AR15.Com Archives
 Crimping and cannelure help
freightdog  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 9:40:51 AM
I'm reloading 223's with a Dillon 550B.... I use a very light taper crimp on Hornady 55grain FMJ-BT's with the cannelure, Dillon dies... I just noticed that while the bullet is snug with VERY light pressure I can put a little more pressure on it, not much, and actually push the bullet in to the lip of the cannelure, it's not far to that lip, i can then pull it back out to where it was... i also found out I can turn the bullet on the cannelure.... the only way i can stop that from happening is to crimp a lot but i think that is overworking the brass... is this normal??? I called Dillon and the tech said that was perfectly normal for it to be a little loose on the cannelure but i'm wondering if that is really normal... if i use a lot of pressure i can push the bullet in but still that is just with my finger... I can't move factory ammo on the cannelure... Thoughts???


abpt1  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 9:42:16 AM
A little more crimp on the CL it should be snug
DirtyDrew  [Member]
5/19/2009 9:57:15 AM
Something is causing you to not have enough neck tension. That alone should hold the bullet very firm without the actual need for a crimp. You mentioned that you are using a light crimp. Are you sure about that? you can overcrimp and buckle the case causing you to lose neck tension. I would measure your expander and the mouth of a sized case. You should have a few thousandths of a difference between a .224 bullet and the inside diameter of the case neck. You are using .224 bullets correct?
freightdog  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 10:59:12 AM
They are snug going in, yes i'm using .224 bullets.... if i want to pull one back out it requires 2 or 3 good whacks with a bullet puller.... previous I was seating the bullets to 2.20 which cause the cannelure to be below the neck and not show, I was told to make sure part of the cannelure was showing as i have plenty of room before reaching maximum OAL so that's what I started doing.... when i had the cannelure below the neck they were nice and tight with the crimp and wouldn't budge.... then i was told i was crimping too tight and would wear out my brass quickly.... it's confusing.... I will measure the neck tonight but i believe when did that before they were in spec.... my gut reaction is to crimp even harder but i don't want to shorten the life of the brass or cause excessive pressures.....
DirtyDrew  [Member]
5/19/2009 11:39:46 AM
You shouldnt need to crimp anymore. I've shot thousands without a crimp at all. I seat my Hornady's to 2.23 which is about mid cannelure.
freightdog  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 1:25:37 PM
Originally Posted By DirtyDrew:
You shouldnt need to crimp anymore. I've shot thousands without a crimp at all. I seat my Hornady's to 2.23 which is about mid cannelure.


Can you check one of yours to see if with some pressure you can either move it or turn the bullet on the cannelure????
DirtyDrew  [Member]
5/19/2009 1:35:53 PM
Sure. I get no movement at all. It something that I check quite often actually. What kind of crimp are you using? Try backing the sizing die way out and screwing the seater plug in to get the same OAL so that you do no crimp. Do you still have the same result?
JesseCJC  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 8:21:39 PM
I don't mean to hijack but I saw no need to make another thread. I have a similar problem with using hornady dies and bullets with a cannelure. I can properly seat my vmax and barnes vg projectiles but anything with a cannelure does not crimp enough to keep the bullet seated and will push through. Does the die just need to come down a bit then re-adjust the seater? Why would non cannelures seat perfect and not the rest?
ireload  [Member]
5/19/2009 9:06:29 PM

Check and make sure that when you seat your bullet that it's not cocked eye. That can cause an out of round condition for the neck part of the brass and insufficient neck tension.
CCW  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 9:36:22 PM
Originally Posted By DirtyDrew:
Something is causing you to not have enough neck tension. That alone should hold the bullet very firm without the actual need for a crimp. You mentioned that you are using a light crimp. Are you sure about that? you can overcrimp and buckle the case causing you to lose neck tension. I would measure your expander and the mouth of a sized case. You should have a few thousandths of a difference between a .224 bullet and the inside diameter of the case neck. You are using .224 bullets correct?



+1

Somethin ain't right. I think the problem may be the set up with the sizer die. Is the expander ball positioned on the support stem such that the decapping pin tip is about 1/4 below the die mouth? My sizers usually leave a .002 to.003 dia. interference fit with the bullet, which usually results in a residual elastic tension of about .001 on the diameter, after the neck material exceeds yield during insertion of the bullet. The bullet should be snug in the neck with no crimp at all. Maybe you need a new expander part for the die you are using.

Also, use a dry lube for the inside of the neck when sizing such as graphite or mica. After trimming and deburring, brush the inside of the neck to remove residual dry lube, and/or run an acetone or alcohol dipped q-tip around the inside of the neck to remove any residual liquid or wax.

Here is a partial from a mil casing drawing. Note the .2230 on the right is usually more like .221 or .222 after going through the sizer die and neck expander in a full body sizing die.


freightdog  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 11:39:46 PM
I got it figured out guys, you were all kind of pointing me in the right direction... i pulled the expander ball out of the sizer die and measured it, it was .223!!! that's not going to be very tight for a .224 bullet.... i called Dillon and the tech said that was too big and to just take it out as it's not needed especially for reloading for AR's.... removing it made my necks .004" smaller than before, now the bullets are nice and tight even without crimping... now i think i will put a very light crimp on them just to smooth out the lip on the neck... Dillon didn't offer to send a new expander ball, wish I would have asked.... what is the purpose of the expander ball if the factory is going to tell you to take it out as it's not needed???

