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Old December 30, 2013, 09:27 PM   #1
bclark215
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Do I really need to crimp my .44 mag bullets?

When loading .44 magnum for a single action revolver do I really need to crimp? I dont really see any danger premature bullet movement in the case.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:34 PM   #2
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You would be well advised to hard crimp your loads. One it produces better, more consistent velocities and secondly it WILL cause the bullets to jump if you're shooting a hot load with a heavy bullet.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:47 PM   #3
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You want a good crimp but not enough to deform the bullet. Deforming the bullet will affect accuracy.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:52 PM   #4
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no problem with not crimping your ammo until one of the bullets move enough to lock up your revolver.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:59 PM   #5
DannyB1954
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The Lee reload manual says that hand guns act as a inertia bullet puller, and loads need to be crimped.
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Old December 30, 2013, 10:10 PM   #6
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Yes,for reasons listed.Because the bullet leaves the case to a slip fit cylinder throat,then crosses an open cylinder gap,then flys into a forcing cone,getting a good,high pressure fire lit is a problem.The great 44 Mag powders,H-110 and 296,need high pressure to burn right.A strong crimp privides the resistance to get the fire lit.

And,just like the hammer type inertia bullet pullers,recoil will pull your bullets and tie up your cylinder.

Here is another good reason.Handgun straight wall loading process.

Size

Decap/bell

Prime

Charge

Seat

OK,now you have belled brass until it gets crimped.If you aren't actually crimping,you are almost crimping to remove the bell.If you are not belling,just a littleCast bullets just won't seat without trouble,and jacketed seats better with a little bell.A lot is too much,just a noticeable "some" is enough.You do not want the case mouth to bite into the bullet.

Its one more pull on the lever,but seating till you just barely can still see some crimp groove,and getting the seating operation done,then back your seater stem up,so its out of action,then screw the die body down to the desired crimp,and run them through.

You can seat and crimp in one step,but setting the die is hitting a moving target.A separate operation is easier to get right.
Oh,uniform case length makes uniform crimps.
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Old December 31, 2013, 12:07 AM   #7
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I never crimp my wimp load .44s and never have had any problems.

However, I always put some type of crimp on my heavier loads.

To answer your question, Yes and No. It will depend upon your load.

Enjoy,

OSOK
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Old December 31, 2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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Former .44 mag. reloader here, many tens of thousands of rounds.
Answer: yes.
Some very light loads might not need it. But mid and heavy loads need it to reach full potential.
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Old December 31, 2013, 10:42 AM   #9
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I've reloaded quite a few .44's as well. I always crimp. When I just started reloading, I checked to see if I could push the bullet in with my thumb. If I could, they got crimped. Now I just crimp all of them.
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Old December 31, 2013, 10:48 AM   #10
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If the bullet has a canalure then crimp in the camalure.
With that said since the bullet has a canalure the die will more easily crimp the bullet requiring a lighter crimp since there is a grove the brass can roll over into.
To better clarify - when there is a canalure look at how much roll the die has imparted and be sure it is not excessive because if the bullet is over crimped it will deform the bullet when the bullet leaves the case and drag lead down the barrel.

If the bullet doe not have a canalure then more roll in the crimp will be required or in other words the dies needs to be adjusted slightly lower to get more of a crimp.

There again be sure you are not putting so much roll in the crimp as to deform the bullet when it leaves the brass.
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Old December 31, 2013, 12:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by bclark215:

When loading .44 magnum for a single action revolver do I really need to crimp? I dont really see any danger premature bullet movement in the case
Why would loading for a SA revolver be any different than for a DA? There's a legitimate reason why bullets intended for magnum revolver loads have a cannelure for crimping into. It's not just to determine COL for that particular bullet. While neck tension is the primary factor holding your bullets in the case, heavy recoiling loads need extra assurance to prevent bullet jump. This is why every legitimate reloading manual I have ever read not only tells you to crimp magnum revolver loads, but also how to effectively roll crimp for those loads. Add to this that many of those slow burning powders used for making true magnum loads NEED a firm crimp to ensure complete and consistent ignition. This is true even with single shot firearms where there is no concern about bullet jump from previously fired rounds.
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Old December 31, 2013, 12:06 PM   #12
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My favorite cartridge is the .44 Magnum, and I reload for 5 of them. All my loads get a roll crimp (I don't use plated bullets in my Magnum, but did once try plated with a taper crimp). Even .44 Specials in my revolvers get a roll crimp. Depending on powder my roll crimps vary from medium-light to full roll/profile crimps (some powders need a crimp on the case for consistent ignition, H110/W296 and WC820). I have shot .44 Magnums in my Contender that had no crimp, but was not able to develop a load that worked well (don't know how much the non-crimp contributed, but went to a Keith style bullet with crimp groove).

