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Old May 18, 2020, 03:12 AM   #1
TruthTellers
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Seating and crimping in same operation

Normally I seat and crimp in separate steps, but I was loading some .32 ACP this weekend and decided to try doing it at the same time and I'm not sure how my results will turn out, but I decided after about 15 rds to go back to doing it separately.

I guess I normally do them that way because I primarily load for revolver and have the 4 die sets from Lee that come with their factory crimp die, but with non-revolver cases like .32 ACP and .40/10mm, I would like to do them together.

So, how do I do this? I watched a video of a guy who had backed off the die so it wouldn't crimp and set the seating depth with the stem, then backed the stem off, dropped the die to get the crimp to his liking, then dropped the seating stem to where it touched the bullet and said it was set. Is that the right way to do it? What are the advantages and disadvantages to seating and crimping at the same time?
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Old May 18, 2020, 03:30 AM   #2
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I do that all the time, except when I have the factory crimp die. The steps are like you have described. I would recheck the COAL and make adjustments to the stem position if needed.

The advantage is obviously the speed. It also means more chance to screw things up if you are not careful. There should be no down side if you do it correctly.

You are handloading .32 acp eh? Try .25 acp.

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Old May 18, 2020, 04:06 AM   #3
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IMO,crimping and seating in the same operation is a little harder for a guy with less experience to set up. Crimping as a separate operation adheres to the K.I.S.S. principle. Yes,there is another operation in the press,but its easier to set the die right.

Once you are quite familiar with the die adjustment processes,and you understand seating and a good crimp,its not rocket science to set up the die.

You just have to clearly understand what you are trying to do,and you have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

The method you describe should work.d

If you are loading the 32ACP for a self loader, you want a taper crimp.

Some load manuals will give you a "crimp diameter" You use your calipers at the case mouth to determine proper degree of crimp.

Seating depth is important for pressure reasons,.

The settings are interdependent.

So,yes,extablish seating depth. Back off the seater. Crimp to crimp diameter.

Return the seater to the bullet. Lock it down. Load a sample or two,full process and check them. Make any minor adjustment.
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Old May 18, 2020, 10:01 AM   #4
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For jacketed bullets I will typically seat and crimp in the same stage. With lead bullets I will seat and crimp in separate stages. I feel you are less likely to damage a lead bullet this way.
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Old May 18, 2020, 12:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangolima View Post
I do that all the time, except when I have the factory crimp die. The steps are like you have described. I would recheck the COAL and make adjustments to the stem position if needed.

The advantage is obviously the speed. It also means more chance to screw things up if you are not careful. There should be no down side if you do it correctly.

You are handloading .32 acp eh? Try .25 acp.

-TL

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The Lee .32 ACP set doesn't have a 4th crimping die, so that's one reason I decided I would try doing it in the same operation, but it sounds like whenever possible it's best to crimp in a different op.

And looking at Lee's website, I see their bullet seating dies can apply both a taper crimp and also a roll crimp depending on how deep the die is seated. So I may have roll crimped all my .32 ammo last night as I was going for a firm taper crimp and didn't know the die was also capable of roll crimping.
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Old May 18, 2020, 01:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
And looking at Lee's website, I see their bullet seating dies can apply both a taper crimp and also a roll crimp depending on how deep the die is seated. So I may have roll crimped all my .32 ammo last night as I was going for a firm taper crimp and didn't know the die was also capable of roll crimping.
Wow, this is news to me...but it must be true, since you read it on the Internet!

I wonder is this a recent thing?? I've used Lee .32acp dies but it was about a decade or so ago, no mention anywhere at that time about one seater die doing both kinds of crimp.

Look at the ammo you loaded last night, what bullet? cannelure? or not? IF you roll crimped the case into a bullet that does not have a cannelure or crimp groove, it should be visually obvious.

The only way seating and roll crimping at the same time works properly is if your cases are uniform length. Yes, this means measureing, sorting, and possibly trimming. A roll crimp has to be in the right place, crimp groove and case mouth, lined up, relative to each other. If it's off (case too long or too short), you get not enough or no crimp (case too short) or over crimp (case too long). Too little or no crimp is a problem, too much can be a disaster.

