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How much crimp on target 357 loads (38s in 357 cases)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Macchina, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Macchina

    Macchina Well-Known Member

    I'm loading 158 grain hard cast bullets over 4 grains of 231 in .357 magnum cases. The bullets have a nice crimp groove. How much crimp should I be putting on these guys? I use the 4-die Lee set and usually crimp my magnum rounds tightly.
  2. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Well-Known Member

    I would use very light (if any) taper crimp. Just enough to be sure the flare is gone.

    You don't need to worry about jumping crimp in those light loads & W231 doesn't really need a crimp to burn.

    And your brass will last longer. ;)
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    Another light crimper here, too.
  4. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    I have been loading 38spl with 158gr LSWC with 4.2gr of W-231 with a mid to heavy crimp with very good accuracy. But I trim my cases so a heavier crimp is not a issue for me.
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I would use the same amount of crimp you use on your .38 Special loads. Just because you're loading in .357 Magnum brass doesn't change the fact you're really loading a .38 Special.

    I use a light roll crimp on all my .38 Special rounds and that works well for me...
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Agreed, use the crimp groove as designed, just don't get carried away with the amount of crimp. Something like this.

    Medium Roll Crimp on a D&J 125 Gr RFN - Using a Hornady seater to seat and crimp in one step.

  7. Macchina

    Macchina Well-Known Member

    Any problem with a tight crimp like I use on my magnum loads? I loaded a few up that way before I thought that I may want to give light loads less of a crimp...
  8. Macchina

    Macchina Well-Known Member

    Also, thanks for the picture. A picture of a crimp is worth more than a paragraph trying to explain it!
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    It won't hurt a thing.
  10. sirsloop

    sirsloop Well-Known Member

    IMHO crimp em light... no need to work over your brass too much. I dont think there's issues with the bullets moving until you get into some max loads or larger calibers. I guess it depends on what you are shooting it outta too... light gun will put more G's on the bullet.
  11. 4895

    4895 Well-Known Member

    I agree with a light crimp and saving the work on the brass. If you ever want to try different bullets, consider moly coated. I get less smoke and very little fouling with 4.2 grains of W-231 and 158 grain rnfp from Bear Creek Supply bullets in 38 special. I haven't tried them in .357 but would expect the same performance at medium velocities. I shot quite a few Missouri bullet company lead and was pleased, but indoors I would get a lot of lube smoke and a headache from poor ventilation. I haven't had those problems with moly at all. I keep the plain lead for outdoors only now.
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Other than overwork your brass for no good reason...
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Tis true. :)
  14. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    I find a mid to heavy crimp has little effect on the case life of my revolver brass. I have split more 45acp cases that have very little to no crimp do to hot loads
  15. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Walkalong's crimp looks very good.

    Too light & you run the risk of unburned powder.
    Too heavy & you reduce the life of the brass - you run the risk of the case mouth cracking or splitting.

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