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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I`m reloading .44mag lead bullets for a SBH. All the imformation I have tells to use a good crimp, whats a good crimp? For right now I use a seater/crimp die (Hornady) I realize if you use slow burning powders you need a stiff crimp. What about using powders like Unique for lite loads or 2400 for middle of the road loads. They talk about too much crimp can deform your bullet, so how much crimp? I don`t have any factory amo to compare the crimp with. (who buys factory amo)  Thanks
Keep our Leaders in Pray  

· Premium Member
3,366 Posts

Good question!  

The .44 mag does require a firm crimp for best performance with the H110/W296 and AA #5 class powders.  My experience shows that a uniform crimp helps loads of just about all velocity levels.

If only using the Hornady seat/crimp die, you are getting a roll crimp into the crimp groove.   Yes, you want it to crimp firmly, but don't overdue a good thing!  If you REALLY cram that case mouth into the crimp groove, using only a roll crimp die, you will also slightly lessen the case grip on the bullet just below the crimp!  As the case mouth is pushed into the crimp groove, and tries to make that 90 degree tuck into the groove, it will concurrently "bend the case away" from the bullet just below the crimp line, thus reducing the friction tension on the bullet.  This can result in a net loss of start pressure when compared to just a gently roll crimp in the bullet crimping groove.

When needing a really firm crimp, Redding Profile Crimp dies accomplish this goal with near perfection, not only giving the traditional roll-type crimp, but also maintaining, and enhancing the case friction fit.  I've never had bullets jump crimp using this die, and have seen marked increases in uniformity of velocities and accuracy in many cases.

I've also heard good reports from the Lee Factory Crimp Die as well for handgun cases... although I've never used them on handgun cartridge applications.

Something to pay particular attention to in loading for these cartridges that require high, uniform start pressures, is the diameter of your case expander ball in the dies.   I've seen some dies where the expander ball was nearly the same size as the bullets intended for use.  I like to use an expander ball at least .003" smaller than the bullets I am intending to use in these straight walled handgun cartridges like the .44's, .45LC and .454 Casull.  It can make a big difference in your load performance.

Hope these ideas help, or at least help you look at options.

God Bless,


· Banned
2,430 Posts
I might add just one thing here...Trim all cases to be the exact length in order that all crimps are uniform. I do use Lee Carbide Dies and the crimp die works great!
Best Trgards from the Hammock....James

· Registered
1,944 Posts
What I reqd some where was to polish down my neck expander a good bit. So that when I expanded the neck for the bullet it flared at the mouth but was still very tight at the base of the bullet. When I seat my bullets there's a very slight reverse bulge where the bullet base is, then I crimp the bullet. It's a two step process seat bullet then crimp.
I never have a bullet move and I always get good ignition.
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