Crimping with Lee 3 die set

Discussion on reloading the 9x18 and any other cartridge
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Cyndicalist
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Crimping with Lee 3 die set

Post by Cyndicalist » July 11th, 2019, 1:27 am

Hello!

I'm just starting to reload and bought the lee 3 die set with the set/crimp being one die.

Have folks had good results seating and crimping? Should I set it to seat only then get a crimp die? What should I do in the mean time?

Also, anyone have any reloading stuff gathering dust they could give, loan, or sell me?

Thanks comrades,

M
"Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary." - Karl Marx

GuitarmanNick
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Re: Crimping with Lee 3 die set

Post by GuitarmanNick » July 11th, 2019, 9:46 am

I use the Lee 3 die set with good results. I use a light taper crimp that is done in the same step as seating the bullet. Follow the instructions that come with the dies and you should get the results you are seeking. The more of a crimp that you use, the more it will weaken the brass over time. For the longest brass life and best accuracy, I suggest a light tapered crimp. It only needs to be enough to keep the bullet from setting back into the case when chamberring a round.

For consistent results, I would suggest trimming all of your cases to the same length before reloading them. Skipping this step will give longer cases more of a crimp than shorter ones. This will cause inconsistency in the accuracy of each batch. You only need to do this the first time you prepare the cases. After firing, keep you brass sorted by the number of times fired and use that to create batches when reloading. Usually, the case will need to be discarded before needing to be trimmed, again.

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Re: Crimping with Lee 3 die set

Post by Cyndicalist » July 11th, 2019, 5:07 pm

Thanks. That's super helpful. Appreciate it.
"Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary." - Karl Marx

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Re: Crimping with Lee 3 die set

Post by Cyndicalist » Yesterday, 12:52 am

I have a few hundred once fired brass.

What's the best way to get them to the same size? What size do I pick?

I'm about to pick up the Lee makarov case length gage as I already have the cutter, but if you have any advice I'd find it most helpful.

Thanks Nick...for answering all my inane questions. :)
"Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary." - Karl Marx

GuitarmanNick
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Re: Crimping with Lee 3 die set

Post by GuitarmanNick » Yesterday, 8:36 pm

I use the Lee case length gauges and cutters when trimming my brass using a small electric drill. You need to get the 9x18 Makarov gauge. Also be sure to pick up a case reaming tool. I use a Lyman hand tool for reaming case mouths. It comes with pocket cleaning and reaming bits for both small and larger primer pockets, too.

You can also convert once fired 9x19 Luger brass by size it using the 9x18 Makarov sizing die, then trim it to length using the 9x18 Makarov trimmer. It is advisable to mark converted cases with Dykem or something similar. Make sure the 9x19 Luger brass has been fired to insure it has been expanded enough for the conversion. Do not use brass that has already been sized for 9x19! It will be too small in diameter.

For holding the cases, I use an old leather scissors sheath with a piece of bicycle inner tube stuck in the end. I simply insert the case and gently hold it while trimming. If you have a lot of cases to do, padding them will keep your hand from getting all of the vibration. I also use this method when removing crimps from primer pockets. Just put the pocket reamer tool in the drill and each one is done in seconds.

The lee gauges will trim all of your cases to the same length as long as it makes contact with them. You may find some are not long enough to be trimmed. Sorting your brass my headstamp is also a good idea. Most first time fired brass will be long enough to make contact with the cutter and will be trimmed to a preset, uniform length before reloading. Be sure to ream the case mouths just enough to remove the burrs. You want to leave as much material as possible to increase case life.

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