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Progressive presses: How important to seat and crimp in two stages?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by John C, Nov 3, 2011.

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  1. John C

    John C Member

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    I've been looking at bullet feeders for the Dillon 650. I checked out some videos on youtube, and I was surprised that the host kept the powder check die, and seated and crimped the bullet on one stage. This freed up a station for the bullet feeder.

    This got me thinking, how important is it to seat and crimp bullets on two stations? I have a 550, which has 4 stations. Could I move to seating/crimping on one station, and free up a station for a $28 bullet feeder? What would I lose by doing this?

    Thanks,

    -John
     
  2. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Take a look at these threads

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=618787

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=619922

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=591870

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=465091



    The last one gets a little testy, but that's because there are some strongly held opinions.

    There are two issues.

    1) Separate the seating and crimping? Separating the Seating and Crimping makes adjustment easier, as you don't have one adjustment affecting the other.

    2) Post-sizing. As the round is withdrawn from the crimping die, it is sized one last time (removing any bulges in the case that might have been introduced when the bullet was seated in the prior station or when the crimp was applied.

    Some feel it is lazy to seat and crimp separately (more steps, but simpler to do). Some feel it is "covering up" sloppy habits to have the final sizing applied (normally only available with the separate crimping die).

    But don't take my word for it. I am just applying my perspective. Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for anything you get from casual sources, especially from the internet.

    Good luck and thanks for asking our advice.

    Lost Sheep
     
  3. fiftybmg

    fiftybmg member

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    I shoot IDPA, and I load semi-auto and revolver, a couple thousand rounds each per year. I do have a 4-die Lyman set that has a seperate taper crimp die that I like for .40S&W reloading.

    I can't tell the difference between a one stage and two stage seating-crimp, but then I also don't have any Lee dies.

    In my opinion, the two stage seating - crimp operation gained publicity with the invention of the Lee factory crimp die. The necessity of that die arose from a deficiency in the Lee bullet seating die that doesn't support the case wall during the seating operation, so when you apply crimp at the same time you can end up with a buckled case.

    I've documented my one step seating-crimp setup here :

    http://www.lambdacode.com/reloading/docs/crimp_setup/index.html
     
  4. bds

    bds Member

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    John, what dies are you using?


    This is my take:

    For semi-auto jacketed/plated bullets, seating and taper crimping in one step is fine.

    For semi-auto lead bullets, seating and taper crimping flat in one step is fine.

    For semi-auto lead bullets, seating and taper crimping less than flat in one step may shave lead from the side of the bullet and may require two stage seating/taper crimping.

    For revolver loads, seating and roll crimping into crimp groove will require two stage seating/roll crimping for best results.

    YMMV
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  5. wingman

    wingman Member

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    I use the two step process and "for me" it turns out a better round that I can depend on to be consistent. I use what works after 40 years of reloading consistency is the goal.;)
     
  6. Nick93

    Nick93 Member

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    Some people say that seating and crimping in different stages give you more consistent cartridge overall leght due the brass leght
     
  7. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    I have been loading since 1989 and the number one thing that took my handloaded handgun ammo to new heights of consistency/lower SDs and much improved accuracy was seating and crimping in two stages. Yes it is an extra step, which can be a pain on a single stage press, but the ammo looks better, has more consistent OALs and crimp measurements, and my groups at 25 yards shrunk an inch or better.

    Do the two stages, and I think you will see a marked improvement.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  8. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I've been reloading for close to 40 yrs now and have done both. Here's my take on it.

    If you do case prep and debur the inside of the case mouth you can do it in 1 step, if your NOT OVER CRIMPING. If your case is not debured you will/can damage the jacket/bullet. Bullets with the cantalure grove and roll crimp it does not matter because the brass has a place to go without shaving the bullet. It is a lot easier controlling the OAL when doing it in separate steps.

    Now for high production practice ammo it makes no difference if you not shooting bullseye.
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Please advise source of a bullet feeder for $28.
     
  10. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "How important to seat and crimp in two stages? "

    It's a matter of personal preference. If it were important to do it one way or the other that's what we would all be doing and it would be the only way the dies would work.
     
  11. bds

    bds Member

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  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    As I pointed out yesterday in the other thread the GSI feeder for the 650 feeds and seats at the same station (#4) for powder check on 3 and crimp on 5.

    How important? Assuming you seat/crimp in two steps currently, without issues, try a run doing both at the same time, before you buy your feeder.

    FWIW having had a feeder with no collator to load it in the past, a feeder is of very little help if you still have to drop every bullet by hand.
     
  13. nojoke

    nojoke Member

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    I've been reloading since last month so......:eek::neener:

    But, I have a seat/crip die combo. (Hornady)
    I too was concerned but everthing seemed to seat nicely and crimp well.
    Here's the pic.
    The overall length difference was something like a .0012" variation. Pretty good if you ask me.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    For auto calibers with just a hair of a taper crimp you can seat and crimp in the same step with no problems. The bullet moves so little and the "crimp" is so light it is not a problem. Crimping separately does nothing to increase function or accuracy. It doesn't matter if it is plated, lead, or jacketed. Deburring and chamfering the brass lightly is always a good idea, but I never do it for 9MM, .40, or .45.

    Some will say other wise, but that is my take on it.


