9mm Crimp Question/ Help.....


October 10, 2012, 11:08 PM
I'm using Berry's plated 115gn bullets with a Lee factory crimp die. I thought all was good until i was cleaning lube off and some of the ammo got shorter. When I tried to add more crimp the bullets are still loose. I used a RCBS die with taper crimp to seat the bullet but unable to get that die to crimp where the bullet will not move. There is a "crimp ring" on the bullets but still spin in the case with very little force. I been trying to get a good crimp with both dies with no luck.

If you enjoyed reading about "9mm Crimp Question/ Help....." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 11, 2012, 12:45 AM
Sounds like your expander is too large in diameter. Especially since those are .356" bullets that really shouldn't need much crimp. Measure your expander's diameter and report back if you can. ;)

October 11, 2012, 01:21 AM
Either that or you swaged the bullets down by crimping too much. The crimp doesn't hold in the bullet in most cases. Over crimping squeezes the bullet down, then the brass springs back more than the bullet.

I remember when I first started reloading that I crimped the bejesus out of a few dummy rounds I was making .. I could spin the bullet with my finger after that. After backing way off and crimping only a few thousandths (to remove any belling) things were a lot better.

Something to check is after seating the bullet but before crimping, is it loose? If it is it's the expander. If it isn't it's the crimp.

October 11, 2012, 07:37 AM
Neck tension holds bullets in 9MM. No amount of crimp can make up for poor neck tension. In fact, over crimping can make it worse.

Either your sizer is too big, or your expander is too big, or both.

Size a case, and seat a bullet without using the expander. If you have good neck tension then, your expander is too large in diameter. You can polish it down, or the die maker will replace it.

Since you are using the FCD, also check to see if neck tension is OK before running the round through it, vs afterwards.

A "crimp" for 9MM should just remove the bell, or maybe .001 more. No more than that.

October 11, 2012, 10:14 AM
Are you using the 9mm deprimer? If so adj it down so it will size it all the way up. Do not use a deprimer that will deprime all cases!!

October 11, 2012, 10:25 AM
Do not use a deprimer that will deprime all cases!!

I think that's a bit misleading. I deprime ALL my cases using a Lee Universal decapping die before ultrasonic cleaning. What's important is that all the cases are then run full length through a sizing die. Whether or not that sizing die has a decapping pin installed (mine doesn't) is user preference.

October 11, 2012, 01:57 PM
In reloading jacketed bullets in the 9, if you bell minimally, you won't even need to crimp.

October 12, 2012, 01:14 AM
Walkalong +1
Bring your fLee ull length sizer/deprimer up and put a piece of computer paper on top of the case holder. Screw the Sizer in until it just touches the paper. Lock it in place.

Another method for a "carbide die" is to bring the case holder firmly to the top. Screw the sizer/deprimer in very slowly until the turret lifts a "minute" amount, then very very slowly back off until the turret lowers back down but still touches.

This should safely give all the sizing die has to offer.

The Berry's standard plated bullets can be damaged by over taper-crimping. Just bell the case-mouth the minimum amount necessary to avoid damaging the bullet while seating, then just remove the bell and taper crimp down to .377 minimum -.378 measured within a 1/16" of the case-mouth

October 12, 2012, 10:20 AM
What you described - Berry's plated bullet with a visible crimp ring spinning in place - sounds like a serious case of over crimping to me. Any distortion of the bullet is undesirable. Your crimp step (if necessary at all) should remove the flare at the case mouth and no more.

October 12, 2012, 07:18 PM
Thanks all, I will look at the sizing die as I never thought of that. Using a Hornady (PTX) powder though for a small bell so the bullet feed die to work right and have bypassed that step with no change. When you say a light crimp that should hold the bullet in place? When i back off the crimp the fit is loose that the bullet moves so easy that the OAL changes. Is a tamper better than LFC? Been using the seating die with no tamper crimp until this started. I load with a Lock-n-Load and all was good with full metal jacket bullet the last time loading 9mm.

October 12, 2012, 07:50 PM
Crimp does not hold the bullet, really all it should do is remove the flare put on for bullet seating. Neck tension holds the bullet. Sounds to me that the expander is too large - but then jacketed would be a problem. So, I think you should check the sizing die to make sure you a fully sizing the case. A sized but unexpanded case should not let a bullet be seated.

October 12, 2012, 08:34 PM
In reloading jacketed bullets in the 9, if you bell minimally, you won't even need to crimp.

I never have crimped or even belled anything - just use the deburring tool on the inside to take the edge off, make sure the bullet is centered and then seat.
Been doing it that way for about fifteen years in everything from .32 to .44 magnum including .45 acp and .45LC. Never have had a problem.

October 13, 2012, 08:23 AM
I load thousands of 9mm rounds, using Lee dies on a Dillon 650 press. I bell slightly and use the FCD for the crimp, and I only crimp enough to remove the bell. I don't have any problems with my 9mm reloads, and I have used a bunch of Berry's over the years. Never have seen a Berry's bullet with a "crimping ring"! Is that another term for a cannelure, or is that something else???

I'd strongly suggest measuring the bullets. Much more likely that the bullets are out-of-spec or the sizing die isn't set up correctly, than the sizing die's being defective.

What's this about removing lube? Where'd the lube come from? You don't need lube with carbide 9mm dies, that's for sure!

October 13, 2012, 08:50 AM
Is he's using the Lee FCD, it will swage the loaded round down and depending on case thickness and springback, it can ruin neck tension, especially with lead or thin plated lead.

Adjust your seating die so that it removes any bell when you seat the bullet and call it good. The Lee FCD for handgun rounds is not the answer unless you're trying to put a heavy roll crimp on a revolver cartridge without buckling the case.

October 13, 2012, 09:25 AM
I agree. Unless it's adjusted correctly, the Lee FCD can cause more issues than it cures.

TooHigh -
If you're using jacketed or plated bullets, then get one of the $12 Lee "taper crimp" dies for 9mm and put that in the last press position. Adjust the height of the die to achieve a .376 to .378 crimp diameter and call it a day.


If you enjoyed reading about "9mm Crimp Question/ Help....." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!