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I have quite a bit of once used .223 brass that I’ve deprimed, Swedged, Sized, Primed and Trimmed. I’ve aimed my trimming for 1.750” as recommended, but in reality it’s anywhere from 1.745” to 1.755”…which is within specs for .223.

I’m setting up my Seating die for 69 grain Sierra BTHP...no cannelure. Powder is Alliant MR-2000. My Lyman book says my OAL with a seated bullet should be 2.26” minimum. Because the trim length varies slightly from case to case, will that have much effect on pressures produced when the powder ignites?
 

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Apparently it's your first attempt at reloading!

2.260" is Maximum OAL.
Magazine construction varies....check the internal length of them.

Your shorter than 1.750" trim length would only leave a carbon donut & eventually burn/erode the chamber making extraction an issue.

Since Lyman &/or Lee have NEVER drawn a bullet jacket,I would suggest using the bullet manufacturers(Sierra) load data.

K.I.S.S.
 

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You should be good to good with the Lyman Reloading Handbook, but the Sierra book, if available should be looked at as well.

I'm looking at Lyman's 50th edition and unless my old eyes are extra blurry this morning due to lack of coffee, I'm not seeing the powder you mention with that 69 gr. HPBT.

I am not familiar with MR 2000, but DO NOT substitute powders for what is listed in any reloading manual.

Good Luck
 

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A quick check of Alliant's website gives the load you are likely wanting. And it is there where 1.260 is referred to as a minimum OAL. If you use that recipe you should be OK.

There will be some pressure variation but you should be OK. As long as you maintain the same OAL, shorter cases would give you less pressure, I would think, i.e. the bullet is not seated any deeper than in a longer case.

You might want to try a case trimming method that would give a more consistent result. And perhaps segregate the cases by length before reloading.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A quick check of Alliant's website gives the load you are likely wanting. And it is there where 1.260 is referred to as a minimum OAL. If you use that recipe you should be OK.

There will be some pressure variation but you should be OK. As long as you maintain the same OAL, shorter cases would give you less pressure, I would think, i.e. the bullet is not seated any deeper than in a longer case.

You might want to try a case trimming method that would give a more consistent result. And perhaps segregate the cases by length before reloading.
I have a Little Crow WFT, and I think I just allow too much gap. I went in this morning and readjusted it for 1.750.5 or so. It’s all cleaned, resized, and primed...So I think I might just go back over the Trimming once more. I’m not too worried about anything above 1.745...I’ve read plenty of Posts on reloading Forums about this and it’s well within tolerances, and will most likely just mean less trimming on subsequent uses of each case.
 

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A quick check of Alliant's website gives the load you are likely wanting. And it is there where 1.260 is referred to as a minimum OAL. If you use that recipe you should be OK.

There will be some pressure variation but you should be OK. As long as you maintain the same OAL, shorter cases would give you less pressure, I would think, i.e. the bullet is not seated any deeper than in a longer case.

You might want to try a case trimming method that would give a more consistent result. And perhaps segregate the cases by length before reloading.
The shorter cases won't give you less pressure, they'll give you the same pressure for a given OAL. The only difference is that the bullet sticks out a bit farther but it's not seated deeper or more shallowly, it's seated the same depth regardless of case length.

I also use a WFT and I don't have anywhere near a 0.010" variance in trim lengths.

You are sizing before trimming, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The shorter cases won't give you less pressure, they'll give you the same pressure for a given OAL. The only difference is that the bullet sticks out a bit farther but it's not seated deeper or more shallowly, it's seated the same depth regardless of case length.

I also use a WFT and I don't have anywhere near a 0.010" variance in trim lengths.

You are sizing before trimming, right?
Yes...but like I said, I leave too much of a gap. I reset it using a special 223 case, should be fine now. I also need to clean the brass shavings out a bit more often, I noticed some small shavings sticking to the inside of the case adapter.

I am a rookie...I spent last year wet cleaning 5,000 Military 223 cases, swedging, sizing, primer pocket cleaning, priming...I am at the point now I’m ready to actually load powder and bullets into the cases. I’ll address retrimming now...
 

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I think you're on the right track. You might want to consider segregating the brass not only by length but by manufacturer.

Also stay under maximum powder recommendations by at least 10%, if you haven't shot this load before. Also, don't seat the bullets shorter than recommended, i.e. the OAL.

I've learned the hard way, not to load too many rounds of a particular load right out of the gate, until you become familiar and comfortable with the load. If there is a problem you might end up pulling too many bullets and dumping powder. Look at the brass for signs of pressure after firing.

I would suggest somewhere between 30 to 50 rounds at the most. It's your call, and best of luck.
 

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I only use Lake City brass for my rifle. I used a brand new LC brass to set my WFT to trim 1.750”.

It’s critical to use the same headstamp brass if you want to reduce the variation in length of the trimmed brass.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think you're on the right track. You might want to consider segregating the brass not only by length but by manufacturer.

Also stay under maximum powder recommendations by at least 10%, if you haven't shot this load before. Also, don't seat the bullets shorter than recommended, i.e. the OAL.

I've learned the hard way, not to load too many rounds of a particular load right out of the gate, until you become familiar and comfortable with the load. If there is a problem you might end up pulling too many bullets and dumping powder. Look at the brass for signs of pressure after firing.

I would suggest somewhere between 30 to 50 rounds at the most. It's your call, and best of luck.
Thanks. So many times I’ve wished I had an experienced reloader nearby to teach this stuff to me...to QC my case prep and demonstrate the right way to do things. But at least there’s these Forums and YouTube...otherwise I would’ve blown myself up a long time ago. ^_^
 

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I only use Lake City brass for my rifle. I used a brand new LC brass to set my WFT to trim 1.750”.

It’s critical to use the same headstamp brass if you want to reduce the variation in length of the trimmed brass.
How much variation have you seen in trim length?

I sent an inquiry about this to Little Crow Gun Works as I didn't think it would be significant for me and here was his answer:

Some of that foreign military stuff really trims weird and I just throw it away. U.S. commercial and Military and foreign commercial brass you may see up to .004” variation in trim lengths from brand to brand.

Regards,
Dale Hegstrom

Little Crow Gunworks, LLC
6593 113th Ave. NE
Suite C
Spicer, MN 56288


I checked a batch I trimmed a couple of days ago and got around 0.003" variance but that really didn't concern me at all.

Edited to add:

To put this into perspective, 0.004" is roughly the thickness of a sheet of paper.
 
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