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Old June 5, 2014, 04:49 PM   #26
Nick_C_S
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Yeah, if you do that, you'll be fine.

Crimp is mostly a "feel" thing - not so much a sight thing. "Feel," meaning when you operate the press, and how it feels to the touch after you crimp it. When it comes to crimping, there's no substitute for experience. You'll get the hang of it. Actually, you probably already have the hang of it - ya just don't have the confidence and experience to realize it Careful not to over-think it.

Speaking for myself, I try not to be too aggressive with the crimp because roll crimping fatigues the brass and it will start to split at the mouth (especially 357 Mag).

The "heavy" crimp I used in the photo is from a 357 Mag w/ a Hornady 158g XTP. Under it is 9.2g HS-6 with a magnum primer (in compliance with Speer #14). HS-6 is a notoriously difficult propellant to ignite and a heavy crimp is recommended. This round chronographs with an Extreme Spread of 66 fps through a 3" bbl; and 69 fps though a 4" bbl (both Smith 686's). For a medium-hot round, this is pretty consistent (revolvers generally yield a higher ES due to the barrel/cylinder gap). This round - crimp and all - is tried n true.
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Old June 5, 2014, 05:07 PM   #27
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is it ever truly over?

(To potentially lessen your ES, test various other primers, and/or vary crimp --Redding Profile Crimp Die, "heavy".
HS6 in 357 Magnum often responds well to standard Federal primers.)
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Old June 5, 2014, 05:37 PM   #28
Nick_C_S
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Probably not :)

I've heard lots of good things about the Redding PCD. I'm sure it's a great product. I don't have one. I've considered it. But they always seem on backorder; besides, I'm satisfied with my crimping equipment.

As far as improving ES on this particular round: The Federal Hydrashock 158 factory ammo yielded and ES of 86 (all 10 round groups, btw), so I figured I'm good at 69. I'm satisfied.
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Old June 6, 2014, 12:20 PM   #29
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Quote:
Crimp is mostly a "feel" thing - not so much a sight thing. "Feel," meaning when you operate the press, and how it feels to the touch after you crimp it. When it comes to crimping, there's no substitute for experience.
That's fine, but I wanted to add that I judge crimps under magnification. I agree that I can feel when something isn't right, but I am never sure about being ideal. I have enough calibers and different presses that I cannot rely on how something feels.
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Old June 7, 2014, 03:08 PM   #30
WESHOOT2
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For me, crimp is mostly a "results on target" thing.

I mean, once I've confirmed the appplied crimp is performing its first function.....
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Old June 7, 2014, 08:50 PM   #31
bellguy
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Hi guys, I'm new to this forum and new to reloading, and this thread caught my attention. I've been working with the same bullet as mentioned at the top of the thread, the Speer 4628 SWC HP, and I've been wondering the same thing about placing the crimp. The problems is, the position of the cannelure is not at all consistent. If I can get the picture inserted below, it will show four of many variations. I contacted Speer and they told me to crimp wherever I need to to get a 1.455" COAL. If I did that, the crimp would be higher than the highest cannelure. Any thoughts?

Speer 4628.jpg
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Old June 7, 2014, 10:02 PM   #32
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Bellguy: Those all came from the same box!?? I'll have to go look at mine more closely and see if they have that much . . . "product variation."
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Last edited by Nick_C_S; June 8, 2014 at 02:22 AM. Reason: Statement redacted
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Old June 8, 2014, 02:14 AM   #33
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Speer #4628

Now that I'm home from work, I decided to take a look at my Speer 4628's. I looked at about 40 of them, and they all look the same - the crimp groove is in the same location. And I'd say they look like the second one from the right in your pic.

The distance from the base of the bullet to the crimp groove is about .375" (difficult to measure accurately).

I've got a batch loaded up (38 Special) and their OAL is 1.472" +/- .002".

Hope that helps.
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Old June 8, 2014, 06:36 AM   #34
wheelgunfan
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Just took a close look at some of mine and just as bellguy's pic show, my crimp groove is all over the place. Out of a sample of 20 bullets about 12 are the same and eight are totally different.
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Old June 8, 2014, 06:41 AM   #35
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Speer #4628

Nick: Yes, they're all from the same box. I told my dealer about it, so he looked at a box he was using and discovered the same thing.

