Info on Lee FCD


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orrwdd
December 11, 2009, 05:49 PM
I have been looking at Lee's documentation but cannot find out if the Factory Crimp Die that comes with the 38/357 4 die set does a roll crimp or more of a squeeze on the cartridge case.

It looks different inside from the 44/44Mag set. Do I have to purchase a separate crimp die if I want to separately seat the bullet and crimp in either of these calibers?

Thanks much

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ASCTLC
December 11, 2009, 05:59 PM
I called Lee to ask that question before purchasing the FCD with the 4 die .38 die set. They told me it was a roll crimp die.

Andy

jcwit
December 11, 2009, 07:38 PM
And not needed BTW, just use the seating die adjusted correctly. This has discussed over and over, about once a month.

orrwdd
December 11, 2009, 08:20 PM
And not needed BTW, just use the seating die adjusted correctly. This has discussed over and over, about once a month.
I have also seen several posts stating that you should seat the bullet separately and crimp in another step!

There seems to be many posts both for and against using the Factory Crimp Die for accuracy concerns.

I have reloaded before with both Lyman and RCBS using a single die to seat and crimp, but wanted to take advantage of the separate steps, if there was one to be had.

I guess that my question now is, do you gain anything, or is the FCD just hype?

Lee Roder
December 11, 2009, 08:34 PM
Whether used for production or not, Lee's FCD is handy. I use it as a fairly sensitive diagnostic (I have it) for its characteristic "scuff" of a lumpy case. I'm now crimping using another die.

jcwit
December 11, 2009, 08:46 PM
I went around and around with regards to the FCD and feeding problems with my 45 ACP Kimber with lead bullets.

One of the guru's here took me by the hand and lead me thru the process and ended all my problems.

BTW I size my lead bullets to .452 and the FCD was just post sizing the rounds, leaving very inaccruate bullets. In my case miking a bullet before seating and using the FCD, then seat a bullet and use the FCD and pull the bullet and mike it.

ar10
December 11, 2009, 11:52 PM
I guess that my question now is, do you gain anything, or is the FCD just hype?
Not in a revolver, but with a semi auto I use it and I like it better than the roll crimp.

BigJakeJ1s
December 12, 2009, 12:33 AM
If you have a single stage press, you can seat and crimp separately with just the seating die, but you'd have to adjust it for each purpose each time you switched operations.

Roll crimping into a cannelure (crimp groove on the bullet) is often easier to do while seating than taper crimping is.

The Lee Carbide FCD for straight wall cartridges taper or roll crimps, per the specific cartridge's requirements, and has a post-sizing carbide ring that irons out any case buckling that may have occurred while seating or crimping as the case is withdrawn from the CFCD.

IMHO, the CFCD may save you from some feeding problems, but it is just ironing over problems that occurred elsewhere, and need to be solved elsewhere. It does absolutely nothing for accuracy, and often has a negative effect on it. I have a CFCD in 45 colt, and it does not work well at all. I get far more smooth, consistent and strong roll crimps from my Hornady seating die, while seating the bullet!

I do use a separate taper crimp die (not CFCD) for 45 acp, but taper crimping, is trickier to get right while seating.

Andy

orrwdd
December 12, 2009, 01:04 AM
Thanks to everyone for your input. I think that I will stay with crimping in the seating die, since that is what I am used to.

Accuracy is important to me since I will be reloading for 44 Mag silhouette shooting out to 200 yards.

Bill

ASCTLC
December 12, 2009, 09:08 AM
I find the FCD beneficial by using the bullet seating and crimp set for light crimp of mild plink rounds and set the FCD for heavy crimp for the heavy W296 rounds. The FCD stays set for heavy crimp using a Hornady Loc Ring (I use these Loc rings for all my dies).

Andy

RustyFN
December 12, 2009, 10:38 AM
And not needed BTW, just use the seating die adjusted correctly.

Very true but a lot of us like to seat and crimp in separate steps.

BTW I size my lead bullets to .452 and the FCD was just post sizing the rounds, leaving very inaccruate bullets. In my case miking a bullet before seating and using the FCD, then seat a bullet and use the FCD and pull the bullet and mike it.

