Crimping Nosler .223 bullets

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by trophyhusband, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. trophyhusband

    trophyhusband Well-Known Member

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    I'm reloading .223 for the first time and came across something confusing. I'm loading Nosler 60 gr ballistic tip bullets. The Nosler Reloading Guide says on page 109 "If you are loading for semi-auto and find that crimping the bullet is necessary, we recommend using a taper crimp since there is no crimping groove on any of our .22 caliber products." (Emphasis mine.) The thing is, the Nosler bullets I have DO have a cannelure. Is this a mis-statement in their manual (printed Feb 2013), or am I missing something?
     
  2. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I don't load Noslers, never have but here's my take on 223's because I load a BUNCH. 4 of our group have either bolt guns or semi-auto's chambered 223 and I treat all the reloads the same.

    I load Hornady 55 grain spire point boat tails that have a cannelure and I also load some Sierra's that dont but I crimp everything anyway.

    However, I use a specific caliber crimp die that Lee makes. You can set the cripm pressure for a cannulered pill or a non cannulered pill, your choice.

    The crimp is designed to keep the pill from retarding into the case when the rifle cycles (in the case of a gas blowback) but I like to crimp them because a pocketfull of cartridges jouncing around can move the pills as well.

    But then, I crimp my 308's and my 338's as well.

    Been doing that for a long time now.

    Most factory loads are crimped (if you look close at the neck.

    That probably is a non answer to your question but with a Lee specific caliber crimp die, it's very easy to crimp a cannulered pill or a non-cannulered pill.
     

  3. trophyhusband

    trophyhusband Well-Known Member

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    That's far from a non answer. I'm a novice reloader and this is the first time I've dealt with crimping. I'm trying to get an understanding of the how's and why's of it.

    I have a Lee factory crimp die, is that the die you're referring to?
     
  4. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    As a general rule, rifle and semi-auto pistols can be taper crimped, and revolvers can be roll-crimped (there is typically a channel in the bullet to allow roll-crimping).

    The cannelure on the 60gr NBT should help displace a tiny bit of material to make your taper crimp more robust, but you definitely don't need to really squish the case neck on there - a "normal" taper crimp is fine. As Flip said, you can taper crimp bullets without a cannelure as well.

    I'm not sure if what you read in the Nosler manual is a matter of semantics or if it is an error, but regardless it shouldn't effect what you do - load 'em up and if you feel the need crimp them and you will be fine.

    Your lee factory crimp die should do the job nicely.
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    No. I don't use Lee dies for bottleneck cartridges but yours will work fine. I use a Lee specific caliber crimp die that just crimps and nothing else. I use RCBS or Redding or Wilson die sets.

    At my age a and arthritic fingers, it's hard for me to seat a pill for loading with the pill on the underside of the die (conventional bullet seating) so I like the RCBS front load seater dies because you 'drop in' the pill in the front of the die and seat it. The RCBS and the Redding both have micrometer seater plugs that set bullet depth consistently and repeatedly and the Wilsons can be used without a press at all. Handy for range loads, similar to the Lee Classic Loader but much more accurate in sizing and seating.

    Everyone is/was a novice at one thime and a lot of the information in reloading manuals, especially the information written in the front chapters, tends to 'beat the drum' for that particular company, when in fact, there is little difference between manufacturers and procedures..... Which is also why I have numerous reloading manuals and compare loads across all of them.

    The crimp operation (depth/severity of crimp) is entirely dependent on you and how you set the press/die for crimp so it will behoove you 'practice' getting the desired crimp depth/severity.

    I tend to use bullet specific manufacturers loading manuals, like Sierra or Joyce Hornady or Speer, Nosler or Berger when loading their specialty pills. They all have professional, paid, on staff ballisticians (I'd love to have one of those jobs) that do nothing but test the company's bullets in load combinations to find the best mix for publishing.
     
  6. REDHEAD

    REDHEAD Well-Known Member

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    Crimping seems puzzling to me. Had alot of bad experience with crimping .40 SW, blewup 3 pistols. Know I don,'t crimp at all. I mite suggest you color or smoke a reload and start with just a kiss. If your denting or crushing the bullet - is too much. My $ .02 worth. Go slow , good luck.
     
  7. trophyhusband

    trophyhusband Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression that a "taper crimp" and a "factory crimp" are a little different. Is that the case or are they the same thing?
     
  8. trophyhusband

    trophyhusband Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100%. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to do, I just want to fully understand what I'm doing and why before I do it.
     
  9. trophyhusband

    trophyhusband Well-Known Member

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    What's the difference between the "factory crimp die" and the "specific caliber crimp die"? From my understanding, I can use the seating die to also roll crimp at the same time OR I can do the crimping operation in a separate step with the factory crimp die which only crimps. Sorry if I sound like a dummy here, I'm just trying to learn.

    This raises a big question. How do I know how much crimp I want? My feeling is that the amount of crimp isn't as critical as the consistency of the crimp from round to round.
     
  10. trophyhusband

    trophyhusband Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity, were they Glocks and if so, what generation? Also, what bullet and load were you shooting?
     
  11. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    Best I can tell, they are the same concept (at least relative to a roll crimp). They are tapered to press the very to of the case neck tighter into the bullet, without turning the neck ends inward.

    Factory Crimp Die - Lee Precision
     
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    You obviously did something wrong because you must bellmouth a straight wall case to insert the pill and then crimp the pill in the case.

    Overcrimping a straightwall case can cause case failure because it compromises the case wall from too much flex.
     
  13. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    Did you by chance buy overruns or blems?? If so they are often destined for a factory but they make a bit more than they need.... The extra after culling unusable bullets is sold off at a discount. I suspect that is how you got cannelured nosler bt's. I have gotten some cannelured 338 cal ab's as blems.

    The cannelure really makes no difference as to bullet performence if you don't need it. Just leave it be. If you need a mild crimp on a 22 for an auto, either use a cannelured bullet and crimp into it (roll crimp) or use either a taper crimp or lee factory crimp die to put a bit of crimp on it. Make sure your brass is exactly the same length if you crimp, as varying length will affect bullet pull a lot more than uncrimped ammo. Also, if you roll crimp you can run into case damage and feeding issues on any brass that is longer than the brass you use to set the crimp.
     
  14. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    How the heck do you wait until the third pistol to change your reloading tactics?? I'd have crapped myself on the first one and asked for help straightening things out with a more experienced reloader. Of course you need to taper crimp for an auto loading pistol, otherwise you will have feeding issues.

    Take your time and work up your loads. They say to do it for a reason. There is another issue with high pressure low capacity cases I don't doubt you encountered; you need to stay close to recommended oals. in data (especially in the 9 luger and 40 smith) as loading short will drastically up pressure because your initial case volume is lower. Loading long will cause feeding hangups in many pistols. Loading to short coupled with over-crimping you could easily be running close to twice intended pressures. Add to that the 40 smith having a partially unsupported chamber, and you've got a genuinely dangerous situation.
    It addition primer changes in pistols can be rather dramatic to pressure changes; as an example the winchester small pistol mag. primer is much hotter than most other small pistol primers. A haphazard substitution of that primer can cause high pressures on its own. I've been there; popped a cyllinder full of primers on a 357; won't go there again, even with a mild load before the switch it was trouble. I would use the primer type specifiad in the loading data for most pistol loads unless I was sure that the substitute is very close to the other primer. In large pistol the differences are far less dramatic that small, but prudence is still best.