Reloading .45 acp question

Discussion in 'The Ammo Can' started by saltysquid, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. saltysquid

    saltysquid XDTalk 500 Member

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    I purchased the Lee Classic for reloading as I only plan on reloading 45 acp. I was reading the instructions and it says to not crimp 45 acp (and a few others). I know I have seen places where people are talking about crimping 45's and I was just wondering if anyone knows it's just with this particular setup.

     
  2. MTEagle1

    MTEagle1 XDTalk 100 Member

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    Lee is talking about not using a roll crimp but .45's do need to be taper crimped. When a case is resized it is taken to minimum size and needs the case mouth expanded in order to seat a new bullet. As part of mouth expansion the case is given a slight bell to allow a new bullet to be seated without scraping the bullet. This bell should be equal to the bullet diameter + the case thickness X 2 +.001 or .002, for a .45acp this is about .473-.474. The crimp should take the case back to ~ .469-.471 depending on the type of bullet. The goal with crimping is to hold the bullet in place so it doesn't move when the bullet hits the feed ramp & barrel hood but not overcrimp & create excess pressure.
     
  3. saltysquid

    saltysquid XDTalk 500 Member

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    Thanks for the reply, but I'm suing the classic lee reloader and spec's are just a guess doing it by hand.

    This is what they say in the instructions for the lee classic.

    In the step by step it also says to not crimp them.

    What they are saying here is to not use a crimp at all. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but just trying to get it straight.

    Edit: I just called lee and they technician said they do say not to crimp them in the instructions and said that's the way it used to be done and many people still do it that way. He said he personally taper crimps. I asked him if there was a hand taper crimp to use and he said use the one that came with the set. I asked him if that wasn't actually a rolll crimp and he said just do a light tap and that would be a taper. Sounds pretty much like guesswork to me, but I'll try it.
     
  4. QCATrader

    QCATrader XDTalk 100 Member Founding Member

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    Listen to MTEagle1 - he has hit the nail right on the head!

    I've reloaded for years and concur with his evaluation and explaination. :D
     
  5. Alvin

    Alvin XDTalk Member

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    Actually, MEagle1 is right on ... if saltysquid were using dies intended for a reloading press. But he is not.

    The Classic Lee Dies do not use a press. Instead they use a single full-length sizing and bullet seating die that is intended to be used with a small mallet or hammer and a separate decapping pin that is also used with a small mallet.

    The Lee factory rep is correct. After seating the bullet, use the die as you would to resize the case, but just give it a light tap with the mallet and that will put a a proper taper crimp on the case.

    For what it is worth, here are a few tips:

    Be extremely careful when seating primers with the Classic Lee Die set. A few decades ago, I sent a primer seating rod through my ceiling when I set the primer off while seating it. Seating a primer with a mallet is not the ideal way to do it.

    The Lee Dippers that come with the Classic Die sets are OK for starting. But, a scale is much more accurate and will provide more accurate ammo because of the improved consistency. Don't try to save money on a scale. The Lee starter scales are dangerously inaccurate, especially when used with very small powder charges used in handgun cartridges where 1 or 2 grains too much can be extremely dangerous.

    The Lee Classic Dies are an excellent way to get started in reloading very inexpensively. I still have a few sets of these dies laying around. However, if you decide you enjoy reloading and you want to do much more of it, I strongly suggest that you purchase a press and dies intended to be used with a press. Start with a single-stage press since they are less expensive. Several companies make good ones that are relatively inexpensive. You can always buy a turret press or a multi-stage press later, but you will always find good uses for the single-stage press.

    Many companies make excellent dies. Lee's dies are very good and far less expensive than most. Lee is also the only company that makes a factory crimp die. That is the die that MTEagle1 is talking about and if you want to build high quality ammo, I strongly suggest you use a Lee taper crimp die (except when a roll crimp is required) regardless of what brand of dies you use for everything else.

    Just my opinions ... hope it's helpful. Enjoy reloading!
     
  6. saltysquid

    saltysquid XDTalk 500 Member

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    Right Alvin, there's no way to do it the other way with the classic handloader. Thanks for the tips and I always figured if I really got into it I would get something better, but for now started with the stuff on this guy's list and it all cost about 30.+ for tools.

    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/51
     
  7. Mercmar

    Mercmar XDTalk 5K Member

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    That's patently incorrect and misleading information! The purpose of a taper crimp is simply to remove the bell, so that the round will chamber more reliably. Roll-crimping into a cannelure, however, does serve the purpose of aiding in setback prevention. Setback is prevented in semi-auto cartridges by correct neck tension, not by crimping. It's impossible to cause excessive pressures by applying too much taper crimp. If you apply too much taper crimp, you simply lose whatever tension that the crimp provided.
     
  8. QCATrader

    QCATrader XDTalk 100 Member Founding Member

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    I'm not debating the above, but that's also why a good micrometer and reloading manual should be at hand during the reloading process, isn't it?
     
  9. Mercmar

    Mercmar XDTalk 5K Member

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    Yep.
     
  10. MTEagle1

    MTEagle1 XDTalk 100 Member

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    If I had not recently had a 45ACP rupture at the case rim while trying a new load with some SWC plated bullets I wouldn't know enough to argue with you. My dies resize the case to ~.448 ID & .468 OD, I normally shoot lead bullets so I use a LEE factory crimp die to give me a crimp of .472. I used the same brand of case using the same dies to load the batch of SWC plated bullets with the same length (OAL) that I have with thousands of Oregon Trail SWC bullets. After picking up the magazine parts & cartridges from the ground, I loaded another magazine & hand cycled some of the cartridges through the gun. Cartridges that cycled through from slide lock & normal slide cycling showed a length reduction of .008 - .012 as measured later at home. Had I reviewed my loading notes, I would have discovered that I use a crimp of .469 with jacketed bullets to prevent the bullet from moving when pressed nose down on a hard surface. This overpressure was caused by bullet setback but can also be caused by overcrimping in a charge that is already near maximum.
     
  11. Mercmar

    Mercmar XDTalk 5K Member

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    LeRoy, I wholeheartedly agree that there's no point in arguing about one of the most fundementa tenets of reloading. Nice anecdote, though. :)

     

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