I did that also. I size my 200 grain LSWC to .452. I seated some and then ran them into the FCD without crimping and then pulled the bullets. The bullets still measured .452. No post sizing for me.

I guess that my question now is, do you gain anything, or is the FCD just hype?

I agree with the others that say not to use the FCD to fix rounds. I use it as a crimp die and the post sizing feature as a case gage. That saves me the all the time that others spend gaging every round after it's loaded. You can buy a crimp die from any manufacture so the FCD isn't the only one, it's just the only one with a post sizing ring.

ranger335v
December 12, 2009, 11:17 AM
"Accuracy is important to me since I will be reloading for 44 Mag silhouette shooting out to 200 yards."

The L-FCD is no magic device, one way or the other. It is a very good crimper for both revolver (roll crimp) and pistol (taper crimp) and seating before crimping is slightly better for accuracy.

All the FCD does different is insure the loaded rounds WILL chamber, without which the method of crimping is irrelivant. It does that by including a "post-crimping" carbide sizer ring at the mouth of the die. If we run a case up and seat an over-sized bullet that can expand the case too much to chamber, any excessive case bulge will be swaged down as the cartridge is withdrawn. OR, if we seat a proper bullet into a case that has excessively thick walls the same thing will occur. And, yes any bullet in either of those situations will also be made smaller and that harms accuracy...but is that worse than not being able to chamber the round?

The L-FCD is as good as a crimper gets and that's quite good indeed. Fears of 'damaging' accuracy with the post-crimping ring are greatly over-rated, the problems it fixes are a much greater disadvantage than any small changes on targets.

jcwit
December 12, 2009, 11:33 AM
The L-FCD is as good as a crimper gets and that's quite good indeed. Fears of 'damaging' accuracy with the post-crimping ring are greatly over-rated, the problems it fixes are a much greater disadvantage than any small changes on targets.



I guess my fears were unfounded shooting with a bench rest, not hardly. I only wish my shooting offhand would also show the improvment, but I doubt that'll never happen.

ar10
December 12, 2009, 11:34 AM
Very true but a lot of us like to seat and crimp in separate steps.

Yep, I have two single stage presses, my Hornady and the little Lee. I seat with the Hornady and crimp with the Lee and FCD. It saves a lot of time.

Walkalong
December 12, 2009, 11:43 AM
The L-FCD is as good as a crimper gets and that's quite good indeed. It does an adequate job, as do most crimpers. Certainly not the best out there.

Fears of 'damaging' accuracy with the post-crimping ring are greatly over-rated,
I disagree. That doesn't mean it will do it for every situation. It will not, but it can.
the problems it fixes are a much greater disadvantage than any small changes on targets.
I assume you meant "advantage".

I disagree again because any problem "fixed" (squished) with the FCD can be avoided in the first place with better load technique.

If all one cares about is speed of assembly and making it feed and go bang, then by all means continue to squish your reloads to catch mistakes, but if one is interested in loading the most accurate rounds you can, skip it. :)

243winxb
December 12, 2009, 01:00 PM
The bullet seating die tapers first then rolls in the same die. The FCD in carbide sets does this. Carbide Factory Crimp explanation

While the bullet seating die that comes with the die set will apply a crimp to the case, there are some great advantages to using the Factory crimp die. One is that cases are post-sized by the carbide sizing ring in the base of the die. This is like the sizing ring in a resizing die, except that it is ground to maximum allowable outside diameter for the case involved. So if there is a buckle in the case from excessive crimp or a bulge from a slightly oversize bullet, the complete cartridge is resized as it is withdrawn from the die; You can be certain that it will chamber, because it has been resized after the bullet was seated and crimped. There is no provision for seating the bullet with the Factory Crimp Die.

The type of crimp on the die depends upon the type of cartridge. With cases that headspace on the case mouth such as the 45ACP, the die essentially reduces the outer diameter of the case mouth into the bullet. On other cases, a roll crimp is applied.

