just wondering if i can load my 45acp ammo with no crimp?
i dont trim 45acp cases and i notice that there is up to .010 difference in case length. this would mean that some of my loads are being crimped more than others and im wondering if this can hurt my accuracy potential.
they are all fired from 1911 pistols. i use cast lrn mostly, sometimes plated but im prolly going back to cast only.
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July 23, 2008, 01:41 PM
I taper crimp my .45 ACPs to between .470 and .472 which is more than sufficient and should solve your problem.
July 23, 2008, 01:47 PM
You should at least "kiss" the case with a taper crimp enough to straighten out the flare applied for seating.
If you really need the maximum accuracy "potential" then sort your brass.
July 23, 2008, 01:49 PM
The 45 ACP headspaces on the case mouth, and should have no crimp.
Just "crimp" enough to remove the bell you put in for bullet seating so as to return the case to a straight wall configuration.
A "taper crimp" will accomplish this as long as you do not continue to bend the case neck inward past what you see in factory cartridges.
July 23, 2008, 02:10 PM
I taper crimp mine. It is so light you have to look at it under a loupe to see it.
July 23, 2008, 04:48 PM
Loupe...Why didn't you say Magnifying glass in the first place...I had to look that up. Just what I needed. To learn a new word at my age...
FlyinBryan...The above posters have given you sage advice. Just remove the bell and that's all. cdrt is right on with that measurment of .470 to .472...Be careful not to over crimp because you may damage the bullet and also cause the case to enter the chamber too far...
I am probably the only one here that trims his .45 ACP cases because my Colt series 80 (modified) prefers cases that measure .890 to .892 (at least I believe that and that's good enough for me)...:D
July 23, 2008, 04:55 PM
You need at least a little taper crimp for two reasons.
1. It removes the case mouth bell and straightens the case back out after bullet seating.
2. It prevents bullet set-back from the bullet nose hitting the feed ramp on the way into the gun.
#1 promotes good functioning guns.
#2 prevents good guns from getting blown up due to bullet set-back increasing pressure.
July 23, 2008, 06:36 PM
rcmodel, are you sure about reason #2? A sizing die that sizes enough is what should prevent bullet setback in a semi-auto round. The case mouth should not dig into the side of the bullet from a taper crimp.
July 23, 2008, 06:52 PM
You do not need to crimp enough to "dig" the case into the bullet. Just a little will do the job. Jacketed bullets are tough and can take plenty of crimp though. We do have to be a bit more gentle with plated bullets, but even those do fine with a light taper crimp in the .45. If your gun is bashing bullets back in the case when using a light taper crimp, you need to have your gun checked.(or your neck tension is bad to start with)
July 23, 2008, 06:56 PM
rcmodel, are you sure about reason #2?
"Dig into it" is too strong a word.
I just now pulled the bullet on a RA 66 National Match .45 ACP factory load.
There is a visible bright ring around the 230 grain FMJ bullet where the mouth of the case was pressed into it very slightly by the taper crimp.
It is not much, but it is enough to help prevent bullet set-back.
I do agree that a taper crimp should not ever "dig into" the bullet, but I feel it does help add to case neck tension when done correctly.
July 23, 2008, 08:50 PM
Adding the 5th station to a progressive greatly improved the accuracy of my series 80 Colt. I backed off the seating die so it just seats, and no longer crimps. The fifth die is for crimping only. The slight taper seems to hold the bullet a bit longer until the pressure is right, keeps the velocity repeatable. I shoot mostly cast, so I do not worry about jacket damage, but if there were a jacket, the taper crimp should be light enough it should not damage it.
July 23, 2008, 10:06 PM
How I crimp my .45 acp reloads depends upon the bullet and how tight it is in the case. My goal is to avoid set back as it cycles in the pistol. Usually with lead SWC's I taper crimp very little as they're a .001" or more larger in diameter than jacketed. Jacketed ammo I crimp relatively heavy and copper clad gets a crimp somewhere in between. I generally use a Lee Factory Crimp die which has helped eliminate bullet setback with jacketed ammo. As you can't reduce the case diameter to less than SAAMI factory minimum dimensions with the Lee FC die its just a matter of how much crimp you want.
July 23, 2008, 11:43 PM
Bryan was asking if he could load 45 ACP without any crimp, and the answer should be "Yes." He then mentioned that he does not trim his cases and has differences in case length. Remember, the 45 AC headspaces on the case mouth, and the case length is an important factor in both headspace as well as seating bullets properly.
If case lengths vary, how can cases get uniform belling as well as removal of same. Once a bullet is seated, crimping cases of different lengths will result in grossly different "crimps." A short case may not have the bell removed, and al long case may have a crimp that results in not having a case mouth on which the cartridge is able to headspace.
Cases that headspace on the mouth should be trimmed to the same proper length, and only then should the cases have bullets seated and any belling removed from the mouth. "Crimping" is a bad term to use when talking about cases that headspace on the mouth. "Bell removal" would be a better term.
I don't have a single auto pistol that has any problem with bullet movement from either recoil or chamber loading, and I do not apply any crimp other than what is required to remove a slight belling of the mouth when I use cast bullets. I do not use any bell on the mouth when using jacketed bullets.
July 24, 2008, 12:41 AM
Bryan was asking if he could load 45 ACP without any crimp, and the answer should be "Yes."Skipping the taper crimp will cause chambering problems especially with cast bullets therefore it's not recommended. The use of a cartridge gage will confirm this.
Remember, the 45 AC headspaces on the case mouth
True, but not always. Cartridges often headspace on the extractor because the case isn't long enough or has been excessively crimped.
July 24, 2008, 08:20 AM
The manual tells me to crimp my handloads, so I do. I use the manual for all dimensional references.
One time I slipped up and mixed a fired case in with my prepped cases. The case was stretched from firing and the bullet literally fell into the case. So, by virtue of the process, crimping of some sort is absolutely a necessity.
July 24, 2008, 08:23 AM
I have trimmed all of my .45ACP cases to the same length. I do so, because I want the "taper crimp" to be uniform on all rounds...not because of headspace problems, as the extractor seems to be the determining factor there. The crimp is just enough to remove the bell, and just a red hair more. This has provided excellent fuctioning and very accurate .45ACP reloads...in MY M-1911...
July 24, 2008, 08:57 AM
To answer the original Q.
Yes, you can load your .45 rounds with no crimp if you want to, but putting a light taper crimp on them will serve you better for all the reasons mentioned above.
If you are belling your rounds you MUST taper crimp at least enough to remove the bell, and a touch more is a good idea IMHO.
Is that better David Wile :D
By the way, I have NEVER trimmed an auto case and have had zero problems. :)
July 24, 2008, 08:59 AM
Hornady's manual calls for "little or no crimp." I have tried both ways, and haven't had any problems in my Sig P220 with either. That said, I will run a slight taper crimp from now on (just enough to remove the very slight bell I add to help seat the bullet) because it is probably the "best" way to load the 45. It really doesn't add much time to the process, so why not?
Jeepmor: shouldn't sizing should prevent the bullet from "falling in the case" and not the crimp?
July 24, 2008, 09:18 AM
Some of us seem to have missed some of the very basics of reloading and have plunged on to new dimensions.
Concerning the fact that the 45 ACP headspaces on the case mouth, Otto just said, "True, but not always. Cartridges often headspace on the extractor because the case isn't long enough or has been excessively crimped."
After mentioning he uses the manual for all dimensional references, Jeepmor said, "One time I slipped up and mixed a fired case in with my prepped cases. The case was stretched from firing and the bullet literally fell into the case. So, by virtue of the process, crimping of some sort is absolutely a necessity."
DeSoto states, "I have trimmed all of my .45ACP cases to the same length. I do so, because I want the "taper crimp" to be uniform on all rounds...not because of headspace problems, as the extractor seems to be the determining factor there. The crimp is just enough to remove the bell, and just a red hair more. This has provided excellent fuctioning and very accurate .45ACP reloads...in MY M-1911... "
I would suggest to Otto that he read the beginning of any reloading manual where they tell us about case headspacing. No cartridge headspaces on the extractor. Some cartridges headspace on the rim, but not the extractor, and the 45 ACP alway headspaces on the case mouth as do most other auto pistol cartridges. If one thinks a 45 ACP "often headspaces on the extractor (maybe he meant rim?) because the case isn't long enough or has been excessively crimped.", one has absolutely no idea of the concept of headspacing as well as crimping.
Jeepmor's idea that crimping is a necessity to insure that you do not accidently load a case that has not been resized is simply defending the indefensible. I have no idea how he would have a case where he removed the primer and put a new primer in without having resized the case, but that is just simple operator error, and I have never read any manual that suggests that crimping is used to correct operator error.
Finally, DeSoto seems to have the right idea about how to "crimp" the case "just enough to remove the bell, and just a red hair more." This is the proper way to "finish" the case when loading a bullet in a 45 ACP case. However, he does not understand the reason he wants his cases "to be uniform on all rounds." He says it is "...not because of headspace problems, as the extractor seems to be the determining factor there.", and again that is incorrect. The extractor is not the determining factor in anything but the extraction of the case. Again, proper headspacing is the reason it is so important to have 45 ACP cartridges loaded with cases of a correct length as well as case mouths that have been correctly "crimped" or "finished" by insuring any belling has been removed.
If one thinks 45 ACP cases headspace on the "extractor" or that crimping is intended to correct an unsized case, one seriously needs to find a more experienced person to teach him the basics of headspacing and reloading.
July 24, 2008, 09:35 AM
Your post got in there while I was writing mine.
Obviously you have the correct idea about crimping rounds that headspace on the case mouth. You even mention that taper crimping is required "if" you are belling your rounds. Apparently, there are a number of folks who do not understand why the crimping is required and why it should be used lightly.
I always had the idea that while you can tell folks what to do and what not to do, it is probably better if you also tell them why they should or should not be doing something.
You also mentioned that you have never trimmed auto cases, and I can understand that if you use the same cases all the time. I also find that my auto pistol cases never seem to lengthen from usage. However, I do have different brands of cases and sometimes find they can be different lengths from new out of the box. Accordingly, I measure new batches of cases and trim them to a uniform length before reloading. Once trimmed, I never seem to need to do it again.
July 24, 2008, 01:26 PM
I use a separate taper crimp die to just flatten out the belling from the expander... I had nothing but problems trying to seat and crimp in one step, it was too aggravating.
July 24, 2008, 01:40 PM
I trim all revolver brass after the first fireing, but never trim auto brass. I would never tell someone not to, but I just can't see where it helps. Trim length is much more critical with a roll crimp than a taper crimp IMHO.
I shoot a gosh awfull mix of .45 brass and it shoots extremely well. I am too lazy to trim it all when it shoots that well. :)
July 24, 2008, 02:18 PM
No cartridge headspaces on the extractor.
Unless you're living in a perfect world...thats baloney.
Suppose you trim a 45acp case too short. What do you think holds the cartridge against the breech face?
Just Google "45acp headspace extractor"
Heres an example...read the last sentence.
And why trim 45acp? The case gets shorter not longer after firing.
July 24, 2008, 02:29 PM
It happens, it just isn't supposed to work out that way.
I am sure I have fired cases that were being held by the extractor, since I have never trimmed a .45 case, and measured just a handfull over 20 plus years. Odds are I have picked up a short one or two over the years. :)
July 24, 2008, 05:38 PM
It has nothing to do with a perfect world; it has to do with how different cartridges are designed to headspace in a chamber - and it is not baloney. If you trim a 30-06 case too short, that's no big deal - the 30-06 headspaces on the case shoulder. If you trim a 45 ACP case too short, that can be a big deal because it headspaces on the case mouth. What do I think holds a too short 45 ACP against the breech face? Nothing. That is the point of proper headspacing. An extractor does not make improper case length proper. An extractor is intended to extract the case and nothing else. It is as simple as that. If you think an extractor has anything to do with headspacing, you need to look it up.
I went to the site you cited, and I read the whole thing. I presume the last sentence you are citing is where the Rabbi says, "That's why most handloaded .45 ACP rounds never fully headspace on the case mouth, but are held in the chamber by the extractor alone." Immediately prior to that sentence, the Rabbi stated, "The generous radius on resizing dies will not allow the case to be resized all the way to the extractor groove."
Those statements alone from the Rabbi are wrong if taken at face value. I don't know what dies the Rabbi uses, but my Lyman and RCBS dies apparently do not have any "generous radius" as suggested by the Rabbi. I guarantee you that my loaded 9mm, 10mm, and 45 ACP rounds will drop right into the chambers of any standard 9mm, 10mm, or 45 ACP auto pistol and stop when the case mouth hits the front end of the chamber. To suggest that a 45 ACP headspaces on the extractor is ignorance.
In the previous sentence, the Rabbi also states "...but after one firing the case will expand and become shorter." , and I suppose this is why you stated "...why trim 45acp? The case gets shorter not longer after firing." Yes, an auto pistol case will expand after firing and the length may be measurably shorter. However, what you apparently do not realize is that after the "shorter" cases are resized, they will all be virtually the same length they were before they were fired. Once they are loaded, they will be pretty much just as they were when new.
Why trim 45 ACP? You trim them if they need trimming. Not all brands of auto pistol brass are made to the same length. If I have three different brands of 45 ACP brass and I find the three brands are three different lengths, I will trim all the brass to a uniform length - usually as recommended in a Lyman manual. Like Walkalong mentioned earlier, I don't have problems with auto pistol brass lengthening after use, but I like to get all my brass in one auto pistol caliber to be one uniform length to start. That makes it a lot easier to insure that the "crimps" on my case mouths will be uniform and will headspace and feed properly.
July 24, 2008, 08:44 PM
Ok, I take it you didn't like the Rabbi article. So let's try again.
Charles E. Petty (a respected writer for Guns Magazine) wrote about this very subject.
Here's what Petty says:
"Everyone knows that most autopistol cartridges headspace on the case mouth... it says so in the book. And so it might, in a perfect world. But in our real one, it ain't that way very often. Actually, for a case mouth to touch the chamber shoulder would require a combination of worst-case dimensions. In most autopistols, headspace is determined by the fit of the extractor. Doubt me? Go inspect your autopistol and think about it."
I suggest you read the whole story.
July 24, 2008, 08:59 PM
how do you guys tell how much you are crimping?
i dont have the best eyesight. am i supposed to be able to actually see the crimp? i am using the lee carbide 3 die set. it has a de-capper, a powder through expander, and a combo seating/crimping die.
July 24, 2008, 09:08 PM
With a caliper. I also use a cartridge gage for spot checks. In general, the less crimp the better.
July 24, 2008, 09:26 PM
With a Loupe. I taper crimp very lightly. I can not see the crimp without magnification, but it is there. :)
July 24, 2008, 09:39 PM
Yes, I read the Petty article, and it is what it is - an article intended to sell magazines and consisting of sophistry. Yes, there is a min and max for cases that headspace on the casemouth and cases fall somwhere in between. That does not, however, mean that a 45 ACP case is headspacing on the extractor. An auto pistol case that is sized properly will fit in a chamber and be contained between the breech or bolt face and the rim of the chamber which is designed to stop the case with the case mouth.
Now if Mr. Petty is going to suggest that just because all auto pistol cartridges do not fit the chamber exactly then the cartridge is headspacing on the extractor, then I would like to ask Mr. Petty what he has to say about the 30-06 and other rimless cartridges which headspace on the shoulder? Just like the auto pistol cases that do not exactly fit the chamber, cases that headspace on the shoulder also do not exactly fit the chamber. Would you then like to tell me that the 30-06 actually headspaces on the extractor too? As I recall from military training, when we set the headspace on a 30 caliber Browning, we were not adjusting the extractor.
Headspace guages measure chamber size; headspace guages have nothing to do with case extractors. This whole extractor headspace thing is pure sophistry that someone sees and accepts it as the new covenent from some gun writer making a buck.
Read about headspacing in a Lyman reloading manual, a Hornady manual, a Speer manual, or some other legitimate source that has stood some test of time for accurate information. Go to a library, get a couple of gunsmithing books and look in the index for headspacing. It really is not controversial - it is a fairly simple thing to understand.
July 25, 2008, 11:06 AM
IF I DONT CRIMP A LITTLE
my round will not chamber in my 1911
all others work fine, so i give each a little crimp
July 25, 2008, 11:10 AM
how do you guys tell how much you are crimping?
before i got a case gauge i took my 1911 barrel and used it, when the round would drop in like it should i locked the die set for that crimp
August 9, 2008, 04:16 AM
When you say "An auto pistol case that is sized properly will fit in a chamber and be contained between the breech or bolt face and the rim of the chamber", do you mean with a round chambered in a fully assembled 45 acp pistol that the case will be in simultaneous contact with rim and the breach or bolt face?
Just tryin to understand :)
August 9, 2008, 10:58 AM
No, not exactly. The chamber of any rifle or pistol is designed to have a specific amount of headspace for a cartridge designed to be used in that rifle, pistol, or whatever. While I do not know, I suspect this is also probably true for big cannons which shoot cartridge like ammo. Headspace would be the amount of "room" the cartridge has to move in the chamber once the bolt face is closed on the cartridge. If the cartridge is too long to fit in the chamber with the bolt closed, then that cartridge and chamber would not have enough headspace. On the other hand, the cartridge may be too short in headspace, and that condition may result in several different problems if the cartridge is fired in the chamber. One problem may be that the cartridge won't fire at all because there is too much room in the chamber for the firing pin to strike the primer properly, or the cartridge may fire and damage the action because it does not seal the chamber properly.
With regular rifles and pistols, different guns are designed to headspace ammunition in one of a few different methods. Some rifles and pistols are designed to have the cartridge headspace on the rim at the head of the case. A few examples of these are the 38 Special, the .357 and .44 Mags, the 45-70, the 30-40 Krag, and the .303 British. In each of these calibers, heaspace is measured between the closed bolt face and the rear of the chamber where the case rim is stopped by the chamber. Most but not all of the more "modern" bottleneck cartridges such as 30-06, .308 and .243 Winchesters headspace on the shoulder of the case. In these, headspace is measured between the closed bolt face and the shoulder of the chamber. Most but not all of the semi-auto pistols such as the .380 and .45 ACPs, the 9 and 10 MMs, and even the .25 auto headspace on the case mouth. For these cartridges, headspace is measured from the closed bolt face to the front of the chamber where the mouth of cartridge will rest if allowed to move to the front of the chamber. I will skip other methods of headspacing such as belted cases.
You asked, "...do you mean with a round chambered in a fully assembled 45 acp pistol that the case will be in simultaneous contact with rim and the breach or bolt face?" To answer this question, we must make certain assumptions. Let's assume the .45 ACP pistol has been fitted properly with a slide and bolt that results in a finished pistol that has the proper headspace for a .45 ACP. You cannot just chage bolts from one gun to another without checking to see if the gun will still have the correct headspace. To answer your question, let's assume the gun is headspaced properly. That means that properly sized .45 ACP ammunition will fit in the chamber with the bolt face closed, and it will also not be too short for the chamber.
If the .45 ACP cartridge is all the way at the front of the chamber with the case mouth resting on the rim of the chamber, there will be some amount of space between the bolt face and the rear of the case. This "slop" is designed into headspace tolerances to allow some variation in the different ammunition produced. Using the word "slop" to describe headspace function is not a very accurate description, however. "Tolerance" would be a better choice of words to describe the function of heaspacing.
Lyman and Hornady as well as other reloading manuals have very good descriptions of headspacing which include drawings which make it much more understandable than I am able to do with my limited words.
So, yes, a .45 ACP round could possibly be in simultaneous contact with chamber rim as well as the bolt face, but that would certainly be at the maximum case length for the designed headspace. Actually, virtually all properly sized cartridges will be just a bit shorter than the distance between the bolt face and the chamber rim.
August 9, 2008, 03:51 PM
i crimp all of my reloads, EXCEPT for my .223, which fires in a single shot handi-rifle. it is the only thing i shoot, that i feed one shot at a time. everything else gets crimped. and usually, i crimp hard. never had a feed, or problem firing.
August 9, 2008, 05:33 PM
I checked all my reloading manuals, some going back 30 years. Speer, Hornady, Lyman, etc. Nowhere in any of them could I find anything about the .45 ACP headspacing on the extractor. It headspaces on the chamber rim and the boltface. So says every reloading book I own.
August 9, 2008, 05:42 PM
I've never trimmed or crimped a reloaded 45acp cartridge. Shot thousands of them.
I could see it being necessary if you are over belling the case mouths or rechamber the same cartridge a half dozen times.
But then again...I dont always clean all my cases before relaoding them again.
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