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I was just reading Lymans 50th reloading manual. They talk about trimming cases only four times. Unless you start with all brand new cases how do you ever know how many times it's been trimmed? What's the result of trimming 5,6 or 7 times? How do all of you keep track of your number of trimmings?
 

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For most of what I shoot, I've never trimmed a case at all. I shoot mostly straight walled pistol cases, some .30-30 and .308. Wildcats that have to been trimmed down when formed. I usually trim them just a little shorter than spec, and don't trim them again. Does anyone know of something that stretches a lot? As I am sure that there are many out there that do and need frequent trimming.
 

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I trim my cases every time. I believe in consistency. They might not always need it, but they get it. Sometimes it's only maybe .0005" other times it might be .005" but I always return them to the same length.
 

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The brass you trim off came from somewhere! Use a hooked wire to feel for the incipient head separation after a couple or three trimmings.
I trim .015 short and hardly ever trim again.
 
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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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1) Unless you start with all brand new cases how do you ever know how many times it's been trimmed?

2) What's the result of trimming 5,6 or 7 times?
3) How do all of you keep track of your number of trimmings?
1) Keep a log book with this info. For a while I also used the caliber stickers on the ammo boxes, to mark how many times things were loaded.
2) The point is to be aware of impending brass failure. Don't read it as some holy gospel, read it like the old Harley Davidson manuals: Theory of Operation.
All brass stretches and hardens with resizing, and there is a difference between trimming 0.001" off 6 times; or trimming 0.1" off 6 times.

3) I personally don't anymore. I don't shoot nuclear loads, and rarely full length resize. So case head separations aren't a sudden unexpected thing. For me they tend to begin to fail, and at that point I smash the cases, and add them to the recycler box.

Cheers
 
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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Most of the reloaders I've known will trim after every 4th or 5th reload, depending on when cases stretch that far for trimming. This means 16 to 20 reloads usually. As Jack says, a straightened paper clip with a small hook made in one end (mine has a filed edge to one side of the hook) that is drawn up alongside the interior wall will detect a shallow indent in the wall indicating the wall is thinning. Also, a bright shiny ring (sometimes with a visible small hairline crack) will develop on the outside case wall just above the case head. These are indicators of incipient case separation. Discard these.
 
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