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Old December 21, 2006, 12:25 PM   #1
dogfood
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.30-06 Garand loads ... crimp or no?

I've been reloading for many years, but this is my first venture into reloading for an auto rifle. I have never crimped my .30-06 loads for the 03A3 Springfield, and never had any problems. But given the additional cycling abuse the round will take in the Garand, I am concerned over bullet setback (i.e. getting pushed into the case).

I'll be using a standard M2-style flat base 150 gr. bullet. Does anyone have any experience reloading this bullet in the Garand ... and do you crimp or not?

Thanks,
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Old December 21, 2006, 01:09 PM   #2
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I don't crimp for it and I haven't seen any problems like that. Your results might differ though. Load some without crimping. Shoot a couple from your gun, take out the rest and compare OAL to see if it has changed. That should tell you all you need to know.
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Old December 21, 2006, 02:41 PM   #3
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If you dont crimp you are making a huge mistake that can affect your safety.

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Old December 21, 2006, 04:19 PM   #4
Steve in PA
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Don't crimp. Accuracy is just fine.

I don't crimp for my hunting .30/06, 8mm Mauser, actually I don't crimp for any rifle bullet.
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Old December 21, 2006, 04:52 PM   #5
Wildalaska
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Steve I dont crimp for bolt rifles either...this is a Garand!

OK let me make it clearer...not crimping on a semi auto rifle such as a Garand or an M1A is hazardous, and an irresponsible reloading practice.

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Old December 21, 2006, 05:02 PM   #6
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I gotta side with WA on this one. At the very least, it wont hurt and in the extreme it may save a visit from Mr. Murphy. A moderate crimp would allow some peace of mind.
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Old December 21, 2006, 10:31 PM   #7
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I always crimp rounds that I'm going to use in an autoloader. Ask Lee Precision....
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Old December 22, 2006, 12:32 PM   #8
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Lee Precision does a lot of business selling various crimp dies. I wonder what their response will be?

Virtually none of the hard guns that shoot service rifle in competition crimp.

Chamber a dummy round. If your bullet moves by more than a three or four thousandths, then remove your sizing die, send it back to the manufacturer and have them fix the oversized expander ball.
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Old December 22, 2006, 05:39 PM   #9
Steve in PA
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Not crimping on an M1 or M1A is not hazardous. Neck tension is plenty to hold the bullet.

I've been reloading for my M1 for over two years and have shot thousands of handloaded rounds through it. No bullet setback, etc......which could lead to over pressure problems.

I also don't crimp for my AR either. No problems there.

As far as irresponsible......I'll refrain from what I was planning on saying.

I guess match ammo that isn't crimped is a danger to shoot??
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Old December 22, 2006, 05:53 PM   #10
Wildalaska
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I'll refrain from what I was planning on saying.
No please, say it. Go ahead...encourage irresponsible practices...

You crimp for autoloaders, reloading 101...just because some folks dont doesnt make it right

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Old December 23, 2006, 02:05 AM   #11
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No please, say it. Go ahead...encourage irresponsible practices...
Irresponsible??? Says YOU! Not many others do it, but you say it's dangerous so it must be so?

IF your sizeing die is made right, meaning the neck is sized down far enough and the expander is NOT oversized, then the bullet-pull will be enough to overcome set-back caused by the bullet impacting the feed ramp in the chamber. The Garand enblock clip holds the shells firmly until the bolt strips the shell from the clip. There's no danger of the bullets hitting anything until it's chambered.
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Old December 23, 2006, 03:00 AM   #12
Wildalaska
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IF your sizeing die is made right, meaning the neck is sized down far enough and the expander is NOT oversized,

If, if, if. I have more if you need them

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Old December 23, 2006, 04:13 AM   #13
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If, if, if. I have more if you need them
I'll give you one, if NOT, then find out why and fix it! Refereing to lack of bullet pull caused by either an oversized expander ball or oversize FL dies.

Instead mr wildalaska crimps the heck out of everything instead of fixing loose bullets!
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Old December 23, 2006, 12:14 PM   #14
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I will say that I had to crimp my 30-06 loads for a short time because the bullets were wiggling around in the case neck. Once I got the sizing die back from the manufacturer (Lee), I had no more issues and good solid neck tension.
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Old December 23, 2006, 08:47 PM   #15
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Gee, folks, I wasn't trying to start a fight ... I simply wanted to get this whole project started off on the right foot.

Suffice it to say that, at least in some cases, it must be OK to not crimp in the Garand. Several bullet manufacturers (Hornady, Sierra, etc.) have .30 cal. match bullets, 168 gr. or so, that they recommend for the Garand. And since these bullets don't have crimp grooves, I assume they are not intended to be crimped.

But, quite obviously, neck tension is critical (as pointed out earlier), and I have found in both revolver and bolt-action rifle rounds that all the crimp in the world won't overcome poor neck tension.

So, is there a good (reliable, somewhat scientific) method for determining if you have enough neck tension?

