The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 31, 2014, 10:19 AM   #1
wheelgunfan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2014
Posts: 11
First Post, Revolver crimp question.

Hello everyone, first post here and I have a question reguarding how or which crimp to use for 38 spl revolver using a Speer 158gr SWC HP lead bullet.

My experience thus far has only been with jacketed bullets and the crimping cannelure has generally coincided with the COAL specified in the load manual. Here is where my confusion starts, the Speer bullet has a cannelure and second smaller groove but neither come close to where the case will crimp when seating the bullet to obtain the correct COAL.

I use the Lee factory crimp die and it is a roll crimp die. I guess my question is whether or not I should just seat the bullet to the proper depth and crimp as I normally would or do I need to obtain a taper crimp die for use with lead bullets.

Thanks in advance for any advice, Chris
wheelgunfan is offline  
Old May 31, 2014, 10:54 AM   #2
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,026
For what it's worth, and just my methods; lose the FCD. Seat the bullet to the crimp groove and use a roll crimp. Disregard OAL dimensions for revolver loads.

I have only had problems whit using Lee's FCD. I used one in .44 Magnum and it destroyed my accuracy. I was shooting cast lead bullets and the FCD swaged the bullet undersize. I believe there is no reason to use an FCD if you learn to adjust your dies correctly (no case bulges).

I have been reloading lead bullets in revolvers since '69 and cannot remember ever measuring OAL (except mebbe to see consistent my seating was). The bullet designers didn't place the crimp groove randomly. The crimp groove is located so that the OAL will fit in 99% of revolvers and the case capacity is taken into consideration (safe pressures).

Most common crimp for revolver bullets with a crimp groove is a roll crimp, although some will use a taper crimp. A roll crimp will hold a bullet in place a bit better for heavy recoiling revolvers. I believe the Speer bullet is a soft swaged bullet with a "coated" lube, so keep the crimp light (don't need to "indent" a crimp into the side of the bullet) also keep the velocity on the low side...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old May 31, 2014, 11:00 AM   #3
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 735
Speer spec for these is 1.455". I just checked my supply, and I am running 1.458-1.460 roll crimping into the grove. FWIW, I load 5.0 Power Pistol for about 800 fps from a 4" S&W 64 or 5.8 for avg. 944. The heavier load is +P and is supposed to duplicate the old "Treasury Load", but I rarely load it.

Last edited by ligonierbill; June 1, 2014 at 10:22 AM.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old May 31, 2014, 11:06 AM   #4
Jim243
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 4,338
I am trying to remember your questions while typing this. (LOL)

Your seating die will do a proper roll crimp on the case, so no you do not need a separate crimp die.

The second grove on the bullet is for "lube" and should be red, blue or white grease. If blank then it means that the lead bullet has not been lubed and sized. (separate press needed)

As to OAL, your bullet cannellure should be at the correct OAL for you to do a roll crimp on it. Your load data maybe using a different bullet for it's load data.

That present two distinct problems, One is what is the correct load for the bullet you are using? And Two how do you correct for it?

The shape and size (weight) of a similar may work out, then again it might not. Measure the length of the bullet you have and see if you can find a similar bullet and load data in your manual. A copy of the LYMAN 49th EDITION would be a wise purchase because they are less MFG specific as to bullets and cover a wide range of lead loads.

If all else fails then find the load data for a close match and start you loads at Min charge weight, crimp to the cannellure and go up 0.2 grains at a time till you find the perfect match of bullet and powder without going over pressure.

Good luck and stay safe.
Jim
__________________
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Jim243 is offline  
Old May 31, 2014, 11:24 AM   #5
wheelgunfan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2014
Posts: 11
Well lets see, I'm using the Speer manual #14 and a Speer bullet #4628. These are pre-lubed and should be good to go out of the box. The actual crimp groove on the bullet when seated to the manual COAL is off by roughly a 1/4 inch, or when assembled using the crimp groove on the bullet I wind up with a 1.660 COAL.

ligonierbill, are you crimping in the second smaller groove? This is closer to the manual spec but still a little off and I was not sure if this was intended to be used as a crimping groove.

