Bullet Seating and Crimping Question [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Dr.Midnight
01-02-2012, 07:07
In my quest to lower reloading costs, I've been looking at different types of bullets out there (I don't even want to think about casting right now). The ones I have now are JHP's with a cannelure, and that pretty much gives me the depth to seat my bullet. I've seen some plated bullets out there along with lead that don't have a cannelure. How is bullet seating depth determined on those? Is it a matter of trial and error all while staying within specs? For the record, I'm working on 38/357 rounds.

My other question is about crimping on those plated and lead bullets. My Lyman manual suggests a roll crimp on revolver rounds. Would you still use a roll crimp on those bullets without a cannelure?

Thanks for the info. fellas.

WiskyT
01-02-2012, 09:13
You want a taper crimp for bullets without a cannelure. Most dies will give a taper crimp if you adjust them back. Basically you use "less crimp" to get the taper you want. If you post the brand of dies you are using, someone here will have the same ones and be able to tell you for sure.

Just use the same OAL you were using with the cannelured bullets. Use a caliper if you have one, or you can even get a way with eyeballing them when you are talking about 38 and 357. You can load them longer if you want as long as they fit in the chamber. Some guns like the SW 27/28 have a short cylinder and you can run out of room seating long with 357 in them.

WiskyT
01-02-2012, 09:16
Crimp is important if you are using lead bullets with heavy 357 loads in a lightweight gun. If you don't have enough, the bullets can pull from the cases and the OAL grows while shooting. The unfired rounds can end up sticking out of the front of the cyclinder and tie up the gun. If you are using moderate loads in any kind of steel gun, you don't need much crimp at all. You can adjust the crimp so that it basically just removes the flare you put on the case to seat the bullet. Your brass will last longer and plated bullets can be damgaed by using much of a crimp at all.

Dr.Midnight
01-02-2012, 09:42
I'm using the Lee carbide 4 die set for 38/357. The fourth die is the factory crimp die, which I think gives a roll crimp for that caliber if I'm not mistaken. I was wanting to know if I could use that die set-up on plated and lead bullets.

fredj338
01-02-2012, 09:53
OAL is ALWAYS BULLET & GUN specific, particularly w/ semiauto pistols. The loaded round must fit the mag, chamber & function reliably. Make a dummy round, make sure it fits the mag all the way down, then drop it into the chamber of the removed bbl.. I like to load to the longest OAL possible as a small safety margin.
As WT noted, you should NOT roll crimp plated bullets w/o a crimp groove. Accuracy will suffer. IMO, same for the LFCD on most calibers. The plated bullets are really quite soft & "squeezing" them down w/ a LFCD only ruins accuracy. Taper crimp only on plated bullets for best results.

WiskyT
01-02-2012, 10:14
I'm using the Lee carbide 4 die set for 38/357. The fourth die is the factory crimp die, which I think gives a roll crimp for that caliber if I'm not mistaken. I was wanting to know if I could use that die set-up on plated and lead bullets.

Like Fred said, skip the FCD. Take an uncrimped round and add a little crimp with the seating die at a time until the round fits in the chambers. That's the right amount of crimp for your situation. Basically it will be no crimp. It will look like an auto pistol round like 9mm.

atakawow
01-02-2012, 11:01
With LEAD bullets, the material is soft enough that one can get away with roll crimping INTO the lead. I've done this with a somewhat low mid-range .357 mag load. Anything hotter then all bets are off.

I would strongly advise against the above statement. Only do it if you have no other alternatives. Since you are buying bullets, stick with a proper design.

WiskyT
01-02-2012, 11:04
With LEAD bullets, the material is soft enough that one can get away with roll crimping INTO the lead. I've done this with a somewhat low mid-range .357 mag load. Anything hotter then all bets are off.

I would strongly advise against the above statement. Only do it if you have no other alternatives. Since you are buying bullets, stick with a proper design.

Some of the cowboy bullets don't have a crimp groove. Most swaged bullets like Speer, Remington, and Hornady don't have a groove. You just pick a good spot and put a light taper on them.