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Old 08-19-2010, 22:10   #1
XDRoX
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Do you crimp 223?

So a couple buddies of mine came over the other night for a little reloading session. They brought 223. They, nor I, have ever loaded 223. They brought some RCBS trimmer/cleaner/some big green thing. Worked pretty good.

Everything went fine. At the very end when it was time to crimp the rounds we had a hard time setting the crimp die. It was very difficult to see if it was doing anything at all. We gave it our best effort and put what we think was a crimp on the 100 rounds that we loaded.

Honestly I'm not sure that we did anything.

Today my buddies tested out the ammo and it worked fine.

So, my question. Is it necessary to crimp 223? How do you know when you've crimped it enough?

I'm a rifle reloading virgin, so any info would be great.
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Old 08-19-2010, 22:17   #2
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I'm not an expert nor have i loaded .223 but i remember hearing when loading boat tail bullets that you don't flare the case just insert bullet to correct OAL and then done.
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Old 08-19-2010, 22:31   #3
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For rifle rounds that will only be fired at a range in a bolt-action, I do not crimp. For rounds that will see hard service with repeated handling, perhaps cycling through the action over several days of hunting I make sure there is adequate case neck tension. I do not however crimp those rounds. For ammunition that will be fired through a semi-automatic rifle, I use a taper crimp die. Use of a taper crimp die is easier than use of a roll crimp die as neck length is less critical. HTH.
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Old 08-19-2010, 22:41   #4
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For Semi-auto, the Lee Factory Crimp die, works with a cannelure and without. Holds the bullet secure, increases accuracy and inexpensive.

Last edited by steve4102; 08-19-2010 at 22:41..
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve4102 View Post
For Semi-auto, the Lee Factory Crimp die, works with a cannelure and without. Holds the bullet secure, increases accuracy and inexpensive.
I can't support or deny the accuracy statement, and I know there are fcd haters out there, but I fcd everything I load. I started loading on a lee classic turret which came with a 4 die set (including fcd) so its all I know. I do have a very occasional round that goes through it a little tighter than the rest, so apparently somewhere in the process in still getting an out of spec round through, which its my understanding is the whole purpose of the fcd (to catch those outliers before they meet my barrel)..
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:06   #6
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[QUOTE=FiremanMike;15838706]I can't support or deny the accuracy statement, and I know there are fcd haters out there, but I fcd everything I load. I started loading on a lee classic turret which came with a 4 die set (including fcd) so its all I know. I do have a very occasional round that goes through it a little tighter than the rest, so apparently somewhere in the process in still getting an out of spec round through, which its my understanding is the whole purpose of the fcd (to catch those outliers before they meet my barrel)..[/QUOTE]

I believe you are referring to the Lee Carbide Factory Crimp die for straight walled handgun ammo. The rifle die is quite a bit different, it only applies a collet crimp around the case mouth and does not come in contact with the case body.

I agree with you, I use the carbide version on all my handgun ammo as well.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:24   #7
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No need to crimp. And it is a great way to destroy accuracy.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:30   #8
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The only time you need too crimp a rifle round is if the bullet has a cannelure grove in the bullet. Or a crimp grove. Like when loading for a gun that has a tubular magazine.
An easy way too look at this. A brass case what ever is being done too it wants too go back too the size it was. So when the case goes into the sizer die. The sizer die makes the brass smaller than what it needs too be. When it comes out of the sizer die it wants too go back too the size it was. But there is no external force. So it can only move so much, But it moves out too the size that it needs too be. So when the die manufacture makes the die they have too take that measurement into account. When the die is being remove it is also going threw the expander ball that is on the decapping rod. This puts the inside neck diameter too the right size. No threw all of this there are things that can change these measurements. Neck wall thickness, carbon or sealant in the neck etc.
But put it all in a nutshell that is what is holding your bullet into the case. The neck tension that was produced from the sizer die and expander ball.
So now if you try and crimp that round just like the sizer die. You squeeze the brass in and when it is removed from the crimp die the brass wants too go back too where it was. So the more you try a crimp the bullet you are making the bullet looser in the case.
If you need too make the round where there is more tension on the bullet. Take .001 to .002 off of the expander ball.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:22   #9
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For the .223 rounds you refer to, do not crimp. If the bullet has a cannelure, you have the option to crimp but I would not do so.