With uniform case length the process for adjusting is as described. You back the seater die body off a bit (so there is no contact)

Seat a single bullet slowly, adjusting the stem until the bullet is correctly positioned case mouth in the middle of the crimp groove. Back the seater stem off then screw the die body down until the crimp shoulder makes contact the with case mouth. Then lower the ram, screw the die body down just a little (1/8 turn or less) and then crimp the round. Check it for amount of crimp desired. If you need more, turn the die body down just a little, and recrimp. Do this in small steps until you get the amount of crimp you need. When you're there, lock the die body in place, then screw in the seating stem until it makes contact with the seated bullet.

Now, check the round you just made to be sure it feeds and chambers in your gun. If yes, load one more and check it again. If its good, lock the die settings and load your cases.

Do be aware this process will need to be redone if you change bullets.

On a single stage press, you learn what the right "feel" is (once your die is set) and you can tell by the feel working the press if something isn't right, right when you do it. This is not possible with a progressive press, being operated as a progressive press, so if that's what you're using, I would say crimp as a separate step.
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Old May 18, 2020, 01:09 PM   #7
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I taper crimp pistol rounds in separate operations due to the crimping being done over a large part of the bullet while the seater stem is trying to push the bullet further into the case. With revolver rounds you are just folding the very end of the case mouth over into a bullet groove, so I do them in one operation.

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Old May 18, 2020, 01:31 PM   #8
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My Lee 32 ACP seating die will do a roll crimp if turned down enough. My set was probably purchased 5 years ago. The difference between a light roll crimp and a normal taper crimp is minimal. Both basically remove the belling from expanding and turn the brass inward a very small amount (somewhere around .001 to .003"). FWIW 32 ACP has a slight rim on the case which should prevent the issues that could otherwise occur from roll crimping a typically auto-loading round.

The method described of setting OAL and then setting crimp should work for just about any common round.

When seating lead bullets for use in revolvers I always seat and crimp in one step. The crimp groove on the bullet is designed for method. Revolver die sets historically only have 3 dies because this works.
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Old May 18, 2020, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthTellers View Post
The Lee .32 ACP set doesn't have a 4th crimping die, so that's one reason I decided I would try doing it in the same operation, but it sounds like whenever possible it's best to crimp in a different op.

And looking at Lee's website, I see their bullet seating dies can apply both a taper crimp and also a roll crimp depending on how deep the die is seated. So I may have roll crimped all my .32 ammo last night as I was going for a firm taper crimp and didn't know the die was also capable of roll crimping.
Doing it separately is certainly safer. I don't go nuts on the crimp, mostly just taking the bell at the mouth. Plus I have done it so many times that I have everything dialed in. That's why I usually do it in one go. But I wouldn't hesitate when I feel better to do it separately.

-TL

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Old May 18, 2020, 02:48 PM   #10
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It never even occurred to me to seat as one operation and then crimp as a separate operation.

This is because I got RCBS three die sets, (.45 ACP and .357 magnum) read the directions and never thought there was another way to do things. So I always seated and crimped in one operation. (This is NOT a good thing and I (now) recommend folk find out a lot about reloading and different ways to do things to find out what is best for them.) I admit to having a sever case of tunnel vision as regards to reloading.

Quote:
You are handloading .32 acp eh? Try .25 acp.
My sausage fat fingers CRINGE at the thought of reloading .25 ACP.
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Old May 18, 2020, 04:13 PM   #11
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You would have reached a new level of you can handle .25 acp. The other challenge would be 7.62 Nagant with proper crimp at the cartridge mouth, which is crucial for accuracy.

Sorry didn't mean to steer the thread off topic. Let's go back to seating / crimping in one go. It is actually not that hard to do it properly.

-TL

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Old May 18, 2020, 06:45 PM   #12
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I don't know when Lee started to make that double crimp shoulder. The idea first appeared (AFAIK) in the Redding Profile Crimp Die, which is a separate crimp-only die designed to put maximum roll crimps on straight-wall revolver cartridges and relatively straight wall lever gun cartridges that need it. The idea is the taper portion will keep the sides of the case against the bullet no matter how hard you roll the mouth over. The standard roll crimp shoulder can cause the brass immediately below it to bulge outward, ironically lowering bullet pull from its peak value.
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Old May 18, 2020, 07:26 PM   #13
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I seat and crimp revolver rounds in the same operation. Semi auto rounds just the opposite. Seat and then a slight taper crimp in an added operation. I don't know what a so called factory crimp is. A collet die? for revolver, what for auto other than a taper crimp?
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Old May 18, 2020, 11:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
The idea is the taper portion will keep the sides of the case against the bullet no matter how hard you roll the mouth over. The standard roll crimp shoulder can cause the brass immediately below it to bulge outward, ironically lowering bullet pull from its peak value.
I can see the value in that idea. The crimp buckling the brass can be extreme if improperly done on a bottleneck rifle case, such as the .30-30.

