Set me straight on crimping...

Set me straight on crimping...

This is a discussion on Set me straight on crimping... within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; First attempt at reloading. Set my dies and reloaded some .380 rounds. The hard part for me was figuring out how much crimp. After loading ...

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Thread: Set me straight on crimping...

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Set me straight on crimping...

    First attempt at reloading. Set my dies and reloaded some .380 rounds. The hard part for me was figuring out how much crimp. After loading some, My buddy pointed out that the lee manual says that only lead or jacketed bullets WITH A CRIMP GROOVE should be crimped.

    It would seem that some crimp is necessary, even if only to undo the flare. Are my .380 rounds gonna blow up?

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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Heres what I do take a factory bullet with the press all the way up adjust the die down til it stops,then turn about 1/2 turn more and crimp should be about right
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  3. #3
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    Taper crimp

    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Heres what I do take a factory bullet with the press all the way up adjust the die down til it stops,then turn about 1/2 turn more and crimp should be about right
    You do need a bullet with a cannelure (crimp groove) in order to use a roll crimp. Since the 380 headspaces on the case mouth the above method will work, if you want to crimp a straight-sided bullet without a groove you should use a taper-crimp die after seating the bullet.

  4. #4
    GC
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    Lee Factory Crimp Die

    Do yourself a favor a get a Lee Factory Crimp Die for each cartridge you load for. They are excellent dies and will apply the correct crimp (given you set them up correctly) for the cartridge they are made for. Taper crimps generally for semi-auto handgun cartridges and roll crimps for revolvers.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GC View Post
    Taper crimps generally for semi-auto handgun cartridges and roll crimps for revolvers.
    A very common misconception.

    I have nothing but taper crimps and load 22 different calibers.

    The taper crimp is actually stronger than a roll crimp. The roll crimp bites into the bullet with a small ring of brass, whereas the taper crimp has a lot more surface area holding the bullet.

    Don't believe it? Take an inertia bullet puller and compare the effort it takes to remove a roll crimped bullet and then try a taper crimped bullet. It will make a believer out of you.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    For auto pistol rounds, you want to remove the bell in the case mouth you made during the expanding operation. That's it.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Thank you. I think I'll pull those rounds just to be safe. Besides, it gives an excuse to make 12 more. (enough for 1 full mag for both mine and my buddies P3AT)
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  8. #8
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    What I usually do, for taper crimps, is put a caliper on a factory round, right where the brass ends and the lead begins. Then, put it in the same place on the round I just made and compare the two. They should be very very close, or the same.

    I haven't had any problems, yet.

  9. #9
    GC
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    A very common misconception.

    I have nothing but taper crimps and load 22 different calibers.

    The taper crimp is actually stronger than a roll crimp. The roll crimp bites into the bullet with a small ring of brass, whereas the taper crimp has a lot more surface area holding the bullet.

    Don't believe it? Take an inertia bullet puller and compare the effort it takes to remove a roll crimped bullet and then try a taper crimped bullet. It will make a believer out of you.
    That's a pretty big leap to call that a "misconception." The two types mentioned in my post are the generally accepted way of crimping for the two types of handguns and their cartridges. These methods have been working quite well for many, many, years and many tens of thousands of handloaders. I won't argue a taper crimp isn't effective for revolver rounds. But roll crimps properly applied to revolver cartridges work quite well as plenty of experienced loaders over many years have proven. I still like the Lee FCD and find it quite useful.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    +1 on GC's post.

    Roll crimps for wheelguns

    Taper crimps for everything else. Get yourself a set of dial calipers and measure the tip edge of the case and set your crimp according to the dimensions in your reloading guide. Don't get cute with this adjustment, as autopistol rounds traditionally headspace on the case mouth.

    Good luck
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  11. #11
    Member Array Harlan's Avatar
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    I agree with GC. I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die on all of my machines and for all the calibers that I load.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    .............Get yourself a set of dial calipers and measure the tip edge of the case and set your crimp according to the dimensions in your reloading guide. ..............
    Ditto. Your reloading manual should have a drawing with dimensions as shown in the image below. Outside case mouth is shown as 0.3731". That's your goal.

    And, if want to use taper crimps and roll crimps, the choice is taper crimp for any cartridge that headspaces on the case mouth, taper or roll crimp if it headspaces on the rim.

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