Do you crimp rifle rounds....?


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D. Manley
December 24, 2008, 12:46 AM
I've seen this argued for well, forever but thought it might be interesting to see what the numbers say. Do you crimp your rifle rounds?:

1. Always

2. Never

3. Depends on Caliber

4. Depends on Magazine (tubular type or other)

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Uncle Chan
December 24, 2008, 12:56 AM
Every round, every caliber. Lee factory crimp die.

glockster157
December 24, 2008, 01:08 AM
In my varmint rigs I will seat the bullet out to the rifling and no crimp. In my autos, AR's, I will even resize with a undersized neck expander and use a lee factory crimp die to stand up to the slam bang of the feeding. In my auto pistols I will use a good taper crimp and revolvers a good roll crimp. In my lever guns I usually use a very strong crimp depending on the bullet style and caliber as some do better rolled and some taper crimped in the cannalure. It also depends if it is a single shot, I have a lot of Ruger #1's, verses mymagazined weapons. So I could say yes to all the above.

ArchAngelCD
December 24, 2008, 01:17 AM
Yes but only with Lee Factory Crimp Dies.

NuJudge
December 24, 2008, 10:06 AM
The last time I did was for some hunting ammo before a trip to Alaska. I really did not want those bullets to move at all.

I probably would if I was loading for Lever Actions. I never do for Semi-Autos, and with the above exception never for Bolt Actions.

243winxb
December 24, 2008, 10:51 AM
A crimp is needed when using something like a 458 so the bullet doesn't move forward on recoil. IMO most all rifle rounds do not need a crimp. 223, 243,308,30-30 , 7mm, 30's The correct dies and expander ball hold the bullet in the case just fine for semi, full, bolt, lever,pumps.

Walkalong
December 24, 2008, 11:18 AM
Just depends.

I crimp all pistol ammo with conventional roll and taper crimp dies.

I crimp all my .223, except when loading for accuracy. Again, conventional roll and taper crimp dies.

.22 hornet, .222, .222 Mag? No crimp. I am loading for accuracy.

.308, same as .223.

30/30? Have not loaded it yet, but I believe I am going to take The Bushmasters advise, and try a Lee FCD die for it. He swears by it for 30/30.

That's sad, not enough rifle calibers right now. I must fix that. At least get another 6.5 X 55.......

The Bushmaster
December 24, 2008, 11:39 AM
Only rifle round that I own that gets crimped is .30 WCF...

Walkalong...I thought that all Midwest and Southern boys had a .30-30 or two...

armoredman
December 24, 2008, 11:55 AM
FCD, except 25-06...don't have an FCD yet.

rcmodel
December 24, 2008, 12:02 PM
Only for tube magazines and AR-15 SHTF ammo.

I don't have any elephant rifles, but I would crimp those too.

It is unnecessary for common bolt action calibers, and only shortens the life of the brass.

rcmodel

rscalzo
December 24, 2008, 12:03 PM
Depending on use. Match loads using Sierra Matchkings, No. Standard practice loads using fmj, yes.

lgbloader
December 24, 2008, 01:09 PM
30/30? Have not loaded it yet, but I believe I am going to take The Bushmasters advise, and try a Lee FCD die for it. He swears by it for 30/30.


I have a couple and I really like to crimp these as well.

Only for tube magazines and AR-15 SHTF ammo.
It is unnecessary for common bolt action calibers, and only shortens the life of the brass.

That pretty much sums it up.

LGB

helz_mcfugly
December 24, 2008, 01:18 PM
does that Lee factory roll crimp die for .223 shorten the life of brass? My friend got one, and was trying to get me to get one, and uses it alot now, Im sure he would be interested to know if he is shortening the life of his brass especially if hes using lapua.

Steve in PA
December 24, 2008, 01:19 PM
Nope, no crimp.

rcmodel
December 24, 2008, 01:29 PM
does that Lee factory roll crimp die for .223 shorten the life of brass?The Lee FCD is not actually a roll crimp, or a taper crimp either.

It uses a slit-collet insert in the die that squeezes the mouth of the case into the bullet cannelure.

That leaves a compressed ring at the mouth of the case with four little marks where the collet slits are.

It is working the brass more, because the marks don't completely iron out when you shoot them.
I believe it most certainly sets up a stress fracture point at each collet slit mark.
But I haven't reloaded enough of them yet to find out if neck cracks eventually develop there.

rcmodel

Walkalong
December 24, 2008, 02:20 PM
Walkalong...I thought that all Midwest and Southern boys had a .30-30 or two...I had one years ago before I reloaded, and bought another a few months back, but have not loaded for it just yet. Not long though. I had a .44 mag Winchester 94 for the years in between. My older son talked me out of the .44. :)

That leaves a compressed ring at the mouth of the case with four little marks where the collet slits are.

It is working the brass more, because the marks don't completely iron out when you shoot them.
I believe it most certainly sets up a stress fracture point at each collet slit mark.
I have used a Lee collet sizer in .222 Mag years ago, and it worked well, but the brass seemed to work harden faster than with conventional methods. It does work the brass more. It works like the collet crimper, but with a mandrel to squeeze against instead of a a seated bullet.

I switched to a Forster sizer. Good stuff.

Uncle Chan
December 25, 2008, 12:44 AM
The Lee FCD is not actually a roll crimp, or a taper crimp either.

It uses a slit-collet insert in the die that squeezes the mouth of the case into the bullet cannelure.

That leaves a compressed ring at the mouth of the case with four little marks where the collet slits are.

It is working the brass more, because the marks don't completely iron out when you shoot them.
I believe it most certainly sets up a stress fracture point at each collet slit mark.
But I haven't reloaded enough of them yet to find out if neck cracks eventually develop there.

My LFCD does no such thing. I've no marks whatsoever on the case or case mouth. I get a gentle taper crimp, or so it would seem. The tighter the crimp, the more I compress the case and bulge/buckle the shoulder.

ny32182
December 25, 2008, 01:45 AM
In my experience the Lee FCD operates exactly as rcmodel states....

Each time you use it though, the chances that the slits are going to fall on the exact same spot on the case mouth is slim... therefore you are not stressing the exact same spots on the case mouth on each loading. Do the mouths get a little rough after a few trips through the FCD? Yes. Do I worry about it reducing the life of the brass? A little. Normally I will start using brass for loads that I am going to crimp with the FCD about halfway though what I consider their usable life (5 or 6 total reloads in .223; I'll start crimping them on load #3 or 4 depending on what I have available.)

As far as what loads I crimp... if the bullet has a cannelure that lines up with the case mouth, I crimp. If it doesn't, I don't. So far I load only for mag fed semiauto rifles.

Idano
December 25, 2008, 02:46 AM
I never crimp 22 cal but I do 30 cal.


.223 - no :: Custom AR15
22-250 - no :: Remington 700
30-06 -yes ::Winchester M70

Rollis R. Karvellis
December 25, 2008, 10:49 AM
rscalzo
Member



Join Date: 06-06-05
Location: Epping, NH
Posts: 39 Depending on use. Match loads using Sierra Matchkings, No. Standard practice loads using fmj, yes.


+1 on this method.

rcmodel
December 25, 2008, 03:30 PM
My LFCD does no such thing. I've no marks whatsoever on the case or case mouth. I get a gentle taper crimp, or so it would seem. The tighter the crimp, the more I compress the case and bulge/buckle the shoulder.
Sounds to me like the collet is seized up in the die body then.

If the Lee FCD is working as designed, there is no stress put on the case at all, and no way to crumple the shoulder.

The collet contacts the shell holder, and the crimp is applied by it as the shell holder pushes it into the die and the fingers close up.

Check your FCD, and see if the collet is free to move back & forth.

It it isn't, take the die apart, clean it, and lube the collet with dry-slide so it can move freely.

rcmodel

The Bushmaster
December 25, 2008, 04:08 PM
Re-adjust the die or clean it out and fix it. You definitley have something wrong there.

rcmodel...I just checked a bunch of my .30-30 rounds that I loaded about a month ago using the Lee FCD. Evidently I have it adjusted so it does not leave any vertical marks in the crimp. I have a completely round and smooth crimp...

rcmodel
December 25, 2008, 04:35 PM
Hmmm?

I've only got the one in .223, but you can see them on my loaded rounds.

Maybe they cut my collet with a dull saw blade?

rcmodel

ny32182
December 25, 2008, 04:40 PM
I have them in .223 and .308; both operate in the same fashion.

rbernie
December 25, 2008, 05:20 PM
Every round, every caliber. Lee factory crimp die.Exactly so, for the following chamberings:

223
25-06
6.8SPC
270
7mm08
30/30
308
30-06
7.62x39
35 Remington
444

The Bushmaster
December 25, 2008, 05:27 PM
Hummmm...

Eastern Kansas...

Maybe you need to enter my Man cave and get lessons on how to use a Lee FCD...:evil:

When I was experimenting with the FCD on .30-06 I notice that it left the vertical crimp marks. After playing with crimped and uncrimped .30-06 and finding that the uncrimped were just a (almost unmeasurable) wee bit more accurate. I sold the die to a friend (cheap)...:)

Uncle Chan
December 25, 2008, 06:00 PM
rcmodel and others,

The collet moves freely. I just don't get crimp marks, it's that simple. Maybe I'm the one with the odd die, but I use the Lee FCD for my 30-06 and I don't get crimp marks on it either.

Edited:

I just went and checked my 30-06 and 223 and not vertical crimp marks. The 223 FCD is solid. How would one move the collet? It doesn't free float and appears to a solid part of the die. Base of the collet is flush with the die. Same for the '06 die. The only real diff is the '06 collet is spread apart. The 223 collet is nearly completely together.

I'm confused. I've never had a problem with either and accuracy has been good. So, I have to wonder if I'm crimping or not? And, how do I remove the collet? Out of the top or bottom? I presume the top.

moooose102
December 26, 2008, 01:35 PM
it all depends on several things for me. on my 223 rounds, i NEVER crimp these, as the rifle i use them in is a single shot. of course, anything that has a tube mag. (30-30, 45/70) , has to be crimped, unless i am going to feed it like a shigle shot (which i do when working up a load from scratch sometimes). my .300 win. mag, is a sometimes caliber, depending on what i am doing. target / practice ammo USUALLY does not get crimped, while hunting ammo always get crimped. and every round of all of my handgun ammo gets crimped.

rcmodel
December 26, 2008, 01:53 PM
The 223 FCD is solid. How would one move the collet? Out of the top or bottom? I presume the top.Aha! Stuck collet just as I suspected!

Place a chunk of 1/2" wood dowel rod in the top and hold the die body from moving.

Now smack it with a hammer and the collet will pop out the bottom.

Clean & look for burs or rough spots that need to be polished off.
It should move back and forth with finger pressure slightly. The final collet compression can only happen by the shell holder pushing it into the die body though.

Once you take one apart, you will better understand how they are supposed to work.

rcmodel

Oddbod
December 26, 2008, 05:20 PM
Everything, with a Lee FCD.
It has produced consistently better groups from the .270 than uncrimped rounds loaded to the same specifications.
Once I've finished load development for the .243, I'll load some cartridges without a crimp & see if there's a difference there too. Same goes for the 22-250.

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