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Old September 26, 2012, 11:13 PM   #1
kevinmcc2
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New to Reloading

Hey everyone. I am new to reloading and about to pick up a Lee Classic Turret press and looking for some advice..

I have a single stage now and loaded almost 20 bullets and am going to test them shortly but have a couple questions.


1. Do I have to crimp 9mm? I just ran the bullet into the case and thats it, it feeds and drops in the barrel fine. It measures .378 at the mouth with the bullet in. Is that okay?

2. I loaded 115 grain Round Nose Berry's bullet into a case with a Winchester Primer, 4.3 grains of Winchester 231 and OAL of 1.135. Is this a pretty safe load?

3. And also is 1.158 OAL too much? I have a couple I seated to that.

4. Lastly I noticed there is a little buldge maybe I am just seeing things where the bullet is seated down in the case. Is that normal its not too visible and the mouth reads .378

5. Also is this a good kit to get? http://www.cabelas.com/product/Lee-D...h-All+Products

Last edited by kevinmcc2; September 27, 2012 at 12:18 AM.
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Old September 27, 2012, 01:06 AM   #2
Lost Sheep
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Thanks for asking our advice.

The link you provided is to a Deluxe Turret kit. The Classic Turret is a superior press, though they operate identically. With 9mm, the main difference you will probably see is that spent primers with the Classic drop neatly down a tube 100% of the time. With the Deluxe Turret, spent primers go wherever they like. I suggest you get a dropcloth.

Since you already have a loading setup (including, presumably, a scale) you might not need the Lee Safety Scale. But you will want the Lee Safety Prime device. It feeds primers into the priming arm on the press and is essential for keeping your throughput up to a reasonable rounds-per-hour rate.

Check out the Classic Turret kit from Kempf's Gun Shop on line. About $220, but it is worth it. https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?...mart&Itemid=41

Quote:
1. Do I have to crimp 9mm? I just ran the bullet into the case and thats it, it feeds and drops in the barrel fine. It measures .378 at the mouth with the bullet in. Is that okay?
Yes, crimp is important. The case mouth has to butt up against the shoulder in the chamber in order for the cartridge to headspace correctly. A taper crimp (NOT a roll crimp) is appropriate. If you don't apply SOME crimp, the case mouth bell you put on the case will likely cause feeding and chambering problems.

The other important thing about how the bullet and case interact is "Bullet Retention". This performs two functions. One: The bullet has to be held tightly in the case mouth when the cartridge goes off and the crimp and friction with the case is vital. Two: The bullet has to be held tightly in the case mouth during handling, feeding and chambering. If the bullet is pushed deeper in the case, you can get dangerous pressure.

Quote:
3. And also is 1.158 OAL too much? I have a couple I seated to that.
If it fits in your magazine, feeds through your gun and passes the "plunk" test in your barrel it should be fine. It might not be fine in someone else's gun though.

If you are getting uncontrolled variation in your overall length, you are doing something wrong. I suggest you refine your technique.

Quote:
4. Lastly I noticed there is a little buldge maybe I am just seeing things where the bullet is seated down in the case. Is that normal its not too visible and the mouth reads .378
Again, if it passes the "plunk" test you are good. The fact that the case bulges a little where the bullet is, is a good thing. 9mm parabellum is a tapered case. I would expect a little bulge, as the resizing of the case leaves the case cylindrical instead of tapered. The reason it is a good thing is that the bulge occurred when the bullet was seated. Pressing the bullet into the case expanded the brass case. So, the brass is gripping the bullet tightly. That is a REALLY good thing. It is what gives most of the bullet retention I mentioned earlier.

Quote:
2. I loaded 115 grain Round Nose Berry's bullet into a case with a Winchester Primer, 4.3 grains of Winchester 231 and OAL of 1.135. Is this a pretty safe load?
What do your loading manuals say?

