bullet crimping

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 44stevenson, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. 44stevenson

    44stevenson New Member

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    Do you need to put a crimp on a .45 acp round? When i first started reading how to reload,it seemed like I remember it saying that crimping was optional and usually more suited for a rifle round for accuracy. But I read something the other day that said if you didn't crimp a .45 acp round that you were using in a semi auto that the gun could possible push the bullet deeper into the shell causing possible problems?

    I'll be shooting these in a 1911
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    A slight taper crimp will suffice. Youd likely need to remove the bell at the casemouth anyway. Crimp so that the case at the mouth measures no more than .471" in diameter. I set my crimp at .470", and some I know set to .469" All work well, youll just have to play with it and see which crimp your weapon likes best...
  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Taper crimp the 45acp as JLA stated. I also shoot for a final diameter of .4700

    I will test a few of them by pushing the bullet nose into the edge of my workbench and trying to force it deeper into the case. If my calipers tell me it hasn't moved inward, then they're ok.
  4. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    and YES, a bullet that is pushed deeper into a case can and will cause MAJOR problems.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Good method Woolley, Alot safer than mine. I run them live thru my pistol and then remeasure... No holes in the ceiling or walls yet;) :eek:
  6. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Crimping for the 45 ACP and other pistol rounds that headspace on the case mouth is always a good idea. That said, crimping these rounds is NOT to secure the bullet, that is what neck tension is for. The crimp is very light and only enough to remove the flare. In reality "Crimp" or "Crimping" is the wrong word, this process should actually be called "flare removal" not "crimp".
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    steve4102:

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with some or your statements about taper crimping.

    If you set up a semi-auto pistol (like a 45 ACP) die set correctly as per the instruction packaged with the dies set then the final round will get a taper crimp from most die sets.

    The taper crimp is real and if done as above you can SEE and measure the taper at the mouth of the case. It is indeed to remove the belling you did to allow the bullet to enter the case and indeed the neck tension is what holds the bullet (mostly). But the taper crimp is real and is able to be seen on correctly made ammo for semi-auto pistols.

    You should NOT use a regular roll crimp on ammo that is for guns that headspace on the mouth of the case and the taper crimp on those calibers should not be excessive. Any good reloading manual will show you the differences.

    LDBennett
  8. DGG!

    DGG! New Member

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    Use a commercially made .45 acp of the same type and measure the crimp on your reloads to be sure it matches the commercial round. Then you know it is set to SAAMI specs for the round.
  9. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    IMHO; the term "crimping" is incorrectly used when talking about .45 ACP, and can lead to probs when talking to a new reloader (I don't reload other auto cartridges so I won't comment on those). In my reloading, mostly cast bullets, the crimp die is used ONLY to straighten out any mouth flare (I've used roll crimp dies and taper crimp dies for this). I have not had any problems with bullet set-back, and regular neck tension seems to be suffecient to hold the bullet in place. I shoot an RIA 1911M1.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    mikld:

    Crimping has several forms: "Roll" crimp, "taper" crimp, and LEE "factory" crimp that squeezes the case in about four places around the case mouth similar if not exactly as factory ammo is crimped (only used on rifle cartridges and the pistol version is a regular crimp either roll or taper, as the cartridge requires, with a sizing to the case body after the bullet is seated. All are "crimps".

    While a taper crimp is optional for guns that head space on the case mouth, at least the belling of the case mouth has to be removed. The taper crimp gives an added degree of safety to the finished cartridge as it makes the possibility less of the bullet being pushed into the case by recoil or by the simple act of the bullet sliding up the loading ramp. Bullets do get pushed into the case in some guns regardless if you have not seen it in your experience. Safety oriented reloaders taper crimp semi-auto cartridges including 45ACP, in my experience. The degree of that crimp is another argument but some is better than just a straight wall.

    The stickie at the head of this part of the forum explains crimping. All newbies should read it and the other stickies there. No one yet has made a negative comment on any info presented there.

    LDBennett
  11. LesterPTelestrat

    LesterPTelestrat New Member

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    I'm a newbie and have been putting a light "Lee Factory Taper crimp" on all of my .45 ACP rounds. I've loaded over 1,500 rounds and shot about 600 of them with no problems at all. I'm a believer in crimping for sure.
  12. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    Mr. Bennett, I've been reloading for approx 24 years and am familiar with crimping. My post stated using the term "crimp" is misleading to many new reloaders in that it suggests the case be "crimped" or "swaged" into the bullet, visibly, similar to a revolver roll crimp. I've seen many, many posts by reloaders about the "crimp" applied to semi auto rounds causing problems, especially on 1911 forums. So, I stand by my statement: "IMHO, the term "crimping" is incorrectly used when talking about 45 ACP..."

