This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............
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  1. #1
    Deadeye
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    This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............

    Took out about 20 reloaded cartridges today. (30-30).

    first of all they all worked, groups were about 3.5 inches at
    100 yards, I can fine tune that. more.

    But looking at my cartridges compared to factory ones, I guess
    a "good" crimp has the case "pushed" into the bullet grove.
    kinda like gripping into it. Mine don't..... I am using an RCBS
    die (lee is on order). when I push down the lever to crimp the
    bullet (I turn the die 1/2 way) I need to put about 30 lbs of
    pressure the last half inch on the press. Does that sound about right?

    Could I possibly be not putting the die down far enough on the case
    shoulder, when I get ready to crimp. I can't find no more info on
    this crimp stuff, its really baffled me. what am I missing or not doing
    something. Please inform.
    5/70..... If I have to explain you wouldn't understand.

  2. #2
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    This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............

    My first experience with reloading bottleneck cartridges was with the 30/30 about 10 years ago. I threw away the first 30 or 40 cartridges because they were so mangled and unfit to fire.

    30# is too much pressure to crimp, in my opinion. I have RCBS dies, too but I have been buying Lee factory crimp dies for all my bottle neck cartridges. I was crushing the cases with my crimps, I was used to straight-wall pistol cartridges. They would bulge right under the crimp and would not chamber.

    I am assuming you are reloading these for a 30/30 lever-action so you must crimp them. Some bottleneck shooters don't even crimp the bullets, they rely on case mouth tension and where the bullets engages the rifling in the barrel. That is mostly benchrest shooters and the like.

    You will have to experiment with the crimp die to get it right. I will tell you a regular roll crimp is very dependent on the overall length of the case!!! If one case is too short it won't crimp down very hard, if a case is too long it will crush the rim because the stroke of the reloading ram is the same no matter what the case length.

    After my first disaster with the 30/30's I got some old cases and just experimented with them, no powder, no primer. I finally went out and bought a case trimmer and the Reloading Gods smiled again on me. I started using the factory crimp dies when I started reloading .223's and .30-06's for my semi-auto rifles. My fingers would be little bloody stumps trying to trim down all those cases! But I still use the trimmer and roll crimps for the .30/30 and my .348 sometimes. Depends on the load.

    Hope this helps. If you have any other questions that no one else answers shoot me an email and I will see what I can do.
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  3. #3
    Gunfighter
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    This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............

    Don't sweat it, Bytor. You don't need a lot of crimp on a .30-30. Charlie has it right; you are using way too pressure and and you do need to have all your cases the same length. You could be distorting the bullets and causing some of your accuracy problems with all that pressure.

    Back things off until you can just feel the crimp form, two, three pounds extra pressure is plenty. The test for whether you have enough crimp is to leave a round in mag while when you reload, and shoot about ten shots. If the bullet in the round in the mag has not been pushed back into the case, you have enough crimp.
    hen you hear hoofbeats, look for horses, not zebras.

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  5. #4
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    This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............

    My test for crimping cartridges is turn the die body down & adjust the
    bullet seating depth. I then take the shell & push it bullet end first against
    my reloading bench. If it goes into the shell at all that is not good enough
    so I do some adjusting until the bullet does not move at all when I push it.
    I shoot all levers & never had a problem with crimping using this method.
    This works good for me even using a heavy load. I use RCBS dies & this
    is a roll crimp. They are a little hard to get adjusted right but once set
    will be OK unless when you change bullet styles where the crimping
    groove is located.

  6. #5
    Deadeye
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    This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............

    Ok, I got some pretty good ideas here for my "crimping program"

    I'll head over to the reload bench in a bit and try this info out.

    thanks for the help guys!!
    5/70..... If I have to explain you wouldn't understand.

  7. #6
    powderman
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    This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............

    I see no way possible to exert 30lb pressure in crimping, the case would buckle for sure, and certainly wouldn't chamber. It almost sounds like the die and shellholder are in contact. I prefer the LEE factory crimp die for my 3030s. I've rarely, if ever turned my crimp die more than a 1/4 turn after it engages the case using roll or taper crimp. I gave instructions for adjusting crimp on the 45 acp thread. Get a LEE factory crimp die if you can, overall length is not nearly as important then. POWDERMAN.

  8. #7
    Deadeye
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    This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............

    My Lee factory crimp dies arrived the other day. Life is good.
    I follow the directions for both the 30-30 and the 45/70.

    Set it on the shell holder, lower the shell holder then drop it down
    another half turn. Seems to be working. Haven't cooked up
    any really hot loads for the 45/70 yet. But I think the same
    process will work.
    5/70..... If I have to explain you wouldn't understand.

  9. #8
    powderman
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    This Crimping thing has me puzzled.............

    BYTOR. Targets don't understand velocity. Power and higher velocity are wasted on a missed target. The top velocity in any reloading book is rarely the most accurate. Safety first, then fun, then being able to put the bullet where you want it. My standard smokeless load for my H&R SHIKARI is a LEE cast 405 gr HP made of wheelweights, 43 gr of RX7. Mild by some standards but still has an est velocity of over 1600 fps. That combo will, and has, shot through every deer we've killed with it, including one from front to back and never found the bullet. My 3030 winny 94 likes the LEE cast 170 FP with 26 gr of RX7, plenty for deer. Good luck, be safe, and good shooting. POWDERMAN.


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