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Old 11-14-2020, 03:55 AM
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Default 44 Magnum crimp

Roll or Taper crimp. My 44 Mag die set came with a roll crimp die, but it seems like if you roll the crimp into the powder coat it will peel the powder off of the bullet. Those of you shooting powder coated bullets in 44 Mag loads, how are you crimping them? I'm thinking I need to get a taper crimp die for powder coated, and save the roll crimp die for the XTPs with cannelure. Any feedback appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2020, 04:25 AM
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The general rule for crimping is:


Revolver - Roll crimp
Semi-automatic - Taper crimp


The issue is feeding reliability, (semi-automatic only), no other consideration!


Amount of crimp is another issue decided by load performance. Don't over-think it when you are a new hand-loader
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:42 AM
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You could be crimping it too much.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:06 AM
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I think most handloaders crimp more than necessary. There is no standard of degree for crimping; we eyeball the crimp and call it light, moderate, or heavy, but those varying levels of crimps don't have the same meaning for everyone.

Regardless of the type crimp used, crimp enough to prevent bullet movement under recoil and no more. Many would be surprised how little crimp is really required. If bullets stay in place and you're getting good accuracy and velocity is where it should be, you're fine. Powder burn should be okay, but if not, experiment a little.

This takes some work to get everything just right, but it's a one-time process that's worth the effort. Extreme spread and standard deviation are numbers not worth worrying about unless the numbers are incredibly wild. If they are the load will likely not shoot well anyway.

There are exceptions to everything, but the above process has worked well for me. I only use cast bullets in handgun cartridges, but everything described should also work for jacketed bullets as well.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:37 AM
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If you are stripping the coating off of powder coated bullets, you either have way too much crimp or the powder coating was not applied in the correct manner. Roll crimp is preferred in revolvers in order to keep the bullets from creeping out of the case during recoil. Bullet creep is not a problem with light loads, but as recoil increases, there is a greater moment of inertia applied to the bullets and they can start to pull out of the cases.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:23 AM
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What type bullet are you using, does it have a cannelure? I don't really understand the need for a powder coating on a bullet anyway, except for appearance sake. A plain-cast, plated or jacketed bullet is the way to go, preferably with a cannelure that allows you to roll crimp at a point that gives the correct OAL of the cartridge.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:34 AM
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Default Coating - plating toughness

I "mined" about a 1,000 pounds of fired bullets from a dirt berm at an outdoor range. I also was there when people were shooting, so I know that plated, powder coated, jacketed, and plain lead bullets were fired.

I assure you that neither the powder coating nor copper plating will strip off your crimped bullets. When the 'melt' gets hot enough, powder coating will burn off or become black goo that disappears. The copper plating has to be 'broken' so the lead runs out.

My conclusion is that a crimp on the bullet will not cause the plating / coating to strip off when the bullet is fired. Most cast bullets with larger lube grooves (not tumble lube bullets) still had some bullet lube in the grooves after being dug up from 4" - 6" underground.

EDIT: If you have a quart of liquid Alox, 5# of beeswax, a full bottle of Johnson's liquid floor wax, 2 cans of Johnson's paste wax, and 2 Lyman 450 sizer/lubricators, you just don't want to invest in powder coating. I can't comprehend the joys of coating bullets, standing them up just so in a a baking pan, bake ~20 minutes, cool, recoat, size, whatever -- it ain't going to happen.

I've worked out the bugs of casting, sizing, lubing, and loading lubed cast bullets. At this point in my life, I'll keep doing it my way while still using my flip phone.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:39 AM
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I'm thinking that I wasn't clear in my original post. I'm not new to re-loading. I'm new to 44 mag. revolver shooting. I just bought a 629 and haven't shot the gun yet. I don't have powder coat being stripped from my bullets. I'm just wondering if that is a potential problem. I understand the reasons for each type of crimp.

My question was really this: Is anyone who powder coats their 44 mag bullets crimping them differently than they would for example a Hornady XTP with a cannelure? I'm talking about Magnum loads with heavy recoil, not light plinking loads. Does the powder coat change how you crimp? I'm just trying to get a feel for what's working for others for this particular caliber, before loading these PC bullets.
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer1911 View Post
I "mined" about a 1,000 pounds of fired bullets from a dirt berm at an outdoor range. I also was there when people were shooting, so I know that plated, powder coated, jacketed, and plain lead bullets were fired.

