Crimping Revolver Rounds

Crimping Revolver Rounds

This is a discussion on Crimping Revolver Rounds within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I have a Lyman 3 die set for my .38/.357s. The third die that sets the bullet and crimps the round works best as a ...

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Thread: Crimping Revolver Rounds

  1. #1
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    Crimping Revolver Rounds

    I have a Lyman 3 die set for my .38/.357s. The third die that sets the bullet and crimps the round works best as a 2 stage operation. This requires adjusting the die for bullet setting then readjusting it for crimping. I really hate not being able to just set it and have it run.

    I am considering purchasing a Lee Factory Crimp Finishing Die that looks like it could do the job and may add more value than just the crimp. Either solution would require 4 holes and leave 2 for a rifle set of dies, so that is not a problem.

    Has anyone out there used the Lee Factory Crimp Finishing Die approach? How do you like it? I appreciate your input.
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    Member Array Exsimguy1's Avatar
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    Ksholder,
    I have used the Lee Factory crimp dies in 9mm, 45ACP, 223, and 308 all with great satisfaction. On the auto pistol, it assures a perfect crimp dimension, along with a satisfying fit of each round in a case gauge (as well as perfect feeding in my pistols). The results in the rifle rounds are just as impressive, with my AR's and FAL's eating whatever I feed them. Hornady also offers a similar die, but I have not tried them yet, as the Lee's have done so well.

    As for the 38/357, I have not used one yet, sorry.

    Terry

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    Member Array Pyrochad's Avatar
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    I also use one on my 45 9mm and 223 and has not only improved accuracy but on my 223 I no longer have bullets go backwards into the case

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    Member Array Archie's Avatar
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    I use them on handgun and rifle rounds (except for two 'precision' rifles). They do what they advertise and I am very happy.

    Yes, one can over crimp with them, but one has to work at it.
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    Thanks for the input. I picked one up from Midway. Now I gotta shoot a bit to get some brass to try it out on. It should make the process smoother. If it works well on the .38/.357, I will pick one up for the .223.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.

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    Well I reloaded several .38 rounds and finished them with the Lee Factory Crimp die - I love the way it performs. I picked up similar dies in .223 and 30-06. The 30-06 works fine and I am sure that the .223 will as well, but I am shooting my way through some mil spec rounds that can't be reloaded before I get to try the .223 die. Thanks to all who provided advice on this thread.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

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  7. #7
    Member Array jwarren's Avatar
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    The Lee Factory Crimp die is a great addition to any bench. It works as advertised.....

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    The Lee Factory Crimp die is a great addition to any bench. It works as advertised.....


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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I use a set of lee dies for 38/357,I haven't encountered any problems seating and crimping in one step,All my other dies in 9mm,40,45 acp,223 are RCBS
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    With a 3 die set, the third die is used as a one step that performs 2 operations. First you set the bullet seating depth required by adjusting the bullet seating control on top of the die. Secondly, when the depth is correct, adjust the desired amount of crimp by screwing the whole die in deeper for more crimp, or out for less. Once the crimp is correct, tighten down the locking ring and begin.
    Adjusting the entire die deeper does not effect bullet seating depth. You should easily be able to do both seating and crimping in one pull of the lever. You are doing something wrong.
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  11. #11
    Member Array Exsimguy1's Avatar
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    Glockman10mm,
    If you adjust seating depth before crimp, adjusting the die down further will increase seating depth. You are setting a fixed distance, then shortening it further. Seating and crimping seperately gives you better control of your brass' final dimensions. Seating/crimping some bullet/brass combinations in certain 3 die sets will give you a round that will Not fit in a case gauge (or gun). Using a factory crimp die as a seperate step after seating will all but gaurantee a perfect fit in the case gauge. Nothing wrong about it.

    Terry

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exsimguy1 View Post
    Glockman10mm,
    If you adjust seating depth before crimp, adjusting the die down further will increase seating depth. You are setting a fixed distance, then shortening it further. Seating and crimping seperately gives you better control of your brass' final dimensions. Seating/crimping some bullet/brass combinations in certain 3 die sets will give you a round that will Not fit in a case gauge (or gun). Using a factory crimp die as a seperate step after seating will all but gaurantee a perfect fit in the case gauge. Nothing wrong about it.

    Terry
    You may have to make a very slight change, but not much. If I am wrong than so are the LEE instructions for their dies, and I will have been turning out perfect reloads wrong for 22 years.

    You have to seat it before you crimp it. After proper seating depth is found , lower the ram, and back off bullet seater depth control a couple of turns. Unlock die and raise ram with seated bullet up into the die until it stops. Now, screw in die deeper into press body until you feel it touch the sides if the case. Lower ram, lock die into place, until it stops. Repeat until desired crimp is found, then run ram up into die that is now locked into place, adjust your seating dial back down until it touches bullet, and you are ready.

    You are adding an unnecassary step to the process. Revolver cartridges require only a roll crimp, so you are gaining nothing but an extra step in the process.
    But, Ill leave it alone, sounds like you are new to the process, and Ive learned by now its useless to try and teach someone that is "new but knows".
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  13. #13
    Member Array Exsimguy1's Avatar
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    Glockman10mm,
    I wasn't trying to start an argument, it was stated vaguely enough in your original post that I thought some correction should be made for people that are just learning.
    Mixed brass (especially in autos) with certain bullets, can "bulge" the case enough to not fit in a case gauge or gun. The Lee factory crimp die will bring the case dimension back to spec. That is why I do it as a seperate step. Running every round through a case gauge will bring this fact to light, saving an "oops" moment at a match, plink, or worse.
    Just trying to keep everybody shooting safe.

    I have been loading since 1973, and have learned a lot (and changed my mind) about a number of things since then.


    On revolver rounds with no crimp groove, a roll crimp should not necessarily be used.
    Terry
    Last edited by Exsimguy1; March 27th, 2011 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Addition comment

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exsimguy1 View Post
    Glockman10mm,
    I wasn't trying to start an argument, it was stated vaguely enough in your original post that I thought some correction should be made for people that are just learning.
    Mixed brass (especially in autos) with certain bullets, can "bulge" the case enough to not fit in a case gauge or gun. The Lee factory crimp die will bring the case dimension back to spec. That is why I do it as a seperate step. Running every round through a case gauge will bring this fact to light, saving an "oops" moment at a match, plink, or worse.
    Just trying to keep everybody shooting safe.

    I have been loading since 1973, and have learned a lot (and changed my mind) about a number of things since then.

    Terry
    I understand your point, and its taken. The OP is not loading auto cartridges, but revolver cartridges, which do not headspace on the case mouth. For revolver cartridges, the decap and sizing die will be sufficient to bring the case back into proper size.

    If one is going to reload, I think it is important to have a good understanding of how to use the equipment. Apparently the OP does not know how to set up the seating and crimping die correctly to make it run as one operation, as stated in his OP. So therfore, he will have to purchase an additional die that he really doesnt need. If this is the case, he probably doesnt understand the difference in a roll crimp, and a taper crimp. I just want to see people who are getting started do it right.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  15. #15
    Member Array Exsimguy1's Avatar
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    The OP asked what was thought about the Lee Factory crimp die used as a "finishing" step. That is what I was describing it as. Some straight walled revolver rounds will suffer deformation during seating/crimping (some bottle neck cases are worse). Doing the seating and crimping (finishing with the factory crimp die) in seperate steps is not necessarily a waste of time and in some cases is required. He may have read about that as a possibility, and was more informed than was given credit for. He has a press that will accomodate the extra die, seems willing to do what it takes to be a careful, responsible reloader, and I answered his question.

    Good luck all,

    Terry

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