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Thread: Triming cases..how many times can they be reloaded before needing?

  1. #1
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    Triming cases..how many times can they be reloaded before needing?

    About how many times can a case be reloaded before it needs to be trimmed? I was woundering because if I can reload the case a certain amount of times before needing trimming it could be to just replace the brass cases. I can purchase the cases for 79 dollars with shipping for a 1000 cases of .38 specials. Also about how many times can a case be reloaded safely before it needs to be tossed. Any help would be great.

  2. #2
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    I have NEVER trimmed a straight wall pistol case in about 40 years of reloading. I used to shoot PPC and Action Pistol with 38 Special and I loaded the same case many times with no case prep other than tumbling. Same with 45 and 9mm.

  3. #3
    100% Retro Hambo's Avatar
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    I have never trimmed a straight wall pistol case. Toss them when they split or crack. How long will that take? It depends. I ran a test with .44 cases once and they survived more than 10 loading cycles.
    I don't talk about feelings, Alfred.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply. I am glad I asked no sense in doing more work than you have to before your able to reload the cases.

  5. #5
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    Hambo is right. Don't waste your time. Once I bought a case trimmer and a dial caliper at the same time. I almost went nuts. I still have the caliper but gave away the trimmer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie View Post
    Hambo is right. Don't waste your time. Once I bought a case trimmer and a dial caliper at the same time. I almost went nuts. I still have the caliper but gave away the trimmer.
    That's what I like about this forum.....simple truth.

  7. #7
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    Yeah I don't trim mine. As long as they gauge correctly I'm good. If I want high accuracy in a handgun cartridge it's probably going to mean playing with different factory ammo or match grade stuff.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    100% Retro Hambo's Avatar
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    If you get into reloading bottleneck cartridges you will be trimming. My system there is to load the virgin brass without trimming or squaring up the case mouth (serious reloaders will pass out at that suggestion). After the first firing they do need trimmed, then they're Ok for about five more loading cycles.
    I don't talk about feelings, Alfred.

  9. #9
    Site Supporter LtDave's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    I’ve never trimmed straight wall pistol cases either. Started reloading in the early ‘70s. In my experience, older bottle necked rifle rounds with smoothly tapered shoulders like a .30-30 will require more trimming than the more modern sharp shouldered designs.
    The first indication a bad guy should have that I'm dangerous is when his
    disembodied soul is looking down at his own corpse wondering what happened.

  10. #10
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    Once it's been trimmed to length, you shouldn't need to trim straight wall brass again.

    Straight wall cases are resized in one die and the case mouth is flared in another die. Bottle neck cases are usually resized on the upstroke and then on the downstroke an expander ball is pulled through the case mouth bring it up to size. It's the pass over the expander ball that stretches cases.

    You can shoot .38 brass until it splits at the case mouth or it stops holding primers. I get somewhere around 15-30 reloads from 38 brass. The stuff that's on the long side will get over flared and over crimped, and eventually crack at the case mouth. The shorter ones last until the primer pockets are worn out. Unless you're doing some type of target shooting or enjoy menial repetitive labor, it's not worth trimming 38 brass.
    <---Not very articulate.

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