December 20th, 2018

Case-Trimming 101: Tips from PMA Tool

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offered some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Website. Here we reprint a PMA article that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

Forster Case Trimmer

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Little Crow WFT

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless. [Editor’s Note: The World’s Finest Trimmer (WFT) is one power device that indexes off the shoulder datum. It works fast and is very precise. The updated WFT 2 Model and WFT Big Boy feature interchangeable trim chambers to work with multiple cartridge types.]

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User Submissions are welcome.
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December 20th, 2018

Hang Your Cleaning Rods with Fishing Rod Racks

Fishing Rod Rack Cleaning RodsForum member Nodak7mm has discovered an ideal way to store your rifle cleaning rods in your garage or loading room. Using inexpensive Berkley Horizontal Fishing Rod Racks, Nodak7mm has secured a half-dozen Dewey rods on the back of a door. You could also mount the racks along a wall or on the side of a storage cabinet. This installation takes up minimal space and the Berkley Racks cost just $8.15 per set at Walmart or $7.50 at Amazon. If you prefer wood, Amazon also sells a pine 6-rod wall rack for $24.99.

Nodak7mm explains: “I was moving some fishing poles around and ended up with an extra pair of Fishing Rod wall racks. I said to myself, ‘I bet this would hold my Dewey cleaning rods’. I mounted the pair on the inside of a closet door in my man cave and put my cleaning rods in it. It works like a charm and is far cheaper than a specially-made rack that only lets the rods hang. One can even slam the door with the rods mounted and they stay put. This rod rack set… is made by a nationally recognized name and does a great job of holding the cleaning rods securely and safely.” These are inexpensive and are easy to mount to a door or wood cabinet.

Stow Your Cleaning Rods on Your Gun Safe
Another option is to make a rod set with a magnetic backing strip. This can be affixed to the sides of your gun safe or steel storage cabinet. Here is a home-made, magnet-affixed cleaning rod holder made by Forum Member “BobM”. This smart installation works great. CLICK HERE for more information.

magnetic rack gun cleaning rod gun safe

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
December 20th, 2018

Holiday Gift — The Firearms Coloring Book

Here’s a cool Christmas Gift item — a high-quality 70-page coloring book featuring firearms. If you have kids or grandkids that enjoy shooting or hunting, this could be a fun, interactive gift. (Heck we know some adults who would enjoy it too.) Offered by Top Shot Champ Dustin Ellermann, Full Metal Coloring features quotes from famous people and shooting tips from ace shooters such as Jerry Miculek and Bryan Zins. The WideOpenSpaces Blog says: “Forget abstract designs or run-of-the-mill shapes. Instead, get your hands on this cool coloring book full of guns.” The price is now just $9.99 on sale.

Product Description: Filled with humor, history and iconic images, Full Metal Coloring appeals to military, veterans, shooting sports athletes and hunters. Amusing quotes by Aristotle, Walter Cronkite, Wyatt Earp and more. Shooting tips by Jerry Miculek, Brian Zins, Jim Henderson and more!

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