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Case Trimming

rsh nov reloading

Once you have shot your brass a few times, in most calibres with standard shoulders the brass case will increase in length due to brass flowing forwards, due to the firing procedure of the round. Some calibres, such as the Ackley Improved variants that have 40° shoulders, don’t tend to lengthen too much or as often, so trimming them isn’t such an issue.

In the standard calibres we have to trim because, as the case gets longer with the brass flowing forwards, the case will end up too long to actually chamber in the rifle. So, we trim the case back to a set distance to give us clearance in the chamber. The length we trim back to is called the ‘trim length’. Brass case manufacturers like Lapua, Norma and Nosler all produce recommended trim lengths on their websites for certain calibres. We can also trim to the shortest case in a batch. The way we go about this is to measure a selection of brass in our batch (at least 10) and find the shortest case, then trim the rest to that length. This is also a good time to carry out a case inspection, looking for any defects such as splits, dents or anomalies. All trimmers trim the neck end of the case.

rsh nov reloading

There is no set rule as to how often cases should be trimmed to length. Some calibres will need trimming more frequently than others. If you are using a ‘pokey’ load, and by that I mean a load that is near the top end of the pressure range, brass tends to flow more and so the cases will need trimming sooner. One issue to be aware of when continually trimming brass is that the brass in the web section of the case (where the case head thins into the body) can become too thin and cause the body of the case to separate from the case head; this can happen after many firings and trims. This is called ‘head separation’. If you notice it, discard the case. It can usually be spotted by a faint ring around the circumference of the case in the web section.

Once the trimming is done we must remember to chamfer the inside of the neck and deburr the outside before going any further. I personally like to trim a fired case before I have resized it, but hey, we all do it differently.

There are a few different ways to actually trim your brass. Starting at the cheaper end, we have Lee Precision’s Case Length Gauge and Shell Holder, which allows you to screw a set length gauge for a certain calibre into a cutter and trim to the set length. It’s designed to bottom out on the shell holder when the length is reached. Lee Precision’s other option is the Quick Trim Die, where you place a brass case inside a calibre-specific trim die, and then place the die into a standard reloading press. Then, with a handheld cutter, you trim the case down using the trim die to set the length.

rsh nov reloading

Moving up the expense scale we start to see lathe-type trimmers appear from most of the mainstream manufacturers. These hold the case by the case head using a collet, and the cutter is guided by a pilot into the neck where it starts cutting the neck down. Some of these types of lathes, such as the Forster, can also double up as outside neck turners, and most will also handle inside neck chamfering as well.

As the cost of the trimmer increases, so too does the range of accessory options, which include things like micrometer gauges for ease of use when setting custom case lengths. You may use these for trimming your brass to the shortest case in the batch. The micrometer-type attachments help to make minute alterations to trim length, and also aid repeatability when using the trimmer from session to session, as you can note the actual settings on the micrometer. Some of the more custom-grade trimmers, like the LE Wilson, dispense with a collet for holding the case and instead use a case holder. This is a short piece of round bar with a calibre-specific hole in the middle in which the case is placed and tapped home for a tight fit. The case holder is then placed onto two rods on the trimmer bed, and a clamp is employed over the top to hold the complete assembly in place.

rsh nov reloading

Other types of trimmers are the ones that can be used in conjunction with a battery-operated power drill. These have a hex shaft rod on them that the drill bites onto. These usually slip over the top of the case neck and trim the neck down until a built-in stop hits the shoulder and bottoms out the cutter. Slight variations on this type of cutter also allow us to trim, deburr and chamfer the neck at the same time, all in one operation. As already mentioned, some trimmers also allow us to neck turn with outside neck turning attachments, and others allow us to use inside neck reamers for the removal of internal ‘donuts’ (this will be covered in more depth in a future issue).

There are pros and cons to all of the above trimmers. Some will only cut to a set length and therefore are not as adaptable as others. Some are calibre specific so you will need to get a few different cutters if you shoot a few different calibres. Some are just more expensive than others. Like most tools in the reloading world, it’s a very personal choice as to which one you use, and to a certain extent the type of shooting and calibre used can determine the type of cutter you might use.

