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Old December 12, 2017, 01:13 PM   #1
James13
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357 case buckling

Hey guys, new reloader here. So I was reloading some 357s with berrys 125 flat nose bullets. I seated the bullets everything went fine. I removed the seating part of the die so I could crimp them. During the crimping step I found that all the federal brass was buckling, so I figured that brass was just a hair longer so I decided to crimp them seperatley after resetting the die. However they would still buckle. The only way I could get them to crimp without crushing was to start with a very very light crimp and slowly twist the die in while pressing multiple times for each brass. Any idea what I could be doing wrong? Anyhelp would be greatly appreciated, Thanks.
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Old December 12, 2017, 01:30 PM   #2
briandg
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Crimping a bullet without a crimp groove is not possible. Since you probably can't find a taper crimp die like those used for semiautos, you can use your standard roll crimp die and not try hard to crimp.Test at the range to see if the bullets hold in place during firing.

I suggest that your next bullets need to have a crimp groove.
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Old December 12, 2017, 02:04 PM   #3
walnut1704
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Lacking a crimp groove, the usual roll crimp in virtually all dies that I know of does not work well. The Federal brass may be thicker walled. Taper crimp dies are easy to find, I use one for all bullets that lack a crimp groove. Pretty much all the manufacturers make them.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/46...aper-crimp-die
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/71...aper-crimp-die
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/47...imp-seater-die
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/80...aper-crimp-die
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Old December 12, 2017, 02:06 PM   #4
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Or buy bullets with a cannalure, but I've only seen Hornady XTP bullets with that and they're $16 plus shipping/taxes for a box of 100.

If you want to shoot .357 and have a bullet with a crimp groove, you'll have to get lead bullets with gas checks.

You can still use those Berry's bullets, just don't load them too hot and use a light crimp.
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Old December 12, 2017, 02:15 PM   #5
briandg
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truth teller, almost every bullet designed for .357 straight wall loading intended for a revolver has a cannelure or crimp groove? the only bullets that I have seen that are straight sided are some plated bullets.
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Old December 12, 2017, 03:01 PM   #6
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@ James13,
Did you (bell) the case mouth ?
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Old December 12, 2017, 03:39 PM   #7
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I just bought Berry's 158s that do have a cannelure, haven't had a chance to see how well they do yet. Didn't have to adjust my seating die from where it was set for my lead bullets.
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Old December 12, 2017, 04:54 PM   #8
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Hi James13, and welcome to TFL. We're here to help where we can.

Lots of good replies so far, but I think some of the explanations may assume you know more than a new loader does. So I'm going to remove all doubt an get into some fundamentals.

First, there are dies that roll crimp; and dies that taper crimp. If you walk into a store that sells reloading gear, and you ask for a 38/357 die set, they are going to sell you a set with a roll crimp die.

Historically, revolver cartridges used bullets what were roll crimped to secure them. Subsequently, revolver bullets had either a crimp groove (usually lead slugs) or a cannelure (usually jacketed bullets). You'd seat the bullet to where the case mouth was aligned with the groove/cannelure, and then you'd crimp them.

Times have changed. And now we have plated bullets. And most plated bullets have no crimp groove or cannelure (some do). Ideally, these bullets should be taper crimped - like semi-auto cartridges. (Plated bullets - whether they have a groove/cannelure or not - should be taper crimped; but that's outside the scope of your problem.)

Taper crimping is a far less harsh treatment. And it's more forgiving with variations in brass length (which you suspect you might have - a good time to measure them, btw).

I have used a lot of Berry's (and X-treme) 125 FP's. So I am quite familiar with them. However, I only use them for 38 Special. I have never attempted to roll crimp a plated 125 in 357 Mag (or 38), but I suspect I would not crush/buckle the case in the process. That said, my gut is telling me that there's more going on here than simply using a roll crimp die, as opposed to a taper. But I don't know what - it's just my gut feeling, backed by 33 years of loading experience.

Either way, if you plan on using a lot of plated bullets, I strongly recommend investing in a taper crimp die for your 38/357. If you do that, your dilemma may evaporate (albeit, not necessarily "solved").

Which puts us at the next level (and a little off-subject, if I may) . . .

