.25-35 bullet crimp?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by evltwn, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. evltwn

    evltwn
    Gold Hill Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    I am reloading .25-35 (for the first time) for a model 94 Winchester. Because it has a tubular magazine, I am using round nose bullets. Is it necessary to crimp the cartridges? Will a regular Lee die for .25-35 also crimp? I believe so, as the directions indicate how to set the seating die for crimp, but I want to be certain.

    Any thoughts will be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    Yes. You need to crimp in the cannelure of the bullet (the serrated groove that is roughly in the center of the length of the bullet). I don't use Lee dies, but I will assume they work the same as RCBS: Screw the seating die into the top of the press only partially, put an empty case in the ram and take it all the way to the top. Then screw the die in until you feel the inner portion of the die touch the top of the case. Back out the case, and turn the die only slightly (quarter to half turn?). This will be an approximate setting for crimp. Set the lock ring on the die. Now back out the portion of the die that adjusts for bullet seating so you know it will only partially seat the bullet.

    Now you will have a short trial-and-error period to adjust your seating depth to happen exactly when the crimp happens in the cannelure. Go slowly, not operating the ram fully (to avoid activating your crimping ceiling you have set) backing out the case before each adjustment, increasing the seating depth with the adjustment screw, until a full stroke of the ram seats the bullet with the tip of the neck at the center of the cannelure. You may have to do fine adjustments working depth of the die against seating depth to get it exactly right. Don't over-do the crimp. It only takes a bit to keep the bullet in place when in the tube magazine. You can see the crimp, and make it as mild or severe as you want, by screwing the die into the press more or less. (It doesn't take much.) Remember: if you change the die depth, you'll have to change your seating depth to match.

    Again: the depth of the die in the press dictates the crimp. The depth of the seating adjustment screw on top of the die dictates bullet seating depth. Your goal is to make them happen at the same time. Once you have everything set on the first cartridge, lock everything down and enjoy the funnest part of reloading.

    NOTE: BEFORE YOU START, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOUR CASES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME LENGTH! THIS IS WHAT MAKES IT ALL WORK CORRECTLY!!!
     
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  3. RVTECH

    RVTECH
    LaPine
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    Or get a Lee Factory Crimp Die. I wish I had one years ago during my first go around of reloading 30-30. It makes crimping a separate process but it is fast and you will never have the problems normally associated with reloading Winchester 94 ammo.
     
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts
    Maple Valley, WA
    Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Does lee actually make an FCD for .25-35? It's an oddball cartridge and there are only a few manufacturers who offer it. The one I work for happens to be one of them, and I've loaded thousands of rounds of this cartridge.

    Answer: yes.
    Qualification: I don't know if you're loading cast or jacketed bullets, but I have a few suggestions before you get too into it. If you are using winchester brass, especially their "new" brass, go through all of them first, check for defects (it is very common to have folded necks, on this cartridge, loading a cartridge with a folded neck will just waste a bullet and primer) also, double check and make sure the case mouth is square. Those are my two biggest complaints with this particular cartridge when it comes to winchester's "new" brass. You can square up the case mouth with a trimmer.

    That said, if you are using lead bullets you will also need to expand/bell, if you've ever loaded pistol ammo it works the same way, try to find a long expander that passes the shoulder of the cartridge, you want an expander to be about .252-.256". Next, seat your bullets to the crimping groove but do not crimp. Once all your bullets are seated, remove the seating stem/plug and go back and crimp all of the bullets with a medium/heavy roll crimp. The roll crimp usually looks kinda funny, but be very careful not to over-crimp, as this will bulge the case mouth and the round won't chamber.

    If you are using jacketed bullets, a slight expansion/bell gives a better finished product, however isn't really necessary. You will again want to do seat/crimp in two separate operations. A taper crimp will give better results with this style of bullet. A light but firm crimp will hold these bullets in place very nicely.
     
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  5. Rodnryc

    Rodnryc
    Twin Falks
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    I was just looking at Midway arms and cannot find an actual taper crimp die. I thought Lee might have had one, but no such luck. Lee said to use the bullet seating die to crimp but too often you get a crushed case. I just wrote them to see if another die would work. Am waiting for an answer. I just ordered a two die set for my 25-35 and it is on it's way now. Rod.
     
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  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
    SE Portland
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    I realize that this was an older thread but do read closely what @AMProducts and others have said.
    Make sure the brass is all the same length, chamfer necks and or flare if lead and seat and crimp in two separate steps.
    They should be all pretty and usable and with no crushed cases.
     
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  7. xlsbob

    xlsbob
    coos county
    Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    The biggest thing I've found loading 25-35 is consistent case length. I load for 4 different rifles and all my bullets are seated and crimped at the same time with no issues. I usually load between 100 and 200 when I'm doing them. I'm using regular RCBS dies and the standard 117 gr jacketed round nose bullet.
     
  8. Rodnryc

    Rodnryc
    Twin Falks
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    Lee Precision sent me an e-mail saying you either had to use the factory bullet seat die and crimp with that or order a Custom factory Crimp die $25+shipping and send in a dummy round, which is a fired resized case with a bullet seated. No powder, no primer. I'm sure having all the cases the same length would be a real asset.
    Hope that helps. Rod
     
  9. AMProducts

    AMProducts
    Maple Valley, WA
    Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    if Lee will make you a custom FCD for $25, you're a fool not to go that route, the .25-35 (and most cowboy lever calibers) require a pretty heavy crimp so you don't have to worry about bullet set back in the magazine.

    All in all, I realize a lot of people still have guns in this caliber, but it's so damn obsolete at this point, it's really not worth fighting with anymore. The ballistics of this and most of the WCF cartridges during this period are garbage, they were brought in just on the cusp of smokeless powder, and when modern powders started to hit their stride after 1910, there was really no point in keeping these around.

    I hate to sound negative about it, but I've just been burned so many times dealing with winchester sending crap brass, that I'm frustrated to the point of never touching some of these things again.
     
  10. Rodnryc

    Rodnryc
    Twin Falks
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    Lee also has a collet type crimp die custom made for the same price. Probably will go that route.
    Rod.
     

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