Redding 2400 trimmer
I doubt if two
out of ten silhouette shooters own a case trimmer. It’s a shame really as
case trimming is an essential step in producing the highly accurate
ammunition necessary to be competitive in silhouette shooting. However in
all fairness, I don’t think silhouette shooters are really any different
in that respect than other reloaders. It’s just that for some reason or
another, case trimming gets no respect. So let’s do a little review.
New brass - We
all know that the mouths of brand new cases are often irregular i.e.
higher on one side than the other. That translates into irregular grip on
the bullet and an uneven release when the gun is fired. Is it going to
throw the bullet off into the next county? No, but will have an effect.
We also know that
the length of new brass will also vary significantly. So why should we
care? For one, if the case is longer than the maximum recommended length,
higher pressures are a sure result. So how can that be? Simple. When a
loaded, overly long cartridge is chambered, the neck will be jammed into
the rifling, which, will in turn, crimp the neck around the bullet. A
significant boost in pressure is the result. If you’re already using a
load that’s approaching border line crazy (not unheard of in silhouette
shooting), that crimp could send you over the edge.
New cases can
also be well under the recommended trim length. Shorter necks = less neck
tension on the bullet. The bottom line here is that you want to follow the
successful example of benchrest competition shooters who are very careful
to insure that all their cases are trimmed to the same length to insure
consistent neck tension for consistent bullet release.
order to insure that the pressures in a given load are the same from one
case to another and that bullet release is smooth, even, and consistent we
want to make sure the cases are all within a maximum of .003” in length to
each other. How do we make this happen? Measure your cases and find the
shortest one. Then trim all your cases to that same length.
Fired cases -
Similar deal. When a case is fired, fantastic pressures force the sides of
the case outward where they meet the walls of the chamber and are
restrained. Remember though that the gases in the case are expanding in
all directions uniformly. This means that the front and the back of the
case has just as much pressure working on it. The result is that the case
will be stretched out both front and rear. Depending on several factors
such as the load, the strength of the case, and the design of the case,
this stretching will vary. However, you want to monitor the length of your
cases to ensure that they don’t get too long and they start crimping the
bullet. Case stretching in most modern rifle type cartridges is fairly
modest. However, in revolver cases they can be significant. Consequently,
you want to be a more careful about checking their length.
revolver cases, trimming is particularly more important to ensure
accuracy. First of all, it is absolutely necessary that all revolver cases
are the same length. This is necessary to ensure uniformity in the
strength of the crimp on the bullet Longer cases will enter a crimping
die farther inside. The result is a “harder” crimp. Shorter cases will
have a “lighter” crimp. These variations in crimp strength will
correspondingly result in variations in pressures and bullet release and
that = bigger groups.
Then there is
the issue of what crimping does to the mouth of a revolver case. It
damages it severely. There’s no other truthful way to say it. The heavier
the crimp, the more the severe the damage. When that case is crimped the
next time, the damaged brass is less able to evenly hold the bullet in
place during the gun’s recoil. After multiple crimping, the radically
work hardened brass will even start to crack and split. Consequently,
heavily crimped magnum revolver brass should be trimmed after no later
than the third firing - ideally after the 2nd firing. Now, we’re not
talking about removing a lot of brass - only just the bare minimum to get
down to undamaged metal. So don’t go crazy with the trimmer.
because of the fact that revolver cases will lengthen faster than rifle
type cases, and the fact that brass at the case mouth damaged by the
crimping process has to be regularly removed, case trimming for revolver
shooters is absolutely mandatory.
That brings us to
the new Redding 2400 trimmer which came out on the market around the first
of August. This is Redding’s best trimmer. The primary thing that
really sets the new trimmer off from all other trimmers is the fact that
it is equipped with a micrometer adjustment on the cutter head. Want to
take of .002” from your cases? No problem. Making the adjustment is as
easy as pie. When using other trimmers, making fine or even coarse
adjustments is a irritating, slow, trial and error process. It drives me
nuts. In fact, it’s probably one of the prime reasons why many people who
do own a case trimmer never use them. Just make sure you write down the
adjustment reading for a particular case length and so when you’re
trimming that kind of case again, you can then turn the micrometer to the
same setting and you’re good to go.
There a lot of
other things to like about the Redding. One of the best is the fact that
the cutter head is stationary and the case is spun against the head. All
other trimmers that I’ve owned has it the other way around. The result is
that the case mouth is often not cut square. That drives me nuts. The
Redding will give you a square and even cut.
thing about the 2400 is that it uses a universal step type collet. You do
have to be careful though that the base of the case is seated squarely and
firmly in the collet before you tighten things up. To do so, just place
the mouth of the case in the pilot on the cutter head. Then bring the
spindle forward and push the collet firmly on to the base of the case. Now
with your other hand push down the brass stud which is located on the top
of the trimmer. This locks the
spindle in place. Rotate the spindle handle clockwise, and the collet will
tighten and grip the case. To release the collet, just lock the spindle
again and turn the handle counter clock wise and the case will fall out.
2400 also comes with all the trimmings. You get a full set
of pilots in rifle calibers, a couple of case neck brushes, primer pocket cleaners, a couple of washer type
adapters to use to push the collet forward when trimming pistol length cases,
and a couple of other do-dads. One thing that I wish were included were pilots
for the 32, 357, 41, and 44 mag cases. Perhaps Redding could make available a
package of pistol pilots. The pilots are available but have to be bought
separately. Another accessory that that’s certainly worthwhile is an adapter
to hook a power screwdriver up to the trimmer. It’s only $12.
All and all, the
Redding 2400 is certainly the most useful and versatile case trimmer on the
market. Any reloader that doesn’t have one of these is missing a very large
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