Progressive presses: How important to seat and crimp in two stages?


PDA






John C
November 3, 2011, 02:38 AM
I've been looking at bullet feeders for the Dillon 650. I checked out some videos on youtube, and I was surprised that the host kept the powder check die, and seated and crimped the bullet on one stage. This freed up a station for the bullet feeder.

This got me thinking, how important is it to seat and crimp bullets on two stations? I have a 550, which has 4 stations. Could I move to seating/crimping on one station, and free up a station for a $28 bullet feeder? What would I lose by doing this?

Thanks,

-John

If you enjoyed reading about "Progressive presses: How important to seat and crimp in two stages?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Lost Sheep
November 3, 2011, 03:21 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=618787

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=619922

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=591870

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=465091



The last one gets a little testy, but that's because there are some strongly held opinions.

There are two issues.

1) Separate the seating and crimping? Separating the Seating and Crimping makes adjustment easier, as you don't have one adjustment affecting the other.

2) Post-sizing. As the round is withdrawn from the crimping die, it is sized one last time (removing any bulges in the case that might have been introduced when the bullet was seated in the prior station or when the crimp was applied.

Some feel it is lazy to seat and crimp separately (more steps, but simpler to do). Some feel it is "covering up" sloppy habits to have the final sizing applied (normally only available with the separate crimping die).

But don't take my word for it. I am just applying my perspective. Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for anything you get from casual sources, especially from the internet.

Good luck and thanks for asking our advice.

Lost Sheep

fiftybmg
November 3, 2011, 05:16 AM
I shoot IDPA, and I load semi-auto and revolver, a couple thousand rounds each per year. I do have a 4-die Lyman set that has a seperate taper crimp die that I like for .40S&W reloading.

I can't tell the difference between a one stage and two stage seating-crimp, but then I also don't have any Lee dies.

In my opinion, the two stage seating - crimp operation gained publicity with the invention of the Lee factory crimp die. The necessity of that die arose from a deficiency in the Lee bullet seating die that doesn't support the case wall during the seating operation, so when you apply crimp at the same time you can end up with a buckled case.

I've documented my one step seating-crimp setup here :

http://www.lambdacode.com/reloading/docs/crimp_setup/index.html

bds
November 3, 2011, 08:20 AM
How important to seat and crimp in two stages?

I've been looking at bullet feeders for the Dillon 650 ... was surprised that the host ... seated and crimped the bullet on one stage. This freed up a station for the bullet feeder ... how important is it to seat and crimp bullets on two stations?

I have a 550, which has 4 stations. Could I move to seating/crimping on one station, and free up a station for a $28 bullet feeder?

John, what dies are you using?


This is my take:

For semi-auto jacketed/plated bullets, seating and taper crimping in one step is fine.

For semi-auto lead bullets, seating and taper crimping flat in one step is fine.

For semi-auto lead bullets, seating and taper crimping less than flat in one step may shave lead from the side of the bullet and may require two stage seating/taper crimping.

For revolver loads, seating and roll crimping into crimp groove will require two stage seating/roll crimping for best results.

YMMV

wingman
November 3, 2011, 08:28 AM
I use the two step process and "for me" it turns out a better round that I can depend on to be consistent. I use what works after 40 years of reloading consistency is the goal.;)

Nick93
November 3, 2011, 08:56 AM
Some people say that seating and crimping in different stages give you more consistent cartridge overall leght due the brass leght

LeonCarr
November 3, 2011, 09:19 AM
I have been loading since 1989 and the number one thing that took my handloaded handgun ammo to new heights of consistency/lower SDs and much improved accuracy was seating and crimping in two stages. Yes it is an extra step, which can be a pain on a single stage press, but the ammo looks better, has more consistent OALs and crimp measurements, and my groups at 25 yards shrunk an inch or better.

Do the two stages, and I think you will see a marked improvement.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Blue68f100
November 3, 2011, 09:23 AM
I've been reloading for close to 40 yrs now and have done both. Here's my take on it.

If you do case prep and debur the inside of the case mouth you can do it in 1 step, if your NOT OVER CRIMPING. If your case is not debured you will/can damage the jacket/bullet. Bullets with the cantalure grove and roll crimp it does not matter because the brass has a place to go without shaving the bullet. It is a lot easier controlling the OAL when doing it in separate steps.

Now for high production practice ammo it makes no difference if you not shooting bullseye.

Jim Watson
November 3, 2011, 09:29 AM
Please advise source of a bullet feeder for $28.

ranger335v
November 3, 2011, 09:30 AM
"How important to seat and crimp in two stages? "

It's a matter of personal preference. If it were important to do it one way or the other that's what we would all be doing and it would be the only way the dies would work.

bds
November 3, 2011, 09:32 AM
Please advise source of a bullet feeder for $28.

