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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I couldn't get my .45 200 grain SWC to shoot worth a darn in my new to me PT145. Well, today I broke out the Ruger which shoots it just fine. These didn't shoot worth a toot in the Ruger either and left some leading in the bore after only 5 shots. Hmmm...... So, I tried my Pietta '58 Remington and .45ACP conversion. It shot a little better, but not as good as usual, no leading, though.

I thought about it and think I know what's happening. The only difference in the ammo I loaded and my old ammo is a taper crimp die I'm using with it that I recently bought. I used to just put a slight roll crimp on the mouth and it worked fine. The revolver, incidentally, has a .450 bore, so it's a little tight. It's why Howell, the maker of the conversion, says to only shoot cast in the gun, no jacketed bullets. I think what's happening is the taper crimp tightens the brass against the bullet quite tight. The bullet is a Lee tumble lube design which doesn't help. It's squeezing the bullet under size when I crimp it. I had about 150 rounds loaded with the taper crimp die, so I dumped 'em all in a coffee can and will shoot 'em up at close range practice where accuracy don't matter so much and I can still shoot 'em in my revolver as they work better than the autos. Anyway, no need to pull bullets.

So, I'm going to skip the taper crimp station and adjust the seater die down to roll crimp again. I'll taper crimp jacketed bullets, but roll crimp the lead bullets.

This was an interesting learning experience. I've got more brass in the tumbler, so I'll be loading up a box or two later on, maybe tomorrow. That little front blew in and this morning it was down right cool out, in the high 60s. :D It's 1:30 PM and only up to 90 out there with low humidity. I'll enjoy that while I can. :laugh:
 

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I don't reload yet, don't know nuthin' from nowhere about it, but I like to read and listen to others and try'n figure it out as I go. I'll get into reloading somewhere down the road.
 

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If you are going to shoot those through an auto pistol, and not just the revolvers, DO NOT roll crimp. The .45 Auto head spaces off the mouth of the case, a roll crimp screws that up. I don't know about revolvers, but since the case is rimless they can not head space off the rim, which takes me back to do not use a roll crimp.

The problem with your taper crimp may be that you have crimped it too much. My notes on the .45 Auto say no more than .468" on the taper crimp and my reloads are all between .468 and .470". I get that measurement at the case mouth after taper crimping. It is the OD at that point.


In most cases and from my own experiences, the issue with feeding lead SWC bullets is to show enough shoulder that the bullet shoulder strikes the feed ramp before the case mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I've been reloading one thing or another for 55 years, started at age 10 watching and helping my grandpa. I've been doing handguns for 40 years and casting for 35. I learn something new about this endeavor ALL the time, this just being the latest. You just never know EVERYthing. :D

And, things are always changing, like tumbling brass with pins, has only been a few years since I first heard of this. And, then there's the powder coating bullets thing. I really ain't interested in buying the equipment for that since tumble lubing seems to be working for me. I just get a gas check mold if I wanna push it REAL fast. :D But, you never know, might do it sometime down the road. I finally got some of those pins for cleaning. I just turned the tumbler off after less than 2 hours and the brass is cleaner than if I'd tumbled it all day in corn cob or walnut. :D

Learning new stuff keeps the mind sharp IMHO. My mom did those hard as heck crossword puzzles and she was sharp as a tack the day she died at age 78, no sign of dementia. So, just tell the wife you're trying to stave off Alzheimers. :rofl: I do have what my wife calls CRS...Can't Remember...uh...Stuff, that's it, Stuff. :D I just hope to stave off anything worse and I don't much care for crosswords.

But, mainly, I reload because it's still fun and feeds my various firearms with superior ammo cheap. :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you are going to shoot those through an auto pistol, and not just the revolvers, DO NOT roll crimp. The .45 Auto head spaces off the mouth of the case, a roll crimp screws that up. I don't know about revolvers, but since the case is rimless they can not head space off the rim, which takes me back to do not use a roll crimp.

The problem with your taper crimp may be that you have crimped it too much. My notes on the .45 Auto say no more than .468" on the taper crimp and my reloads are all between .468 and .470". I get that measurement at the case mouth after taper crimping. It is the OD at that point.


