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Old May 4, 2005, 01:57 PM   #1
tjhands
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2005
Posts: 1,710
General question on "crimping"....

Hi guys.

I've been reloading for a few months and, despite my one big goof-up (for those who remember), I've had lots of fun! I do have a somewhat basic question, though......
I don't think I have a good idea of what crimping is or how it's done correctly. I've only loaded .45acp and .357magnum so far, and just bascially tried to mimic the looks of a factory load as far as bullet depth. What I mean is, I just adjust the bullet seating die (Lee carbides) until I get the bullet depth the same as factory. I am going to get a .44 magnum soon and will be reloading for that caliber right away. I understand that a heavier "crimp" is needed to prevent the rounds in the cylinder from jarring enough that the bullets come out.
Questions: When I adjust the bullet seating die to where the cannelure on the bullet is lined up with the top of the brass (the mouth), is the crimp done? I guess what I'm asking is.....is the crimp a totally separate thing, independant of bullet depth? How do you gauge whether you have too little crimp? Too much?
All my .357's have looked just like factory rounds, and when I push the bullet end of my cartridges against the reloading table, the bullet cannot be pushed in further by hand. Does this mean that I'm doing fine?
I'm confused by how to correctly crimp. Thanks for not laughing at me.
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