The degree of crimp is adjusted by how far down the knob on the top of the die is turned in. The proper setting for this die is with the adjustment knob turned all the way up, turn the die into the press until it touches the shell plate or shell holder which should be in the raised position. Then, raise an empty case into the die and begin to turn the knob inward until you feel it stop on the top of the case. Another 1/2 turn will apply a good crimp and you can adjust from there to suit your specific need.


http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/faq/index.cgi

Walkalong
December 12, 2009, 01:08 PM
Never mind. Tired of saying it.

orrwdd
December 12, 2009, 03:44 PM
Walkalong,

I am getting the opinion that this is one of those issues with 50/50 support, as many for as against.

Thanks to everyone for your replies.

Bill

243winxb
December 12, 2009, 04:34 PM
A Lee FCD is not needed. IMO. Walkalong is "tired" so i said it for him.:D

Walkalong
December 12, 2009, 05:16 PM
I am getting the opinion that this is one of those issues with 50/50 supportIt may be more for than against. Many, many new reloaders who don't know they are not needed. One thing Lee does well is advertise.

IMO. Walkalong is "tired" so i said it for him. :D
Yep. Nap time. ;)

A nap would have been nice, but I let my wife drag me along shopping instead. :o

I believe Lee has a problem with undersized carbide rings in the FCD dies. I bought two FCD dies to try, being the curious sort. .40 & .45. The .40 rarely does any work, and then it barely does anything, but the .45 was squishing the rounds all the time. Rounds that would pass a gauge and run flawlessly in tight match chambers without any post sizing were being squished pretty good. Folks that are feeling a lot of post sizing (which isn't really sizing) either have undersized FCD dies or are doing a poor job loading. Either way, the FCD die is an answer for a non problem. Ammo was loaded successfully for decades, even for tight match chambers, before they were invented. AC

1SOW
December 12, 2009, 05:27 PM
Why does the 9mm Lee FCD (4th die) lengthen 90% of my rounds about .0005" and with maybe 2% adds .001 to the COAL? Never any feed problems due to sizing.

I'm up around 5,000 rds 9mm loaded, Using range brass, mostly Win and PPU, 124gr jacketed bullets, light loads/130pf, accurate.

I do understand the meaning of "needed".

.

RustyFN
December 12, 2009, 05:30 PM
A Lee FCD is not needed. IMO. Walkalong is "tired" so i said it for him.

An RCBS, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, and Lyman crimp die isn't needed either but a lot of people like to use them.

Walkalong
December 12, 2009, 05:32 PM
I don't really understand your question, but if you squeeze something lengthwise, it will be skinnier and longer, whether it is a loaded round, an empty piece of brass, or a roll of play dough.

David Wile
December 12, 2009, 05:32 PM
Hey folks,

I think reloaders are a lot like RV owners. Both are generally frugal in that they like to save money, but both are also compulsive in buying whatever new comes on the market. The new item doesn't have to have real utility; it just needs to be seen and folks will want it.

For reloaders I give you the Lee Factory Crimp Die. In its two variations, it can crimp a case mouth right into a jacketed bullet that has no cannelure whatsoever, and it can essentially size a finished round which means it therefore resizes the bullet inside the case or case neck. For those who want a cannelure on a jacketed bullet that has no cannelure, you can get a tool that will expertly cut a cannelure in the jacket where you want it, and you can then crimp in that cannelure with your regular seater/crimper die. If you make mistakes in your pistol loads and you want to run them through a sizing die to make it so you do not see your mistakes, you can do it with the Lee FCD or you could simply run those pistol round back up your carbide sizing die. Both dies will make any bulges disappear, but neither will correct the original problem, and both will simply swage a bullet that is too small for the barrel. The cartridge will fit, but it won't shoot well.

For the RV folks, I give you the under-cabinet paper plate holder. What a great gadget. You fasten it to the bottom of your kitchen cabinet, and you can then put maybe 30 or 40 paper plates in it and pull a plate out whenever you want. Of course you buy maybe 50 or 100 or more paper plates, and what do you do with the plates that do not fit in the new under-cabinet holder? Why you put them in the cabinet above the great new under-cabinet plate holder you just bought. I am being serious. They actually sell these things. Don't believe me? Go to a Camping World on a weekend and watch the folks buy these plate holders along with countless other things that really do not make sense.