Can you tell us a little bit about your load purpose for these 357/125's? Plated bullets are generally for making basic "range shooter" ammo. Can you tell us your charge weight and propellant used? While you're at it, what gun will be shooting these? Most importantly, the barrel length?

Plated bullets are excellent - I load/shoot a lot of them and find them to be a clean alternative to lead bullets, without the expense of jacketed. Notice, I did not say I used them as a low cost substitute for jacketed - they're not. And trying to use them as such is where problems arise. That is not their purpose - as much as so many loaders try.

I load my 125 plated FP's as 38 Specials (one of my very favorite range rounds, btw). The reason I do this is because loading them as 357 Magnum - even fairly light - is pushing the envelope of a plated bullets' weak construction.

My lowest power 357 Magnum loading does use a plated bullet (X-treme 158's); but I'm not driving them hard at all - probably just a little above 38 Special +P pressures. Every 357 Mag loading above that gets a jacketed bullet. I mention this because it is my opinion that plated bullets are very well suited for 38 Special applications; but can't really hold up to the type of pressures normally associated with 357 Magnum. I'm curious where you are with all this.
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Old December 12, 2017, 05:17 PM   #9
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I agree with Walnut1704 any off those dies will work even if it adds one more step to reloading process.

Last edited by TXJohn; December 12, 2017 at 05:28 PM.
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Old December 12, 2017, 05:52 PM   #10
James13
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Wow lots of replies thank you guys. I did bell the casings as the bullet was easily placed into the case. I did not think about the lack of a cannelure when I purchased these and will definitely purchase bullets with cannelures in the future. I just thought it was odd as the day before I loaded 50 rounds same everything except I was using sig brass and it worked perfectly. I was aware of using a lightish crimp as I could damage the bullet plating. I shot all of those and non backed out.

I'm using 21 grains of h110 out of a 7 inch 686+. I know now this isn't the greatest combination of bullet/powder/gun/new reloader but they shot great.

Also loaded up some 500sw with 40 grains of h110 and a 335g bullet. Those are fun haha
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Old December 12, 2017, 07:09 PM   #11
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James13,
The inside of a seating die does not provided any inside case wall support to a case, meaning that the case is free floating which contributes to case buckling when excessive crimp is applied as you have determined for yourself.

However your seating/roll crimp die can easily be adjusted to apply a light taper crimp and seat the bullet in the same operation. Often a taper crimp is nothing more than flattening out the flare and not digging into the bullet. To coordinate seating and crimping, either with or without a crimp groove or cannelure, screw the seating/roll crimp die into the press just short of where seating depth and crimping will occur. Insert a case into the die and with the seating stem only, turn it in until proper seating depth is obtained. Now back off the seating stem and turn the die body down until proper crimp is obtained. With the crimp in place turn the seating stem back down to contact the bullet. Coordination should now be achieved between seating depth and the crimp. A slight twist one way or the other with the die body or seating stem may be required for a perfect matchup.
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Old December 12, 2017, 10:22 PM   #12
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am I the only one who sees a possible problem with using h110 with a 125 grain plated lead bullet?

here is data from hodgdon.
Quote:
Hodgdon H110 .357" 125 xtp 21.0 1,881 22.0 1,966
in the past lead loads weren't permitted, and nothing smallery than 158, iirc. I'm just wondering if this is a good idea.
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Old December 13, 2017, 01:01 AM   #13
condor bravo
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You must be the only one; what is the possible problem?
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Old December 13, 2017, 01:09 AM   #14
briandg
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that is it, what I said. Both 110 and 296 had restrictions in the past. No reduced loads, no lead bullets, noting lighter than 158, a hard, tight crimp, to avoid failed ignition and stuck bullets.

this load has all of those factors except a reduced load. a plated bullet is not the same as a jacketed one, a taper crimp is not a roll crimp, and hence not as tight as the makers want it to be. Those powders have to have significant pressure built up early on to ignite the whole charge.

