45 ACP bullet seating and tamper crimp


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stodd
May 3, 2013, 11:49 PM
Hello,

After reading both of my reloading manuals I have a question. I'm using the carbide 3 die set for the 45 acp from RCBS. Having and issue with getting the tamper crimp correct. Would it be better to just seat the bullet with the RCBS seater die and then get a separate tamper crimp die?

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Drail
May 4, 2013, 12:10 AM
You can seat and crimp in two separate steps if you want with the die you have. I taper crimp with a separate die. (I used to seat and crimp in two steps with one die) All you want the taper crimp to do is remove the flare, that's all. It will not hold the bullet in place. Do this test - seat a bullet (with no crimp at all) and press the round against the edge of your bench (pretty hard). If the bullet is moved deeper into the case then your expander die is too large in dia. for that bullet and is over-expanding the case mouth. You can remove the expander button and turn it down in a drill with sandpaper until it is 3 to 4 thous. smaller than the bullet dia. Then apply just enough crimp to remove the flare. Case neck tension is the key to preventing bullet setback. A lot of die manufacturers produce expander dies that are oversized. You can also measure a bullet and then measure your expander plug and see what the difference is. Bullet setback in a .45 ACP is not really very dangerous as the pressure is pretty low but you still want to have good case neck tension on the bullet. With a modern high pressure round like a .40, 10mm or .38 Super a little setback can blow a gun.

stodd
May 4, 2013, 12:27 AM
So I've setup 38 spl and 9mm rcbs carbide dies in the past about 4 years ago. But for some reason i'm having a hell of a time getting these new 45 acp rcbs dies setup correct on the bullet seater/tamper crimp die. Anyone have some info on the easy way to setup the seater/crimp die? I didn't get the rcbs instructions in the dies for some reason and can't remember the steps on how I setup my 38 spl and 9mm years ago.

Thanks..

918v
May 4, 2013, 01:06 AM
Back out the die, screw in the seater stem.

Seat.

Back out the seater stem, screw in the die.

Crimp.

Screw in the seater stem.

joneb
May 4, 2013, 02:52 AM
Having and issue with getting the tamper crimp correct.
You could be over crimping ?
Case mouth should measure .470-.473" with the bullet seated.
I have seated and crimped in separate steps with thick brass and HP bullets, but I mostly seat and crimp in one step with RCBS dies for 45 acp.

ColtPythonElite
May 4, 2013, 02:56 AM
You don't need much crimp. Just enough to take the flare out. If the loaded round drops freely into the chamber, you have enough crimp.

ljnowell
May 4, 2013, 03:19 AM
Im definately not one to argue about terminology, but its a taper crimp, not a tamper crimp. And, like the above posters said, straighten out the flare and you are good to go!

1hobie
May 4, 2013, 03:33 AM
http://www.rcbs.com/resources/#product_instructions

A good link to RCBS.

Hobie

Tob
May 4, 2013, 06:04 AM
Thanks for this thread, I've been gearing up to reload 45acp and every bit of information shared on this subject is greatly appreciated.

calaverasslim
May 4, 2013, 06:23 AM
I found that buying and using a separate taper crimp die saves time and adjustment time. I just bought a RCBS taper crimp die and use it as a fourth step.

I dust the bullet/case with mica or talc powder and taper crimp. Look for about 1/8" of crimp and your set.

Walkalong
May 4, 2013, 08:13 AM
Adjust the die body down over the case until you feel the crimp ledge hit the case, then adjust the die body up so there is no contact. Then set the die ring and screw the seater stem up or down to get your targeted OAL. 1.265 in this case. As always, there will be a little variance. I try for OALs that fall in between 1.260 and 1.265 with a RN in .45 ACP.

Then when you have the seater stem real close, adjust the stem way up out of the way and then adjust the die body down a hair at a time until you have the crimp you need. Just remove the bell or a hair more. Too many people over crimp auto calibers. Remember, case lengths vary, so you want the die to remove the bell entirely on the short cases, while the longer cases will get a slight inward crimp. .001 or maybe a hair more.

Lock the ring down and turn the seater stem down to touch the top of the bullet in the loaded round. Then turn the stem down 1/8 turn more.

Then seat/crimp a bullet and see what you have. If it falls in range, and the crimp is OK, try another, and another. If you get through several and everything is OK, your done. If not, tweak a hair to adjust the crimp or seating depth, remembering that they affect each other. If the crimp is good and you only have to adjust the seating depth a little it's easy. If you have to adjust the crimp a little by moving the die body, you will have to readjust the seater stem as well.

