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Old October 24th, 2009, 09:07 PM #1
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.223 case trimming....

I have only been reloading for a few months now and have been focusing on handgun loads. Primarily 9mm and 45 ACP. I am happy with my results so far.

I am now starting my first batch of .223 and have slowly acquired most of the tools I need. I have a Lee hand trimmer and I unfortunately forgot to order a pilot, shell holder bit for 223.

So, my question is, for those of you experienced in 223 reloading, what have you found to be the best, and most cost effective, case trimming method and tools? Hand trimmer, electric (expensive), hand crank trimmer using a cordless or wired drill rig, or other?

I am just trying to get an idea of which is the best route to go before I order and go through the trial and error routine.

Thanks for the help,

Brian

PS - I have mostly RCBS reloading tools and am pleased with the quality. I may lean toward staying with them, but I'm open to all suggestions.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 09:26 PM #2
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I purchased an expense RCBS case trimmer but when X-dies came out the trimmer was placed in retirement. I use X-dies for 5.56, 30-06 and 308.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 09:31 PM #3
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Thanks. Where can I find out more info/prices on X-dies?
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Old October 24th, 2009, 09:53 PM #4
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I've used Lee's case trimmer system on many calibers over many years with good success. It's inexpensive, but not perfect.

You'll achieve a fixed 'maximum' trim length on .223 cases, but you will also find cases slightly shorter than the pilot's length. That means you may have a slight variance in case length when seating bullets - i.e. your OAL cartridge length is consistent with your die setting, but the line up of the case mouth to a cannelure on the bullet for crimping may vary. It hasn't been a problem for me. Just something to be aware of and adjust for.

I began using a Lee factory crimp die on .223 (and other) rounds for bullets with and without cannelures and the slight difference in case length has been less of an issue.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 10:10 PM #5
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Is crimping required or suggested? My Lee .223 dies set did not include a crimp die.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 10:32 PM #6
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Can someone explain to me about the X-Dies. I find it hard to believe that if I use these dies I won't have to trim my .308 cases anymore.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 10:37 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdr2012 View Post
Is crimping required or suggested? My Lee .223 dies set did not include a crimp die.
For semi-auto rifles (such as AR's etc.), much of what you'll read suggests crimping the bullets. There are many opinions about the need to do it. I do lightly crimp my rounds with a Lee factory crimp die (especially with non-cannelure bullets). If for no other reason than giving me "warm fuzzies" and peace of mind when I load a mag and fire the rounds. The Lee crimp die can be purchased individually or part of a 4 die set. It's worked well for me.

For bolt action .223's, I've found crimping the bullet beyond what the seating die does to be a non-issue.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 10:54 PM #8
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Thanks. For range ammo, do you think it's necessary?

I'm probably going to purchase the crimping die anyway. I originally bought the Lee 3 die set, but I really prefer RCBS carbide sets.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 11:03 PM #9
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For trimming .223 I'm a big fan of the Possum Hollow Kwick Trimmer - http://www.possumhollowproducts.com/...-trimmers.html

It has really sped up my trimming time, just chuck it in a power drill and go to town.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 11:20 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
For trimming .223 I'm a big fan of the Possum Hollow Kwick Trimmer - http://www.possumhollowproducts.com/...-trimmers.html

It has really sped up my trimming time, just chuck it in a power drill and go to town.
Looks like what I need. Do you just hold the case in your hand while using the power adapter and drill? If I go this route, is all I need the 223 Kwik trimmer and power adapter?

Thanks.
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