The powder manufacturer's web site,
http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

says

115 GR. Lead RN Winchester 231 4.3 to 4.8

115 GR. Jacketed Winchester 231 4.7 to 5.1 grains

The manual I keep next to my computer says 3.8 to 4.2 grains of Win 231 for a 114 grain lead bullet. It is a fact of life that different ballistics labs with different test guns/test barrels and different technicians and equipment will publish different data. That is why most reloaders have multiple manuals.

Plated bullets are usually loaded to lead load data specifications. But the thicker the plating, the more people are encouraged to load to jacketed specs.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; September 27, 2012 at 01:11 AM.
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Old September 27, 2012, 11:50 AM   #3
serf 'rett
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1. Crimp enough to remove the case expansion.
2. & 3. That load is within charge weight range that I've tested in MY PISTOL, which is to say, YOUR PISTOL may be different. My OAL was 1.120 inches, a lenght I selected after I determined the available length in the "shortest" of my two 9mm pistols. I didn't want the bullet seating against the lands. You may want to check to see if your longer cartridge allows the bullet to contact the lands in the chamber.
4. The bullet expands the sized case; therefore, buldging is ok if there is no feeding/chambering problems.

I don't own a Lee Turret, but if I got bit by the Lee bug, I'd get the Classic just from the rave reviews I read on this site.
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Old September 27, 2012, 11:52 AM   #4
kevinmcc2
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Okay awesome so far so good.



Now like i said im new and only thing im confused about is the crimp part..


Now how can i tell if there is a crimp? does anyone have a picture?

I didnt set the crimp die up but my bullets come out looking like the factory ammo i compared it to. thats why im confused if i should crimp or not. they kerpunk and feed fine.
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Old September 27, 2012, 11:54 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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What brand of dies are you using? They should have included generic set-up instructions, including how to adjust crimp, most likely the same die that seats the bullet.

I'll also repeat the previous admonition... the press in your link is a Deluxe turret. The Classic turret, which you mention, is superior.
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Old September 27, 2012, 11:59 AM   #6
kevinmcc2
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When you say crimp enough to remove the expansion die does that mean the buldge of the case? I dont understand that part cause i just barely expand the case.


I have the lee 4 piece die set and the bullet seat die says screw till it touches the shell holder and back off 3 full turns..

So I dunno if the backing off 3 turns makes a crimp or not.
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Old September 27, 2012, 12:19 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Ok.

The 4 die set includes a factory crimp die.

When we say "crimp" we are referring to AT LEAST removing the expansion that you created with the previous die. Might be JUST removing the expansion, might be adding a little more crimp, but not too much, at least in the case of 9mm.

Your seating die is not adjusted to crimp. You would be using the fourth die, the Factory Crimp Die to remove the flare and crimp.

You should make sure that you have a clear understanding of what is happening. I suggest getting and reading at least one good manual (Lyman 49th Edition is good) and also The ABCs of Reloading.

I'm not trying to sound like a jerk. Loading ammo can be dangerous. You're dealing with pressure upwards of 30,000 psi. You REALLY need to understand what you're doing before you do it.
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Old September 27, 2012, 12:22 PM   #8
DJK Frank 16
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Your fourth die in the set it was you are using to "crimp", really just taking any flare out of the case with 9mm. I set mine up exactly to what the instructions said, and it was pretty darn close. I took a factory round and measured at the base and at the neck of the case for comparison, and it was really really close, so I left it alone. No problem for me to date.
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Old September 27, 2012, 12:50 PM   #9
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Sounds like you may need a copy of The ABCs of Reloading or Lyman's 49th Edition Reloading Handbook. I'm no fan of the Lee Factory Crimp Die, so I recommend you use a regular taper crimp die. The term "crimp" when applied to semi-auto ammo is misleading. You don't crimp the case, you just straighten out or remove any flare from the case. Remove the barrel from the gun and use it for testing seating depth and "de-flaring". Cartridge should drop into chamber and stop, with a "thunk", as the case hits the end of the chamber. Called the "Thunk test"...
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Old September 27, 2012, 01:50 PM   #10
kevinmcc2
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I have done the thunk test with my bullets i have made without crimping at all and all passed?

