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Old March 17, 2001, 02:38 PM   #1
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It was suggested to me to Taper Crimp my revolver loads. I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die for my Auto's and I'm interested in Taper for .38/.357 .44spl/mag. The factory crimp die for the revolvers are a roll crimp. The Lee Taper Crimp Die states that Jacketed bullets need a crimp groove. That being said,How do I crimp bullets that do not have canneulure's either roll or taper,It would seem that a bullet without the grove would be best suited to taper,but Lee says the bullet need the groove. I currently load only jacked bullets with the grove.
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Old March 17, 2001, 05:17 PM   #2
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I have taper crimped 357 loads with jacketed bullets with cannelures. I will warn you that it is very easy to over crimp using a taper crimp die. The taper crimp will hold like gangbusters and will cause a drastic rise in pressures. This happened to me a while back. The die will actually swage the side of the case into the bullet and cause a dangerous rise in pressures if your not careful. The thing of it is, is that it's hard to tell this visually. That's how it got passed me. It was virtually impossible to pull the remaining bullets and I had to junk the cartridges.

Having said that, that crimp works well on 38 target loads with lead bullets, just do so lightly. The taper crimp has much more holding power than the roll type and it will fool you sometimes.

I would try the Lee Factory Crimp Die for handgun cartridges as I believe it would be less apt to distort bullets also. The taper crimp can do this easily if done to excess. Remember, the taper crimp is used for auto pistol cartridges and needs to be done in such a way as to still allow the cartridge to headspace on the case mouth properly. That should tell you something.

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Old March 17, 2001, 05:25 PM   #3
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
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I taper crimp everything with the exception of my heaviest magnum loads.

For best performance with smoothsided bullets, you can either use an undersized expander ball, which will help give you really good neck tension, or use a sealer and actually glue the bullet into place.

For light to moderate loads normally neck tension and a light crimp are more than enough.

You CAN taper crimp rounds with bullets that don't have a cannelur (sp???), but you have to be very light about it.
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Old March 17, 2001, 07:27 PM   #4
Guy B. Meredith
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How do you know whether you have too much taper crimp? I was just getting ready to do some reloading after having maximized the crimp on my RCBS die, but now you have me worried.

I just bought a Hornady die set (.38 spl/.357 magnum/.357 maximum) that is supposed to be roll crimp, but before any roll appears the case crushes so I am beginning to suspect that they accidentally packaged in a taper die instead. This is very surprising as I did not think Hornady made a .38 cal taper die. (How DO you tell the difference between taper and roll die?)

If I back off to where the case does not crush the bullet loads solid enough that you can put the bullet against the wall and shove on the round without moving the bullet. Hangs in like stink in the inertia bullet puller, too.

You gentlemen say you use the taper for .357 magnum? How do you determine it is heavy enough for something like 2400?

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Old March 17, 2001, 11:26 PM   #5
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Join Date: March 4, 2001
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I have loaded for years and on the 357 magnum, 38 spl, 38Long colt and 38 S&W I now use nothing but a roll crimp. This is designed for a revolver. The taper crimp is designed for a case headspacing on a case front not a rim. I have seen variances in pressures and performance vary too much with a taper crimp in the revolvers. I have never had that problem with a roll crimp. I also shoot 45ACP in my 1917 revolvers. I found that even though they are designed to shoot a autoload cartridge with a taper crimp, they also have less variances in a roll crimp. I mainly use 45 AutoRim in them now so I can roll crimp them and not have to worry about if my 45 ACP's are tapered or rolled.

Also, cannelures were designed for roll crimping not taper, a taper crimp is designed for a smoothsided bullet. That is why most factory crimps on rifle ammo is a modified roll crimp not a taper. Look at the powerful military 45ACP loads and they are smooth wall, taper crimp while the powerful 38 mil ball loads are all cannelured with a roll crimp. There azre definate reasons why the military specs them this way.

Just my 2ยข's worth.

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Old March 18, 2001, 01:07 AM   #6
Mike Irwin
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The obvious way to determine if the crimp is heavy enough is to shoot the gun. If the bullets in the other chambers start slopping around, you don't have enough crimp.

I only use roll crimp on moderate to full magnum loads with 296, or in a few cases, 231.

I've never had a single problem using a taper crimp on a revolver round, and in fact get better accuracy with the taper crimp.

I also get much better case life.
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