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Old 12-16-2008, 07:46 AM
Col Defender Col Defender is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Northwest Missouri
Posts: 58
Crimp for .45 Long Colt??

Good morning!

I'm about to load some 45 LC for the first time ever. I'll be using Hornady 250 grain XTP, probably 2400 powder and, for now, definitely a moderate charge.

But I find no specific instructions on crimping. The bullets have crimping grooves but do I taper crimp, roll crimp, and how much?? I'm using an RCBS
carbide die set and will crimp in the same operation as seating the bullet.

Any advice on crimp specifics??

Thanks in advance

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Old 12-16-2008, 08:33 AM
WESHOOT2 WESHOOT2 is offline
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Do NOT seat and crimp at the same time with the same die. Instead, acquire (nice-speak for "buy") a Redding Profile Crimp Die.

It offers a gentle symmetrical taper, and can be adjusted to end with a firm, very symmetrical 'roll' (how you want that cartridge finished, with a firm 'roll' into its cannelure, both to keep the bullet from moving forward under recoil, and to aid in fuller ignition of the powder before the case releases the bullet).

The Redding die has been tested for many years, aiding both better ballistics and enhancing accuracy.

If you must load before acquiring the Redding die, adjust your seat die to correctly seat FIRST, then readjust your die to eliminate its seating capability, and adjust for a firm 'roll' into the cannelure (examples of a firm crimp can be viewed by opening a box of factory high-performance revolver ammo and checking that).

Hope this helps.
"all my ammo is mostly-retired factory ammo"
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:34 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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I don't load 45Colt, but have loaded quite a bit of other revolver calibers, 38 special, 357 mag, and 44 mag. In every case I used a roll crimp in the bullet crimping cannelure. It's hard to say exactly how much roll crimp, because I never really measured it. But, I'd say it was much more than a "slight" crimp.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:39 AM
tedh tedh is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 338
Mr Defender
I don't reload 45 LC but here is how I reload for revolver.
I normally just do a roll crimp using the seating die.
I know this is Sacrilege but it hasn't seemed to hurt the accuracy of my revolver loads.
The ammount of crimp I put on a bullet depends on a lot of things.
But with mild loads you shouldn't need much crimp at all.
Just enought to roll the case mouth in and allow easy chambering.
Remember the more you size, flair and crimp the mouth the more it wears the brass and the sooner you will get cracks in the mouth of the cartridge.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:51 AM
LHB1 LHB1 is offline
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The .45 Long Colt seater/crimper die should come with roll crimp built in. I have had no problems using combined seater-crimper dies for years in .357 Mag, .44 Mag, and .45 ACP pistol calibers.
Good shooting and be safe.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:58 AM
bigb00mer bigb00mer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I have used lee dies for 45lc for years, adjust die until it just touches the shell holder, back it off 1/4 to 1/2 turn, put an empty case in and run it up until you feel it just start to crimp, you may have to run the die down a 1/16th at a time until you feel it crimp and make sure seater is all the way up so its not hitting case. when you run first round to test crimp, just leave primer and powder out. once you get the depth and crimp you want, keep the dummy and mark it as such, if you ever have to adjust the die again, use the dummy round
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional immaturity." (Sigmund Freud)
I'd rather be judged by 12 , then carried by 6
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:22 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Location: Florence, Alabama, USA
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I never have had any trouble crimping in the seating die for a REVOLVER bullet with proper crimp groove or cannelure. How much? Look at a factory load. An eyeball match to the factory crimp has been good enough for me.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:49 PM
TheGerk TheGerk is offline
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Crimping…Is this an Art? Or more of a science?
I am still trying to figure this one out.

To me the honest answer is it’s both.
There is more than meets the keyboard to me when it comes to crimping; especially big nasty ugly big bore revolver cartridges.

If you are going to load the same 250gr. Hornady XTP bullet, with the same cases….FOREVER.
Than it would be fine to seat and crimp in the same station with your chosen die.
Once set up it will never matter if you have chosen the seat/crimp die that gives you the crimp you are trying to achieve with this one.
“Once setup properly”

BUT…If you will want to be able to load 250gr. XTP’s one-day and 300gr, XTPMAG’s
(Or some other bullet) the next, it would be REAL “Helpful” to seat and crimp in separate stations (dies)

The reason is EVERYTIME you change a bullet and/or case combination you will be resetting the seat FIRST procedure and the crimp SECOND procedure WES’s pointed out so eloquently.

