If you are firing warm/hot loads I would suggest always use a bullet that accepts a crimp. For target loads enough crimp to hold the bullet in place from the recoil. My test is to take a loaded round that has been crimped and measure the AOL, then push it against a fixed object to see if you can move it in the case to shorten the AOL. If not your good to go. With Semi autos and warm loads I would use a Lee Factory crimp Die. For target loads I use the same process as above.
Here are my first hand loaded handgun rounds (minus my dummy round)! It seemed to go pretty well. Setting up the dies took a little tinkering but I think I have them where they need to be. I seem to be getting a decent crimp with the seater die, but might need a bit more. The rounds shot well but there’s still tiny amount of unburned powder. It seems like the factory loads have a bit also. Is this due to the shorter 3” barrel or should I crimp the rounds a bit more? I really appreciate the input and willingness to help! Here’s the details.
180 Hornady XTP
12.5 grains Lil Gu
Federal Small Magnum Pistol
I did! They shoot about as well as I can with a handgun. I worked up to 13.5 and loaded 30 of them as my woods load. Also ran one into the jugs at 10 yards. Landed in jug 5 and expansion looks pretty good!