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To crimp or not to crimp projectile in M1?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Nickodemus, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. Nickodemus

    Nickodemus Well-Known Member

    Hello holders of reloading knowledge!

    I have had successful experience with .223WSSM reloading. I just got a primer pocket reamer tool to get rid of the crimp in the primer pocket on my surplus Garand ammo. Now I have prepped the cases and there is a part I'm unsure about; whether or not I should crimp the bullet into the case after it is seated.

    I have two Lee presses using a 30-06 Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension die set. If I read the instructions right I can adjust my seating die to crimp, but I'm not thrilled with the idea of one step seating and crimping. I loaded a dummy round with a resized case to set up the dies in the presses. The bullet is very snug in the case neck. I don't know if crimping is necessary and that is why I am posting. Projectiles are Sierra 168 gr. Competition International H.P.

    Anyway, since I'm not putting this .30 cal ammo in a belt fed machine gun and instead careing for it lovingly until it goes in an en bloc at the target range, should I crimp?

    Also for you real knowledgeable salts, I wonder if the bullet overcoming the crimp upon release has a significant effect on chamber pressure and performance that I should be aware of.

    Off topic I was also wondering about dies for pistol reloading. Most I saw for .40S&W are 3 die sets - Should I buy another press or are there two die sets, or should I use both presses and just swap around the dies as needed?

    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses.

  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    If there is a crimping groove on the bullet, then I would use it, since the Garand has a pretty violent action. That round is really moving when it's stripped from the clip and it needs every bit of neck tension to hold it in place. A crimp will also help with powder burning. I crimp all the ammunition for my Garands, though I'm down to 5 of them right now. I prefer to crimp in a separate die.

    As for your pistol question, just do one step of the brass process at a time and then switch dies. I like to prep brass in batches. I'll size and decap a bunch, then clean primer pockets, change dies and then bell and seat primers in them. When that's completed for the batch, then I'm ready to put in the seating die and complete the process.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Nickodemus

    Nickodemus Well-Known Member

    That's funny your down to 5, I only have one and already want more. There appears to be no crimping groove on the bullet. The overall surface is smooth. However I think I'll take your advice and order a Lee Factory Crimp Die, unless I hear from someone very impressed with a different one.
    Thank you Fred!
  4. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    I have shot bunches of noncrimped bullets from an M1 & M1A with no problems.
  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    If there isn't a crimp groove on the bullet, then I wouldn't crimp it. Just make sure there is enough neck tension to hold the bullet in place during cycling. I chamfer the inside of the case mouth on all my rifle brass and polish the expander plugs. I like the necks snug and chamfering helps when seating the bullets.

    I've also shot bullets through my M1 Garands and two M1A's without crimping, but just to be on the safe side, any bullet with a cannelure gets crimped when loading for them.

    At one time, I had 9 Garands, but sold off some to buy other guns. I've kept one from each manufacturer, plus the one with the air gauged barrel that I suspect was a National Match rifle at one time.

    Hope this helps.

  6. ilbob

    ilbob Well-Known Member

    I like the factory crimp die idea.
  7. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    There are only a few good reasons to crimp:

    1. You have too much time on your hands.
    2. You are shooting a gun with heavy recoil (the 308 Win. & 30/06 don't have heavy recoil by my definition) that is cylinder or magazine fed.
    3. The bullets are a little loose and you wish to tighten things up (I've had to do this with Barnes TSX bullets at times).
    4. According to legend, crimping can give more uniform powder ignition and improve accuracy. Maybe this is true in some cases but I have never found this to be true. In fact, I knew a bench rest shooter who did very well by shooting the same 5 cases at the range and reloading them after every string. His bullets were seated in the case by hand.
  8. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    The reason for crimping in a semi-auto rifle isn't accuracy. It's to keep the bullet in place during the violent action of the firing cycle. He's asking about an M1 Garand, which is a lot different than a bolt rifle or bench rest shooting. The advice to crimp was solely intended for the Garand.

    Hope this helps.

  9. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    I've been reloading for my M1 for over two years with over two thousand rounds shot, not have been crimped. As long as the neck tension is good, there is no reason to crimp.
  10. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    I know it's a Garand. I have a Garand and I don't crimp for my Garand. I don't crimp for my M1A either which has basically the same gas/bolt system as the Garand. The reason to crimp, when there is a reason to, is recoil. The Garand firing cycle happens faster than with a bolt action but I don't think it particularly more violent as far as cartridge chambering is concerned. In addition, the recoil in a Garand is less than a sporter weight 30/06 bolt action rifle.
  11. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Well-Known Member

    The government never crimped .30 ammo. That said, they did use an asphaltum sealant on the bullet, but that was intended to keep moisture out.

    I've fired thousands of rounds with no problem through M1s, M14s, and M1As, and never crimped a one. IMHO the Lee factory crimp die is a solution in search of a problem.
  12. 30Cal

    30Cal Well-Known Member

    If you decide to crimp, send me those Matchkings. I hate to see a good bullet go to waste.:neener:

    A gazillion of those bullets have been fired in Highpower through M1's and M1A's in the past 40 or 50 years. Virtually nobody crimps.