Last edited by wheelgunfan; May 31, 2014 at 11:35 AM.
wheelgunfan is offline  
Old May 31, 2014, 12:50 PM   #6
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 1,965
The crimp grove is the one closest to the tip of the bullet.

buck460XVR is offline  
Old May 31, 2014, 12:50 PM   #7
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 4,830
They are very different than the usual SWCs, especially in the crimp groove.
Check out the versions from bullet makers like Penn or Master Caster.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.

Last edited by g.willikers; May 31, 2014 at 12:59 PM.
g.willikers is offline  
Old May 31, 2014, 02:43 PM   #8
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 735
Yep, groove close to the nose. These are very accurate, so something must be right.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old May 31, 2014, 04:09 PM   #9
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 1,832
Look at buck460XVR's illustration. That first groove from the top is the crimp groove (as Buck states). Put away your calipers and crimp it there.

Your first post happens to be right up my alley, as I load a lot of this very bullet (Speer's 158 LSWCHP might well be the best 38 Spl defense bullet - but that's another post). I load a lot of 38 Special of many types. I have - and use, depending on the application - both taper and roll crimp dies. I also have and often use the Lee FCD.

In the case of most LSWC bullets, the roll crimp is the better choice. Although, since there is a lot of bullet-to-case contact, a taper crimp would certainly suffice. The general rule is: if there is a cannelure or crimp groove, roll crimp; if there is not, taper crimp. It's not about whether it's lead or jacketed. (Plated bullets should almost always be taper crimped.) And of course, exceptions abound. I load a lot of Double-Ended Wadcutters (DEWC). They have a crimp groove, yet I use a taper crimp because - like your 158 LSWC's, there's plenty of bullet-to-case contact, so I go with the taper crimp to preserve the brass (taper crimping is easier on the brass).

In the case of your LSWC's, you may seat and crimp with the same die - either with a one-step, or two-step operation(s) - it's not that critical. If you'd rather two-step it, and bring your Lee FCD into the mix, go for it. I seat/crimp my Speer LSWCHP's in a single step. And the resulting product is excellent. This paragraph will get a lot of readers rolling their eyes in disagreement. And that's fair. But I've been loading for 29 years, 11 months, and 26 days (4 days short of 30 years). And the Speer SWC is one of the first bullets I've ever loaded - and have been loading them regularly ever since. You could say I have extensive experience.

Welcome to TFL. You've come to the place where there are many willing to share their experiences and help. I've learned a lot here myself.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger

Last edited by Nick_C_S; June 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Corrected information.
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old June 1, 2014, 05:18 AM   #10
wheelgunfan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2014
Posts: 11
OK, I've got it now.
Thanks everyone for all the help.
wheelgunfan is offline  
Old June 1, 2014, 07:48 AM   #11
mikejonestkd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2006
Location: Brockport, NY
Posts: 2,750
As others have posted, roll crimp into the top groove and you should be good to go.
I like the Lee crimp die, its great for revolver rounds. Just a simple tweak and you can go from a mild roll crimp to a full roll crimp.
__________________
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
mikejonestkd is offline  
Old June 1, 2014, 09:23 AM   #12
Real Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 826
You still need to run a test round or two, no powder, and check the pulled bullets for swaging. If the diameter has not been maintained, you will need to make some changes in your setup.

Swaging in a soft bullet can come either from too much case tension or resizing by the crimp die.

I do well on 38s with the Hornady Cowboy Die set. I use RCBS Cowboy on .45 Colt and am still messing around with Hornady trying to get the results I want with .44 Special.

Generally though, where available, a Redding Dual Ring Carbide Sizing Die and a Lyman M-die pretty much take care of it all, given some crimp method other than an FCD. Simply don't try to cram a .452 bullet into cases sized for ..451, and don't crimp with a fixed sizing sleeve that assumes .451 bullets with no way to adjust it.
Real Gun is offline  
Old June 1, 2014, 11:47 AM   #13
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 1,832
One of mine

Here's a pic of one of my Speer LSWCHP's. 6.0g Power Pistol (in compliance with Speer #14); 962 fps; 325 ft/lb; through a S&W M67 4" bbl. I used nickel plated +P stamped brass (not that it matters) and a Federal Match Grade primer. Light roll crimp; seat/crimp in one step w/ RCBS die.

