Crimping: Traits of Roll vs Taper

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Rum River posted this 2 weeks ago

So, here's the background:

A friend asked me to assemble his .45 Colt components. Mixed brass in good condition, CCI 300 primers, Unique powder and some Laser Cast 250gr. bullets that he provided. He just wanted a general purpose load so I settled on an 8 gr. powder charge which made for a 3" group at 25 yards from my 4 3/4" Blackhawk off of sandbags. Between my less-than-stellar eyeballs and stove-up hands to match I believe the groups will be tighter for a healthy person. My dies are RCBS carbides which I used in my Dillon 550 press.

Difficulties arose in that my RCBS seater die is on the long side. Some years back I had a machinist shorten it as the crimp step was too far away from the shell holder to properly roll crimp some heavy loads I was putting together for my Redhawk using my single stage Rockchucker.

I should have had him remove more.

In the process of assembling my friend's loads I found that a few hundred of his cases (happened to be Hornady) were significantly shorter. Short enough that using the Dillon with its taller-than-a-single-stage-shellholder-shellplate I wasn't able to properly roll crimp the Hornady cases.

My solution was to use my Dillon 45 ACP taper crimp die instead. I did some range testing to ensure there was no bullet jump and went on my happy way.

Here's what I'm curious about: Looking online there was a gentleman on a different reloading forum (I honestly don't even remember which one it was) who was VERY adamant that doing what I did would actually loosen the bullet in the case. The theory being that the taper crimp would somewhat swage down the diameter of the bullet within the case while the spring-back of the case itself would result in a projectile that was too loose in said case.

I found that in my scenario that did not occur. What do you folks think of the premise?

"Well hell boys. I'd damn sight rather be hung by my friends than by a bunch'a damn strangers."

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RicinYakima posted this 2 weeks ago

With the small Lazer Cast bullets and commercial brass, I think it is internet BS.

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Ed Harris posted this 2 weeks ago

I agree with Ric.  With your moderate 8 grain load inertial dislodgement of the bullet isn't going to be a problem.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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ALYMAN#1 posted this 2 weeks ago

For info - brass from Hornady Leverevolution loads is shorter than normal brass probably due to the bullet configuration with the soft pointed tip.  I have 30-30, 444 45-70 cases with this situation also some range pickup 357 that won't crimp in my dies.

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BigMan54 posted this 2 weeks ago

I load the few Hornady cases separately.  I just collected them until I had 50 and used a long unused CH taper crimp die. 

I mark the headstamp with a blue marker.

Just a nice slow single stage press reloading experience.  Had to adjust/readjust dies for expanding and bullet seating stem. pitb 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Rum River posted this 2 weeks ago

In regards to the crimp, thanks to all for confirming what I suspected.

In regards to the length of Hornady cases - Alyman nailed it. Some searching showed the same scenario cropping up on multiple reloading boards for multiple calibers. At one point a statement from Hornady stated that the LeverEvolution cases are designed shorter due to the ogive.

"Well hell boys. I'd damn sight rather be hung by my friends than by a bunch'a damn strangers."

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