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Discussion Starter #1
Just getting into reloading and i have a couble of question's, at this point i plan on reloading my used 45 ACP and 9mm , am i going to need a case cutter? they don't seem to be that expensive but their seems to be some disagreement about whether you need one for pistol cases.

I will measure my case length's before i reload and the OAL.

I know their will be variation's but in general how many times can a brass case be reloaded ?
 

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Case trimmer is an inexpensive need, so yes get one. How many times you can reload depends on quality of brass and how HOT you charge the round.
 

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It's a good idea to have one. If you ever start reloading rifle ammo, you'll have to have one anyway, and you can use them for pistol cases too if you want your cases to be all pretty close to the same length.

I have a Lyman case trimmer, pretty basic setup, and I got it for about $60 or so. Really good reviews on youtube and other places too.
 

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Where the case length on 45 acp and 9mm is important is how the rounds work. Both headspace on the case mouth. That means that like the rim on a 38 special stops the case when you drop it in the chamber, the case mouth stops the 45 acp or 9mm. Having all the cases the length that is spec. is as important as having overall length correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys for the reply's, looks like I'll be shopping for a case trimmer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you joecil for your reply, i bought my Lee Delux Die set from FS Reloading delivered on the 4th day,
 

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Just to let you know, There is no need to trim pistol cases unless a reloading manual tells you that you need to for a certain bullet type.
How ever, Rifle cases must be trimmed when out of spec. I have reloaded .45, .40, 9mm, .38/.357 and never had to trim any one of them.

You can do it if you want consistent OAL with each case but even the bullets sometimes might make the OAL off but it won't be off by much more than 1/1000 or 2/1000 ( I think )
Either way, I would get one if I really wanted one. I just buy what I need as I go but it never hurts to have things ahead of time.
 

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just another step in the semi auto pistol category. less your doing comp loads were you want things as equal as possible I would save my money until I needed it for rifle.
 

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OK Guys....educate me here.... is this why cases only last so long???Is it the neck of the case that wears out first? Does it thin every time you compress it round the bullet? I think I know the answer...but...is there a good youtube vid of the process?
Thanks Rod
 

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expanding when fired / resizing wears it out.. stress on the cartridge you would say.
 

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Taper crimp for semi-auto is easy on the brass, roll crimp for revolver will stress those cases out faster. It's my understanding that rifle cases will stretch longitudinally when fired and will require checking and resizing when needed. Pistol cartridges do not usually experience the same lengthening. I have never concerned myself with resizing my 45 ACP, 357 Mag or 38 Special, although I do need to begin checking them at some point in time. I think that they will crack along the sides or base before they get too long. I'll wait until I reload for rifle before I buy the Lyman unit.
 

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Taper crimp for semi-auto is easy on the brass, roll crimp for revolver will stress those cases out faster. It's my understanding that rifle cases will stretch longitudinally when fired and will require checking and resizing when needed. Pistol cartridges do not usually experience the same lengthn ing. .
well unless its a bottle necked pistol case!
then basically its just a short rifle bottle necked case!
 

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I know their will be variation's but in general how many times can a brass case be reloaded ?
there really are no general rules for brass life, it depends on the condition of the chambers/cylinders of the gun its fired in, the reloading process and whether the brass is over stressed during flaring, crimping, etc, the brass itself, power of the rounds that are fired in the brass.
all brass moves as it expands, and contracts and resizing moves it around as well, Bottle necked cases show more stretch than straight walled cases, but all may need trimming at some point.
the trim to length and case maximum length can be found in most good reloading manuals.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank all of you for your comments,
 

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well unless its a bottle necked pistol case!
then basically its just a short rifle bottle necked case!
Duh, the .357 Sig did not occur to me (I have not reload them as of yet). Do they have an incidence of case stretching more than a straight walled handgun case?
 

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Duh, the .357 Sig did not occur to me (I have not reload them as of yet). Do they have an incidence of case stretching more than a straight walled handgun case?
yep and don't forget the new kid on the block, the 5.7 X 28 FN, the old 30 Luger, and then theres the old 357/44 Bains & Davis, i think this was mainly a wildcat but some factory cases were produced I think?
There are likely more as well but not as common as the 357 Sig and 5.7.
But anyway, to my knowledge all bottle necked cases share the same brass flow tendencies.
perhaps someone else can differ of this opinion?
 

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I always trim my rifle cases.... I also trim pistol cases " if " i am loading my self defense rounds, in this particular situation i want everything
to be consistent like my rifle rounds. Lee makes easy to use and inexspensive case trimming products if you decide you want to trim your pistol cases
I however, don't trim my pistol cases for practice ammo.... thats just me

Case Trimming Tools - Lee Precision
 

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I never trim .32 ACP, 9MM, .40, or .45 ACP cases. I do like to trim revolver cases that will be getting roll crimps so I will get nice consistent crimps.

Every time we make brass move, whether from pressure making it expand to seal the chamber, or sizing, expanding & crimping. It all works the brass.

Straight walled pistol cases fired at low pressure like .38 Sp and .45 ACP can last a long, long, time. .357 Mag and .44 Mag etc will not last as long, and will stretch more.

Bottle necked rifle cases under pressure flow brass forward. The pressure squashes it thinner, so it gets longer. The brass has to go somewhere. This is why we have to trim them after awhile. Eventually the brass will thin to much right above the web where the thick part of the brass meets the thinner case wall. Then we have to toss the case in the scrap bin. If we oversize the case (push the shoulder back too far) the case will last very few firings. If we size the case to fit our chamber well, it can last for several firings. How many depends on caliber/pressures etc. Same goes for bottle necked pistol rounds.

The 5.7X28 is a whole nother beast. It is fired in blowback actions and fails at the shoulder in just a few firings.
 

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I reloaded many, many thousands of rounds for 30 years and never case trimmed 45 ACP or 9 MM, or any hand gun cartridge. Rifle, yes different story.

Now Over All Length, This is VERY important if you expect good cycling in autoloader. Also, need to watch case tension so the bullet does not get pushed back during cycling.

Most modern dies have a TAPER CRIMP this is very good for auto-loading cartridge. Heck, back in the old days they RCBS did not even offer TAPER CRIMP in 45ACP!

The .38 spec. is the easiest to learn on and very forgiving as well for someone new to reloading.

Good Luck and be safe!
 
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