Actually $27.58 not including tax and shipping for any progressive press - http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/349969_.html

jmorris
November 3, 2011, 10:15 AM
I've been looking at bullet feeders for the Dillon 650. I checked out some videos on youtube, and I was surprised that the host kept the powder check die, and seated and crimped the bullet on one stage. This freed up a station for the bullet feeder.

As I pointed out yesterday in the other thread the GSI feeder for the 650 feeds and seats at the same station (#4) for powder check on 3 and crimp on 5.

How important? Assuming you seat/crimp in two steps currently, without issues, try a run doing both at the same time, before you buy your feeder.

FWIW having had a feeder with no collator to load it in the past, a feeder is of very little help if you still have to drop every bullet by hand.

nojoke
November 3, 2011, 11:11 AM
I've been reloading since last month so......:eek::neener:

But, I have a seat/crip die combo. (Hornady)
I too was concerned but everthing seemed to seat nicely and crimp well.
Here's the pic.
The overall length difference was something like a .0012" variation. Pretty good if you ask me.

http://members.cox.net/ned946/first%20batch.jpg

Walkalong
November 3, 2011, 11:24 AM
For auto calibers with just a hair of a taper crimp (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=139549&d=1301526046) you can seat and crimp in the same step with no problems. The bullet moves so little and the "crimp" is so light it is not a problem. Crimping separately does nothing to increase function or accuracy. It doesn't matter if it is plated, lead, or jacketed. Deburring and chamfering the brass lightly is always a good idea, but I never do it for 9MM, .40, or .45.

Some will say other wise, but that is my take on it.


A medium (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6733446&postcount=85) to heavy (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5942202&postcount=37) taper crimp on plated bullets in revolver calibers needs to be crimped in a separate step since there would be too much bullet movement during the crimping while seating/crimping in a single step.


For jacketed bullets (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6351763&postcount=71) with a well made deep cannelure, or a lead bullet (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5871460&postcount=30) with a proper crimp groove, there is no need to roll crimp in a second step.

I trim all my revolver brass, as this makes a big difference in the consistency of the crimp. If you do not want to trim revolver brass, I would not recommend seating and crimping in the same step.

I crimp in a second step on most pistol loads, and one or two rifle loads.


Seated and crimped in one step with a Hornady seater.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=115026&stc=1&d=1265560315

Jim Watson
November 3, 2011, 11:37 AM
Please advise source of a bullet feeder for $28.

Actually $27.58 not including tax and shipping for any progressive press - http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/349969_.html


Thanks.
As somebody said, without a collator and feeder tube feeder it is hard to see how it will save much time versus hand setting each bullet.

But then I only use one primer feed pickup tube because by the time I have loaded a hundred rounds even on a progressive, I am ready for a break to check the powder level and empty case supply. I don't use a progressive to work for hours making cases of ammunition for SHTF, I use it to generate enough to shoot tomorrow in a few minutes.

John C
November 3, 2011, 11:42 AM
Thank you, gentlemen, for all of your replies.

I've been reloading for about 8 years now, single stage and progressive on a Dillon SDB and a 550. I've always seated and crimped separately, but largely because that's what everybody does. The video caused me to pause and consider they whys and wherefores of why we do it that way. I honestly thought it had more to do with press operation, as in that it ran smoother that way.

At this point, I'm only idly considering getting a bullet feeder for my 550. The $28 dollar bullet feeder requires the preloading of the bullet tubes much like primer tubes. I wouldn't mind this. I think it would be much faster than loading the bullets individually on the cases. I enjoy the mechanical process of reloading, so I like trying to find the weak links in my process and trying to improve.

One other question: Are other brands of dies really better than Lee when it comes to seating/crimping in one stage? I'd always read that Lee dies were excellent, and I've found that to be true. I primarily reload .45 ACP, .44 MAG, .38 special, and .32 S&W long wadcutters for an auto pistol.

Thanks,

-John

CHALK22
November 3, 2011, 12:02 PM
I just recently did the $28 bullet feeder on my LNL AP. Works like a champ. Yes, you must feed them into the tube by hand, but do yourself a favor and buy 4-5 tubes, load them all at once and you can bang out 250 +/- 9mm at a time, no problem. Also, I used to seat and crimp in two different stations, but with the bullet feeder, and powder cop die, I have to do it in one station now. I don't see too much difference in final product. Other results may vary. Bottom line, with the case feeder and the bootleg bullet feeder, this machine cranks out some rounds! DO IT!

beatledog7
November 3, 2011, 01:02 PM
I'm relatively new to reloading, so the more experienced among you may know something about the following that I don't.

Lately I've been roll crimping separately and doing it by setting the seating die in such a way that the crimp happens short of the full stroke. That way I have control of the crimp by "feeling" the round being crimped. I can visually inspect the round, and add more crimp if needed.

Crimping is like salting food--you can "taste" and add a bit more, but you can't take it out.

jmorris
November 3, 2011, 02:07 PM
I'm relatively new to reloading, so the more experienced among you may know something about the following that I don't.


Lately I've been roll crimping separately and doing it by setting the seating die in such a way that the crimp happens short of the full stroke. That way I have control of the crimp by "feeling" the round being crimped. I can visually inspect the round, and add more crimp if needed.

With the leverage that presses have, I can't think of a more inconsistant way to crimp. What is wrong with letting the ram simply go all of the way to the top of stroke, the same for every round?

RhinoDefense
November 3, 2011, 02:11 PM
Yep, mechanical consistency is more accurate than "feel".

Waywatcher
November 3, 2011, 02:14 PM
For blasting ammo ("training") I seat and crimp in one step.

For hunting ammo I crimp separately if the bullet has a cannelure. I only crimp rifle bullets if they have a groove or cannelure like Barnes TSX.

Deavis
November 3, 2011, 04:52 PM
I've always disliked the race to finish seating the bullet before the crimp begins with the one-step method. Since I don't run setups where I am station confined, I always do it in two stations and really like the results. Either way, I think you can make great ammo, it is what works for your setup.

ranger335v
November 3, 2011, 05:38 PM
"I can't think of (feel) a more inconsistant way to crimp. What is wrong with letting the ram simply go all of the way to the top of stroke, the same for every round?"

Well, going full stroke is fine for consistant crimps ... IF the case lengths are identical. Most aren't. Feel crimping works quite well IF the loader has feel. ??

Walkalong
November 3, 2011, 07:32 PM
IF the loader has feel. ??
Big if. Using compound leverage? I dunno about that. :)

fguffey
November 3, 2011, 08:00 PM
“Progressive presses: How important to seat and crimp in two stages?

I was reloading on a turret Hurters, Super 3 Hurters, 2 RCBS Piggy Back 11, I decided to get a progressive that loaded cases longer than the 223 so I visited Dillon in Chandler/Phoenix, AZ.

They suggested using their dies in the 4 position 550B press then went on to explain the seating on one position and crimping on another and I said I can not use the press because I use a lock out die, anyhow they said it was OK If I did not start over by purchasing their dies, and I thought that was nice. They went on to explain the conflict created when the bullet is seated and crimped at the same time. (Lyman said the same thing 40+ years ago) When the bullet is seated. When the bullet is crimped the case mouth locks onto the bullet, as a results the bullet when moving down is crimped the case bulges below the crimp as the bullet is seated, as Lyman said crimping could reduce bullet hold and crimping could do more harm than good.

And I explained to them I had a Ruger and 1911 that did not like reloads, the only ammo good enough for those two is new stuff, I then explained to them I use a full length sizer die as a crimp die to duplicate the appearance of new, store bought, over the counter 45ACP ammo and the two pistols can not tell the difference.

F. Guffey

Walkalong
November 3, 2011, 09:13 PM
They went on to explain the conflict created when the bullet is seated and crimped at the same time. (Lyman said the same thing 40+ years ago) When the bullet is seated. When the bullet is crimped the case mouth locks onto the bullet, as a results the bullet when moving down is crimped the case bulges below the crimp as the bullet is seated,
Not with trimmed brass and a sizer/crimper that is set up properly.

You do not bulge the brass below the crimp if done properly. A roll crimp can be properly done in the same step as seating.

Maybe that is why some people need the FCD for revolver rounds, they are bulging brass when crimping.

GW Staar
November 4, 2011, 01:41 AM
Not with trimmed brass and a sizer/crimper that is set up properly.

You do not bulge the brass below the crimp if done properly. A roll crimp can be properly done in the same step as seating.

Maybe that is why some people need the FCD for revolver rounds, they are bulging brass when crimping.

"trimmed brass and a sizer/crimper" You meant to say seater/crimper I'm sure... and I agree with that statement, and that roll crimping can be done in one step just fine, as many years of doing just that has shown me.

I didn't discover FCD dies until a few years ago, and while I can't speak for "some people", as for me, while I don't absolutely need FCD dies, I do like the crimps they make, and the fact that they aren't trim length sensitive. They save the slower operation of trimming, by adding the unnoticeably quick operation of crimping separately in station five. A fair trade in IMO.

