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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I load cast bullets with deep crimp groves, I've noticed that if I seat & taper crimp them to the OAL that's listed in the load data that I'm going by. The crimp does not go all the way to the bottom of the crimp grove. This leaves the bullet slightly loose & apt to push in to the bottom of the grove anyway. I can adjust my seating die to seat/crimp them to the bottom of the grove (also have Lee factory crimp die if needed), but then the OAL is less than specified in my data.

These are .44mag. & .45Colt loads that will be fired from Ruger BH & RH pistols. The bullets are not super loose but can be push in. I'm just wondering if I'll create any pressure issues if I go ahead & crimp them to the bottom of the groves?
 

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Deadeye, I am no expert on this, but, my thoughts: COL (as stated in the reloading manuals) are minimums, and according to the manuals, you should not decrease the oal...having said that, the pressures generated at those lengths are "SAFE WORKING LOADS". Would I recommend seating deeper?.....NEVER....have I seated deeper?....yes....if you do it, take it easy, as pressures go up in a hurry.....the safe thing to do is to go by the manual.....just my thoughts.....
 

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I crimped my 200 grain rnfp loads at the crimp groove and they are the same length as a cowboy load I got from the factory. I never gave AOL a thought. Maybe I'll blow myself up.
 

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Bountyhunter said:
I crimped my 200 grain rnfp loads at the crimp groove and they are the same length as a cowboy load I got from the factory. I never gave AOL a thought. Maybe I'll blow myself up.
The only way your going to get your correct OAL on that cowboy load is to use the very same cowboy bullet for the load. As long as you do not over extend the OAL so that your cylinder does not rotate. When using bullets that have the crimp groove where they are located there is no ill effects on the type of load your using ie "Cowboy Loads" where your fps and CUP presure are not a problem.

Use powders that are common with cowboy shooting such as Trail Boss, Uniquie, Universal etc

In the last 35 yrs of reloading I have never had a problem crimping a bullet where the crimping canlure is located.
 

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COL, cartridge overall length, is the max length of the cartridge standardized by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI).to give a standard length for proper fitment into cylinders of revolvers and magazines of semi-autos. It is the standard to make sure the cartridge will fit in all firearms manufactured for it.
The reloading aspect has the COL as the recomendation, while the actual bullet used will dictate the operational length. You may also have a bullet seated longer than recommended COL if you want to minimize bullet jump before it hits the forcing cone & lands of the barrel. The shorter jump, the less pressure loss and usually better accuracy. This practice is used by many competition shooters, especially in rifles.
The compression space inside the cartridge by seating a bullet too deep is really only an issue if you compress the powder charge. There is more of a problem with too much free space as you can get inconsistent powder ignition and pressure spikes.

Deadeye- the bullet should not move freely in the crimp groove. I would load them with a roll crimp that just holds them firmly and make sure you do not exceed the COL by any measure that caused binbing of the cylinder. I never use a taper crimp on any revolver cartridges like 45c and 44mag or 38/357. The heavier the load, the tighter the crimp should be. This is to eliminate movement of the unfired rounds so they will not back out of the cases under recoil and bind the cylinder or cause inconsistent ignition.
Proper bullet tension is a factor of proper resizing of the case as well as crimp. If sounds like you are not getting the case sized small enough for proper bullet tension or are over flaring the case mouth. You should not be able to move or pull the bullet from the case by hand even without a crimp.
To make it more interesting, Ruger produces their Redhawk in 44mag with a longer than SAMI standard cylinder so you can really get some big bear load bullets loaded up with max powder. If you loaded up COL to fit the cylinder of the Redhawk, the cartridge would not fit in most other revolvers without binding the cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies guys!

When I said I taper crimp them, I meant that I just adjust my Lee seating die to crimp them. Does that die taper or roll crimp them? The crimp I'm getting from it is sufficient to keep bullet from backing out under recoil. I'm careful not to over flare the case, I always check to make sure its just enough to to get the bullet in. The crimp I'm putting on them goes into the crimp grove, just not all the way to the bottom. The bullet can not be pulled out, but can be pushed in slightly. I'm only talking about .010-.020" movement. So if my data states OAL of 1.600" & I crimp to the bottom of the grove it takes it down to 1.590-1.580" (I'm just using these #s as example).

I'm thinking I'll just start crimping to the bottom of the grove, I think my Rugers can handle any increase in pressure. At least my bullets will be tight.
 

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The slight movement you describe is not a problem. I would avoid a heavier crimp than necessary unless you are loading heavy loads. Over crimping can cause the case mouth to be brittle and split. You can also cause the case to bulge at the rim and cause chambering problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jimbo! I've heard that you can get bulges out of .45acp loaded rds. by running them thru a Lee taper crimp die set to resize the rd. but not crimp. Can the same thing be done with Lee factory crimp dies for .44mag or .45Colt?
 

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Deadeye said:
Thanks Jimbo! I've heard that you can get bulges out of .45acp loaded rds. by running them thru a Lee taper crimp die set to resize the rd. but not crimp. Can the same thing be done with Lee factory crimp dies for .44mag or .45Colt?