[IMG][/IMG]
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old June 1, 2014, 05:36 PM   #14
Real Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 826
"Light roll crimp" indeed.
Real Gun is offline  
Old June 1, 2014, 06:09 PM   #15
mikejonestkd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2006
Location: Brockport, NY
Posts: 2,750
Quote:
Light roll crimp
Indeed!!! I can't even see it!!

I guess the word ' light ' means something different to everyone. No big deal though, as long as they are consistent and go bang everytime.
__________________
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
mikejonestkd is offline  
Old June 1, 2014, 08:17 PM   #16
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 1,832
Light roll crimp

Heh, the crimp is there. I promise. If you could see/feel them in person, you'd go "oh, yeah, there's some roll crimp there."

The last group of 10 I chronographed had an Extreme Spread of 40 fps. So they run consistent.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 01:29 PM   #17
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,123
trick

For revolver cartridges, finish it with a (properly adjusted) Redding Profile Crimp Die.
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 03:21 PM   #18
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 735
FWIW, I just use my RCBS seating die to apply a crimp. However, I always crimp as a separate operation. Seems to work fine, and as previously stated, these .38 rounds are very accurate.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 07:32 AM   #19
wheelgunfan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2014
Posts: 11
Sorry guys, been out of pocket for a few days.

Could someone be good enough to provide a pic of what a proper roll crimp should look like. Of 4 loading manuals that I have the subject of crimping nuances is mostly absent and I have no one in my area to turn to for help so I've been shooting in the dark on my crimping.
Erring on the side of caution and looking at the above picture I'm quite sure I'm over crimping. Also as mentioned above, I'll also pull a few and measure my bullets and make sure I have not deformed them
wheelgunfan is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 09:52 AM   #20
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 1,832
Medium Crimp

I'm not sure if photos do it justice. But this is a medium roll crimp and is good for most applications. In the pic, it looks like less crimp that it really is, perhaps.

__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 09:54 AM   #21
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 1,832
Heavy Crimp

This is a heavy crimp. Again, it may appear like less crimp in the pic than it really is. Trust me, this is a heavy crimp and there is no reason to crimp more than this.

__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 10:50 AM   #22
wheelgunfan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2014
Posts: 11
Thanks for the pics Nick. I can see the crimp and the difference between them.

I need to back up a bit on my crimping, you could call them super duper dyna-whopper type. I just finished 50 rnds and backed off on my crimp a good bit but they are still firmer than those in your pics.
Almost forgot, I pulled a few bullets and all are still correctly sized so at least I'm not to the point of distorting them.
wheelgunfan is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 10:58 AM   #23
Real Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 826
Quote:
This is a heavy crimp. Again, it may appear like less crimp in the pic than it really is. Trust me, this is a heavy crimp and there is no reason to crimp more than this.
I don't know why you would call that heavy. It is barely in the range of commercial ammo and is exactly what I strive for. There is such a fine line between too little crimp and damaging the mouth of the case that I could allow calling this heavy ( I know this from doing it). However, heavy to me means evidence of over crimp, i.e. visible press marks in the crimp.
Real Gun is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 12:56 PM   #24
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,123
I recommend inspecting similar ammo from Winchester / Remington / Speer / Hornady / Federal / etc. and checking their crimp decisions.
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 01:18 PM   #25
wheelgunfan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2014
Posts: 11
Looking at some factory Remington +P 38 special and Id say I'm somewhere between Nicks "heavy" crimp and the Remington factory stuff. I'll just keep an eye out for creeping when I shoot these and if I dont have any issue with that then I'll just stay where I am till I gain more experience. Thanks again guys, Chris
wheelgunfan is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13958 seconds with 8 queries