Lee Collet Crimp Die when and why it works best ...

Lee Collet Crimp Die

      Normally I don't like to crimp rifle cases.   If your neck tension is correct there's rarely a need to crimp rifle calibers.   However, there are exceptions to almost everything.   Some rifle calibers (like the 30-30 Win. and the .458 Win. Mag.) have very thin brass, and they usually perform better with a firm crimp.   I like to crimp inside (near the front of edge) of the cantilure.   However, you need to be careful when using a heavy roll crimp, because it can easily buckle these cases between the neck and the shoulder.   The thinner brass of the 30-30 also has a bit less bullet tension compared to other calibers - especially after a few firings when the thin case necks become harder.

      For pistol cases like the .45 ACP, 9mm or .40 S&W I prefer to use a conventional taper crimp die in a separate operation, after seating the bullet.   Whenever I reload for a revolver I like to use a uniform roll crimp.   Just don't over-do it, because some calibers with thin cases (like the .38 Special) will buckle above the web.   That's a common cause for handloads to not chamber.   This is the perfect application to use a Wilson Case Gauge, because with pistol calibers - they CAN check case width.

      The Lee Collet Crimp Die doesn't put any downward force on the case, and it avoids deforming weak case necks.   That's why I prefer to use this die for crimping.   This particular die also provides a very good looking and functional crimp.

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