44 Mag crimp (newbie)


dodo bird
September 12, 2011, 12:02 PM
Hello High Roaders. I am new to rolling my own and having a great time. I bought the 3 Lee reloading dies and I don't understand about the crimping. Do I have to buy a seperate die just to crimp? Or does the bullet seating die give any crimp at all? The more I read about crimping it confuses me about type amount etc...

If you enjoyed reading about "44 Mag crimp (newbie)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
September 12, 2011, 12:44 PM
The seating die is also a roll crimp die.

Screwing the seating die in deeper increases the amount of crimp.
Unscrewing it decreases the amount of crimp.

You will need to adjust it to crimp properly with the bullets you are using, and for the power level of the ammo you load.

Light plinking loads will not require as much roll crimp to hold the bullets against recoil as very heavy magnum loads.


dodo bird
September 12, 2011, 01:12 PM
I thought screwing the seating die will just seat the bullet deeper?
btw I am using 240 hornady xtp over 12.6 of imr 800x

September 12, 2011, 01:15 PM
My .44 Lee dies have a combo seat/crimp die. I prefer to seat and crimp in two operations. First I back out the entire die a few turns and adjust the seating plug down until I get the seating depth I want. After seating I back out the seating plug and lower the die enough to put a firm roll crimp on the case. Instructions say to seat and crimp at the same time but problems can arise with shaving lead and buldging cases, at least that's my experience...

September 12, 2011, 01:42 PM
I thought screwing the seating die will just seat the bullet deeper?Die body adjustment in the press determines the amount of crimp.

Seating stem adjustment in the die body determines bullet seating depth.

But changing the die depth in the press will also change the seating depth, unless you loosen the seating stem and re-adjust it to make up the difference.

BTW: Most of that is covered pretty good in a reloading manual.


September 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
Yeah, the seating die has two adjustments like RC said. Screw the die body in to get the amount of crimp you want, and the bullet seating stem to set the bullet depth. Kind of a trial-and-error thing. Run the die body down onto an empty case and you can feel the crimping part contact the case, adjust from there. Doesn't take much.

I personally prefer the Factory Crimp Die, and don't crimp with the bullet seating die, but that's just my preference. A lot of guys don't like the FCD or feel it's not necessary.

dodo bird
September 12, 2011, 02:04 PM
The adjustment screw on top controls the amount of crimp? My lee dies came with so-so instructions. I just seated 2 bullets way to deep adjusting:banghead: After I seat the bullet I need to tighten the screw on top a turn so I get tension? Looking at the ones I have done against factory loads they don't look much different. Whenever you get frustrated it's best to walk away for awhile and that's what I am doing. Thanks for your replies.

September 12, 2011, 02:11 PM
The adjustment screw on top controls the amount of crimp?No.

Please read post #5 carefully again.

I don't know how to explain it any clearer then I and others already did.


September 12, 2011, 02:11 PM
No, the adjustment screw on top controls the bullet depth. The crimp is controlled by how far you screw the actual die body down into the press. The deeper you screw it down, the more it crimps. Use some empty cases and get the feel for setting the crimp, and then you can adjust the bullet seater afterwards.

Once it's set, you shouldn't have to mess with it again, depending on your type of press of course. This is a big advantage to turret presses where you put your dies into removable turret rings, set 'em and forget 'em.

The empty cases you use for setting the crimp? Those can be reused later by simply running them through the mouth belling process again. Don't try putting bullets in them after you've done trial crimps on them, they have to be belled again. Otherwise the bullet will catch the side of the case and just crush it. That'll make your jaws tight and cause you to gnash your teeth. You may even speak ugly things.

September 12, 2011, 02:18 PM
Two means of adjustment: die body (adjusts crimp) and 'top adjustment' (adjusts seating depth).

Insert a brass into shellholder.
Screw die in til contact w/ brass.
Screw die out a full turn.
Screw top adjustment out til stops or almost at full adjustment.
Place bullet on brass and stroke press.
Measure length.
Adjust top adjustment in (assuming length too long) and operate press. Continue till desired length achieved.
Once desired length achieved, adjust top adjustment back out several turns. Loosen die and adjust die in (about 0.5 turns), operate press.
Continue adjusting die body in til desired crimp achieved.
Once desired crimp achieved, adjust top adjustment in til contact w/ bullet.
Check the next couple of cartridges to make sure desired length and crimp are being applied.

September 12, 2011, 02:23 PM
If you dont have one yet, a dial or digital vernier caliper is an invaluable tool for the reloader! Easiest way to measure overall length, case lengths, bullet diameters, amount of mouth flare, and even the amount of crimp on the case mouth.

dodo bird
September 12, 2011, 04:02 PM
How does this look?

Miata Mike
September 12, 2011, 04:17 PM
Looks like you need a bit more crimp. Turn the die body clockwise maybe an eighth turn.

dodo bird
September 12, 2011, 06:31 PM
How bout this one???

September 12, 2011, 06:35 PM
Perfect! IMHO.

September 12, 2011, 06:37 PM
Looks pretty good.

It also looks like that bullet has a shallow cannelure, which makes a good crimp harder to do.




dodo bird
September 12, 2011, 09:01 PM
Thanks high roaders! About time to have a cold one! The press can always wait.;)

If you enjoyed reading about "44 Mag crimp (newbie)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!