Does this mean I dont need to worry about crimping?

I just ran my bullets into the case with the bullet seating die (set to not crimp) and ran them through the gun and all performed good with a solid kerplunk..

Thats what im cofused about
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Old September 27, 2012, 03:09 PM   #11
mikld
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Can you push the bullet deeper into the case by hand? Either with nose against the bench or thumb on the nose of bullet. I may be concerned with set-back during feeding.
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Old September 27, 2012, 03:20 PM   #12
kevinmcc2
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In at work right now but will check when I get home. If I can move it just crimp a little more?
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Old September 27, 2012, 04:59 PM   #13
serf 'rett
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You should not have bullet movement when you put the bullet nose against a hard surface and push on the rear of the cartridge. You can also check the overall length of a cartridge, cycle it through the pistol 3 or 4 times and recheck the length to see if the bullet has been pushed deeper in the case.

If you get bullet set back, you likely need to crimp.

For taper crimp, you are basically removing the case mouth expansion. SAAMI 9mm cartridge drawings indicate the case mouth diameter to be 0.001" less than the case diameter directly behind the case mouth - which equates to very little crimp.

You do not want to over crimp your 9mm because:

1. 9mm headspaces off the case mouth. If you over crimp, the case mouth may ride past the chamber seat and cause all sorts of grief.
2. You could deform the case or bullet.
3. You could cut through the copper plating on the Berry’s bullet.
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:07 PM   #14
kevinmcc2
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I experimented with the Lee factory crimp die using half a turn for light crimp and bullet the bullet out to see if it pushed into the bullet and it did.not.

I then did a full turn and that did make a indent mark where the crimp was so I think I will just use half a turn for light crimp.

I was just confused if.I.needed to crimp or not after bullet seating cause the.bullet seemed sturdy.
thanks
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Old September 27, 2012, 07:27 PM   #15
tkglazie
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I agree with mikld. The first step in reloading is to devour a copy of the ABCs of Reloading or Lee Modern Reloading 2nd edition or the like. Just assembling cartridges by piecing together some steps is not really reloading, its just assembling cartridges by piecing together some steps.

Once you read one of these manuals you will see what we mean. If you are having trouble determining what is a case bulge and what is a crimp, you really arent ready to be dropping the hammer on a live cartridge. That's not an insult. Dont worry, it wont take you very long to get up to speed with the theory and execution once you get a good manual.

If you have an amazon prime account you can read the ABCs for free using their lending library, even if you dont have a Kindle. They have a free Kindle reader you can use.
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Old September 27, 2012, 07:31 PM   #16
Mac Sidewinder
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It's a good idea to pull a plated bullet and check to see if you are cutting through the plating by too much crimp. Really on 9mm it takes very little crimp in the first place, just straighten out the bell in the case caused by expanding the mouth to seat the bullet.

If it passes the plunk test, passes the push against a hard surface test and passes putting it in a mag and cycling the action a few times and it still measures the same then you probably are good.

I was paranoid the first time I loaded 9mm about bullet setback. So what I did was load a couple rounds, check by the following above tests, then I loaded up a few mags with 2 rounds that I did first and then stacked up 8 factory rounds on top. I then fired those 8 rounds, ejected the 2 rounds that I made and remeasured them. If they are still the same then you are ok.

It seems like a lot of hassle doing all this but my motto is Better Safe than Sorry.

Mac
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Old September 27, 2012, 08:53 PM   #17
kevinmcc2
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I did the test where I pushed the bullet against something hard with my thumb and....

The ones I.did.not have a crimp on pushed right in

The ones that I used the factory crimp die did not. Thanks for the advice!
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