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Discussion Starter #1
I just got back from the range today, the 3rd time so far since I've started reloading :D Now, my 50 rds. of 308 brass has been fired three times, and according to my calipers, most of my cases are 2.015", with a few measuring 2.016, as well a few under 2.015. So, it's time to trim back down to 2.005". I've been spending so much on all these tools and reloading equipment, now I'm getting low on RL15, and bought some Varget today, and didn't even think about saving some money for a case trimmer lol. Won't be able to buy one till' the first of Feb.- and I'm so close to having the perfect load for my rifle that I don't want to wait! Can I use any other method to trim these cases? I have a dremel tool with most normal attachments - I was thinking using that with a cylinder style grinding stone, and leveling it off with a sanding block.. unless anyone has any better suggestions. This is also just cheap R-P brass, and I'm not keeping it long, as I plan to buy 200 rds. of Nosler custom brass in Feb (found a good deal on some) and will use that from then on.
It seems like you could use anything to trim the cases, as long as the case mouth remains level, true?
Thanx in advance for all help!
 

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I wouldn't try it. I doubt that you could get the necks perfect. If you want the best possible trimmer, buy a Wilson. They are cheap too, especially if you just mount it in a vice. The ONLY case trimmer used by Benchrest shooters. Case trimmer shoulda been the 2nd thing on your list.
You could probably shoot them a couple more times. Most factory chambers are very long.
 

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If you're on a budget, the Lee Zip Trim and related cutters and case length gauges are relatively cheap. Check MidwayUSA for them.
 

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Giraud trimmer:rock: a bit on the pricey side but once setup, it trims to the length you want chamfers and deburrs all in one step.

But as far as your R-P brass is concerned, after 3 firings, is there adequate neck tension to hold the bullet in?
 

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I guess you could try anything but even if you could keep them all true how would you clean up the case mouths after trimming. How will you chamfer?
I don’t see this going well doing it by hand.
I use an electric Lyman trimmer and clean up and chamfer on powered RCBS equipment.
Try pricing some hand powered trimming and chamfering equipment, they are generally priced economically. They can be slow but at least your cases will be prepared to accept new bullets.
Good Luck
 

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I have an older RCBS with collect type case holders and a newer Hornady that holds the case in a shellholder. The Hornady case trimmer works well, and the case holder is as fast as any other design I have seen or used. After you trim, you use a hand-held chamfer tool to clean it up on the inside and outside.

You want the case trimmed square, and short of a mill, it would be hard to do this without a case trimmer of some sort. There is a case trimming die that you use a file with, and might be cheaper than a standard case trimmer, but I'd wait and get a good case trimmer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, thanx for the replies. I'll just wait and buy a case trimmer. I didn't know that there were Lee trimmers available cheap. I thought I was going to have to pay $50-60 for a trimmer. Going to get one on order and just wait. It's hard to sit at home and wait for things knowing that the weather (very very rare this time of year in Jan. in the mtns.) is nice and you are THIS close to getting the perfect load dialed in for your favorite rifle. lol By the time my stuff gets here, it'll be back to 15 degrees with 10-20mph winds, yuck :barf: lol
Spring will eeeventually get here.... I hope.
 

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Poor mans check for length

As a case is stretched by repeated firings, the case neck will contact the front of the chamber and in effect, "crimp" the case around the neck, --That obviously raises pressures. Since chambers vary, the old rule--which may have been rescinded, but still makes sense, is to take the FIRED case and try to finger insert a bullet in the neck--if it slides in--it can be fired again without trimming, if the neck exhibits tension and won't let the bullet slide in--you have probably already fired it once too often. (my experience with .308 or .243s--they stretch more than most because of the more tapered neck) When I was shooting .308 in High power competition, I ended up with a Gracey trimmer ($ like the Giraud mentioned)and trimmed them all part of routine case prep, --others would trim shorter than specs--maybe .020 instead of .010 so they didn't have to trim as often. Point being, love the .308 but trimming will be a regular part of reloading!
bob
 
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