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Old June 4, 2001, 12:26 AM   #1
Guy B. Meredith
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Maybe I need to call Hornady (using Hornady roll crimp die), but you guys are so much easier to schedule time for.

I have gone on and on about West Coast Bullet 158 copper plated .38 spl bullets with the corrugated canalure and crushed cases with roll crimp.

Well, I decided to start from scratch and re-read instructions for setting the crimp. I set the bullet depth in several cases, backed off the bullet seating plunger and proceded to set crimp. Got a series of BEAUTIFUL roll crimps.

I then brought the bullet seating plunger back down per instructions and ran several cases through the whole cycle.

Crushed cases again. I can only suspect that the bullet is being pushed down after crimp has been applied. I backed off the crimp, but by the time I was no longer crushing cases my beautiful roll crimp was history.

The next step would be to go to separate seating and crimp dies, but they made the combination die for a reason and I expect it to work.

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Old June 4, 2001, 03:53 AM   #2
Bill Adair
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I reloaded revolver ammo for many years, doing the seating and crimping in one step. I also had problems with rounds that didn't want to chamber easily (bulging?), and lead shaving from lead bullets. Those little slivers of lead locked up the slide on my Taurus 9mm one time!

I finally got fed up with those kinds of problems, and bought separate crimp dies for everything. The Lee crimp dies are very inexpensive and work just fine, though most of my extra crimp dies are RCBS.

Isn't your Hornady press a five station? You should have no problem seating and crimping separately with that, and that method seems to be recommended by most knowledgeable reloaders.

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Old June 4, 2001, 08:48 AM   #3
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I agree with Bill. When you crimp and seat at the same time. Two things are happening at once. You are still pushing the bullet in the case while the crimp is being formed. This at times will start to roll the case mouth and create a bulge in that area. It's like trying to lock the bullet in with the crimp and push the bullet in deeper at the the same time. Not a good combination. With a softer bullet the problem becomes worse because the edge of the case mouth digs into the side of the bullet easier rather than slipping a little on a bullet jacket.

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Old June 4, 2001, 09:47 AM   #4
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I then brought the bullet seating plunger back down per instructions and ran several cases through the whole cycle.
From what it sounds like you screwed down the seater plug after setting the crimp???? That would crush the case-you should back the seater plug off (unscrew it) after screwing the die body in to set the crimp. Maybe I missed something here....?
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Old June 4, 2001, 10:09 AM   #5
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You are crimping before the bullet is fully seated.Turn your die up a turn and set your seating rod down the same amount.If you are still messing up cases repeat.
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Old June 4, 2001, 10:16 AM   #6
Guy B. Meredith
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Thanks for the comments. I will try Beemerb's uggestion and, if that doesn't work, take dvantage of the five stations. The latter means also buying a Lyman feed through expansion die so I can continue to use the RCBS lock out.


I am using a progressive press and what I describe is the method used to set up the die. The bullet depth is set, seating backed off so as not to push bullet further as crimp is set and then brought back down to the proper height by screwing down until it is firm on the top of the bullet.
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Old June 4, 2001, 11:38 AM   #7
Join Date: April 24, 2001
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I fought for a long time with inconsistent OALs on my Piggyback II. Finally went to separate crimp station, and problems were solved. It had to do wiht variable case length and crimp/bullet seating combination--because the relationship of the crimp shoulder in the die body and the seater plug is static, the case must be undergoing crimp as the bullet is till being seated. Slight variations in case length change the point at which the bullet stops moving, as the crimp gets greater, faster with a slightly longer case than it does with a shorter one, and thus digs into the bullet more, sooner.

Just spring for the crimp die. They're cheap, work wonders, and will do more for consistency than anything else you can do at this point.

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Old June 4, 2001, 11:40 AM   #8
Join Date: April 24, 2001
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Well, heck, went to edit last and can't, so...

Add to above:

Now that I'm using a Dillon 650, I've kept the Lee factory crimp die as a last step--this isn't a press-related issue as I may have made it sound, it's instead process related. Progressives make it worse since you've gotta make that full stroke--on a single stage you can adjust the end of the stroke to accommodate the longer cases and extra crimp.

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Old June 5, 2001, 03:12 PM   #9
Chris McDermott
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The problem you are having is directly related to trying to seat and crimp at the same time. Look at your bullet's canalure and imagine the seating/crimping operation.
When the crimping action starts, the canalure hasn't yet reached the mouth of the case. This means there isn't anywhere for the top edge of the case to get crimped into, it's trapped between the body of the bullet and the outer wall of the die. All that can happen is that the base wall bulges out as far as the wall of the die allows.
Compare this to what would happen if done as two seperate operations. The canalure is at the top edge of the case when the crimping action starts, and the top edge of the case rolls over into the space provided by the canalure as it's supposed to; and you get a nice crimp.
If you insist on seating and crimping at the same time, go to a bullet that has a long taper under under the crimping groove. This taper gives the case wall a place to gradually collapse into as the bullet is pressed into the case and the crimp gradually applied. A simple canalure just won't allow this to happen and get a good crimp.
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Old June 5, 2001, 05:04 PM   #10
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
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I agree that separate seating and crimping steps are preferred, but I think beemerbob is correct on this one.

Chris said it right. The cannelure needs to be at the case mouth rim, when the roll starts.
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