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Old August 29, 2000, 12:50 PM   #1
freedomlover
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Yet another question from the resident newbie: I just finished my first batch of target .44 Mag using the Lee carbide 3-die set and a Lee hand press, and discovered that it's impossible to put a firm taper crimp on my brass. The best I can do is a very light taper crimp. I've adjusted the die trying to get a better crimp, but I only end up seating the bullet further in the case. Am I doing something wrong? Since these are light target loads, do I even need to worry about it? These loads will be used in my Ruger Super Blackhawk and Marlin 1894S; I've already fed a few rounds in the Marlin's magazine to make sure the pressure doesn't push the bullets back inside the case. Other than that concern, should I be worried about the amount of crimp? You all have been a real help in the past, I appreciate your advice. BTW, I already did a search & didn't find the answer to my question...

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Old August 29, 2000, 01:01 PM   #2
Hutch
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FL I'm a little confused. After light taper crimp, can you take a cartridge and push the bullet further into the case by hand? If you can't take the cartridge and push the bullet in by really leaning on it against a tabletop, it's likely okay as is. I prefer roll crimping revolver cartridges, myself.

If you must crimp more, back out the bullet seating screw until there's no contact w/ the bullet, and crimp away. Once you have the desired crimp, run the ram up all the way, with the cartridge in place (against the crimping "spot") and run the bullet seating screw in until you have hard contact against the bullet. That oughta do it.
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Old August 29, 2000, 01:10 PM   #3
Hutch
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I've reread the question and I'll offer this bit of advice about adjusting the seating/crimping die.

Step one is to get the bullet seated to the correct depth with NO CRIMP YET. Back the die out of the press until a cartridge can be lifted on the ram/shellholder all the way up with no contact with the bullet seating or the crimper. Down with the ram, and start screwing down the bullet seating stem, testing the depth by running the cartgridge up to seat the bullet. You should get the bullet to the correct depth first. After this is done, back the seating plug way out and start screwing the die body into the press until you have the proper crimp. With roll crimping, it's usually 1/4 to 1/2 turn after the crimper contacts the case neck. Dunno about roll crimping. Now you have the die set to the correct depth. Now run the bullet seating screw down on a loaded round until you have hard contact with the bullet. You should now be good to go. Hope this was clear, and not too long-winded.
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Old August 29, 2000, 01:47 PM   #4
Mal H
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One thing that screams out to me is that you are using a taper crimp on .44 Mag. You should definitely be using a roll crimp only. Maybe a taper if loading light loads in .44 Spcl, but even then I would use a roll crimp. Be sure your bullets are made for .44 Mag. That is, that they have a crimping groove or cannelure.

As Hutch said, you might probably get better performance if you use a 2 stage seating/crimping process.
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Old August 29, 2000, 02:00 PM   #5
Sport45
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Call Midway and get a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Use the seating die to seat to the correct depth and remove any bell from the case mouth. The Factory Crimp Die as a last stage will crimp and size the cartridge. I've found this to work well.
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Old August 29, 2000, 08:00 PM   #6
Sgt.K
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If you follow Hutch' advice to adjust the die that should solve the problem.

The proper seating depth is the case mouth centered in the cantalure of the bullet. The proper crimp should deform the cantalures and go no further than the bottom of the cantalure channels. A magnifying glass may help. Also look at a factory cartridge. A factory cartridge can also be used to help preset the crimp. Just insert the cartridge and turn the die down, with the seating stem loose. Some adjustment may be neccessary.

Good Luck,

Sgt.K
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Old August 29, 2000, 09:37 PM   #7
BIGR
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I have always used a roll crimp die on 44's and 357's. I do have a taper crimp die for the 9 mm's and use it. I would be afraid to shoot 44 mag reloads that were only taper crimped or had very little crimp at all. I think you will be more satisfied with a roll crimp die. Good luck
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Old August 29, 2000, 09:55 PM   #8
Watchman
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You people worry way too much. Ive been using nothing but taper crimps on all of my pistol reloads and I beleive the taper crimp to be superior. First of all, the pistol dies put out by Dillion are ALL taper crimp.

