To crimp or not to crimp....

YDX6203

Member
That, is the question.... well one at least.

Reloading 6.5 creedmore for a bolt action with Lee ultimate dies. Got a factory crimp die, should I be using it? As I understand it, it would only be needed for a tube mag lever action? Would it actually be dangerous/cause pressure issues?

Some other questions:
- neck size fire formed cases or full size?
- how much cleaning for for the neck, primer pocket and flash hole? I only bore brush neck, and brasso case exterior before sizing, no tumbling.

All opinions welcome and any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks
 

wcog106

Well-Known Member
Try working a few loads up and test the results out for both. I crimp for 222 and 243 and groups are more consistent uing the crimp die.
 

Klenchblaize

Well-Known Member
That, is the question.... well one at least.

Reloading 6.5 creedmore for a bolt action with Lee ultimate dies. Got a factory crimp die, should I be using it? As I understand it, it would only be needed for a tube mag lever action? Would it actually be dangerous/cause pressure issues?

Some other questions:
- neck size fire formed cases or full size?
- how much cleaning for for the neck, primer pocket and flash hole? I only bore brush neck, and brasso case exterior before sizing, no tumbling.

All opinions welcome and any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks
I'm gonna leave it to Muir to tell you how it is!

K
 

Dr.T.

Well-Known Member
... not to crimp!

It's unlikely to cause pressure issues in and of itself (but work up loads as usual) because there's a maximum amount of neck tension that can ever be exerted by your brass. Saying that, your neck tension will almost certainly be less consistent if you crimp, and you'll work your brass more... neither are ideal.

If you want truly consistent loads, then always full length size. If you apply the right amount of shoulder bump (typically around 2-3 thou) then your bolt will cycle properly too.

In my experience, there's no need to clean the inside of your necks, but it's good to clean the outside, if only to spot weaknesses in your brass. I use 0000 wire wool, but brasso would work. Most folk seem to tumble their brass but, unless your brass gets filthy dirty, this really is a complete waste of time (at least in terms of bullet performance).

For stalking purposes I doubt that you'll see any benefit in cleaning your primer pocket, although running your uniformer in the pocket after each firing only takes a second. As for the flash hole, you can leave this alone... I chamfer the inside of the flash holes on my match brass, but you need only do this the once.

There's a lot more you can do with your brass (and heads) if you have the time and inclination but none of this is particularly relevant to stalking ammo.

Hope this helps!
 

YDX6203

Member
Thanks for the response, some great info there. This is actually for target ammo at 1000+ yards, so the more, the merrier on other case prep tips
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
Just run bushing dies and control your neck tension with the bushing. Get this right and it's not only controllable but very consistent and easily adjustable. Crimping comes from the age when bushing dies didn't exist.

I FL size with new brass and neck size after that. It works the brass less and I get better concentricity with neck sizing than FL sizing. You can't do it if you want to run the same ammunition in two different chambers. I have two 6.5x47 and keep the brass separate.
 

LeftHandGuy

Well-Known Member
Nobody else has mentioned it yet but you say you Brasso your brass. Apparently that’s a bad idea (something to do with ammonia).

As to crimping, I would. And you’re pushing out to 1000 yds, so you ought at least to try it. Then you will know!
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
Nobody else has mentioned it yet but you say you Brasso your brass. Apparently that’s a bad idea (something to do with ammonia.
I’ve been using brasso to aid cleaning my cases for thirty six years. The most recent cases I finally junked lasted 23 reloadings over 13 years. Just ordinary Remington cases, they still looked perfectly fine when I decided to buy new brass and scrapped them. So, just how bad then is brasso/ammonia ? I’d say whoever decided that was the case, needs their lumps feeling! It’s just nonsense.
As to crimping, I would. And you’re pushing out to 1000 yds, so you ought at least to try it.
Then you will know!
Crimping is certainly worth trying, particularly as the FCD is so inexpensive and can yield additional benefits.
All my loads are crimped using the Lee factory crimp dies.
 

Jelen

Well-Known Member
Nobody else has mentioned it yet but you say you Brasso your brass. Apparently that’s a bad idea (something to do with ammonia).

As to crimping, I would. And you’re pushing out to 1000 yds, so you ought at least to try it. Then you will know!
I clean the outside of the neck with Brasso wadding, just a light clean and not too much rubbing or pressure. Wipe it off with a kitchen tissue while still wet.
I only use my brass for a max of 5 firings, but I'm open to any suggestions as to why Brasso might be bad?
 

Dr.T.

Well-Known Member
Have a go with the crimping if it floats your boat, but I can assure you that it will not aid your accuracy at long (or short) range.
 

YDX6203

Member
Ha ha, oh dear, never even thought to check the contents of innocuous old brasso.... 0.25 - 1% ammonia content according to the MSDS.

Anecdotally I haven’t seen any adverse effects and it was recommended to me by a well known old hand bench rester. It’s almost certainly no harm done at that conc and being as it’s wadding and wiped off immediately, but that’s made me paranoid! And I don’t really want it in my chamber either.... think i’ll give 0000 wire wool a try after today’s shoot, see how it fares. I do like a shiny case, it’s part of the fun of reloading!

Thanks again for the responses.
 

YDX6203

Member
Thanks Dr T, you mentioned some other case and head preps that might be helpful? Sorting by weight? Universal trim length? Etc etc
 

Dr.T.

Well-Known Member
Hi YDX6203

At long range, inconsistencies in your ammo (and technique) really start to show up, so anything you can do to make things more consistent will help.

With the brass, this would include length trimming (personally I do this just the once, others do this every time), inside/outside chambering of the case mouth (to avoid scuffing the bullet heads), and the steps set out above. At long range, particularly if using high pressure ammo, then FL sizing is the way to go (I don't know a single person who shoots competitively at long range who only neck sizes; at least with magnum cases).

You can resize your necks using different bushing sizes to adjust neck tension. However, unless you're neck turning (which is another discussion, and arguably pointless in unless you're using a tight chamber) then my view is that neck bushings just push wall irregularities inwards and won't help with consistent neck tension. Expander dies are OK but they're hard on brass, and will cause the necks to stretch... if you can remove the expander from your die and use a separate expander mandrel, then I think this is the way to go (you can buy different size expander mandrels from 21st Century shooting, and perhaps elsewhere). In terms of measured seating force, I've found mandrels to be superior to neck bushings.

I tried weighing cases, sorting them by wall thickness etc. and never found this to have a measurable effect. Interestingly, I've never seen an effect related to case or loaded bullet concentricity (within reason of course) so I've stopped measuring for this. Saying that, you can improve concentricity by seating a head half way, rotating the bullet half way, then resting the rest.

Needless to say that powder charge and seating depth must be consistent. Variations in velocity will be very apparent at 1000 yards. If you can get real world extreme spreads of about 20 fps (tested across more than 3 rounds ) then I think that's fine. You would generally try to weigh charges to the nearest kernel. I've found that primer selection can have a major effect on ES - this was a surprise to me.

If your bullet heads are already tipped, then your sorting options are limited to weight batching and base-to-ogive sorting. You can also sort by bearing surface and OAL, but I never bothered with these. If you're shooting a traditional copper match head, then you can trim/ uniform the meplats and/or re-point the meplats. Personally I have found this to make a big difference in terms of vertical spread.

Depending on the number of firings you can look into case annealing also. If you take the plunge, then I would suggest annealing after every firing... again, to keep things consistent.

I think that's most of it. Watch out for your technique also, as your point of impact can change considerably based on how hard you hold/ load the butt. Don't let your barrel get too hot.

But the killer is the stuff you can't control, predominantly the wind.

Best of luck!
 

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