Anyway, so what I've been doing is roughly sorting them and then carefully seating/crimping each one at the crimp groove, but what a pain.
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Old June 8, 2014, 07:17 AM   #36
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thinking back I'm certain this is what caused my original concerns and I failed to pick up on the varying locations of the crimping groove on the bullet itself. My guess would be the first bullet I picked from the box had the groove out of location causing my confusion, I came here for advice and the second sample from the box was quite close to matching the groove and the COAL. I set my dies and have loaded 200 rounds for testing. I hope to get some rounds fired today and I'll see how things go.
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Old June 8, 2014, 01:18 PM   #37
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Quote:
For revolver cartridges, finish it with a (properly adjusted) Redding Profile Crimp Die.
I was doing exactly that, but for lead bullets, oversized by at least .001, it is difficult to get a standard crimp die (like the Redding mentioned) to apply much of a roll without damaging the bullet. You have to stuff the cartridge farther into the die to get more roll. The die is designed for standard bullet diameter. I am getting better measurements now using COWBOY die sets, RCBS definitely the better among them.
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Old June 8, 2014, 06:25 PM   #38
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Those bullets are sure rough looking.
The cast bullets from some of the other sources look like jewelry by comparison.
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Old June 8, 2014, 08:20 PM   #39
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what I've been doing is roughly sorting them and then carefully seating/crimping each one at the crimp groove, but what a pain.
Bellguy, I wouldn't do this ^^.

Besides it being a pain - as you've surmised; it's also going to give you inconsistent pressures. I doubt there's a safety concern (unless you're loading them extraordinarily hot); but the velocities will vary. Might I recommend setting your die to the most common ones you have and just load away with all of them. Sometimes we loaders need to catch ourselves from falling into a big pile of minutiae. This is one of those times. We're not building space shuttles here.

On a side note: it's interesting that three posters have made the same observation of their Speer lead SWC's. And mine all seem fine. I'll take another look.

Quote:
Those bullets are sure rough looking. The cast bullets from some of the other sources look like jewelry by comparison.
Yep, that's Speer swaged lead. They've always looked like that - for the 30 years I've been loading them anyway. I'm guessing it has to with the swaging. Either that, or the application of their unique lubricant - which completely coats the bullet - not just the grooves.
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Old June 8, 2014, 09:03 PM   #40
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Thanks for the advice, Nick. So there shouldn't be a problem roll crimping them where there is no cannelure?

Regarding "unless they're extraordinarily hot," I'm loading them at the high end of Speer's manual data for standard .38 Special (non-plus P) and shooting them in an LCR .357 Mag.
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Old June 8, 2014, 09:37 PM   #41
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Sounds like your load recipe is fine. LCR's aren't the most robust, but they're still plenty well made and sturdy. I'm sure you have lots of pressure headroom to spare.

Missing the cannelure on the crimp isn't ideal, but it'll work well enough.
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Old June 9, 2014, 07:19 AM   #42
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I loaded 200 rounds before seeing bellguys post and realizing there was an issue. I ran 50 rounds of varying charges over the chrono yesterday (25 with "heavy" crimp and 25 with a "light" crimp). As expected the heavy crimp rounds were all over the place with ES well over 100 till I got up into +P range and they actually came out pretty good, easily better than the best ES numbers using a light crimp, also making the highest average velocity as well.
Crimping out of the groove may have contributed to such high ES but I'm so new to this that I really would'nt know.
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Old June 9, 2014, 11:22 PM   #43
Nick_C_S
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Crimping out of the groove may have contributed to such high ES but I'm so new to this that I really wouldn't know.
Mmm, could be.

I'm curious what powder you were using. You mentioned that ES seem to improve when you got into the +P range. That to me sounds like the heavier powder charges moved that powder into its sweet spot were it started running good.

Your description is more consistent with using a medium to medium/slow powder; rather than a crimp issue.
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Old June 10, 2014, 08:24 PM   #44
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I was using Unique with CCI500 primers, 4.8gr gave an average velocity of 820fps (5 shot string) with an ES of 37. It was the best out of 5 different charges(4.5 - 4.9 with 4.7 max standard load and min +P) using both a hard and light crimp for each charge weight.
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