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Old January 13, 2008, 08:30 PM   #1
tcarroll
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To Crimp Or Not? Pistol Loads

Just started reloading,loaded a few 38 special rounds and shot them today at the range.Loaded 125 grain TMJ's at 5.1 grain.Only shot two of them though out of a 38 special 2 inch barrel.Had a little problem with 8 of the rounds,me like a dummy put to much of a bell in them and they wouldnt go into the cylinder.Corrected that problem when i got home.Now the question i have is do you need to crimp pistol loads?Kinda scary pulling that trigger on the first round though.
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Old January 13, 2008, 08:44 PM   #2
Glennster
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I've loaded 45 ACP and .357 Mag, I crimped both. It seems to me that it would be a '' MUST DO '' , for two reasons.
1. to push the bell back in(as you found out).
2. I think the crimp is needed to get the mouth of the case turned in just a hair so the edge of the case mouth is not catching things as you load.

I'm not an expert, but I thought I'd pitch in. You ought to see what some of the more experienced loaders have to say.
Good luck loading!!!
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Old January 13, 2008, 08:56 PM   #3
Linear Thinker
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You should crimp all handgun ammunition, and must crimp some of them.
The magnums will produce inconsistent performance unless a heavy crimp is used.
You should use taper crimp for cartridges that headspace on the mouth, and roll crimp for those that headspace on the rim.

I like .002 crimp for 45ACP, 9mm etc.
Lee FCD takes a lot of guesswork out of crimping, the best $10 or so you will spend. I also use Redding roll-crimp dies for the magnums.
LT

P.S. TC - You did not mention the powder for your 38Spec load. 5.1 grains sounds like a heavy load for most powders.
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Old January 13, 2008, 09:40 PM   #4
tcarroll
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To Crimp Or not To crimp Pistol Loads

Thank's for the info,i am using an Hornady Classic Lock N loAD lock n load single stage press.I guess i need to play with it to get the proper crimp setting on it.I think that it seats and crimps the bullet with only one die.
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Old January 13, 2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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Revolvers are good at making bullets back out if you don't crimp the bullet. Always crimp revolver loads. A bullet backing out can lock up your cylinder.
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Old January 13, 2008, 11:15 PM   #6
cdrt
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Quote:
Always crimp revolver loads
I guess it all depends on what you mean by "crimp". For my .45 ACP loads, I taper crimp them so they measure .472 across the case mouth. They function like they should in my Bullseye guns and I can shoot them in my S&W Model 25-2 without half moon or full moon clips since they headspace on the case mouth.

The same goes for my .38 Special loads since I'm using a 148 grain HBWC for both my K-38 and Clark 1911 conversion. They feed just fine with the taper crimp; no roll on either the 38s or 45s.

Now, for the loads in my Model 629 with jacketed bullets, I do use a roll crimp to ensure that the bullets don't back out from the recoil.
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Old January 14, 2008, 03:03 AM   #7
Dlr8
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always trim or make sure your cases are the same length before crimping, 45 acp no roll crimp or a very very light one... better off with a taper crimp. the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth. I really like the lee factory crimp die for autos....
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Old January 14, 2008, 03:06 PM   #8
jhansman
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+1 on the Lee Factory Crimp Die. It does a final resize on the case (critical for .45ACP in my 1911) while applying just enough crimp to keep the bullet in place.
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Old January 14, 2008, 06:33 PM   #9
Sevens
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Quote:
Revolvers are good at making bullets back out if you don't crimp the bullet. Always crimp revolver loads. A bullet backing out can lock up your cylinder.
Just to expand on that thought, this happens when you a fire a heavy load with recoil-- the one you pull the trigger on works great, but the recoils pulls the other rounds in the other cylinders out a bit.

Also worth mentioning another big, BIG reason to crimp-- when shooting a semi-automatic, a solid crimp prevents a bullet from getting pushed further in to the case by accident by a feeding pistol. (also valid on a tube magazine fed rifle) A bullet getting pushed down in to a case can raise pressures exponentially.
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Old January 14, 2008, 07:18 PM   #10
AKGunner
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Here's good reason to crimp on the big bore revolver cartridges. Talked with a fellow this weekend whose friend didn't crimp his 454 casull properly. When fishing on a small stream he was charged by a brown bear. The first round went into the animal's shoulder and the second never went off because the bullet jumped forward and jammed the cylinder. The bear took off into the brush and was not seen again.

He later figured out he messed up the crimp. Actually I'd never carry my own reloads for self defense against critters or other dangers. I know I could mess them up and am will to pay the 35-40 bucks to get a small box of factory ammo.

