Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

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Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 7:19 pm

I've got a small question - maybe someone can advise.  I wasn't even going to ask about it, until I saw the same thing happening to someone else who shows it on his YouTube video about a Dillon press and reloading 38 Special.

For me, everything is now going smoothly.  The only time there is any kind of an "issue" is if/when I get interrupted. I know I don't have to lube the cases, but I'm doing so anyway, as it makes the press easier to operate.  If for any reason I do get interrupted, I always leave the press with the "next" case inserted, and a bullet sitting at the seating station waiting for me to press it in.  (...and if there is anything else going on, I remove all the rounds from the press.)

When I'm loading 45, as I raise the press to crimp a bullet in a case, every so often the case is out of alignment, and the press goes 'clank' and stops.  If I try again, it usually works.  Or, I can reach in and wiggle the case until it lines up.  The frequency is once for every ten or fifteen rounds.  It's just enough to be annoying.  

When I switched the press to 38 Special later in the day, even though the cases are so much longer, this never happened.  I don't have separate seater and crimp dies for 38 yet - need to buy them......     but this problem is apparently only with my 45 rounds.

Late last night, I was watching a YouTube video for my brother - it showed loading 38 Special on a Dillon RL550b.  I noticed this fellow had the same problem: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJt7EZhq_jc         One time it happens is at 21:38 into the video.  There are more.

My 45 crimper die is shown up front in the photo below.  Are these dies available with an "expanded" area at the bottom of the die to guide the case into the die?

(Separate issue - I am ordering several hex nuts for the dies.  The round ones work great on a single station press, but are a pain on a progressive.)

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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by LenV on 5/4/2018, 7:48 pm

Just to answer the OP. Yes they come with an expanded area. You would never get a flared case to start if they didn't. Not all bullet seating dies remove all the flare. Some do. But remember if your truly crimping in a separate stage then your not crimping when inserting bullet.

Len
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 8:22 pm

That's not what I mean.  I mean at the very bottom of the crimping die, so instead of sometimes slamming into the case, the case is guided into the die.  You can see it happening in the video, but the guy is used to it, and aligns the die with his hand when he needs to.  I can do that, but why not avoid the problem, if possible.
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by Mike38 on 5/4/2018, 9:00 pm

Do you mean a bevel or chamfer at the die mouth? Yes, they should all have one. Aligning the case to the die mouth shouldn't be a problem. If the shell holder is inserted properly, and the case is properly in the shell holder, it slips right in. No special case alignment necessary. Or, am I misunderstanding here?
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 10:34 pm

Nope, you understand it correctly.  If you watch that video, he is having the problem quite often.  With 45 ACP I am occasionally having this problem.  This is on a progressive press - maybe it wouldn't be an issue with individual dies on a single station press?  My "fix" is to lower the press slightly, and try again.  If that doesn't work, I use my hand to move the case slightly to it goes into the die.

The RCBS Pro-2000 has a small spring that holds the case in place.  The photo below shows the parts, but using a 38 Special case (which is not a problem for me).  

Maybe I can take the press apart, and bend the spring slightly so it has more tension pushing against the case...  

I can't be the only person with this problem - watching the video, it happened to that guy on his Dillon all the time.  

If I were designing the die, I would have a tapered opening at the bottom to help align the shell into the die.

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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 10:41 pm

(I should add, this might be annoying, but it's trivial.  I am far, far more interested in making cartridges correctly, than in a small inconvenience.  I could write it off to an RCBS bug, but since it happens on the Dillon too, I think the "problem" is the die.  .....or maybe when I get my new expander die, this will eliminate the problem.  The more the case is belled, the more likely this will happen.  With way too much bell, it will happen every time!   I thought I had this right, but if the bell is still too big, then this is all just "user error".)
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by LenV on 5/4/2018, 10:54 pm

Mike if it happens on the Dillon they are not using a Dillon taper crimp die. I use Dillon for all my 45 acp taper crimp. If it does not look like this it is probably not a Dillon. And if it won't align with that opening then something else is wrong.