I assure you that neither the powder coating nor copper plating will strip off your crimped bullets. When the 'melt' gets hot enough, powder coating will burn off or become black goo that disappears. The copper plating has to be 'broken' so the lead runs out.

My conclusion is that a crimp on the bullet will not cause the plating / coating to strip off when the bullet is fired. Most cast bullets with larger lube grooves (not tumble lube bullets) still had some bullet lube in the grooves.
This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:31 AM
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If the bullet has a crimp groove , roll the crimp into the groove .

Coated bullet ... Adjust the crimp so it does not damage the coating .

If the bullet is smooth sided , no crimp groove - no cannelure then taper crimp and adjust die not to damage coating .

Heavy revolver bullets and heavy loads in revolvers do best with a roll crimp ... it is more secure .
If you must use a taper crimp make sure the bullets do no walk forward during recoil ... taper crimps on coated bullets sometimes do not hold as well ... you are limited as to how much crimp can be applied because of the coating and the coating is slick and hard to hold .
Load your revolver with 6 shots , fire 5 and examine the last round to see if the crimp holds .
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
If the bullet has a crimp groove , roll the crimp into the groove .

Coated bullet ... Adjust the crimp so it does not damage the coating .

If the bullet is smooth sided , no crimp groove - no cannelure then taper crimp and adjust die not to damage coating .

Heavy revolver bullets and heavy loads in revolvers do best with a roll crimp ... it is more secure .
If you must use a taper crimp make sure the bullets do no walk forward during recoil ... taper crimps on coated bullets sometimes do not hold as well ... you are limited as to how much crimp can be applied because of the coating and the coating is slick and hard to hold .
Load your revolver with 6 shots , fire 5 and examine the last round to see if the crimp holds .
Gary
Awesome Gary! Thanks. I will do exactly that. Have I mentioned how much I love this forum? The total years of experience of all the members here must be a very large number.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:28 PM
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I load lots of coated 44 bullets in both 200 and 240gr and have never seen the coating damaged by the crimp.
If you want to see a great example of an extreme but necessary crimp, get your hands on some Buffalo Bore ammo and check out the crimp they use.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
The general rule for crimping is:

Revolver - Roll crimp
Semi-automatic - Taper crimp

The issue is feeding reliability, (semi-automatic only), no other consideration!

Amount of crimp is another issue decided by load performance. Don't over-think it when you are a new hand-loader
Respectfully and in the spirit of discussing the hobby:

While I like your very last line here, I think there is far more to be said about crimping at the load bench and I'm moved to respond when you say "no other consideration."

For the OP and the bullets in question, most definitely roll crimp. And your bullet should have the perfect groove already present for you to roll crimp into. There are two reasons to roll crimp revolver rounds. First is to prevent "crimp jump" where moderate to heavy recoil of a fired round (or multiple) can corrupt other loaded rounds and cause the bullet to lurch forward. (they aren't actually lurching forward at all, they are following Newton's law and they are trying to stay exactly where they are while the revolver lurches backward under recoil.)

The second reason to roll crimp a revolver round only begins to show itself with heavy magnum loads and slow burning powder running high pressure ammo. A good, solid roll crimp prevents the bullet from moving early in the burn cycle which changes the internal space and affects the building pressure of the load. You'll never see this with Titegroup, Bullseye or Red Dot but you absolutely will see this with H-110, IMR-4227, AA#9 and other slow burning powders. You can really see the difference when you load the massive X-frame magnum cartridges and those in that realm. And you will often see it in .44 Magnum as well, when you are loading top-end loads.

A solid, repeatable roll crimp in all revolver rounds promotes consistency and reliability with your ammo. If you have ever had a round jump crimp (heavy recoil and/or somewhat lightweight revolver?) then you will see that it isn't like a little feed bobble with a pistol. A revolver round that jumps crimps usually ends the shooting day with that revolver until you can get the revolver to a work bench with good lighting and some tools to un-do the failure.

