First reload, crimp quality check??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bsparker, May 18, 2021.

  1. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Does crimp and seating look good on this .38sp with Acme SWC?

    might be a hair too much?

    image.jpg
     
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  2. THEWELSHM

    THEWELSHM Member

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    Looks good does it plunk?

    Thewelshm
     
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  3. TransAmConvert

    TransAmConvert Member

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    Hard to tell from a picture. Might be a little much crimp. Do two things: Make sure that the round drops freely into and out of your chambers and pull a bullet to make sure the coating isn't being scraped off coming out of that crimp. If that all checks out, rock on.
     
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  4. Soonerpesek

    Soonerpesek Member

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    .38 Special doesn't normally need that heavy of a crimp--IMO,
    But, the case isn't buckled.
    Good lookin' round.
    Have fun emptying it...:thumbup:
     
  5. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    I backed it off a bit, feels better. I might back it off some more after I test these out. It’ll be fired out of a heavy S&W 686 so the extra crimp shouldn’t create much of an impact.

    I definitely want the brass to last so less of a crimp for future reloads.
     
  6. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Heavy crimp appropriately applied doesn't damage the bullet, only the brass, and it doesn't damage it per se it just wears it out faster from work hardening the metal working it so much. Eventually it might split sooner than light crimps basically.

    Over crimping is bad though, it will damage the bullet and lead to poor accuracy or even bullets moving around in the case, over crimping loosens neck tension and deform bullets.

    Those look heavy but not overly so, you can back off a fair bit and they'll still shoot great in a 38
     
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  7. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Backed off a bit, this is where I ended up doing the rest of my test loads. Not curved too far in but definitely can’t feel the lip of the case.

    image.jpg
     
  8. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Those look a lot like mine, and I love how mine shoot. That is looking good!

    Let us know if you notice a difference down range between crimp level, always good to hear how things perform. I hope it's a good fun load for you.
     
  9. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Crimp 1 looks like a 357 mag mega crimp for powders like h110 and 4227. The second crimp is more 38ish. Neck tension alone is usually enough with 38 in my experience.
     
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  10. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    Second is way better. I generally just taper crimp my 38's.
     
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  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    1st one's not bad, but the second one looks great.
     
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  12. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    Actually your bullet should mandate the crimp/amount of crimp.

    Some bullets are designed with small, narrow crimp grooves while other have large, deep, angled crimp grooves. What good is a roll crimp if the mouth of the case is not crimped enough to touch the bullet in the deep angled crimp grooves???

    Myself I crimp everything like the crimp you used in the 1st post. Using that heavy crimp does 2 things for you:
    It equalizes the short start press of your loads. This in turn lowers your es's and sd's which lead to consistency/accuracy.
    It takes case neck tension out of play. Everyone talks about longer case life. Myself I rather shoot flies for 15 reloads than hit the paper plate the flies are landing on for 30 reloads.

    7yITG2Q.jpg

    Those targets pictured above are an excellent example of what happens if you rely on case neck tension rather then a solid crimp when using mixed range brass that's been around too long. WWWWOOOOWWWWW!!!! My cases last forever because I use a lite crimp!!!!

    I was playing around with a 686 using 357 cases looking for a plinking load with a h&g #41 110gr wc bullet. The h&g 41 & 50 wc's have a small shallow crimp groove and rely on neck tension to hold the bullet in place while the short start pressure builds so the powder gets an even/consistent burn. The H&G 41 (left) & H&G #50 (2nd from left).
    N3kBAVn.jpg

    Those targets pictured above show large groups with fliers. They are actually 3/4 shots in a group with 2/3 fliers for the 6-shot group @ 50ft.

    The 357 brass I was using was the junk I throw into a box and use it for 25ft bowling pins. It looked like the puppy played with it for a week or 2. BUT my brass lasts forever!!! Can't hit nothing with it but dirt clods or bowling pins @ 10 paces, but I'm saving $$$ on brass.

    Let your target tell you what works and what doesn't. Chronographs are always a good thing and will pick up on if changes in crimp will affect the consistency of your reloads. The other thing to keep in mind is powders like bullseye, hp-38, zip are a lot less picky about things like crimp & neck tension. Get into powders like universal, unique, hs-6 things get interesting.

    This is why I use a heavy crimp on every 38spl/357/44spl/44mag that I reload. Could care less about how long brass lasts, I want to hit shotgun shells @ 50ft, golf balls @ 25yds, tennis balls @ 50yds & clay pigeons on the berm @ 100yds.
     
  13. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    2nd one is spot on. First one is over crimped and you likely will get premature case mouth cracks due to overworking it.
     
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  14. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Thanks for the help! Fired off 25 of them today. Stepped up from 3gr trail boss to 4.2gr in increments of .3gr, 5 rounds at each increment. Very interesting feeling the difference. The 3gr was incredibly light in the 686, I think my five year old could handle it (although I won’t be testing that).

    trail boss seems a bit dirty though, but fun and easy to work with.

    I’ll likely stick at 3.9gr of trail boss under the acme 158gr SWC in a .38 case. I’m interested to see what things feel like in a .357 case with the appropriate powder levels.
     
  15. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Make a ladder and look for accuracy. That's the game of finding a good load.
     
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  16. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Welcome Aboard !

    Make a "ladder" out of 5-8 cartridges each, loaded progressively higher, using increments of ~0.2gr. Then shoot each 5-8 round group at a fresh target. The best load for your gun will be plain as day when you compare the targets.

    Kfkx0Cgl.jpg

    Hope this helps.
     
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  17. film495

    film495 Member

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    I'm no expert, but in playing around with crimping - there is a feel for the press as it should only take so much pressure to crimp the brass. In setting up a .38 Special roll crimp, when I've done it - there is a transition from a firm stroke of the press to where with a 1/8 turn more it all of a sudden feels tight, I think that's techncially where overcrimp is taking place and cases will start to bulge. My finished rounds looke more like your 2nd picture - as long as your rolling the neck down nicely into the crimp groove, and the bullet can't set back - that's it.
     
  18. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    Fast powders don’t really like as much crimp in your first photo. But slower powders need that much crimp.
     
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  19. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    had something similar, 5 rounds in each row representing an increased charge of .3gr. Saw another member recommend this and it helped keep everything straight at the range. I might reproduce this again and try a second time now that I have a better sense of the crimp and see if I notice a difference.

    17068480-0A7F-40CF-84B1-8D68C05E7287.jpeg
     
  20. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I like to mark my box and my loads with a simple label made with masking tape.
    • This eliminates confusion. Any step that adds clarity is 'gooder'.
    • Afterwards, the tape can be transferred to the target to help with a positive ID.
    Yt8PK1el.jpg
     
  21. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    I like the tape idea. I’m all about getting gooder. Thanks
     
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  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed.
     
  23. black mamba

    black mamba Member

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    Your first crimp looks like my heavy bullet, 30 kpsi+ hunting loads for 44 mag and 45 Colt. I don't shoot 38 special and rarely crimp as light as your second picture. Most of my loads fall in between the two crimps you show.

    rs79siV.jpg
     
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  24. blackd24

    blackd24 Member

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    Looks good, glad you’re enjoying those.
     
  25. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    very much appreciate you helping me get set up!
     
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