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Old April 5, 2011, 05:10 PM   #1
Civil War Life
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BP shot shell crimp

I checked the search function and didn't find anything on this. My question is: I am reloading 16 ga black powder shot shells. I ordered some plastic hulls, wads etc. My problem is I can't get either a roll crimp or star crimp. The plastic keeps unfolding and the crimp won't stay put. Anyone encounter this and come up with a solution. I get a real nice star crimp, but it just keeps unfolding. Thanks.
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Old April 5, 2011, 06:13 PM   #2
bedbugbilly
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I'm not a "reloader" so can't help you out on this - I suspect though, that this is a "reloading problem" not just associated with reloading them with BP - you might want to do a search for reloading forums - in particular, shotgun shell reloading - and do a post there? Perhaps you'd get an answer on your problem - unless someone comes along here that is familiar with the problem you're experiencing? I would think there would be some on this forum who reload shotshells for CAS that could help you out though. Good luck!
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Old April 5, 2011, 06:40 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have either too much wad column, or a bit too much shot. Once you start your star crimp you must have enough room to push the crimp down about 1/16th of an inch. You need to research this, I don't remember exactly. You can get a good idea simply by looking at a factory load. Hope I didn't confuse the issue too much. Good luck.
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Old April 5, 2011, 07:00 PM   #4
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Yeah what rdstrain said. A roll crimp will take less space. How old is the gun you're loading for? What kind of roll crimper are you using?
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Old April 5, 2011, 10:42 PM   #5
Civil War Life
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Quote:
A roll crimp will take less space. How old is the gun you're loading for? What kind of roll crimper are you using?
The gun was made circa 1900 and has been checked out for shooting but has a Damascus barrel so Black Powder only. I was able to buy some ready made BP shells and they fired fine. I'll post some pictures tomorrow of what is going on. There is room to push the crimp down but it won't go. Could be because I am using an old Lee hand loader and not a press. I'm thinking of getting a press. The Lee loader does make a nice roll crimp, but it doesn't stay in place. When you see the pictures, you'll see. I was able to get some paper hulls, and they roll crimp just fine. Thing is I have all these primed plastic hulls and would like to load them. I suspect a good press will do the job.

Thanks to all who have replied. Any additional suggestions are welcome.
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Old April 5, 2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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Check out post #8 in the following thread where scrat details hand loading BP shotshells without needing to crimp:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=426241
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Old April 5, 2011, 11:00 PM   #7
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Find yourself a Lee LoadAll shotshell reloader. Check the local pawn shops and auction sites for a used cheap one; but, they're only $43.00 at Cabelas.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoot...3Bcat104568480
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Old April 6, 2011, 12:26 AM   #8
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Maybe the problem is trying to reload plastic shotshells that were previously fired with BP which considerably weakened the plastic.
The weakened plastic could be the reason why they won't hold a crimp, the BP may burn too hot to reload some types of plastic hulls.

Last edited by arcticap; April 6, 2011 at 09:43 AM.
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Old April 6, 2011, 12:36 AM   #9
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If you are using a plastic wad you can often cut the "legs" out of it leaving only the over powder (OP) portion and the shot cup. Load those separately (be sure the OP wad doesn't flip over as you insert it; it must be cup side down) and you'll have a lot more room for the crimp or more shot. Plastic wads have a cushioning effect with the collapsable center which when too compressed will cause the wad to shove out and open the crimp. Otherwise just use a shorter wad column.

I use both plastic and fiber filler wads for BP loads. I do however like to use a plastic OP wad no matter what amount of fiber & card wads I also use. The plastic OP wad gives a better gas seal in tapered cases like the Remingtons as well as the straight walled thin cases like the federals.
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Old April 6, 2011, 05:52 AM   #10
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You can get a real roll crimper that will most likely take care of your problem. I got mine several years ago off ebay.

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Old April 6, 2011, 06:05 AM   #11
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You are probably partially collapsing the collapsable legs of a plastic wad column when you crimp the shell and those partially collapsed legs act as springs relentlessly putting opening pressure on the crimp.

Use proper card and fiber wads and your problem should go away. I load a lot of BP shells to shoot in BP cartrige trap and skeet and the rules forbid plastic shot cups.
70 grains of fffg, one .135 nitro card, one 1/2 inch fiber wad, and 1&1/8 ounce shot works well in Winchester AA or Remington ST 12 gauge shotshells. I have won a few trap matches with that load.

As a matter of fact, I'm loadin' up the car right now to head for Electra, TX where the Red River Renegades Muzzle Loaders are hosting their 15th annual Shotgun Soiree. Maybe I'll win something.
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Last edited by B.L.E.; April 6, 2011 at 06:12 AM.
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Old April 6, 2011, 06:26 AM   #12
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Ballistic Products sells a roll crimping tool that you chuck into an electric drill or drill press if you want to persue roll crimping.
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Old April 6, 2011, 09:25 AM   #13
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Your problem is incorrect wad column length. You have more stuff in there than the shell can hold.
You'll have to reduce 1. Powder charge. 2 Shot charge and/or 3. Wad length
Or a combination of all three.

In my 12 I use a claybuster yellow wad, 1 oz of shot and about 35 grs of FFg.

Makes for a nice load with light recoil and enough pop to take down any knockdown.
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Old April 6, 2011, 09:29 AM   #14
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The big question is...

What hulls are you using?

