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Thread: “Alternative” 45acp Crimping Die

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    “Alternative” 45acp Crimping Die

    I’m using a rifle seating die to taper crimp my 45acp. It is a 7.7x58mm seating die. A 7.7x58mm case is tapered from approximately .472” at the base to .429” at the shoulder. The seating dies taper is slightly oversized, when the 45acp case has entered the die a little over half it’s case length it gets crimped down to .472”.

    So here is why I’m doing it this way. I want to seat and crimp in two different steps. I have two single stage presses and one set of 45acp dies.

    I think that this is going to work great (fingers crossed). Or, I’m swaging the bullet down over too gradual a taper and creating an undersized condition.

    The crimp is super smooth and there is no bulge. I think that every thing is gonna be alright (again fingers crossed).

    I’m using the Lee 452-230-2R. I’ve made a dummy cartridge and done the plunk test.

    Here are my current numbers.
    OAL 1.265”
    Crimp .472”

    So my question is. Has anyone else taper crimped with an “alternative” die? And if so how did it work for you?

    JM

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub 1006's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	254290I was using a sizing die to put a crimp on 300BLK. It was a heck of a crimp, and it worked quite accurately.

    I was using the 300BLK sizing die to crimp the Berry 30-30 bullet.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM7.7x58 View Post
    I’m using a rifle seating die to taper crimp my 45acp. It is a 7.7x58mm seating die. A 7.7x58mm case is tapered from approximately .472” at the base to .429” at the shoulder. The seating dies taper is slightly oversized, when the 45acp case has entered the die a little over half it’s case length it gets crimped down to .472”.

    So here is why I’m doing it this way. I want to seat and crimp in two different steps. I have two single stage presses and one set of 45acp dies.

    I think that this is going to work great (fingers crossed). Or, I’m swaging the bullet down over too gradual a taper and creating an undersized condition.

    The crimp is super smooth and there is no bulge. I think that every thing is gonna be alright (again fingers crossed).

    I’m using the Lee 452-230-2R. I’ve made a dummy cartridge and done the plunk test.

    Here are my current numbers.
    OAL 1.265”
    Crimp .472”

    So my question is. Has anyone else taper crimped with an “alternative” die? And if so how did it work for you?

    JM
    Yes do it all the time

    Load progressive and just buy a extra seat/crimp die

    1st one seats bullet ... no crimp,
    2nd die crimps case .... and set up right will double check Oal length

    Have done it on 45acp 40 / 38/357 , 44 mag and 9mm and will use the lee fc die on cast rifle rounds

  4. #4
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    tucumcari_kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM7.7x58 View Post
    So my question is. Has anyone else taper crimped with an “alternative” die? And if so how did it work for you?

    JM
    I do it alot, only usually if I have to use an alternative it's a lee sizing die for a bullet diameter that is just around the neck diameter and I'm trying to taper the neck. Usually the dies have a slight bell and then quickly drop to the right diameter which seems to work ok. Just a lot of trial and error.... Usually means I'm doing something I shouldn't. Lol not really ... lol well yes, really
    -Mike

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I think that I’m going to pull the bullet from the dummy and see how much if any it got swaged down.

    .472” seems to be towards the larger end of the crimp spectrum for the .45acp. I see numbers from .473” to .469”. I’m thinking that crimping them this way shouldn’t be swaging them down too badly. My chamber is “generous”. I’d like to not have to crimp any more than this. Although I’ve read that a heavy crimp around .469” will improve feeding, but will affect accuracy. The two dummies seem to cycle just fine, when I release the slide.

    These aren’t my first pistol caliber loads. They are however my first auto loading pistol caliber loads. I am probably overthinking it all.

    JM
    Last edited by JM7.7x58; 01-05-2020 at 09:33 PM.