I also own a LFCD for the .223 and have used it for one test set of rounds made. I did not like the indentations it placed on the case mouth, nor did I think it helped with the round's accuracy. I have not used it since.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:26   #10
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Thanks for the replies. So it sounds like we don't even need to crimp 223. Which is good news, one less thing to do.

We are using a Lee Crimp Die and it seems like where ever we adjusted it to we couldn't get it to crimp. At least crimp that we could see.

The bullets did not have a crimp groove, they had little lines around the bullet.
Like this:
[IMG]http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0S0200_nm5M7TgA6gejzbkF/SIG=12p4r59qa/EXP=1282404287/**http%3a//surplusammo.com/images/556%252062gr%2520FMJ%2520M855%25203.jpg[/IMG]

Don't know what's wrong with the pics I'm choosingI'll keep trying
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:27   #11
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I don't crimp rifle bullets at all and have yet to have one back out...
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:29   #12
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Let's try again:
Reloading

Last edited by XDRoX; 10-19-2010 at 13:37..
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:39   #13
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XD, those "little lines" are the cannelure (crimp grove) on a rifle bullet. Still, I would not crimp them.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCJim View Post
XD, those "little lines" are the cannelure (crimp grove) on a rifle bullet. Still, I would not crimp them.
Cool, thanks Jim. One more question. Does it matter if we're shooting these in a very "hard" cycling AR?
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:59   #15
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Chris, that would depend upon how "hard" your AR is cycling, which is a somewhat relative term. As long as your dies are properly set and the expander ball is not overexpanding your case neck, the purchase applied upon the bullet should be adequate.

You could perform the bench top test to check for bullet setback (measure with calipers the OAL of the finished round, push the bullet against a solid object with plenty of force, remeasure the OAL to determine whether the bullet moved). If there is no setback, you should be good to go.

If still in doubt, seat the bullet such that the case mouth is at the middle of the cannelure and apply a slight crimp. If not sure whether your die is applying a crimp, or how to determine by measuring the crimp with calipers, ask C4W. (He likes doing that sort of thing.)
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Old 08-20-2010, 13:29   #16
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Most people well seat the bullet where the cannelure on the bullet is either deeper in the case or sticking out past the mouth of the case. If you decide too roll crimp. Put the mouth of the case in the center of the cannelure. You well be rolling the mouth inward only you are not crimping the rest of the neck. If you do. Just do not over due it.
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Old 08-20-2010, 14:28   #17
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Here is waht the experts at Sierra have to say about crimpiong and sevice rifles.


Neck Tension
When we stop to consider the vigorous (read, downright violent) chambering cycle a loaded round endures in a Service Rifle, it becomes pretty clear it suffers abuse that would never happen in a bolt-action. This is simply the nature of the beast. It needs to be dealt with since there is no way around it.
There are two distinctly different forces that need to be considered: those that force the bullet deeper into the case, and those that pull it out of the case. When the round is stripped from the magazine and launched up the feed ramp, any resistance encountered by the bullet risks having it set back deeper into the case. Due to the abrupt stop the cartridge makes when the shoulder slams to a halt against the chamber, inertia dictates that the bullet will continue to move forward. This is exactly the same principle a kinetic bullet puller operates on, and it works within a chamber as well. Some years ago, we decided to examine this phenomenon more closely. During tests here at Sierra’s range, we chambered a variety of factory Match ammunition in an AR-15 rifle. This ammunition was from one of the most popular brands in use today, loaded with Sierra’s 69 grain MatchKing bullet. To conduct the test, we chambered individual rounds by inserting them into the magazines and manually releasing the bolt. We then repeated the tests by loading two rounds into the magazine, chambering and firing the first, and then extracting and measuring the second round. This eliminated any potential variation caused by the difference between a bolt that had been released from an open position (first round in the magazine) and those subsequent rounds that were chambered by the normal semi-automatic operation of the rifle. Measuring the rounds before chambering and then re-measuring after they were carefully extracted resulted in an average increase of three thousandths (0.003") of forward bullet movement. Some individual rounds showed up to seven thousandths (0.007") movement. Please bear in mind that these results were with factory ammunition, normally having a higher bullet pull than handloaded ammunition.
To counteract this tendency, the semi-auto shooter is left with basically two options: applying a crimp or increasing neck tension.


I use the LFCD for all my auto-loaders and a few bolt guns. I have never had the LFCD degrade accuracy, in most instances it improves accuracy. In a few instances it has done nothing as far as accuracy, but never worse.

Here is a guy that did a little crimp test of his own. In his rifle as in mine the LFCD increased accuracy just a bit.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=42&t=319612
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Old 08-20-2010, 15:29   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve4102 View Post
To counteract this tendency, the semi-auto shooter is left with basically two options: applying a crimp or increasing neck tension.
Like I said before you have two choices. One crimp the round in the cannelure grove of the bullet. Or decrease the size of the expander ball too put more grip on the bullet. All of the height power shooter I know. Do not put any so-called crimp on there bullets. And one of them is a Grand Master shooter.
If you try and put a tighter crimp on the bullet. All you really are doing is trying too run a loaded round back threw the sizer die. The more you try to squeeze the round when it comes back out of the die the brass is going too expand back out.
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Old 08-20-2010, 15:34   #19
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Is it necessary to crimp 223?

Nope.
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Old 08-20-2010, 15:50   #20
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Like I said before you have two choices. One crimp the round in the cannelure grove of the bullet. Or decrease the size of the expander ball too put more grip on the bullet. All of the height power shooter I know. Do not put any so-called crimp on there bullets. And one of them is a Grand Master shooter.
If you try and put a tighter crimp on the bullet. All you really are doing is trying too run a loaded round back threw the sizer die. The more you try to squeeze the round when it comes back out of the die the brass is going too expand back out.
I know that Benchrest shooters do not crimp. I also know that many Benchrest techniques are not the best thing for hunting rifles and sporting rifles. Things like loading long and pig jamming the bullet into the lands, things like loading single shot, things like indexing the loads so as to chamber each round the same way each time, etc.etc. These things and many more are all well and good for the Benchrest shooter, but they are not always the best thing for the average Hunter and shooter.

By saying, if the benchrest crowd doesn't do it,then it must not be good for anyone is the same as saying, if the benchrest crown does it it must be good for everyone. This just ain't so. Different techniques for different situations.

Quote:
If you try and put a tighter crimp on the bullet. All you really are doing is trying too run a loaded round back threw the sizer die. The more you try to squeeze the round when it comes back out of the die the brass is going too expand back out
Not sure what you mean by this. Are you reffereing to a tapper crimp or the LFCD(rifle) Collet crimp?
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Old 08-20-2010, 16:26   #21
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Sorry but I did not say anything about bench rest shooters I said Height Power shooter. AR-15, M1A1 Type rifles. There rounds are feed threw a magazine. No single shot bolt action rifle.
With a rifle bullet that has a cannelure grove in the bullet. If you want too crimp that bullet you put the mouth of the case in the center of that cannelure grove and put a roll crimp into that cannelure grove. The same thing you do with a pistol round that has a cannelure grove.
Yes if the round was for hunting. And if the bullet had a cannelure grove yes I would crimp the round. I would also full length size the brass.
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Old 08-20-2010, 16:42   #22
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This well take it too the extreme. Load a pistol round. Just the brass and bullet no need for primer or powder. A lead or copper plated bullet is easier too do. Also lube the round just too make it easier. Pull your decapping rod out of the sizer die, Then size that round.
What you are going too have now is a round that the bullet is going too fall out of the case on its own or you can pull it out with your fingers. At least it has when I have tried it.
If you are trying too taper crimp a round and you try to tighten the die down more to get a tighter grip you are just doing the same thing as you did with the sizer die. You are sizing the bullet, and when the brass comes out of the die the brass well spring back some. If I remember right it is something like .001 for the spring back
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Old 08-20-2010, 17:48   #23
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Not for rounds destined for the Contender (or a bolt action). Yes for rounds being used in the AR. Especially so for rounds with a cannelure.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:06   #24
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Think about this when crimping rifle ammo.

If you crimp a case that is 1.755 long you get a certain amount of crimp.

Now three cases later that case is 1.745 long, you get almost no or no crimp.

Than along comes a case that is 1.770 long. Lots and lots of crimp.

More crimp on this round than the other leads to different pressures and different velocities. End result, crappy accuracy at distance.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:17   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozer View Post
Think about this when crimping rifle ammo.

If you crimp a case that is 1.755 long you get a certain amount of crimp.

Now three cases later that case is 1.745 long, you get almost no or no crimp.

Than along comes a case that is 1.770 long. Lots and lots of crimp.

More crimp on this round than the other leads to different pressures and different velocities. End result, crappy accuracy at distance.
Not with the Lee Factory Crimp Die, case length matters not.
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