Walkalong
November 4, 2011, 07:43 AM
You meant to say seater/crimper I'm sure...Yep.. :o

Walkalong
November 4, 2011, 07:47 AM
The crimp part of the pistol FCD rides on the flex of the o-ring so it is less sensitive to trim length, but it can only do so much. The cases still need to be reasonably close in length, and some cases like .38 Spl are all over the place on length.

GW Staar
November 5, 2011, 02:08 AM
The crimp part of the pistol FCD rides on the flex of the o-ring so it is less sensitive to trim length, but it can only do so much. The cases still need to be reasonably close in length, and some cases like .38 Spl are all over the place on length.

I'll keep that in mind....so far I haven't had a problem. BTW, one of the advantages of my modded and motorized Forster, over the Giraud (besides being arthritis friendly of course) is it works on straight wall pistol cases too.

Walkalong
November 5, 2011, 10:01 AM
A word of warning, if you start trimming the .38 cases the superb, consistent, crimps you start getting will spoil you. :D

fguffey
November 6, 2011, 10:16 AM
Again, I went to Dillon, they understood I was not going to seat and crimp on their press in the third and forth position and I was not going to start over by purchasing their dies, at the time I thought I had all the dies I would ever need, takes time but seating and crimping can be accomplished is separation operations with one die or two seater dies, works with a two ram Herter's or a turret press.

Dillon's logic as in a conflict is correct when seating and crimping at the same time, must be 15+ gigs of space used to describe failure to chamber after seating, the standard answer from the choir is ‘over crimping’ ?
The correct answer is as Dillon’s research found, the case neck locks onto the bullet as the bullet is seated, again and again, the seater die does not offer case body support meaning as the bullet moves down and the case mouth locks into the bullet the case has no choice but to bulge, squat, expand or collapse, on a bottle neck case the shoulder starts to bulge and or collapse, in any event the case shortens and as a results the diameter of the case increases below the crimp and the bullet hold, tension? is reduced.

And I said I had two 45 ACP that liked new ammo (only), in a small circle or reloader friends (outside of the Internet) that are accomplished reloaders offered to load ammo for the 1911, there were no less than 6 1911s at the range, all but one shot their reloads flawlessly, and there had to be something wrong with my techniques and methods, I took their reloads home, sized them with a full length sizer, returned and faked my 1911 into thinking it was getting the good/new stuff. They did not recommending ‘fixing’ the problem, because accuracy was not one of the problems, and yes, I have extra barrels, home made gages, Wilson case gages and micrometers, I took a picture of my gages and micrometers, the picture weighed 400 lbs., when loading for that one 1911 the ammo must must measure the same as new, store bought, over the counter ammo.

And Dillon was polite, they qualified their answer with the amount of research they did over the past half century +, they did not find fault with other manufactures, they said in testing other manufactures reloading equipment they found things they liked, some things they thought they could improve on and things that could not be improved upon, and they assured me they were shooters, they assured me if I did something 100 times they have done it 1,000s of times, and they claimed they used the full length sizer die as a crimp die, and it worked, maybe not for the same reason but they do not go to the range to struggle with jams, as he said, “We are shooters”.

I did not make the effort to go to Dillon to tell they how wonderful I was and I gave them no reason to take me serious, when it comes to taking someone on this forum serious over Dillons advise, I will go with Dillon ever time.

F. Guffey

Walkalong
November 6, 2011, 10:24 AM
Better to make something feed, or more accurate? To make it feed obviously.

To use a regular sizer made for the caliber you are loading to crimp would ruin the ammo if you actually ran it all the way through the die. Would it chamber? Sure it would.

Now, use a sizer to just barely touch the top of an auto round and remove the bell? Sure, it would work, but why, unless you were just in a tight and had forgotten to order the crimp die.

An easy test folks. Go get some of your nicely made 9MM, .40, or .45 ACP ammo, remove the decapper from the sizer, and run the ammo through the sizer. Post picks of the mess. Shoot it for accuracy against the remaining rounds you did not ruin. Post pics of that as well.

Jim Watson
November 6, 2011, 10:33 AM
when loading for that one 1911 the ammo must must measure the same as new, store bought, over the counter ammo.

As I am sure you know, the SAAMI minimum chamber is cut to accept the SAAMI maximum cartridge. Standard reloading dies do not produce SAAMI specification results. Most guns - the 5 out of 6 you saw - will handle a little oddity, but some won't.
You might have an actual minimum chamber.
You might have a chamber below minimum due to reamer wear. I think the mass producers will often try to get another day's use out of a reamer that should be reground or replaced.
You might have one of those proudly advertised "minimum match" chambers that is really undersized so the seller can claim a quarter inch smaller group from a Ransom Rest at the cost of reliable operation. There is one brand that Brownell's says "Chamber will not accept a SAAMI gauge but the gun will function properly with factory ammunition."