The standard seater die does NOT support the case, and a bad crimp (too much, or not in the groove) can not only bulge the brass at the mouth, it can wrinkle the neck and even collapse the case shoulder (bulging it outward) so the case will not chamber.

I know this from personal experience. I still seat and crimp .30-30 (and others) in one step, but I take care with case prep and die adjustment. Been doing this since the early 70s, and I've made about every mistake there is to make, and learned how not to, over time.

I do crimp in a separate die for 9mm, .44AMP and .45ACP. For the .44 AMP, the die set came with 4 dies, just for this. After decades of loading generally good ammo in .45 and 9mm, I decided to try a separate taper crimp die, and found that just a bit of a taper crimp "kiss" reduced the number of rounds that didn't want to chamber easily from "few" to "about none", so that's what I do now. Oh, just remembered, I do separate taper crimp for the .45 Win Mag, too, using the ACP crimp die, sufficiently backed out...
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Old May 19, 2020, 01:29 PM   #15
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Don't get overzealous on crimping in either one or two steps. You can wrinkle and possibly ruin the case. Ask me how I know, LOL.
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Old May 19, 2020, 03:57 PM   #16
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So, how do I do this?
You follow the directions that came with your dies...............I have never seated in one step and crimped in another for either pistol or revolver rounds going on almost 40 years and see no reason to - but then I also deprime, resize and reprime in one step on a single stage for most cartridges too.
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Old May 21, 2020, 04:56 AM   #17
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For all my handgun rounds i seat and crimp at the same station, just the way my 4X4 works.

When I set up the dies i set my seating depth using a dummy round with no primer or powder. Then I back off the seating stem then set the crimp. Once that's set and the ring is locked in place, I run the stem back down snug and lock it.

After all is set i measure and might have to adjust the seating stem down slightly, sometimes not. Once everything is set and the dummy is seated and crimped, I use an ultra fine sharpie and not the bullet type and weight on the side of the case and chuck it in the die box for later.

Over the past 35 or so years this has worked out well for me and helps to get set up and running quickly. I can easily change bullets and loads with minimal effort or guess work even if changing bullet types mid batch.

YMMV,
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Old May 21, 2020, 09:34 AM   #18
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I use Hornady pistol dies. I don't know if I do it right, but common sense told me to set the crimp and then sneak up on the OAL. Unless I misunderstand the way the dies work, moving the crimp moves the OAL, but you can change the OAL without moving the crimp.

I'm looking at the manual (only 12 years in), and it says to adjust the crimp first.
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Old May 21, 2020, 10:03 AM   #19
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I seat revolver bullets and crimp into the groove in one step. Adjusted right, there is no deformation of the bullet. I have some ungrooved bullets that I taper crimp separately, same as I do for automatics.

There are two entirely different Lee Factory Crimp dies. The Carbide Factory Crimp Die for straight handgun cartridges has a post-sizing ring but a conventional crimp shoulder, available either taper or roll.

The Factory Crimp Die for bottlenecks closes a collet on the mouth of the case, driving it into the bullet. If the bullet doesn't have a crimp groove, the collet closes hard enough to MAKE one. Lee is proud of this distortion. I use one on .44-40 for my tube magazine Winchester. It sets a hard crimp without the risk of crumpling the case mouth or bulging the brass below the crimp.
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Old May 21, 2020, 10:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
I don't know if I do it right, but common sense told me to set the crimp and then sneak up on the OAL.
Swifty,

Do it as Mike / Tx described. With your seating die up high in the press and your seating stem low in the die, seat your bullet to the proper depth without crimping. Once your bullet is seated properly, raise your seating stem all the way up and lower the die until you have the proper amount of crimp. Then, with the cartridge up in the die, lower the seating stem to make contact with the top of the bullet. Your seating die is now properly set up.

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