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38 special crimp

jaegermisterjaegermister Member Posts: 692 ✭✭✭✭
what is the best procedure/die to obtain a good crimp and bullet grip
on 38 special ammo intended for lever action tubular magazine.
object to prevent bullet depression into case when under stress of
magazine spring full load.


  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,929 ******
    edited November -1
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,357 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Rule 1: Use the right bullet, one with an actual crimp groove, not the common slick sided plated or coated bullet you see so many of these days.

    I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die (collet type) on .44-40 but about any regular roll crimp will work on .38 Special. The Redding Profile Crimp gets good reviews.
  • EhlerDaveEhlerDave Member Posts: 5,158 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I vote for the collet crimp die, you just cant crush the case with that. If that wont get them tight enough I would take a look at just what you are trying.
    Just smile and say nothing, let them guess how much you know.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,250 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I just use my regular roll crimp die that works in my revolvers. Case length is critical in some dies, always best if stuff is uniform.

    Overall length is factor and so in the nose shape. Round nose always work, some rifles do good with SWC's.
  • noyljnoylj Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    After expanding the case, measure the case ID (not the case mouth flare). The case ID should be 0.001-0.002" smaller than bullet diameter. Any larger, and the bullet will expand the case or the case will swage the bullet down.
    Separate seating from crimping.
    Roll crimp: I found that the most accurate roll crimp comes from a Redding Profile Crimp die. This does not increase bullet "grip," but does prevent the bullet from moving much more than half the width of the crimp groove/bullet cannelure.
    Some folks use a factory round to try to duplicate the factory crimp. Possibly the best way for a beginner who has not "feel" for crimp.
  • Smitty500magSmitty500mag Member Posts: 13,609 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Lee Factory Crimp Die is all you need. It's cheap and if you have bullets with no cannelure (crimp groove) it'll crimp it hard enough to make it's own cannelure.

    I use .50AE bullets that have no cannelure for my 500 Mag loads for plinking and if those bullets won't back out of the casing from recoil then you'll never have to worry about a .38 Special bullet backing out.
  • Riomouse911Riomouse911 Member Posts: 3,493 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Even with smooth-sided Berry's plated bullets the Lee will put a bit of a crimp groove in the bullet itself to hold it in place. Don't crush it into place, you'll wrinkle cases if you push a roll crimp too hard, and you will work harden the case mouths very fast if they are belled and crimped excessively.
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