I've run into hulls over the years that simply won't take a decent recrimp no matter what.
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Old April 6, 2011, 11:01 AM   #15
Civil War Life
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Quote:
Maybe the problem is trying to reload plastic shotshells that were previously fired with BP which considerably weakened the plastic.
The weakened plastic could be the reason why they won't hold a crimp, the BP may burn too hot to reload some types of plastic hulls.
Quote:
The big question is...
What hulls are you using?
I've run into hulls over the years that simply won't take a decent recrimp no matter what.
I forgot to mention that these are new FIOCCHI hulls that I bought already primed. Only plan to use them once.

Quote:
If you are using a plastic wad you can often cut the "legs" out of it leaving only the over powder (OP) portion and the shot cup. Load those separately (be sure the OP wad doesn't flip over as you insert it; it must be cup side down) and you'll have a lot more room for the crimp or more shot. Plastic wads have a cushioning effect with the collapsable center which when too compressed will cause the wad to shove out and open the crimp. Otherwise just use a shorter wad column.
Quote:
You are probably partially collapsing the collapsable legs of a plastic wad column when you crimp the shell and those partially collapsed legs act as springs relentlessly putting opening pressure on the crimp.
I am not using plastic wads with legs. I am using fiber and card wads wadsonly with a paper wad over the shot.

Quote:
Use proper card and fiber wads and your problem should go away. I load a lot of BP shells to shoot in BP cartrige trap and skeet and the rules forbid plastic shot cups.
70 grains of fffg, one .135 nitro card, one 1/2 inch fiber wad, and 1&1/8 ounce shot works well in Winchester AA or Remington ST 12 gauge shotshells. I have won a few trap matches with that load.
This is pretty close to what I am loading except mine are 16 gauge.

Quote:
Your problem is incorrect wad column length. You have more stuff in there than the shell can hold.
You'll have to reduce 1. Powder charge. 2 Shot charge and/or 3. Wad length
Or a combination of all three.
I don't think the column length is the problem. There is plenty of room for the crimp, either roll or star. The problem seems to be that it is just not holding. I will post a couple pictures tonight of the shells and you will see what is happening.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old April 6, 2011, 11:29 AM   #16
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If you are using 'NEW' primed hulls, have they been skived (had the mouth thinned)? Trying to do a star crimp on an unskived hull is next to impossible. I've had the same problem with 'NEW' STS hulls as well as some used 10 ga 3 1/2 inch hulls that I shortened to 2 3/4. A MEC Steelmaster press wouldn't even make a good crimp on an unskived hull.

Check out Ballistic Products:

http://www.ballisticproducts.com/searchprods.asp
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Old April 6, 2011, 12:32 PM   #17
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If you are using new hulls, your choices are:

Buy a roll crimper and roll crimp (cheapest way out).

Or get a press and get one of the brass skiviers and put on the press. A Mec 600 Jr will work just fine, but if you don't want to invest that much money, go with the roll crimps.
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Old April 6, 2011, 03:01 PM   #18
Civil War Life
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Quote:
If you are using 'NEW' primed hulls, have they been skived (had the mouth thinned)? Trying to do a star crimp on an unskived hull is next to impossible. I've had the same problem with 'NEW' STS hulls as well as some used 10 ga 3 1/2 inch hulls that I shortened to 2 3/4. A MEC Steelmaster press wouldn't even make a good crimp on an unskived hull.
I took a look at the tools and I think the roll crimp tool may solve my problem.

I will order a skive and roll crimp tool tonight. When I try it I'll get back with a report.

Thanks again to all who have been so kind to offer valuable suggestions.
Terry
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Old April 6, 2011, 03:29 PM   #19
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I highly recommend getting an original roll crimping tool if you can find one. I haven't tried the modern crimp tools but Ive heard the originals produce a better crimp and I know the one I own crimps shells perfectly.
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Old April 6, 2011, 04:26 PM   #20
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Some on ebay. http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trk...All-Categories OOPS, no 16's tho. Some of those old crimpers will roll a shell all the way down to the brass.
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Old April 6, 2011, 05:30 PM   #21
Civil War Life
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Quote:
I highly recommend getting an original roll crimping tool if you can find one. I haven't tried the modern crimp tools but Ive heard the originals produce a better crimp and I know the one I own crimps shells perfectly.
I agree completely. I have been trying to find one of these for 16 gauge for a couple years. Check ebay on and off but have not had any luck. Even if I get the new roll crimper, I'll still try to find one if only because they are very cool and I like old stuff like that. I'll keep looking. Thanks
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Old April 6, 2011, 06:02 PM   #22
Civil War Life
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OK for all of those of you who have been following this thread and have been very helpful and not called me an idiot here is a photo of my lousy crimps. With the roll crimps, when they come out of my Lee loader, they look fine, but within seconds the start to unroll and look like this. There is plenty of room in the hull for all the powder, wads and shot.

I am pretty sure the hulls have been skived because there is a definite bevel on the inside of the hull mouth. I'm going to try the modern roll crimper that was suggested while I look for an old original one. got to be better than this. Again thanks to all of you for your help and suggestions.

Terry

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Old April 6, 2011, 06:42 PM   #23
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I chuck my modern roll crimper in a drill press and it works great. It helps to set the brass base of the shell onto a rough surface like fine sandpaper glued to a piece of wood to keep the entire hull from rotating during crimping. I've also chucked it into a hand crank drill and an electric drill and it still works OK if you find a way to hold the shell still for the crimping process. I got my roll crimper from Ballistics Products. Works great.
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Old April 6, 2011, 08:32 PM   #24
Civil War Life
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I just ordered a roll crimper from Ballistics Products. I plan to make a shell holder similar to the one they sell that will mount in my drill press so I can do them. I think this will solve my crimping problem. I'll post pictures of how they come out.

This has really been a helpful thread for me. Thanks to all who generously gave of their advice. Can't wait to get out to the range and see how this old 16 gauge double handles clays.

Terry

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