Thanks,
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Old December 23, 2006, 09:09 PM   #16
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my 2 cents worth

Many year ago I was firing an NRA Highpower match and firing uncrimped bullets. During the rapid fire stage I took too much time and failed to get off the last round when the targets went down. I had difficulty opening the weapon, and to my amazement an empty shell ejected along with unburnted powder. The bullet lodged itself into the rifleing due to the inertia. The M1 Garand is an excellant semi auto weapon. This rifle was designed to function properly with 30 Caliber rounds that were not only crimped, but sealed with an almost glue substance. Also, US Military cases have thicker brass than commercial brass, creating a tighter grip on the bullet as well. Chances are if you do not crimp your rounds, no any problems will occur, however, an uncrimped bullet is more inclined to bend on it's way into the chamber creating a very inaccurate round. I use a "factory" crimp on all of my round fired out of semi-auto rifles. It also decreased the group size compared to the taper crimps I used as well as the no crimped rounds.
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Old December 23, 2006, 09:41 PM   #17
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As a High Power shooter who shoots a number of reloaded 308 and '06 in M-1 Garands every year, let me say this. If I'm shooting a bullet with a crimp groove, I crimp it. But since 99% of the ammo I load is using match bullets which don't have a crimp groove, I don't crimp. I have never had a problem as neck tension holds the bullet quite well, thank you.

I must admit since getting my WOP AR, I load less 308.....but the rifle still gets shot once in awhile just to remind me of the why for the AR. (no recoil)

I also enjoy the heck out of John C. Garand matches. Some have ammo you have to buy, others let you use the reloads. Find a JCG match and have a blast as they are a real hoot.

I would be more worried about using Federal primers in a Garand.
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Old December 23, 2006, 11:15 PM   #18
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Gee, folks, I wasn't trying to start a fight ... I simply wanted to get this whole project started off on the right foot.

Suffice it to say that, at least in some cases, it must be OK to not crimp in the Garand. Several bullet manufacturers (Hornady, Sierra, etc.) have .30 cal. match bullets, 168 gr. or so, that they recommend for the Garand. And since these bullets don't have crimp grooves, I assume they are not intended to be crimped.

But, quite obviously, neck tension is critical (as pointed out earlier), and I have found in both revolver and bolt-action rifle rounds that all the crimp in the world won't overcome poor neck tension.

So, is there a good (reliable, somewhat scientific) method for determining if you have enough neck tension?
DF, you didn't start any fights, it's just when someone comes on, makes a blanket statement that a common practice is dangerous, we have to make it clear it's not set in concrete.

That said, lee makes what is called the Factory Crimp Die, or FCD. In bottle neck cases it is a collet type die, in that it forces the extreme front edge of the neck sideways into a bullet. It matters not if there's a crimp grove. It can crimp even when there's no cannelure. Some say crimping in this manner deforms the bullet, causing eratic accuracy. Others have done a lot of testing to determine it CAN result in better accuracy.

Wanna talk about fights concerning reloading issues? Speer has run adds in shooting mags saying the lee FCD will deform their bullets so badly they won't shoot straight. They warned us NOT to use the FCD on their bullets. Lee counters with the statement then don't buy Speer bullets if they're so fragile!

Bottom line is; if it makes you feel better, then crimp away! But using a crimp to solve a die related problem, causing a low neck tension, is not the way to go.

As for your last ? I don't know of any tool for measuring neck tension. Other than precise measurement of bullet to case neck dimentions. I suppose there's some way you could rig a scale to measure pressure needed to seat a bullet, that could be calibrated to pounds or some other unit of measurement. Somebody get busy and make such a tool, market it, I'll buy one or two!
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Old December 24, 2006, 06:14 PM   #19
Wildalaska
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Instead mr wildalaska crimps the heck out of everything instead of fixing loose bullets!
No Mr WA only crimps for semi autos. Mr WA doesnt use a Lee crimp,he uses the lighest crim he can get away with to ensure SAFE functioning. Mr WA knows some competitors who dont crimp, Mr.WA knows they are advanced loaders who have the expertise to make a dangerous practice less dangerous.

Mr. WA has been handloading off and on for 35 years. Mr WA again says it is a bad reloading practice not to crimp for autoloaders, you do what you want. This debate is reason number one while I wont even use the reloads we get in the shop as test ammo.

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Old December 25, 2006, 01:52 AM   #20
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Here's a informative article on reloading for semi-autos. Personally I crimp for auto-loaders IF the bullet has a crimp groove.
http://www.exteriorballistics.com/re...sgunreload.cfm
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Old December 25, 2006, 02:41 PM   #21
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This is from the link supplied by rg1.



Neck Tension

"When we stop to consider the vigorous (read, downright violent) chambering cycle a loaded round endures in a Service Rifle, it becomes pretty clear it suffers abuse that would never happen in a bolt-action. This is simply the nature of the beast. It needs to be dealt with since there is no way around it.

