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Old 07-25-2010, 08:04 PM
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Default Taper crimp for 38 special?

Hi all, I've been loading for the 38 special for a very long time now and have alway's used a medium to heavy roll crimp, but with brass price's up I've been thinking of useing a taper crimp to extend brass life. I know with light target load's this should work fine but will this work for heavy cast bullet load's? Also what final after taper crimp diameter should I use? Many thank's in advance!
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:14 PM
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I haven't noticed brass lasts any longer with taper crimp. Most of my failed .38 cracks more down the middle than just the neck, and it takes awhile to do that.

You might consider the weight of the gun if you try it. My 8" 686 won't pull the bullet on a lead .38 even if you don't crimp it at all, but alloy stubbies are notorious at pulling bullets under recoil.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:19 PM
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This won't really extend your brass life, 38 spl brass lasts practically forever anyway with target loads. However, it might increase your accuracy a tad. You do not need a heavy roll crimp with light 38 loads, light roll or "taper" is fine.

For your heavy loads, stick to a medium to heavy roll crimp, especially if they will be used for anything serious like self defense. 38 isn't a powerhouse of recoil and bullet jump, but still it's best not to take a chance.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:55 PM
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If you are crimping the same amount it makes absolutely no difference whether it is a roll or taper crimp, it works the case mouth the same amount.

If you are worried about over-working brass find a source of once-fired cases and buy a bunch. That way you will never use any individual case enough to get neck cracks, and even if you do you will have plenty more for spares. I have several thousand, probably 15,000 or more, .38 cases which I have had most of for nearly 40 years. In this time I don't recall ever having a neck crack, and many have probably not been loaded 2-3 times each even though I have loaded and fired several hundred thousand rounds from them collectively during that period. The majority of this brass is mixed range pick-ups from who-knows-how-many-times-loaded commercial reloads to begin with.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:30 PM
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Thank's for the reply's all. I had thought that a taper crimp would be easier on the brass than a roll crimp. Not worried about bullet jump, but do like a good crimp for consistent ignition and burn of the powder charge. I've been running into a lot of split caseing's of late, mostly nickel one's. The only time I use a heavy roll crimp with the special is with some rather heavy load's useing 2400 and that in new or no more than twice loaded caseing's.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:31 PM
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I shoot 148gr hbwc and load them out a bit to reduce the jump. Roll crimp there would distort the bullet which is very soft. So I put a light taper on them, sort of straighten the case.
As said above the brass lasts a long time I have a military case, I think 1938 in the mix still going strong.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:29 AM
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I'm not sure if a roll crimp really shortens .38 Special brass life. I've been using the same 1200 pieces of Remington .38 Special brass for over 5 years now and not one has failed or cracked. .38 Special brass lasts almost forever for the most part.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan Bob View Post
Hi all, I've been loading for the 38 special for a very long time now and have alway's used a medium to heavy roll crimp, but with brass price's up I've been thinking of useing a taper crimp to extend brass life. I know with light target load's this should work fine but will this work for heavy cast bullet load's? Also what final after taper crimp diameter should I use? Many thank's in advance!
Try the Redding profile crimp die - also the Lee taper crimp die also gives impressive results.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:57 AM
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I doubt that the difference between roll and taper crimping would increase your case life. I use a roll crimp on my lead bullets and a taper crimp on my plated bullets so as not to crack through the plating.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:00 PM
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I recall years ago (at least 15 years) a gun magazine article where someone reloaded the same handful of 38 brass way over 150 times and only had one case fail. All were standard roll crimped. He had taken a press to his range and mounted it on the shooting bench. Shoot the rounds reload then shoot again over and over. Took several trips to the range to accomplish. After reading this I didn't worry about 38 brass. It it splits pitch it.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:11 PM
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I have had access to a Ransom Rest for many years. I have run a considerable number of tests (with many different revolvers). I find that almost invariably, taper crimped light target loads outshoot roll crimped loads. However, on all standard velocity or heavier loads I roll crimp.

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Old 07-26-2010, 01:40 PM
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Just roll crimp 'em and go to the range. I've lost count on the number of uses I get out of my 38 special brass.
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