how much crimp is enough / too much

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by soundguy, May 24, 2012.

  1. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    Ok.. so far i've been doing loads for my 30-06 using jacketed soft point bullets with no callelure, and as I've been working up loads, I've just been shooting them in a bolt action and not crimping.

    recently picked up some BTSP with a cannelure.. and have setup my die to seat and rollcrimp in one operation..e tc.

    crimp came out nice.. coal was perfect.. but I know I need to watch my crimp as it will limit case life due to mouth damage from cracking and work hardening. ( and I know I can anneal them too.. etc.. )

    so my question.. how much is enough.. how much is too much/not enough.

    I want to get this practiced up before I move on to some other calibers that are not bolt actions but rather box mag or tube fed, where I will deffinately need the crimp to prevent setback..e tc..

    anyone got any pics of 'aceptable vs unacceptable rollcrimps.

    may expirement with taper crimps down the road.. but the $$ not here right now.. just gonna play with what I got.

    ( I know i could then crimp the non canellured bullets with a taper crimp dieset.. etc. I see lee has some you can buy seperately.. etc.. )

    thanks
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  2. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    ps.. i did read the crimping thread above.

    none of my cases bulged..e tc.
  3. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Personally the lee taper crimp is all I use. The instructions on the lee are very precise and to the point so they would answer your question. The lee taper crimp will eventually save you money because it is easier on your brass. It is pretty much a factory crimp.
  4. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

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    I crimp as little as I can; just enough so I can see it has a crimp.
  5. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, that is the best way to answer it. Start minimum and keep adjusting up until you aquire what you feel is right. It's a feel thing that I can't put into words. For 30.06, trust me, it doesn't take much. Some shooters choose not to crimp at all which I have done in the past. For me, it's just a real light crimp.
  6. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    as I stated.. no budget for it now.. so not a consideration.. thus I need to find out how to make an acceptable level of roll crimp.
  7. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Ya, I was reading and talking to my wife at the same time so I only half got that, sorry. I too stay on a budget so I understand. Read my last post on this thread of starting light and working until you get the right feel. Ask JLA also because he will have the words. IMO you will see a slight roll where the brass meets the bullet, and for your 30.06 that is all you need. It won't take much. If you put too much roll in your crimp it will stress the entire length of the brass and shorten it's life. Each time the brass moves in length, or diameter, or flexes, it looses life. So, with anything that you crimp, the lighter the better. The idea is to keep the projectile in place and that is it.

    Hope that helps.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    A little roll crimp goes a long way. I personally wouldnt bother crimping them if youre shooting a bolt action. it isnt necessary and as you say only work hardens the brass. I use the LFCD collet crimp for my .30-06 ammo, and only for the Garand.
  9. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Bolt action, forget the crimp, no need, to much hassle, waist of time, hard on brass etc.etc.
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Active Member

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    sound guy:

    The way a crimp for a rifle round works when using the combo seating/crimp die is tough on the brass. The case is used with the press ram to force the case mouth into a constriction in the die that forms the crimp. Get it set to be too much and the case walls may start to collapse or the result will bulge enough so that the cartridge will not chamber. If you use this method follow the dimensional guide in the reloading manual for the max case neck size as the absolute maximum limit and watch for impending case bulging or collapse.

    A better idea is to use the LEE Factory Crimp Die for rifle cartridges (pistol LEE FCD works entirely differently). With this die the crimp is formed by a collet that pushes the case neck horizontally into the bullet. The collet is actuated by it touching the shell holder. The cartridge case is not used to generate the force to make the crimp. The crimp comes out good even if all the cases are not trimmed to exactly the same length (not a recommendation but sometimes reality). This is the one and only LEE tool I recommend as there is nothing close on the market place to match it. In my experience the collet surfaces may gall eventually down the road (LEE did not use different metals to avoid the problem of similar metals galling when run against each other but you have to take the bad with the good).

    The only rifle cartridges I crimp are those that go into semi-auto, lever, or pump guns or maybe bolt operated magazine guns that are heavy recoilers. Bolt guns do not normally need crimping at all. For example I crimp for my 30-06 M1 Garands but not for my 30-06 CZ 550 bolt gun.

