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Thread: A Ham Hand On The Press?

  1. #1

    A Ham Hand On The Press?

    Good day fellas.

    Can one a ya's help out a possibly mentally challenged old fart?

    Here's what I'm doing: 45-70. 515 grain boolit. Cases prepped, slightly belled, ready to load. Most go through the press the way they should... but occasionally, I get this infuriating instance where there is a slight belling - right where you would apply the crimp! Any of you guys ever get that? I would pull my hair out by the roots trying to figure it out, but I don't have any hair!

    Any ideas or recommendations are sincerely appreciated. Hot pots and silver rivers to you all - and best of luck in the upcoming hunting season!

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Have you checked overall case length? a few "long" cases may swell when crimped. On a medium to heavy crimp it doesn't take a lot of extra length to happen. Check cases overall length and see what you have there.
    On a side note Hornady has made leverloution ammo that's .060 shorter than standard cases. Die's set to this would buckle mouths on full length and be very hard to get to press stop. Mixed brass may also cause some of this di to different thickness ot the cases and possibly different hardness's

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    +1 on some cases being a different length than others.
    And the crimping die is adjusted for a shorter case.
    If you adjust it to crimp right on the longer case, it might not roll out the flare on a shorter one.


    This happens to me with all the scrounged up 5.56 and pistol brass I use without trimming.
    I solved the issue with a taper crimp die, and use it after seating in a separate step..

    Some get taper crimped harder than others, but its not a big deal.
    They still hold to about one minute of empty soda pop can on the creekbank.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.


    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    When I first started to reload 45-70 I thought they wouldn't need trimming ,I was wrong they seem to get longer as much as bottle cases .now I trim every time and I only shoot trapdoor level loads .

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



    curator's Avatar
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    Guy La Pourge:
    What is happening is your slightly longer cases are buckling (bulging) when you try to seat the bullet and crimp at the same time. Experienced reloaders ALWAYS crimp as a separate step. If you are attempting to crimp at the same time as seating the bullet all of your cases must be the exact same length. Too short=no crimp, too long = case bulge. To prevent this simply seat all of your bullets without crimping, then readjust your dies, screwing the seating punch way out so it cannot contact the bullet, Next, run your seating die in until you get a nice moderate roll crimp. Just like THAT, case bulges no more!

  6. #6
    Doh!!!!

    Thanks Curator. I knew it had to be something silly going on...

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    1. You need to trim your brass or
    2. If shooting a single shot you can skip crimping all together and or
    3. The Lee factory crimp die can be used instead of your integral crimp shoulder.
    The Lee FCD will not buckle your cases because it works at right angles as it closes on the case mouth
    EDG

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    If you will only use these cartridges in the single shot, there is no need to crimp unless running very light loads where a crimp will aid in boosting pressure a bit and giving a better burn.

    I would not crimp them and that avoids your issue and enhances case life.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Just buy a Lee factory crimp die to set the crimps and don't waste all the time adjusting and readjusting dies.

  10. #10
    I’ve heard that before Dverna. Some of the BPCR geeks do it and claim that crimping hurts accuracy. Their bullets are so loose they could even pull them out of the case by hand. Is that practical for hunting? I can see them getting away with it on the range...but in the field?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy La Pourqe View Post
    I’ve heard that before Dverna. Some of the BPCR geeks do it and claim that crimping hurts accuracy. Their bullets are so loose they could even pull them out of the case by hand. Is that practical for hunting? I can see them getting away with it on the range...but in the field?
    No, it isn't practical for any hunting rifle. And it might not be workable for even a single shot that's loaded with smokeless powder. A slip fit bullet using black powder works quite well because it sits against the charge. But if used with a smokeless charge the bullet has nothing to sit against and can change the OAL easily. A few bumpy rides on the way to the range could cause the bullets to settle deeper in the case, and end up creating problems.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    If it's not case length , crimp problem a sloppy shell holder can cause bulge. It prevents dead center line up of cartridge and seating die.

  13. #13
    I’ve heard guys say you don’t have to trim 45-70 cases for single shots and that brass can go forever on the mild loads that simulate black powder ballistics. I suppose I should give them a measurement and a trim if required...

    And yep... think I will keep crimping the boolits. All I need is enough tension to keep them from moving around...

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    I use the Redding "crimp/no crimp, partial sizing die washer.
    Adjust die to crimp, add "washer" under lock ring.
    Seat bullets, turn seating stem 5 turns up.
    Remove "washer" , crimp all cartridges.
    Add "washer" re-adjust bullet stem.
    Trimming cases to just above minimum length is a big help in getting a consistent crimp.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    You should trim your cases to fit your gun, vs. minimum length specs. Not all chambers are the same, so make sure the trim length is set for your particular gun.
    Then ensure that all your cases are the exact same length. Any slightly longer or shorter will create issues with your crimp and end up with either not enough crimp, or too much.

  16. #16
    How do you do that, MM? Chamber casting? I did what the boys recommended and separated the bullet seating and crimping process. The cartridges all loaded up slick as could be and all chambered as smooth as silk. I haven’t trimmed any of them once because I was told it is not that big a deal with straight wall shells. If I have to trim them I’d like to do it as you suggest. For my bottle neck guns I always trimmed them back to minimum and went with that...

  17. #17
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    What I do is full length size a new case after checking length to determine if there's a longest case in my supply. Then I simply drop it in the chamber and if it wont fully seat I slightly trim it and keep trying it until it does. I match all the others to that case and I leave that case in my die set for future reference. If I use the set for more than one gun I mark which gun it goes to, if the two don't use the same OAL.
    Sometimes you'll find a chamber is deep enough that it accepts all your brass, and never find any that are too long. In that case you simply match all your brass to one sample length, and there's not much else you can do. Having all your cases the exact same length is most important, even if you don't crimp the cases.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    +1 Case length - carefully adjusted, with a bullet WITH a crimp groove, seating and crimping can be done with a single operation resulting in excellent accuracy - at least MOA or better in some guns. Careful trimming AND careful adjustment of the seater/crimp die are both required. Just part of the process with tube feed levers and revolvers. No difference in accuracy between separate seating and crimping vs seating/crimping in one operation WHEN dies PROPERLY ADJUSTED - Cases UNIFORM LENGTH plus/minus .002 or less variance.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Seating and crimping can be done in one step, but I prefer to seat depth and use a separate crimp die when I use a crimp.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check