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 Post subject: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:06 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:51 am
Posts: 68
Ok I'm ready to tear my hair out AGAIN. over the years I have tried numerous times to load federal hulls. I always give up because I can NEVER get a decent or consistent crimp. And in not talking about just a single gauge because I have the same trouble with 410, 20 and 12. So I have a hard time believing the mec is the problem. Every other hull I have tried I can get the crimp adjusted in 3 or 4 rounds. Every time I think I get it adjusted for the federal hulls I get a few good ones then everything goes haywire again. How do you guys do it ?




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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:51 am 
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Location: Central CT
The settings for Federal hulls are not very far off from the settings for any other hull.

On my machines both a 9000 and a Sizemaster in both 12 and 16 Gauges, I need to backoff slightly on the crimp depth and a little on the taper die on the 9000 and on the Sizemaster the cams are in the exact center of the travel.

These are very slight differences and very close to what I use for Remington Gun Clubs.


The issue that I have seen is folks TEND to use too much precrimp, too much cam and drop the taper die too low. You can get away with that on strong, tapered hulls like Remington and Winchester CF AA. If you try to use those same settings with straight wall Federals and the like you will have a mess.

In my experience I would set the cam to dead center. Raise the precrimp, the punch and the taper die about 2 turns from where they are set for Remington or Winchester CF AA and slowly adjust them down until you get it right. When you go back to the Remington hulls the adjustments will be very small, if they aren't small adjustments something is wrong.

The wad column height must be correct for what I have suggested to work properly.

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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:38 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:33 am
Posts: 111
My solution to getting perfect crimps with Federal hull is to use overshot cards.

They help in several ways: a) they raise the stack height and for the components I'm using that is helpful in obtaining a better crimp
b) they provide a nice uniform surface on the bottom side of the crimp which seems to improve the quality as the plastic is being folded in from the top
most importantly c) when a or b are still not enough and I end up with a badly dished crimp with a big hole in the middle, it doesn't make any difference. With the overshot card the shot doesn't leak out.

The hulls all look the same after firing, just don't let friends peek at your shells before shooting. They won't win any beauty contests.

I only load 20 gauge and overshot cards can be made by buying a 5/8" hole punch at a craft store and using cereal boxes for stock. Oh, and every shot is a celebration with confetti to boot!

I load on a single stage and move the cartridges from station to station by hand so taking an extra 5 seconds to drop in an overshot card is no big deal. It may cause more delays or problems on a progressive machine. I've set my Mec 600 jr. up so that I load my main hull, Rem GC's, without having to use overshot cards. When I occasionally switch to Fed's I just use the overshot cards instead of readjusting everything.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you or others.

Good luck.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:17 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:33 am
Posts: 1211
Location: northern Oklahoma
I am haiving no issues whatsoever with the Federals (assuming you are referring to the TG hulls and not the GM) or any of the other SW euro hulls. I was once trying to get much of the crimp and taper all in the final crimp die. I have gone to setting the final crimp die body up higher, with the punch set where I want it for crimp depth. The top of the shell looks like a flayed out upside down toadstool mushroom. I was getting way to many wrinkles on the lower end of the hull trying to get crimp depth and taper in the same step. The taper die following the final crimp gives the shell almost a factory appearance.

Just play with it, it is doable.


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:27 pm
Posts: 2550
Location: Massachusetts
Dakotashooter,

Can you describe the issues you are seeing in a bit more detail? When you say you cannot get a decent or consistent crimp can you describe what are you getting? Is there any pattern or rhyme or reason to the the crimp faults that your are seeing? The only issue I ran into with Federal hulls was the MEC pre-crimp spindex not rotating and aligning with the existing crimp 'folds' in the shells that I reload (16 ga. only). I solved this by adjusting pre-crimp depth and also learning to align the folds with the pre-crimp.

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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:58 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 1214
Location: Attica, Mi
I load just 12ga on Mec Jr, Grabber, and 9000H depending on the application. Black powder or roll crimps on the JR, Federal paper and plastic on the Grabber, and any hull for target shooting on the 9000. I can't remember doing anything much different to reload the Federal hulls. I also use smooth crimp starters on all my presses. I don't have to worry if they're 6 or 8 fold crimps, or paper hulls. Maybe you could tell us a bit more about your problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:23 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:27 pm
Posts: 58
Mec makes a special cam crimp punch with extended threads that allows a little deeper crimp that doesn't flare after it sits awhile. I don't know if they make them for all gauges but does work wonders for 12 gauge. Just ask Mec.


