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Old March 9, 2012, 08:01 PM   #1
Sbowling79
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Hornady dies and crimping

I reloaded my first batch yesterday. I used my lee single stage press. The only dies I could find locally were Hornady. Everything went smooth up to the bullet seating. I am confused by the instructions. It tells you how to set up the die for bullet seating then tells you how to set up for crimp. Does the die seat and crimp at the same time? Or do you seat then adjust the die and crimp. I have a Lee and a Lyman manual and can't find an answer there. watched some setup vids on youtube but that just confused me more. I had 80 cases charged so I just went ahead and seated them all. It is a .38 I used a XTP 158 grain bullet and 3.5 grains of titegroup. Do I even need a crimp for that?
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Old March 9, 2012, 08:05 PM   #2
ScottRiqui
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You're correct - the die both seats and crimps at the same time. I haven't used the Hornady dies, but I suspect that there's an adjustment knob on the top that sets the bullet seating depth, and you adjust the crimp by screwing the die further into or out of the press. As such, you don't have to re-adjust the die once it's installed and set the way you like it.
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Old March 9, 2012, 08:36 PM   #3
jimbob86
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I started with a Lee press and Hornady dies....

Quote:
Does the die seat and crimp at the same time? Or do you seat then adjust the die and crimp.
Either way.....

I have had best resuslts when I seat and crimp in a spearate operations, and now I use a Lee Factory Crimp die to do most all my crimping now.....

With 30/30 cases, in particular, I had more than a few buckled shoulders when I tried to seat and crimp in a single operation. YMMV.

There is some debate about whether or not to crimp at all or not..... I always do, as most of my rounds are hunting ammo, or practice for hunting ammo .....

-It has been my experience that I get smaller SD (and group size) when I aply a good crimp. Consistancy is important.

- Hunting ammo may get chambered from the magazine several times- I want that bullet right where it was when I seated it. I crimp. Others say this is a waste and neck tesion will keep that bullet there ..... fine. I'll crimp mine because it works for me.
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Old March 9, 2012, 09:01 PM   #4
Sbowling79
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So I can crimp them now after they have all been seated? I was reading that a crimp was important in a revolver because the recoil could knock the bullet loose in the other cartridges. I loaded these to the lightest spec so I don't think there is enough recoil for that to happen but I certainly wouldn't want it to. Hoping to get to the range tomorrow and empty these out.

They really look like they are seated to high by looking at the ring in the bullet but they are all dead on 1.550. I will see if I can get a picture up on here. They just dont look right to me.
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Old March 9, 2012, 09:13 PM   #5
jimbob86
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Quote:
So I can crimp them now after they have all been seated?
Yes, just make sure you back the seating stem out a bit, as when you screw the die in to achieve the crimp, the seating depth is made deeper..... and pushing a crimped bullet deeper ...... it's not meant to work that way, I think....
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Old March 9, 2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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Sorry, almost forgot...

Quote:
I reloaded my first batch yesterday.
Welcome to the wonderful world of rollin' yer own!
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Old March 9, 2012, 09:31 PM   #7
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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Setting up a seating crimping die in a typical 3 die set is pretty much a three step process.

If needed, I'll gladly walk you through it step by step. Just send me a "PM" and I'll work it out with you.

There are those that feel it is better to seat and crimp in seperate steps.

However, over the years I have found that with properly set dies, and providing your brass does not veary greatly in length, seating and crimping works just fine.

Brass length in a handgun has NEVER been an issue for me.

I have some extra crimping dies which seem to help with semi-autos, but I also have other "extra" crimping dies that just set there and were wasted money.

Nope, set your seating/crimping die correctly and more then likely it will do ya just fine!

Keep em coming!

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Old March 9, 2012, 09:31 PM   #8
Sbowling79
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As you can see in the pic it is seated to the correct depth but the ring in the bullet just makes it look funny to me. I have it next to a federal factory made cartridge. It is just a few thousands deeper.

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Old March 9, 2012, 10:10 PM   #9
mrawesome22
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You need to seat them until the mouth is lined up with the center of the cannular (crimp groove).

Just keep turning the knob on top down until they are seated to the correct depth.

Once that is done, back the knob on top out as far as it will go.

Now loosen the lock ring and turn it almost to the top of the die.

Raise the ram all the way up with the shell in the shell holder.

Turn the die back in until it makes contact with the shell.

Lower the shell and and turn the die in a little. Raise the shell. This will now be applying some crimp.

Keep doing this little by little until you achieve the crimp you want.

Once you have a good looking crimp, lower the lock ring to the press and tighten the lock ring.

Now raise the shell back up into the die and turn the knob on top down until it touches the bullet.

Your die is now set to seat and crimp in one operation.
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Old March 9, 2012, 11:02 PM   #10
Sbowling79
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Ok I think I am getting it. The lee manual states the minimum OAL for that bullet and the powder is 1.455 I did a little measuring and I will be right at that spec to get the crimp ring at the mouth of the case. For some reason I have a little learning curve to get by here. I thank you all for your help.
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Old March 10, 2012, 12:00 PM   #11
PA-Joe
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You can not seat a hollow point to the COL for a Round Nosed bullet. Check the bullet manufacturer's book or web page for the correct COL for their hollow point.
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Old March 10, 2012, 11:07 PM   #12
jimbob86
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Quote:
The lee manual states the minimum OAL for that bullet and the powder is 1.455 I did a little measuring and I will be right at that spec to get the crimp ring at the mouth of the case.
Bingo.

Good things come to those who read.
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Old March 11, 2012, 10:25 PM   #13
Sbowling79
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Yeah I got it all figured out. Just some rookie mistakes. My main problem with crimping was a little confusion between what part of the die seated and what part crimped. I must say I feel really stupid about it now

I ended up at about 1.458 at the center of the crimp ring so that worked out great.

Fired this batch yesterday and I was really suprised at the accuracy over factory ammo. I hope I never have to buy factory again. I am pretty sure I wont need to, my grandpa gave me a 5 gallon bucket full of casings. probably gonna have to look into a progressive loader soon.


Thanks for the help.
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