what crimp for handgun ammo

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by harleyhobie, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. harleyhobie

    harleyhobie New Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    chester va
    I was getting ready to reload some 44mag,read the hornandy instructions etc but don't see where it says what kind of crimp to put on. I just wondered if the dies were designed to put on the right one for the caliber. thanks
  2. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Quick answer...you're good to go with the dies you've got.

    A rimmed, straight-walled cartridge, like the .44Mag, headspaces off of the rim. You would use a roll crimp into a cannelure to retain the bullet. Your dies are made to apply this type of crimp.
    If you're bullet doesn't have the cannelure (crimp groove) then don't force a roll crimp into the bullet...just back the die off slightly to bring the mouth back up against the bullet. If heavy loads, you'll want a good roll crimp to keep the bullet from creeping in the case under recoil...and to help keep the powder ignition consistent.

    A straight-walled rimless cartridge, like the .45ACP or 9mmx19, headspace off of the case mouth. Thus, they will need a taper crimp on a non-cannelured bullet so that you still have a nice square edge at the case mouth. Dies for these calibers are made to apply that type of crimp.

    Set up your dies according to the manual and you're all set.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009

  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    +1 Binder, well stated

    Harley - I know you ended up going with the Hornady LNL press, did it come with a reloading manual or did you buy some seperately? Not sure which one's you've got for reference, but Lee's section on this is really good. I don't mind giving out "quick" answers, but I do like to make sure that safety and proper "learn time" which involves hitting the books is done. Crimping serves a very important purpose, especially in lever guns and heavier recoil actions, if you've got any questions as to where we learned and where we reference our info; feel free to ask, we want your reloading experience to be a great one and a safe one.

    Semper FI,

  4. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    One of the manuals that I have and read is a Lyman Reloading Handbook, #49. It has really good information about some of the basics of reloading, crimping is one of the items covered. If I were going to buy only one manual, I think that this would be the one.

    When you said that you read the hornady instructions, I am not sure which one you are talking about, the one that has the press instructions, or the Hornady Reloading manual, or the instructions that came with the dies. If it is the reloading manual you mean, it has some useful information it it, but in my opinion, the information in the Lyman manual is so much better.

    My suggestion to you is to invest in a couple of reloading manuals, and I would suggest that Lyman's be one of them. Safety is the first thing you have to consider when reloading. It is not rocket science, but in a way, that is exactly what it is!!
  5. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    I would second gmoody's vote for the Lyman manual as "The One" if you've only got one. Overall, I think its the best at being as unbiased as possible and detailed.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    For manuals I like the Hornady one as it explains with pictures how cartridges work. That leads to a better understanding of the reloading processes required. But I have over a dozen manuals and have read the reloading sections of every one multiple times.

  7. Popgunner

    Popgunner Active Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    I you shoot your 44 mag loads & the cylinder seems to start locking up on you after you fire the first shot then check your remaining cartridges to see if the bullets are creeping forward under recoil. This would let you know your crimps let go. I had this happen with my Vaquero revolver & some stout loads with W-296. I thought I had applied good heavy roll crimps but I ended up needing to almost colapse the cases to get the crimps strong enough.

    Your dies will have to be adjusted to apply crimp to your case mouths. They won't just automaticaly do it right. You start with the seating die high & use the stem turned down a little at a time to get the bullet seated with the case mouth in the center of the canelure. Then spin the seater stem up & away from the bullet. Now your die body goes down a little at a time till the crimp shoulder meets the case mouth & you get the crimp you want. Then spin the seater stem down on the bullet & lock the die & stem to seat & crimp the rest of your cartridges.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  8. the morning light

    the morning light Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    I use Lee factory crimp dies on all of my revolver loads and they used to be very reasonably priced.
  9. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

    Oct 11, 2009
    Charleston, SC
    +1 on the Lee's.
    I use the Lee factory crimp die for my .40 semi-auto. Inexpensive and does a fantastic job.
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