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:52 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Eastern Nebraska
I had not loaded Federals for several years but recently loaded 4-5 flats on my 12 ga 9000. Going from Remington to these required pretty minor adjustments. The plastic seems to have a very good "crimp memory" so as dogchaser says, you don't need a lot of pre-crimp. I do have the longer crimp center punch in my machine and would recommend it for AAHS. I don't see the need of it for Rem or Fed. If you truly do need this longer punch for Federals, you have the punch set too low. I loaded a variety of Top Gun, Gold Medal. and GM Grand. I found I could load them interchangeably with no adjustments. But the new and old gold medals have a tad more room in them which means if you are fine tunned for Top Gun, the crimps dish a bit (not unreasonable, but some) on the gold medals.

FWIW: I loaded 18 of Promo, both CB and DR clones of the Fed S3 wad, and 1 1/8 ounce. I found the wads to be interchangeable.

Based on my experience, I would be interested in hearing more details on exactly what problems were encountered.


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:28 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:05 am
Posts: 78
All I load is Federal Top Gun hulls. I started with a Mec 9000 and now use a PW 800+. My crimps are like factory on both machines. I used to inspect and reload several times without any problem. Now since I have so many hulls, I reload and throw. I load 1 1/8 oz with CB2118 wad. I did some 1 oz loads with clay buster and still no problems. Pictures?


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:06 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:51 am
Posts: 68
I feel really stupid. It had probably been 6-8 years since I loaded any 20 ga on my mec. What I came to realize today is that it was set up for 3" hulls. No wonder I couldn't get it to work. I put my spacer in and after a few tweaks God it loading federal hulls just fine. Sighhhhh getting old sucks...


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:06 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:51 am
Posts: 68
I feel really stupid. It had probably been 6-8 years since I loaded any 20 ga on my mec. What I came to realize today is that it was set up for 3" hulls. No wonder I couldn't get it to work. I put my spacer in and after a few tweaks God it loading federal hulls just fine. Sighhhhh getting old sucks...


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:34 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Eastern Nebraska
Well, that would explain it. I am baffled by your opening comment: "over the years I have tried numerous times... NEVER get a decent crimp...and not just a single gauge..." Putting in the spacer solved all of this?


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:26 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:18 pm
Posts: 8726
Location: Mechanicsville IA
Dakotashooter3 wrote:
I feel really stupid. It had probably been 6-8 years since I loaded any 20 ga on my mec.

Don't feel bad, if I take 6-8 weeks off I have to relearn everything as often what I think I remember isn't quite so.
I know I'm the only one afflicted with this.

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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:44 pm 
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I tried them several times over the years with poor results, mainly mushrooming after they set around for a while. I solved the problem by going to Remington hulls full time. I have thousands of them but don't ask why I tried Federals in the first place, I have no idea. Maybe I got tried of the Remington green color. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:47 am 
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Location: Central CT
I believe that part of the problem with folks and Federal hulls is crimp depth.

If you measure the crimp depth of a Federal Gold Medal factory load it is .070" not .055".

When you crimp them shallow, and even if you do apply the taper on the shoulder they tend to mushroom. If you crimp them @ .070" depth and you apply as much taper as you can without any crushing to the hull they do not mushroom, regardless of how long they sit. I shoot a Benelli SS for sporting, I cannot afford FTC issues.

Personally, I don't give a rats behind about deeper crimps producing more chamber pressure, crimp depths between .055" - .070" work for me. The published 1 oz. load I am using does not approach maximum average pressure, an extra .015" of crimp depth isn't going to hurt anything.

As far as Top Gun hulls go, I haven't had any problem with mushrooming. I crimp them @ .060".

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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:58 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Eastern Nebraska
Can't say I have ever shot factory Gold Medals. I have shot some of their cheaper ammo and notice the factory crimps are about 50-55 thou. When reloading Top Guns I set up for about this. BUT, when I ran short of hulls I did another 20-30 Gold Medals and DID NOT make any press readjustments. I did not measure the crimp depth, but it was noticeably deeper. I suspect it would measure real close to 70 thou. The GMs I used were about 50/50 old red ribbed and new GM Grand. I noticed zero diff in how they loaded. I shoot break open guns and ALL the Fed shells dropped right in.


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:58 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:08 pm
Posts: 1238
Location: minnesota
I load some Gold Medal Federal hulls in 12 ga, mostly heavy loads. On my Sizemaster, the crimp setting is very close to if not the same as AA hulls. They crimp great for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Federal hulls
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:56 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:51 am
Posts: 68
albatros wrote:
Well, that would explain it. I am baffled by your opening comment: "over the years I have tried numerous times... NEVER get a decent crimp...and not just a single gauge..." Putting in the spacer solved all of this?

It solved the problem for the 20 Gage but I'm not loading the 12 or 410 at the moment and last time I did I have up on the federal hulls.I




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