As for myself, I am a reloader and an RV owner, and I guess I have to admit to buying some things over the years that made little sense after a little time went by and I actually used these things. I did not, however, ever buy a Lee Factory Crimp Die nor an under-cabinet paper plate holder.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

1SOW
December 12, 2009, 05:34 PM
My seat reads about .357/8.

Brass cases are a little 'springy'. I haven't tried running a case through the sizing die, measuring the case, and then running it through the sizing die again and remeasuring it. Maybe, that's what the FCD is doing.

I agree that it's unlikely this is necessary/needed.

Maybe it's the 'suspenders' of wearing a 'belt AND suspenders'.

Walkalong
December 12, 2009, 05:36 PM
An RCBS, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, and Lyman crimp die isn't needed either but a lot of people like to use them.
I believe you missed the point. Yes, you do not need to crimp in a 4th step a lot of times (Sometimes you do), so you don't need the extra FCD or whatever brand of crimp die, but the point was the "post sizing" part is not needed, whether you choose to crimp and seat together, or crimp separately. If you choose to crimp in a fourth step (separately from seating) then you do need a fourth die, whether you choose a Lee FCD or a Lee crimp only die with no "post sizing" feature, or a RCBS, Redding etc crimp only die.

RustyFN
December 12, 2009, 07:40 PM
I believe you missed the point. Yes, you do not need to crimp in a 4th step a lot of times (Sometimes you do), so you don't need the extra FCD or whatever brand of crimp die, but the point was the "post sizing" part is not needed, whether you choose to crimp and seat together, or crimp separately. If you choose to crimp in a fourth step (separately from seating) then you do need a fourth die, whether you choose a Lee FCD or a Lee crimp only die with no "post sizing" feature, or a RCBS, Redding etc crimp only die.

I probably did. I'm like you and feel this subject is getting very old. It's hard to believe if somebody did a search for FCD they wouldn't have at least a dozen results. My problem with the subject is I load three pistol calibers with a FCD and none of my ammo gets post sized. I have friends that use them also and don't rely on the FCD to fix their ammo either. It's frustrating to keep trying to make people understand that the FCD doesn't post size every round only one that is out of spec. Also it seems that most people forget it's a crimp die and think it only post sizes. I have loaded thousands of rounds of 9mm, 38 spcl and 45 auto with FCD's and only had two rounds get post sized. Believe it or not they were both 9mm FMJ rounds. OK rant over.:D Everybody have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Walkalong
December 12, 2009, 08:16 PM
Rant understood. :D

You are 100% right. If folks searched, they could find all the discussion they could want on the subject.

I let it go 90+% of the time, but then there will always be that one I can't resist. :)

snuffy
December 12, 2009, 09:40 PM
Walkalong, I can't resist either, especially when I strongly disagree to statements like this;

For reloaders I give you the Lee Factory Crimp Die. In its two variations, it can crimp a case mouth right into a jacketed bullet that has no cannelure whatsoever, and it can essentially size a finished round which means it therefore resizes the bullet inside the case or case neck.

First there are three variations of the lee final crimp die, two for handguns, one for rifles. Second, as Rusty said it only post sizes rounds that are out of spec. Your statement makes it sound like it post sizes every round, that's simply not the case,(no pun intended). As Walkalong said, I too think lee has some quality control problems with the inside diameter of the carbide ring, it MAY be undersized so it WILL post size even normal rounds. If that happens, return it to lee, they'll correct it.

If you make mistakes in your pistol loads and you want to run them through a sizing die to make it so you do not see your mistakes, you can do it with the Lee FCD or you could simply run those pistol round back up your carbide sizing die. Both dies will make any bulges disappear, but neither will correct the original problem, and both will simply swage a bullet that is too small for the barrel. The cartridge will fit, but it won't shoot well.

That's just plain wrong! You make it sound like both dies are the same inside diameter. They're not! The final crimp die's carbide ring is supposed to be the same size as a saami chamber drawing, minimal size to chamber in even a match chamber.

Some say the FCD is simply a mistake eraser. So what mistakes are we talking about? Instead of condemning the FCD as a shortcut to ammo that simply functions, how about explaining the mistakes that lead to bulged rounds that might need such a correction.

