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Crimping 45ACP?

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Post by josephvarajon 7/10/2022, 10:15 pm

Loading BERRY 45ACP  230GR RN plated bullet and was told to taper crimp. I set my dies to a fine crimp, just a scratch, on the bullet using Remington Cases. When I use Winchester Cases the crimp is very deep and I am concerned that the plating might seperate and give me problems.MY question!! is it necessary to crimp ??  I have used these same bullets before without a crimp and i had no problems chambering and firing. The only thing I noticed that when using Bullseye Powder the gun gets very dirty, does crimp help this ??

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Post by NukeMMC 7/10/2022, 10:26 pm

Bullseye powder is dirty ... but quite consistent. You could go withVV N310, but I would go with a more accurate bullet first. Try a Missouri Hi-tek coated bullet.
As for the crimp, yes a crimp on a coated or plated bullet can help accuracy. I shoot a .465-466" crimp on the Missouri coated bullets I use and they are much more consistent than a more mild crimp.
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Post by Dcforman 7/10/2022, 11:40 pm

With 45, you only need to crimp enough to take out the flare so it feeds. So what you were doing before should work just fine. 

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 7/11/2022, 1:24 pm

If you're shooting bullseye the Berry's bullets are likely not suitable (inaccurate). And in my experience a crimp as deep as ~.465 will pierce the plating.

The copper on these "plated" bullets is closer to copper gilding than copper jacket. Are you loading 230gr for the purpose of as-issued matches? Does Berry's count as FMJ for that purpose? I don't know.

There have been several topics on Berrys on this board. Greg Walloch says in the thread linked below:
"I've tested Berry's plated bullets in accurized .45's and .38's. Frightening results at 50 yards....some groups approaching 12" from guns that regularly shoot 2" with lead. It's the plating, some kind of tumble process that is not consistent in diameter. I grew up working with Gilbert Berry, great guy, it's just that his plated bullets are for plinking, not BE-style shooting."
https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t6911-any-experience-with-berry-s-hollow-base-bullets
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Post by RodJ 7/11/2022, 9:14 pm

For some reason I recall - and would need to double check to confirm - that Remington cases are a bit thinner than Winchester. If my memory is correct, that might explain the deeper crimp on the Win cases vs Rem using the same crimp die setting. Or it could be related to case length.

I taper crimp all 45 acp but on non-jacketed bullets just enough to get rid of the flare. The theory that I learned and believe is that brass will spring back from a crimp to some extent, whereas the lead bullet will not. Hence, any crimp tighter than necessary for functioning risks the bullet being held less firmly. Result, if I’m right, is potentially unburned powder or bullet set back.

Just some thoughts for consideration and potential experience from others to weigh on.

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Post by josephvarajon 7/12/2022, 4:05 pm

Thanks for the info. Setting crimp depth and not sure how deep to go. Should the bullet show marks on it or do i just squeez the bullet to show compression? Trying to get tighter groups at 25 yrds. without any crimp and 4,6 gr Bullseye I get a 71/2" group bench rest !! Any suggestions??

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Post by jglenn21 7/12/2022, 4:56 pm

Increase the crimp to .467 and try it.
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Post by RodJ 7/12/2022, 5:16 pm

Okay Others will chime in but for 45 acp, think of “taper” crimp not as something to hold the bullet in place but rather to take the flare out. Smoothing the flare back to the correct shape / profile. 

Earlier in the reloading process, you deprimed and resized the fired case back to it’s original dimensions. The inside case diameter is now smaller. Then you primed the case, added powder, and flared the case mouth a small amount (either when you added powder or in a separate step). At that point you have a case that is now back to its smaller original unfired dimension except the mouth is flared a bit to allow you to set a new bullet in the mouth and seat the bullet.  If you don’t flare, then the bullet and case inside diameter are so close in size that the case mouth will skim and scrape the bullet. You don’t want that to happen. You want the bullet full diameter because it’s supposed to be a friction fit. 

Some people seat the bullet to its proper depth AND “crimp” (the case mouth) in the same step. Some standard die sets allow this to be done at the same time. Other folks seat the bullet in a separate step - and then crimp
after seating the bullet in the next step. In either case, all you are trying to accomplish with the “case crimp” is to get rid of the flared mouth so that the cartridge will feed. Imagine trying to force that flared mouth past the feed ramp and then into the chamber. No bueno. 

