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I'm not new to rifle reloading, but i just started reloading for pistols (38 and 357).

Everyone i shoot with (who also reload) NEVER trims their pistol cases...I don't think they have trimmers. I don't think they even check the case length either.

Me coming from rifle reloading: i do check length, i have a Forster trimmer and i thought i would only have to do it once to get a consistent crimp and good groups (i reload single stage, sort the brass, weigh each charge to the .02gr, and seat bullets to .001").

Anyway, i shoot very hot loaded 357s 158gr usually with 4227, H110, and 300MP. Whether i shoot this buffalo bang load or a much weaker 357 load, 1/5 of the brass will grow over max trim length per SAAMI and therefore making me have to trim them after only 1 shooting session and i cut it 0.005" shorter than max. It grows about 0.005" to 0.01" each shot after i resize of course. The hotter loads almost taper the brass near the head and are obviously harder to resize...this has no effect on growth anyway.

im using a Hornady TiN resizer if that matters.

Is the case growth normal? It happens whether i use GFL brass or winchester brass hot or normal load. Only 357, 38SPL only grows approx 0.002" per reload.

Is my resizer stretching the brass?
 

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I reload for .380 & .45 acp, as well as 9mm & have never had to trim any brass & some have been reloaded a dozen times & I do occasionally spot check it, but it's not even close.
 

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The shorter case rounds like r5 ACP, 40 S&W and 9mm don't expand nearly as much as the 357 mag, 44 Mag and the new larger rounds. I measure new brass and range brass, and rarely if ever find cases that need trimming.
I expect many shooters that reload rounds for revolvers don't care as long as the cases fit in the chamber and don't extend beyond the front end of the cylinder.
Judging by your attention to detail, you want to develop very accurate ammo and will spend the time and effort to accomplish that level of accuracy. I say good for you and if I were you I wouldn't worry about what the other Reloaders are doing.
 

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I've heard nobody really bothers trimming straight wall pistol brass, but I recently acquired a 5 gal bucket full of 38 special brass and some of them look like they've been reloaded many times. I found a few with split necks too. I already wet tumbled them clean and sized them, but I'm thinking I might take the time to anneal them using the hot sand in a lead melting pot method so I can get some more reloads out of them. I was also thinking about trimming them just because that might help remove any tiny cracks around the necks that might have started to form. The only reason why I was thinking about doing that was because I wanted to avoid having those very tiny cracks develop into an actual split after I took the time to anneal 5 gallons of brass.

In case you wanted to know how that annealing process is done.
Hot Sand Case Neck Annealing
What you will need:
1) Some clean playground sand.
2) A stove and pot to heat the sand. One of the Lee Precision electric
casting pots is an ideal solution.
3) Casting thermometer to check the sand temperature.
4) Some type of small simple metal stand to place in the pot and cover
with sand to the depth of the case necks. One solution is to bend a piece of
sheet metal to fit.
You’ll need to experiment to find the preferred temperature, which will likely be
around 800°F. Once the sand is heated to the desired temperature, stick a case
neck down into the sand until it hits the metal stand. Stick another case in the
sand and remove the 1st one. Increase the heat if the necks are not getting
sufficiently hot as indicated by a subtle color change. Do not leave the cases in
very long or the entire case will become annealed and soft, resulting in an
unsafe condition when the resulting cartridge is fired.
 

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I have been reloading 50 years and have never trimmed a straight wall pistol brass. I load for 44 magnum, 45 Colt, 357, 38, and 45 ACP. I am just going to guess if your brass is needing trimmed you are loading it to hot. I don't anneal pistol brass either. It lasts so long for me that when I get a neck split I just toss it and move along I know I have 38 and 357 brass that is over 30 years old. I have no idea how many times I have loaded it. I have so many of these that I do not bother with those details.
 

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I'd like to ask all you reloaders who never trim their brass....how do you get a consistent crimp? Whether it be a roll crimp or taper crimp a few thousands difference in length can make a significant change in crimp. Even resulting in crushed cases (if long) or a weak non existent crimp (if short).

Being the odd duck here I prep all new brass with a one time trim. I'll size and then measure for the shortest case. All are then trimmed to match the shortest length case. As noted above handgun brass will not normally grow like rifle brass, so only the initial trim is necessary. With that initial trim I am insured that my crimping stage will be uniform. The key to successful reloading is uniformity. Been doing it this way for 35 years.

I'll continue trimming......YMMV
 

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I'd like to ask all you reloaders who never trim their brass....how do you get a consistent crimp? Whether it be a roll crimp or taper crimp a few thousands difference in length can make a significant change in crimp. Even resulting in crushed cases (if long) or a weak non existent crimp (if short).

