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How to tell if case has a military crimp

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TwoRavens, Jan 4, 2006.

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  1. TwoRavens

    TwoRavens Member

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    Hi,
    I picked up a bunch of brass from a class I took at the weekend. Its all American Eagle .223 55gr, but is headstamped LC (like some surplus 308 I have from Lake City). I have read that I need to do extra steps in case prep if they have a military crimp, but how do I tell if I need too?
     
  2. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Member

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    If you can't, or have a great deal of difficulty, priming the cases then they've got a military crimp. This can be taken out with a primer pocket swager, available at Midway and a host of other reloading suppliers. Like all other tools, quality and means of operation differ - your choice of which swager to use will be based on how many cases you need to swage and the cost of the device. I have a simple Lee swager, which screws into the threads of my press like any other die. It works, though it isn't as good (in terms of efficiency or ease of use) as a dedicated device. I believe that Lyman makes one that is really top-flite, but it is also around $80 (my Lee cost about $15).

    The best thing about swaging is that it is a one-time operation - unlike trimming brass.
     
  3. TwoRavens

    TwoRavens Member

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    Thanks, I only have a XL650 (got it for Xmas), not a single stage. Is there a way to tell with that?


    I orderd a RCBS Trim Mate case prep center with the Military crimp remover add -on... I hope it gets here quick...
     
  4. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Member

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    You will be able to tell if there's a military crimp in the primer pocket while priming the cases (after prep). I'm not familiar with the XL650 (i.e. I don't know if it has an automatic primer); I handprime everything with a Lee autopriming handprime tool (you also need the shellholders). For me this is the best way, as you can prime anywhere (even in bed while pretending to watch some stupid chick flick on Lifetime or the WE network with your wife - don't ask me how I know this :barf: ), as well as get a good feel for whether a case is primed correctly or not. The 2 items will run you about $20 at Midway.

    Again, if the primer won't go in, or only goes in with great difficulty, then its got the military crimp and needs to be swaged. You apparently have the right tool to handle this problem.

    I hope that this helps.
     
  5. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

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    There are several types of crimps. One is a 'ring' crimp that circles the entire primer. These are hard to distinguish because even after the metal is removed, there is still a visible ridge... even though the crimp material has been removed.

    The other is a 'stake' crimp. Either 2 or 3 stakes around primer. I mainly see these in .223 brass.

    ALWAYS go through your brass at least once when you get it. Size it, trim it, remover the crimp. Having a primer go off is not the end of the world.. but it can ruin your day (of course you wear safety glasses when you reload... we all do).

    Getting the brass in spec and physically handeling them will cull out the rejects. The bench is where you want to find that cracked neck or head.... not in the gun at the range.
     
  6. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    federal uses a ring crimp in some of their 223 brass.

    i use the rcbs pocket swager to correct that. it works pretty god, and cost somewhere around $20.

    never seen a staked crimp, but the ring crimp is easy. look at the pocket, and if there is a ring around the pocket, it is crimped. once in awhile it is hard to see, so look at 5 or 10 cases, and you'll see it easy enough.
     
  7. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Never thought about wearing safety glasses to bed.....

    Then again, I try to find something to do with my wife in bed besides reload

    ;)
     
  8. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Member

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    I don't. I just point the mouth of the shell away from my face.

    I don't know about your wife, but when mine is watching a chick flick, I either have to watch, read or reload - no other choices are available until the movie is over. BTW, I always tell her exactly what is going to happen, or who did it, etc., even though I've never seen the damned thing before - they are very predictable.
     
  9. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Crimped primers tend to be a bit more difficult to get out too. Punch 'em out and put a wee chamfer on the primer pocket even if they're not crimped in.
     
  10. g56

    g56 Member

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    The cases on the left have the ring crimp, the cases on the right are not crimped, all have the same headstamp.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. MNgoldenbear

    MNgoldenbear Member

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    I've generally found it pretty easy to see the crimp on the edge of the primer pocket. If the primer pocket has what looks like a square shoulder inside of it rather than a nice, smoothly-curved radiused edge, it's been crimped. I use a little cutter designed to take the crimp off. Or if I have a bunch, I've sent them to River Valley Ordnance and had them processed. (Pretty cheap, LOTS easier! $25/M + shipping, $44/M + shipping primed. 2M minimum.)
     
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