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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just trimmed up a box of well used 44 brass to get consistant crimp, and it ended up finishing under the listed 'trim to' length. I sampled another old box I have and they are even shorter yet. The only problem with having short brass is that I'll have to trim ALL my brass to that length to avoid the crud in the cylinder.

How much difference in case length between boxes can I have and still avoid cylinder crud probems?
 

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I can't answer your question but can tell you that when I reload my pistol ammo, 357 Mag and 357 Rem Max, that I do not worry to much about brass length but worry more about overall length of the cartridge. I use a taper crimp on these, this crimp is less finicky about brass length to get a proper hold on the bullet.

What crud are you talking about? A few hundredths of an inch shouldn't make a heck of alot of difference unless it is way to short or long and I would think that new ammo from the factory even has that much deviation in the brass length.
 

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Taper crimping won't work in big-bore revolvers - you need to roll crimp to avoid bullet pull from recoil. For a Contender or Encore, or an auto pistol, taper crimping is the only way to go.

Case length is critical to achieving a proper roll crimp, as you doubtless already know. If your cases are say, .010 shorter than 'trim-to' length, I doubt they'll cause a buildup in the cylinder. Clymer makes a 'de-lead' reamer for revolver cartridges for just this reason, but I've never felt the need for one.
 

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Taper crimp will work if done properly as per the die makers instructions. The person who got me into reloading about 15 yrs ago shoots 44mag and 454 Casul in a revolver and taper crimps both of them. Never have I had a problem shooting his guns or ammo and never heard him talk about problems either. A taper crimp will give you more surface area where the brass is taper crimped onto the bullet.
 

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Wow, I've been reloading for 40 years and you're the first person I have ever heard of that has actually trimmed pistol brass! I've seen posts on various message boards asking if anyone trims their pistol brass, and never saw anyone respond who said they did. I shot pistol competitively for about 10 years in the Master class and didn't know of anyone who trimmed their brass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wingman,
When putting a good heavy roll crimp on my 41 or 44 ammo, long brass will crumple and short brass will have weak pull. I'll know it's time to trim a box when I crumple a few cases crimping.
Roll crimps are sensitive to relative case lengths.
On my 357/38spl, I don't use such a hard crimp and I don't have to trim very often. On my autos, I use a taper crimp and I don't trim.
I'm guessing you've loaded mostly autos and taper crimp your sillouette loads.

Gary-I did check some (sized) once-fired FC 44Mag, and found .08 difference.
The cylinder crud I want to avoid is like when I shoot a bunch of 38 spl in my 357, or 44 spl in my mag...you can't just switch back to the long ammo.
 

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Kyle, the crud you mention is what a bunch of us call the "dreaded donut". You should see how much it builds up when shooting a Dan Wesson revolver for 357 Rem Max and at the same shooting session you shoot 357 Mag and 38spl through it with the Max being the last ones shot, sometimes you can not get the Max into the cylinders because of the crud. I agree it is difficult to deal with especially if you shoot different loads/length ammo in your gun. I believe a good portion of this crud is lead with the rest being powder residue. In my revolvers I have switched to jacketed bullets only which seems to cut down on the crud. I also try to only shoot one load during a hunt or at the range.
 
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