Show me your best crimps...

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Show me your best crimps...

Postby StoneTower » Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:58 am

Hi,

I finally got my Steelmaster and my RCBS chargemaster. I pumped out 50 3 1/2 Federal reloads last night. I love that RCBS chargemaster. I dispense 50 charges into film canisters (and put the top on) and then assemble the load.

I am not entirely happy with my crimps. The factory Federal crimps are not the prettiest that I have seen either. Maybe it is the thick hulls. I remember picture perfect crimps on AA's that I used to load in the 1980's but that is a different plastic.

I also noticed that the final crimp does not line up exactly with the shell holder on the Steelmaster. I have to pull the shell about 1/32 forward for the crimper to go down over the shell. Is this normal? I think I will make MEC send me another one as I believe that a $200.00 press should be welded and drilled straight.

If anyone has pictures of good quality 6 point crimps that a MEC produced, I would like to see them.

I can't wait to shoot some birds with my new roman candles :mrgreen:

David
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Postby waterfowlhunter » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:37 am

You did not mention if you put in the 6 point starter crimp in place of the 8 point that is usually on the MEC. But guessing that you did use a 6 point starter your crimps should be fine. You have several adjustments to make and they all relate to how long and how full your hulls are. once I got the machine adjusted I cut off a piece of copper tube the length of the hull that I am using will slide into and trim them all to the exact same length. this also helps get that perfect crimp. I also turn the starter crimp to line up with the original crimp as I am running the shell up so that it does not try to make a NEW 6 point crimp. the bushing spins but it does not always line up on it's own and the crimp will look off or you get something like a 5 point or 7 point crimp.

Everything mentioned is my experience with 2 Mec presses but I am sure that there are other things to try also.

Mec presses are Loose and SLOPPY and not a perfect machine but they work and work great for a LONG time. It will pump out 10's of 1000's of rounds just the same as the much more expensive presses.
"A free people ought to be armed" George Washington 1790

‘For those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.’ —Ben Franklin.”
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Postby StoneTower » Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:56 pm

waterfowlhunter.... (1)You say that you use the copper tubing to trim the hulls to the same length? (2)What size copper tubing and what to you trim them with?

I have noticed that the Federal 3 1/2 hulls are not all the exact same length.

(3)Do you load 3 1/2 12G? If so what loads & brands of wads have you had the best luck with?

Finally, I have a SBE 1. (4)What model of Benelli do you shoot? It may save me some time finding the best reloads for my new gun.

Thank you,

David
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MEC 600 jr. Mark V Crimps

Postby countrygent36 » Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:28 pm

These are only 2 3/4" but they came out like the originals. Once I got my settings adjusted right, so do the 3 1/2".
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Postby waterfowlhunter » Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:23 pm

I think the copper tube is 3/4" It measures .814 on the inside and .880 on the outside. Picked it up at Home Depot and used a pipe cutter to cut it to length(you have to ream the inside after cutting as it crimps it a bit). the first one was a bit too long so I had to try again but the piece of pipe was 4' long so I had a bit of extra. I shoot several SBE 1's and I reload "T" shot but it is my own design with only 1-1/8 oz shot at almost 1700fps I will not post it here for fear of someones gun blowing apart and them blaming my data. I get all my components from Ballistic Products. THe federals do very in length that is why I have to trim them. and 6 point crimps are harder to get right than 8 point. I mix and match AA, STS, and federal in 2-3/4" trap loads and never have to make any adjustments with the 8 point crimp and they all look like factory crimps.

I use a cheap razor knife that come 3 to a package and the blade tips break off when they get dull and you use the next spot down the blade.
"A free people ought to be armed" George Washington 1790

‘For those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.’ —Ben Franklin.”
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Postby StoneTower » Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:01 pm

waterfowlhunter...I will cut the pipe with a saw and then use my belt sander to sand it to length and square it up. Could you post a picture of your reloaded 3 1/2 #T crimps? Maybe I am just expecting too much. The factory Federal crimps are not symmetrical and they are convex at the top.

Are you using the overshot cards to help your crimps?

I noticed yesterday that one of my Ballistic Products wads had a chunk broken out of the base (gas seal) when I shot it out over the water. Have you ever seen this? It is the Multi-Metal 3 1/2 wad 1 1/4 shot 45g Steel Powder & 3 (1/8) felt spacers. Another one was crushed more on one side and had a split (half moon) where it joined the fingers of the wad. These are the only two that I could find. I know that my powder charge is accurate as they are trickled with an RCBS chargemaster digital scale/dispenser combo.

Thanks,

David
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Postby waterfowlhunter » Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:29 pm

Sorry, No 3.5" available to get a picture as they are up in the boat. These are 2-3/4" "T" reloads I worked up for my sons gun (beretta Pintail). they work great too as he has taken geese at 70yds easily with these. It really surprised me that he can reliably take geese that far with these reloads. they are made from cut down 3.5" hulls. That means that they start with NO crimp pattern at all this is a completely fresh crimp. the 3.5" look better than these.
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"A free people ought to be armed" George Washington 1790

‘For those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.’ —Ben Franklin.”
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Postby StoneTower » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:13 pm

I talked to MEC today and they had me rise up the crimp starter almost all the way to the top. It dramatically improved the final crimp and its consistency. They said that for 2 3/4" & 3" the pre-crimp should bring opening in the shell down the about the size of a #2 pencil but for 3 1/2" 12G it should just start the crimp and be mostly open.

After Duck season I will see about getting the misaligned final crimp replaced by the factory.

David
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