The case head should be at least flush, to under the barrel hood. Headspace is determined by the chamber and the case length. Don't worry about it. We are just looking for a seating depth that does not interfere with chambering.

The "plunk" test. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=153244&d=1322011199

Upstater
May 4, 2013, 08:41 AM
That sir is a fine looking handload!:)

gamestalker
May 4, 2013, 11:27 AM
For rimless AL cartridges, once you've got your desired OAL, the crimp involves nothing more than removing the bell. Simply adjust the entire die down until it is just removing the bell, no more than that, or you will begin losing neck tension, possible head space issues that can cause mouth pinching in the throat, among other undesirable issues, and deforming the bullets too.

You shouldn't be having an issue as long as you are only using the crimp as a means of removing the mouth belling. Rimless cases head space on the mouth, so over crimping, or actually producing a crimp per say, is the wrong approach. In other words, rimless cartridges do not attain their neck tension from the crimping step at all. This is where many reloaders become confused about the purpose of the crimp on a rimless cartridge.

Rimmed cases are a whole different story, and they do actually utilize a functional crimp for the purpose of bullet hold, or neck tension.

GS

mdi
May 4, 2013, 12:24 PM
A lot of answers on how much to crimp the .45 ACP. Most are right, but;

I always tell new reloaders to forget the term "crimp" when talking/working with semi-auto cartridges. No "crimp" is needed. The case mouth is straightened, removing any flare with a taper crimp die. That's it. Talking about "crimping" a 45 ACP often adds confusion, with a new reloader actually looking for some case deformation from a taper crimp die. No need to try and hold the bullet tighter in the case as neck tension is sufficient.

To answer your question about separate dies; if using a turret or multi die set-up, yes get a dedicated taper crimp die. If using a single stage press, use the die adjustment/crimping procedure posted above (seat all, readjust dies for mouth straightening and process ["crimp"] all...)

wackemanstackem
May 4, 2013, 03:28 PM
You really are not crimping at all unless you use a bullets with a cannelure. You are simply taking the flare back out of the case and this makes the bullet firm against the case wall.The brass is much softer than the bullet,that is why you can only truly crimp against a cannelure .Alot of people mistakenly think they can crimp a bullet without a cannelure , thus the problems are then created.

ljnowell
May 4, 2013, 03:40 PM
Alot of people mistakenly think they can crimp a bullet without a cannelure , thus the problems are then created.

You can, if you are roll crimping.

wackemanstackem
May 4, 2013, 05:14 PM
He said he was using a taper crimp.

ljnowell
May 4, 2013, 06:00 PM
He said he was using a taper crimp.

I am well aware of that. You can also put a taper crimp on a bullet without a cannalure. You shouldnt need to, but you certainly can.

MEHavey
May 4, 2013, 06:33 PM
You can seat/crimp in one operation, but it's a nail-biter.
Recommend you get a separate taper-crimp seater die and just remove the seating stem.

In the end (as noted by WALKALONG above) you want to end up with a mouth diameter
as shown below -- no matter what the bullet design.

http://i50.tinypic.com/2j0iopc.jpg

7mmb
May 5, 2013, 02:16 AM
When I first started loading 45 Auto I was loading for my then new Blackhawk convertible. I loaded up my first batch of ammo using RCBS dies and new Starline brass on my Rockchucker, crimping in a separate step with the seating stem removed, before I even had the gun. It was backordered. When I finally got it I found that a couple of the chambers were slightly tighter than the others and wouldn't chamber my handloads. They would chamber factory ammo though. I ran out and bought a Lee Factory Crimp die and ran them all through it and problem solved. I've since purchased Lee crimp dies for every handgun cartridge I load. I use RCBS three die sets for everything except the crimp. Not having to remove the seating stem and then readjust the seating/crimping die every time is worth it alone too though. I've never had good luck seating and crimping at the same time. A four die set works best for me.

mdi
May 5, 2013, 11:51 AM
You really are not crimping at all unless you use a bullets with a cannelure. You are simply taking the flare back out of the case and this makes the bullet firm against the case wall.The brass is much softer than the bullet,that is why you can only truly crimp against a cannelure .Alot of people mistakenly think they can crimp a bullet without a cannelure , thus the problems are then created.
Sorta, maybe, not really. Unless you're talking about a roll crimp, where case material is formed/"rolled" into the sides of a bullet, a cannalure isn't the deciding factor in crimping a bullet. I have "crimped" thousands of plain sided, no cannalure bullets (mostly for my semi-autos).