There is no such thing as a bad trimmer, but some features are more desirable than others – for example, to be able to hold the case in a case holder while trimming leaves both hands free for ease of operation.

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TRADE IN YOUR OLD KIT FOR NEW

Why not trade in your old presses, powder throwers and dies when you upgrade or change caliber? As long as they are complete and in  decent usable condition, we can now offer a trade in service, where we can give you an in-store credit against any future orders. Please contact us for an appraisal of your wares.

We are currently looking for the following Brands RCBS, REDDING, L E WILSON, FORSTER AND HORNADY

WE DO NOT TRADE IN FOR CASH, ONLY STORE CREDIT. PROOF OF PURCHASE MAY BE REQUIRED IN CERTAIN INSTANCES.

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Spring ’17 Update

Just a brief not to update you, with regards to changes our end. I’ll put a more comprehensive post out when time permits. Anyway new Distribution Center now up and running with Nathan at the helm, contact number is 01263 739923. Both collections and sales inquiries can be made on that number but for me technical advice please use this number as per usual 01263 732740 Also due to UK gun law changes we can now post expanding projectiles NOT ammunition.

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Enter stage right.

Happy new year guys n gals.

News updates:


As from early 2017 I’m very proud and pleased to introduce our newest team member, Nathan. Nathan comes from a non shooting background but with a varied career in both retail and customer services. His contact details will be confirmed in due course when he has settled in. He will be handling new projects for 1967spud Reloading (of which there are a few and one major big one) and main day to day operations.

With Nathan coming on board this will free up more time to allow me to continue writing articles for Rifle Shooter magazine and also restart doing more You Tube videos. (suggestions accepted).

The website is now bigger, better, faster and more secure with our very own dedicated servers, hopefully this will make the experience more enjoyable and a lot quicker to surf.

 

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Happy Xmas

Happy Xmas guys and gals from all of us here at 1967spud.com.

A genuine thank you for all your support over the year.

We have new things coming in the 2017 new products and services will unfold as the year goes on.

The website at long last is where I want it, in both terms of range of products and speed to use it. (bit of a learning curve here, but I think we are there now)

I will introduce Nathan in the new year who starts with us in early January as my right hand man.

Here’s to 2017 and as usual onwards and upwards!!!!

Spud

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Autumn ’15 Newsletter.

25/10/15

Hi all.

Another brief newsletter from me.

As you may have noticed we have slightly tweaked the look of the main site, good or bad let us know. If you have any issues with its features or layout please let us know so that we can rectify the problems.

You may also have noticed that we are now using a Barclays Bank Gateway for all our checkout payment options except the Pay Pal options. Its quite an apt time for me to change the gateway to them at the moment with all the Press regarding Talk Talk and their security issues. This is the main reason why we have gone for the Barclays option as its hosted with in their website and has their complete security back up along side our SSL security side. the PayPal options is done with in their site once again so that all payments via this method is once again is protected. We take your confidentiality and general security when you are on our site very seriously and will continue to do so. The main site (outside the SSL area) is broadly covered for malicious and Malware by Sitelock Security so we think we have all bases covered for a worry free time on the site.

The British shooting season is well under way as I type this, but I’m guessing as most other gamekeepers and shooter’s are experiencing  we need colder weather to help contain birds and help aid feathering up. Foxes seems to be on the increase again this year from reports I am getting whilst talking to shooter’s across the country. Seems like that they are also starting to pair up already – may be another sign of this hard winter we are currently getting told is coming this winter???

On the target shooting side I still haven’t dirtied my barrel this Autumn yet but plan to do so soon down at Bisley. The GB F Class League 2015 season is drawing to a conclusion this next week end with round 8 at Bisley and going by the results so far its still up for grabs in both the F-Open and F-TR disciplines. Good luck all in the running!!!