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Dillon 650 38 Special Crimping Issue


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Hello gents..

I took this week off and decided to concentrate on doing a little reloading. After loading 500 rounds of 44 mag, I decided it was time to to a caliber conversion change for the first time..

Everything went very smoothly ( no sideways primers )until I began seating and crimping for the 38 Special. I am using once fire 38 Special brass purchased from a member here and it is all Winchester brass and absolutely beautiful with the exception of a few cases which is to be expected..

My 38 SPC cases measured the following....

38 Special Winchester brass with an OAL case length of 1.145....( the latest Speer manual states 1.155 for OAL case length ). Every one of the Winchester cases measure between the 1.140 and 1.150 value with none of them above that.. First question, is the Speer manual wrong for the OAL of the 38 SPC case?

Second, everything went very smooth until I came upon the seating and crimping.. Initially, I seated the bullet per the Speer manual specs which left a uneasy gap at the rear of the 158 grain LSWC. I decided to adjust until it looked correct and then proceed to crimp the bullet. Well, to my amazement, the crimping die crimped the bullet but it did so at the rear per say and left the front portion of the brass straight.... This isn't really something I can describe but rather show via the following link..

http://www.pbase.com/sawacs/dillon_650_reloading

Check out that link.. I have posted a few photos of the issue I am having.. I think photo labeled as 1 show the problem the best with the shell in the upper right hand side..

Currently, I have halted reloading on the 650 until I can get this issue worked out..

Advice would be most appreciated..

Respectfully,

Shawn USAF

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It may just be the view I'm seeing but those look way over crimped. It looks like you're pushing into the lead and forcing the brass to bulge. Adjust the crimp slowly until it just crimps in. Lead can't take a super crimp like a FMJ. You also don't need a heavy roll crimp like you would on a heavy magnum revolver round. If you are having issues with seating straight, check the seating insert to make it's set for the proper flat nose side. The round side maybe cocking the bullet to the side. Hope this helps.

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Copy all.. I will try that..

I just came from crimping 44 cases so the 38's are probably feeling a little different.... less pressure...

However, it seams like the brass is crimped too far in the rear.. I will try you recommendation and see what happens..

Thanks, Shawn

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Big breath. Relax and start with the basics. There is always a reason for reloading problems. With Dillon equipment that is usually operator related. I screw up all the time. Read posts here on setting a crimp die and reread Dillon's instructions. The 158 LSWC is a widely used bullet. Start with screwing the die down till it just touches the round with the plate up. Back off and turn 1/4 turn. Recheck and repeat. Have the other stations full for consistancy.Make sure all the first few stations are doing their job correctly. Resizing, belling,and seating dies.Even if you think they're OK reset them. Basics! Learning is half the fun. Frustrating but fun.

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I suggest adjusting the crimp die in this manner: put a sized, empty case into station 5, and pull the handle down. Next, using your fingers, screw the crimp doe down until it stops. Lift the handle up a bit, hold it there, and turn the die down an additional 1/2 turn. Pull the handle down again, and snug the die lock ring with the case up in the die.All you need is to barely curl the edge of the case mouth into the crimp groove on a 38 Spl. BTW, the SAAMI specs for 38 Spl case length are 1.155", + .000", -.020". So anything from 1.135-1.155" is acceptable.

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Thanks for all the advice...

I finally solved the problem with the crimping issue but the solution was not what I thought it would be.

After tinkering with the dillon crimping die until I was blue in the face, I decided to grab a 3 die set of lee 38 spc dies just to try the crimping die out.. Well, problem solved:)

When using the dillon die, I would either have too much crimp which left the case mouth standing vertically or not enough crimp..

All the rounds now have a nice little roll crimp and they look great!

http://www.pbase.com/sawacs/dillon_650_reloading

The very first image at the link is the lee crimped 38's..

Other than this little hickup, the 650 is running like a swiss watch!

Cheers,

Shawn

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Also, for ANY roll crimping--buy a Redding Profile Crimp die. It is the best.

It is the die for .38 Wadcutter loads. It is like a taper and a crimp die in one. I tested five different roll crimp dies (including the Dillon) and the Redding was head-and-shoulders above the others. I was getting 1.75-2.25" groups with the other crimp dies. The Redding, not changing any else on my 1050, gave me 0.5-1.25" groups at 25 yds.

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Also, buy a box of factory 158gn lead bullet loads if you can find them. The COL is set at the minimum so factory ammo will function in all properly chambered guns. You will be able to load longer COL. Use a factory round to establish your crimp (screw the crimp plug sown until it meets the case and lock it down. Adjust the die body up and down to get the same roll crimp on your loads since you may have trimmed your cases for consistency--see below).

If you are roll crimping and the bullets have a crimp groove (otherwise, don't roll crimp), then trim all cases to the same length (this can even be below the trim-to-length) so the roll crimp will be the same for all cases. Seat the bullet so the case mouth is just even with the top of the crimp groove in the bullet. Then, roll crimp the cases.

If you are trying to seat and crimp in the same operation, LOTS O' LUCK.

Edited by noylj
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