Crimping 3.5" hulls

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Crimping 3.5" hulls

Postby Inoculation » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:17 pm

I have a Lee Load All that I use for crimping everything. It works, but I think it could be better. my queastion is for you other hand loader on crimping 3.5" hulls with a MEC. Can I just buy any old MEC and crimp 3.5" hulls or will I need a specific "Steelmaster" or a conversion kit for a 650 or 600 JR? I assume the MEC crimps similarly in operation to the Lee, it's just by pressure really. I just keep losing buffer and the crimps come undone from time to time. I'm hoping a MEC will do a better job.

Dave in AZ
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Re: Crimping 3.5" hulls

Postby Dave in AZ » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:07 pm

MEC rely on using a full throw of the handle for the crimpers to work... the final die has a cam that activates depending on handle position, which does two things-- a central post that sets crimp depth, and the outside portion that makes the crimp and a bit of taper on the shell... As you can see, you can't just "feel" a crimp onto a 3.5" hull as the thing doesn't actually work until the handle is right at the bottom of the throw.

Call MEC, they are nice to talk to on the phone and will tell you what you might need.
HOWEVER, I would recommend that you use a Rollover die (RTO) to just do roll crimps on 3.5" hulls if you don't have a dedicated machine. They are easy, hull length doesn't matter, they work well, and they result in lower pressure so it's a safe thing to do.

If you get a RTO die, then I recommend you purchase the one from Precision Reloading instead of the BPI version, they work better, zillion posts on that. $28 bucks or so.

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Re: Crimping 3.5" hulls

Postby manchap » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:54 am

I crimp 3.5" on a Lee load all but i only make the crimp so it looks flat and not all the way as you will buckle the Hull/case.
Then i run them through a GAEP Crimp Finishing Tool Number 2 which is good to use in Semi Autos.

Find them on here or your local reloading outlet ?

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Re: Crimping 3.5" hulls

Postby Fishh2o » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:25 pm

I agree go with some gapes I love mine.

Roll with it. If you stay above 55 the wheel wont fall off.

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