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Old 06-23-2009, 18:46   #1
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Question Crimping bullets w/out Cannelure for Semi-Auto

I guess I'm asking if a first time reloader should even attempt to use the Lee Factory Crimp on a bulled w/out a cannelure? Will it be ok without the crimp?

I'm loading for my Mini 14 and an AR15. My Hornady 60gr VMax bullets don't have a cannelure. Is it a big enough issue to go buy new bullets or am I blowing it out of proportion?
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:16   #2
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Using the LFCD, I crimp the non-cannelured bullets all the time in 6.8, 223, and 308. YMMV.
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Old 06-25-2009, 14:45   #3
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"I'm asking if a first time reloader should even attempt to use the Lee Factory Crimp on a bulled w/out a cannelure?"

You're probably over-agonizing the crimps. It's really uncommon for crimps to be neccessary even in gas guns, rarely so for bolt guns. I'd say first try without crimping and see if you actually have anything to be concerned about.

If you do decide to crimp, the FCD is perhaps the best tool to do it. BUT, crimp lightly. (The FCD does have a moving part and that seems to confuse some people who have the Tim Taylor talent for resorting to more force as a solution to any mechanical problem!) If you get ham-fisted and overdo it you can damage your bullets and affect accuracy.
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Old 06-25-2009, 18:52   #4
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Crimp lightly and relax (or is it the other way around?), got it. Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2009, 23:15   #5
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Crimping bullets without a cannelure with the Lee Factory Crimp Die is extremely simple and nothing to worry about. Just set it up according to directions and crimp away. My advice is to start with a light to medium crimp. Although many handloader do not crimp and claim it is not necessary and will degrade accuracy, I disagree. Here is an article by Sierra on neck tension and crimping in auto-loaders.


Neck Tension
When we stop to consider the vigorous (read, downright violent) chambering cycle a loaded round endures in a Service Rifle, it becomes pretty clear it suffers abuse that would never happen in a bolt-action. This is simply the nature of the beast. It needs to be dealt with since there is no way around it.
There are two distinctly different forces that need to be considered: those that force the bullet deeper into the case, and those that pull it out of the case. When the round is stripped from the magazine and launched up the feed ramp, any resistance encountered by the bullet risks having it set back deeper into the case. Due to the abrupt stop the cartridge makes when the shoulder slams to a halt against the chamber, inertia dictates that the bullet will continue to move forward. This is exactly the same principle a kinetic bullet puller operates on, and it works within a chamber as well.
To counteract this tendency, the semi-auto shooter is left with basically two options: applying a crimp or increasing neck tension.




I load for several auto-loaders and I use the LFCD on all of them. I have done extensive testing with increased neck tension vs crimping and I can tell you that IME increasing neck tension during the sizing process is a sure way to destroy accuracy. On the other hand, in most of my rifles crimping with the LFCD has Increased accuracy. I have yet to have the LFCD degrade accuracy in my rifles. I have a few rifles that in does nothing as far as accuracy goes, but never degrades it.

Follow the advice of the experts at Sierra and crimp or find a way to increase neck tension and still keep you rounds accurate.

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Old 06-26-2009, 17:04   #6
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I've used the Lee FCD on pistol jhp without grooves w/fine results.
have a first comeing up with 30-30 rounds w/o grooves and as always will follow Lee advice - light touch on the fcd does it.
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Old 06-26-2009, 20:00   #7
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Cool. Thanks for the reassurance. I really do appreciate it.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:42   #8
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I crimped the 40gr Bergers on the first target and the second is W/O Crimp, no cannelure. But this did not effect Hornady's Vmax as they shot great no matter what I did to them. Loaded 1 at a time.
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Old 07-01-2009, 18:23   #9
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I like the VMax pattern.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:58   #10
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If you crimp do NOT over crimp I did some and split the case. Good luck
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Old 09-29-2009, 19:40   #11
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Thanks for the warning
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