I've been trying to resolve a problem that's bedevilin' me to no end. I have a series of previously fired Cheddite hulls. When I originally loaded these, they were brand new unfired hulls. When I then reload them, at least half of them create some really ugly crimps. A portion of the shell dimples right at the crimp as you can see in the picture.
I believe this is because the hull mouths become somewhat ovular after hitting the ground and bouncing around. It seems to me that the rounder the hull mouth is before reloading, the more perfect the crimp becomes. These ugly rounds load and shoot as well as non-ugly ones (though I have not patterned them to be certain), but I'm worried about potential longevity issues.
Am I barking up the right tree here thinking that the ovular nature of the hull mouth is the root cause of this? Any ideas on how to resolve this?
P.S. The picture seems to indicate that the hulls are not perfectly cylindrical after loading. That is not correct. They are cylindrical, only a portion of the crimp is pushed in and down. I double-checked the crimp station on my Sizemaster and verified nothing was stuck inside the crimp die.
Last edited by Alan_Hicks on Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total
Raise your precrimp up about 1/2 turn and try again. You may need to go more but it's a good start. Might have to lower your punch after that to get a deep enough crimp.
Thanks for the suggestion. My pre-crimp is already as high as it will go on the Sizemaster. That die is held by two nuts, one below and one above the upper plate. I can try removing the lower nut, but that would probably place the pre-crimp too high. I can see about huntin' up some washers to work though. In the meantime, I'm open to any other suggestions.
Spindex or old school metal pre-crimp? I'm guessing Spindex due to the "held by 2 nuts" thing...I get this sometimes (not sure i'm a spindex fan) and usually on the thinner walled hulls. Somewhere back in the search function you'll find a post where someone found that up inside the spindex housing there are some tabs that put a little extra extended crease in the hull wall once in a while that I think is the culprit for my shells that end up looking like yours. The poster ground his off, I didn't do that to mine but when a hull is precrimped and I see the telltale crease extending down a bit I index the hull/shell around 1/6th of a turn and re-strike the precrimp and it usually irons out the extra crease and thus the unsightly crimp.
Best of luck figuring out your crimp issue.
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I've had it happen with Winchester hulls. They shoot fine, I just don't use the Winchester hulls much and don't worry about it enough to change my set up. Maybe 10-20% of whinny hulls will drop a corner like that on my sizemaster.
As putz463 guessed I'm using the spindex pre-crimp as that is what came with my Sizemaster and I have no other options without purchasing other tools. jbusch720 hit the nail on the head. The inside of the pre-crimp spindex die has three long raised edges that run the full length of the die. I suspect these are designed to guide the hull into the pre-crimp die. I believe that one of these on occasion presses too hard against the side of the hull and creases it there. Like him, I switched to the 12 gauge crimp starter and the problem has vanished. The 12 gauge pre-crimp has the same three guides, but being larger than the hull, those guides never touch the sides and thus do not impart a crease.
I highly recommend that anyone who has this same problem consider this solution.
Joined: 01 Dec 2005
My experiences agree to some degree with a lot of what I read here. I really don't like the black plastic MEC Spindex crimp starters -- just not optimally shaped for thin flexy hulls. They work OK in the larger gauges for hulls like AA's and Remingtons of pretty much any type -- hulls that practically crimp themselves no matter what the adjustment situation might be on your MEC. However I occasionally have a little trouble with those black plastic Spindexes in 20 gauge, and then more frequently have trouble with them on 28's and .410s no matter how "good" the hull -- Win AA's for instance. They don't start the crimp flat enough, and the plunger in the cam crimp assembly can catch the fold of a crimp petal now and then. If you move the crimp starter down to close the "started" crimp further you wind up creasing the edge of what should be the rim of the finished crimp, especially where those three locating spines are inside the crimp starter, producing defects similar to those pictured here by the original poster. I much prefer the original metal multi-piece MEC Spindex crimp starters, which I snap up anytime I can find one I need -- don't really need many anymore, but could use another one in .410 as they are the cat's meow for a MEC 9000, so please let me know if you have one you're willing to part with. I also have some of the very ancient sharp-edged non-rotating MEC crimp starters that go back to the '50's and '60's with the MEC 300 and 400. The Ballistic Products brass fixed crimp starter is similar to those, but has a steeper crimp angle, and doesn't work as well as the old MEC fixed starters IMHO. The fixed MEC starters are also threaded on the outside to accept a standard MEC resizing ring for whatever gauge you're loading, which more perfectly centers the crimp start. Both the original metal Spindex and the MEC fixed starters make a flatter crimp start which works better with the final crimp station -- the cam crimp assembly. The original metal Spindexes were also made so you could either let them rotate to find the crimp folds, or fix them. I mark all my crimp starters, plastic or metal, with a little strip of blue masking tape aligned with one of the crimp start edges. I line the shell up with that before using the crimp starter. I do this even with the MEC progressives to make sure I don't ruin a hull now and then with a misaligned crimp start. It takes no time at all in my routine with the 9000's etc -- doesn't slow me down a bit -- put in the next hull, then a new wad, then nudge the shell in the crimp start station into alignment and away you go (for me it's "push the buttons" as I use the electric AutoMate). Using this method, the crimp starter seldom needs to rotate on its own to find the crimp fold -- I do that job for it myself. Loading that way also means I can even use a fixed, non-rotating crimp starter on my 9000's as well as on my single stage 600's and 700's etc. The by-words are "whatever works". You gotta love to fiddle and adapt if you want to load a variety of hulls.
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