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Old 11-09-2011, 10:08 PM
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Default Trimming 9mm?

Very new to reloading here, so much so I have never done it before, just in the research phase. Im sorta compiling a list of questions as I go, but this one particular is been on my mind lately. I kinda familiar with the trimming rifle brass procedures by watching videaos via youtube, but for the life of me I am falling short on finding info/videos on trimming 9mm brass.

So I guess I need to ask you guys what do you use for trimming 9mm brass, whats the process(ie, do you trim EVERY piece) and where can I get some info or a video on 9mm brass trimming.

Im not the best on knowledge of ammunition, but I think I am referring to the basic straight walled 9mm brass. I have not ever seen a 9mm cartridge with anything other than a straight wall. So thats where I am at so far. Any info on the subject please feel free to chime in.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:23 PM
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Life is too short to trim pistol brass.

Trimming 9mm brass would seem necessary, as the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth. Consistent length would also lead to a more consistent crimp. However, you will find many/most handloaders, including myself, do not trim 9mm pistol brass, or any straight wall pistol cases. Pistol brass actually tends to shrink, not grow longer as you see with rifle brass. I have never trimmed a single 9mm case and thousands of rounds of 9mm have left my loading bench in spec and functioned perfectly.

* A small note as someone will undoubtedly bring it up. The 9mm case does have a slight taper to it. In this sense it is not technically a straight wall case, but is treated as such for all intents and purposes.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:29 PM
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I have never found it necessary to trim any pistol or revolver brass, and I don't know anyone who does. That includes .38 special, .357 magnum, 9mm Luger, and .45 ACP, all of which I have reloaded thousands of rounds. The brass does not seem to stretch and flow as does most rifle brass.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:44 PM
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Yep, that was the correct answer. 9mm brass tends to get shorter over time as its reloaded. You can trim it if you want, but about the only end would be to get uniform bullet seating. Might be more time effective to just sort the stuff you've got by length, then reload it in batches by case length.

It might also depend on the kind of shooter you are. If you buy once fired, or God knows how many times fired, sorting or trimming might be for you.

But if you buy your ammo new and generate your own once fired brass, you can be pretty darn sure its the same length if you keep it together.

I've lowered myself to the bottom of the barrel and purchased gun show bags or 1000 empties. It was for a reloading project back about 1994. I'm a skeptic, and the stuff I paid a premium for that was labeled as once fired may or may not have been. It did look nicer. I didn't bother to check lengths or trim it. I used a single stage press to load it. You can see or feel a difference in length if you concentrate. I couldn't tell.

And it shoots just fine...still. My youngest son hit the stash pretty hard a couple of years ago. He never complained about it (and your own sons would complain even about free ammo.)

So my take on it is you've hit upon a non-issue. You can pursue it as much as you want, it will burn valuable time.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:10 PM
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Thanks all for your great info. Like I said in my original post, I am very new to reloading, so much so that I havnt even done it and am researching it as I go. I was at a loss for info and regards to if you actually did trim 9mm brass. It wasnt a case of me actually wanting to do it, I was REALLY hoping that the lack of info was because you DIDNT have to trim. It seems my prayers have been answered.

Thanks all for the tips.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:31 AM
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I've never trimmed a service [istol case, never. I do trim magnum revolver cases now & then to keep the roll crimp uniform. If you never shoot near max loads, they probably never need trimming either.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:10 AM
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I have never trimmed a single piece of pistol brass in more than 50 years of reloading.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSQUARED View Post
I have never trimmed a single piece of pistol brass in more than 50 years of reloading.
Me either in 41 years of reloading Another voice joins the choir
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:46 AM
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In general I do not feel the need to trim 9mm or 45acp brass, with one exception.

The Ruger Blackhawk convertable models I own seem to have the headspace shoulder cut to minimum specs, so the cases need to be trimmed to minimum specs to prevent cylinder binding.

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Old 11-10-2011, 11:54 AM
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I have trimmed .38 brass, when used in a Mod 52 S&W to get absolutely the the most consistent crimp and accuracy. And, that's about the only pistol brass I have ever trimmed.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:14 PM
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You guys are no fun!. He said he was new. Should have said yes you must trim every piece of brass to exact specs.

Only kidding Clear Black. Welcome to the loony bin

Never trimmed any pistol/revolver brass. The only new brass I ever bought was some 45 Colt as there was no used stuff to be found. I set up the trimmer and found I was wasting my time.

I did ream and chamfer them though. Probably a waste also.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
You guys are no fun!. He said he was new. Should have said yes you must trim every piece of brass to exact specs.

Only kidding Clear Black. Welcome to the loony bin

Never trimmed any pistol/revolver brass. The only new brass I ever bought was some 45 Colt as there was no used stuff to be found. I set up the trimmer and found I was wasting my time.

