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223 crimp. Who crimps, who doesn't?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Eludnu, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Eludnu

    Eludnu Oregon Member

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    I'm still new to the rifle side of reloading and have spoken with a number of folks who skip the crimping station on 223 in most cases, FMJ's not withstanding. In my first session out testing workup loads, my semi-auto shoved the bullet back into the case twice out of about 20 rounds. I had set bullet depth specific to the chamber, although I did go as long as possible. I've had bullet pushback with low end factory rounds that had bad crimps in this same rifle. I skipped the crimps on these rounds based on feedback from others. Hornady Vmax 40 grain, 25.7 grains CFE 223. Dillion dies.
     
  2. nwdrifter

    nwdrifter troutdale oregon Active Member

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    i crimp
     
  3. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I crimp
     
  4. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I crimp, have a variety of 223 rifles so I crimp all 223
     
  5. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I never crimp any centerfire rounds. Never had any problem with .270, .30-06, .22-250 or .223 reloads with the bullets moving during recoil.

    My Speer manual clearly states "Bullets to be crimped MUST have a crimping groove." Attempting to crimp a non-cannelured bullet will deform the bullet which will degrade accuracy. If not done correctly, with any type of bullet, you will get anything from a slight bulge on the shoulder to a ruined crinkled case. I'm not sure crimping a bullet without the cannelure makes any difference, although it might.

    Some brands of cases have thinner necks than others. If you happen to have cases with thin necks and use bushing dies, you may not get enough neck tension to hold the bullets in the necks under recoil. I know for my Winchester cases I have to use a smaller bushing to get the same neck tension compared to my Lapua brass. If you use a die with a button to expand the necks to a uniform diameter you shouldn't have a problem unless the button is over-sized in which case you would end up with minimal neck tension.
     
  6. ridnjon

    ridnjon vancouver wa Active Member

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    I crimp on anything that is for semi-auto. If you don't than usually bullets can push back. If you don't catch it could be dangerous. For my bolt action 223 I don't crimp. If you get a lee crimp die its easy and does not take long to do and cheap.
     
  7. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Central Oregon Member

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    Having spent quite a bit of time shooting over a chrony and testing loads with and without crimping I now crimp everything. Aside from the bullet creep issue the other benefit is a more uniform start pressure for the bullet to begin to break free from the case. This may seem like such a small thing but I have to agree with Richard Lee of Lee Precision Reloading it makes a difference in both the standard deviation in feet per second as well as accuracy. The trick is not to apply more crimp than is actually needed. A very lite crimp goes along way .

    10 Spot
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Likewise here. One important note, crimping pretty much requires that cases be trimmed for uniform length otherwise crimp will be inconsistent.

    I load only one bullet for my AR's and it has a cannelure. I don't worry about OAL, just that the crimp is in the cannelure. With the bullet I use this ends up being perfect for magazine feeding lengths and I don't have any bullets pushed back into the case, even when there is a chambering problem. A Lee FCD sits in station 5 of my 650 and crimps them all the same. Finished rounds look just like they came out of a box of factory new ammo.
     
  9. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    The Lee factory crimp die works fine with varying case length. No crushed cases. If I'm shooting for match with a bolt rifle, I trim all cases but I don't shoot 223 in match so it's a mute for me. Lee factory crimp all rounds.
     
  10. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    I tend to use bushing dies to set correct neck tension for almost all my loads. I have a LFCD for my .223 gas gun setup and I use it, since that is the one setup I use a non bushing FL die for. It's not necessary on my heavier bench and varmint rifles .223 rem included.
     
  11. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Is there anyway to test for bullet push back without loading up a magazine and firing a bunch of rounds off?
     
