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Thread: Newbie question: Crimping non-grooved bullets

  1. #1

    Default Newbie question: Crimping non-grooved bullets

    My Lyman manual says that you should only crimp grooved bullets (cannelure), and that crimping is necessary for autoloading and lever guns, as well as those with heavy recoil.

    The instructions with my die set say that 'bullets do not need a crimp groove as the lee factory crimp die will form one while crimping'.

    Question #1: Does a 300 Win mag less than max loads generate enough recoil to need crimping? I am using a bolt action rifle, and will have rounds in a magazine in hunting scenarios.

    Question #2: If it is good practice to crimp these rounds, should I crimp a non-grooved bullet? The manual suggests I don't, but the die instructions say it's okay to crimp.

    I am just getting into reloading and am still reading the manuals before I begin loading any ammo. My first loads will be 32 special and 300 win mag. After a lot of research on this forum and others, I decided to go with the Lyman T-Mag Turret press kit, about $325 in Cabelas. I will be using both Lee and RCBS die sets.

  2. #2
    Member ripnlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eagle River

    Default crimping

    I've heard that you should crimp and yet a lot of people dont. The way I see it, why do they make 180 grn, 200, etc etc bullets without the cannelure if they should be crimped. I havent heard of crimping without a cannelure in the bullet, but I'm no expert. I never have crimped. I shoot 300WSM with rounds in the mag and checked the overal lengths after season and none of them moved. I have one on my keychain and the bullet isnt even loose after two years in my pocket.

    Just my thoughts

    I am interested in what the pros say on here.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by ripnlip View Post
    I am interested in what the pros say on here.
    I am alos interested in what the experts here say, especially since I plan to start loading Barnes bullets. Never crimped before, and i got good results. But have always used non-grovved bullets.


  4. #4
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!


    I usually put a light crimp on smooth bullets but use a Lee factory crimp die. I am careful to trim all the brass to exactly the same length so that the crimps will be as uniform as possible.

    I cant say that this is a required step, or even if it is effective or not. But it doesnt seem to have any negitive effects and makes me feel better.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Thumbs up

    If you ain't got a groove, don't crimp it. Absolutely not. No need to crimp a 300 mag even with a groove. The Lee factory crimp die will put a groove, actually a dent around a bullet when you crimp a bullet without a groove. It will still go bang and the bullet will exit, but so will cheap factory ammo. One of the reasons for handloading is to get away from the way the factory does it. Look at the crimp on factory ammo. Crimping like that screws up the neck, causes splits and wears the brass.

    Crimping introduces another unmanagable variable to the handload. It cannot add accuracy. (speaking of a rifle round here) I would say that if durability were foremost, that any of the magnums, especially heavy bullets, crimp would be ok, IF the cases were exactly the same length and IF there is a cannelure, or crimp groove. The advantage of this would be for rounds that are carried and stuffed and restuffed into the magazine but never get fired and have to absorb the recoil from the lucky rounds that get fired, then there may be an advantage for durality, not for accuracy.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?

  6. #6

    Default Thanks Guys

    Thanks for the information. I will proceed without using the crimp die for those rounds. I'll also try loading the magazine when I'm at the range to see if firing 4-5 rounds will have any effect on the last round's OAL.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Make your own crimping cannelure.

    For about $20-$30 you can get a tool that will put a crimp on a bullet, wherever you want for whatever overall length (and case volume) you want.

    Just a thought. Probably worth every penny it cost you.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)


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