’d say toss the shorties but when you’re dealing with hard to come by brass I improvise. If it were me I’d segregate the short ones I’d be the only one shooting them. JMO

Do you know the paperclip trick for checking cases?

ETA: The reason for my suggestion was to eliminate having to re-adjust your die. But you could certainly do that should you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Mark,

I have used the paperclip trick many times. I have them laying in my junk box for just that reason.

You tell my wife that she can't shoot it. LOL!
It would be my luck that she would grab the box of short brass.
She definitely likes toys with low recoil and I have to believe that this will be one of them.
(She does shoot her magna ported Model 29 on occasion.)
It must be her Jekyll and Hyde personality, but don't tell her I said that. LOL!
By the way, she shoots straighter than I do.
 

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There are some calibers you can't afford to toss bass in, they're too rare. I'd try the short brass before I'd toss those cases. I'm also not sure that is trim all the brass from one head stamp until I'd worked up a load. The short brass will likely stretch out fine.

Jeff

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The only other option is to call Starline and buy 32-20 brass. Then you have to get the Redding forming and trim die to turn them into 25-20's. Those cost about $60.00
I suspect that you've already looked at the Starline option, as they advertise the .32-20 brass suitable for reforming to .25-20. Reforming brass is not any form of magic, and new Starline is not a bad place to start your reforming career.

If I had a .25-20, I'd have 500 new Starline cases to work on.
 

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If you're loading cast and using a Lee FCD, you're going to swag those bullets.
I've tried and had my fair share of this. I switched away from them after conversing with Lee tech team. Don't get me wrong, that FCD is about perfect, with jacketed projectiles, but not so much with cast, even more-so with the coated cast as that actually increases circumference, causing a harder collision with the carbide insert.

On the flip, the Lee collet style crimp die works perfectly and does not care much about varying case length, as it operates from pressure created by the press, at the shell plate. <-Correct, don't use on a flimsy press, or one which has springs and bearings...
 
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