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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 11:09 pm

LenV wrote:Mike if it happens on the Dillon they are not using a Dillon taper crimp die. I use Dillon for all my 45 acp taper crimp. If it does not look like this it is probably not a Dillon. And if it won't align with that opening then something else is wrong....
Here's a screen capture from the video.  It looks like the right color?

If you watch the video (it's long) you will see numerous times when the press "stops", and either it works the next try, or he reaches up to it to adjust the position of the case.  If you go to the time I posted up above, you'll see it happen once.  It happened lot of times - more than it did for me!  Maybe something else is wrong, I dunno.....

oops, wrong image....   one minute...

Len, it's not the die you showed - it's a combination seater and crimper die.


15 minutes into the video:


Last edited by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 11:28 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : photo problem)
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 11:22 pm

Len, he's only using three stations, and I don't think he is using the dies that I've seen elsewhere.  I wanted to watch the machine work, and see what all the parts did, so I can help my brother with his Dillon.  Every time this guy had a "mis-feed" I noticed, and the only reason I'm posting this video, is an illustration of what I'm dealing with.  For me, it's a crimper only die - seating is done in the previous station.  Bullet seating works fine - but every so often, the taper die "hits" the top of my case, and stops everything until I try again, or center it.....


(My brother's problem, is he doesn't have a clue as to how to set up his Dillon, never had or used a single-station press, he got excited about the Dillon magazine and the production claims, but I'm three hours away.  We got everything working properly but for the primer feeder, which acted like it was drunk.  It didn't help any that I'm scared of all those primers in a tube, so we loaded one or two primers at a time.  Then we ran out of time.  I can ask later on about that - I will be there in early July.  I feel bad that he has this device and can't use it, but I'd feel much worse if he got hurt because of it.  My "fix" was to help him get an RCBS hand primer tool, which he used for a while.)
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by LenV on 5/4/2018, 11:31 pm

There is your answer Mike. That taper crimp die would solve your hang up problem. And now to solve the second problem in the OP. Throw the round and hex retaining ring away and get some Lee. No wrench required, no torque, no problem making a quick adjustment and no (zero, nada) movement after set. Inexpensive too. I see you posted again but I have no idea how to fix the Dillon. I just knew it would solve your RCBS problem

 https://www.midwayusa.com/product/334374/lee-die-locking-ring-7-8-14-thread-pack-of-3
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 11:42 pm

Len, this guy is using a taper/crimp die.  For me, for 45, I'm using separate dies.

Those Lee precision die nuts look like a fantastic idea.....    What's the downside?  If that is so simple, just adding an o-ring, why doesn't everyone do it?  

Thanks - I haven't yet ordered the hex nuts I was going to buy.  If these work like I think they do, I'll order two packs of them, maybe three.
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/4/2018, 11:51 pm

Len, Thank You!!

Gee, this the MOST NEGATIVE REVIEW:

"I guess my experience with these rings is different from the others. The purpose of a locking ring is to "lock" the die in place to so you dont have to readjust it everytime you put it back into the press. As there is no set screw for these rings, they can easily slip up or down on the die requiring that it be readjusted everytime it's put back into the press. Great price for a set of three, but, big deal..."


For me, they are going onto separate die mounting plates - I don't remove individual dies, I remove the entire plate.  So none of this guy's concerns apply.


At the same time, to adjust a die, you MUST first loosen the locking nut, and NOT turn the die while it is locked in place.  No biggie, I am buying the RCBS "socket" tool anyway.  The dies are so close together, I think I'll need it:

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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by gregbenner on 5/5/2018, 11:26 am

Mike, im a bit confused.  What press and what brand dies are you using?  Same question re your brother. Dillon 550, or?

The r numerous and excellent YouTube videos on setting up and using a Dillon 550. Also, they have responsive and free telephone tech support which I have used many many times.

I use my 550 for both 45 and 38 special and have not experienced the issues you mention. I use stage 4 for crimping and use Dillon dies.

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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/5/2018, 1:18 pm

gregbenner wrote:Mike, im a bit confused.  What press and what brand dies are you using?  Same question re your brother. Dillon 550, or?

The r numerous and excellent YouTube videos on setting up and using a Dillon 550. Also, they have responsive and free telephone tech support which I have used many many times.

I use my 550 for both 45 and 38 special and have not experienced the issues you mention. I use stage 4 for crimping and use Dillon dies.
For me....