For semiautomatic pistol rounds where the die set comes with a taper crimp die, I'll suggest that we are entering an area where precious few actually understand what's happening now. I know that it took me years myself to hear it repeated occasionally and not "get it" until I finally "GOT IT."

When taper crimping a semiauto round, you are not really crimping anything. You are not (or perhaps should not be attempting) to "grip or hold that bullet" in place with the taper crimp. Your taper crimp is performing the task of undoing the case mouth flare you imparted earlier before seating the bullet.

In a semiauto round that head spaces on the case mouth, the bullet pull or "grip on the bullet" is performed by the proper sizing of the cartridge case. And if you dare impart MORE taper crimp, you'll soon find that the grip on the bullet is less and less, opposite of a roll crimp.

The fault of this misconception goes back countless decades to whoever coined the term "taper crimp." Using the word crimp here suggests that you are prepping the round to better grip that bullet. In actuality, you are not. You are simply making the round prepared for final dimensions which, as said in the quoted text, promotes smooth feeding.

Let's not forget that most semi-auto rimless rounds headspace on the case mouth and if we attempted to roll that edge in to the bullet in any manner, we are messing with specifically the area that controls how the round was designed to sit in the chamber.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:35 PM
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Default Coated lead

To those that ask "Why powder coating?" For someone to ask this question indicates he(or she) has not shot many lead rounds! The powder coating replaces the messy lube on the bullets and reduces(almost eliminates) bore leading.
To answer the OP's question! I have run powder coated .357s thru a sizing die and reduced the dia. to .355! This DID NOT damage the powder coating at all, it shined it up a little! I roll crimp ALL my ammo(revolvers only) and shot 240gr 44 lead at 1225fps with no bore leading!
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:36 PM
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If you load magnum level loads, you have to have a strong roll crimp to prevent bullet jump. Even if it cut into the coating a bit, I would not worry about it.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
The general rule for crimping is:


Revolver - Roll crimp
Semi-automatic - Taper crimp


The issue is feeding reliability, (semi-automatic only), no other consideration!

Wrong. That's one issue, but the main one for revolvers is to prevent recoil-induced bullet pull, which causes bullets to creep forward until the revolver becomes tied up. It's the same process at work as when you use an inertial bullet puller. You might -- stress might -- get away with a taper crimp on target .44 Special loads, for instance, but full-house magnums require a firm roll crimp.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:38 PM
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If you're swapping back and forth between full power loads with jacketed or hard cast bullets and ~1000 f/s practice loads with plated/coated bullets and no crimping groove there's an easy way out: buy a taper crimp die for those plated/coated bullets. At those velocities you don't need much of a crimp (or maybe none at all) to keep them in place and encourage proper powder burn (assumes faster burning powders in use). Having 2 dies eliminates the fussing about changing die adjustments when changing between bullet types.

I went to this system with .38's and it works fine, see no reason why it wouldn't work with .44's. Way back when I shot a lot of .44's in Special cases, I didn't bother with crimp at all, just ironed the case flare out.

About post #13: the major purpose of a taper crimp-besides ironing out the case flare as mentioned-is to help minimize bullet setback during the feed cycle. It doesn't do much to prevent the bullet from moving forward. Back when, they used to cannelure the various cases of ammunition used in semi-auto handguns to prevent bullet set back. Then some bean counter apparently decided it cost too much and there were other ways to do the same thing. Somewhere around 1980 .45 ACP military ammo lost the cannelure.

Back when I was still working we got lots of messages about bullet setback in auto pistol ammunition-esp. .40. I don't recall the source and misplaced any copies I had, but the ammo makers "suggested" that auto pistol ammo not be chambered more than 4-5 times lest there be bullet set back. Our armorers had an interesting collection of ammunition with various degrees of bullet setback.

If there is a crimping groove, by all means, roll crimp.

