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Thread: First reloads done ...how's my crimp?

  1. #1
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    Default First reloads done ...how's my crimp?

    These are .500 S&W rounds with the following load (my very first handloads, ever) :

    - OAL 2.038" (although some were .002" longer?)
    - 11.5 gr Titegroup
    - Federal 210M primer
    - Starline brass (pp & fh uniformed, FL sized)
    - 335gr Rainier Bullets (.006" to .008" electroplating on swaged-lead bullet)
    - Crimped with a Hornady taper crimp (for 500 S&W)

    Questions:
    - Does this crimp look OK to you? Not having much experience, this looks more like a roll crimp to me but it sure as heck says 'taper crimp' on the die and the die is just a smooth bore that is apparently narrower towards the top. I adjusted per the included Hornady instructions (with raised cartridge, screw down until resistance is felt, give it 1 or 2 more turns ...I went 1 more turn but probably didn't stop at the least amount of resistance either). Note: Rainier said these bullets have heavier plating than the other bullets they sell and were designed for the 50 Beowulf. Their FAQ says to use a light taper crimp, but the guy on the phone said "the best crimp would be a combination of a taper and roll crimp, or the Lee Factory Crimp."

    - How do I measure the amount of crimp when the edge is rolled inward like you see in the attached pix?

    - A super fine, whisker-thin (or thinner), whisker of brass came off a couple of the rounds after crimping ...is this normal ...or not? Maybe a couple of cases were a hair longer and got belled out a bit more when I flared the mouths? I suspect the whisker is the 'corner' peeled off the outside edge of the mouth of the case by the taper crimp die ...or rolled off or whatever. Doesn't look like anything to worry about.

    - Some of the rounds came out at 2.040" (and one at 2.042") but the majority came out at 2.038" to 2.039" OAL. Why the variation in length? I suspect the length changed a tad during crimping ...no? I didn't measure OAL prior to crimping but should have...

    - How do you measure a crimp? Do you measure a roll crimp differently than a taper crimp? Compare to factory loads? What?

    Thanks, I'll be shooting these on Wednesday I think.

    Brian
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails c1.jpg   c2.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Those look real good and does look a lot like a profile crimp to me. Taper crimp and roll crimp combined. That's a good way to do it. I don't know about the plated, uncannellured bullets for heavy caliber handguns, of course the S&W doesn't have any recoil so crimp isn't so important. Those should work well.
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    Rainier says not to exceed 1200 fps with these. The 11.5 gr of Titegroup should produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 1050 to 1150. I'll dig out the years-old Chrony that I have and try it out ... bought it 2 years ago and have never tried it yet, nor even opened the box

    I woke up this morning thinking about those crimps ...It's possible that when using the seat/roll-crimp die that I accidentally adjusted it just a hair low. It might be 'starting' a roll crimp into the top of the case while seating the bullet. The taper crimp is just finishing the job. But ...hmmmmm. I might LIKE it this way. I'll measure a few cases to try to find a longer one and will then flare the mouth and run it into the seating die for a closer look.

    By the way, the Berry electroplated lead bullets for the 500 S&W do have a cannelure ...but it's so slight that it's hardly worth noticing. I really doubt it does anything good although it's possible that their electroplating is thicker in order to accommodate a roll-crimp. Who knows?

    Thanks,
    Brian

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    They look pretty dandy to me. I'd shoot 'em.
    Originally Posted by BIGBOB
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    Thanks. I got the flu two weeks in a row, different flu each week ...so haven't done much lately. I'm more or less back in the saddle today and things are finally trending towards the positive (or I got my drug cocktail dialed in?), so I expect to get out and shoot those handloads next weekend. Might try to figure out how to work the Chrony that I have as well (now that I found my tripod). We'll see... it's all good!

    Brian

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    Brian- nice looking crimp, have fun!

    BigHinER- that's got to be the coolest sig pic I've seen yet!

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHinER View Post
    They look pretty dandy to me. I'd shoot 'em.
    Don't mind him. He'd shoot a forty mike-mike from a hand-held gun if anyone would let him.

    On topic though - for a beginning handloader, you seem to have done your homework. Go ahead and fire your cartridges, just listen for the tell-tale "light pop" in case you stick a round in the barrel. I had one of those with my first hand-loading attempt. I stopped firing and was glad I did.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    "did my homework"

    That means "scared of getting it wrong" ...haha. Been out sick with the flu, including last weekend, so I haven't fired any of these yet ...tomorrow, though. Tomorrow. Got family pix to do today.

    Brian

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    Default whisker of brass

    The whisker of brass seems to be pretty normal with reloads where you've belled the case slightly. The more 'bell' in the case the more likely I get a bit of shaved brass. When I start seeing that during an 'extended reloading session' I'll stop every couple of hundred rounds and Q-tip the die. I've never encountered any troubles - just don't want any.

    Now, I've never seen a measurement for roll crimps - it seems to be mostly an eyeball thing. You want to make sure that the case mouth rolls in, but if you get case buckling then the crimp is either to heavy or your case is to long (hence your crimp being to heavy).

    For taper crimping, Lyman recomends a neck diameter reduction of .001 to .002 inches. More than that may deform the bullet and can actually cause a loose bullet. More is not more, IOW.

    Profile crimping is the rage now, and from what I read is kind of a best of both worlds crimp. I would still watch for over taper (greater than .003 reduction) and over roll (buckling the case) as warning signs that you are mashing the stick a little heavy.

    Your's looks fine, BTW. Testing it is (as has been written before) load a full cylinder, fire all but one, load again, fire all but the one you didn't fire before (mark it with a sharpie ) and measure for change in OAL. If it moves much, then more crimp (or lighter load!) and if it doesn't move at all than keep shooting till it's time to go home.

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    Thanks. Update: We're all over our flus at our house and I finally got out to the range today (sorry, we're not Super Bowl / NFL fans). The handloads pictured above all shot very well, mild recoil, 3-hole cloverleafs at 30 feet or so. The factory 500 S&W Specials (1300 fps, 330gr) dirtied up the gun, but my handloads burned very clean from what I could see (11.5 gr Titegroup, Fed 210M primers, 335gr plated bullets.) My goal today was to sight in the gun and to try out the handloads. I'm quite satisfied. Now to start making ammo and getting lots of practice in...

    Brian

  11. #11

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    I remember clear back when I started rolling my own ammo. I shared the same enthusiasm as you are showing. Still do! You're hooked man....lots of pinched fingers in your future!

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