In rifle cartridges, the crimp is (usually - depends on the specific cartridge) a roll crimp - not a taper crimp. The roll crimp actually rolls the flared case mouth over, rolling it over, so the edge of the case mouth points inward and bites into the bullet jacket - usually in a cannelure groove that is already manufactured into the bullet. The roll crimp’s purpose is to help hold the bullet in place against higher recoil forces. 

In the 45 acp, we are relying ONLY on the case resizing to make the case narrower and hold the bullet by FRICTION. So when we “crimp” all we want to do is remove the flared case mouth once the bullet is friction fit (seated) into the case. 

“Crimp” is a terrible word to use in 45 acp land. All you’re doing in taper crimping is smoothing (ironing out) the case mouth flare back to the dimensions that it was AFTER resizing but BEFORE flaring the mouth (remember, the only reason to flare the mouth is so you can set and start the bullet into the case without damage). 

To make sense of all this, take a fired unsized case and set a bullet in the mouth. It should go in easily because the case expanded after firing the bullet. Take out the bullet and try to insert the same case gently into the barrel. It will stick because it’s too big.

Now resize the case and so the same two steps. Unless your bullet is undersized it won’t go in without scraping the case mouth.  Don’t force it in, just prove that to yourself. Then take the sized case and watch it plop right into your barrel.

Finally flare the case and try to plop it in the barrel. It won’t go, no way Jose. Then seat the bullet but don’t crimp. Still won’t go into the barrel. Finally taper crimp - iron out - the flared case mouth. The fresh dummy cartridge should drop right into your barrel. 

All this should be true if your bullet is normal, barrel chamber is normal, and case is properly sized and crimped. 

Hope that helps. 

PS seating depth depends on the bullet style and your magazine and gun. A whole other topic.

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Post by RodJ 7/12/2022, 5:22 pm

jglenn21 wrote:Increase the crimp to .467 and try it.

My description of just smoothing the flare out of the case mouth was a little simplistic. Per jglenn, try slightly more crimp and see if that helps. Too much crimp is usually not good for lead or plated bullets - smooshes the lead but the brass has a bit of spring. 

Anyway, 4.7 gr Bullseye is a lot of powder for a 230 grain plated bullet. Maybe max. What data are you using?  I’d start a lot lower.

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Post by Al 7/13/2022, 12:17 pm

RodJ wrote:
jglenn21 wrote:Increase the crimp to .467 and try it.

My description of just smoothing the flare out of the case mouth was a little simplistic. Per jglenn, try slightly more crimp and see if that helps. Too much crimp is usually not good for lead or plated bullets - smooshes the lead but the brass has a bit of spring. 

Anyway, 4.7 gr Bullseye is a lot of powder for a 230 grain plated bullet. Maybe max. What data are you using?  I’d start a lot lower.
Since you're posting on the BE List, I'm assuming these loads are for shooting Bullseye (Precision Pistol) and my suggestions are based on this discipline.

As was mentioned, Berry's are a plinking bullet, not suitable for our purposes. I've used around 100,000 of my own cast bullets including H&G 130's, H&G 68's (FB & BB), Lyman 460's as well as Brazos, Zero, Missouri, Western Nevada, Lazercast, aong with a few others before I started casting my own. My favorite from an accuracy standpoint, at this time, is the Zero 200 swaged SWC. 25 yard results using Rem or TZZ brass hover around 3/4" or less for 10 shot groups. But NOT until I took the crimp down to .462. If I was using Federal or Winchester brass, .465 would most likely have been the choice (they run about .001" thicker than Rem or TZZ).

4.7 BE is very hot for BE. Try dropping to 3.8, 4.0, or 4.2 with a tighter crimp and a good bullet and your results should improve.

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Post by RodJ 7/13/2022, 1:19 pm

Al, This is interesting and helpful.  

What die are you using to get a crimp that tight? I use a Lee factory crimp die and it seems to have a limit as to how much crimp it will offer.

Are you finding that the “brass springing back” is a myth or is it that .462/.465 isn’t too much to cause a problem?  Something different?

 And finally, does the die you use provide a uniform crimp regardless of case length, or do you sort and cull?

Sorry for all the questions, but I’d like to learn more.
Thanks!

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Post by DA/SA 7/13/2022, 1:50 pm

I've not had any issues crimping to .463" using a Lee FCD. What you need to pay attention to is bullet swaging from the die. The size tolerance on the .45 FCD is .4705" to .473", which is why people either love them or hate them. If you have one on the min. side it going to swage the projectile undersize and cause accuracy issues.