I too am tired of all the lee bashing that goes on here and on other forums. I don't know if it's elitism or just what causes it. I'll recommend lee to a new loader every time. It may not have that prestigious name or the polish that the extra money buys, but it'll work and work well. I wonder if it's envy, because Richard Lee has the genius to create things like the FCD, collet neck die, a classic turret? Or the "better than rockchucker" lee classic cast?

jcwit
December 12, 2009, 11:29 PM
I too am tired of all the lee bashing that goes on here and on other forums.

I go along with this statement however I have little use for the FCD, Lee lock rings, their powder scale, or their sq. plastic die storage boxes "this last is immaterial tho really". Their scale works but is way to light for me to use with my shaking. And the ONLY lock rings I like are the split Hornady rings. Other than these few items I believe Lee offers excellant value.

With all this discussion I'm going to get my machinest tools out and measure the carbide ring in my FCD that I no longer have any use for, but we shall see.

1SOW
December 12, 2009, 11:53 PM
jcwit: Thanks. Interested in the measurement.

Walkalong
December 12, 2009, 11:55 PM
You make it sound like both dies are the same inside diameter. They're not! So true, but the way some people post it sounds like they think they are. Maybe it's just their lack of ability to describe things, but it is certain to confuse folks who are not familiar with what the die is and what it is supposed to do.

I too am tired of all the lee bashingI hope no one thinks I am a Lee basher. I often recommend Lee dies to beginners, despite my not being a FCD (for pistols) fan.

I'm going to get my machinest tools out and measure the carbide ring in my FCD
Mine for .45 ACP is right at .470, but all I have for measuring ID is a caliper, and that is not the best way.

Walkalong
December 13, 2009, 12:06 AM
.45 ACP cartridge drawing (http://www.handloads.com/articles/cartridge.htm)

David Wile
December 13, 2009, 12:32 AM
Oh, come on Snuffy. Give me a break, and not my leg either.

I think you are wrong about Lee bashing. I think Lee is very solidly in place in the reloading market from what I can tell by all the folks on the forum that obviously have Lee presses. Even I swear by the Lee hand primer tool and the Lee powder dippers. When it comes to the Lee Factory Crimp Die, however, I think it is fair game to criticize it. I'm not the first person who said the the Lee Factory Crimp Die was a solution looking for a problem. I didn't need one fifty years ago, and I still don't need one today. To hear some folks talk about it, I don't see how they ever reloaded ammo before the Lee FCD. I don't buy it, but there are a lot of folks who swear by them. Then again someone else already said that Lee does a very good job of advertising and telling folks how much they need the FCD.

Geez Snuffy, I thought you were as old as I am. Whatever did you do before Richard Lee's genius gave us the FCD? And there you go picking on RCBS saying the Lee Classic Cast is better than the RockChucker. Do you realize how old the RockChucker is? Even I could design a press today that would improve on the RockChucker's shortcomings, and I am no genius. I will say this though, I still have and use my old RockChucker, and I also have a couple of RCBS Juniors that I still use occasionally.

Richard Lee is an American success story. He markets his products to a certain niche of the reloading market, and he does it very well. It seems to me his niche is growing every year, but I still think the FCD is a matter of selling the sizzle like the RV folks with the under-cabinet paper plate holders.

Is it getting cold enough for you up there in Wisconsin? I'm down here in Pennsylvania, and I am already freezing. As soon as Christmas is over, I'm heading for my camper in Avon Park, Florida, and if you keep picking on me, I might guilty enought to have to buy one of those dumb paper plate holders.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

RustyFN
December 13, 2009, 01:25 AM
I didn't need one fifty years ago, and I still don't need one today. To hear some folks talk about it, I don't see how they ever reloaded ammo before the Lee FCD.

David I'm not saying anybody is bashing Lee and I don't really care if they are. The point I am trying to make is a lot of people forget that it is a crimp die and think it only post sizes. By your statement it looks like you are one of them. A lot of people including me like to seat and crimp separate and believe it or not the C in FCD stands for crimp. If you don't like to crimp separate then don't, that's up to you. But for those of us that like to I don't see a problem. Just because people loaded a certain way 50 years ago doesn't mean we have to load that way today. