Help me with my 45 colt crimp


June 15, 2011, 06:39 PM
Ok I just started reloading for 45 colt... I am using speer nickel brass, federal large pistol primers, 7.6 gr of Unique, and 250 gr MB Cowboy #1 bullets LRNFP.....

I am loading the load to 1.575'' but after 5 shots from my Ruger New Vaquero I get 1.584''... so obviously its seperating a little bit... is a little bit ok? Or should I strive for ZERO seperation. I have a pretty good amount of crimp on it already so I don't know how much more I should try or if I should even worry about it.

Also would the crimp hold more with better brass? I just got some starline brass in but I am trying to save it and load up this speer nickel first.

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Jim Watson
June 15, 2011, 06:41 PM
Are you roll crimping into the crimp groove?
That is not a heavy load and I would not expect even .010" of movement.

June 15, 2011, 06:46 PM

A good roll crimp into the crimp groove should hold the bullets put, unless you have no neck tension at all, especially with less than a heavy load.

.44 Mag here, but you get the idea. :)

June 15, 2011, 10:28 PM
yes i am rolling crimping into the groove... my crimp looks like the one on the right... you kinda have a slim gap there too..

tomorrow i will try to take some pics and also load some up with slightly more crimp to see what happens

Lost Sheep
June 15, 2011, 10:43 PM
If the first few firings of the other rounds in the cylinder cause the bullet to advance out of the case and then there is no more "growth", yo are probably OK as far as getting the gun jammed up (from the bullet nose poking out of the cylinder). Still shouldn't happen, though.

For carry loads, I recommend this exercise:

Load up 11 rounds with your carry load and regular crimp. Mark one chamber in your revolver. Load with 6 rounds. Fire off the 5 that are NOT in the marked chamber. Reload with the other 5 rounds and fire them off.

With each firing, measure that one cartridge's length and track the growth.

If it occurs with the first shot or couple and grows no further after that, I suspect you are not crimping into the crimping groove. Adjust seating depth. Probably less deep (longer overall length). If the lengthening occurs near the end of the string of 11 firings or continuously throughout, strengthen your crimp or reduce the poser of your load.

Thanks for asking our advice.

Lost Sheep

June 15, 2011, 11:34 PM
Something is goofy here. I remember the pictures in your other thread. It looks like you had a good solid crimp there. And you're right that with the light load you have you shouldn't be getting any measurable movement on the bullet. But the roll crimp works in conjunction with the regular neck tension to prevent bullet creep. Evidently, there is not enough neck tension. I would expect a Missouri Bullet to be sized perfect. But it's easy to measure that anyway. It should be right around 0.452" diameter.

Assuming that all checks out, it means either your sizer is not sizing them enough or else you are flaring them too much. I doubt there is anything wrong with your sizing die, and you seem to be astute enough to know how to flare the cases right. That leaves us with the Speer nickel cases. I don't know anything about that brass. I only use Starline or Winchester for .45 Colt. But it could be that there is something odd about the Speer brass. The easiest way to know is to break out a few of the precious Starline brass and size them and expand and seat as normal. That should narrow down the list of possible suspects pretty easily.

June 16, 2011, 09:28 AM
i should have some time this evening to try and figure out whats going on.... I will use the starline brass and see what happens... if it continues I will try the methods listed above.

I went ahead last night and just really cranked down the roll crimp... and they look like they are over crimped to me but there isn't any bulging in the case...

I will also do slightly less expanding to see if that's the problem but I set it to where I can just barely set the bullet on the case straight... and yes I am expanding separate from any other set

June 16, 2011, 09:46 AM
The main thing is that the bullet doesn't go deeper into the brass then the cannelure. (sp?). You also do not want it to go forward and jam up the cylinder. Maybe you could try towards the bottom of the cannelure to give it a firmer grip at the lead edge. I size my lead to .452. I have 4 vaqueros and have not ever checked measurement after 4-5 shots. Maybe I will now just to see. I shoot same loads out of lever action rifle, so no bullet movement in the brass is crucile (sp?) to me as I don't want to blow up my rifle. Mine happen to measure 1.48 oal. My 2 cents.....Bob

June 16, 2011, 06:51 PM
ok the one on the left withstood 5 shots

the one on the right separated .010...

June 16, 2011, 06:54 PM
the one on the left has a scratched looking ring just a tad below the top of the case... its that bright shiny line in between the curve of the crimp and bullet... you see the spot in the pic but it does continue all the way around the cartridge

June 16, 2011, 09:51 PM
Get a Redding profile crimp die, or a RCBS seater sans the stem. Both will produce better crimps. So will a Hornady seater as well. With a good crimp groove, the Hornady or RCBS seater will seat and crimp in one step and do a better job.

This round was seated and crimped in one step with a Hornady seater.

If you are looking for perfect crimps, you will need to trim the brass to the same length.

June 16, 2011, 10:47 PM
I am using a hornady seater... isnt that the die that comes with the Hornady Series 2 dies?

June 16, 2011, 10:49 PM
i had another problem tonight too... just getting close to getting everything perfect and I snapped the 2nd Hornady seater die retaining ring... this is starting to piss me off!!!!!

June 17, 2011, 07:31 AM
Well, something isn't set up quite right. :)

June 17, 2011, 08:56 AM
ya i see that.... i have checked and double checked but everything is setup as per the manuals....

Red Cent
June 17, 2011, 06:49 PM
Walkalong, is that a ......a.....uh 165gr 45 bullet?! Holy flyweight Batman! Shades of SASS.:evil:

June 17, 2011, 10:23 PM
125 Gr .38 Spl in the second pic. Only pic I had with a lead bullet seated and crimped at the same time with a Hornady seater.

June 18, 2011, 12:17 AM
I was having bad problems with 454 rounds unseating and bought a Lee factory crimp die and it solved the problem .

June 18, 2011, 10:15 AM

are you getting absolutely zero lengthen after 5 or 6 shots? Just curious.... your crimps look awesome...

I got some replacement parts coming from Hornady so I gotta wait on them now....

June 18, 2011, 02:52 PM
I never measure it. After five shots if the last one looks like it did when I started, all is well, especially if they are still shooting to the same point of impact.

Don't sweat .005 creep. Heck, .010 creep wouldn't worry me too much.

First and foremost you need adequate neck tension. Then with heavy recoiling loads, especially with heavy bullets, you need a really good crimp located in the proper place on the bullet.

This means a consistent roll crimp into a good cannelure on a jacketed bullet, or a roll crimp into a well formed crimp groove on a lead bullet.

To get consistently excellent roll crimps you need to trim the brass, unless it is all within about a .005 spread or less. Much more and it starts showing up in your crimp.

June 18, 2011, 09:54 PM
ok thats what I was wondering... i didn't know if I should be getting absolutely ZERO creep... I can't wait to get to reloading and stop worrying so much about setup

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