Factory Crimp Die. Only Lee?


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chagasrod
October 31, 2009, 11:23 AM
Hey Guys

Does any other company makes factory crimp dies other than Lee Precision?

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rcmodel
October 31, 2009, 11:28 AM
No.

No other company thinks they are necessary, and they are right.

If you properly adjust the seating/crimp die, there is no need for the FCD.

I do like the one for the .223 as it makes it impossible to buckle the shoulder if a long case slips by you. On the otherhand, I don't crimp .223 all that often.

rc

RustyFN
October 31, 2009, 11:42 AM
No other company thinks they are necessary, and they are right.

If you properly adjust the seating/crimp die, there is no need for the FCD.

But all the other companies do make a separate crimp die so you can separate crimping from the seating die, which is the exact same thing the FCD does. The only difference is the FCD has the post sizing ring. I agree with the others that say your dies should be adjusted right and not to depend on the FCD to fix ammo. What I like to use the FCD for is a final check instead of a case gage. If I feel a round get post sized then I set it to the side and check it out or pull it. I have never had a feed problem using this method and have only had two rounds get post sized out of thousands loaded.

loadedround
October 31, 2009, 01:18 PM
The use of FCD is only in the minds of Lee Die users. A quality die set like Redding or RCBS with a separate taper or roll crimp die is more than sufficent for all our needs in my opinion.

snuffy
October 31, 2009, 01:53 PM
Well I see the lee bashers are on here instead of out trick or treating.:evil::D

There's 3 types of lee final crimp dies. Straight wall brass uses either a taper crimp,(semi auto pistols), or a roll crimp for revolvers. The factory crimp die for bottle neck cases uses a collet that crimps from the side, or 90 degrees to the long axis of the case. It can crimp into bullet that DON'T have a cannelure,(crimp groove).

The argument as to whether the use of a FCD is using it as a crutch to solve problems with seating, or other things that cause bulges in the side of a round. I use one as a taper crimper for semi-auto pistol rounds that I shoot very quickly at IDPA and IPSC targets. Revolver stuff gets roll crimped using a Redding profile crimper.

Walkalong
October 31, 2009, 03:30 PM
Just because someone dislikes the Lee FCD for pistol calibers does not automatically make them Lee bashers. It does not.

I think the Lee FCD die for pistol calibers is a waste 99% of the time (snuffy posted the 1%), and even then the problem could be cured another way.

I believe (know) some, if not many, of the carbide rings are undersized. That makes matters even worse.

use of a FCD is using it as a crutch to solve problems with seating, or other things that cause bulges in the side of a round

I think it enables many reloaders to get by with poor reloading efforts by squeezing their problems into "fitting" into the chamber. Just because the round is able to chamber does not make it a good reload, and it can keep the reloader from fine tuning their skills and getting better at their craft. After all, the dang fit fit and went bang, right?

It can ruin neck tension by squeezing the bullet which will not spring back as much as the brass, and cause leading with reloads that would otherwise work just fine before the lead bullet was squeezed undersized.

That said. I have a Lee FCD in .40 (I bough a .40 & .45 to try some years ago) that only kisses an occasional round, doing no harm. They crimp no better and generally no worse than other crimp dies. (They would not be my first pic for a crimper, but they crimp well enough)

I often recommend and speak well of Lee dies and equipment. Lee equipment is the best bang for your buck and will load good ammunition. I just think the Lee FCD die is a bane to reloaders learning their craft. AC

jfh
October 31, 2009, 04:01 PM
Each poster so far has hit the respective issues dead-on. The only thing I can add is to note (as snuffy does) that there are three different FCD dies--and the rifle one appears to be beneficial for a rifle reloader. (I am barely a novice .223 reloader, so I reserver further comment about which I know little in first-hand experience.)

I use the FCD handgun dies --but set up so that they can properly crimp-only in the 4th position, and catch the odd out-of-spec cartridge as RustyFN does. And, I freely admit to using it on rounds built some years ago with out-of-spec bullets for my semiautos. Specifically, I have a bunch of early-design 10mm 200-gr LTC rounds that are 1) oversize and poor feeding in almost any 10mm. The FCD die there is enabling me to shoot up those rounds in a mostly-non-irritating manner.

I'd be happier about it if Lee would peddle it as a crimper, and not as a post-sizer.

Jim H.

The Bushmaster
October 31, 2009, 04:06 PM
I like and use my Lee FCD for crimping .30-30 cases. It's the only place I use it...Gives a much firmer crimp then does the seating/crimping die.:D

Bash all you want...I'm happy...:neener:

Walkalong
October 31, 2009, 04:12 PM
I don't have a problem with the rifle FCD dies. Not a big fan, but nothing wrong with them. Heck Bushmaster, when I buy some 30-30 dies, one of these days, I might even go Lee. :D

snuffy
October 31, 2009, 04:54 PM
I just ordered dies for my new to me 7.62 X 54R. I got lee pacesetter dies, because it includes the FCD. I'll usually get lee for military rifles, because there's no need for low runnout on the final check.

I have the handgun FCD's in .357 mag, 357 sig,(that's a bottle neck collet die), 44 mag, 40 S&W, 9mm, and 45 acp. Of those, the ONLY one that ever makes contact with the carbide ring is the 45, when using as-cast lead that may be a little bigger than they should be. Not many post size even with those boolits.

I don't agree with post sizing to erase mistakes in other loading practices. as a means to identify rounds that might need corrective measures, it works well. As said, if it was ONLY a taper crimper, or roll crimper for wheel guns, it would be a better option.

The rifle FCD is like no other crimp die made. One of Richard Lee's genius creations,(among others). As said, he gets more people into reloading for little money, they can either stay in the hobby, or get out with little wasted money. a basic set-up can be improved upon, some, like the classic turret are all anybody will ever need. Loading set-ups can be sold to recoup the majority of the cash.

ants
October 31, 2009, 05:08 PM
It's a very, very nice tool. For revolver only. If not familiar, take a look at it.



I seldom use the FCD, but it is handy for big magnum rifle where you have a heavy bullet and lots of recoil. I am completely convinced that I don't need it if I get the neck sized right, but it's comforting to know that I can do a light crimp if I feel like it, without ruining anything.

Although I don't use the FCD for 223 Rem any longer. It was scattering groups at 300 yards with premium thin-jacketed bullets like Nosler BT. When I stopped using it, nicer groups came back. The collet action must have been squeezing the jacket as Walkalong mentioned.

Roccobro
October 31, 2009, 05:47 PM
I don't think there is any "bashing". What needs to be clarified is the negative comments are true regarding pistol dies- NOT rifle.

The Rifle has some definite merit as RC said in post #2. And I happily use it for my non-bolt action .223 ammo.

It is ...a novelty?... in the pistol die set. Mostly unneeded, but desired by some. I rather have factory made options available that I don't need vs. a need and there not being a maker of it!

I feel lucky to be a re-loader.

Justin

Steve C
October 31, 2009, 05:52 PM
If you load a lot of mixed brass with cast bullets for general shooting with the .45 and 9mm like I do the Lee FC dies take care of the occasional problem you get with extra thick brass bulging a bit. The post sizing portion will make sure the case stays within SAAMI maximum diameter and while most rounds never get touched it does catch the few out of size ones that get bulged during bullet seating.

In revolver cases the Lee FC dies don't do much for me at least.

For loading semi auto rifle cartridges for magazine fed military rifles in 7.65 or 5.56 with canelured bullets the collet crimping Lee FC die works great as with rounds that go into tubular magazine fed rifles like the Win 94. You can put as hard a crimp on a canelured round as you find in mil-spec ammo or adjust it to something less.

1858
October 31, 2009, 06:29 PM
I find all this a bit odd. I use a Lee FCD for .45 Colt and it does a great job of putting a nice roll crimp on the case without damaging it in any way. I'm not using it to FIX anything, just as a final step to get a nice crimp. I just ordered another for .454 Casull since I don't want to change the setting on the one I use for .45 Colt. I have FCDs for .223 Remington and .308 Win and have been experimenting with them for AR-15 and AR-10 loads. Sierra isn't a big fan of crimping for the M1A suggesting instead to size the neck 0.003" under the loaded O.D. I was planning on using the FCD for the M1A but will try Sierra's recommendation first.

Snuffy mentioned Redding Profile Crimp for revolver. I hope we paid attention.
It's a very, very nice tool. For revolver only. If not familiar, take a look at it.

Redding doesn't seem to have a profile crimp die for .45 Colt/.454 Casull.

:)

Walkalong
October 31, 2009, 06:50 PM
I don't agree with post sizing to erase mistakes in other loading practices. as a means to identify rounds that might need corrective measures, it works well.Experienced reloaders can use the FCD effectively, and some do. My problem with the FCD is inexperienced reloaders and its use. It is recommended much too freely to fix the wrong thing.

Redding doesn't seem to have a profile crimp die for .45 Colt/.454 Casull.
Actually, I have one.

Midway (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=292753)

I like mine better than the fellow who wrote the review. Most reviews for Reddings Profile Crimp Dies are very good.

I like the Redding Profile Crimp dies and the RCBS crimp only and seater/crimper dies. They seem to make the best crimps of the dies I have.

RustyFN
October 31, 2009, 08:13 PM
I'd be happier about it if Lee would peddle it as a crimper, and not as a post-sizer.

I'm with you on that one Jim.

1858
October 31, 2009, 08:14 PM
Walkalong, thanks ... I missed that one since I was looking in the .454 Casull section on Midway. :o

Redding .454 Casull dies at Midway (http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/BrowseProducts.aspx?&tabId=1&categoryId=8274&categoryString=9315***731***702***8345***&brandId=1526)

I still like the Lee FCD for .45 Colt though and won't be ordering the one in your link. How does the saying go ... "if it ain't broke ..."

:)

Walkalong
October 31, 2009, 09:09 PM
That's right, if it ain't broke, I wouldn't mess with it. :)

Jeff H
November 1, 2009, 08:28 PM
Experienced reloaders can use the FCD effectively, and some do. My problem with the FCD is inexperienced reloaders and its use. It is recommended much too freely to fix the wrong thing.

The FCD is the only crimp die that I have since I have bought almost all Lee stuff, so if I want to crimp separately, that is what I use. I am curious what type of mistakes that it supposedly fixes though, the only time I see much post sizing is with nickel cases which I assume are a tad thicker than brass and loading lead bullets in them. How would that be solved in any other way than using the FCD?????????????

Walkalong
November 1, 2009, 08:59 PM
Ever try loading those bullets without the FCD. Just give them a slight taper crimp them with the seater. Bet you don't have any problems. ;)

But to answer the question. If the ammo won't work without being post sized, it needs to be loaded straighter, or the bullets are over sized and need to be replaced with a better quality bullet, assuming the bell has been sufficiently removed with a slight taper crimp.. :)

Jeff H
November 1, 2009, 09:22 PM
If the ammo won't work without being post sized,

This is the quote that sums it up, IMHO. I have many many 38 spec rounds loaded using 3 dies, but for 357 I wanted to use the FCD for a real good crimp, and I have felt some post sizing as noted in my last post. As far as I can tell, everything I load with 3 dies will chamber and work as well as those loaded with 4 dies so even being new to this, I am thinking that I am not doing anything intrinsically wrong.

BullfrogKen
November 1, 2009, 09:25 PM
I use it on my .308 rounds. I'm not a benchrester, and I don't like to spend lots of my time trimming cases to the same length. I can use a Lee FCD because I can crimp without spending the time to make sure all my cases are the same case length.

Sloppy reloading? Probably. In the purest sense of the craft, yes it is. But it works, and it lets me get by without trimming as often. Still need to trim, but not as often, and that I like.

Walkalong
November 1, 2009, 10:24 PM
As far as I can tell, everything I load with 3 dies will chamber and work as well as those loaded with 4 dies so even being new to this, I am thinking that I am not doing anything intrinsically wrong.
I would agree.
but for 357 I wanted to use the FCD for a real good crimp
Any good crimp die will do that of course. Make a real good crimp that is.

The ones that think they are fixing ammo with the pistol FCD are usually talking about auto calibers where they have trouble feeding, but mysteriously they feed OK after squishing them with the FCD. They are either squeezing down poor reloads, or for some reason getting a better crimp with the FCD die than they were trying to use the seater to crimp and seat simultaneously. Probably because it is easier to set up the crimp separately from the seating operation, although with a slight taper crimp on auto calibers, it isn't that difficult.


Rifle FCD is a whole nother critter. A nifty way to crimp where case length is not much of a concern. :)

R.W.Dale
November 1, 2009, 11:51 PM
Consternation and nose looking down aside, IF YOU'RE GOING TO BOTHER TO CRIMP RIFLE AMMO AT ALL you'll get better more consistent results with much less work if you spend $15 for a FCD. Rifle Calibers I don't have a FCD die for are rifle cartridge combination's I have no intention of crimping for at all

Bailey Boat
November 2, 2009, 08:13 AM
I've always viewed the FCD as a "solution" for folks that don't know how to PROPERLY adjust their dies. If they would READ and FOLLOW the INCLUDED istructions the FCD die wouldn't be very popular.......

rossiscratch
November 2, 2009, 08:28 AM
I've always viewed the FCD as a "solution" for folks that don't know how to PROPERLY adjust their dies. If they would READ and FOLLOW the INCLUDED istructions the FCD die wouldn't be very popular.......
I have a competition seating die for .223 that does not have a roll crimp feature(or other type of crimp). Is it not correct that cartridges reloaded for an AR-15 should have some sort of crimp?

Walkalong
November 2, 2009, 08:48 AM
I crimp all my plinking/rainy day .223 ammo for the same reason the military does. Not many folks crimp ammo loaded for accuracy in their AR's. I don't either, but I do like to give it just a tiny, itty bitty, almost isn't there, smideon of a taper crimp just to make sure the case mouth isn't hanging out there. Not really enough to count as a crimp.

Canuck-IL
November 2, 2009, 09:08 AM
Is it not correct that cartridges reloaded for an AR-15 should have some sort of crimp?
No, it is not correct. What you want is adequate neck tension and that is achieved by proper sizing.
/Bryan

Ret.CWO
November 2, 2009, 10:01 AM
Dillon sent one with the 30-06 set up with my Dillon 650 never checked to if they sell it separately

1858
November 2, 2009, 12:41 PM
Is it not correct that cartridges reloaded for an AR-15 should have some sort of crimp?

I know quite a few Service Rifle competitors that do crimp the necks on their reloads and they're very good shooters with scores consistently over 480. However, Sierra has some good information about crimping (or not) for Service Rifles which can be found HERE (http://www.exteriorballistics.com/reloadbasics/gasgunreload.cfm). I've copied the relevant section for convenience. They even mention the dreaded Lee FCD.


Neck Tension

When we stop to consider the vigorous (read, downright violent) chambering cycle a loaded round endures in a Service Rifle, it becomes pretty clear it suffers abuse that would never happen in a bolt-action. This is simply the nature of the beast. It needs to be dealt with since there is no way around it.

There are two distinctly different forces that need to be considered: those that force the bullet deeper into the case, and those that pull it out of the case. When the round is stripped from the magazine and launched up the feed ramp, any resistance encountered by the bullet risks having it set back deeper into the case. Due to the abrupt stop the cartridge makes when the shoulder slams to a halt against the chamber, inertia dictates that the bullet will continue to move forward. This is exactly the same principle a kinetic bullet puller operates on, and it works within a chamber as well. Some years ago, we decided to examine this phenomenon more closely. During tests here at Sierra’s range, we chambered a variety of factory Match ammunition in an AR-15 rifle. This ammunition was from one of the most popular brands in use today, loaded with Sierra’s 69 grain MatchKing bullet. To conduct the test, we chambered individual rounds by inserting them into the magazines and manually releasing the bolt. We then repeated the tests by loading two rounds into the magazine, chambering and firing the first, and then extracting and measuring the second round. This eliminated any potential variation caused by the difference between a bolt that had been released from an open position (first round in the magazine) and those subsequent rounds that were chambered by the normal semi-automatic operation of the rifle. Measuring the rounds before chambering and then re-measuring after they were carefully extracted resulted in an average increase of three thousandths (0.003") of forward bullet movement. Some individual rounds showed up to seven thousandths (0.007") movement. Please bear in mind that these results were with factory ammunition, normally having a higher bullet pull than handloaded ammunition.

To counteract this tendency, the semi-auto shooter is left with basically two options: applying a crimp or increasing neck tension. The first option, crimping, brings up some other issues that can be troublesome. In general, crimping degrades accuracy. Most match bullets are not cannelured (which also seriously damages accuracy potential), a requirement for correct application of most crimps. Still, there are taper crimp dies available from most of the major manufacturers. Lee offers their “Factory Crimp” die as an alternative, which seems to be one of the better options for those bullets without a cannelure. That having been said, crimping is still, at best, an occasionally necessary evil. Avoid it if at all possible.

The other—and in our opinion, better—option is increased neck tension. This, in turn, leaves us with two more options depending on what type of equipment you’re using. The object of either is simply a tighter grip on the bullet. Using conventional sizing dies, (i.e., those utilizing an expander ball) this is accomplished by reducing the diameter of the ball itself. This can be done by chucking the expander/decapping rod into a drill and turning it down slightly with fine emery cloth or a stone. The goal here is to decrease the diameter two or three thousandths (0.002" to 0.003") under bullet diameter. This is a trial and error process, and must be done slowly. The end result is an expander ball that opens the case neck up somewhat less than the as-issued item. This, in turn, increases the grip of the case neck on the seated bullet.

A better alternative to achieve the same effect is the use of a bushing die, such as those from Redding Reloading. This is by far the best solution, not just for Service Rifles, but for a broad range of reloading applications. The basis for this system is a fairly conventional sizing die, at least where the body and shoulder of the case is concerned. In the neck area, however, the die is fitted with a removable bushing. Available in .001" increments (as measured at the inside diameter of the bushing), they can be matched with a specific batch of brass to provide optimum neck tension. This tension can be increased or decreased by simply moving up or down in bushing size. The one drawback to this system, if it can be called a drawback, is the absolute necessity of sorting cases and loading them in batches. This, of course, is how virtually all loading should be done anyway.

:)

snuffy
November 2, 2009, 01:22 PM
but mysteriously they feed OK after squishing them with the FCD.

Now this is where walkalong and I part company. I don't go along with that statement that the lee FCD "squishes" a rimless semi-auto round. It does iron out lumps and bumps from grossly oversized bullets, or excessively thick cases.

I know the theory that those of use that load oversized lead boolits will experience the FCD sizing the boolit a bit, and the supposition that the bullet will then be loose in the case. (It has to do with the lead staying squeezed smaller, but the brass springing back, creating a loose bullet).

Then there's what one guy over on castboolits.com said, that lee makes the fcd out of carbide sizer dies that got machined oversize by mistake. The inside diameters are all over the map, some are barely over the sizer die diameter, some are where they're supposed to be, .002 BIGGER than a sizer die. I dunno, could be! But I have more faith in lee than that!

All I know is the ones I have work as intended. The occasional boolit that escaped my culling, that's oversize, shows up as a harder to crimp than the others. If it's just barely oversized, I don't/won't notice it while running the dillon 650.

Walkalong
November 2, 2009, 02:13 PM
Then there's what one guy over on castboolits.com said, that lee makes the fcd out of carbide sizer dies that got machined oversize by mistake. The inside diameters are all over the map, some are barely over the sizer die diameter, some are where they're supposed to be, .002 BIGGER than a sizer die.
I don't doubt it. I am sure that is where the main problem stems from. I have less faith in Lee I guess. I know the carbide ring in the .45 FCD I have is way to small. Not sizer small though. The one I have in .40 rarely touches a round. I assume that is how it is supposed to work, and that's OK.

If someone is making rounds where a large percentage won't feed, and then they use the FCD and they do feed, something else is wrong. Sloppy seating, oversized bullets......something.

snuffy, and others, are not doing that. They use it to catch an occasional bad round. I have no problem with that.

My problem is with the folks who are making rounds where a large percentage won't feed, then they use the FCD and they do feed, and they think they fixed the problem. They haven't. Then they sing the praises of the FCD as a solution to feeding problems, which is shouldn't be. They need to solve the problem that causes so many rounds to need to be sized down, and not just size them down. That can cause other problems.

All I know is the ones I have work as intended.

That's a good thing. It means your FCD dies are are not undersized, and you don't have any problems that need solving. (No rounds getting squished) :)

delta5
November 2, 2009, 02:47 PM
I use the FCD on my .45 reloads and have not had a problem. I set it up like the instructions say with about 1/2 to 3/4 turn past contact and the ammo looks and feels like factory ammo and works fine in my .45 1911. I dont see any reason to change and I like the post sizing deal.

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