gotten started now the questions

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by zkovach, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    i have a good feel for everything now except the 45-70 which is a straightwall case. i have an rcbs 3 die set. 1 - sizer, 1 - expander, 1- seater. I played with the seater quite a bit to see if i could crimp but nothing worked. do i need a crimp die.

    2nd question i noticed the c.o.l. which is the case overall length but what if you overall finished project is shorter than that. It seems the bullet wouldnt be seated very far in for a max overall bullet length

    Thanks.
    buy the way i bought an rcbs hand primer and it rocks!
  2. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    In a case like the .45-70 you don't need a crimp. If the case is properly resized and the expander ball is the proper diameter, the tension of the bullet in the case neck should hold it just fine. If you're not sure, simply put the bullet down on the table and push on the case. If it doesn't move, the tension is right.

    Case OAL as listed in manuals is just a guide. Variance from that referenced dimension is not cause to worry if it's not very much. How much is very much? Hard to tell. Be sure the case length after trimming is proper and the bullet is right for the case, and you should be OK. Just how much variance from listed case OAL are you seeing? If it's just a few thousandths it's no problem.

    You should have a caliper that is good quality to check dimensions. If you don't have one, get one. It's really a necessity.
  3. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    about 5 thousand of an inch short is what i have been seeing.
  4. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    it does seem the bullet is fit in the case quite snug but since i saw a cannulure i figured it had to be crimped.
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I disagree about the crimping.

    I know of a guy that shoots competition with a single-shot 45/70. He doesn't crimp. He says the bell of the case helps to make sure his bullet is exactly center of the chamber, which gives him greater accuracy. Maybe for a target gun, that's fine.

    Me, I've got five single-shots and a lever action in 45/70. First, I want it to fit in any gun I put it in. That requires full-length resizing and a crimp. Then, I want to know that, no matter how much the case might get beat-up or tossed around while carrying, the bullet will be in the same spot every time. That requires crimping. And the big one. I don't want the bullet to move into the case under recoil or magazine spring tension, in the lever. That Requires Crimping.

    Back your seating plug all the way out.

    Put an empty case on the ram and run it all the way up.

    Leaving the ram up, start screwing your die in, until it starts to drag. Now the crimping shoulder is touching the top of the case.

    Lower the ram. Put a charged case with a bullet on it back in the shellholder and run it up. The friction of the case against the die will keep the die from moving. Screw down the seating plug until it stops. It is now resting on the top of the bullet.

    Lower the ram a half-inch or so. Screw the seating plug down a little. Raise the ram. That pushes the bullet in a little. Lower the ram and check the bullet position.

    Continue to do that, lowering the plug a little, raising the ram again, and then lowering the ram to check, until the bullet is seated to the depth you want. If there is a crimping groove or a cannelure, that's the depth you want.

    Lower the ram and back the seating plug all the way to the top, again.

    Now screw the die in, 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time. After each lowering of the die, raise the ram, then bring it back down to check. As the die goes down, the crimping shoulder will first remove the bell on the case, and then start to roll the case mouth inward into the crimping groove/cannelure.

    When you have the crimp where you want it, run the ram back up, so that the cartridge is inside the die (to keep the die from moving) and lock the die in place with the lock ring.

    Now, with the cartridge still all the way up, screw the seating plug down until it rests on top of the bullet.

    Your die is now set up to load THAT bullet.

    If you change to a different bullet, you have to do about half of that again, to set the die up for the new bullet.

    Screw your die all the way down to the lock ring, then unscrew it three full turns. Now the crimping shoulder will not touch the case while you set the bullet depth.

    With the die in that position, do the "seat a bullet, check the depth, lower the seating plug some, seat the bullet, check the depth, etc." until the bullet is set to the right depth.

    Then back the plug all the way out, screw the die down to the lock ring and run the cartridge back up. The crimp is already set, so this step will crimp the cartridge.

    While the ram is up, screw the seating plug down until it touches the top of the bullet. You are now set to reload THIS bullet.


    There will probably be some minute tweaking that needs done, after the die is set up. Screwing the plug down to touch the bullet, with your fingers or a screwdriver, is not quite the same as seating the bullet under ram pressure. The plug might need to come down another tenth of an inch. But, basically, you are good to go.

    A separate crimping die is not required with straight-wall cases, but I use one anyway. I use Lee dies, and one came with the set.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Alpo's explanation is very good but I would add a couple of things.

    Crimping is very dependent on the length of the case. If you are to use the crimp function built into the seating die all cases must be trimmed to the same length to get a good uniform crimp on all cartridges loaded. Trimming MUST be done after sizing the cases. Trimmed Case Overall Length should be in the reloading manual but if not it is generally 0.010 inches shorter than the Max COL.

    Over crimping is BAD. If the roll of the crimp is too great it expands and may not allow the case to fit into the chamber. The manual has limits on the diameter of the case and that limit should not be exceeded at the crimp. The way the crimp portion of the die works, if you over crimp then the case wall may collapse ruining the cartridge.

    There is always the option of using the LEE Factory Crimp Die if there is one made for your cartridge of choice. It is less sensitive to COL and will not collapse the case if too much crimp is applied. But too much crimp with this die MAY distort the bullet so adjust it per the direction that come with the die.

    To summarize the process:

    You use the seating plug to manually seat the bullet to the correct length or to the crimp groove with the seating die and its plug maladjusted so as to not crimp.

    You remove the seating plug (or back it out to where it will not touch the seated bullet) then adjusted the die body down to get the right crimp.

    You then use the finished cartridge as a gage to set the seating plug.

    I suggest doing several more with the die all locked down to make any minor adjustment.

    One last warning: Make sure the loaded ammo will fit into the chamber of the gun and feed from the magazine. I make up a dummy round with no primer or powder to check the feeding and chambering in the gun the ammo is to be used in.

    LDBennett
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    LD, I was being specific on this as setting up for 45/70, which is a straight wall case with no shoulder to roll. Any and all bottleneck cases I load, the die is set so the crimp shoulder is nowhere near the mouth of the case. All that is done with the seating die is seating, and crimping is done with the Lee Factory Crimp Die.
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Alpo:

    How is my generic comments different from yours? Sorry but I don't see any difference and there is nothing wrong with your explanation. I was only extending and summarizing yours. Yours were just fine for any generic explanation. Did I miss something or make an error in my post?

    LDBennett
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I took this >Over crimping is BAD. If the roll of the crimp is too great it expands and may not allow the case to fit into the chamber. The manual has limits on the diameter of the case and that limit should not be exceeded at the crimp. The way the crimp portion of the die works, if you over crimp then the case wall may collapse ruining the cartridge.< as a criticism of my post - that I had neglected to mention that little thing about overcrimping causing the shoulder to roll, and I needed to be "corrected". I was just pointing out that the whole thing - his question and my answer - were about a specific straightwall case.

    Probably I was just being a little too sensitive, this morning.
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Alpo:

    I only expanded what you said. It was not meant as a criticism at all. Your explanation was excellent.

    What I meant was that if you allow the die to grossly over crimp the case wall MAY collapse whether it be a straight walled cartridge or a shouldered cartridge. Thin cases like the 45-70 are prime candidates for this. But this is the extreme and I only meant it as a warning to zkovach so he would go slowly on adjusting the crimp. The same for the condition where the case rolls so much that it enlarges in diameter and wont chamber.

    Together I think we got zkovach the info he needed.

    LDBenentt
  11. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    first batch thanks for all your help and i am sure you will here from me soon. anyone want to shoot these first?

    Attached Files:

  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Not without knowing your load. :D :p
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