I had one. It was well fitted and the gun was very accurate but gave mysterious random failures to feed. The gunsmith inspected and measured it, then ran in a standard .45 ACP reamer. It brought out an amazing amount of steel shavings from the undersized and overly tapered chamber. The gun is now reliable and still accurate... but not with the same best load.


Walkalong,
My first "taper crimps" were applied in single stage loading by running the loaded rounds into a sizing die set one turn down from contact with the case mouth. That worked just fine until I went progressive.

fguffey
November 6, 2011, 11:56 AM
Jim Watson, thank you for the "As I am sure you know". I have 62 reamers and access to 200+, I have no problem applying the 'leaver policy' with anything that is accurate, when I find it is accurate I leaver the way I founder.

F. Guffey

Walkalong
November 6, 2011, 12:34 PM
Walkalong,
My first "taper crimps" were applied in single stage loading by running the loaded rounds into a sizing die set one turn down from contact with the case mouth. That worked just fine until I went progressive.
Which is entirely different than "sizing" the round as suggested by fguffey. If he meant just barely running the round into the die he should have worded it as such.

You are right, much handloaded ammo is not minimum SAMMI spec, and can be problematic in a really tight chamber. I would much prefer your method of fixing the problem to just squishing the round to fit.

I have and EMP that had a slightly smaller than SAMMI minimum chamber that caused problems. SA reamed it. Now as long as a loaded round passes my Wilson case gauge, it feeds. The problem is brass that will not size enough, not bullet seating etc. All sized brass that will not pass the gauge is scrapped. All that pass get loaded with no problems.

beatledog7
November 6, 2011, 12:35 PM
This might be water under the bridge, but maybe not. A few days back I posted:

Quote:
I'm relatively new to reloading, so the more experienced among you may know something about the following that I don't.

Lately I've been roll crimping separately and doing it by setting the seating die in such a way that the crimp happens short of the full stroke. That way I have control of the crimp by "feeling" the round being crimped. I can visually inspect the round, and add more crimp if needed.

And the reply (there were others later)
With the leverage that presses have, I can't think of a more inconsistant way to crimp. What is wrong with letting the ram simply go all of the way to the top of stroke, the same for every round?

Nothing is wrong with it if the cases were trimmed to equal length, and though the cases in play were close (+/- .005 or so), they were not trimmed to be exact. Another poster brought up this exact point.

I understand why this would seem to create an inconsistent crimp. But if you set the die so that it meets the shell while the press stroke is well short of its over-camming (where it produces the most force with the least feel) range and leave it near the beginning of the stroke, where the operator controls the force and can feel it increasing, it can be done. You slowly move the handle, you feel the case mouth make contact with the die, you ease off and just touch it on. You check the crimp visually and if it's good, you're done. If not, touch it again.

Before precision machinery became readily available and affordable, people did this by feel for decades. Why should the advent of a mechanism invalidate the process of feeling and seeing when it's right?

fguffey
November 6, 2011, 01:29 PM
And I explained to them I had a Ruger and 1911 that did not like reloads, the only ammo good enough for those two is new stuff, I then explained to them I use a full length sizer die as a crimp die to duplicate the appearance of new, store bought, over the counter 45ACP ammo and the two pistols can not tell the difference.

new ammo works flawlessly in the two pistols, what is difference between reloads and new ammo? Dillon knows, I know, the case does not require full length sizing, the case before seating the bullet and expanding the neck has been been full length sized, for those that reload know there are times when their reloads look like snakes that swallowed something, I use the full length sizer die to remove the appearance of my cases having swallowed a bullet, Dillon figured it out, I am the fan of measuring equipment, what I do not have I make, all I needed to do was make my reloads look and measure the same as factory new ammo.

And this is not the first time this subject has come up.

And I enjoyed the visits to Dillon, not all of the visits started good, and no one there was widely indigent about anything, again, I take them serious, they are not malicious, and for sure they do not believe they invented reloading.

F. Guffey

kelbro
November 6, 2011, 04:42 PM
Those folks at Dillon are required to have the patience of a saint. If you hang around there long enough you get to hear some 'incredible' stuff. Kind of like a gun shop. They just have to smile and refrain from calling some of their customers total !@#$%^& idiots.

If you enjoyed reading about "Progressive presses: How important to seat and crimp in two stages?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!