I did ream and chamfer them though. Probably a waste also.
HA! That would have been funny

OK, part 2 of newbie lessons. What exactly is the process of case prep for a standard 9mm brass cartridge? By standard I mean nothing fancy will be done with the ammo I shoot. I basically buy the cheapest ammo on sale, and consistantly shoot from 10-15yrds, no further. Its only paper targets I shoot, no competition loads needed, just plinkers.

My question basically is, what do I do after I tumble my 9mm brass to get them ready to reload. I was looking at this machine here:

Cabela's: Lyman Case-Prep Xpress

Are these tools used to prep 9mm brass, or is this machine typically used for rifle brass prep? Basically what Im looking for is a retards book for a step x step process on 9mm case prep. For example,

Step 1: Find your brass
Step 2: Clean, tumble the brass
Step 3:
Step 4:
Step 5: At this point my brass will be ready to go thru the reload press and become a 9mm round.

So in a nutshell, what am i missing between steps 2-5.

Im really not very versed in the reloading vocab yet, so truly sorry if most of you are now shaking your heads saying *** is this guy talking about
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:33 PM
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Lightbulb Case Trimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
I've never trimmed a service [istol case, never. I do trim magnum revolver cases now & then to keep the roll crimp uniform. If you never shoot near max loads, they probably never need trimming either.
I'm with Fred on this one...

I'd rather have my toe hairs pulled out one at a time with a dirty Leatherman by a 300 pound liberal she-bear than trim autopistol brass.

I only trim revolver rounds and then, only in the magnum chamberings to keep the mouth case square and the roll crimp pressure consistent.

In so doing, I have of late changed over from a rotary trimmer to trim dies. I find that using this method is not nearly as odious.

But by far the best ways to eliminate the need for trimming brass is to keep lots together by brand and numbers of usages. Replace with frequency, buy in larger lots and only buy brass that has no channelure as this promotes rapid, inconsistent case length changes as the channelure 'irons out'.

Drew
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clear Black View Post
HA! That would have been funny

OK, part 2 of newbie lessons. What exactly is the process of case prep for a standard 9mm brass cartridge? By standard I mean nothing fancy will be done with the ammo I shoot. I basically buy the cheapest ammo on sale, and consistantly shoot from 10-15yrds, no further. Its only paper targets I shoot, no competition loads needed, just plinkers.

My question basically is, what do I do after I tumble my 9mm brass to get them ready to reload. I was looking at this machine here:

Cabela's: Lyman Case-Prep Xpress

Are these tools used to prep 9mm brass, or is this machine typically used for rifle brass prep? Basically what Im looking for is a retards book for a step x step process on 9mm case prep. For example,

Step 1: Find your brass
Step 2: Clean, tumble the brass
Step 3:
Step 4:
Step 5: At this point my brass will be ready to go thru the reload press and become a 9mm round.

So in a nutshell, what am i missing between steps 2-5.

Im really not very versed in the reloading vocab yet, so truly sorry if most of you are now shaking your heads saying *** is this guy talking about
You are right, that machine os more for bottle neck rifle brass. You really only need to clean handgun brass in some way & then reload. Inspect the cases prior to reloading to make sure there are no cracked brass or if range pickups, no Berdan primed or crimped primers or obviously abused handloads (Glock guppy brass). It's really not more complicated than that.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:54 PM
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Clear Black,

You do not need that machine for handgun brass.

Technically you do not even need to clean your brass but most will agree it is a good thing to do. Looks better and keeps your equipment and hands clean.

You can wash it in an old bucket with soap and water, rinse very well and let it sit out until dry.

Even better get a tumbler and media.

BUT: Get some manuals first.

If you go to the RCBS web site there are videos and step by step instructions. Request a catalog and you get some basic reloading steps.

But: Get some manuals.

RCBS - Precisioneered Shooting Products - Guide to Reloading
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clear Black View Post
Basically what Im looking for is a retards book for a step x step process on 9mm case prep.
Tumble the brass and size it, which will pop out the old primer at the same time. Expand. Prime. Charge with powder. Seat the bullet and crimp.

That's it.

Have you read The ABCs of Reloading 9th Edition? If not, I highly recommend you do. It will answer a lot of your questions about all aspects of handloading.

Amazon.com: The ABCs Of Reloading: The Definitive Guide for Novice to Expert (9781440213960): Rodney James: Books
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:52 AM
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I second that on the ABCs of Reloading. It answered a lot of my questions, and brought up some new ones. I am also new to reloading. Just gathering my info and equipment. I am actually getting ready to build a relaoding area in the basement.

Bob

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Have you read The ABCs of Reloading 9th Edition? If not, I highly recommend you do. It will answer a lot of your questions about all aspects of handloading.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:31 AM
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Get the above manual and another one like Speer, Lyman or Hornady.

Read through them all before you start buying stuff.

