Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Establishing the correct column height first before adjusting anything else is of primary importance. I've found that anywhere between 1/4" to 5/16" of hull mouth above the top of the shot column is about right for starters. This much seems to work very well for me just about all the time. If your column height depth is more than this amount, then a different wad or some type of filler will be necessary. Just how it is.
For filler, I always use nitro cards in the bottom of the wad cup and under the shot, because they always provide a flat uniform base to support the shot column, and they also allow the crimp folds to properly nestle into the shot column when the crimp is finally formed. It is the shot column which evenly opens the crimp folds when the round is fired. This is how it should be for the best results. Over shot card wads are necessary only for rolled crimps. They do not help folded crimps form up or perform as they should, so why go there.
The next step is to do exactly what DC recommends. Adjust your crimp starter down enough to incorporate enough of the hull mouth into the crimp folds so they meet in the middle w/o jamming together too much when the final crimp is formed.
Next, adjust the crimp station cam and center post to get about 0.055" to 0.060" crimp depth and w/ a nicely defined raised edge around the crimp. It is this raised edge which actually locks the crimp folds in place.
The last step is to fine tune the settings of your crimp starter and crimp station to get the best formed crimp you can. Go easy and tweek the settings a bit at a time. Only trial and error will get you there. So be patient, go slow, and you will get where you want to go sure enough. 16GG.
Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Location: Twin Cities, MN
I've loaded a variety of powders into Herter's/Cheddite, Federal, Fiocchi and Rio hulls for 7/8 oz loads using DR-16 wads. These loads have chronographed from 1,100 to 1,375 fps, so varying amounts of powder. They've all crimped well with no dishing and have been very consistent. I've also loaded quite a few 3/4 oz loads in Cheddite and Federal hulls. As Dogchaser stated, these are slightly dished, but perform exceedingly well. These have been loaded on a Sizemaster and a 9000. It can take a little playing around with your machine, but there is no reason to resort to cardboard or breakfast cereals for these loads. I also ream out my MEC bars so they drop the correct amount of shot. A factory bar will throw between 1/16th and 1/8th ounce light and that makes a big difference in stack height.
What crimp depth are the factory herter's, I tried to get about the same depth on my reloads but I have not measured them. They look to be a tad deeper than the ones in DC37's pics. Can someone give me quick start guide to posting pics to a thread on here?
Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Location: Tappahannock, Virginia
Upload your pics to a hosting site like imjur then go to the page for that pic. Right click on the picture itself and select save image location. Then in your post click the "Img" button above the text box while your posting. Paste the image location in, and then click the img button again. Preview the post to see if it works.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
I crimp most hulls to .060" - .065". Never less than .060". I have measured some Federal stuff at .070" and I typically crimp all 12 gauge Gold Medals and Top Guns to .070".
The ones in the pictures are .060" deep.
The Federal poly formed hulls have somewhat thicker and more pliable plastic walls, and they aren't skived all that well. The plastic tubing used to make them seems to vary quite a bit in how pliable it is. Deeper crimps do keep them closed pretty well but not always. I've had to crimp some of them damn near 0.80" deep to keep them locked closed. This seems to be especially true w/ the 16 and 20 gauge hulls. Any less and they slowly sneak open over a week or so. I've also had my share of problems getting the crimp folds to form up well. The folds are less defined, and don't always produce a nice tight crimp regardless of the depth. I have found that stiffer, more resistant wads help some.
The gold Medal hulls I've reloaded in the past are one piece molded/compression formed hulls similar to Remington Premiers and have less pliable plastic hull walls which are nicely skived. Like the Premiers, the GMs are designed for target shooting/reloading and are very easy to crimp in my experience.
So I was working on my crimp settings for the 7/8 oz. load last night and discovered that if I stopped the final crimp downstroke anout 1/4" from bottoming out the handle, it resulted in a near perfect crimp. I put a piece of 1/4" steel under the handle to act as a spacer and turned out 3 more that looked identical to the first. Can anyone advise what direction to go from here? The spacer thingy I made really does not slow me down at all. Any potential problems with just using this to work around the dished crimps, they seem to be "locked in" pretty good. I shot 4 of them through chrony and fps were all between 1210 and 1230. (17.0 grains Grn dot and ched 209)
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