    LDBennett
  11. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

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    Then the next time he is on a hunt and drops his box of cartridges he can hope someone has a bullet puller and reloading press so he can get his seating depth right. I can throw my box of cartridges at the wall and they'll still be correct.

    I crimp everything and have 70 shots fired on some of my cases; they are still going strong. I've never had a bottleneck case fail from a split neck.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Active Member

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    The_Rifleman:

    Since I don't hunt I did not consider hunting ammo. You are absolutely right to crimp all your hunting ammo and I'd recommend the LEE FCD as using it will increase the reliability of you reloaded ammo when on a hunt. There can be nothing worse than finding out while stalking an animal that your ammo is defective or will not chamber in your gun and that the only ammo you have with you is this "bad" ammo.

    But if I did hunt I think I would not use reloads but factory hunting ammo to assure that my expense of getting to the hunt was not lost to a simple reloading error by me. But that's just me being super safe as I have all my life in virtually all things.

    LDBennett
  13. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    also guys.. I had said that up untill now all I had been using was bolt guns.. but I do have semi auto's as well.. and need ammo that is going to be universally acceptable to both.. I don't want to make up 2 sets or 3 sets of cartridges and have to remember what I'm using them for.. and I do hunt. plus, almost none of my hunt buddies hunt bolt action.. they are all semi auto.

    most of my other guns are pump/semi or tube fed LA.. and I will need crimps.

    I've expiremented with a low level crimp. I might be able to go a hair less.. will have to see.. I think I'm for sure not too far though..

    will see...

    thanks
  14. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    If you are loading for a semi-auto then purchase a Lee Factory Crimp die and learn how to use it. They are excellent, they help secure the bullet and they improve accuracy.
  15. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Really? Dropping the box will do that? Interesting! When you through your loaded ammo at the wall do you just use an overhand baseball technique with the whole box or do you take each round out of the box and through them single shot as if playing darts so they hit the wall bullet first? :)
  16. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

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    Inertia bullet pullers wouldn't work if this was not so.
  17. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Inertia pullers require one component(the case) to be secure while the other component(the bullet) floats freely and is allowed to move. Dropping a box of bullets is quite a bit different than an inertial puller. The only way a bullet can be set deeper into the case my dropping it is if it lands directly on the tip of the bullet or the case head. Comparing the amount of force (energy) required to move a bullet with an inertia puller with the amount of energy encountered by just dropping a box of ammo, I would think that your box of ammo would have to be dropped form several hundred feet to get it up to terminal velocity and then land directly on the bullet or head. Ain't gunna happen. :)
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  18. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I could not agree more. This is something that Richard Lee addresses in his Modern Reloading manual along with many reloading professionals. I get what Rifleman is saying by throwing his bullets against a wall. He is not being literal, he is speaking figuratively. However, what he is saying is true because I believe he really could throw them against a wall and because he can simply means the bullets will endure the adventures of a hunter. I will give you a really great example. I understand that an inertial bullet puller works because the case is stationaly and the bullet is not. However that does not demean the fact that the C.O.L. of a bullet cannot change due to simply packing your bullets around. Here is my example. My brother in law was packing his extra cartridges in his backpack while hunting, this was about 25 years ago. The top came off of his box while hiking and before long the bullets became wedged further into the casings due to setting the backpack down and the other objects pushing up against the bullets. I would assume that if a box of bullets can be thrown into a wall and still keep their C.O.L. that they would be fine in a backpack. I liked Riflemans analogy. Also Rifleman, if you end up playing darts with your ammo can I play?:D

    I say factory crimp. It's safer and adds to the accuracy and from what I have read, that is a fact.
  19. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I agree with steve. A normal dropped round wont change the OAL if uncrimped, unless the neck tension was wrong to begin with.. as in reloading unsized cases. But thats a benchrest technique and I know of no-one personally that takes benchrest ammo tot he woods to hunt with.
  20. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    remember.. -0- budget right now.

    not 'low' budget.. but '0'

    job's weird... not dropping a buck more intot he pot till I know I can pay rent and eat and pay dr bills reliably.

    taper crimp die surely ain't free.. so will be waiting.

    only thing I will be doing is making up stuff I have with components I have.

    I'm for sure setting up a wish list as $$ comes in.. but not right this second.

    not even those wolf / tula primers that are already ont he list.

    just keep that in mind. that's why I'm expirement ing with the roll crimp for now
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