Being the odd duck here I prep all new brass with a one time trim. I'll size and then measure for the shortest case. All are then trimmed to match the shortest length case. As noted above handgun brass will not normally grow like rifle brass, so only the initial trim is necessary. With that initial trim I am insured that my crimping stage will be uniform. The key to successful reloading is uniformity. Been doing it this way for 35 years.

I'll continue trimming......YMMV

Yep, that's how I do it.
 

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I'd like to ask all you reloaders who never trim their brass....how do you get a consistent crimp? Whether it be a roll crimp or taper crimp a few thousands difference in length can make a significant change in crimp. Even resulting in crushed cases (if long) or a weak non existent crimp (if short).
Lee Factory Crimp Die
 

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I'd like to ask all you reloaders who never trim their brass....how do you get a consistent crimp? Whether it be a roll crimp or taper crimp a few thousands difference in length can make a significant change in crimp. Even resulting in crushed cases (if long) or a weak non existent crimp (if short).

Being the odd duck here I prep all new brass with a one time trim. I'll size and then measure for the shortest case. All are then trimmed to match the shortest length case. As noted above handgun brass will not normally grow like rifle brass, so only the initial trim is necessary. With that initial trim I am insured that my crimping stage will be uniform. The key to successful reloading is uniformity. Been doing it this way for 35 years.

I'll continue trimming......YMMV
I have never seen this to be a problem. I just got done reloading 100 38 specials all mixed brass and of unknown ages. I roll crimp them with my RCBS die that I have used for nearly 40 years. Any variation in the crimp is not apparent to visual inspection. If you want to spend the time to trim and go to all that trouble have at it. I find it totally unnecessary so I do not. I believe that any variation is so slight and the crimping grooves and cannelures so wide that it all works out. I have never found a trim setup so consistent that a few thousandths difference could be maintained. They may be out there but I have not needed or looked for it. I get very good rifle groups so it must be OK.
 

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That's why I ended my post with YMMV. Don't want to trim it is fine with me. Crimp groove on the bullet has nothing to do with it. The case length does. I've seen as much as .010 variation. There is no way in blazes you are going to get a consistent crimp with such a variation. It will all go bang and with the average handgun accuracy you probably won't see an accuracy difference. Still uniformity rules and I'll trim. My .02.

I don't crimp rifle loads. Only the semi auto AR. I do have a Lee Factory crimp die for the AR loads. The armegeddon loads get the Lee and the range loads get a taper crimp. I hate the ring on the brass that the Lee leaves.

BTW the RCBS power trimmer is adjustable to the thousands. Trim, chamfer and measure. ALL are exactly the same length. Dead on.

YMMV

Shot this 5 shot group with my 7.62x39mm T/C Encore. No crimp and a generic load. After walking the scope in, a 5 shot group just left of bull. After sight change the final shot center red. Brass trimmed, seating depth consistent. Primer depth consistent. Charge weight weighed. Handloading is for fun and quality of loads. I'll be particular.
Regards

 

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I have been reloading 50 years and have never trimmed a straight wall pistol brass. I load for 44 magnum, 45 Colt, 357, 38, and 45 ACP. I am just going to guess if your brass is needing trimmed you are loading it to hot. I don't anneal pistol brass either. It lasts so long for me that when I get a neck split I just toss it and move along I know I have 38 and 357 brass that is over 30 years old. I have no idea how many times I have loaded it. I have so many of these that I do not bother with those details.
I'm in the same boat started in'62 and load the same cartridges. I have found that the re-sizing process, at least with the RCBS dies, does increase the length some. I'm now going to have to check a group of brass through a full cycle to check growth. I'm not a target shooter so as long as I hit what I'm aiming at I don't worry too much.

What does YMMY mean?
 

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I'd like to ask all you reloaders who never trim their brass....how do you get a consistent crimp? Whether it be a roll crimp or taper crimp
The simple answer is---
They don't,
No way on earth to get an even crimp with different case lengths. Thing is how right do you want to be as apposed to how wrong do you want to be.

Trim them at least once, pistol brass shrink when they are fired and grow when they are sized. .001 to .003 differential should be OK.

It either matters to you or it does not, simple as that.

45 ACP brass does not grow, fact is it gets shorter so trimming is a waste of time.
380 doesn't suffer much either.

Some people make things happen while some people watch things happen
and many people don't know have a clue as to what just happened.
 

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I'd like to ask all you reloaders who never trim their brass....how do you get a consistent crimp? Whether it be a roll crimp or taper crimp a few thousands difference in length can make a significant change in crimp. Even resulting in crushed cases (if long) or a weak non existent crimp (if short).
Lee Factory Crimp Die
Even the Lee FCD is dependent upon case length. It's nothing more than a sliding collet in a tapered bore, if it pushes up higher, it'll offer more crimp than if it doesn't. The contacting jaw of the collet has some length, so yes, it has some forgiveness for crimp vs. no crimp based on length, but if you have 4thou of collet crimp vs. 6thou, your total crimp strength will be very different.



