Too much crimp??

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Walkalong, hand picked ... that's funny! :D You can see some cleaning residue on one of the cases in my photo ... your brass looks so perfect I felt that I had to make an extra effort. :)

something vague said:
Crimping in a different step from seating the bullet is the easiest way to go in my experience.


I've always crimped in a separate (and final) step for handgun and rifle loads, although off the top of my head, the only rifle caliber I crimp is .45-70.

That bullet in the vjay's original post has some interesting markings on it too. Not sure what that's all about.

rcmodel said:
The mouth of the case should measure no less then .370" at most.

SAAMI spec is .373".

rcmodel, would you say that SAAMI - .003" is a standard minimum dimension for the case mouth diameter for most if not all handgun calibers that headspace on the case mouth? Lyman shows the .45 ACP to have a .473" case mouth so would .470" be the minimum acceptable diameter? I've never seen any published tolerances on case mouth dimensions so that's why I ask.

1858, the easiest way I have found (since bullet sizes vary especially lead) is to mike the case, after pressing in the bullet, at the bulge near the bullet base, then taper crimp to that size, or a couple of tenths less (.0002). I hold it up to the light with the micrometer over the case mouth and look for light between the case mouth and micrometer. Should work with calipers if a micrometer is not available.
Lyman shows the .45 ACP to have a .473" case mouth so would .470" be the minimum acceptable diameter?
I don't think there is a SAAMI crimp standard because there really can't be.
The measurement depends entirely on case mouth thickness of the brass, combined with actual bullet diameter.
That all can vary a +.001" here, and .+002" there due to manufacturing tolerance stacking.
Before you know it, measuring to a standard doesn't work so hot every time.

I recently did some .45 ACP measuring of three brands of GI issue .45 ammo I have:
WWC 64 Match measured .471".
RA 65 Match measured .4695".
RA 68 GI Ball measured from .469" to .471" in the same box.

But I do think anything more then .002" - .003" is going to cut into the bullet, or squeeze it under bore dia. more then it should, assuming neck thickness & bullet dia is what it should be.

For crying out loud don't make it complicated.

For a cartridge like the .380 that headspaces on the case mouth, the proper crimp is to remove the bell you made expanding the case mouth. That means the case mouth should be flat against the bullet shank.

Case mouth diameter x2 plus bullet diameter= crimp measurement if you're into that sort of thing.
Vjay said:
Hello, finally I reloaded my first 380acp batch.

Don't know how much crimp do I really need, here is a pic. Please tell me what you people think, have a higher resolution pic if needed.

I'am using a lee 3 die set on a single stage press (lee breech lock challenger), so my seating and crimping are made on the same step.

Well, I had a very hard time adjusting overal length and crimp, don't know if its normal. Maybe I should get a FCD??

BTW, all these loads are plinkers.

Hey Vjay.. did you ever think your question would get this much attention?? What a great group of helpful folk here at THR... don't ya think...;)
hehe, never ever ^^

Well guys, here's an update. New batch of 50 rounds, I can't feel any case flare with my finger tips.


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Much, much better. I'd bet the first ones you pictured wouldn't chamber properly.
vjay said:
Well guys, here's an update. New batch of 50 rounds, I can't feel any case flare with my finger tips.

Where did you buy those from? :D Your before and after photos remind me of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! :D

Very nice looking reload vjay. Let us know how they shoot, which should be well. :)
Thanks, I'll shoot them at the range tomorrow, these are my first reloads, can't wait ;)
Thanks for helping me get into reloading guys :)
Great tips and advice so far THR.

Maybe a little off topic, but yesterday I reloaded some more, while seating & crimping, bullet got stuck on seater die! Ramp goes down with case only... I just had to turn the adjustment knob clockwise and it eventually pushed cast bullet out of the die. It happened twice! Flare disappear, so I guess case was crimped normally. Any thoughts? :confused::confused:
Is that a picture if a Winchester factory load..??? :p

Looks great !! Have Fun !!
bullet got stuck on seater die!
Check for scraped off bullet lube in the seater die.

Will change seating depth, and the bullet may get stuck in the grease.

Not sure how you got it to crimp without a bullet in the case though.

I see, maybe case flare still there but didn't notice at all.
So this issue is normal due to lube?
When I was done reloading yesterday, notice seater plug had excessive lube and dirt, so I cleaned up.
So this issue is normal due to lube?
If you are not flaring the case mouth enough when loading lead bullets, yes.

Every one will get lube scraped off and it will end up in the seating die until it builds up and causes problems.

Bell the mouth enough that it cannot scrap lube or lead.

You should be able to start a lead bullet in the case by hand far enough to pick it up by the bullet without it falling apart.

Not as much flair is needed with jacketed bullets, but I still like to be able to start them by hand.

Well, went to the range today to try these reloads. They shoot very nicely on my CZ83, but what is more important I had a great time shooting and reloading as well.

Thanks everyone for helping me get started on this nice hobby :)
How was the leading in the cz83 after shooting your reloads? How many do you end up shooting? The reason I ask is I have always loaded jacketed rounds with my semi but have recently bought 100 LRN 9mm bullets to try out due to cost.
Good crimp

Here's what they look like when using the Lee FCD,every roung feeds without a hitch!Magtech 95 grn FMJ.


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@something vague
Only 50 rounds, barrel looks dirty, lube and dirt. But no leading at all.

My lube is old NRA formula I made weeks ago (same amount of parafin, vaseline & bees wax). Don't know which is the best lube out there, but well it seems to work for 380acp :)

thanks, nice pics ;)
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