Lifttech  [Member]
5/20/2009 12:04:25 AM
I believe you want more like .221 -.222. You currently are at .218 if I understand, seems like your bullets are acting as the expander now. If expanders weren't needed then no dies would have them. When you set up a bushing die which doesn't have an expander generally you set them up to size .002 less than the neck dia. of your finished rounds. Seems like a strange comment from Dillon but I would call them back and get clarification. I could be missing something.
freightdog  [Team Member]
5/20/2009 11:18:55 AM
That makes sense Lifttech, thanks.... sleeping on it I was wondering the same thing, why do they put the expander ball there if it's not needed.... I re-measured this morning and found the ball to actually be .2235 so I called Dillon... This tech I talked to is going to send me another expander ball to try, I hope it is smaller...
markm  [Team Member]
5/20/2009 11:59:43 AM
Originally Posted By freightdog:
They are snug going in, yes i'm using .224 bullets.... if i want to pull one back out it requires 2 or 3 good whacks with a bullet puller


Shit! My ammo requires like 30 friggin whacks to get a 55 grain bullet out.

If you brass is trimmed properly or at least in the ball park of being the correct OAL, Hornady bullets will crimp right in the cannalure.
918v  [Member]
5/20/2009 12:13:16 PM
If you got case lube inside the case mouth, whatever case tension you may have is irrelevant.

Start over. Make sure your case necks are completely dry and free of carbon fouling before you seat bullets in them.

Excessive crimp does nothing for bullet retention. It is counterproductive, in fact.
markm  [Team Member]
5/20/2009 12:23:38 PM
Agreed. You shouldn't need much of a crimp. I have my crimp die set very mildly, and I use the hornady bullets.

Powder_Burns  [Member]
5/20/2009 4:00:23 PM
Nice time to make a plug for Lee FCD Dies. =]
Dunno what kind of crimping die you are currently using, but these Lee collet style ones sure are nice..
DirtyDrew  [Member]
5/20/2009 4:07:03 PM
Originally Posted By freightdog:
I got it figured out guys, you were all kind of pointing me in the right direction... i pulled the expander ball out of the sizer die and measured it, it was .223!!! that's not going to be very tight for a .224 bullet.... i called Dillon and the tech said that was too big and to just take it out as it's not needed especially for reloading for AR's.... removing it made my necks .004" smaller than before, now the bullets are nice and tight even without crimping... now i think i will put a very light crimp on them just to smooth out the lip on the neck... Dillon didn't offer to send a new expander ball, wish I would have asked.... what is the purpose of the expander ball if the factory is going to tell you to take it out as it's not needed???



Great that you solved the problem. For the record, I told you to measure the expander in the 3rd post of the thread

freightdog  [Team Member]
5/20/2009 6:04:21 PM
[Great that you solved the problem. For the record, I told you to measure the expander in the 3rd post of the thread

[/quote]

Yes you did and you were 100% correct.... Thanks!!!!

Now to wait and see what size the replacement ball they are sending me is....
mudmanc5  [Member]
5/20/2009 10:59:35 PM
B. S> !!!!!!!!!!!1 Called Dillon today as I am having the same problem and thought I could get a smaller ball also . Spoke to a guy who has been there foe 16 years and he say's .223 is the size the ball is and the brass will spring back some . He stated that the dieneeded to be set properly to allow full neck length sizing . Who is full of shit here ?????
freightdog  [Team Member]
5/21/2009 9:48:13 AM
I agree, Dillon needs to get their techs on the same page.

Tech 1 told me that loose bullets on the cannelure were fine, it was perfectly normal to be able to move and spin them in the cannelure as long as they didn't push into the case.

Tech 2 told me they should not be loose and agreed that the expander ball was the problem but it wasn't needed especially for AR's and to just remove it.

Tech 3 first tried to tell me it was my bullets (Hornady 55 grain FMJBT) but finally agreed to send me a new expander ball.

3 Dillon Tech's, 3 different answers... i'm hoping my expander ball was made too big, perhaps others could measure theirs and report back???? I know when I first got my 550b my shellplate was machined incorrectly and they had to send me a new one so they can mess up. That caused finished rounds to bind up and not eject the 550B after the crimping die.


markm  [Team Member]
5/21/2009 10:00:31 AM
With my expander ball removed, I was getting bullet jacket shavings on station 3 pretty bad. I now use the RCBS neck expander die. It's perfect so far. I have great neck tension and my bullet runout is about .003 on the sample I checked.

freightdog  [Team Member]
5/28/2009 10:52:07 PM
Here's an update on this thread...

While waiting for the new expander ball from Dillon I ran several hundred through my 550b without the ball in.... no problems, no brass shavings when seating the bullet, bullets nice and tight, good temporary fix to bullets that I felt were too loose....

I got the new expander ball from Dillon and it measured .222 which was better than the .2235 one I got with my die.... put the new ball in and my loads are now perfect, nice and tight before crimping, can't budge them like I could with the original expander ball.... then I'm putting a very light crimp on them so I have a nice edge at the top of the neck...