  6. #6
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    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    I run progressive 650's with Dillon dies and I wouldn't use anything other than a taper crimp for my 45 ACP or my 9mm as both are tapered cartridges. I use Redding micrometer dies to seat and the Dillon dies to crimp.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Nice! Good idea.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
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    It's part of doing what we do.....making it work. I use a .44 Special sizing die to roll crimp .43 Spanish. The radius at the entry of the .44 die is perfect for it. How??? Had a problem and starting looking around at what I had for a solution. It's what makes 'us' different from 'them'
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
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    When I first started reloading I thought I needed a specific crimp measurement; .471". After a bit of reloading the 45 ACP, I stopped measuring and just removed the flare and plunk tested. A few thousand rounds later, and reloading for 3, 45 ACPs, my "new" method works quite well...

    If a rifle die is working for you, cool! I like to seat and crimp in two steps so when I buy a die set I almost always add a taper crimp to the order (or if it's for revolver ammo, I'll get a Redding Profile Crimp Die or a Lee Collet Crimp Die)...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    In a perfect world measuring the crimp sounds like a good idea, but in the real world we scavenge brass where we find it and it is a mixed bag of headstamps and lots, meaning exactly that, it is not the same. The brass is also not the same length so when the bullet is seated even with a Redding Micrometer Die the the depth the bullet goes into the case will vary and so does the crimp. Even I am not anal enough to sort all my cases by length or trim them down to the shortest case length for uniformity.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I measured some Winchester and Remington 45 acp 230 gr factory rounds. They all measured .471 at the crimp. That's the benchmark I try to duplicate.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I've never tried to crimp my .45 ACP loads, all that's needed is to remove the belling for feeding but leave the full diameter of the case mouth to stop forward movement. I've long used a little bit of my .22-250 FL die to do the little touch of "crimping" I want on my .45 ammo.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    I don't think I have ever actually measured the crimp on a .45 ACP. I just use a factory hardball round to set my crimp die, just screw the die down until it touches the factory load. Make sure it is at the cam over point with your press and you are good to go.

    This has worked with many presses, die sets and guns over the years.

    Robert

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    I've never tried to crimp my .45 ACP loads, all that's needed is to remove the belling for feeding but leave the full diameter of the case mouth to stop forward movement. I've long used a little bit of my .22-250 FL die to do the little touch of "crimping" I want on my .45 ammo.
    You right tapered 45 cases don't actually crimp because they headspace on the lip of the case. A taper crimp die just follows the taper to remove the bell and snug it down.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    A taper crimp die just follows the taper to remove the bell and snug it down.
    Yeah. In fact, ALL 'straight wall" rimless cases headspace on the mouth. Eager crimping as it's commonly done often overdone. Excessive crimping leaves the cartridge mouth so small that the primers sit too far forward for consistent ignition.

    There are those rote reloaders who are sure everything we do should be done "right", meaning according to some die maker's instruction sheet. What they don't understand is the instruction sheets are for noobs who need simple methods to make ammo that goes "BANG".

    As we become more experienced we should actually understand the processes and know when, where and how we can "rightly" do many things our own way. Me crimping .45 ACP with a .22-250 FL die is just one of those variables. I also "crimp", i.e., remove the case mouth flaring of 9MM, with a similar light touch of the mouth of a .223 sizer; if that's not "right", my ammo doesn't care.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I got a chance to shoot the first batch of fifty over the weekend. All fed and functioned just fine. I’m gonna continue crimping my 45acp with the 7.7x58mm seating die. It works and it speeds up production.

    The .472” crimp worked just fine. I’m not going to measure every case, but if something works once why not record it in my notes?

    Thanks for all your replies.

    JM

  17. #17
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    I've been loading a lot of .45 ACP on a turret press lately. I would like to have a separate crimp die but so far haven't found a cheap one or a extra cheap .45ACP set to get a crimp die from. It occurred to me that the 4th(crimp) die on my Dillon set up would also work on the turret. I'll have to try that.
    John
    W.TN

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