In most cases and from my own experiences, the issue with feeding lead SWC bullets is to show enough shoulder that the bullet shoulder strikes the feed ramp before the case mouth.
I used to put a hefty roll crimp on .45s and seat the bullet out such that it engaged the rifling for head spacing, but that was on a 1911 that didn't feed anything with short OAL and I needed it on that pistol. I've since gotten 3 pistol/revolvers that shoot the ACP round and I've been seating the bullet in to the last ring on the tumble lube portion of the bullet and putting a slight roll crimp, nothing big, on it. That works well, even in the revolver, but you do give me an idea. Instead of roll crimping, just back that crimp die out and crimp the last little bit of it. That should work well I'm thinkin'. Yes, you're right, I'm probably just crimping too much. I'll play with that. After all, I didn't have much crimp on it with the roll crimp. Crimping the heck out of it is what seems to be messing things up. It works with jacketed bullets, but the lead will squish down under size and that's not cool. It hurts accuracy and causes leading by being under size. Yes, a SLIGHT taper crimp should do!

Thanks for giving me the idea. :D It's always the simple things you don't think about. Over crimping....who knew? :laugh:
 
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GreenWolf70;5246051 In most cases and from my own experiences said:
well I agree to that.
I shoot a lot of swc through my 1911's and they run like butter.
now I have 1911 guns from about 400 bucks retail to over 1200 bucks retail and they all handle the swc just fine.
but as mentioned by the Alabama Gentleman its all about the length and how much projectile is sticking out.
I also taper crimp every handgun cartridge that I load.
 

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I have loaded 230 grain LRN for 45 ACP and used the same taper crimp that I have used for FMJ and PRN. The Lee dies will taper crimp at the first adjustment and roll crimp when tightened down a bit farther IIRC. For those rounds I ran in the four station Lee Turret I would seat and taper crimp in the seating die and run through the FCD in the 4th position to assure that there would be no feeding problems. There never have been so far, although I am switching the making of the 45 ACP to the three station Lee 1000 with the charging die in position 1, seating in #2 and FCD in #3. I'll prime on the Lee turret and feed it primed cases. So far all have run well, except the LRN shoot really smoky! :eek:
 
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well I agree to that.
I shoot a lot of swc through my 1911's and they run like butter.
now I have 1911 guns from about 400 bucks retail to over 1200 bucks retail and they all handle the swc just fine.
but as mentioned by the Alabama Gentleman its all about the length and how much projectile is sticking out.
I also taper crimp every handgun cartridge that I load.
A true gentleman does not discuss such things in mixed company. It's simply not civilized conversation. This is also why I stick with LRN. I don't want to shoot semi wads. I want to shoot paper and maybe the occasional can or bottle.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My dies are Lee.

So, I backed the crimp die way out and the mouth of the case after the final crimp set was showing .472". I loaded 10 rounds for testing, shot a 3" group rested over a bench without bags at 25 yards. I shot a similar group with the Taurus PT145. That works for me. :D I then loaded up a box of this load. I need to cast more bullets if I wanna load more. :D I'll work on that. :D

Thanks for the help on thinkin' this problem through. It was quite simple, really, but I just had to get my brain in gear figuring out what I was doing wrong.
 

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Ok here goes will set off a fire storm but I use a Lee factory crimp die on all my pistol loads, cut down failures to zero on all handguns, I've been into reloading nearly 40 years. Did not hurt accuracy.!!

I was late to the loading game but when I started some ten years ago I was speaking with the folks at Lee deciding on three die or the set including the FCD. They said that the last step was the key for semi autos to assure great feeding of your rounds. Almost all of my die sets include the FCD with the exceptions being the .380 Auto, 32 Winchester Special and the 45-70 Government.
 

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For those new to the game.

A normal seating die uses a roll crimp, this "rolls" the top edge of the case into the bullet. It works very well for straight wall pistol cases like the 44mag, 357...


Most semi auto cases headspace off the mouth of case, Adding a role crimp to these can be tricky, and dangerous. Too much roll crimp can allow the round to go too far into the chamber and engage the rifling. If the case goes too deep, the brass can not expand as intended and causes excessive pressures.

