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  1. #1
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    Default Crimping the 45ACP... Have a question

    Understanding that the .45ACP and several others like it (auto-pistols) headspace differently than others, how critical is it to crimp .45ACP cartridges? Assuming you didn't bell the case beyond normal to begin with and it doesn't interfere with feeding, would there be other problems such as pressure, etc? I ran a few through my Baby Eagle this afternoon. Basic recipe was 1.265 COL, CCI LP, Rainier 230grRN Plated sitting on 5.0 Unique. For some reason these rounds felt hotter than normal. 5.0 Unique should be a rather mild version for .45ACP with these bullets as most loads run around 5.7 and up for the same bullet. Any ideas folks?

  2. #2

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    The problem is that all brass is not created equal. When I started loading I had a nice load for my 45 ACP. Then one time I went to the range and started shooting. The first couple rounds were fine. Then one seemed a little hot. The next one blew out the case, blew the bottom off the magazine and dumped the rest of the rounds on the deck, jammed the slide to the rear and peppered my face with powder and bits of brass. (Thank God for safety glasses.)

    Upon examining the rounds that were dumped on the deck I figured out what had happened. The brass cases were slightly thinner that what I had been using. The bullets were not held tightly enough in the case and under recoil had been set back in the cases. Some pistol powders, even with moderate or mild loads can cause soaring pressure spikes if even slightly compressed.

    The next day I went out and bought a taper crimp die. I now use a taper crimp die on all rounds that headspace on the case mouth. I seat the bullets in one step and taper crimp them in the next.

  3. #3
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    Is this the first time you have used these particular bullets? Do they have a cannelure for crimping? The round nose Rainers I have seen in Midways catalog don't. Are all of your cases trimmed to the same length and of the same headstamp?
    My Lee manual states, when speaking of auto-loaders: "
    Auto-loaders, such as the 45 ACP, usually have very little crimp, hardly more than enough to push the flare back against the bullet. You simply cannot crimp a jacketed bullet with a conventional die if it does not have a crimp groove. At best, the crimp die included with most die sets, will do little more than iron out the mouth flare. This helps for smooth chambering."
    I thought the pressure from inertia upon recoil would cause the bullet to creep forward out of the case mouth. Not in. That's why you should crimp all revolver cartridges to insure they won't lock up the cylinder.
    Lee gives a start charge for the 230gr jacketed bullet as 6.0grs of Unique at a Min OAL of 1.190 It seems your load should be very mild. Maybe differrent in an auto-loader, as the cartridges are held in a clip and may jump forward, causing the bullet to hit the front wall of the clip? I've never had that problem loading .223 though. I just use neck tension, unless the bullet has a cannelure.
    If a man has nothing greater to believe in than himself, he is a very lonely man.

    I reckon so. I guess we all died a little in that damn war.

    And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.
    Quote Originally Posted by MEJ1990TM View Post
    Well, all right. Maybe just this once.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BailoutStillwater View Post
    Understanding that the .45ACP and several others like it (auto-pistols) headspace differently than others, how critical is it to crimp .45ACP cartridges? Assuming you didn't bell the case beyond normal to begin with and it doesn't interfere with feeding, would there be other problems such as pressure, etc? I ran a few through my Baby Eagle this afternoon. Basic recipe was 1.265 COL, CCI LP, Rainier 230grRN Plated sitting on 5.0 Unique. For some reason these rounds felt hotter than normal. 5.0 Unique should be a rather mild version for .45ACP with these bullets as most loads run around 5.7 and up for the same bullet. Any ideas folks?
    Crimp in autopistols must keep the bullet from being pushed backwards by feeding forces, so it is fairly important.

    Also, unless you get EVERY BIT of the flare out, you can, and I have had, feeding issues with the case mouth snagging on the chamber edge, usually at the top. This bends the case outward, folds it over,a dn usually jams the gun pretty tightly.