Press is RCBS Pro 2000

  • First die is Redding decap and sizing die.  No problems.
  • Second die is RCBS expanding die.  The opening at the bottom is huge, so no clearance problems.
  • Next die is RCBS Seater and Crimping die, but it's set up to seat only - no crimping. It has a nice chamfer at the bottom to guide the case into it.
  • Final die (shown in my photo at the start of this thread) is RCBS Taper Crimp Die.  There is no chamfer at the bottom to guid the case into it.  90% of the time there is no problem, but every so often the die hits the top of the shell case, stopping the press.  Once the case is aligned, all is well.


All the dies but for the Redding are quite old, not that it should matter.  In my opinion, if the Taper Crimp Die had a chamfer at the bottom, to guid the case into it, everything would be fine.

Just like the guy in the video I linked to, it's not that big a deal.  I just align the case manually if needed, but usually if I lower the shell plate a tad, then raise it again, the die lines up with the case and things work.  If not, I'm as fast as the guy in the video at fixing it.    Personally, I don't think there is any "fix", other than to reduce the belling.  I don't think it's excessive, but the next time I load 45, I will try that.



Hmm, I took a photo of the dies, as seen by the bullet.  Yuck.   At the left is the Redding resized die - lots of crud in there that I need to remove.  Shells fit up into this die easily.  Works fine, but I never looked inside the die until just now.  Ouch!!!

Top of screen is expander die.  Lots of room all around the shell.  The "plunger" aligns the shell I guess.  

At the right, the die that was intended to seat the bullet and provide a taper crimp, but I only am using the seating function.  I lowered the die until it touched the shell, and then, instead of lowering it a bit more, I raised it.  I think this is all working fine.  You can see the beveled area at the bottom to guide the shell into the die.  

At the bottom is the taper crimp die.  The outside diameter of a random case measured 0.4765, no bell, and the ID of this die measured 0.4740....   I don't have a beveled case to measure right now.  I guess I need either less belling, or a die with an opening at the bottom that's more like my seater/TC die.

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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/5/2018, 1:39 pm

gregbenner wrote:.......The r numerous and excellent YouTube videos on setting up and using a Dillon 550. Also, they have responsive and free telephone tech support which I have used many many times........I use my 550 for both 45 and 38 special and have not experienced the issues you mention. I use stage 4 for crimping and use Dillon dies.
Greg, yes, he has a 550B as I recall, their basic model.

I agree, there are unlimited videos on it, and Dillon offers tech support over the phone.  My brother doesn't understand *anything* about the press, other than what he has to do, and when.  I only "knew" what it said in the instructions, and what I saw on YouTube.  We eventually got it together, but the linkage for the powder drop took us forever to get right.  Long story, no longer relevant - one of the parts didn't fit until we corrected it.  Now the linkage works fine.  Getting the powder measure adjusted was simple, once I figured out how it works.  

Primers - yikes!  All I knew is they go in the tube from the top, and somehow, magically, get to the shell case.  Rightly or not, I'm afraid of the primer tube, so we never put more than a very few primers into it.  We never once got it to feed even a single primer correctly.  I ran out of time (before I had to head home), so we went to the local Bass Pro Shop and got a hand held priming tool.  With that, he has probably loaded 50 or 100 rounds.  He tells me they shoot ok.

We had a big "discussion" about how to use the machine.  I told him I wanted him to look into every shell and check that it wasn't empty, or double charged.  No exceptions.  He thought that was ludicrous, why bother?  He also saw no point in pouring the powder back into the original bottle at the end of the session.  Considering he has never used any press before, and he didn't like my idea of learning on a single station press, I had bad feelings of him getting hurt, and I more or less abandoned the project.  The press now sits unused on a bench. Last time I looked, I was pleasantly surprised that the powder dispenser was empty.

I would be much less concerned if we could put a Lockout Die on the press.  Even if I don't solve the primer issue for a long time, he can spend that time learning everything else.  But if he's not going t visually check that there is powder in the case, and not double what it should be, maybe I don't want to go any further until he changes his mind.


