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Old January 15, 2022, 06:36 PM   #4
44 AMP
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Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 25,027
While I don't doubt Uncle Nick is right about the dies he mentions, I've never used either and don't plan to.

I've been loading .38/.357 on the same Lyman die set I started with in the early 70s and never had any issues with crimp, once I got enough experience to understand what I was doing (and that was VERY early on).

The factory seating die has a roll crimp shoulder and will produce as much or as little crimp as you adjust it for. Never needed or found any point to using a separate die for crimping.

One thing Uncle Nick didn't mention, is the other reason you need a good crimp for a snub nose gun. While keeping the bullet in place for proper powder ignition is one important thing there is another, also important reason, and that is bullet pull.

"Crimp jump" is something to be aware of and the lighter the gun and the heavier the load the greater the bullet pulling effect of recoil in a revolver is.

Unlike other firearm designs, the way rounds are held in a revolver cylinder means that during recoil, cases are pulled away from the bullet due to inertia. A proper crimp negates this effect.

When you get to loading for your new gun, I suggest you not load a large quantity of ammo to begin with but load small batches and test fire them before any volume production. Test fire a cylinder full except for the last round. Then check it for any bullet movement. If there is any you need to adjust your crimp. IF no bullet jump, test again, firing a second cylinder full with that same last round from the first firing. If that one round takes 10 shots of recoil with no bullet jump, I'd call that amount of crimp good for volume production.

Uniform case length also helps A LOT!

What I usually do to start the adjustment of the die for crimping is to use a factory round and and screw the die down against it hand tight. THEN I load a few rounds and test fire them as I described. This tells you if the crimp you set is enough or if you need to adjust it a little more.

Good luck with your new gun, have fun, be safe and let us know any other questions you have.
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