I just started reloading for my s&w 500. I seated the bullets too deep on the first 20 of my reloads. One jumped forward on a relatively lite load. After fixing the crimp this weekend all went off without a hitch.

Crimp? Yes.

I'm also in favor of the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I use it when I load for 45 acp and love it.

Last edited by AKGunner; January 16, 2008 at 12:41 PM.
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Old January 14, 2008, 09:14 PM   #11
tcarroll
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To Crimp Or Not To Crimp

I ordered the Lee Factory Crimp Die for the 38.

I am using Unique Powder

In the Loadbook USA it calls for 5.7 grains for the TMJ 125 grain bullet.

I am using Berry's Bullets also.

Thank's for all the replies,learning a lot of good info on here.
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Old January 15, 2008, 08:37 AM   #12
WESHOOT2
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crimp will NOT secure a bullet

Bullets rely on case neck tension to secure them; crimps on 'revolver' cartridges (best = Redding Profile Crimp Die) can aid in the release timing of the bullet, but will not secure it.

In autoloading cartridges crimp removes the flare, and case neck tension secures the bullet.
I found that the surest method of PREVENTING setback is to use a powder charge that does not allow room for the bullet to be pushed back.

Not guessing about this; I've crimped the tops off of bullets (and I have some 357 Maximum cartridges someone sent me; mechanical removal of bullet required-- musta been glued in; absolutely unreal)........modifying the amount of crimp is my recommended final tweaking of already-successful ammo.

"Crimp; the Final Frontier"

Most highly recommend seating with one die and crimping with another......
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Old January 15, 2008, 09:21 AM   #13
Alleykat
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Quote:
always trim or make sure your cases are the same length before crimping, 45 acp no roll crimp or a very very light one... better off with a taper crimp. the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth. I really like the lee factory crimp die for autos....
Anybody wasting time trimming straightwall pistol brass needs a few reloading lessons!
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Old January 15, 2008, 09:44 AM   #14
Sarge
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I crimp everything.

I built and used hot 296 loads with 300-325 grain lead bullets for the .44 mag for several years; used them a 4" Model 29. New Starline cases, turned-down expander. There's no way those bullets would stay put in that revolver without a serious crimp. The 6th round in the cylinder would creep. I saw the exact same thing with heavy 325's in the .45 Colt, when fired from the 5 1/2" Blackhawk.

For the loads mentioned in the paragraph above, I eventually went to a two-stage crimping operation, using a Lee FCD and finishing with a 'bump' into an RCBS roll crimp die. The crimp made the difference; the slugs stayed put after that.

Talk to Buffalo Bore, Garrett, Corbon or any purveyor of heavy hunting loads. Ask them if they run a heavy crimp on their loads.
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Old January 15, 2008, 10:06 AM   #15
Dlr8
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Quote:
Anybody wasting time trimming straightwall pistol brass needs a few reloading lessons!
I stand by what I say .. anyone using a roll crimp, esp a heavy one on revolver cartriges should trim .. If not, you don't get a uniform crimp and if the die is adjusted to a short case, then pressures will be high on a case that might be longer due to a very heavy crimp.. if it is adjusted on a long case, a short one might get no crimp at all
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Old January 15, 2008, 02:44 PM   #16
AlaskaMike
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Quote:
I stand by what I say .. anyone using a roll crimp, esp a heavy one on revolver cartriges should trim .. If not, you don't get a uniform crimp and if the die is adjusted to a short case, then pressures will be high on a case that might be longer due to a very heavy crimp.. if it is adjusted on a long case, a short one might get no crimp at all
You're absolutely right, but I think it depends on what you're trying to do--for my plinking ammo it just doesn't make enough difference, but if I were trying for the utmost in accuracy then it certainly would be something I'd do.

Mike
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Old January 16, 2008, 11:58 AM   #17
Alleykat
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He's right, relative to roll-crimping, which was only a subset of the "trim all brass" post that he made. Of course, you don't trim pistol brass...it shrinks.
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Old January 16, 2008, 01:12 PM   #18
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I would slightly modify the statement concerning taper crimp versus roll-crimp. You should taper crimp for any of the following conditions:

- The cartridge headspaces off the case
- When using electroplated (not the same thing as jacketed) lead bullets such as Rainier or Berry bullets. A roll crimp risks cutting through the electroplating and they you will likely get plating separation when fired (electroplating from the crimp on down will be on the ground somewhere in front of you). Worse yet, the separated plating will lodge in the barrel and obstruct the next round that you shoot, causing all kinds of havoc of course. Guns have been destroyed by doing this.
- Whenever the loading manual specifies a taper crimp for the round that you are using, or whenever the bullet manufacturer specifies a taper crimp for the bullet that you've selected.

