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Old February 22, 2013, 07:22 AM   #1
Ben Towe
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Quick .45 ACP question...

I got my first batch of .45 loaded. After seating the bullets I grabbed the calipers and started measuring case diameter at the mouth. I got a very consistent measurement of .472 inch. I haven't run them through the crimp die.

I have read that any case mouth measurement that is below .471 is a recipe for trouble so I am hesitant to put any crimp on them with only a couple thousandths to play with. They seem to have good neck tension and I followed the advice in the set up instructions to only bell the mouth enough to start a bullet, so they look just like they should, no discernible bell at the mouth or anything. So I guess my question is: Can I simply skip the crimp die, or would it be advisable to put a bit of squeeze on it to prevent set back? The bullets are Hornady 185 grain jacketed SWC over 5.8 grains of Red Dot, C.O.L. 1.142, pic here:uploadfromtaptalk1361535475882.jpg

Thanks y'all!

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Last edited by Ben Towe; February 22, 2013 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Adding C.O.L.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:54 AM   #2
Tooltech
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That depends on your gun. Many guns, my Kimber among them, have tight chambers, requiring case mouth to be .469-.470. Other guns work fine at .472-.473.

Let your gun be the deciding factor.

Neck tension is what prevents setback, not crimp. Crimp, or lack thereof, will cause more feeding problems than anything.
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Old February 22, 2013, 09:03 AM   #3
ScottRiqui
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Remove the barrel from your gun, and drop one of the finished rounds into the chamber. It should fall freely into place, with a nice "plunk" sound as the case mouth headspaces on the ledge at the front of the chamber. (That's why you'll sometimes hear this called the 'plunk test'.

Then turn the barrel upside-down, and the round should fall out of the chamber under its own weight.

If it's not "sticky" going into or coming out of the chamber, I'd try firing them as-is before worrying about crimping them further.

Last edited by ScottRiqui; February 22, 2013 at 09:08 AM.
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:08 AM   #4
g.willikers
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Or, if you're still not sure, looking straight down on the reloaded round, compare it to a factory round.
It should be real obvious if yours have the same crimp and case mouth appearance.
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:39 PM   #5
Ben Towe
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They passed the plunk test. I'll see how they function and report back. Thanks y'all!
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Old February 23, 2013, 03:08 AM   #6
Ben Towe
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They functioned okay in the 1911. I wasn't expecting flawless performance due to the bullet design, so I wasn't too surprised to have a couple of hang ups. Drawing the slide back slightly and releasing it allowed those two to chamber. I might take a few and put a very light squeeze on them with the crimp die. What do y'all think?
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Old February 23, 2013, 08:39 AM   #7
rebs
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I load my 45 ACP with a .469 case mouth measurement and they function flawlessly. This is with 200 gr lswc's.
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Old February 23, 2013, 09:58 AM   #8
Misssissippi Dave
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Now that you tried them without a crimp. You can try a few with a very slight crimp. If your feeding problem goes away, try double that number to see if it still feeding well. The only way to find out is to try it in your pistol. Pistols vary a bit and finding out what works in yours can only be done by you.

Another thing to try if the slight additional crimp doesn't improve things is to try a slightly longer OAL. So long as it still works in your magazine you should be fine. The different OAL might also improve feeding. The good thing about going longer on OAL is, you are not going to increase pressures.
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Old February 23, 2013, 10:37 AM   #9
schmellba99
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Quote:
Neck tension is what prevents setback, not crimp. Crimp, or lack thereof, will cause more feeding problems than anything.
With a .45 ACP, you should be taper crimping - which is essentially the same thing as increasing neck tension.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:46 PM   #10
mikld
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When reloading semi-auto ammo, forget the term "crimp"! 45 ACP cartridges are not crimped. A taper crimp die is used to remove any flare in the case mouth to enable reliable feeding. Neck tension is what holds the bullet in place. This is why all cases are "resized". Often adding a taper crimp to 45 ACP will actually loosen the bullet/neck grip by either buldging the case behind the bullet or swaging the bullet smaller (case springs back, bullet don't).

For your specific question, try the "plunk" test. If yout cartridges will enter the chamber and drop out freely, you may be good to go...
Attached Images
File Type: gif thunk test bbl pic.gif (46.2 KB, 14 views)
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Last edited by mikld; February 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM.
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Old February 23, 2013, 07:05 PM   #11
Ben Towe
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I am going to do some tinkering with the taper die and see if I can improve the feeding a bit, but the bullets may be seated too deep for them to be totally reliable. They are above the listed COAL but only by a few thousandths.
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