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Old 11-14-2020, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajgunner View Post
I load lots of coated 44 bullets in both 200 and 240gr and have never seen the coating damaged by the crimp.
If you want to see a great example of an extreme but necessary crimp, get your hands on some Buffalo Bore ammo and check out the crimp they use.
I just bought a box of buffalo bore for a wilderness trip coming up. You are correct. The crimp is TIGHT.
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:08 PM
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FWIW; I started reloading for my most favorite round, the 44 Magnum, in about '88. In all that time I have reloaded everything from 123 gr balls up to 310 ingots, cast, jacketed and PCed, and have never taper crimped any. I have 3 revolvers one lever gun, and one Contender and all my 44 Magnum handloads are roll, profile or collet crimped. I believe with a "normal" roll crimp (heavy but not enough to buckle the case) if there is a "PC stripping" problem it is based on the coating and not the crimp...

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Old 11-14-2020, 01:11 PM
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Default Great discussion about crimps

Thank you all. Lots of great comments. I think the suggestion to have one of each type of crimp die is a good one. I'm going to do that and use the taper crimp die for the light 44 SP. loads, and roll crimp for the heavy loads. I have 2400 and H-110 for those, and for them I will definitely use a good roll crimp. Good comment about the slower pressure rise with slower burning powders. Also, I don't want my new revolver locked up by a bullet unseating itself from the recoil.
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:19 PM
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Personally, I see zero advantage to trying to chase down and purchase a taper crimp die for .44 Special or .44 Magnum. You can adjust the amount of roll crimp from mild to HARDCORE with your regular, common seat/crimp die.

The only downside to a heavy roll crimp on a revolver round is that it works the brass more, possibly shortening it's usable life span. So if you are loading light to mid-level loads and you don't need a monster roll crimp, simply impart less roll crimp. This is nothing more than screwing the entire die body a bit out of the press.

Simple, works perfectly, doesn't require another die and another step in the process.
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
Personally, I see zero advantage to trying to chase down and purchase a taper crimp die for .44 Special or .44 Magnum. You can adjust the amount of roll crimp from mild to HARDCORE with your regular, common seat/crimp die.

The only downside to a heavy roll crimp on a revolver round is that it works the brass more, possibly shortening it's usable life span. So if you are loading light to mid-level loads and you don't need a monster roll crimp, simply impart less roll crimp. This is nothing more than screwing the entire die body a bit out of the press.

Simple, works perfectly, doesn't require another die and another step in the process.
That's good to know. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom.
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Old 11-14-2020, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
Personally, I see zero advantage to trying to chase down and purchase a taper crimp die for .44 Special or .44 Magnum. You can adjust the amount of roll crimp from mild to HARDCORE with your regular, common seat/crimp die.

The only downside to a heavy roll crimp on a revolver round is that it works the brass more, possibly shortening it's usable life span. So if you are loading light to mid-level loads and you don't need a monster roll crimp, simply impart less roll crimp. This is nothing more than screwing the entire die body a bit out of the press.

Simple, works perfectly, doesn't require another die and another step in the process.
^^^What he said.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Roll or Taper crimp. My 44 Mag die set came with a roll crimp die, but it seems like if you roll the crimp into the powder coat it will peel the powder off of the bullet. Those of you shooting powder coated bullets in 44 Mag loads, how are you crimping them? I'm thinking I need to get a taper crimp die for powder coated, and save the roll crimp die for the XTPs with cannelure. Any feedback appreciated.
I'm not a fan of the roll crimp. Why? Because the Lee Factory Crimp Die is a better mousetrap. Especially for cast bullets in the 44 mag. You don't have to trim your brass to length and you can easily dial in the crimp depth/strength.

I quit using a roll crimp when the Lee FCD became available.

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Old 11-16-2020, 09:22 PM
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Trim your brass if consistency with the crimp is a goal.
As stated above: not having the bullet move while the powder is building pressure is important.
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:51 PM
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DeplorabusUnum, take one of your powder coated bullets, place it on an anvil, or concrete floor if you don't own and anvil, and hit it as hard as you can with a hammer.
If the powder coat is properly applied and bonded the bullet will smash flat, but the powder coating will still be on the flattened bullet. This is one of the ways us home powder coaters test our bullets to ensure we're getting proper adhesion.
A severe roll crimp may cut through the coating, but it won't strip it off it has been applied properly.
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360 .357 Magnum jumping crimp with Hornady Critical Defense divedoc S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 4 09-29-2012 08:53 PM

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