It's not really his fault.  Dillon's little blue magazine gives people the impression that they can buy one of these things, set it up in their room, and start churning out massive amounts of ammunition in no time at all.  They make it sound so easy, and so simple.  

What they don't say, and what he doesn't realize, and what I was concerned about with my own press, is that mechanical things don't "just work".  If someone doesn't understand the press, and doesn't know what the parts do, and "how it works", when there is a problem (not if), what to do?

I guess that's enough - I'm getting frustrated just typing this in.  I don't see any "fix".
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/5/2018, 3:16 pm

New copy of the above photo, after cleaning dies.  The re-sizer die still looked funny, but apparently it is just reflections playing tricks on me.  I took a close-up of just that one die:


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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by Jack H on 5/5/2018, 6:19 pm

I think all presses can have a case to hit at the bottom of dies when using dies with square edge die opening.  Slop in the shell holder or case rim can add to the tolerance stack.  Misaligned shellplate too.  and maybe too much bell.
Dillon seat and crimp dies and other brands have a tapered entry at the bottom.  You have to use those or deal with the hitting.  I like take apart and clean Dillon dies for lead bullets.  I use Redding or RCBS for jacketed.
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/5/2018, 6:43 pm

Jack H wrote:I think all presses can have a case to hit at the bottom of dies when using dies with square edge die opening.....
I'm slow, but I catch on.  Yep, that's the problem.  I can try to reduce the bell, but it's already minimal, or maybe someone does make a good taper crimp die with the beveled die opening?  At this point in time, I'm only shooting lead bullets, and only for 38 Special (Model 52) and 45 (Salyer).  I'm only using one powder too, Bullseye (but I have a nearly full bottle of Unique that I used long ago - not sure if it's useful for Bullseye, maybe with 45 ?
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/5/2018, 6:58 pm

mikemyers wrote:
Jack H wrote:I think all presses can have a case to hit at the bottom of dies when using dies with square edge die opening.....
I'm slow, but I catch on.  Yep, that's the problem.  I can try to reduce the bell, but it's already minimal, or maybe someone does make a good taper crimp die with the beveled die opening?  At this point in time, I'm only shooting lead bullets, and only for 38 Special (Model 52) and 45 (Salyer).  I'm only using one powder too, Bullseye (but I have a nearly full bottle of Unique that I used long ago - not sure if it's useful for Bullseye, maybe with 45 ?


Calipers to your crimp die what is the opening size as what is the widest belled case that would fit ? Set your belling less than that
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by Jack H on 5/5/2018, 7:28 pm

Just get the Dillons
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/5/2018, 7:35 pm

Jack H wrote:Just get the Dillons

+1 Dillon does are made to be run on progressives presses or so they claim , maybe they are different then other dies ?
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by jglenn21 on 5/5/2018, 8:13 pm

Dillon Dies are the S**t.. very nice dies that are easily cleaned without removing the die body from the press( no loosing your settings)...  a very nice feature that most other dies don't have.
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by mikemyers on 5/5/2018, 8:24 pm

Very interesting reading...
https://www.dillonprecision.com/dillon-crimp-dies_8_4_24483.html

...one more thing I knew nothing about.
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by Jack H on 5/5/2018, 9:21 pm

And when you order separate Dillon Seat and crimp dies, get those special die nuts and their wrench.
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

Post by Wobbley on 5/5/2018, 9:25 pm

mikemyers wrote:
Jack H wrote:I think all presses can have a case to hit at the bottom of dies when using dies with square edge die opening.....
I'm slow, but I catch on.  Yep, that's the problem.  I can try to reduce the bell, but it's already minimal, or maybe someone does make a good taper crimp die with the beveled die opening?  At this point in time, I'm only shooting lead bullets, and only for 38 Special (Model 52) and 45 (Salyer).  I'm only using one powder too, Bullseye (but I have a nearly full bottle of Unique that I used long ago - not sure if it's useful for Bullseye, maybe with 45 ?

Try 3.5 Unique with 148 HBWC in 38 Special and 4.8 to 5.0 Unique with 200 gr SWC in 45 Auto. These may or may not shoot, but the velocities will be close to the Bullseye Loads you have now.
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Re: Do crimping dies come with an expanded area at the bottom?

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