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So I was using a lee trimmer and it was triming 223 brass down 1.738 with the case gauge, saami spec it is ok to use from 1.730-1.760 . The case gauge point seems to have been flattened from use and giving me a short case, when I measure the first 100 I did with it they are t 1.748, Everwhere i have been looking the 223 case gauge from lee and they are sold out. Ended up buying the WCT trimmer off ebay it uses a body made of nylon with a end mill to trim, it has a stop inside that uses the case neck as a stop. I adjusted to 1.750 and started trimming. after the first 10 I was getting 1.750 -1.749 then I have a few in a pile of 50 where I have between 1.751-1.756. is this normal to happen due to the body of the case being different from different manufactures and the trimmer using the neck as a stop instead of the lee using a oal gauge?

I have been racking my head for like a hour my ocd is driving me nuts lol

thanks in advance
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so I went back and figured maybe I had a issue while sizing brass and consistency. on recommendation of Dave from Holub Machine & Repair who make the trimmer. I took 20 pieces of mixed brass, lubed them and resized them being extra careful with them and had all them trim between 1.746 - 1.748 which is minimal compared to before. now im dreading that I may have to go back and resize another 500 cases I have in a box lol
 

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I use the FA Platinum case prep machine and have also seen that issue. The stop for the shoulder is nylon and I thought that this could be the issue. It's been a while since I've worked with it as prepping 223 cases isn't my favorite operation in the reloading room. As I recall, I trim them short since a too long case is the real issue and hope that when I shoot and re-size the next time that they won't need cutting down. I always deprime and re-size before checking length to re-size if needed. The too short ones go into the pile to be cut down for 300 BLK. If they aren't resized for the cutting jig, they don't fit well in that groove. Wish I could be of more help, but I'll go to school on your experience.

Another issue with the FA machine is that they ship with a HS carbon steel cutter head which I find really stingy for such an expensive machine. Sure cutting brass with steel sees the steel win every time, but after a few hundred cases I bought a Lyman carbide cutter head to change it out.
 
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Thinking more about this, I don't currently have a head space gauge and am thinking that having one could speed up my process of sorting brass for the various operations after resizing. Maybe people can weigh in on using one.

 
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Thinking more about this, I don't currently have a head space gauge and am thinking that having one could speed up my process of sorting brass for the various operations after resizing. Maybe people can weigh in on using one.

Dave from Holub Machine & Repair also told me I should get a head space gauge to ensure my sizing is consistent. I was able to find some lee oal sizing gauges on ebay and ordered 2 to see if they match the one I have.

I definetly need to pick up a headspace gauge will start looking for one that available.

with the last 20 cases I tried I ended up diluting 1 oz of the lee resizing lube in 8oz 99% alcohol and they went in the sizer smooth as butter and when they were reaching the bottom I started to feel resistance like the original sizing was not correct. I am am going to slowly go back over these 300 cases I have left to trim and resize them again slowly and methodically and try the trimmer again.

I ended up picking up a lee classic cast single stage press so it give me a chance to test it out lol

will keep everyone updated on the progress and any discoveries.
 

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So a little update I have head space gauge lol I thought it was just a oal gauge but its actually a headspace gauge also. I ploped a bunch of brass in just now and they all are going in the gauge by themselves. I marked the gauges for max trim and minimum trim with a permanent marker to make it easier to test quickly. before sizing the brass does not fit, and apparently the brass I purchased pre processed seems to have been neck only sized because its not going in smoothly but I cannot confirm -.-

I purchased this one off etsy for $18 5.56/.223 Ammo Reloading Case Length Headspace Chamber OAL | Etsy

I top of the top line is 1.760 and the top of the bot line is 1.730
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so I went and processed another 50 cases by checking with the headspace gauge, resizing, and trimming with the case trimmer and started getting wierd inconsistencies again sizes from 1.739-1.754. with the lee case trimmer I always get the same size due to it measure off of oal length and not the shoulder. going to wait till my new oal trimmer gauge comes in for my lee trimmer and see what happends. im sure these are all safe to shoot but the variation drives me nuts
 

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I just order two of these, one in 223 and the other in 300 BLK. I've had jams in the 300 BLK that make me shy away from taking it to the range. Now I'll be able to better insure operation. Made in the USA while the Lymans are from China.

