Got another GAEP (Italy http://www.gaep.net/
) roll crimper. A few weeks ago I wrote a little article with pictures of roll crimps done with a GAEP 24 gauge crimper -- viewtopic.php?f=13&t=264134
The latest one I received is in 16 gauge, and this time I used it not only for closing regular top wad (B-wad) roll crimps, but also star crimps. Here are some pictures. The first one shows some regular roll crimps, the top two are paper Chedites (second reloading/roll crimping!), and the bottom pair are some old new primed unfired S&W branded plastic hulls (yeah, that's right, Smith and Wesson):
This second set is of a pair of 65mm Chedite new primed plastic hulls, again regular roll crimp closure:
Next pic is one of the same 65mm Chedite new primed unfired hulls, except this one was crimp-started on a MEC 600 and then closed up with the GAEP roll crimp tool:
Here are two more pictures of the same shell. This is a damn near factory-grade crimp on a new shell. Not bragging; just the facts. Notice how round it is, and the nice taper:
The next two pictures are of a variety of hulls with 6-point crimps closed with the GAEP roll crimper. The first photo shows the 65mm Chedite as above, a Remington Black Gameload, twice fired, and 3 old twice fired Federals. The next photo shows 5 of those old new primed unfired S&W's:
It is hard to make a nice star crimp on those Federals and especially the unfired S&W's. These hulls are very stiff, and even if you get them just right on the MEC, they eventually spring back to a sort of hexagon shape. Thin newer Chedites do it too. It is hard for the MEC, or any other crimp method that does not use a friction heated rotating crimp method to impart a good crimp memory. I didn't take much time on these shells, so they aren't the greatest, but you'll notice they are round, and they'll stay that way. I presume they will be much easier to load nicely on the MEC the next time. Here's a last picture showing all the samples from the side so you can see the nicely rounded edge - good feeding for you pump shooters.:
I also have a good steel roll crimper from Precsion Reloading (the best roll crimpers currently available from US suppliers), but it does not provide as nice an edge-round, and it will not close or improve star/fold crimps, because its slot is too narrow, and its inside face is relieved too much even if the slot was wide enough. l have a lot of old Lyman's, and they are far superior at edge rounding than anything currently available from US suppliers, but most people will never be able to find a Lyman. The GAEP tools are interesting because you can use them for both B-wad closures and star/fold crimps, and they have distinct advantages on new hulls not previously crimped.
By the way, if you go to the GAEP site and see their tools, they are different from what we are used to in a unitized multi-function shotshell reloading tool. They also are a bit more costly, but they look rugged. They are an adaptation of mass-production methods to smaller systems for the home reloader. GAEP tools would be very useful to a company making small batches of custom loads using new hulls. They give very professional results, unlike those custom loads I have seen that have been loaded on P-W's and Spolars. If you use new hulls (Chedite, Fiocchi, Federal, etc) to make your own special loads, these tools would reduce a lot of the frustration of crimping. Once set up, there would be no adjustment necessary or possible, except for case length. With tool life estimates of a few million loads, it would take a few lifetimes to wear one out. By then we'll probably be shooting pheasants with a ray-gun -- I sure hope not!