(If you must load before acquiring the Redding die, adjust your seat die to correctly seat FIRST, then readjust your die to eliminate its seating capability, and adjust for a firm 'roll' into the cannelure)

This can bring on all sorts of voodoo, the most important one is, you have “Dialed in” the perfect setup for one combination and now you have to “loose it” to setup for the next combination.
Re-dialing can be time consuming and you may find yourself “hunting” for the previous results when you go back to the previous bullet and case combination.
This is why you want to really consider this practice for “productive” handloading.
In my handloading days past many moons ago, even explicit record keeping was no help in this endeavor with combination settings on seat crimp die setups.

I am getting closer to answering your key question regarding “how much is enough”

Here is where the Art verses Science thing comes into play (at least for me)
Some basics first.
Your posted load combination should require only a “moderate” to “light heavy” crimp.

You ask “how do I tell”
I do not recommend “looking” at other crimp profiles to determine this.
You are not a factory; you are not using factory machines, powders, components, adhesives or settings.
Visual comparisons can be misleading to say the least.
The short answer is….you “feel it” then you “SEE IT”
Every cartridge is it’s own cartridge, every load is it’s own load.
(If you can remember this you are 90% there)

For example
Do not expect the .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt or the .454 Casull to “crimp” the same.
Or need the same crimp “demands”
These are different animals and they behave differently, in guns and on the press.
The bullets and powders and cases used can be “extremely” different.
The crimp “APPLIED” or NEEDED” can also be as different as to powder case bullet load combination.

This effects “ballistic bullet pull” on certain load combinations, some combinations (bullets weights and types) are more forgiving than others.

With your chosen load combination, after you have set the cartridge up
(Either combined or separate station process)
When you are set to crimp, as you start the crimping process you want to “feel as if” the press handle is “going over” a slight resistance or “hump”
Check for a “visual” roll of the case mouth “into” the cannelure of the bullet.

Usually after the crimp section of the die has touched the rim of the case mouth on a seated bullet between a quarter and a half turn down on the die or crimp adjustment should yield a light to moderate roll crimp. From one half to one full turn or more gets you in the heavy crimp neighborhood
These are estimates, as all setups will vary somewhat

If the case mouth shows some distortion at the mouth of the case you have either to long a case or to much crimp or have not seated to the cannelure properly or…….
Excessive crimping will shorten case life or require you to trim your cases
(Handloader **** still applies here)
Suffice to say that if you are loading the Colt with “moderate” charges of 2400 a slight to moderate “roll” to the case mouth into the cannelure of the thin jacketed 250gr, XTP should be the medicine

Once you have “dialed” in some crimp, if it holds the other bullets in the case after firing in your revolver you have been successful. (Mark the cases in the firing order and review after every shot)
Just remember the rules, when you change powders and bullet weights the journey starts over
Don’t expect a moderate crimp on a 300gr. .45 Colt bullet stoked with H110 to “get by” on the same crimp requirements as with the 2400 powder and the lighter bullets (different animals and ignition properties)

I have enclosed a photo of some of the other revolver cartridges I load for.
They all are there own separate animals in respect to how they perform in the guns and on the press. The crimp requirements are all different
The 500 S&W Magnum for example looks as if it has no crimp.
But it does, with this giant half-inch bullet and it’s uber strong Starline rifle primered case it only requires a heavy “lean” not a roll into the cannelure.
The 460 has a true heavy roll crimp due to the sharper recoil impulse and the case has less surface area than the 500 to grab onto the bullet

One last tip I would provide, set your seating depth so the roll crimp starts at the “top” of the bullets cannelure, this way if you start a string of shooting after every round is fired you can check and see if any movement has occurred quickly per round fired before a bullet looses grip and ties up your revolver

Good Luck

500 S&W Magnum, 460 S&W Magnum, .454 Casull, .44 Magnum

To be proficient with Firearms the endeavor must be applied similarly as in Golf or Boxing, you have to put the Rounds in! - Gerk

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Old 03-02-2017, 06:18 AM
Finco Finco is online now
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 261
Yes , i know this is an ancient thread but need advise .

Can .45 Long Colt ammo be crimped with .45 ACP crimping die using same crimp as with .45 ACP ?

Answer found , when I checked my reloading log .

Yes , you can use .45 ACP die but adjust it for the .45 LC.


Last edited by Finco; 03-02-2017 at 08:30 AM.
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