How do you read a crimp? .40 S&W

This is a discussion on How do you read a crimp? .40 S&W within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I just started using a Lee Load Master for reloading. This is a 5 station progressive press. I have it set up, a minor primer ...

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Thread: How do you read a crimp? .40 S&W

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Question How do you read a crimp? .40 S&W

    I just started using a Lee Load Master for reloading. This is a 5 station progressive press.

    I have it set up, a minor primer issue to work out (weird dent, even after backing out the seating), powder drop verified to within +/- .1 gr, OAL set a 1.12 +/1 .05.

    I am using a Lee Factory Crimp die, and have it set per instructions.

    I am using Ranier plated 180 gr. TMJ FP. with assorted brass.

    I loaded 10 rounds with Hodgden Universal at the mid point between min and max, and 6 rounds at the min (using published user data). I hope to go out and test fire them today. My plans for taking the entire setup to the shooting area got snuffed by the Honey Do list.

    I have no clue as to how to read a crimp.
    Sticks

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    Member Array polardaddy's Avatar
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    the wierd dent in the primer may be from the primer "plunger" look to see if there is any junk,dirt, powder on it.

    I have not heard about reqding a crimp, I have the same press as you do, and i have a light crimp on mine just enough so the bullet doesn't move. I use a factory made round to set my seating die then mic the first round and make adjustments from there.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Adjust the crimp to remove bell you put in case mouth and then using gun barrel you field stripped from gun, insert the round,if it inserts and extracts by hand easily that should be enough, if the bell is still there it will stick and needs to be turned down another 1/2 turn and rechecked.
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    Not familiar with that Lee press but make sure that the primer seating punch (the part that actually contacts the primer) is not in upside down. The top of it should be flat the same diameter as the primer and not beveled. I know on the RCBS hand priming tool you can put it in upside down and it will dent the primers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Adjust the crimp to remove bell you put in case mouth and then using gun barrel you field stripped from gun, insert the round,if it inserts and extracts by hand easily that should be enough, if the bell is still there it will stick and needs to be turned down another 1/2 turn and rechecked.
    I checked that, and I seem good to go.

    I test fired 10 rounds at the mid point, and 6 at the low end. Compared to my factory rounds, the factory rounds are right in the middle. Shot grouping and placement was equal between the 3 at 20 yards.

    Thanks for the help guys!
    Sticks

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    Sorry guys, I had to bring this back up.

    I did a batch of test loads for my Desert Eagle .44. 8 rounds. Upon arrival at the IDPA shoot, my box of .44 ammo fell out of my bag, a whole 8" to the ground. When I went to do my test fire, 2 of the 8 rounds had complete setback (READ - flush with the top of the case). I followed the setup instructions for the press, and the advice given here.

    I hold only myself responsible here, no one else!

    Adjust the crimp to remove bell you put in case mouth and then using gun barrel you field stripped from gun, insert the round,if it inserts and extracts by hand easily that should be enough, if the bell is still there it will stick and needs to be turned down another 1/2 turn and rechecked.
    There was no bell, and it was a Lee Factory Crimp Die. The round dropped right in, and came right out - gravity drop.

    Clearly not enough crimp.

    Yesterday I went through and completely reset all of my dies. When I got to the Factory Crimp, using a blank round, no primer, I took the crimped round and tapped it by hand on my bench a couple of times, then rechecked my OAL. It setback .018" The tapping power I used is hard to describe, maybe about as hard as you would politely knock on a door. I guarantee you it was no where near the impact of an inertia bullet puller. I would call that a slam.

    I adjusted the crimp a little more, and repeated the process until I no longer got setback. Looking at the crimp, it had a slight taper at the mouth of the case, and looked real close to the factory rounds I have.

    I then did the same thing with my .40 S&W dies. A couple of those I took apart and the crimp left a noticeable dent ring around the bullet. Sorry, no OD measurements for you.

    I know over crimping is bad, but I would think that setback form a gravity check would be worse. Especially when most of us have the habit of tapping the magazine after loading (That would be a more intentense knock at the door, second round from no answer)

    Suggestions and opinions?
    Sticks

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    Member Array alfack's Avatar
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    Take a factory round and measure the width, right at the case mouth, with the bullet seated. Compare this measurement with your round. Also, straight walled cartridges, like the .40, should get a taper crimp and not a roll crimp IMO.

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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    I am using Lee Factory Crimp Dies so I would presume that the .40 is getting the taper, and the .44 is getting the rolled.

    I'll post pics here in a bit. I am still in my PJs and not wanting to go out in the cold (14*). I am not getting paid, I have a choice to be warm.
    Sticks

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    OK, here are pics. The .40 on the left is mine, the .44 is the FMJ.







    I removed my barrel from my BE and checked my reload for fit. Dropped in, came out. I also tried to jam it in as hard as I could with my finger (I's not stupid enough to use da hammur), and it did not stick whatsoever. Obviously there is no way I can replicate the force that the slide will seat the round, but I can not bypass the ejector to see if the round wedges/jams in the headspace (did I get that right?).

    Sorry for the crappy closeup of the .44, it looked OK on the camera LCD. You can still see the crimp I put on it though.

    So do they look too tight?

    I apologize for the newbie questions here. I had plans to get with someone local to walk me through the reloading process and the nuances in trade for a holster, but he did not show up at the last IDPA shoot. Other than you guys, I don't know anyone who reloads.
    Sticks

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    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    On my Lee classic turret, I set the crimp so I can just see it on the end of the casing, like the ring you can see on your last picture right hand side. Don't feel bad I am still trying to figure out the crimp for my 357Sig rounds. Using the barrel to check the ammo is a good idea.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    On my Lee classic turret, I set the crimp so I can just see it on the end of the casing, like the ring you can see on your last picture right hand side. Don't feel bad I am still trying to figure out the crimp for my 357Sig rounds. Using the barrel to check the ammo is a good idea.
    Problem being that is my .44 mag round and seats by the rim in my DE. I could crimp it more, but I am already just at the point where the crimp die is just about to shave brass off the case - I already backed it off.

    My .40 is my main concern. I demoed it for a friend last night and after I took the round apart, the bullet had a compression groove around where the case was crimped. I may still have it too tight, but I am not getting any setback at that setting when I tap the round. Using the factory recommended setting, I could tap an empty primerless case on the table a couple of times and get significant setback, and the round would still chamber with no issue.
    Sticks

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    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    As the .40 S&W is a high pressure round.

    Setback = presure increase

    presure increase= KaBoom

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    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    "My kingdom for some .44 mag range brass!!"

    Just buy it directly from Starline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danimal View Post
    "My kingdom for some .44 mag range brass!!"

    Just buy it directly from Starline.
    The trick here is to find once fired or cheap.
    Sticks

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    See also Sheep

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    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    I was having problems with my S&W .40 reloads chambering in all 3 of my Glocks with an after market Storm Lake barrel.

    I am using mixed range brass, a home cast magma bullet sized to .401.

    I measured the diameter of the crimp on those rds that would chamber and those that wouldn't.

    Crimp diameter on rds that would not chamber was .420
    Crimp diameter on rds tht would chamber was .417-.418

    Since setting the taper crimp die to crimp all rounds at .418 No more problems.

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