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Barnes bullets and Lee Factory Crimp

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Leatherstocking, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. Leatherstocking

    Leatherstocking Member

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    Hi,
    After reading Richard Lee's Manual, I thought it would be a good idea to crimp my hunting loads for robustness (and accuracy?).
    Lee claims that the FC die does not need a cannelure (in the bullet) to crimp satisfactorily, however this may apply to normal lead core jacketed bullets, and not to the Barnes solid copper ones. I am using the TTSX bullets, 150grn B.T., which like other Barnes bullets have a number of grooves machined into the bullet.
    First, I tried the SAMMI coal, and found that the crimp die seated the bullets a bit deeper, i.e. they measured 3.24" before crimping, and about 3.21" after. This is caused by the crimp being just at the rear of the groove in the bullet, and the crimp pushes the bullet a bit deeper in the case.
    Yesterday, I checked the length of the leade, (using Richard Lee's method), and found that to get Barnes recommended 0.05" bullet jump, I could set the coal at 3.33". Once again the crimp ends up at the rear of the next groove, so the bullets are seated a bit deeper by the crimp die.
    What do you think? Is this normal/okay? Should I tinker around with the coal to find a length where the crimp does not involve a groove, i.e. where the crimp is on a full diameter area of the bullet? Will the crimp die form a crimp on the solid copper bullet? Should I just forget about crimping?
    Any thoughts appreciated!
    John
     
  2. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    for this application, yes, i would suggest not bothering with crimping
     
  3. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Yes. Unless you're shooting a tubular magazine rifle, there's no need to crimp them.
     
  4. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    It is of no necessity to crimp rifle loads and can cause you more grief than it's worth. I've been loading for high powered rifle for more than 3 decades and have never used a cirmp on any of my high powered loads.

    I also noticed you were refrencing OAL in .00" increments rather than the standard .000", or thonusandths of an inch. In fact, in the process of reloading most, if not all measurements need to be done in thousandths, or .000" increments at the very least to be of any purpose. You can't even determine brass dimensions, seating depths, primer seating depths, or effective OAL in less than thousandths, .000" increments.

    GS
     
  5. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    The best thing to do is give Barnes Bullets a call, ask for tech support. They should be able to answer all your questions. After all they made the bullet and tested it under different conditions. Their phone number is 435-856-1000.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Fogadabout it!

    Especially with solid copper bullets.

    You got enough other things to worry about.

    rc
     
  7. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    What rifle and what cartridge?
     
  8. jack44

    jack44 Member

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    I would crimp lead bullets not jacked.
     
  9. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    Ive never crimped any of my rifle loads. Handgun is a different story. But rifle loads most likely don't need it so long as neck tension is okay. If it isn't okay, crimping most likely won't make much difference.
     
  10. noylj

    noylj Member

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    Crimp is something to do if there is a reason/need.
    I have never crimped a rifle bullet, except a slight crimp with cast bullets in .30-30 and tubular magazine.
    Also, how much force are you using to crimp? With the Lee rifle FCD, I think a torque wrench might be a good idea.
     
  11. Leatherstocking

    Leatherstocking Member

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    Are you referring to any special problems with the solid copper bullets, or just the usual problems of developing a load?
     
  12. Leatherstocking

    Leatherstocking Member

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    The rifle is a Ruger M77 (Mark1) about 30 years old. The cartridge is 7mm Rem Mag.
    The bullet is 150 grn TTSX BT. Using Barnes data, 62 grn H1000 (min load).
     
  13. Leatherstocking

    Leatherstocking Member

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    Interesting idea about the torque wrench. I guess I could just put a socket on the nut which holds the press handle? Any idea how much torque to use?
     
  14. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I would agree that crimping is not generally needed with rifle loads until you get up to something in the 378 Weatherby or 458 Lott category. That said, I've had some great results crimping Barnes TSX bullets with a Lee FCD die. I find a groove that leaves the cartridge length such that it will feed through the magazine with the bullet as close to the lands as possible without actually touching them. Barnes bullets are pretty forgiving in regards to how far they jump to the lands.

    A problem I've had with Barnes TSX bullets is that with some cartridges I load for, when seated in a case they end up being loose. The Lee FCD tightens them up nicely.
     
  15. Leatherstocking

    Leatherstocking Member

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    So you crimp in a groove? I found that 2 of the seating depths I tried ended up with the crimp just at the rear of the groove, and then the crimp operation actually pulled the bullet a bit farther into the case. Have you seen this?
    Do you crimp in the centre of the groove?
    Thanks
     
  16. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I crimp in the center of the groove and yes, the bullet is pulled a bit further into the case and the mouth of the case ends up being at the front of the groove.
     
  17. Leatherstocking

    Leatherstocking Member

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    Thanks, Grum
    So, still wondering about a couple of details.
    So you adjust the bullet seating depth so that the FCD crimp is in the middle of the groove.
    You don't worry too much about the bullet seating depth, as long as it is safe.
    Go to the range, shoot, see how big the groups are.
     
  18. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    [​IMG]
    -
    [​IMG]

    Yes, that's the way I do it. It's the technique I used for the above 378 Weatherby loads.

    Pretty much everyone knows about the generous Weatherby free bore so there is quite a bit of bullet jump to the lands when one seats the bullet so the cartridge will fit in the magazine. I had a custom made Lee FCD made for the 378 Weatherby because with other crimping methods I tried, if I applied enough crimp to keep the bullets in the cartridges in the magazine from moving under recoil, I collapsed the cases.
     
  19. hentown

    hentown Member

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    IF you want to get a good reading of the genius of Richard Lee, take a good, hard look at the Loadmaster! :evil: Don't crimp rifle rounds that aren't going to be fed from a tubular magazine.
     
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