I've never tried it. I have a thing about not running loaded ammo through a reloading die. I have had 45acp rounds with a ripple or bulge caused by a too tight case loaded with a slightly oversized bullet. The bullet profile imprints through the shell case. I try them in a chamber and they always fit without a problem so I just shoot them. If the deformity in the case is too bad to prevent chambering, I pull the bullet and either resize or discard the case. FYI, You can use a case gauge or the 45acp extra cylinder from a Blackhawk to safely test the cartridge chambering.
 

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I roll crimp revolver loads and taper crimp pistol loads as that is how the bullets are usually designed. I would want a good firm crimp on a 44 mag load and any stout 45 colt loads to prevent the bullet from backing out in the cylinder and locking you up. Cast loads will generally create less pressure than jacketed. The max OAL may be too long for your particular firearm and in a rifle or auto can actually generate excess pressure than a shorter bullet. In a revolver if the cylinder will turn then it will likely fire and the pressure curve is more related to the powder charge and primer used.

The max OAL listed in a manual supposedly represents the length of cartridge that will fit in all firearms chambered for that caliber. As I said before all firearms are different but I wouldn't be concerned particularily if you are using the bullet designed crimp groove. If you are showing pressure then you may have more powder that you need.

I have had a couple of examples recently of loads that started showing pressure: the first was a DEWC load that wasn't real heavy but my old Police Positive Colt just didn't like that load. Other 38's did not show any problems. The other was today as I shot my GP, SP and my P94 semi auto. I brought along some 357 mag loads and started shooting 38 wc's through the 2 357's. By the yime I got around to the warmer loads which was a 158 gr JHP over 14.6 gr of 2400. The GP had no problems but the SP started to flatten out the primers a little but wasn't a huge concern. I ran 5 more thru and the extraction became hard. As the SP got dirtier the pressures rose so it was time to stop. The GP didn't show any pressure with any of the loads. Thats kind of a long explanation to just same each firearm is unique so just watch for signs as you shoot them but I doubt that you will have problems using the crimp groove.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Terry_P said:
I roll crimp revolver loads and taper crimp pistol loads as that is how the bullets are usually designed. I would want a good firm crimp on a 44 mag load and any stout 45 colt loads to prevent the bullet from backing out in the cylinder and locking you up. Cast loads will generally create less pressure than jacketed. The max OAL may be too long for your particular firearm and in a rifle or auto can actually generate excess pressure than a shorter bullet. In a revolver if the cylinder will turn then it will likely fire and the pressure curve is more related to the powder charge and primer used.

The max OAL listed in a manual supposedly represents the length of cartridge that will fit in all firearms chambered for that caliber. As I said before all firearms are different but I wouldn't be concerned particularily if you are using the bullet designed crimp groove. If you are showing pressure then you may have more powder that you need.

I have had a couple of examples recently of loads that started showing pressure: the first was a DEWC load that wasn't real heavy but my old Police Positive Colt just didn't like that load. Other 38's did not show any problems. The other was today as I shot my GP, SP and my P94 semi auto. I brought along some 357 mag loads and started shooting 38 wc's through the 2 357's. By the yime I got around to the warmer loads which was a 158 gr JHP over 14.6 gr of 2400. The GP had no problems but the SP started to flatten out the primers a little but wasn't a huge concern. I ran 5 more thru and the extraction became hard. As the SP got dirtier the pressures rose so it was time to stop. The GP didn't show any pressure with any of the loads. Thats kind of a long explanation to just same each firearm is unique so just watch for signs as you shoot them but I doubt that you will have problems using the crimp groove.
Yea Terry, Thats what I plan do. I'm just wondering: If I get a good crimp from my Lee seating die, is there any reason to run them thru a Lee factory crimp die? I could just seat the bullet then run it thru the factory crimp die. Would that give me a better crimp or just waste of time?
 

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I use the factory crimp die. Then I adjust to whatever I'm loading. Cowby stuff up to bigass loads. I feel better using the factory crimp die and always buy the 4 die sets. You should really use the crimping die on your big loads imo.
 

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Many reloaders prefer the factory crimp die if you are loading stout magnum laods. Standard loads the combination seat/crimp die is fine. You shouldn't use both the combo seat/crimp die to crimp and then the factory crimp die. When using the factory crimp die, back the seating die out so it does not crimp the case.
FWIW, I use mainly RCBS dies and don't own a 4 die pistol set, only the 3 die set anymore. Works fine for me, even for 44mag and 357 max.
Good reloading to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
jimbo1096 said:
Many reloaders prefer the factory crimp die if you are loading stout magnum laods. Standard loads the combination seat/crimp die is fine. You shouldn't use both the combo seat/crimp die to crimp and then the factory crimp die. When using the factory crimp die, back the seating die out so it does not crimp the case.
FWIW, I use mainly RCBS dies and don't own a 4 die pistol set, only the 3 die set anymore. Works fine for me, even for 44mag and 357 max.
Good reloading to you!
Thanks Jimbo, I plan to just seat bullet with seat die. Then factory crimp for my heavy loads. It'll work out good, as I have 2 single stage presses mounted on my bench. So I can seat with one & crimp with the other.
 
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