I bought one and it was at the min side of the spec and sent it back and Lee re-sized it to the max size for me and it has no swaging effect on the projectile if I pull and measure the projectile. When I first got it it would swage the projectile down .0015", which sucked!

The other thing about crimp that I found was that .45 case length isn't as big an issue as it appears to be on the internet. I loaded up a bunch of LSWC using Winchester range brass of various firings. I grabbed a handful and looked at them on an Optical Comparator and the crimp only varied by tenths due to the minor crimp angle. If you are using calipers to measure crimp, your measurement error most likely exceeds the crimp variation.

Just keep in mind that when thinking about things like crimp variation, 90% of the time the biggest problem with your shooting is your shooting, not what your shooting! Smile

Just my experience. YMMV!
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Post by Al 7/13/2022, 9:34 pm

RodJ wrote:Al, This is interesting and helpful.  

What die are you using to get a crimp that tight? I use a Lee factory crimp die and it seems to have a limit as to how much crimp it will offer.

Are you finding that the “brass springing back” is a myth or is it that .462/.465 isn’t too much to cause a problem?  Something different?

 And finally, does the die you use provide a uniform crimp regardless of case length, or do you sort and cull?

Sorry for all the questions, but I’d like to learn more.
Thanks!
No problem. It's a Hornady taper crimp die. When I first started loading 45's for BE I tried, and failed miserably to use a roll crimp. Lots of failures to chamber and resulting alibis until an experienced BE reloader took pity on me & told me about using a taper crimp. Up to that point all the handguns I loaded for were revolvers and roll crimps worked just fine.

I just checked several of the oldest ones. Some with PMC brass (+- 10 yrs H&G 68 still @.468) and Remington brass with Zero 200's about 2 yrs old, still @ .462). So from my experience, I'd say no. Springback doesn't seem to be an issue. I've never had any feeding issue with a lot of crimp. Only when I used too little.

I've not experimented with varying lengths as I've sorted my brass within .005" lots. But it's an idea I'll give a try. I'll play with that idea later. Right now it's prairie dogging time & I've got a new 243 AI that needs attention. Got a confirmed one @ 509 yesterday. But the wind wasn't cooperating with anything longer.
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Post by Jack H 7/14/2022, 12:30 am

My coach and mentor in the early 70s said to crimp so you can't push the head down into the case.  Sounds old school but
may be old wisdom.
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Post by RodJ 7/14/2022, 3:56 am

Al, thanks - I will break out a Hornady die set and try the crimp die and play around with it. Very helpful to read your experiences and thoughts. I also went back through a huge string of 45 acp loading threads and am embarrassed that I did not do that first.

Jack - I now recall having read the “push the bullet test” and it made sense. But I keep coming back to the thought that if the brass is sized properly and the bullet diameter is correct, then absent the brass being thin, the friction fit should be mostly sufficient. Which reminds me that it was Remington brass where I had an issue with the bullet moving under modest pressure. Maybe a combo of a “loose” sizing die and thinner walled brass by Remington.

Anyway interesting stuff when I can’t practice - which to someone’s point really is better time spent.

Gracias

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Post by james r chapman 7/14/2022, 12:24 pm

R-P brass is indeed thinner and grips less.
Your assumption is correct for jacketed (not plated!) bullets.
Case tension holds the bullet.
Not so well with lead whether soft or plated.
Crimp till you can’t change OAL by pushing your weight against a solid surface.
Your targets will thank you.
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Post by RodJ 7/15/2022, 12:04 am

james r chapman wrote:R-P brass is indeed thinner and grips less.
Your assumption is correct for jacketed (not plated!) bullets.
Case tension holds the bullet.
Not so well with lead whether soft or plated.
Crimp till you can’t change OAL by pushing your weight against a solid surface.
Your targets will thank you.
Brilliant inductive reasoning, Dr. Holmes!  It was Montana Gold 230 grain complete metal jacket RN bullets where I had the bullets pushing in. 

Onward to my secret test laboratory! (pronounced “laBORitree”, with an English accent)

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Post by Rockzilla 7/30/2022, 4:48 pm

Taper crimp dies here, ole CH Tool & Die (CH4D now) and Mighty Armory
plus the Mighty Armory TNT sizer dies for pistol

-Rock

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