Unless the formulation has changed and the recommendations have changed, this seems problematic.
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Old December 13, 2017, 08:45 AM   #15
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briandg View Post
am I the only one who sees a possible problem with using h110 with a 125 grain plated lead bullet?
My experience with plated bullets without a cannelure is that they are not really designed for velocities over 1200 fps. My experience with H110/W296 is that within it's parameters, in .357, it's gong to push a 125 gr bullet faster than 1200 fps. My experience also has shown me that H110/W296, in .357, likes a tight roll crimp for proper and complete ignition/combustion, which is virtually impossible with a bullet that has no cannelure. Just a simple case of a newbie using a poor choice of projectile/powder combo. Same with the choice of trying to instill a firm roll crimp on a bullet with no cannelure. Seems the OP needs to read his manuals a tad closer.
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Old December 13, 2017, 09:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
The only way I could get them to crimp without crushing was to start with a very very light crimp and slowly twist the die in while pressing multiple times for each brass. Any idea what I could be doing wrong?
Years ago I said crimping only requires a breath or hint of effort and rloaders claimed they were sooooo confused. I also said crimping can be a bad habit...because that is what Lyman said long before the Internet.

You could be expecting too much when crimping, I had to expect more than the crimping die would offer when my 45ACP reloads would not feed; for that problem I used a RCBS carbide die to remove the appearance of the case of having swallowed a bullet meaning the case had a bullet line

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Old December 13, 2017, 10:16 AM   #17
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125 gr non-gas checked cast. Likely isn't recommended to use with H-110. As far as what I know about crimping. Sounds like to me you won't be able to resolve the crimp problem without using the correct components as suggested in print. Just because the book says a 125 is loadable doesn't mean the component itself can be substituted with some other of equal weight. [Cheaper lead cast.] >Especially don't do with those MAX high velocity's achievable cartridges.<
I would highly suggest the next time you call a caster business. Ask to consult with there Bullet/Reloading Expert if your intending to deviate from reloading print.
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Old December 13, 2017, 10:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briandg View Post
am I the only one who sees a possible problem with using h110 with a 125 grain plated lead bullet?

here is data from hodgdon.

in the past lead loads weren't permitted, and nothing smallery than 158, iirc. I'm just wondering if this is a good idea.
38 Special and .357 are great places for a reloader to start, however the combination being discussed is about the worst/hardest combo you could come up with regarding this caliber. Between a powder that only preforms when pushed hard and a lightweight plated bullet with out a crimp groove, I guess some people learn to swim by jumping in the deep end.
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Old December 13, 2017, 10:27 AM   #19
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Sounds like simple over crimping to me. You don't need a super heavy crimp. For plated bullets, should just undo the bell, with maybe a 'slight' inward curl. Other bullets lead or jacketed with crimp groove, you can add a bit more crimp if necessary.

I'd also use a different powder for a new reloader. Say Unique, Universal, AA#5, 2400 ... I don't use 296/h110 myself as it is to restrictive.
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Old December 13, 2017, 07:01 PM   #20
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Back to your original question, have you taken the seating/crimping die apart and given it a serious cleaning? I've had many cases where there was so much build up of crap inside the die that the crimp did not want to form. It is amazing what can build up inside your dies, even more so with lubed lead bullets. While it is apart, polish the ID of the die in the area of the crimp feature if it is rough. If the roll crimp surface isn't clean and polished (and a little lube doesn't hurt) it can grab the case mouth and push down, buckling the case, instead of smoothly rolling it into a crimp.

Logic would say that an OD chamfer on the case mouth would help start the roll crimp, but I haven't tried that. I taper crimp my non-cannelure .38 Special plated bullets using a cut down 9mm taper crimp ring (free except for shipping from Lee and easy to cut to the same length as the .38 crimp ring) in my Lee FCD and only roll crimp with a cannelure and with light loads not even then.
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Old December 13, 2017, 08:18 PM   #21
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Good post buck460XVR - as usual. (Post #15) When it comes to big handgun ammo, your experience shows.

I completely agree. H-110 under a plated 125 is a horrible combination. It would be kind of iffy even if it was a cannelured jacketed bullet with a heavy roll crimp. H-110/W296 operates with much more consistency when it's under heavy bullets. Then when you take out the cannelure, the situation gets really wonky.

Our OP would be well served by getting some jacketed 158's. Using H-110 with jacketed 158's, going through a 7" 686+ would be a good ride. That would be some fine ammo.
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