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Old February 24, 2012, 04:56 PM   #37
Senior Member
Join Date: January 28, 2012
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 293
I go along with that.

The military still crimps combat ammo, but that ammo uses bullets with a cannalure designed for that purpose. From WWII, bullets with a cannalure were used in M2 Ball, M62 Ball, M80 Ball in the 30 cals and the M193 and M855 rounds for the M16/M4 weapons.

For match and sniper ammo, the army has not bothered with a crimp and the bullets used in the more accurate rounds for match and sniper shooting have no cannalure. These rounds include the M72, M118, M118LR and the M852 rounds for the 30 cals and the 77 grain 5.56 round for the M16/M4 weapons.

I've shot all of the above rounds over my career as well as handloads duplicating or exceeding their performance. This has been done as both a member of military shooting teams and also in the field with the M21, M24 and Mk13 SWS rifles and the Browning 1919, M60, M240 and M249 machine guns. Each round performs as intended when used as intended. I'm glad that the combat rounds are crimped and I'm glad the accuracy rounds are not crimped.

Another point to make is that the big bullet manufacturers cannalure some bullets and leave others without a cannalure. The purpose of the bullet often decides if a bullet has the cannalure or not, just as with the army's ammo.


Bullets intended for the tube magazine rifles all have a cannalure, even the new Hornady spirepoint design for the 30/30.

Bullets made for ball ammo duplication in service rifles have cannalures.

Bullets designed for maximum accuracy generally do not have a cannalure.

I could go on ad naseum, but you get my drift. I've not met any successful high power NM or long range competitors that crimp their ammo. Neck tension (about .003" below your bullet diameter) is sufficient for non-cannalured bullets, even for the rapid fire stages of the NM course in the M14 or M16.

My opinion? Crimp 'em if you want. If you feel it is better for your shooting then your are wise to do it. After all, we all shoot better when we are confident of our equipment and ammo.

Me? As I noted in my first post in this thread, I crimp all my tube magazine rounds, cast bullet loads as well as black powder rounds, but I don't crimp at all for my match rifles, semi-auto rifles or bolt action hunting rifles. If there is a crimping groove on the bullet for those, then I'll consider it, but I don't see it as necessary.
US Army Distinguished Rifleman
Washington State Distinguished Rifleman
NRA Police Distinguished Expert

Last edited by Scharfschuetzer; February 24, 2012 at 05:17 PM.
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