.223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

This is a discussion on .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; For the millionth time, I am sure. So, I have a dead-accurate sub-MOA 77gr in front of RL15 (THANKS SCOTT!) load and I have about ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Knightstalker's Avatar
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    .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    For the millionth time, I am sure.

    So, I have a dead-accurate sub-MOA 77gr in front of RL15 (THANKS SCOTT!) load and I have about 3000 pieces of nice, shiny, clean, trimmed and primed LC brass just begging to be made lethal. So here lies the question, do I crimp them or not?

    I spent ALL that time load testing and developing to find the node with both crimped and non-crimped brass and have a recipe for both. They are darn near the same level of accuracy with slightly different impact, SD and ES, but really close in overall group size.

    I have tons of time on my hands burning vacation here around the holidays and I'd like to go into the January 3-Gun and XTC season with a BOATLOAD of ammo ready to go. So, for XTC, no worries about the crimp as I can keep doing neck-tension rounds. But for 3-Gun, I am worried about the rapid cycling and pushing these already compressed 77gr loads even further into the brass if I don't do a crimp.

    Help me Obi Gun Kenobis, ya'll are my only hope...

  2. #2
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    No.

    The extension of that: how much neck tension are you generating without crimping? If it is 0.003" or more, I'd not sweat the crimp. I don't crimp mine, and we do rapid fire (as you know) in XTC, never had any trouble.

    But...if you feel better, you'll shoot better. So if you have a load that is crimped and generates tha accuracy you need, may as well do it if you need it to feel confident.

    The confidence matters a great deal more than the load. :wink:

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  3. #3
    Senior Member sgreen3's Avatar
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    Im getting ready to start reloading .223 for my AR and I emailed Lee an they told me that you should crimp all AR ammo. But from all the guys that acually shoot the ammo, most dont crimp. I think Im gonna try it with out an just see how it does in my AR's first on 50 rds or so an just go from there
    A reporter interviewing a Marine Sniper asked, " What do you feel when you have to shoot a terrorist"? The Marine shrugged his shoulders and replied "Recoil"

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    Senior Member RocketmanOU's Avatar
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    I have a buddy who crimps everything he loads. I only crimp pistol rounds to remove belling from the case. I've been meaning to load up some tests to see whether crimping makes a difference from an accuracy standpoint (Lee certainly insists that it does, but they're the ones selling the dies :wink. Like Nate said, the neck tension I get on my 223 is tight enough that I can't make the round shorter by shoving it into my reloading bench, and I've never had feeding problems of any type on my AR.
    Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others. - Federalist 34

  5. #5
    Senior Member sgreen3's Avatar
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    Quote Originally Posted by RocketmanOU
    I have a buddy who crimps everything he loads. I only crimp pistol rounds to remove belling from the case. I've been meaning to load up some tests to see whether crimping makes a difference from an accuracy standpoint (Lee certainly insists that it does, but they're the ones selling the dies :wink. Like Nate said, the neck tension I get on my 223 is tight enough that I can't make the round shorter by shoving it into my reloading bench, and I've never had feeding problems of any type on my AR.

    Which is why Im gonna try with out and see how it does for me , I just wonder if it would help the accuracy in my bench AR.
    A reporter interviewing a Marine Sniper asked, " What do you feel when you have to shoot a terrorist"? The Marine shrugged his shoulders and replied "Recoil"

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    Senior Member RocketmanOU's Avatar
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    I've read two somewhat-statistically-sound reports that demonstrated that it did help a little in accuracy (something like a 7% reduction in group size), and one that demonstrated that it had no effect. I'd like to see what results you get. Someday, when I have free time again, I might pursue it myself as well.
    Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others. - Federalist 34

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    Senior Member Knightstalker's Avatar
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    Quote Originally Posted by natdscott
    The extension of that: how much neck tension are you generating without crimping? If it is 0.003" or more, I'd not sweat the crimp. -Nate
    Ya know, that's a great question. I am loading some this morning and I'll pull out the caliper.

    Question #2: My buddy has 5k 62gr cannelured rounds he want's to load. My 77's aren't cannelured, of course, but his are. I have read that the cannelured rounds MUST be crimped. Is that true?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Knightstalker's Avatar
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    .216" is my internal neck diameter according to a sample of 20 rounds and my RCBS dial caliper.

    The book calls it .224", of course, so that makes it .008". I'd say that's over .003". That appears to be the uniform neck size coming from my .223 RCBS FL X-Die. I'll not be crimping the 77s.

    Considering the .008" size, Question #2 from above still stands. If he'll be using my X-Die, should he still be crimping the cannelure or just letting the tension hold it? These will be load-and-store rounds, BTW. Not competition rounds like I am making with my 77s.

  9. #9
    Senior Member RocketmanOU's Avatar
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightstalker
    Quote Originally Posted by natdscott
    The extension of that: how much neck tension are you generating without crimping? If it is 0.003" or more, I'd not sweat the crimp. -Nate
    Ya know, that's a great question. I am loading some this morning and I'll pull out the caliper.

    Question #2: My buddy has 5k 62gr cannelured rounds he want's to load. My 77's aren't cannelured, of course, but his are. I have read that the cannelured rounds MUST be crimped. Is that true?
    Nope. Some manufacturers will state that to use the roll-crimp built into the bullet seating die, the bullet needs to have a cannelure, but the converse (you must crimp a cannelured bullet) is not true at all. The Lee taper crimp (factory crimp) dies don't need a cannelure to crimp into.
    Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others. - Federalist 34

  10. #10
    Senior Member sgreen3's Avatar
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    Re: .223 in an AR: The Crimp Question

    Quote Originally Posted by RocketmanOU
    I've read two somewhat-statistically-sound reports that demonstrated that it did help a little in accuracy (something like a 7% reduction in group size), and one that demonstrated that it had no effect. I'd like to see what results you get. Someday, when I have free time again, I might pursue it myself as well.


    Sounds like Ill have to do some tsting then :mrgreen:
    A reporter interviewing a Marine Sniper asked, " What do you feel when you have to shoot a terrorist"? The Marine shrugged his shoulders and replied "Recoil"

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