Headspace Gauge or Trim?

Headspace Gauge or Trim?

This is a discussion on Headspace Gauge or Trim? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I just started to reload 5.56mm Military brass and the manual states trim case to 1.1760 in. Must I trim to exactly that length or ...

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Thread: Headspace Gauge or Trim?

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    Member Array stargzer's Avatar
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    Headspace Gauge or Trim?

    I just started to reload 5.56mm Military brass and the manual states trim case to 1.1760 in. Must I trim to exactly that length or can it be shorter......like up to 10 thousandsth of Inche? If I am trimming th casing do I still need a Headspace Gauge? or is trimming enough? or are they two different animals?
    Stargzer
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    Just trim it to the minimum length; a few thousands shorter will be ok. The only time trimming shorter causes a problem is when a case headspaces on the case mouth ie: 45ACP, 9MM or 380. Since the .223 headspaces on the shoulder trimming a little shorter will not cause any problems. A headspace gauge is a tool to check the headspace of a weapon, there are three types used, a GO gauge, a NO GO gauge and a FIELD gauge. The bolt should close on a GO gauge, if it closes on a NO GO or FIELD gauge it has excessive headspace and should not be used until the headspace has been adjusted either by setting the barrel back and rechambering it or sometimes by just replacing the bolt.

    While it deals with milsurp weapons here is a good article on headspacing.
    http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting...pace/index.asp
    Last edited by msgt/ret; December 18th, 2008 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Additional information.

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    Member Array stargzer's Avatar
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    Thanks MSgt, for that bit of info and the link. I was asking about the case Gauge that Dillion sells and I think also...L E Wilson. Looks to me like used to check the cartridge case length....so, if I trim them....no need for a gauge. I see you are also Retired.....USAF?
    Stargzer
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    This is what I use to check/trim my rifle cases.
    Lee Case Trimmer : Cabela's

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    Member Array stargzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    This is what I use to check/trim my rifle cases.
    Lee Case Trimmer : Cabela's
    That's neat, but, what if your doing hundreds or thousands of casings? I'm using the Lyman Universal trimmer and it taking me awhile to do my 5.56mm cases
    Stargzer
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargzer View Post
    That's neat, but, what if your doing hundreds or thousands of casings? I'm using the Lyman Universal trimmer and it taking me awhile to do my 5.56mm cases
    I'm sort of limited production here. I probably reload about 50 rounds for each of my three bolt actions a year. :)

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    Oppsy!

    Quote Originally Posted by stargzer View Post
    I just started to reload 5.56mm Military brass and the manual states trim case to 1.1760 in. Must I trim to exactly that length or can it be shorter......like up to 10 thousandsth of Inche? If I am trimming th casing do I still need a Headspace Gauge? or is trimming enough? or are they two different animals?
    Sorry, I meant to say CASE GAUGE, not Headspace Gauge. I saw these in the Blue Press, they are made by dillion and also L E Wilson. So, if I'm trimming to length then I would not need a CASE GAUGE. Right?
    Stargzer
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    Since you are trimming to length there is no need for a case length gauge, they are really handy for checking a batch of cases to see which ones do need to be trimmed. As a side note since I use a Forester trimmer to trim several calibers I keep one properly trimmed case of each caliber as a standard to quickly set up the trimmer.

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    Lots of people trim their cases .005 under the maximum length. That gives them several firings before they have to trim again. When it gets to that point though, you need to check for case head separation. This is done with a piece of wire, sharpened on one end and bent 90 degrees. It goes inside the case all the way to the base. With a bit of practice, one can tell by the feel of the wire gently sliding up and down if their is any deviation in thickness.

    If there is, its time to chunk the case.
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    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    As a side note since I use a Forester trimmer to trim several calibers I keep one properly trimmed case of each caliber as a standard to quickly set up the trimmer.
    I have my Forester set up to use a electric hand drill. Make fast work on case trimming.

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Another question on this topic if you don't mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    This is what I use to check/trim my rifle cases.
    Lee Case Trimmer : Cabela's
    I use one of these as well and for my rifle and pistol ammo too. (.38 and .357 so far) I have not yet loaded any .45 acp or 9mm, but plan to soon, so would someone enlighten me on this subject?

    AFAIK, the lee case length gauge will work just fine, and I will check a commercially loaded, un-fired case for case length with my caliper. As long as it is the same as factory case length, is there any reason why it will not properly function?

    I really don't understand all of the headspace stuff very well yet, but so far this thread has been helpful.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    Member Array stargzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtD View Post
    I really don't understand all of the headspace stuff very well yet, but so far this thread has been helpful.
    I don't understand all that stuff, either. That's why I love the forums. It helps to get us all on the same page and exchange our different experiences, opinions, and knowledge. I'm learning a lot from these guys and gals.
    Stargzer
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