Reloading is not Rocket Science (well in a way it is) but it is not something to take short cuts, find the easy way out and just go and do it.
If you do not have someone to show you, you need to study, read, ask questions before you buy stuff or load your first round.

Buy the Manuals, did I mention that?
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:24 PM
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Sorry I'm late to this thread. I personally see no need to trim handgun brass and I never do. You can spend your time doing it but I truly feel it's time wasted. Good reasons not to are listed above.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:55 PM
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If you are not using carbide dies don't forget the case lube step of the reloading process. May sound obvious but you said you were new.

BTW, The only time I trim 9x19 brass is when I'm converting it into 9x18 brass.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:18 PM
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THANK YOU ALL! For the wonderfull insight into taking the nescessary precautions while getting into this hobby. Very usefull info from all of you and I am gratefull to say the least. I will definetly be getting that ABC's guide book and take the winter months to read thru it and get familiar with what Ill be doing come spring. I need to get thru the holiday spending and get my daughter some things shes been asking me for, then taking my first steps into reloading. At least this gives me time to get to the range and start saving a stash of brass
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:42 PM
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Normally I agree with the Elders of the Reloading thread but this time I don't agree and this is why. Long ago in the days of just two 357 mag revolvers (Ruger Security Six and Colt rooper Mk 3), I had the misfortune of really stuck cases and flattened primers -- sometimes. Started check case length and found that my bought new and fired 6 times brass had grown 0.015" to 0.025" over max case length. Couple of years later had the same experience with 44 mag brass. With considerable effort I emptied all my 357 and 44 mag ammo into to targets. Then I trimmed the fired cases to 0.015" less than minimum case length and resized using a carbide sizer die. Cases were at minimum case length .002". Never deburred or chamfered the cases - just trimmed, resized and loaded.

Since I trimmed all my mag brass, I've never had a stuck case because it was too long. I keep range pick up brass separate until it gets trimmed and then gets dumped into reloadable brass bucket.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:01 AM
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357 and 44 Mag cases can be a different animal than the 9mm.

Yes, they can occasionally need a trim and a shave.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:10 AM
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It's true that pistol cases can occasionally be too long. This typically happens (in my experience) if the cases were not at a proper trim length to begin with. For brass that is my own, i.e. I processed it initially or after picking it up at the range, I don't worry about length any more. For brass that comes to me from an unknown source, such as range pickups, I pull a 10% sample and check for length after the first sizing at my own bench.

I think this is a good practice for any brass, rifle or pistol. I examine and process range pickups with a fine tooth comb. Once the brass is in my circulation and has gone through my own press a time or two, I don't worry as much.

One note here that is somewhat on topic. If you do pick up brass at the range, looks for signs of handloads. If a handloader dumps brass in a range bucket, there's almost certainly a reason for it. Possibly they know they've loaded it too many times and are discarding it. This is not good brass to bring into your reloading room. A good sign is a wrong color primer. i.e., a gold colored Winchester primer in a Federal case. That is certainly a handload, and if a handloader dumped a whole box worth of it in a brass bucket, leave it alone. When you see someone shooting factory ammo, and take their cases when they are done, that is the best once fired brass you can ask for. No question as to its origins.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:08 AM
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Do we all agree that if you trim (any) case, you first need to size, and then only trim ? One time I forgot to size .357 cases and started trimming, and almost non of them were over the max size. After realizing this after a dozen of cases, I stopped triming, sized the dies, and re-trimmed. Many cases were then over max length.

I also seem to notice once-fired brass would be relatively often over the max (for .357, not 9mm), but in the following reloads not anymore. In other words, after the first firing's increase, they did not stretch much more in the following usage/reloads.

Is that right ?

B686
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:23 AM
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I agree that in trimming brass, it should be sized first. As to once fired brass did you measure it before resizing? I would think it would be slightly over if not re sized but never really checked many.

What always gets me, is in load data they have trimmed to length which is always a bit under max.

I have never "trimmed to".
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:25 PM
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Talking .38 super

i just purchase a .38 super need advise for reloading,130 fmj
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplevet View Post
i just purchase a .38 super need advise for reloading,130 fmj
Would be better to post a new thread on your question.

Welcome. Go to the top left and post new thread.

Click on reloading, then right above threads is post new.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:47 PM
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Never trimmed pistol brass and don't no anybody that does.welcome to the reloading hobby .have fun and always double check your work.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:47 PM
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If you measure 9mm brass especially range pickups you will find various sizes. If you just want to send a bullet down range don't waste your time trimming. If you want to give yourself every advantage possible for a best score then you can trim all to the same size. .750 works well.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:43 AM
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I just want to throw in that unless you are loading for something like a Model 52 as stated above, if you ever find handgun brass that MUST be trimmed and checked each time then I would say it is bad brass and should be culled.
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