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  1. #11
    38 needs a roll crimp in the base of the canneuler so the bullet doesn't move during recoil. I wouldn't mess with FCD on this.

    If you must it's kind of a feel thing. Just kiss it a little without smashing the bullet any.

    My Lee seater die also roll crimps. Crimp last in a separate operation. Don't seat and crimp at the same time.
    I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    need to know basis
    Revolver rounds i only roll crimp, as to the look of yours i couldnttell you what you have by your pic.

  3. #13
    Kinda looks like you're seating .38 Special to .357 OAL.
    Double check your OAL
    The cannelure should be even w/ the case mouth.
    .38's don't need a whole lot of crimp. The one in the middle would be fine.
    Full house .357's want a heavy crimp like the one on the right.
    The object, (as stated above), is to prevent your revolver from becoming an inertial bullet puller and locking up the cylinder.
    Pull those, no harm done, and start over.
    While you're at be sure you're not using a .357 Magnum load in a .38 Special case.
    That has the potential to be a "Bad Thing"

  4. #14
    Expert BlueEagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Thank you all for the info. I'll be pulling these tonight or tomorrow and starting fresh, using the information you've all given me.

    And yes Mac, they are 38 special loads. 4.3 grains of HP38, they're just on the long side of the OAL spectrum because I wasn't using the cannelure, I was just making sure that they fit within the OAL spec.
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  5. #15
    Man. I guess it's true. Crimpin' ain't easy.
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  6. #16
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    The southern woods
    Any particular reason you want the bullet seated that far out? Like oldpink, I think the crimp belongs in the bullet cannelure.
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  7. #17
    Blue Eagle
    Missed your second post last night where you talked about the bad.
    Here's the thing......and one of the reasons I detest Lee's manual, they make it sound like you have this huge tolerance to seat your bullet.
    The Max OAL they list is from SAAMI, (the guys that publish specs on all the ammo in the US).
    That's the max length for ANY bullet. They publish that number because anything longer may extend out of the cylinder of a revolver.
    Hollow points need to be seated deeper than Round Nose, and SWC's are generally somewhere in between.

    So what Lee is calling "MIN" is actually where you should be seating it.
    Look at the Hornady lists the COL as 1.450" (guessing 125 XTP)
    That's not a Min, (tho I see why you would thing so after reading Lee's), that's where you want to seat to.

    As a practical won't get 'em all to exactly the same OAL. There's too much variation in the bullets themselves.
    I'm generally happy if I keep 'em +/- .005"

  8. #18
    LoaderHolic billybob44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    In the Man Cave

    Smile For MOST handgun loads..

    If the projectile has a canna lure or crimp groove, then seat to the upper section of that "Ring"..
    Most revolver style projectiles will have this ring of some sort.
    Pistol (Semi-auto) projectiles not so much..
    For the most part, Revolver loads take a "Roll" crimp.-Rule of thumb, the more powerful the load, the heavier the crimp.
    Most Pistol loads take a "Taper" crimp- Rule of thumb, just enough to remove the "Bell" from the expander die.

    IMO, your projectiles should be seated deeper (To top edge of canna Lure) and your center load in the pic is about right

    Hope this helps...Bill
    "It's more important to have a gun in your hand than a cop on the phone".

    NRA Life Member since 1976+Outdoor Sportsman

  9. #19
    None of the 3 pictures are correct. First thing to prepare before any crimp is to assure all cases are trimmed to the same length. If they are not the same length, there will be a different crimp applied to each of the different lengths because some will go farther into the die since they are longer. others will not go as deep since they are shorter. Hence, some will be over crimped and others under crimped and some just right. Forget the OAL, if you are using standard cases and the proper bullet for the cartridge, OAL will automatically be set by seating to mid cannelure (groove) on the jacketed bullet shown. I would recommend a separate seating and crimping operation. First, raise the ram with a case in the shell ho;der with seating die backed way out. Make sure seating stem is backed way out as well. screw die into press til you feel it touch the case mouth, the back it out 1/4 to 1/2 turn and tighten lock ring. lower the ram and set a bullet on the case, raise ram and adjust the seating screw until the case mouth is just about midway in the bullet groove. Will require raising and lowering several times to get it to correct point before tightening it down. Now, seat all of your bullets, then raise the seating stem at least a full turn or more. Now unlock die, place a case with seated bullet in shell holder and raise the ram. screw die into press til you feel the case, then screw in 1/4 turn or less at a time until the case is nicely rolled into the groove. each time you screw the die body in, lower the ram and see if the crimp looks smooth. Now you are ready to start crimping your cases. Can save time if you have a turret press, just buy another seating die and take the stem out and leave it set up for your roll crimp. Lead bullets handled similarly but use the crimping (topmost) groove. Taper crimping where there is no crimp groove is different and requires a specific taper crimp die.
    Your pictures show the bullet seated way too far out, well past the cannelure. Your roll crimp is trying to force the case into the bullet jacket. This distorts the cas and damages the bullet. case may not fit into cylinder since it may be bulged at the attempted crimp point.

  10. #20
    You see that thing around the bullets? It is a "cannelure" and it is there so you can roll crimp into the groove. That is where the manufacture expects the bullet to be crimped.
    Please, pull the bullets and see if you have done any damage.
    Crimp is simply NOT that big a deal.
    1) taper crimp: remove the case mouth flare and that is that. You can run a finger down the bullet to the case mouth and feel if the flare is still there as it will catch on your finger. You can look at a SAAMI case drawing and see the case mouth diameter that SAAMI specifies for the industry. The crimp is best applied as a separate operation.
    2) roll crimp: seat the bullet so the case mouth is just below the top of the crimp groove or cannelure—son't use bullets without a crimp groove or cannelure until you have a few years experience and some sort of real need to use such a bullet. Then, in a separate operation. apply a roll crimp so the case mouth is turned in but doesn't touch the bullet (unless you are fire very hot loads in a super magnum). For roll crimps, I can't recommend the Redding Profile Crimp Die enough.

    In all cases, after seating and crimping, drop the round into the barrel/cylinder/case gage to verify that you haven't bulged the case and then pull a bullet and verify that you haven't damaged the bullet. If your cartridge doesn't drop in the barrel, "paint" it with black marker, drop back in barrel, rotate a few time, and the scratches in the marking will tell you where your problem is.
    1) scratches on bullet--COL is too long
    2) scratches on edge of the case mouth--insufficient crimp
    3) scratches just below the case mouth--too much crimp, you're crushing the case
    4) scratches on case at base of bullet--bullet seated crooked due to insufficient case expansion (not case mouth flare) or improper seating stem fit
    5) scratches on case just above extractor groove--case bulge not removed during sizing. May need a bulge buster for rimless cases.

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