Crimp Dies - Yes or No?


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countertop
January 8, 2006, 10:23 PM
Looking to order dies for the first time ever (got a Lee Turret press for Christmas).

Was going to get .45 ACP and .30-30 to start things off and then next month pick up .30-06 and .45 Colt.

Anyway, Lee sells die sets that come with or without a "Crimp" die. On another thread here someone mentioned they had never used a Crimp die in 45 years of reloading.

My question then is - do I need to spend more for a crimp die? If yes, why. If not, why not?

What is it used for?

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trickyasafox
January 8, 2006, 10:31 PM
i have crimp dies in 9mm and 45acp. i only really use them if they are going into a tight chamber and need it. other then that the 3 die sets work very well

mtnbkr
January 8, 2006, 10:38 PM
I've always used crimp dies, especially on my 357mag loads.

Chris

Rockstar
January 8, 2006, 10:41 PM
Since you're new to reloading, could be that you're confusing discussions of the Lee Factory Crimp Die with discussions of Lee or other crimp dies. Hard to believe that somebody who's loaded for 45 years never crimped a cartidge, unless, of course, he/she only loaded rifle ammo.

countertop
January 8, 2006, 10:45 PM
Thanks

Chris, did we use a crimp die when we loaded those .38 Specials?

mtnbkr
January 8, 2006, 10:48 PM
Thanks

Chris, did we use a crimp die when we loaded those .38 Specials?

Yes. We had it set for a light crimp.

Chris

countertop
January 8, 2006, 10:48 PM
Rockstar

That could be it. Here's the thread. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=174989) Its a discussion of reloading .223

So then, I should just get the Lee 4 die set and not the 3 die (I have a 4 hole turret)

JDGray
January 8, 2006, 10:58 PM
Get the 4 die set, with the factory crimp. .45 acp only 26.00 at cabelas. It is easier to seat the bullet and crimp in seperate dies. The added insurance of post sizing in the Lee fc die is nice. JDGray

The Bushmaster
January 8, 2006, 11:29 PM
Countertop...I load for quite a number of cartridges....357 mag I use the crimp that is part of the bullet seating die as it crimps more then attiquately. For .38 Special I use a Lee FCD. For the .30-30 Win. I also use a Lee FCD. To me it is paramount that these two cartridges be crimped with the FCD. .45 ACP? NO. 9mmX19? NO. .30-06? NO... Most bottle necked cases that are NOT used in a tubular magazine don't need to be crimped as long as bullet to case neck tension is sufficient to not allow a setback problem during firing.

NavajoNPaleFace
January 8, 2006, 11:51 PM
You'll want to give crimping serious thought if the 30-30s are fed into a tube mag.

Crimping basically gives added protection to ensure the bullet is not pushed back into the cartridge under spring pressure or jostling one atop another in the tube.

georgeduz
January 9, 2006, 12:22 AM
1st the 45acp comes with 3 dies,i have old sets that use a roll crimp over cast semiwadcutter.most people use a slight taper crimp.with the 30/30 comes with the taper crimp and that is a must,always crimp, a ROLL CRIMP:bending the mouth of the case into the crimp groove or cannelure of the bullet.a TAPER CRIMP:the mouth of the case is pressed into the bullet body wall without bending the case mouth.

countertop
January 9, 2006, 12:40 AM
Georgeduz

Lee is now selling 4 die pistol sets. It looks like most of the 3 die sets are being phased out/discontinued. They have also switched the turret press from a 3 hole press to a 4 hole press.

I am shooting the .30-30 from a tube mag (Marlin 336) and while deer season is over am hoping to try some varmit rounds out of it this spring (coyotes).

tbeb
January 9, 2006, 03:38 AM
I've always used Lee factory crimp dies for .380 ACP, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and 45 ACP. These are the only handgun calibers I've ever done.