  12. bellarum

    bellarum beaverton Well-Known Member

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    I trim and crimp .223 and 30-30
     
  13. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've only had 2 bullet set backs and both were in a .223 AR. Now I run all reloads
    through a LEE FC Die. I also shoot a .458S AR. I don't crimp that and I've never had
    a problem. I believe it has to do with neck thickness. All .458S brass is Star line, but
    my .223 is a "Range Brass" mix from where ever.:paranoid:

    Jack...:cool:
     
  14. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    Hold the crimp and no I don't want fries
     
  15. lcb97269

    lcb97269 Milwaukie, OR Life Member Lifetime Supporter

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    There are 2 basic types of crimps.

    Roll crimp and taper crimp. Roll crimps are case length specific. If you use it and want uniform ballistics and no crush cases, brass MUST be trimmed to the same length.

    Taper crimps are more forgiving on case length and required on cartridges that headspace on the front edge of the casing (45 acp, 9mm, and all other straight wall rimless cartridges. DO NOT ROLL CRIMP RIMLESS AUTO PISTOL CARTRIDGES, unless you want to damage your pistol, or yourself.

    The amount of crimp is something you have to determine which works best in your particular gun and cartridge. Personally, I never crimp rifle cartridges in bolt action rifles, and only neck size the brass. I also try to avoid canalured bullets in rifles as they are almost never as accurate as those without. In handgun cartridges, ranges are usually short enough not to make much difference unless you are a world class shooter.

    Auto loaders need full length sizing for reliable function and a crimp is sometimes necessary, but not always. It is something that must be experimented with in YOUR particular firearm, whether rifle of handgun. It is a good practice to load a few dummy rounds (without powder or primers) with the bullet(s) you plan to use and run the thru the action to see if they chamber properly. Follow up with a few loaded rounds and see if they still function correctly BEFORE loading hundreds or thousands of them, and it is ALWAYS best to have the brass trimmed to the same length before loading/reloading it the first time and every 2 to 3 reloads thereafter. Virgin factory brass is rarely all the same length and needs to be trimmed and deburred before loading.

    After shooting factory ammo, trim/deburr it before reloading because, in most cases, it won't be the consistent in length.

    Trim to minimum recommended length per your reloading manuals. Minimum length is usually .005" - .010" shorter than maximum length but verify it with a manual prior to doing it.

    It is critical to be in the correct length range with straight wall rimless auto pistol cartridges. I use loaded round headspace gauges to verify they are correct length at the beginning of loading each batch of ammo. If there are any other problems such as bulged brass, they will not fit into the gauge, meaning they won't fit into your chamber properly. A headspace gauge is also recommend for rifle cartridges. They are available for most popular cartridges and cost around $20-30. Some can be used for several cartridges that use a basic case, such as 308 win and 243 win where the they headspace on the shoulder with the only difference being neck diameter.
     
  16. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer SE Washington state Active Member

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    I haven't crimped the majority of my .223 loads because they were only fired in bolt actions for years. Since I got my first AR-15, I also didn't crimp since most of my bullets lacked a cannelure. My most recent loads were with the Hornady 55 gr Z-Max bullets which do have a canneure, and since they were specifically for the AR-15's coyote loads (fire and forget, old LC brass with indetermined number of firings and undetermined neck thickness) I went ahead and put a light crimp with the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I still don't crimp the non-cannelured bullets, and have not experienced any issues with the AR's.
     
  17. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    No crimp on my .223 AR food or my .30-06 Garand food...
     
  18. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Ditto on all of this above: ESPECIALLY the part about not crimping anything without a crimping groove (cannelure). An EXCEPTION for me at least, is that I DO crimp (in a crimping groove) blackpowder cartridges in order to aid complete ignition. Perhaps a qualifier needs stating, as I also crimp many pistol cartridges.
     
  19. mookmanjdj

    mookmanjdj Oregon Coast Member

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    I always crimp my 223's.
     
  20. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    This would apply only to "roll crimps". At a minimum a taper crimp is required on any cartridge that requires the case neck be flared or "belled" in order to seat the bullet.

    Know you cartridge and what it's requirements are. Blanket statements can be very confusing, sometimes dangerous, when followed by beginners.