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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new, I mean brand new to reloading. I've got the Lyman, Speer and Hornady reloading books and can't find what the min. case length is. I see the trim length is 1.750 with the max being 1.760
I've been saving brass on and off for the last 3-4 years thinking I may get into reloading.
Now to the point. Probably 20% of my spent shell casings are below the 1.750, some as short as 1.741. Are these short casings reloadable or trash?
I know only one guy who reloads and only starts off with purchased primerless brass and he could not answer this one.
What do you guys think?'
Thanks, Ed
 

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Case length should be measured after it is Full Length sized, not before. FL sizing usually makes it grow.

No, the short cases(after FL sizing) are not junk. Load em and shoot em. If you are not going to crimp, they will be fine and will grow with each firing and sizing. When they get close to 1.760 trim to 1.750.
 

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Load em and shoot em! If it has a neck on it and can grip a bullet then load it up. (I'm sure I am going to get some heat on that statement.)

I do not trim mine until they get over the 1.760, then I trim to 1.750 as steve states.
 

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I'd have to agree. I've hit a few 30-06 cases that came to me short and were still shorter than trim length after fl resize.. on these, i load up for a boltgun and forgo the rollcrimp I usualy use ( as the crimp area is gone anyway. ).

typically i've found after 1-2 shootings they are hitting or exceeding trim length anyway.. since I rollcrimp.. I trim after each firings back to 'trim to' specs..

now if I found one drastically shorter at the neck I would take pause.. but not .009 short.
 

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Nice setup you have there, just much neater than mine.

I use CFE-223 in mine. I did buy a pound of IMR 4895 last week just to have as a back up cause my LGS can't seem to keep the CFE in stock.
 

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Sparks134:

It is very important to stress that you DO NOT trim until AFTER you size! Don't bother to measure them until they are sized.

Every gun chamber is unique. Some loose ones allow the brass to ballon out to seal on the sides of the chamber. That shortens the case overall length. The sizing die brings the diameter back to nominal and the case OAL lengthens. That short brass may get back to minimum spec once it is sized.

Now, for super accuracy you want consistence and trim length could effect neck tension (it says here ???) so you'd want them all the same. For the rest of us mortals, a case that is 0.010 inches below minimum only effects the crimp and not then if you use the LEE Rifle Factory Crimp Die. The LEE FCD does the crimp horizontally with a squeeze (a collet) rather than a vertical push running the end of the case into a shoulder inside the crimp die.

LDBennett
 

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Sparks134:

Then I wonder why your brass is so short. Is it new, once fired known good commercial brass, range pickup, brass from some foreign source?

Range pickup brass could be someone's reloads where they over trimmed it. Foreign brass may just not be to spec. (I'll not buy IBC brass ever again because it was seriously out of wall thickness spec.) New or once fired brass fired by you from name brand manufacturers could be bad brass.

Another possibility is that these cases were trimmed for use with RCBS X-Dies. With those dies you are instructed to trim the cases 0.020 inches shorter than Max:

"All cases must be sized and trimmed to the same overall length. For the best results, full-length resize each case and trim to .020” under maximum case length. This is a “one-time only” prepara- tion of any and all cases to be used in the X-Sizer die."

So if a reloader is using the X-die, he puts together cartridges in the .740+ range at RCBS's direction. There must not be a safety concern. It is after all only a 0.010 inch difference. As I said before it will only effect the crimp (if even that???).

I used your thread to re-iterate that trimming must be done after sizing. Not all reloading manuals tell you that and that is why I stressed it.

LDBennett
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Most of this brass is from my firearms, Fiocchi, Remington bulk, Federal AE, PMC Bronze, and others I'm sure. Should the over all length still be 2.260 max? Is there a minimum?
 

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COAL may need to be adjusted so that your cartridges fit certain mags.. etc..
 

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Sparks134:

The cartridge overall length to start with should match what is in your reloading manual for the exact bullet you are using. It is not effected buy the shorter case overall length. You really should be using the reloading manual as sold by the company whose bullets you are using. Sometimes the bullets effect the friction in the barrel and consequently the pressures there too. The manufacturer of the bullets test for that and his data will be safe in any SAMMI conforming gun whose standardizing cartridge and chamber specs most all manufacturers strive to achieve.

As part of load development you may want to change the overall length to set up the freebore for the bullet before it enters the rifling. But be aware that as the case capacity is reduced from the manual number, the pressure goes up as it does when you position the bullet out to almost touching the rifling. So when you change the bullet seating like this you really can not be anywhere close to the listed max powder load and you are much safer at the staring load level. and working up the load level, watching for signs of excessive pressure.

LDBennett
 

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Sparks134:

Then I wonder why your brass is so short. Is it new, once fired known good commercial brass, range pickup, brass from some foreign source?

Range pickup brass could be someone's reloads where they over trimmed it. Foreign brass may just not be to spec. (I'll not buy IBC brass ever again because it was seriously out of wall thickness spec.) New or once fired brass fired by you from name brand manufacturers could be bad brass.

