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Thread: .30-06 trim length

  1. #1

    Default .30-06 trim length

    Most of the information I am finding on .30-06 trim length is max 2.494, with a trim to length of 2.484. Using the Lee lock stud/cutter system, my cases are constantly being trimmed to around 2.455. I'm using the length gauge correctly, but can't understand why it trims them so short. I have two questions:

    1) Is it possible I have a defective length gauge rod?

    2) Will trimming to 2.455 cause me any problems?

    I've fired a couple hundred rounds so far with brass trimmed to 2.455 and didn't notice any difference in function or accuracy. I have about 3 loadings through a set of cases so far, and they are all still well under the 2.484 safety standard. Should I keep on trucking or should I look into a different trimming system? If it makes any difference, I'm currently ONLY loading rounds for the M1 and M1903A3 rifles. I don't expect match grade accuracy out of the rifles (nor do I have the skill IF they were capable of it), but I don't want my loading techniques to be to blame. I've only been handloading for a couple months now, and still have lots of questions. Thanks for any advice. This site is my number 1 online resource.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Northeast Connecticut
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    Default

    1. Anything's possible. Here's what Lee Precision has to say on the subject -

    The case trimmer should trim the case somewhere between the max. and min. allowable case length for the cartridge in question. Our case length gauges have a tolerance of +.000 and -.015. Handgun cartridges that headspace on the case mouth have a tolerane of +.000 and -.010. It works much like a "go-no go" gauge in that if it does not trim, the case did not need it.

    If yours has a length that falls outside of the minimum and maximum allowable length, it should be returned to the factory for a replacement.

    Our address is:

    Lee Precision, Inc.
    4275 Highway "U"
    Hartford, WI 53027


    2. Not really - unless you want to crimp and your die's crimp shoulder is too far out for the .029" short cases. (There's normally no need to crimp .30/06 ammo for rifles anyway.) Short cases may cause a slight loss of accuracy and possibly increased throat erosion, but either is hard to prove without test firing thousands of rounds.

    Eventually, you'll probably want a more versatile case trimmer like the Forster unit - easily adjustable and lots of neat accessory gadgets available, too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    What kind of length gauge are you using? I use a caliper to measure mine. I do have maximum length case gauge that I use sometimes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Most people that start loading have one of those cheapy Lee case trimmers..........and it always ends up kicking around in a drawer somewhere as a monument to the stupidity of trying to do precision work with half-a-hammer-handle tools! "Real" case trimmers like an RCBS, Forster, or Lyman are really quite cheap, infinitely adjustable, and once set, cut to EXACTLY the set-length until you decide to change it.

    FWIW: While under-cut brass will make a load that goes "bang" most of the time.....there are max and min case length specs for a reason. On my bench, 2.455" .30-06 brass is going one place.....and it ain't into any of my loads for ANY of my rifles......YMMV!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I use the Dillon case trimmer. Works great and very fast.

  6. #6
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    The 1200B is nice. so is a Gracey, particularly if you're prepping cases by the thousand.....but cheap they ain't and we're talking to a guy with a Lee hand trimmer! You'll send him into terminal sticker-shock! He can "trade up" from where he's at without spending triple digits. Agree?
    Last edited by John Kepler; 07-07-2012 at 09:03.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Eastern Missouri
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    My friend uses a Lee trimmer on .223. I measured his cases at 1.560 which is what I trim to. IMHO he should send it back to Lee.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the all the replies folks. Yes, I knew the Lee trimmer kit was a cheapy when I ordered it, but I was on a severely tight budget and was just trying to get set up to load my first rounds. Talking with you guys has just reassured my notion that the Lee kit needs to go in the trash (it was $10 bucks so I'm not sweating it). I'm looking at the Hornady Cam-Lock trimmer set (roughly $70), and the Forster Original kit (about $20 higher). My budget has opened up some since I first started, and dont mind to spend the extra cash if the Forster is a better product. I'm 24 and I plan to keep handloading for the rest of my life, so I'm ready to invest in decent equipment that will last a while.


    Like I said, so far I've just been loading up plinking and casual-CMP match loads, more or less just for handloading practice. But I have around 700 LC43 cases that I want to load up for my "put-away" stash, and I just want to make sure they are done right.

    Thanks again for all the advice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Martinsville, Indiana
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    I use a Lee trimmer for more than one caliber. Seems to work for me. Shot 3 fast rounds earlier this year as a down pour started [need some of that now] out of a Cooper 21. I was happy!

    Dan-Central Indiana Chapter OFC
    http://www.mtekweaponsystems.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    My LEE trimmer works fine, send it back and they will give you a new one.
    One thing I've noticed is that a bent rim will hold the case to far forward and trim them a little more than needed.

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