    As long as I'm giving my .02 about crimping; the Lee factory crimp die used on straight sided brass is a fix for problems in other steps of reloading, ie., sizing, bullet dia., seating, etc. Might be called a "post seating sizer" (there have been billions of 45 ACP rounds reloaded and shot successfully before Lee designed the FCD.). Again, jes my opinion...
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    mikld:

    While you may not like the term crimp used with 45ACP the dictionary says:

    "crimp |krimp|
    verb [ trans. ]
    compress (something) into small folds or ridges : she crimped the edge of the pie.
    • squeeze (metal) so as to bend or corrugate it."

    Even a taper crimp does that. It is certainly confusing to a new reloader when the word "crimp" does not include its modifier, "roll" or "taper". So we must be sure to use the whole term, not just the generic term.

    My point was that it is safer to put a normal taper crimp on a pistol cartridge (like 45ACP) than to only remove the belling. It is not just my opinion but that of most reloading manuals. Is it necessary? I don't know because I always taper crimp mine as recommended in the manuals. It probably is not a good idea to suggest to new reloaders that they not taper crimp 45 ACP. With all your experience you probably feel confident that for you particular gun, your reloading dies, and your situation no taper crimp is required. I respect that for YOU. I'll not be doing that and I certainly will point out to new reloaders that the manuals usually say a taper crimp is recommended.

    I am in no way suggesting the use of the LEE Factory Crimp for pistol cartridges. I agree it is a fix for mistakes earlier in the process but I covered it to be complete. As much as I hate LEE stuff I think the LEE Factory Crimp tool for RIFLE cartridges is a good tool to use and is not the same as the pistol version. The Rifle version pushed the rifle case in at about four spot horizontally (using a collet) rather than vertically as do roll or even taper crimp tools (and the Lee Factory Crimp tool for pistol rounds).

    I realize some of you have been reloading for many years and have developed procedures and processes that deviate from the manuals but I think it not wise to reveal those shortcuts or deviations to new reloaders who might use these approaches and load up un-safe ammo. We need to impress on new reloaders to follow the manuals exactly until they are as seasoned in reloading as you and me (I made my first rounds of ammo in about 1963 while in college but have been reloading continuously for the last 20+ years).

    LDBennett
  14. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    What mistakes?

    lets run through the 45 ACP reloading process shall we.

    #1 Set up the sizing die to touch the shell holder, correct?, any mistakes here?

    #2 Place the brass into the shell holder and pull the lever thingy all the way down. Any mistakes here?

    #3 Set up the "expander die" to open the case mouth just enough to accept the bullet. Any mistakes here?

    #4 Set up the seating die to seat the bullet with out a crimp or set it up to seat and crimp in one step. Any Mistakes here?

    So please tell me what pilot error mistakes the LFCD fixes.
  15. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    steve4102:

    It is suppose to resize the case after the bullet is seated. Why would you need to do that?

    Maybe the belling operation was too much and the case swelled from the vertical forces? Maybe the bullet dragged too much during seating and the case swelled. Or maybe the crimp part of the seating die swelled the case from excessive taper crimping and moving the crimping out of the seating die solved their problem. I have none of theses problems and do not use the LEE Factory Crimp die.

    I'll admit to owning just one. Having great experiences with the rifle version I thought the pistol version to be the same collet operation (LEE makes little difference in the naming of the tools except "Rifle" and "Pistol", but they are completely different tools using completely different processes). After getting it by Internet order, I was a little upset that LEE attempts to sell both tools under the same name when they are completely different. But that's about the norm for LEE, I guess.

    Apparently there are some out there that do make "mistakes" since LEE makes the pistol version tool and several here have given it a recommendation. They apparently make one of the mistakes normally and this die solves their problem. I have no such problems so I do not need this die. When your life depends on the gun feeding ammunition, ALL ammunition, then just to be sure the LEE Factory Crimp die may make sense or for competition use(??). Again, I included it for completeness and because it appears to have some popularity.

    Just because you do everything per the instructions does not mean some other variable, not covered there, will not burst into the operation and spoil the ammo. It happens.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
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