Another possibility is that these cases were trimmed for use with RCBS X-Dies. With those dies you are instructed to trim the cases 0.020 inches shorter than Max:

"All cases must be sized and trimmed to the same overall length. For the best results, full-length resize each case and trim to .020” under maximum case length. This is a “one-time only” prepara- tion of any and all cases to be used in the X-Sizer die."

So if a reloader is using the X-die, he puts together cartridges in the .740+ range at RCBS's direction. There must not be a safety concern. It is after all only a 0.010 inch difference. As I said before it will only effect the crimp (if even that???).

I used your thread to re-iterate that trimming must be done after sizing. Not all reloading manuals tell you that and that is why I stressed it.

LDBennett
I noticed on my last batch of trimmed .223 brass, that it was trimmed down to 1.43

I use the lee case length cage, when inspecting it, I noticed that the very end tip was bent, I must of dropped it or it is wearing down.

I bought a new one and I am now trimming down to 1.50
 

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The guy at a LGS that I go to for reloading advice told me to go ahead and trim my brass down to about .005" below the trim to length in the book. It should allow getting an extra firing out of the brass before I have to trim again.

I'm not crimping on my .223. I've only loaded about 100 rounds so far. I have around 500 in process.
 

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CJ7365:

If we are talking about 223 here then the case trim to length is 1.750 inches and the max case length is 1.760 inches.

Where did the 1.43 and 1.50 inches come from????

LDBennett
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you guys for all the input. I'm currently waiting for a Lee factory crimp die to com in, of course it was backordered. I talked to a guy last weekend while doing a 2 day NRA Pistol instructor course weather he crimps his .223 ammo for an AR-15 and he said he only crimps pistol ammo. To crimp or not to crimp?? Also ordered crimp dies for 45 auto and .44 mag, it seems the 3-4 manuals I've read said to crimp for everything barring single shot firearms, haven't had one of those since I was around 16 yo or so, a Stevens .22 / .410 over under.....Ed
 

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Sparks134:

The cartridge overall length to start with should match what is in your reloading manual for the exact bullet you are using. It is not effected buy the shorter case overall length. You really should be using the reloading manual as sold by the company whose bullets you are using. Sometimes the bullets effect the friction in the barrel and consequently the pressures there too. The manufacturer of the bullets test for that and his data will be safe in any SAMMI conforming gun whose standardizing cartridge and chamber specs most all manufacturers strive to achieve.

As part of load development you may want to change the overall length to set up the freebore for the bullet before it enters the rifling. But be aware that as the case capacity is reduced from the manual number, the pressure goes up as it does when you position the bullet out to almost touching the rifling. So when you change the bullet seating like this you really can not be anywhere close to the listed max powder load and you are much safer at the staring load level. and working up the load level, watching for signs of excessive pressure.

LDBennett
The COAL listed in the manual is merely a guideline and is NOT a recommendation or a requirement. Some manuals do not even list COAL as it is that un-important. Barnes for example, says .050 off the lands for best accuracy, can't get that from any manual.

This is from Accurate Powders Manual.

SPECIAL NOTE ON CARTRIDGE OVERALL LENGTH “COL”
It is important to note that the SAAMI “COL” values are for the firearms and ammunition manufacturers industry and must be seen as a
guideline only.
The individual reloader is free to adjust this dimension to suit their particular firearm-component-weapon combination.
This parameter is determined by various dimensions such as 1) magazine length (space), 2) freebore-lead dimensions of the barrel, 3)
ogive or profile of the projectile and 4) position of cannelure or crimp groove.


From Hornady #7.



Using a bullet specific manual is great, but it is certainly not necessary. It is perfectly safe to use load data of Same Weight and Similar Construction with different bullet manufacturers. If it were not then thousands of bullets like Remington, Winchester, Armscore, Montana Gold, Zero, Precision Delta, Midway, Midsouth, etc.etc. would be worthless as there is No manual to support them.

Case capacity/COAL can and does affect pressure in straight walled pistol rounds. In a bottle necked rifle round, not so much, in fact not at all. What affects pressure in rifle rounds is the distance to the lands, not the case capacity. The shorter the COAL the longer the jump the Less the pressure. Longer COAL will have less of a jump equaling Higher pressure.



 

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The guy at a LGS that I go to for reloading advice told me to go ahead and trim my brass down to about .005" below the trim to length in the book. It should allow getting an extra firing out of the brass before I have to trim again.

I'm not crimping on my .223. I've only loaded about 100 rounds so far. I have around 500 in process.
i'd trim TO the trimto lenght.. not below it.

and I trim or check after each fireing
 

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I have the same problem,some of my .223 brass after sizing is shorter than 1.750,should i trim all my cases to match the shortest case? if not wont that cause seating and accuracy problems having cases of different lengths?
 
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