The simple answer is---
They don't,
No way on earth to get an even crimp with different case lengths. Thing is how right do you want to be as apposed to how wrong do you want to be.
Yup. Pretty much exactly how I was going to respond. For most folks that who just spend their handgun shooting time blasting and expect a 3" group at 15yrds is good, uniformity matters little. For people that expect more out of their handguns, consistency is key. For blasting ammo, I do little more than an initial trim and then double check them before loading each time (locked jaw on calipers, if they're short enough to slide through, they get loaded). For hunting and long range precision ammo, I do everything that I would for precision rifle cartridge loading - even find myself neck turning from time to time.
 

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The simple answer is---
They don't,
No way on earth to get an even crimp with different case lengths. Thing is how right do you want to be as apposed to how wrong do you want to be.

Trim them at least once, pistol brass shrink when they are fired and grow when they are sized. .001 to .003 differential should be OK.

It either matters to you or it does not, simple as that.

45 ACP brass does not grow, fact is it gets shorter so trimming is a waste of time.
380 doesn't suffer much either.

Some people make things happen while some people watch things happen
and many people don't know have a clue as to what just happened.
Well to each their own but I don't agree and years of experience bears me out. I find that my crimps are consistent and work very well for any practical pistol or revolver needs. If you measure once fired factory loaded brass you will find that there is a lot of variation in length. I just don't and apparently the factories don't get to torn up over a few thousandths of an inch. As long as the cases fall within the allowable tolerances it will work very well.
 

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OD gauges will tell you a lot about your neck tension. Whether it works or not isn't he question, I can walk without tying my shoes, but that's not exactly evidence that it's the best method. When you dip cases into a fixed diameter gauge, it's a dead give away that some rounds will enter farther than others if you don't trim brass. To spell it out - that's the evidence to prove your crimp is not consistent.

Equally, if a guy isn't neck turning, you can guarantee you're not getting consistent and radially uniform neck tension either. A micrometer concentricity gauge can be used if the point is fine enough to measure/compare relative crimp tension at the same position also.

They'll stay put and fire just fine, but that's not evidence of uniform crimp tension. That's only evidence of "sufficient" crimp tension. But it's also a driver of inconsistent accuracy and wider ES on your loads.

But again, for shooting tin cans off of rails at 15yrds, that level of variability really doesn't hurt anything. Nobody weighs and sorts bullets, brass, or primers for blasting either.
 

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Well to each their own but I don't agree and years of experience bears me out. I find that my crimps are consistent and work very well for any practical pistol or revolver needs. If you measure once fired factory loaded brass you will find that there is a lot of variation in length. I just don't and apparently the factories don't get to torn up over a few thousandths of an inch. As long as the cases fall within the allowable tolerances it will work very well.
I'm with you and also been doing it 50 years which pains me to say. I do have one exception and that is .44-40 with it's very thin brass. I do check those and just sort them.
 

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OD gauges will tell you a lot about your neck tension. Whether it works or not isn't he question, I can walk without tying my shoes, but that's not exactly evidence that it's the best method. When you dip cases into a fixed diameter gauge, it's a dead give away that some rounds will enter farther than others if you don't trim brass. To spell it out - that's the evidence to prove your crimp is not consistent.

Equally, if a guy isn't neck turning, you can guarantee you're not getting consistent and radially uniform neck tension either. A micrometer concentricity gauge can be used if the point is fine enough to measure/compare relative crimp tension at the same position also.

They'll stay put and fire just fine, but that's not evidence of uniform crimp tension. That's only evidence of "sufficient" crimp tension. But it's also a driver of inconsistent accuracy and wider ES on your loads.

But again, for shooting tin cans off of rails at 15yrds, that level of variability really doesn't hurt anything. Nobody weighs and sorts bullets, brass, or primers for blasting either.
Ever feel like your wasting your time ?? Like you said, 3" groups at 15 yards are all some people want. Believe me I wouldn't trim brass if I didn't feel the need.

Some people go to School for years and years and never graduate.
It's like don't confuse me with the facts.
 

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In my short time reloading I've noticed that reloaders usually fall into one of two camps. One group is fastidious in the extreme and the other group is a bit more pragmatic. Neither is right or wrong. We just have different approaches to the same hobby.

I don't think anyone is disputing the merits of OCD attention to detail. I think some of us are saying that the minute improvements gained aren't worth the effort for what and how we shoot. I'm certainly not content with 3" groups at 15 yards and resent any insinuation that I am because I don't weigh, measure, polish and trim every piece of brass.

To the OP, it's not necessary to trim straight walled pistol brass. I don't dispute that at the extreme edges of performance there probably is a benefit in doing so but in general it's not necessary.

YMMV
 
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