So, I would say yep, crimp 'em...
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Old January 1, 2014, 12:35 PM   #13
totaldla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclark215
Do I really need to crimp my .44 mag bullets?
When loading .44 magnum for a single action revolver do I really need to crimp? I dont really see any danger premature bullet movement in the case.
What does your reloading manual say?
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Old January 1, 2014, 06:15 PM   #14
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OK, here is the skinny. See my response above too.

This is with the same charge of the same powder, fired in the same weapon on the same day.... Everything is the same except the crimp or lack of. I don't know how to quantify the degree of crimp. My guesstamation.

Sorry spread sheets don't copy and past well.
Velocity - weapon - date - note

1256.2 S&W M29-2 9/25/13 10 rnd tested no crimp
1291.1 S&W M29-2 9/25/13 10 rnd tested medium crimp
1242.6 S&W M29-2 9/25/13 10 rnd tested heavy crimp

This is only valid with this one component loading. The powder use is 2400, the primers CCI SLP. I have ran the same comparative test with 231 powder and velocities remained within the normal spread, so the only effect I could see was more working of my brass.

Now to primers. I know this isn't part of the question, but...

1079.3 S&W M29-2 9/28/13 5 rnd test S
1116.5 S&W M29-2 9/28/13 5 rnd test M

1088.8 S&W M29-2 9/28/13 5 rnd test S
1127.6 S&W M29-2 9/28/13 5 rnd test M

1148.8 S&W M29-2 9/28/13 5 rnd test S
1150.6 S&W M29-2 9/28/13 5 rnd test M

These are the same charge of 2400 with a standard primer (CCI) on top and a Magnum primer (CCI) below, with one tenth of a grain of powder increase from set to set.

The listed velocities are averages of each tested shot. As these were testing samples, a statistically valid number of samples were not tested, this will only be a 'tendency to'.

It should be noted that these were 240 grain cast lead bullets and the first set with no crimp did show some bullet walk but not enough to lock up the cylinder by far. If the movement had been much I would have single loaded each for testing.

As stated before, no crimp for my wimp load (5.6 grains of 231 with 240 grain lead) and yes it is a wimp load at 643 FPS. Heavy loads may need to be crimped, I do.

Load with care,

OSOK
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Old January 1, 2014, 06:45 PM   #15
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I've been reloading 44 mag and 45 colt for only a few years but even my bunny fart loads ( LSWC ) at 600- 650 FPS are slightly more accurate/ consistant when I roll crimp them. I now roll crimp every revolver round, regardless of the load or caliber.
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Old January 1, 2014, 07:15 PM   #16
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I don't load .44 magnum but do load and have loaded tens of thousands of .41 magnum. Years ago I ditched the roll crimp and have loaded everything with a taper crimp. Much easier to deal with and have seen no degradation in accuracy.
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Old January 2, 2014, 12:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
no problem with not crimping your ammo until one of the bullets move enough to lock up your revolver.
That. ^

Once you lock up a revolver with a bullet that 'jumped crimp', you'll never have to ask yourself that question again.
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Old January 2, 2014, 12:32 AM   #18
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I haven't read all the responses real closely, but along with the many things already mentioned, with 44 Mag, you generally use slower powders.

Speaking for myself, the only powder I use (virtually) for 44 Magnum is Winchester 296 (also sold as Hodgdon H110). W296 is a ball powder that is difficult to ignite. I always use magnum primers (CCI 350) and a generous roll crimp. All other above-mentioned important factors aside, the load itself requires a hearty crimp.
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Old January 2, 2014, 08:00 AM   #19
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I 've loaded 100's of .44 magnums. All were crimped, and some heavy loaded still walked. Funny I never noticed until I had a cartridge that did not fire one time. After shooting the other 5, ejected empties and the non-fire, and noticed the bullet had walked half way out, but not enough to lock the revolver. Then started testing sveral loads by loading 6, firing 5, and checking the last one. Wow! All my .44 mags now get as heavy a roll crimp as possible without deforming the bullet. Oddly, none of the bullet walking seemed to affect accurracy from my 7 1/2 Redhawk.
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Old January 2, 2014, 10:12 AM   #20
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For revolvers and lever guns you should. However I don't crimp them for my T/C Contender
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Old January 2, 2014, 10:19 AM   #21
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I think it all has been covered here, but I don't crimp my light 44spl loads loaded in 44mag cases, just remove the bell of the case. On my heavy SAAMI spec loads up to 1280fps according to my chrono I have found best accuracy with medium crimped loads worked best for me.
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Old January 2, 2014, 11:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
OK, here is the skinny. See my response above too.

