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Expand / crimp on 9mm Luger

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by MAXG, May 23, 2014.

  1. MAXG


    Apr 22, 2012
    I've loaded rifle and .45 acp for a while now, but just started loading 9mm Luger with an RCBS 3-die set. I'm using plated bullets without a cannelure. Do I need to use the expander and taper crimp? Maybe I'm just brain-fried, but I do not remember ever running my .45 acp through an expander die. My .45 dies are probably not RCBS so might another manufacturer include the expander in some other die? The RCBS docs make it sound mandatory, and I'm probably over-thinking it, but I feel like I'm missing something here.


  2. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    All 3 die handgun dies have an expander, Dillon uses a special expander/powder thru die. You can get by w/ some jacketed w/ o faring, but lead & pated, you will more likely damage the bullet & case w/o. So yes, you should flare ANY handgun case prior to seating for best result.

  3. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    You need to flare the case mouth just enough to place the bullet on it for seating. Then taper crimp to remove the flare only, dimensionally target .378-.379 and you should be good.
  4. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    Since .45 ACP and 9mm both headspace on the case mouth, you don't want to do anything other than close up the case mouth with a taper crimp die. You must not actually crimp these rounds.

    Now, if you were shooting .45 ACP in a revolver and the bullet had a cannelure, I suppose you could roll crimp the round. In this case, the moon clips hold the round in the proper position in the cylinder. Still, I don't see any reason for doing this unless the neck tension is not sufficient to hold the bullet in place during recoil. This is more of a problem with magnum loads than .45 ACP.

    A proper taper crimp will JUST bring the case wall back into a straight line. You can put the finished round lengthwise in a pair of calipers and see if the case wall is straight. Yes, I know that the 9mm round has a tapered case so push one edge against the jaws.

  5. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Yes with plated bullets you need to put a bell on the case. I have found that somewhere between .14 and .18 for a bell on a sized case works the best on plated bullets. You do not want to shave any of the plating. Like want has been said you just want to remove the bell on the case. The best thing is to pull a finished round, you should see a very slight ring on the bullet or none at all around the bullet where the mouth of the case was. If you interrupt the plating you could have tumbling problem and accuracy goes out the window. Also remember a taper crimp is not a crimp. It has nothing to do with holding the bullet in the case. The sizing die does that.
  6. G36_Me


    Aug 4, 2009
    MAXG, you are getting off easy here. I'm surprised you are not getting flamed. Your question tells me you haven't reloaded in years or never did it correctly. My suggestion is to reread your books and come back here with questions.

    More directly now to your question...
    I flare, yes. Now, for plated, I seat in one step and remove the flare in a next step. (Some people get bent if you use the word crimp.)

    Good luck!
  7. MAXG


    Apr 22, 2012
    Thanks for the help, guys.

  8. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Not flaming him because some guys still think they can reload pistol like rifle. Yes you can, some bullets, but results will be less than stellar. It's just some can't realize better ammo from crap ammo. How many times do you see guys posting fist size "groups" @ 21ft?????:wow: