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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a Hornady 9mm Luger/(X21 Custom Grade Titanium Nitride die set #546516 and once I clean, de-prime, and size I am not able to trim them using my Hornady Cam Lock trimmer using trimmer pilot #15. I even tried using a Lee case trimmer. The problem is that once I size the 9mm luger brass using dies the inside diameter of the case is .350" the trimmer pilot is .353. The Lee trimmer pilot is .353" as well.

I have tied sizing Military WMA, Remington, PMC, Winchester Brass with the same results. I have tried sizing using Oneshot and Impearl Sizing Wax with no difference in the result. I'm at a loss of what else, sort of buying a competitor's die set on how to solve this problem.

Has anyone had this problem with Hornady Pistol dies? This is the first time I have reloaded 9mm Luger and have not had problems with other calibers, it is the first time I have used a Hornady pistol die though. My other pistol dies are RCBS, I wishing now I had stuck with RCBS.

I have sent Hornady an email. But doesn't help me with the 600 cases I've just resized.
 

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If it calms your anxiety, I can suggest that there is probably no need to trim those 9mm cases.

While I readily admit that I have always reloaded .45 ACP, not 9mm, and that 9mm pressures and velocities are greater than those of the .45 ACP, it is my second-hand observation (from competition-shooting friends) that most semi-auto pistol cases do not need trimming.

The other observation I can offer is that if you want to trim your 9mm cases, you might do it after cleaning them, but before sizing them. Before those 9mm cases are sized, your 0.353" trimmer pilot should fit into them.

Does that help?
 

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A sizing die must size a case down to the point where every case ID, no matter the wall thickness, is less than the bullet diameter. Yours is doing its job perfectly.
If your compulsive behavior still requires you to trim, then trim before sizing or trim after case expansion or order a pilot that fits your sized cases. Seems like the obvious ways to go. Note that since trimming is really only needed for bottleneck cases, and sizing and expanding are all done with ONE die, every sized bottleneck case comes out at the right expanded diameter for the pilot to fit.
But, why the hell are you trimming straightwall pistol cases? All you are doing is increasing the head space gap for those cases that head space on the case mouth and ruining any accuracy you might have.
Consistency ONLY matters if it improves accuracy. Trimming straightwall cases that head space on the case mouth just makes all the rounds mediocre.
Instead of trimming, resize your cases and segregate by length. Load ten rounds or more with the longer cases and ten rounds or more with the shorter cases, fire for accuracy without noting which batch you are shooting, and SEEING which are more accurate. I find that, with 9mm Luger, the difference in my guns is significant.
As Richard Lee writes in Lee's Reloading Manual V2:
"Lee makes a complete selection of case trimmers for all handgun calibers. This is a product I resisted producing, because it did not pass my test. I always ask myself, "Would I buy one?" I would not buy a case trimmer for handgun cartridges for normal use. I never shoot maximum loads in my handguns and I never shoot magnum calibers. My cases wear out before they need trimming.
Customers demanded we supply case trimmers for handgun calibers. It was easier and more profitable to supply them than trying to convince people they usually do not need them. It's quite unpleasant to hear faithful customers say their next purchase will be from another company because we cannot supply what they want. Case trimmers sell very well, so I must be wrong. I am sure those that buy them are pleased, as it is a product about which we have few questions or complaints."

My experience: I have only loaded for .357 Mag, .44 Mag, and .45 Win Mag (not any of the modern super magnums) and NONE of my cases have lengthened in almost 45 years of shooting .357 and .44 Mag, and .45 Win Mag since the late '70s even with maximum loads.
Just for information, most rifle accuracy buffs target ammo with a head space gap of less than 0.002" (and trimming bottleneck cases does not effect head space gap).
For 9mm Luger, case length can range from 0.744-0.754" for use in ALL guns. Note: the handloader only needs to make ammo safe in ONE gun. The chamber's head space, however, if it meets SAAMI specs, will be 0.754-0.776". So, if you had the unobtainium case with a length of 0.754" (I have some that are 0.750-0.752", but nothing longer) and a chamber head space of 0.754", you would have perfect head spacing of the case to the chamber. However, if your cases are all trimmed to 0.744" (or shorter?) and your chamber has a more normal head space of around 0.760", you have 0.016" of head space gap (and, at worst tolerance stack-up, you could be giving yourself a head space gap of 0.032" or more), so the case can't head space properly and the round will not be concentric in the chamber and might even be hanging on the extractor.
Remember: the cases start out too short and get shorter over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If your compulsive behavior still requires you to trim,
Compulsive behavior? Hmm... you did note that I said I have never handload 9mm before, did you not? I will admit that I am primarily a rifle cartridge hand loader and the only other "pistol" cartage I have reloaded is the 44 MAG. so my reloading discipline is that of a rifle cartridge reloader. Nowhere in any of the manuals that I have Hornady, Lyman, Norma, or Sierra does it mention that trimming is not required on Pistol cartridges.

My reason for wanting to trim was to square off the case mouth and to have all the cases the same length. Since 9mm Luger headspace from the case mouth, I thought this might add to consistency between fired rounds. NOT because I have a compulsive behavior. I will try and refrain from posting stupid questions in the future. But, thank you for the education on reloading of pistol cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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As a rifle shooter, what is the benefit of increasing head space gap? Again, ever try moving the shoulder of the case back 0.010" on your rifle rounds?
For a 12MOA rifle, what is the benefit of uniforming the case mouth?
In both cases the answer is NONE.
12 MOA is generally pretty good for a 9mm Luger pistol, so don't think about all the little accuracy tricks that never seem to actually get measured with rifle loads and just realize that almost all the accuracy you'll get is from YOUR abilities.
And, sorry, but YES, OCD if you want to immediately start trimming cases just because. Never said the question was stupid, just that it is so strange to immediately think about TRIMMING cases vs simply loading and firing and then, maybe, looking at some of the significant variables that might actually effect accuracy.
 

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You could always put your pilot in a drill and hit it with some emery to make it smaller. I don't trim 9mm brass though not really necessary. I'll go though and check OAL on a few usually all pretty close to the same length. Sometimes Nickle plated cases are a bit shorter though.
 

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We used to reload thousands of varmint loads for our annual prairie dog slaughter in South Dakota and Montana. There was 22-250, 220 Swift, and lots of .223.

We used casings specific to the rifle they were originally fired from. We referred to that as "fire forming" the brass, the theory being that if you only neck sized the brass it would fit perfectly into the chamber that it was initially expanded in. Case length was not a priority for the most part, but after the second reload and subsequent firing everything got deprimed, tumbled, inspected and measured.

One thing that we did pay close attention to was overall case length. Using a Hornady adjustable "dummy" round we would measure exactly how long the overall length was before contacting the lands of the rifling. We would subtract .0015-.0020" from the dummy round and build a dozen cartridges and test them at the private 400 yard range on the property.

All of this was very rewarding when we drove nearly 1000 miles and our ammo made the trip worth while.

Being OCD about loading is not a bad thing IMHO, YMMV.

GW
 

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USABAKER, I guess I'm pretty compulsive. I recently prepped 1000 .40SW cases, and more than half of them exceed max case length by a few thousands. As was mentioned previously, autoloaders rely on the case for headspace. And as was mentioned earlier various lengths of headspace gap can affect accuracy. So I agree, be OCD. Build the best flippin' cartridge you can. As far as the remedy for your trimmer... 2 quick choices. Take the insert to a machine shop and have then spin it in a whirly gig on a surface grinder or a lathe, or do it yourself. Find a piece of insulated wire that is close to the thread diameter (if yours threads on), My RCBS does not have threaded inserts, but I protect the post from deformation with this trick anyway. Using a wire stripper, strip a short chunk of the insulation off the wire. Put the insulation over the post or thread and chuck the post up in a drill motor. Use wet or dry 220 grit or finer sandpaper(with water), spin the motor and carefully use the sand paper to "polish" the arbor. Check it's od until your desired fit is achieved. Then do your thing brother!
 

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There are guys that have been loading 9mm for 40 years without trimming the cases.

I decided early on that I would not trim 9mm. One reason- I am just not that good a shooter.
 

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Pistol dies don't work as rifle dies, i.e. the expansion from FL is not done by an expander ball coming out of the case after sizing, but rather the expansion is done on the "plug" that is in the expander die. If you FL and try to go over a pilot, it will not go. You should set your expander up so that it only expands and does not flare. Then, you'll be able to get over the pilot.

As for trimming, I agree that cases that headspace on the case mouth don't need to be trimmed, and in fact shouldn't be or you'll end up with short cases quickly. That said, I have run into an occasional .380/9mm/40/45 case that is too long - over max. Maybe those were new, I can't remember.

The other reason to trim is to narrow down the difference in case lengths in order to get consistent taper crimping. Long cases result in greater taper crimp and short cases less so. Not really necessary if you're watching crimp diameter.

I'll run mouth head spacing brass through a trimmer set at near max case length once, and then I never look at length again. Too, you can use a case gauge to just run your brass through.
 

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I am going to chime in too, but be brief. 1st, 9mm is NOT a straight walled pistol cast. It is tapered. As others have already stated, no need to trim 9mm cases. I load for multiple one hole accuracy with multiple shots and pay much attention to detail in consistent weight of projectiles as well as powder charges. Lastly, I am not fond of Hornady dies either. Lees are pretty consistent for accuracy and the price.
 

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Compulsive behavior? Hmm... you did note that I said I have never handload 9mm before, did you not? I will admit that I am primarily a rifle cartridge hand loader and the only other "pistol" cartage I have reloaded is the 44 MAG. so my reloading discipline is that of a rifle cartridge reloader. Nowhere in any of the manuals that I have Hornady, Lyman, Norma, or Sierra does it mention that trimming is not required on Pistol cartridges.

My reason for wanting to trim was to square off the case mouth and to have all the cases the same length. Since 9mm Luger headspace from the case mouth, I thought this might add to consistency between fired rounds. NOT because I have a compulsive behavior. I will try and refrain from posting stupid questions in the future. But, thank you for the education on reloading of pistol cartridges.
[/QUOT
If you read my post, you know there is no logical reason to trim straightwall pistol cases. They are already too short to head space on the case mouth. I also told you how to solve your problem and trim those cases to your heart's content. Next, I recommended you compare accuracy of longest cases to shortest cases so YOU can decide if trimming is useful. What more did you want?
Didn't even mention you are thinking about something that probably doesn't improve rifle accuracy (squaring the case mouth) and doing so for a firearm that might shoot 12 MOA groups at best.
Point was, try loading and shooting per manual directions and don't worry about things that ONLY OCD sufferers worry about. After you've been loading per standard directions, THEN try playing with things almost no one else considers important. Walk before you run and stop trying to solve problems that have no applicability to your Pistol (or, at least wait until you are used to reloading and can start to play and report your findings).
Remember, you started your Reloading path doing things not covered by Reloading manuals.
 
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