There are two distinctly different forces that need to be considered: those that force the bullet deeper into the case, and those that pull it out of the case. When the round is stripped from the magazine and launched up the feed ramp, any resistance encountered by the bullet risks having it set back deeper into the case. Due to the abrupt stop the cartridge makes when the shoulder slams to a halt against the chamber, inertia dictates that the bullet will continue to move forward. This is exactly the same principle a kinetic bullet puller operates on, and it works within a chamber as well. Some years ago, we decided to examine this phenomenon more closely. During tests here at Sierra’s range, we chambered a variety of factory Match ammunition in an AR-15 rifle. This ammunition was from one of the most popular brands in use today, loaded with Sierra’s 69 grain MatchKing bullet. To conduct the test, we chambered individual rounds by inserting them into the magazines and manually releasing the bolt. We then repeated the tests by loading two rounds into the magazine, chambering and firing the first, and then extracting and measuring the second round. This eliminated any potential variation caused by the difference between a bolt that had been released from an open position (first round in the magazine) and those subsequent rounds that were chambered by the normal semi-automatic operation of the rifle. Measuring the rounds before chambering and then re-measuring after they were carefully extracted resulted in an average increase of three thousandths (0.003") of forward bullet movement. Some individual rounds showed up to seven thousandths (0.007") movement. Please bear in mind that these results were with factory ammunition, normally having a higher bullet pull than handloaded ammunition.

To counteract this tendency, the semi-auto shooter is left with basically two options: applying a crimp or increasing neck tension. The first option, crimping, brings up some other issues that can be troublesome. In general, crimping degrades accuracy. Most match bullets are not cannelured (which also seriously damages accuracy potential), a requirement for correct application of most crimps. Still, there are taper crimp dies available from most of the major manufacturers. Lee offers their “Factory Crimp” die as an alternative, which seems to be one of the better options for those bullets without a cannelure. That having been said, crimping is still, at best, an occasionally necessary evil. Avoid it if at all possible.

The other—and in our opinion, better—option is increased neck tension. This, in turn, leaves us with two more options depending on what type of equipment you’re using. The object of either is simply a tighter grip on the bullet. Using conventional sizing dies, (i.e., those utilizing an expander ball) this is accomplished by reducing the diameter of the ball itself. This can be done by chucking the expander/decapping rod into a drill and turning it down slightly with fine emery cloth or a stone. The goal here is to decrease the diameter two or three thousandths (0.002" to 0.003") under bullet diameter. This is a trial and error process, and must be done slowly. The end result is an expander ball that opens the case neck up somewhat less than the as-issued item. This, in turn, increases the grip of the case neck on the seated bullet.

A better alternative to achieve the same effect is the use of a bushing die, such as those from Redding Reloading. This is by far the best solution, not just for Service Rifles, but for a broad range of reloading applications. The basis for this system is a fairly conventional sizing die, at least where the body and shoulder of the case is concerned. In the neck area, however, the die is fitted with a removable bushing. Available in .001" increments (as measured at the inside diameter of the bushing), they can be matched with a specific batch of brass to provide optimum neck tension. This tension can be increased or decreased by simply moving up or down in bushing size. The one drawback to this system, if it can be called a drawback, is the absolute necessity of sorting cases and loading them in batches. This, of course, is how virtually all loading should be done anyway. "

Bold text is my addition. it pretty much agrees with what I've been saying, control neck tension by altering your die,(expander button), or send them in to the manufacturer to have them altered.

Or as stated, get and use the redding bushing die.
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Old December 26, 2006, 12:38 AM   #22
Steve in PA
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Here is a pic of Greek surplus ammo purchased from CMP. Not the best pic, but you can tell the bullets are not crimped.

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Old December 26, 2006, 12:41 AM   #23
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Old December 26, 2006, 10:33 AM   #24
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I shoot thousands of rounds a year in the autos. Our club has weekly Garand, and XTC matches which I use the AR. I have never crimped, and don't know of anyone that shoots competitively that does. all facets of reloading is a very precision task, if (there is that word again) you have defective equipment like a resizing die that won't hold the bullet, by all means replace it, don't ruin all the accuracy you are striving for by crimping.
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Old December 31, 2006, 01:24 PM   #25
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Autoloader? crimp!

Crimp bullets for autoloaders. It may not be absolutely necessary, but what do you lose? If the crimp affects accuracy, you arn't doing it right. Some autoloaders have a very violent action, and neck tension alone might not always be enough.

GI bullets have a cannelure, for crimping. Why do you think that is?

And even if you find military ammo that is not crimped, I bet you will find the bullet sealed into the case mouth with a sealant (usually asphaltum gum), just as you will find the primers sealed with a lacquer compound.

Properly crimped rounds are your best bet when Murphy pays a visit to your rifle during the feeding cycle.

Small caliber rounds may not need it, but I would do it anyway. Any magazine rifle can damage rounds during recoil and the feeding cycle. It isn't generally seen on small caliber/low recoil rounds, but as size and recoil go up it becomes more frequent. Don't crimp the rounds in a .458 Win Mag bolt gun, and you are going to have problems. Don't crimp for an M1 and you are borrowing trouble. You might not get it, but if you do, and if it could have been avoided simply by crimping, aren't you going to feel stupid?
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