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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have only been loading the 45 auto for a few months now. I have a few questions.

First, I recently started using the taper crimp. How is the taper crimp diameter measured? Is it on the case mouth at the very end? If so, mine are coming in consistently at .470" at the end of the mouth. Does this sound ok? Will too much crimp cause higher pressures? Before, I never belled the case mouth, and was able to get the bullets seated without any scraping, or any other problems, so I never needed to taper crimp. It was easy on a single stage press.

Second, I am using Hornady bullets, and going by the hornady reloading book. I am loading 230 gr right at the max OAL of 1.230" and holding dead on. For loading the 200 gr, I am holding at the max of 1.200". From what I have read, people here are going .015"-.020" over the listed OAL. Is this ok? I know that it will reduce pressure by the longer OAL, but should I worry about it?

I am extremely careful in reloading, and all specs always check out with the books. When it comes to fine tuning, I don't worry about it, I do what the book says.

As for what I'm shooting, it's a Kimber Eclipse full size if it makes a difference. My loads are in the middle of the road for velocities, not too light, but not at all hot. I'm using Hodgdon's Universal Clays. Velocities are right around 800 FPS according to the book. I've loaded and shot over 600 rounds already without the crimp, but wil be testing out my crimped rounds soon.

Thanks :)
 

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Yup, taper crimp is measured right at the case mouth. .470" is fine, .468" is ok and will not raise pressures. The bullet is moving before maximum pressure is reached and the crimp is no longer restricting it. Which a taper crimp does not do much anyhow. It is mainly to smooth the feeding and be sure of eliminating the case mouth flare. It is not doing a whole lot to hold the bullet against recoil or feeding or for magnum-type powder ignition.

If you are using Hornady bullets and Hornady data and your ammo feeds reliably, don't worry about what the other guys do. Do not panic if you want to try some other bullet and can't find handbook data for it; that is what starting loads are for.
 

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If you'll notice in the Hornady book, the first page of the load information for that caliber has a drawing that gives the specs for the cartridge. You'll also notice that the max OAL is longer than the lenght Hornady specs for their 45 ACP loads.

This mostly has to do with their bullet design. Hornady also tests allot of ammo and I've found their combinations and observations to be pretty good. In fact I've tried developing loads on my own and I usually settle out near a recomended load in the hornady book.

If you are using their specs and components they list, you can't go wrong.
 

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DW:

I don't measure the crimp at all. I do the following. Remove the barrel from the gun and use it as a guage. When adjusting the crimp, I take the crimped cartridge and drop it in the barrel of the gun. It should fall of its own weight right into chamber, and the base of the cartridge case should be even with the barrel hood extension on the barrel. I then take the cartridge and try to move the bullet by hand strength, it should not move or twist. I then try by placing it on a flat surface try to push the bullet into the case with reasonable pressure. If it passes these tests you are almost sure to be ok with overall length and crimp.

Lengthening overall length as long as it feeds will not hurt anything and might give you an accuracy benefit. If you shorten the LOA you might have to drop the powder change some.
 

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Is it possible to crimp the bullet too much? After reloading several hundred .45 rounds, I decided to take a look at the crimp die and clean it up. After I screwed it back in I found it giving more a crimp than before. I could feel it crimping the bullet and it looked nicer than the others. What is considered too much crimp? Im using the lee factory crimp die.
 

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seimper:

Yes, you can crimp the cartridge too much. Though with the Lee factory crimp die you have to work at it to do it. I really don't think its possible. One time when I screwed up the setting I drove the bullet in deeper.

Look at my previous post to determine if your crimp is adequate.

Too much crimp can cause failure to feed, loose bullet in cartridge case (able to twist the bullet), poor hold, and erratic velocities because of poor ignition due to poor hold on the bullet by the case.
 

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Too much crimp is usually only a factor in plated bullets where the jacket is so thin that the crimp damages it and causes it to be deformed or even torn off which in turn reduces your accuracy.

With a decent jacket that shouldn't matter.
 

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I use the Lee factory crimp at .470. Works very well on my LSWC loads. I've also moved down to 4.4 grains of Win 231 and this cycles easily and seems to improve my accuracy. I've also used 5.3 gr of 231, but feels a little too "hot" for target shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of your help. It seems as though I have my dies set up perfectly just by chance. I kept adjusting the crimp until it felt ok and got lucky by setting it at .470" on the nose, accidently. Thanks
 

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Thanks for all of your help. It seems as though I have my dies set up perfectly just by chance. I kept adjusting the crimp until it felt ok and got lucky by setting it at .470" on the nose, accidently. Thanks
No chance about it. It sounds like you went through the proper process for setting the dies and your experiance and knowlege of the subject happend to co-incide with the accepted standard. No luck or chance about it, just means your a good loader :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your help everyone. For the sake of argument, we'll say that it wasn't an accident, and that I knew what I was doing :cool:
 
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