I guarantee you that the taper crimp is much stronger than the roll crimp. Try to extract one sometime in a inertia type puller. You 'll have top wack it a dozen times to get it out. The roll crimp is not even in the same league.

Secondly, case lenth is critical in a roll crimper to ensure that the crimps are the same. This is not as critical in the taper crimp. I have loaded many thousands of rounds in a Dillion press and have not had one single crimp failure due to the taper crimp.
I load .44 all the time. I guarantee you that taper crimp ammo is more ACCURATE than roll crimp. We have proven this on the range many times. I know all you die hard roll crimpers may be in disbelief, but there are many people in my gun club that saw the light after some experimentation. I would not tell you this if it were not so. Try it yuoll like it !

[This message has been edited by Watchman (edited August 29, 2000).]
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Old August 30, 2000, 07:06 AM   #9
WESHOOT2
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Best answer -- Redding Profile Crimp die. Gives a nice taper and finishes with a superb symmetrical roll.

Try it, you'll like it!

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Old August 30, 2000, 12:34 PM   #10
freedomlover
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Gentlemen, thanks for the advice. Looks like I'll be investing in a Lee Factory Crimp Die very soon. I still don't know what to believe about the ongoing debate concerning roll crimping vs. taper crimping; I'm starting to think it's a matter of personal opinion. For now, I'm sticking with light loads and taper crimping--might be doing things differently when I start loading near max pressures. I'll probably be back before long with more questions! Thanks again for the help.

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Old August 30, 2000, 09:03 PM   #11
BIGR
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Watchman, I am always open to suggestions.Have you ever had any problems with the bullets working their way forward during heavy recoil in revolvers? I agree 100 % on the case lengths needing to be the same length for roll crimping.Sometimes triming brass gets old and is time consuming. I can imagine it would not be as critical when taper crimping. I guess the big key is having enough tension to hold the bullet tight.
I might try the taper crimp die in the future......Thanks for your help.......

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Old August 30, 2000, 09:57 PM   #12
Watchman
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I reload for a Colt Anaconda (amongst several other guns)and have loaded some full house deer and bear rounds. These travel at 1450 fps with a 300 grain bullet. I have never had a problem with a taper crimp. I have never had a bullet move with a taper crimp.

Consider that the taper crimp actually contacts the whole bullet about a sixteenth of an inch or so, depending on how you set it. You actually have much more case/bullet contact than you do with a roll crimp which which at best uses only the end of the case to hold the bullet.
If you have an inertia type bullet puller...try a little test. See how many whacks it takes to remove a taper crimp bullet and then try it with a roll crimp bullet. I"ll bet you a dollar that the taper crimp will take more effort.

I used to roll crimp. I remember when the taper crimps came out , no-one trusted them.I had to convince myself. I bought a Dillon 550B shortly after they came out. At that time, they started making their 3 dies sets with taper crimps.I tried them , hoping that they wouldnt move under firing. Soon after several informal tests with my associates at the gun range , I became convinced that they were better than roll crimp. It did eliminate one step in the ammo making process and that was trimming. I havent trimmed a pistol round in years , as there is no need for it. Of course I still trim my rifle rounds but I only neck tension them.

Trimming brass is a tedious and time consuming step that you can practically eliminate with the taper die. Ever get too long a case and screw up a roll crimp by collapsing the case ? Not a problem with a taper. Ever get too short a case and not have much roll crimp? Again, not a problem.

Try the taper crimp . You'll LOVE me for it. It will make your life easier.

BTW, I also load 9mm,.40,10mm and .45 acp in semi-auto pistols and have never had a problem. Add these to .38spec, .357,and .45LC ALL taper crimp.

If Dillon Precision Co.thought that roll crimps were advantageous to tapers , I'm sure they would supply all their dies with roll crimps.
I hope this helps.
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Old August 31, 2000, 07:29 AM   #13
WESHOOT2
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Uh, let me repeat myself; get a Redding Profile Crimp die.

It applies a gentle taper, and finishes with a symmetrical roll crimp (if you so desire).

It is, without question, the finest way to finish any straight-wall revolver case.

Back-to-back testing proves increased accuracy with this die.


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