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Old February 21, 2011, 01:32 PM   #1
JGPena
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Join Date: January 31, 2011
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Lee Challenger press and dies crimping

ok newbie handloader here. Just getting setup and I did a test bullet seating for .308 winchester. from my understanding cartridges for semi auto rifles should be crimped. These loads will be for a M1A/SOCOM16. When I seated the bullet for the correct length of the cartridge, there is no crimp applied. I had previously test seated another bullet and it was seated too far into the casing, but it did create a crimp. what might I have done wrong that a crimp wasn't made for the correctly seated cartridge? Im using standard Lee dies. Is it the press or dies?
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Old February 21, 2011, 01:50 PM   #2
PA-Joe
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The seating die does two different operations: seats the bullet and crimps the case. You adjust the crimp by screwing the die down until you get the desired crimp. You adjust the top screw to seat the bullet. For beginners it is good to do them in two separate operations.

1. With a sized case in the shellholder and the press ram up screw down the die until you can fell it hitting the top of the case. Then back off one turn and lock it down. Seat your bullets to the correct length. This will seat the bullets without crimping. After you have a batch done this way go to Step 2.

2. Remove the top screw and seating stem, this will allow the die to crimp without moving the bullet. Insert one of the loaded rounds into the shell holder and lift the ram back up so the case and bullet are in the die. Now screw the die down until you can feel it hitting the top of the case. Lower the ram and turn the die in 1 turn. Lift the bullet back up into the die and see how the crimp looks. Continue to turn the die down until you have the crimp that you want.

If you have the LEE die set with the factory crimp die, you can skip step 2 and just crimp with the FCD.
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Old February 21, 2011, 02:04 PM   #3
hornady
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The crimp is done by the Die body, some guys. Do the crimp if needed in a separate application with the seater stem removed from the die body, the first thing I would do is check your brass, I check all my rifle brass after full length sizing, and trim all to uniform length. What works for me, I will put a sized case in the shell holder, with the seater stem backed out a couple turns, I raise the ram and screw the die body down tight against the brass in the shell holder, I then place a bullet on the brass and raise the ram, once the bullet is seated too the proper Over All Length , I back the seater stem out about a turn, now I turn the die body down ¼ turn, raise the ram. And the bullet will be crimped, if not you may need another 1/8 to ¼ turn. If this is enough, now turn the seater stem down firmly on the seated/ crimped bullet. Check your OAL. If done properly all remaining bullets will be seated and crimped properly.
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Old February 21, 2011, 02:11 PM   #4
hornady
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Sorry Joe I did not mean to walk on your answer, must have posted same time as you, but at least he got both methods.
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Old February 21, 2011, 02:52 PM   #5
PA-Joe
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Great info!
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