    A medium to heavy taper crimp on plated bullets in revolver calibers needs to be crimped in a separate step since there would be too much bullet movement during the crimping while seating/crimping in a single step.


    For jacketed bullets with a well made deep cannelure, or a lead bullet with a proper crimp groove, there is no need to roll crimp in a second step.

    I trim all my revolver brass, as this makes a big difference in the consistency of the crimp. If you do not want to trim revolver brass, I would not recommend seating and crimping in the same step.

    I crimp in a second step on most pistol loads, and one or two rifle loads.


    Seated and crimped in one step with a Hornady seater.

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Please advise source of a bullet feeder for $28.

    Actually $27.58 not including tax and shipping for any progressive press - http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/349969_.html


    Thanks.
    As somebody said, without a collator and feeder tube feeder it is hard to see how it will save much time versus hand setting each bullet.

    But then I only use one primer feed pickup tube because by the time I have loaded a hundred rounds even on a progressive, I am ready for a break to check the powder level and empty case supply. I don't use a progressive to work for hours making cases of ammunition for SHTF, I use it to generate enough to shoot tomorrow in a few minutes.
     
  16. John C

    John C Member

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    Thank you, gentlemen, for all of your replies.

    I've been reloading for about 8 years now, single stage and progressive on a Dillon SDB and a 550. I've always seated and crimped separately, but largely because that's what everybody does. The video caused me to pause and consider they whys and wherefores of why we do it that way. I honestly thought it had more to do with press operation, as in that it ran smoother that way.

    At this point, I'm only idly considering getting a bullet feeder for my 550. The $28 dollar bullet feeder requires the preloading of the bullet tubes much like primer tubes. I wouldn't mind this. I think it would be much faster than loading the bullets individually on the cases. I enjoy the mechanical process of reloading, so I like trying to find the weak links in my process and trying to improve.

    One other question: Are other brands of dies really better than Lee when it comes to seating/crimping in one stage? I'd always read that Lee dies were excellent, and I've found that to be true. I primarily reload .45 ACP, .44 MAG, .38 special, and .32 S&W long wadcutters for an auto pistol.

    Thanks,

    -John
     
  17. CHALK22

    CHALK22 Member

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    I just recently did the $28 bullet feeder on my LNL AP. Works like a champ. Yes, you must feed them into the tube by hand, but do yourself a favor and buy 4-5 tubes, load them all at once and you can bang out 250 +/- 9mm at a time, no problem. Also, I used to seat and crimp in two different stations, but with the bullet feeder, and powder cop die, I have to do it in one station now. I don't see too much difference in final product. Other results may vary. Bottom line, with the case feeder and the bootleg bullet feeder, this machine cranks out some rounds! DO IT!
     
  18. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I'm relatively new to reloading, so the more experienced among you may know something about the following that I don't.

    Lately I've been roll crimping separately and doing it by setting the seating die in such a way that the crimp happens short of the full stroke. That way I have control of the crimp by "feeling" the round being crimped. I can visually inspect the round, and add more crimp if needed.

    Crimping is like salting food--you can "taste" and add a bit more, but you can't take it out.
     
  19. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    With the leverage that presses have, I can't think of a more inconsistant way to crimp. What is wrong with letting the ram simply go all of the way to the top of stroke, the same for every round?
     
  20. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    Yep, mechanical consistency is more accurate than "feel".
     
  21. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    For blasting ammo ("training") I seat and crimp in one step.

    For hunting ammo I crimp separately if the bullet has a cannelure. I only crimp rifle bullets if they have a groove or cannelure like Barnes TSX.
     
  22. Deavis

    Deavis Member

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    I've always disliked the race to finish seating the bullet before the crimp begins with the one-step method. Since I don't run setups where I am station confined, I always do it in two stations and really like the results. Either way, I think you can make great ammo, it is what works for your setup.
     
  23. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "I can't think of (feel) a more inconsistant way to crimp. What is wrong with letting the ram simply go all of the way to the top of stroke, the same for every round?"

    Well, going full stroke is fine for consistant crimps ... IF the case lengths are identical. Most aren't. Feel crimping works quite well IF the loader has feel. ??
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Big if. Using compound leverage? I dunno about that. :)
     
  25. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    “Progressive presses: How important to seat and crimp in two stages?

    I was reloading on a turret Hurters, Super 3 Hurters, 2 RCBS Piggy Back 11, I decided to get a progressive that loaded cases longer than the 223 so I visited Dillon in Chandler/Phoenix, AZ.

    They suggested using their dies in the 4 position 550B press then went on to explain the seating on one position and crimping on another and I said I can not use the press because I use a lock out die, anyhow they said it was OK If I did not start over by purchasing their dies, and I thought that was nice. They went on to explain the conflict created when the bullet is seated and crimped at the same time. (Lyman said the same thing 40+ years ago) When the bullet is seated. When the bullet is crimped the case mouth locks onto the bullet, as a results the bullet when moving down is crimped the case bulges below the crimp as the bullet is seated, as Lyman said crimping could reduce bullet hold and crimping could do more harm than good.

    And I explained to them I had a Ruger and 1911 that did not like reloads, the only ammo good enough for those two is new stuff, I then explained to them I use a full length sizer die as a crimp die to duplicate the appearance of new, store bought, over the counter 45ACP ammo and the two pistols can not tell the difference.

    F. Guffey
     
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