 
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I just order two of these, one in 223 and the other in 300 BLK. I've had jams in the 300 BLK that make me shy away from taking it to the range. Now I'll be able to better insure operation. Made in the USA while the Lymans are from China.


Out of curiosity what reloading dies do you use for the 223? I was wondering if different die sets may have a different consistency in forming the shoulder.

I am using lee precision but I also have a rcbs set that im going to try this weekend to see if it makes a difference.
 

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I'm using Lee Precision
 
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do you also use lee for 300 blk ? have been getting the itch for another ar and 300blk keeps popping up so I should get a set of dies in preparation......
Yep...I make my own brass from the too short 5.56 cases. Really need to upgrade my Squirrel Daddy cutting jig.
 

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I looked up that contraption to see what was being discussed and instantly realized that it can not trim to a specific OAL.
At best, it is a device for squaring up the case mouth. At worst, it is something for parting a fool from his money.
It assumes that every case was fired in the same chamber at the exact same chamber pressure with exactly the same dimensions (wall thicknesses, stretch and etc.).
The cases will stretch varying amounts depending where in the chamber it was when fired and for many other reasons.
There are so many variables involved that getting the exact OAL on multiple cases is in my opinion, pure luck.
If you want every case to be the same length, you must use a case trimmer that uses the full length of the case not just part of the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I looked up that contraption to see what was being discussed and instantly realized that it can not trim to a specific OAL.
At best, it is a device for squaring up the case mouth. At worst, it is something for parting a fool from his money.
It assumes that every case was fired in the same chamber at the exact same chamber pressure with exactly the same dimensions (wall thicknesses, stretch and etc.).
The cases will stretch varying amounts depending where in the chamber it was when fired and for many other reasons.
There are so many variables involved that getting the exact OAL on multiple cases is in my opinion, pure luck.
If you want every case to be the same length, you must use a case trimmer that uses the full length of the case not just part of the case.

It seems to be more common lately. It looks like the frankford arsenal and little crow gun works use the same system. Maybe they assume we are just neck only sizing.

Looks like the lee cutter is still going to be my go to trimmer. The more tests I do
 

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Yep...I make my own brass from the too short 5.56 cases. Really need to upgrade my Squirrel Daddy cutting jig.
When forming do you have to size them twice with the lee dies? One with the decapper ball and one without. Was reading something where that is what lee recommends.
 

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My decapping is done prior to cleaning. Only CLEAN cases get sized, then trimmed if needed. I also use Lee cutters and case gauges.
 
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My decapping is done prior to cleaning. Only CLEAN cases get sized, then trimmed if needed. I also use Lee cutters and case gauges.
I think its called a expander ball not decapper I may have worded it in correctly, im not sure but its what goes into the neck during sizing and has a pin at the tip to also decap.

I usually deprime and wet tumble prior to sizing also I cant stand dirty dies or presses I feel they should be sterile like a lab. Ran a test with these cases and wet tumbled with the primer still in 600 223/556 cases. Pulled apart my press to clean it and never again it was all full of that primer crust and nasty grit after 600 cases. Had to clean everything and relube. Im just going to setup a small press for dedicated decaping prior to anything else.
 

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do you also use lee for 300 blk ? have been getting the itch for another ar and 300blk keeps popping up so I should get a set of dies in preparation......
Yep...I make my own brass from the too short 5.56 cases
 
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I think your best course of action for consistency, is to FL resize all your brass before trimming. It's a pain, but...
It is an arduous process. I decap and pin tumble. Then lube and resize. Then check lengths and set the long ones to be trimmed, the ones that are within my somewhat loose specs aside for loading and the short ones go to the 300 blk process. After trimming they get tumbled again, sometimes in walnut.
 
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