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I have found a need to trim my .357 mag brass, as it is crimping unevenly due to varying case lengths. I've got 200 or so more cases to trim.

Up until today, I've been sizing and depriming the brass before I trim, but the pilot is binding up in the case mouth to the point that the set screw doesn't always hold the pilot in place.

Any suggestions? Bell the case mouth first? Trim before sizing? Lubricate the pilot? Throw the old brass away and start with new clean brass?

Thanks for your help.

The Blade
 

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The Blade,

I have also had that problem. I always size and then trim otherwise you will still end up with different lenght cases if you trim and then size. The variation may not be much but it might be enough to case differences in crimps.

I have take the pilot and put it in a drill and as it was turning, I would hold fine emery paper on it and change its diameter ever so slightly. Sometimes this is enough to allow it to turn in the case mouth. Sometimes I will also dip the case mouth in some powdered graphite. This will usually put enough graphite on the pilot to last 8-10 rounds depending on tightness. Graphite is messy though. Probably best to use the emery cloth and lessen the diameter. I have several pilots for each caliber so I always have one that is "factory size" and another one that is smaller. Good-luck...BCB
 

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I have one of those combination belt and disk sanders. I made a jig to hold the case square with the disk, (think hole in a piece of wood that slides along the flat work surface that is in front of the disk),then moved it to just "touch" the disk until the case was of uniform length all around. I had a stop on it to keep them all the same OAL.

Before everyone says I'm cheap, I'll do it for them: I am cheap!

Really did this more as a challenge as to whether I could rather than saving $$. It took about 2 hours to build it (drying time was a large part of this) and now it just takes about 5-10 seconds to do one case.

For some of us: We have more time than $$.
 
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