first loads


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well,, finished my 10 rnd first batch,
.223 55gr spitzers n133 22.9gr in a 1-12 twist barrel, see how they shoot at the weekend, started of at minimum load recommended for this 10.
Question is the brass is already fired in the same rifle, so does it need trimmed, i was able to measure them and they were all under the specified length but next time i wont have calipers but will the cases stretch to much ever if fired through same rifle?
thanks gents


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hi 1s1k,

after a while your brass will stretch the speed at which this happens will depend on the load. It's worth buying a cheap Lee hand held trimmer, the one that has a little shell holder and a pilot that goes inside the case. It's not a big deal to run each case through, if it's below max length then the cutter won't touch it if it's long then it'll be trimmed. if you use a tumbler to clean your cases then this operation will make sure the flash hole is clear.
p.s you will want a lee chamfer tool to deburr the ones that get trimmed.



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Great Advice, Ezzy. If you use the Lee after evey shooting you will not need calipers. As you pointed out, it will trim when needed, and not when it isn't necessary. Trimming will avoid pressure/safety issues from an overly long case as well as provide uniformity... especially if you want to crimp at some point in time. ~Muir


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oneshot, if you skimp on anything whilst reloading........... DONT ever neglect your case length, it is fraught with danger!

the Lee jobby is good advice.


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I agree with the above, running them through a case length trimmer, great. Just a word of warning; make sure you record how often you have reloaded the cases. The cases grow through lengthening of the brass, which is quite often most prominent just in front of the bottom of the case. However lengthening means thinnning! If your cases need to be trimmed, be carefull, because after a few times the case becomes very thin in that particular area and cause a case separation with all its nasty effects. Basically the case bottom is blown off. This happens whilst locked up in the chamber, but you get the drift. Cheers, Rene.


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great advice guys .

but will the cases stretch if fired in the same rifle, or is fire forming for diameter and shape only not lenght if you see what im getting at?


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understand now, also how important is it to clean your brass if it does not appear to grubby?
is there loads of burnt powder in left inside?


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As with everything, it depends. Some powders, with the right primer and good distributed in the case can burn very clean, some others are fauling more. Experience will learn. Cheers, Rene.


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thankyou guys,
i have another!!!
when measuring the oal, with soft points where do you measure from?
as the point of the bullet is not always perfectly round with that type of bullet


Site Staff
This is when a comparator comes into it's own. It is basically an attachment that fits onto your calipers but it does not measure from the nose, which you quite rightly say can easily be deformed, but from the shoulder curve of the ogive which should be the same irrespective of the condition of the nose.

They are made by various people, Sinclair, Hornady and the like. Many reloaders never use one, I have one but have used it once I think. What I do is when I have finished fiddling and am happy with the performance of the round, is to make up a dummy round of that length and then all I have to do when I come to reload that particular round again, is to sit it in the shell holder on my press and adjust the length of the seating die to suit the round. However if you wish to keep meticulous records then by all means get one and use it.