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lee seating/crimp die

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jrkfantom, Dec 30, 2011.

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  1. jrkfantom

    jrkfantom Member

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    Hey, i'm loading 9mm and am supposed to do a taper crimp. Well, the directions with the die aren't so good, so when i just screw the die to get my proper oal i notice that i see a bulge where the bullet is. So how do i get rid of that? I tried adjusting the die depth and also the other thing in the middle of the die. I read that the twisty thing controls OAL, and the die depth controls crimp. I'm having trouble finding out exactly what to do. I have a 9mm in front of me I crimped, the edges of the case are lightly curled onto the bullet. Am i supposed to crimp higher than that or lower? Thanks.
     
  2. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Do you have 3 dies or 4? It makes a difference on the setup.

    The bulge at the base of the bullet is normal, especially when using carbide dies. Don't worry about that as long as the rounds chamber OK.
     
  3. jrkfantom

    jrkfantom Member

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    3 die set. And the bulge is at the top. Like the shap of the bullet
     
  4. JohnhenrySTL

    JohnhenrySTL Member

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    Lee directions are horrible. All they say is how Lee is better than every thing else. I have yet to make my first loads, just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Good luck.
     
  5. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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  6. jrkfantom

    jrkfantom Member

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    so very much better! thank you!
     
  7. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Dammit, I was just about finished writing up detailed instructions and I somehow hit a <back> key and lost it all.

    I'll be back...
     
  8. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Member

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    If I am reading your post correctly the bulge is right under the projectile. If this is the case you have the die set to deep. Back it off, and use the adjustment screw on top for your OAL. What you have now sounds like your crimp portion of the die is to deep. Back it off and set your OAL, and the start working the die deeper into the press until you get the crimp you are looking for. All dies are essentially the same as the Lee for setup.
     
  9. jrkfantom

    jrkfantom Member

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    The bulge that i see seems to be the bullet that is in the case. Starting from the bottom of the case and coming up, it is straight and then the case is bulged out the rest of the way up, starting at the the base of where the bullet is inside of the case. It doesn't look this way on factory loads. I tried adjusting the crimp depth, and i'd either get a roll crimp at the top of the case (a no-no for 9mm) or i'd get a ring crimped elsewhere further down. Does the bulge from where the bullet is affect anything? If it will feed into the chamber correctly is it ok? perhaps the bullets are too big?
     
  10. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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  11. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Carbide dies oversize 9mm a little, then when you seat a bullet you end up with a "wasp waist" or "hourglass" shape. Don't worry about that as long as they chamber OK.

    Here's the directions for setting the seating die to crimp at the same time:

    1. Setting up the resizing die and the case mouth expanding die are easy, so I'll skip that.
    2. Resize 2 empty cases. Set one aside, and expand the case mouth on the other one.
    3. With the expanded case in the shellholder, adjust the seating die until if just touches the top of the case when the ram is fully extended. Tighten down the lock ring. Now put a bullet in the case and play with the bullet seating knob until you get the bullet seated right where you want it. Set the seated and uncrimped case aside and fetch the empty resized case.
    4. Loosen the lock nut. Screw down the die until it is *snug* against the mouth of the case (remember, you didn't expand this case) Tighten the locknut and you have the crimp adjusted. Back off the seating nut a half a turn or so because it is now set too tight. Don't worry, it's easy to set it back...
    5. Put the case with the seated and uncrimped bullet in the shellholder and cycle the press. Take it out and look at it; you should have a perfectly crimped bullet. Put it back in the shellholder and run it up again, and tighten the seating knob until it is snug against the bullet. Now you have both the crimp and the bullet seat adjusted.

    It's a lot faster and easier todo than it sounds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  12. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    That isn't really a "bulge". That's the case formed around the base of the bullet. If your loading .355" jacketed bullets, a reasonable taper crimp will measure .3765 to .3785 -ish, measured very close (within 1/16") to the case mouth and can vary with the brand of case your using. Different cases have different thicknesses. Below the base of the bullet, the case may actually be slightly smaller. This gives a slight " Coke-Bottle" shape to the cartridge and is normal.

    That's too much crimp. It should be formed to the bullet without damage to the jacket.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Crimp it just enough to remove the bell or a hair more. It should look about like this .38 Super round.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

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    If your bulge looks like the picture below, what you are seeing is normal. 9mm case is a tapered case which means the base of the case is wider than the case neck. When you resize the spent case, the sizer ring in your deprime/resizing die simply resize the tapered case straight down to the base and do not restore the factory taper of the case. When you seat a bullet, you'll see the "coke bottle" effect on the finished round and this is more pronounced when using larger diameter lead bullets. This is normal and the bulge you see indicates you have a good neck tension on the bullet.

    [​IMG]

    +1. I do not use roll crimp for semi-auto cases as they head space on the case neck. You should use just enough taper crimp to return the flare of case neck back to flat. Since the thickness of case wall is about .010", I typically add .020" to the diameter of the bullet for the amount of taper crimp to use. So for a .355" diameter jacketed bullet, I would use .375" taper crimp. You should always check the amount of taper crimp by using your barrel out of the pistol. The finished round should fall into the chamber freely with a "plonk" without the bullet nose hitting the rifling.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  15. jrkfantom

    jrkfantom Member

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    The pictures are very helpful. And these numbers and info are just what i need
     
  16. carbuncle

    carbuncle Member

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    Thanks for the links to the videos and all of the advice, this is all very helpful for newer reloaders (like me).
     
  17. Johnnymg

    Johnnymg Member

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    zxcvbob

    I used your suggested crimp die adjustment method and it worked perfecto!

    Thanks
    JohnG
     
  18. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Having that "coke bottle" shape on your reloaded ammo is another reason it's superior to factory. It's more resistant to bullet setback.
     
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