Removing the flare (with a taper crimp die) is only straightening the brass, no added bullet/neck tension ("firm against the case wall").

None of the bullets I have ever reloaded are harder than the brass cases holding them (I haven't tried any brass solids, yet). The cases are thin and malleable, but not softer. I'm reloading for my 1911 a lot lately and perhaps the last 1,200 or so bullets without a cannalure were processed wrong?

Roll crimping is for bullets with a cannalure or crimp groove. Taper crimping is for straight sided bullets w/o a groove or cannalure. But, with experience, a knowledgeable reloader can use either...

Lj1941
May 5, 2013, 11:57 AM
Buy a Lee factory crimp die-problem solved:)

buck460XVR
May 5, 2013, 12:09 PM
Jacketed bullets seat and crimp well in one step....lead not so well. With my RCBS dies, I seat and crimp .45ACP in one step and have no problem. For crimping .45ACP, after I get my bullet seated to the correct depth, I back off the seating stem with the case left in the upright position, I then loosen the lock nut and turn the die down by HAND until I can't turn it anymore. I then tighten the lock nut and then turn the seating stem down till it contacts the bullet. I then lower the case and turn the seating stem down just ever so little(maybe a tenth of a turn) and then tighten it's lock nut. Seems if I don't make that little extra turn down my OAL goes up above the intended length. Works for me everytime.

markshere2
May 5, 2013, 12:59 PM
I had a lot of trouble with my cast bullets and my 1911s.
I was using a Lee 225 grain Round nose tumble lube mold.
Sized .452 thru a lee sizer.
The cast bullets sized to .452 and loaded with RCBS dies loaded and ran just great in the Ruger P345 and the hi-point .45 and the hi-point .45 carbine.
Same bullet would not go into any of the 3 1911s I would up trying them in.
They just would not chamber

I tried a Lyman mould - slightly better results
I tried a Lee factory crimp die - slightly better results
I bought a Lee .451 sizer.

That + the factory crimp die works. The same bullets shoot fine in everything.

lesson: some guns are a lot pickier about what you feed them.

918v
May 5, 2013, 01:15 PM
Which 1911's were those?

wackemanstackem
May 5, 2013, 02:32 PM
mdi you can crimp and crimp but you are not crimping the case into the bullet you are just straighting out the case ,all you have to do is pull a bullet after and you will see that there is no crimp rings into the bullet.That is why a true crimp is done with a cannelured bullet thats why they are made that way so you can actually crimp the case into the bullet.That is a true crimp like I stated earlier,I crimp all my 45s and 40s but that is just a step that helps keep the bullet firm in its seat.When I seat and crimp my long colts and 460s I am actually crimping.

ljnowell
May 5, 2013, 02:59 PM
mdi you can crimp and crimp but you are not crimping the case into the bullet you are just straighting out the case ,all you have to do is pull a bullet after and you will see that there is no crimp rings into the bullet.That is why a true crimp is done with a cannelured bullet thats why they are made that way so you can actually crimp the case into the bullet.That is a true crimp like I stated earlier,I crimp all my 45s and 40s but that is just a step that helps keep the bullet firm in its seat.When I seat and crimp my long colts and 460s I am actually crimping.

Thats not true at all. I can taper crimp hard enough to put a solid ring into a bullet easy, basically a cannalure. Its pretty easy to do also.

wackemanstackem
May 5, 2013, 03:22 PM
Whatever you say good luck with that ,your using much softer bullets than I.

ljnowell
May 5, 2013, 04:43 PM
Whatever you say good luck with that ,your using much softer bullets than I.

No, not really. I wouldnt do it because it defeats the purpose but its quite easy to do. I have seen people do it with plated, jacketed, and lead. Every so often there is a thread on here with someone over crimping using a taper crimp die and cutting all the way through the plating or "hourglassing" a jacketed bullet. I'm sorry you have never seen this, but it is very easy to do.

Walkalong
May 5, 2013, 04:51 PM
I have seen it as well. It is quite easy to over do a taper crimp on an auto caliber. A heavy taper crimp can be used on a jacketed bullet with or without a cannelure.

wackemanstackem
May 5, 2013, 06:42 PM
Have never done or seen it in my 40 yrs of reloading but the guys I reload with know how do things right! Am sure with people who dont know what they are doing and like to use excessive force anything is possible,like I said you dont actually crimp unless you dont know what you are doing (is what I should have said sorry ).And if you feel you need to crimp a 45 or 40 that hard go for it but dont try to hit a target because if you over crimp you have junk simple as that .And read some manuals about crimping with a non-cannelure bullet and a cannelure bullet and tell me what you read.

ljnowell
May 5, 2013, 07:06 PM
Have never done or seen it in my 40 yrs of reloading but the guys I reload with know how do things right! Am sure with people who dont know what they are doing and like to use excessive force anything is possible,like I said you dont actually crimp unless you dont know what you are doing (is what I should have said sorry ).And if you feel you need to crimp a 45 or 40 that hard go for it but dont try to hit a target because if you over crimp you have junk simple as that .And read some manuals about crimping with a non-cannelure bullet and a cannelure bullet and tell me what you read.

You know, I am going to be the nice guy and tell you, with your attitude you probably arent going to last long. Letting us know how your friends now how to reload and the rest of us need to read up in manuals isnt a real great way for a new forum member to make friends or build credibility. If you arent looking to make friends or have credibility, then why are you here?

That being said, I didnt see myself or Walkalong advocating putting that kind of crimp onto a round. In fact, I can go back and quote myself, if you would like, and show you where I said quite the opposite. We merely responded to your claim that you COULDNT do such a thing. You certainly can, that doesnt mean that its the right thing to do.

wackemanstackem
May 5, 2013, 08:09 PM
Its your view you can and mine you cant if you are going to remove me for my view on something that I have alot of experience with than please do what you think you need to do .I simply dont agree with your view.

ljnowell
May 5, 2013, 09:02 PM
Its your view you can and mine you cant if you are going to remove me for my view on something that I have alot of experience with than please do what you think you need to do .I simply dont agree with your view.

I think we are experiencing a misunderstanding of the fundamental purpose of each others posts. I am not saying that you SHOULD over crimp when using a taper crimp to do such a thing. I am merely stating that if someone were to overcrimp to that extreme, its possible to indent a ring around a bullet or cut the plating or jacketing on a bullet. What I and Walkalong are saying is that yes, its not proper technique, but if someone tries hard enough, they can do it. There have been many times on this forum that someone has posted pictures of the bullets that they did it too.

I'm not sure what exactly you disagree with regarding my view, however. I am saying the exact same thing that you are about taper crimping only being used to remove the bell from a case. I'm also saying that if someone is careless, or doesnt know what they are doing they can easily overcrimp a bullet and damage the bullet doing so. What exact part of that dont you agree with?


Resorting to insulting statements isnt necessary though, and it in fact violates the TOS at THR. No one

Walkalong
May 5, 2013, 09:24 PM
I think there is just a misunderstanding as well, so lets ease up a little.

I went and got a .45 ACP reload out of my ammo bag. It was similar to the round I posted earlier (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=153244&d=1322011199) in the thread, except it measured .470 at the case mouth instead of .471 and is a 200 Gr X-Treme instead of a Berrys 230 Gr.

I marked where my .45 ACP taper crimp die ring was locked and then screwed the die body down one more turn and crimped the loaded round. The case mouth was now at .466. I turned the die body down another turn and the case mouth was now at .461. One more turn (Three total) and the handle would not go all the way down as the die body hit the shell plate. The case mouth was now at .458 and the bullet was so loose it spun freely in the case. This is due to the spring back of brass being greater than the spring back of lead. (Which is why a FCD for pistols can at times hurt neck tension)

Then I pulled and measured the bullet. It was now .447 at the base (Started at .4515) and .437 where the die pushed the brass into the bullet.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=183639&stc=1&d=1367803400
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=183640&stc=1&d=1367803400

joneb
May 5, 2013, 10:40 PM
,like I said you dont actually crimp unless you dont know what you are doing
I find a crimp is necessary with some bullet profiles, to get a SWC to run in my Colt series 70 I crimp to .470" at the case mouth.

wackemanstackem
May 6, 2013, 06:19 AM
Fair enough,here are some of my crimps

mdi
May 6, 2013, 12:04 PM
Re-read my post.

I put the term "crimp" in quotations because there are a lot of folks reading that don't understand that using a taper crimp die on a semi-auto cartridge isn't crimping. I would have said "de-flaring", but I think I would have been misunderstood...

Walkalong
May 6, 2013, 12:07 PM
Yep. Any one with a good reloading manual should understand what a taper "crimp" is on a auto caliber.

Not to mention the many times it has been explained here. :)

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