I have never felt the need to crimp a bullet with a compression load except for use in a tube magazine. With the unavailability of certain powders I find I may have to use a different powder load that is not compressed. My question to those who have more experience in this area, would a crimp for a non compression load be beneficial?
Are we talking varmint rigs, medium bore big game rounds or just generally all reloading? I would bury in the lands on a varmint to give the extra resistance and increase burn, on a hunting rig I would crimp, and for someone that isn't as involved in reloading as others crimp them all and stay out of the lands to avoid headaches. Just from my experiences with reloading my own and sharing the experience with less knowledgable friends. YMMV
In this instance the load is for a .223 and Varget is not available at the moment. I do have some unused powders that I experimented with the .223 in the past before settling on Varget. I also have a canneluring tool and an unopened box with a crimping die that I just never had the need to use before. I guess now is as a good a time as any to start some new testing.
Back in the day when jack-rabbit numbers were high I purchased the Ruger .223 for that purpose. Then for some reason their numbers crashed and my .223 was stored in my cabinet. Now that the numbers are starting to make a comeback it’s time to get reacquainted with my .223 and hopefully enjoy one more jack-rabbit dinner before my time is up.
I shoot a .223 Wylde in competition quite a lot lately. I apply a light crimp to my loads and they are not compressed regardless of whether I am shooting RL15, H4895, or BL-C(2). Depending on bullet and powder my precision is between .2MOA (69gr SMK) and 1.5MOA (77gr Nosler CC). My best ES (10fps) and SD (5fps) is with a Hornady 75gr HPBT and RL15 with precision of .5MOA to 300yds and 1MOA to 600yds.
I do not shoot cannelured bullets. I use a Lee Factory Crimp die (my favorite despite the fact I use only Redding or Forster for everything else) to apply a light crimp using regular bullets.
Just so happens my crimping die for my .223 is from Lee. I still have a respectable number of Varget loads and will try a crimp without the cannelure. Later I still would like to try a crimp with a light cannelure as I can regulate the depth of the cannelure. Even if it doesn’t make a difference it will be an answered mystery for me.
Hey a warm fuzzy feeling is good. The .223 is a casing that has a shorter neck that I don’t care for but she can shoot .3” at 100yds with no crimping and compressed powder load. If crimping a load reduces that number then I would probably experience a Hot Flash feeling. At my age I don’t know if that would be beneficial or detrimental but I’m game to find out.
Yes she’s a deadly little thing but took some work to get her there. She loves military brass for some reason. Flash hole is deburred and slightly chamfered. Case necks are turned for uniformity. 55gr Nosler sitting on top of a compressed load of Varget and situated .200” from contacting the bore land because of free-bore. Rifle is bedded with trigger set at 2.5-3lbs.
When she barks anything on the receiving end is in trouble.
Here’s a picture of her and at the bottom right is the old registration card but registration system has now been abolished because it was useless.
I always liked the looks of the Rugers and their stock design but had heard they generally were not quite as accurate as say the Rems. Yours sure disproves that although I realize you helped yours along. Very nice looking and shooting rifle you have there. Don't let it get away, I also like that you get those small groups out of a woood stock.
I think I'm going against popular opinion here, but my experience seems different from what I'm reading. I have used the Lee factory crimping dies for 7MM-08, 30-30 Win (single shot pistol), 270 WSM and 300 Win Mag. I no longer use the Lee on any of them.
What I found is that the Lee crimper does help produce a more uniform muzzle velocity and completely eliminates "pulling" of the bullets in the magazine from recoil; the deal breaker for me, though, is that the Lee results in a larger average group size on all my firearms, compared to using the Redding Competition dies with no crimp at all.
With the 7MM-08 and 270 WSM I am able to eliminate recoil bullet pulling by using a smaller neck bushing; the 300 Win Mag is such a weak-necked case that I have either to let the bullets pull or load it single shot.
The fine line here is with the neck bushings; you really have to experiment with them in .001" differences. It's very likely you can eliminate pulling but open the group size by squeezing the brass just a little too much.
You aren't against popular opinion, you are just talking about a different application. I only crimp in AR's and Lever-Guns; currently one each, .223 Wylde and .30-30 Ackley Improved. That is also the only time I use Lee dies. I have found that crimping the .223 Wylde is not absolutely necessary but I don't lose any precision doing it.
For everything else I use Redding or Forster bushing neck-sizing dies and Competition Micrometer Seaters (vice Lee die sets) because they allow me to adjust neck tension to where it is just enough that bullet inertia doesn't overcome neck tension and I maintain good precision through concentric ammo. I don't shoot anything over a 7mmRM/.280IMP 40° anymore though and 168-175gr bullets stay put nicely. I had a custom fly-weight 300Wby Mag and a .350Rem Mag, both loaded to the gills, neither of which required a crimp when properly sized.
Again thanks for responding and sharing your experience in this area. Years ago when I first developed the initial load for my pet .223 with Varget I decided not to tamper with this load. Now that I may forced to use a substitute powder certain doubts have surfaced concerning the neck tension capability because the bullet no longer is supported from a compressed load.
What stands out from shared experience with crimping is the mention of the degree of crimping. Have not given this much thought before but will now pay attention when I try some crimping.
Hopefully a source of Varget appears again but either way I definitely want to take my .223 out and rekindle an affair to hunt. She’s sat long enough in a cabinet and I now want to hear her healthy bark again for an awaiting purpose.
Feel little embarrassed as I need to make a correction to a previous statement. The bullet is actually seated .200” from lands because it has a free bore. My COL is not the recommended 2.200” but 2.265”. Got to quit relying on my memory and double check my notes. Sorry for any confusion this may have generated.
I do have a routine of reading equipment instructions and was surprised that the Lee Crimping die does not require a cannelure as it will make its own impression in the bullet that will act as a cannelure. This also says to me that degree/strength of crimp should play a role for accuracy. For me that is something new learned.
Yeah, start light and work up but like I said, I do not NEED to crimp my .223 ammo based on having tried it but a light crimp from the Lee die did not hurt precision so I kept it. My gun also shoots best at 2.265 COAL which coincendentally is about as long as my P-Mags will handle.
In preparation for a range visit in the near future I only did 5-bullets with a light crimp to do a comparison. My trap door magazine will also only handle COL of 2.265” and work smoothly for loading.
Once some initial shooting at the range is done it will be time also to introduce a shooting stick. Just don’t have the steadiness I once had and a shooting stick should improve the odds again. Getting older sucks.