The factory crimp or taper crimp die, put pressure along the sides of the case to secure the bullet. This allows for positive crimp to hold the bullet, but doesn't roll the case mouth over.


Adjustments must be made to the dies for each bullet type used. A cast bullet will need much less "squeeze" than a jacket bullet.
 

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For those new to the game.

A normal seating die uses a roll crimp, this "rolls" the top edge of the case into the bullet. It works very well for straight wall pistol cases like the 44mag, 357...


Most semi auto cases headspace off the mouth of case, Adding a role crimp to these can be tricky, and dangerous. Too much roll crimp can allow the round to go too far into the chamber and engage the rifling. If the case goes too deep, the brass can not expand as intended and causes excessive pressures.

The factory crimp or taper crimp die, put pressure along the sides of the case to secure the bullet. This allows for positive crimp to hold the bullet, but doesn't roll the case mouth over.


Adjustments must be made to the dies for each bullet type used. A cast bullet will need much less "squeeze" than a jacket bullet.
From the Lee catalog:

"Complete cartridge specific Pistol Bullet Seating Die Only Complete for 7/8"-14 Thread Dies.There are two crimp shoulders in our pistol Bullet Seating Dies. The first shoulder applies a slight taper crimp and the second shoulder applies a full roll crimp. The closer the die is adjusted to the shell holder the heavier the crimp will be."

https://leeprecision.com/bullet-seating-die-only-complete.html


 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
From the Lee catalog:

"Complete cartridge specific Pistol Bullet Seating Die Only Complete for 7/8"-14 Thread Dies.There are two crimp shoulders in our pistol Bullet Seating Dies. The first shoulder applies a slight taper crimp and the second shoulder applies a full roll crimp. The closer the die is adjusted to the shell holder the heavier the crimp will be."

https://leeprecision.com/bullet-seating-die-only-complete.html



If you adjust the bullet seating die down past the roll crimp, you get a nasty crimp that looks like a taper, but is exaggerated and the bullet won't head space properly in my experience. I'd call THAT over-crimping. On auto pistols, before I got the taper crimp dies, I'd just adjust the seater to give it a very slight roll crimp and it worked fine. But, the taper crimp dies are better and I even have one for .38/.357 now to get a consistent crimp on 'em. The recoil on .357 is heavy enough that a good crimp is necessary to keep it from pulling bullets under recoil.
 

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If you adjust the bullet seating die down past the roll crimp, you get a nasty crimp that looks like a taper, but is exaggerated and the bullet won't head space properly in my experience. I'd call THAT over-crimping. On auto pistols, before I got the taper crimp dies, I'd just adjust the seater to give it a very slight roll crimp and it worked fine. But, the taper crimp dies are better and I even have one for .38/.357 now to get a consistent crimp on 'em. The recoil on .357 is heavy enough that a good crimp is necessary to keep it from pulling bullets under recoil.
Or when loading a magazine fed lever gun like my 32 Win Special and 44 Magnums. The mere thought of bullet setback raises the hair on the back of my neck with those guns.
 

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Taper Crimp is a strange animal in that it can easily be too much or too little. The formula below will get you close to start. I will record the crimp on commercial loads to see what they are using, but in general, I try to keep up with Brian Pearce (or his Dad) in Handloader magazine. They almost always mention taper crimp on auto cartridge articles and will even talk about how they got there. This formula came from one of their articles and it is very good to use in checking what you are doing in a taper crimp.

Taper Crimp Formula =0.452+(0.01*2)-0.004,
or (bullet diameter) + (thickness of brass at the mouth X 2) - .004" (normal crimp) = .468".

Variances are mainly thickness of the brass, but a case thickness of .01" will get you to the right spot normally if you are in a hurry. I have used this on every auto cartridge I reload and even on some rifle cartridges where I want a taper crimp because the bullet does not have a cannelure.

I also do my crimps as a last step with my hand press, just so I can make a final inspection before those cartridges are ready to go, especially my SD and hunting loads. I also color code the load in my notes by marking it around the primer with a Sharpie. That helps a lot if you are looking at your retrieved brass later to link it to a particular load.
 
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