Rockstar
January 9, 2006, 11:14 AM
Also, be aware that FCD for rifles is completely different from FCD for handgun ammo. The rifle FCD crimps only, using a collet.

armoredman
January 9, 2006, 12:15 PM
The Lee FCD carbide deluxe set are excellent dies - the final crimp die rocks.

donkee
January 9, 2006, 12:34 PM
I crimp everything I load for from 7.62x38R Nagant to 30-06. Actually seems to improve accuracy for me. After my Lee Enfield No.1 MkIII pushed a bullet into the case is when I started crimping every round. The LEE FCD works really well on 9mm to help straighten everything out and makes for more reliable feeding ammo and I intend to do it on .45 ACP when I start loading that cartridge in the near future..........

BigJakeJ1s
January 10, 2006, 01:47 AM
I load 45 colt, and started out using the FCD. Then I got my seater die adjusted so it crimps, and I don't use the FCD anymore. I did not like the feel of the FCD (rough), and it is one less operation to seat & crimp at the same time. I use Hornady dies.

There are a couple of reasons why an FCD might be better than crimping while seating, for straight wall pistol cartridges. If the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth, like most straight wall rimless semiauto rounds, and/or if the brass is not trimmed to uniform length, then the FCD may be useful. Also if the bullet does not have a canelure (crimping groove). Finally, progressive loading may run smoother with an FCD to iron out any buckled cases should they occur. This is a symtom of a misadjusted crimping die, and/or non-uniform case lengths.

The bottleneck pistol cartridge FCD also uses a collet (and no carbide sizing ring) like the rifle FCD, but is built on the Lee collet neck sizing die body, not the rifle FCD body.

So, if you are reloading a cartridge that uses a roll crimp, and make sure your brass is of uniform length (does not require trimming every time), then crimping in the seater die is pretty simple to set up anyway, and save yourself some time and money on a die you don't need.

I have not been impressed with Lee seating dies either. Of the dies I've tried, I like Hornady best, RCBS second, and Lee third. The forster and redding competition seating dies are similar to the hornady (possibly better), and have excellent reputations. The hornady dies can take an optional micrometer adjuster too. They are also simple to disassemble & clean without touching the settings, even on-press if need be. This is especially helpful when reloading lubed cast bullets.

Andy

Bronson7
January 11, 2006, 12:48 PM
I load 45 colt, and started out using the FCD. Then I got my seater die adjusted so it crimps, and I don't use the FCD anymore. I did not like the feel of the FCD (rough), and it is one less operation to seat & crimp at the same time. I use Hornady dies.

There are a couple of reasons why an FCD might be better than crimping while seating, for straight wall pistol cartridges. If the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth, like most straight wall rimless semiauto rounds, and/or if the brass is not trimmed to uniform length, then the FCD may be useful. Also if the bullet does not have a canelure (crimping groove). Finally, progressive loading may run smoother with an FCD to iron out any buckled cases should they occur. This is a symtom of a misadjusted crimping die, and/or non-uniform case lengths.

The bottleneck pistol cartridge FCD also uses a collet (and no carbide sizing ring) like the rifle FCD, but is built on the Lee collet neck sizing die body, not the rifle FCD body.

So, if you are reloading a cartridge that uses a roll crimp, and make sure your brass is of uniform length (does not require trimming every time), then crimping in the seater die is pretty simple to set up anyway, and save yourself some time and money on a die you don't need.

I have not been impressed with Lee seating dies either. Of the dies I've tried, I like Hornady best, RCBS second, and Lee third. The forster and redding competition seating dies are similar to the hornady (possibly better), and have excellent reputations. The hornady dies can take an optional micrometer adjuster too. They are also simple to disassemble & clean without touching the settings, even on-press if need be. This is especially helpful when reloading lubed cast bullets.

Andy
+++1 on the Hornady seating die. Their crimp die is also nice, as is their sizing die.:) I've tried the Lee's. Now they just occupy space in my drawer.
Bronson7

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