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Discussion Starter #1
Should I trim 45-ACP cases for best accuracy? And if so, should I trim those cases to match some 'nominal minimum' length ?

I recently blundered by actually measuring a batch of 1x-fired WW 45-ACP, and the variation was interesting -- with many cases quite 'short' (0.884 -to- 0.886).

The case lengths I've measured centered around 0.888 to 0.890, so I elected to establish that as a standard for that particular 'batch' of WW Brass. (I was expecting them to run closer to the published 0.898 Max dim.)

Also, I ck'd. length specs. in several loading manuals, and 3 of 4 show 0.888 as a "trim-to"length (Hodgdon, Hornady & Sierra) while the SPEER Manual shows a shorter trim-to length of 0.893.

If I have a batch of cases with length dimension certering around 0.890-inches (which is UNDER minimum length published in several loading manuals) ??? Also, should I 'cull' brass that measures 0.885 ?

As always, I would appreciate you guys & gals sharing what you've experienced with the 45-Auto.

Capt-C

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PS: I routinely trim revolver cases and rifle cases 'extra-short' so I won't have to trim them but once... but I've never trimmed
the thousands of 40-S&W I've loaded (which BTW were NOT loaded for optimum accuracy).

I understand the various theories about headspacing on semi-auto pistol rounds -- my question really pertains to the affect case length variation can have on Optimum Accuracy. --CC
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You have better things to do, whatever they may be. Trimmed .45 cases don't make more accurate handloads, from personal experience and from more scientific tests I've read. At least not so as to benefit 99% of us 99% of the time. Anyway, I've never seen a .45 case go over the nominal length, either new or reloaded multiple times. By the time you got them all trimmed to the same length they'd all be way too short instead of just a few of them!
 

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I do not know any one who trims their .45 ACP brass. As Ned says, the accuracy difference is negligible, if any. It would be a waste of time. The minor height differences are reduced during the seating stage anyway.
 

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I have been reloading for 20 years and have never trimmed my .45 cases or heard of anybody doing it to help accuracy. Neds right you have better things to do.
 

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As mentioned above, there is no logical explanation for trimming .45 ACP cases. The brass is SHORTENED after being fired. I know, it is an anomaly. Check it out with calipers.

good shootin', gunny
 

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I don't trim any of my pistol brass. At one time I dutifly measured every case but after doing that (not for too long) I realised I never found a case that exceeded the max length.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all who have responded -- I never trimmed my .40-S&W either, but didn't have an pistol adequately accurate to justify any special 'tinkering' with the brass.

And now I can go shoot instead of firing up the case trimmer !!!

My curiosity is QUENCHED for now anyway --

... and I can stop wondering if the variation in case length is why my group sizes are larger than 2-inches at 25-yards!

--CC
 

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Originally posted by Sheldon:
Does anyone here trim ANY pistol brass at all? I never have but was wondering if anyone did.

I trim my 9mm brass, but I never trim .45acp. I have found the .45 to shrink with shooting to a point, then it stops. The 9mm "grows" with shooting, then stops.

Now my 9mm loads are on the hot side, and my .45acp are very mild (bullseye) loads. So maybe that has something to do with it.


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The case is a lower pressure load compared to others and the brass probably doesn't move much. It does headspace on the case rim and the case should grip the chamber walls when its fired. As the case expands it gets shorter.
Check what happens after you resize it in the first die. It might grow back a few thousands of and inch.
Those $8 steel case guages from midway that you insert the bullet into to check a loaded rounds dimensions are reassuring.
 

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I don't trim any of my pistol brass. Period.

Depending on the caliber, I don't trim rifle brass either. Once fired 223 Remington brass is so cheap that I throw it away when it gets too long. At $30 a thousand, it just not worth the bother of trimming it.
 

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I leave my case mouths tight...sometimes this requires hittin' the edges with a little chamfer device...Thant's about it...I do trim any and all cases that I'm loading for maximum loads...The rest...naaa...
There are times I'll segregate a batch of cases for one reason or another...They may be extremely consistent or have some other trait that I want to utilize for a specific issue...There have been so many times that my cases have been crap that it's easier to just throw them out and start over...These days...who knows anymore...I just keep 'em in general 'til I get a couple of probs and then toss the batch...No headaches that way...I'd rather shoot than load...that's for SURE!
I enjoy loading and in general, most everything about guns and hunting...wish I could find a way to get paid for doin' it though!

hang in...


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>>>>>>>>>>g2<<<<<<<<<<

!!!Molon Labe'!!!
 

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The round headspaces on the mouth of the case. You'll get some variation in "free play" from the mouth to the rifling caused by variations in seating depth of the bullet in different length cases. But in a 45 ACP and a handgun length barrel it's not going to affect anything.

Cases get shorter because of the throating in the breech of the gun. The case swells to fit the breech and that makes the case a bit shorter. Only thing you really need to worry about in 45 ACP reloading is getting the taper crimp to spec so the stuff feeds into the breech and headspaces on the mouth of the brass.



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I've been loading the 45ACP for thirty years and I have never trimmed a piece of brass.

I load 'em and shoot 'em until the rim wears out or the case wall splits. I swear some of my brass is ready for social security.
 

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I can think of many things I'd rather do than trim 45 brass, like root canals or a rectal exam.

As to 9mm brass,.....nah, I won't go there.
 
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