    .45 Auto has a loaded diameter at the bullet of arround .473".
    Crimp it to .468" to .470" and your gun will be happy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by armyrat1970 View Post
    Is this the first time you have used these particular bullets? Do they have a cannelure for crimping? The round nose Rainers I have seen in Midways catalog don't. Are all of your cases trimmed to the same length and of the same headstamp?
    My Lee manual states, when speaking of auto-loaders: "
    Auto-loaders, such as the 45 ACP, usually have very little crimp, hardly more than enough to push the flare back against the bullet. You simply cannot crimp a jacketed bullet with a conventional die if it does not have a crimp groove. At best, the crimp die included with most die sets, will do little more than iron out the mouth flare. This helps for smooth chambering."
    I thought the pressure from inertia upon recoil would cause the bullet to creep forward out of the case mouth. Not in. That's why you should crimp all revolver cartridges to insure they won't lock up the cylinder.
    Lee gives a start charge for the 230gr jacketed bullet as 6.0grs of Unique at a Min OAL of 1.190 It seems your load should be very mild. Maybe differrent in an auto-loader, as the cartridges are held in a clip and may jump forward, causing the bullet to hit the front wall of the clip? I've never had that problem loading .223 though. I just use neck tension, unless the bullet has a cannelure.
    You will never find a canelure in a bullet intended for an autopistol. You cannot taper crimp into a canelure, and you cannot roll-crimp on a cse that must have brass length unaltered for "head-spacing" in the chamber.

    Every taper crimp se I have, with the standard dies, does a perfectly good taper crimp, no extra dies needed, and holds autopistol bullets from moving, cast or jacketed bullets.

    Recoil is the bullet puller in revolvers, you do not get that with the bullets held in your hand in an autopistol. The main trouble source in these is "push-back" when they are driven into the chamber up the feed ramp system. If you have a very poor, weak crimp, MAYBE you can get a similar thing from rattling arround in the magazine, not seen that one myself.

    Neck tension may work fine with a 60-grain tiny bullet with a very long bearing surface and no weight, inside a 6-pound rifle with no recoil. Not in the same ball-park as a 230gr slug in a handgun.

  6. #6
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    45 acp requires a taper crimp. Thats the bottom line. Its stood the test of time.

    If your reloadiing manual does not say that, you mis read it or have an urgent need for a new one.

    It costs as much to reload a bullet properly as it does to do it half right.

  7. #7
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    Recoil drives the bullet back in the magazine. In a revolver the bullets are moved forward. If you dont over bevel the mouth
    and firmly iron out the bevel it should be goo to go. I have run loaded cartridges back into the resizer but didn't see any
    difference.

  8. #8
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    One other note: many reloading manuals list the max over all lenght. While that may allow loaded rounds to fit your case gauge, it
    may be too long for your magazine to feed the rounds properly. Some TLC on COAL is needed to allow mags to feed. Just remember
    the deeper you seat that bullet, the more pressure will increase so beware of what you are doing.

    Too much taper crimp can adversely effect accuracy on lead bullets. Depending on the bullets you use, adjustment of the amount of crimp is an area to
    evaluate and find the right sweet amount. It really does not take much for the 45acp.

    You can use your pistols barrel (out of pistol mind you) or a factory made case gauge to do the QC of your ammunition. Now this step is usually skipped by most reloaders I know who chunk out ammo on their progressive presses and they like it that way. It only takes a few minutes to test each round in a gauge / barrel and be sure all the loads you take to the range will function properly. You need to concentrate on shooting , not on clearing flawed rounds and be distracted by problematic ammo.

    The objective is 100% ammo, .... that is not a goal mind you.

  9. #9
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    After loading if you push the nose of the bullet against the edge of the loading table you will find out in a hurry if the
    bullet is tight in the case. 45 Acp ammo is not crimped in the usual sense. The case mouth has to headspace it.

  10. #10

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    In a revolver each round is already in a chamber. Under recoil the pistol moves to the rear pulling the cases with it by the rim. The bullet, if not crimped sufficiently, will try to slide forward out of the case. It is a matter of inertia.

    In an autoloader the rounds are held loosely in the magazine. Under recoil the gun moves back and the rounds in the magazine are struck by the front of the magazine which will try to push the bullets back into the case.

    Think about it and you will see what Iím talking about.

    Changing the brand of brass can cause your bullets to be held with less tension if the new brass is thinner. This will require you to adjust your dies accordingly.

    Like Hawkins said, pushing your rounds against the front edge of your loading bench is a good check of how well your bullets are held.

  11. #11
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    Heres a couple of slow youtubes on taper crimping. I seat a bullet and crimp in separate steps. I like the Lee taper crimp dies, you will probably develop your own preference after you have tried different dies and procedures.
    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1LEbcRDs70

    Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TJ_-ctKr4s
    How many psi in a CUP?

  12. #12
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    Default

    Thank You for the comments everyone. I do normally put a mild TC on my .45ACPs but in this particular case (pun intended) I just ran a dozen or so through my Dillon 550 to see how it functioned. At the time, I didn't have my stand-alone crimp die, only my standard RCBS 3-die set. I now have a Lee factory crimp for it and would run any in the future with it in the set up. I just wanted to see what was going on and test the load setup at that point. I'm actually a little nervous that if they felt that hot with 5.0 Unique, what will they be like with the crimps on? Would that drive the pressure up even more? It's frustrating as that particular recipe with a crimp loaded on my old single-stage press worked so well and mild. I guess the rule is do it with the crimps in and see if it repeats for a few test rounds. Its a Baby Eagle so its about as tough a design and pistol as they come. Will let you know how the next batch with the same loads (+crimp) work out. Someone stop me if I am approaching danger in my line of thinking... BailoutStillwater

  13. #13
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    You'd have to put one MAJOR taper crimp on a .45 case to "drive pressures up" any appreciable ammount.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
    45 acp requires a taper crimp. Thats the bottom line. Its stood the test of time.

    If your reloadiing manual does not say that, you mis read it or have an urgent need for a new one.

    It costs as much to reload a bullet properly as it does to do it half right.
    What I quoted is word for word from my Lee Modern Reloading Second Edition Manual.
    Maybe you should reread my post again. The quote does not say you don't need a crimp and surely does not say you need one type, or style, crimp over another. It gives no referrence to a taper crimp at all.
    I have 45ACP from different manufactures. Remington. Federal, Winchester and Blazer. I looked at a few of each make and could see no noticable crimp around the mouth of the case. Though some have the case crimped around the base of the bullet, to stop it from being pushed back. Just to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me I pulled out my Lee Factory Crimp Die for the 45ACP and set it with several different cartridges to apply both a light and heavy crimp. Even with the light crimp, you could see a difference. I was comparing under a magnifying glsass. Seems all of the factory loads came with no crimp. Or such a light crimp I could not even tell it when looking through the glass. I placed a light crimp with the factory crimp die and could see a difference. Easily.
    Just sayin'.
    If a man has nothing greater to believe in than himself, he is a very lonely man.

    I reckon so. I guess we all died a little in that damn war.

    And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.
    Quote Originally Posted by MEJ1990TM View Post
    Well, all right. Maybe just this once.

  15. #15
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    45 acp requires a taper crimp. Thats the bottom line. Its stood the test of time

    and Sir: you did not read my post either: I merely quote the facts. You are free to accept, deny
    or refute.

    There is no morale high ground here.

  16. #16
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    TC for .45 ACP, otherwise you are asking for a PITA......

  17. #17
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    Thanks again all. The comments and information are greatly appreciated. It was more a theoretical question as it was just a small batch before I got my Lee factory crimp die. Won't be a problem in future.

    ...Bailoutstillwater

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailoutstillwater View Post
    Thanks again all. The comments and information are greatly appreciated. It was more a theoretical question as it was just a small batch before I got my Lee factory crimp die. Won't be a problem in future.

    ...Bailoutstillwater
    The Lee factory crimp die for 45 acp is a taper crimp die. It crimps no better or worse than any other taper crimp die. The difference between it and other taper crimp/seater dies is it has a carbide ring built into the bottom that assures the loaded round is of proper diameter to chamber. I nice feature but nothing magic.
    Motor
    Last edited by Motor; 04-18-2011 at 02:40 PM.

  19. #19
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    This isint about crimping but, are there any other folks as tired chaseing ejected cases as iam? I have a small collection of case nets, iam thinking of throwing them all out and just fire 5 rounds and then go looking for them. Ive just about tried everything, fromlaying sheets on the ground and everyihing else. It takes the joy out burning powder out of my glock model 30 45acp.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjerry View Post
    This isint about crimping but, are there any other folks as tired chaseing ejected cases as iam? I have a small collection of case nets, iam thinking of throwing them all out and just fire 5 rounds and then go looking for them. Ive just about tried everything, fromlaying sheets on the ground and everyihing else. It takes the joy out burning powder out of my glock model 30 45acp.
    I shoot IDPA.
    Someone else chases my brass for me.
    I either chase someone elses brass, or I stick pasters over bullet holes on targets after the target is scored to be ready for the next shooter.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjerry View Post
    This isint about crimping but, are there any other folks as tired chaseing ejected cases as iam? I have a small collection of case nets, iam thinking of throwing them all out and just fire 5 rounds and then go looking for them. Ive just about tried everything, fromlaying sheets on the ground and everyihing else. It takes the joy out burning powder out of my glock model 30 45acp.
    You could always load them so light that they don't work the action.

  22. #22
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    Oldstuffer has it right.
    I load for my Sprinfield XD45 with the same Rainier 230grRN Plated and 5.3 gr of Unique. I use the resizing die for the 7.62x54R to make the taper crimp to .470" on all rounds. If I miss one, the slide will lock up hard and take some persuasion to free up. I pay careful attention to any round that the bullet seats too easily, setting those aside for pulling and reloading. Consistent case length and uniform crimping keep my surprises to a minimum.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor View Post
    You could always load them so light that they don't work the action.
    That would certainly work.

  24. #24

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    Won't the extractor hold the case rim in place, so a too-short cartridge will still fire even if it doesn't headspace on the case mouth?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco's Buddy View Post
    Won't the extractor hold the case rim in place, so a too-short cartridge will still fire even if it doesn't headspace on the case mouth?
    This is reality in almost all cases, especially in "controlled feed" cases like the 1911.

    I have some cases that are .015" below trim length, that feed and fire just fine (if crimped properly), they are in the 0.870"+ length range.

    This is one of those cases where reaity differs from "designed theory".

    Also, M1911 chamber length was originally specified as ".898" to .920". Brass specified as .888" to .898". Do the "headspacing math" on that set of figures!

    It's conceivable that in my EAA Witness which has a spring-loaded extractor that it COULD push a very short case up to proper headspacing and not get the extractor on it, then not fire, but I've not had that happen in reality. It and both my 1911's see and have seen a lot of rounds in IDPA competition ove a lot of years.

  26. #26
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    I use the resizing die for the 7.62x54R to make the taper crimp to .470" on all rounds.

    Never saw that technique before. Most die sets come with a taper crimp capability and older model
    die sets (or special ordered sets) come as 4 dies sets with a 4th die that taper crimps.

    If one wanted to do loading 45acp in 4 steps and can use a 54R die as 4th die: if it works, its good to go.

    Regardless though, the taper crimp die set properly and locked down as such will allow consistent loads in
    45acp and that route (a dedicated taper crimp die) is what I would prefer to use.

    I use the barrel (out of the pistol) as my case gauge to test all loaded rounds made before boxed up for range use.
    Such use allows one to see if all is going well in reloading procedures.

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