    If your bullets move more than a couple thousandths when chambering, then you need to take your resizing die and send it back to the manufacturer and have them correct the oversized expander ball.

    Crimp might be worthwhile for accuracy on fodder bullets. You need it for magnum revolvers and leveractions.
  13. azredhawk44

    azredhawk44 Well-Known Member

    Don't own a garand, but I do own an M1A.

    I crimp on my Remington PSP fodder bullets, because they have a cannelure to do so, but I don't crimp on the 168gr BTHP or the 150gr FMJ bullets I have since they don't have cannelures.

    No need to marr or possibly tear the jacket, IMO.

    FWIW, I get worse accuracy out of my PSP's than my cannelure-less bullets. Maybe I'll re-think that strategy.:rolleyes:
  14. Nickodemus

    Nickodemus Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info guys. I couldn't get on this site for a couple days, I wonder if everyone else had the same problem.

    The bullet has no crimp groove that I can see:

    I ordered the 30-06 crimp die, just in case I get some cannelure bullets. It was only $8 so I added it to my order of a .40S&W equipment (hopefully will only have to pay shipping once to get going with the .40s).

    So if I read you all right, if the projectile has a groove crimp it, and if not don't. In my reloading book I see a bunch of 155-200 gr. .40 projectiles that look like they have no groove (only hornady in this book), but pistol cartridges get crimped anyway - or only magnums?

    What is meant by polishing the expander plugs, is that the ass of the round?

    Seems the garand will eat uncrimped rounds, so I won't crimp them unless I discover COL problems.
  15. Grump

    Grump Well-Known Member

    The Garand will feed EMPTY cases, so I've never believed that the violent cycling would deep-seat bullets. My experience bears this out. All the violence is at the casehead, not whacking the bullet.

    Okay, the ogive gets nudged sideways at the chamber mouth and at the chamber shoulder. Big deal. No round ever shrunk, and I checked one with five cycles, no crimp.

    My only reason to crimp M2 and M80 and M193 Ball-equivalent reloads has been to make sure the casemouth had a bit of taper to avoid the remote chance of it getting snagged while being chambered. Just smoothing the profile.
  16. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    I've used a Lee Factory Crimp for the last decade or so.

    I use it on all my autoloaders, be it M1 Garand, M14NM, BM-59, AK-47, SKS, AG42B, VZ-52, BAR, Model 8 and 81, you name it.

    Just a couple deep-seated rounds are enough incentive to keep the bullets firmly in place. (Been there, done that, glad I didn't fire them) The Lee is adjustable, and will do it without distorting the jackets on those expensive Sierra MatchKings you're using. ;)
  17. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    When you fill M-1 clips, you should whack the ammo on the butt plate or stock to seat the cartridges in the clip. Been doing just this for 30 some years with un-crimped ammo with no bullet movement. As long as the neck tension is ok, you don't need to crimp. M1A's don't require it either.
    Crimping is for heavy recoiling cartridges or sometimes those used in the tube mag of a lever action. Whether or not the bullet has a cannelure is irrelevant.

    ADKWOODSMAN Well-Known Member

    Don't worry about not crimping!

    When I started shooting NRA High Power competition I read somewhere if you push on a loaded cartridge held against your bench and the bullet didn't move don't worry about crimping. I never had to with 2 M1 National Match's and two 742 Rem semi's or my ruger carbine.
  19. P-32

    P-32 Well-Known Member

    Nick, I've been loading for M-1 Garand's for about 20 years. This is what I've found thus far.

    My '06 M-1 likes IMR 4064 the best.

    155 gr SMK's shoot better than 168 SMK's.

    130 gr. H/P's fly nice out to at least 200 yards. (I've won money at Garand matches with them)

    Lake City brass is good stuff.

    The primer pocket uniformer is wise and well spent money when processing Lake City brass.

    Never use Federal primers. If you are after smaller groups, CCI BR primers work. Remington Primers might work too, and worth trying out. Other than that, standard CCI primers work time after time. Some people have good luck with Winchester primers but I get vertial stringing when used with IMR powders.

    A round which has been chambered with the bolt closing at normal speed will have a "dimple" in the primer, even with "Mil Spec" primers. This is normal but bad with high primers. Federal primers are more sensitive than the others and you do stand a chance of setting off a round with the M-1's free floating firing pin. M-1's, M-14/ M-1A and M-16/AR-15 all have free floating firing pins.

    Small Base dies are not always needed, full length sizing is. I use plain ole RCBS '06 dies. I am thinking about getting a Hornaday Match bushing die and a Forster Ulta match seating die to see if I can wring out smaller groups with my SA service grade though. Thanks to the CMP, the barrel only has about 1K of rounds down range.

    M-1 Grands like grease.

    The only bullets I have crimped had a crimp groove.

    For your second question, I don't know of any 2 die pistol die sets because of the added "belling" step.

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