This is with the same charge of the same powder, fired in the same weapon on the same day.... Everything is the same except the crimp or lack of. I don't know how to quantify the degree of crimp. My guesstamation.

Sorry spread sheets don't copy and past well.
Velocity - weapon - date - note
oldpapps, I wanted to comment on the experiment and results/data you posted here. First -- great experiment and I appreciate you sharing the results! Testing like this isn't something we find... well, almost anywhere and it's interesting. I appreciate your sharing it.

With that said... (and please understand that mine was not a "back-handed" compliment...)

I feel it's important to note that the results you've shown here are quality, valid results, but they are only results from a dose of Alliant 2400 and with the bullet & brass combo you selected. It makes sense to me to note (especially if anyone in the audience taking something away from these results is a novice) that each powder is going to react differently in a test of this manner, and some powders will react much differently. (bullets also) Also (as you clearly stated! ) "As these were testing samples, a statistically valid number of samples were not tested, this will only be a 'tendency to'."

It's a compelling test and the results have my interest.

If it's in this thread and being used as some manner of an argument addressing the OP's question, I would suggest that it doesn't send the best advice for that particular question.

I suppose from my view, if the OP has asked the question of whether or not to crimp .44 Magnum, he'll make a decision that may be based on the input he receives in this thread.
but...
Quote:
Once you lock up a revolver with a bullet that 'jumped crimp', you'll never have to ask yourself that question again.
My friend FrankenMauser has the concise answer that may eventually be where the OP ends up.
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Old January 2, 2014, 12:59 PM   #23
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There are three things at work here, when you talk about crimping.
In revolvers, the bullet(s) moving forward under recoil (jumping crimp).
2nd thing is proper combustion of slow burning powders
3rd thing is the continual contention about crimps affecting accuracy.

In handguns, #3 doesn't seem to be a significant issue.
#2 is a significant issue, and
#1 can be a vital issue.

Bullets jumping crimp varies with the guns and loads, but seems to show up as an issue when bullets get over 200gr and velocities start approaching 1000fps.

Bunny phart loads don't do it. Smaller calibers don't do it, until/unless you get up to high velocities. I've shot standard level .38 Special (158gr@850fps) uncrimped, never had an issue with the bullets moving. However, .45 Colt, uncrimped, at anything above original black powder speeds (and sometimes even then,) WILL start to have the bullets move forward under recoil.

Exactly where the magic number combination of bullet weight and velocity is, for your .44 Mag, I don't know. But I do know that there IS a point where uncrimped bullets will move forward, and if they move enough, will jam your gun.

I crimp all my handgun ammo, all calibers, all loads, light or heavy, taper or roll crimp as appropriate. I do it for two reasons. One, some loads do need it, and done right, has no effect on loads that don't need it.

And, two, I'm lazy, and I don't want to adjust my dies, which are set to give the proper crimp, and left there....

I have single shots for many of my handgun calibers, and while I don't need to crimp for them, I don't bother to make uncrimped ammo just for them. They shoot real fine with the ammo that is crimped for everything else.

Now, when it comes to rifle rounds, I don't crimp for single shot rifles. I do crimp for magazine fed rifles with heavy recoil (.458Win mag, etc). I crimp ammo used in autoloaders, and in lever guns, but don't crimp the same rounds for use in a bolt action.

You want an answer about whether or not to crimp your .44s? Load up 6 uncrimped, and shoot 5. Look at that last round. Measure it. If the bullet has moved at all, you should crimp. If not, you're fine the way you are.

Just be sure to do this test with EACH load. Just going to a different batch of brass might be enough to make a formerly satisfactory uncrimped load suffer from bullet movement. I crimp, and I sleep pretty well over it, and have, for the past 45+ years...
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Old January 2, 2014, 01:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
What does your reloading manual say?
For 9mm I have one manual that says heavy crimp.

The other says do not crimp.

In that case (pun) I had to dig a bit and the 9mm head spaces on the front of the rim. Ok, heavy crimp, rolls over and no head space, ungh.

So I compromise, taper crimp and enough to snug to the bullet and let it go at that. No issues

I don't advocate ignoring tech recommended, but a lot of the advice can be contradictory or even plain wrong that like an urban legend keeps rolling along with time.

I always heavy crimped my 44s and 41 but I loaded hot and heavy in those days. I think now the taper for at least mid loads would work but have not tested that.
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Old January 2, 2014, 03:05 PM   #25
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Why even screw around with not crimping? What would the benefit be? Most if not all of the seating dies in .44Mag likely has a crimp feature. Why not just crimp while you are up inside the seating die anyway and not fool around with whether or not the other bullets remain seated in the rest of the cylinder?
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