You should use a roll-crimp for the following:

- Jacketed bullets with a cannelure groove
- Lead bullets
- Whenever the loading manual specifies it for the round you are loading or the bullet manufacturer specifies it for the bullet you are loading.
- In general for magnum or high-recoil loads (which rules out those electroplated bullets for high-recoil and magnum loads BTW)
- In general for rimmed cartridges that headspace off the cartridge rim

I think that covers it... There may be exceptions for some light-load rounds and roll crimps, i.e. OK to use a taper crimp.

Brian
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Old January 16, 2008, 07:04 PM   #19
tcarroll
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To Crimp or Not to Crimp

I want to thank all yall for your input on this,as i am new to reloading and i am in the learning process.I do have another question on the Lee Factory Crimp die,does it put a tapered or a rolled crimp on the case?Thank's Again guys yall are a big help to this rookie reloader
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Old January 16, 2008, 11:25 PM   #20
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The Lee factory crimp die either does a taper or roll crimp depending on what your crimping some calibers can be had in either a taper or roll crimp. I'm not saying a single die can do both but that dies can be bought in both style crimps. I don't have a catalog handy but I have bought a 45ACP in taper and a 38 SPL in roll. Rifle FCD taper crimp as far as I know.
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Old January 17, 2008, 12:28 AM   #21
Sevens
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The Lee Factory Crimp die is different than either roll or taper crimping. What this die does is squeeze the round and put a factory-like ring around the case for a crimp not at the case mouth, and not in the taper style. Probably for this reason alone, other manufacturer's don't make one of these dies and don't wish to. They believe it's neither natural nor productive to ring brass outside of the factory, especially if you do it to the extent that it deforms bullets.

For my buck, I don't have one and haven't used one. I can tell you that if I did have one and it otherwise made my handloads feed more reliably, I'm sure that I would love it. But I haven't had any trouble with the regular seating/roll crimp die in .45, and even though I also own a taper crimp die in .45, I haven't found the need to use it. Could be that my pistol just eats up my ammo.

I've just started handloading for 9mm and I haven't taken my first trials to the range yet. If I find myself with feeding issues, I may explore a separate taper crimp or even the Lee FCD to help me. But until I have that problem, I don't see why I need to add a FCD to my bench.
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Old January 17, 2008, 12:30 AM   #22
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Oops, I forgot to add that I've also never had any feeding issues with any of my 10mm ammo either. I use the standard Lee carbide 3-die set. I don't have a separate taper crimp die, and I don't own a FCD die in any caliber, and my ammo feeds -- and that makes me a happy guy!
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Old January 17, 2008, 12:40 AM   #23
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Buy a book!

Hi Tcarrol,
Hey, I'm not trying to be a smarta$$ but if you have to ask this kind of question you should probably buy a reloading handbook of some kind.
I don't see where anyone gave you any bad info but how would you know if they did?
You have a couple of guys offering a different opinion on something here. Which one is right?
You will use a good book for years to come and learn a lot about reloading.
It might even keep you from blowing yourself up or wrecking a nice gun.
Good luck
Mike
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Old January 17, 2008, 02:17 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alleykat
Of course, you don't trim pistol brass...it shrinks.
Not all of it does. Growth is caused when the firing pin pushes the case forward and then, when it fires, there is enough pressure to stick the case wall to the chamber wall against the pressure pushing back on the casehead. The result is the pressure ring area stretches so the casehead can get back against the breech. A sort of rule of thumb I've seen is that this phenomenon starts to show up in cartridges loaded to peak pressures of around 25,000-30,000 PSI and up. The actual number will vary with the chambering. I've seen .38 Super cases grow, for example.

Target loads and lower pressure cartridges tend to shrink because the whole cartridge is pushed rearward when pressure is too low to stick it to the chamber wall. At the same time it backs up it expands to plug the gas leak the rear of the chamber would otherwise be. That makes it fatter and shorter. When you go to resize it, the brass is moved rearward as well as inward, causing the loss. I once tracked 1000 W-W .45 ACP cases through 50 reloadings with 3.8 grains of bullseye under a cast 185 grain bullet. A light load. The cases lost an average of half a thousandth per reloading, and were 0.025" shorter when I retired them.
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Old January 17, 2008, 09:27 AM   #25
WESHOOT2
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yep

Kinda.

I have loaded:

9x19
9x21
38 Special
38 Super
357 Magnum
40 S&W
400 CorBon
10mm
41 AE
41 Magnum
44 Special
44 Magnum
45 ACP
45 Colt
475 Wildey Magnum

Am I forgetting any?
Oh yeah, some 270 Winchester......
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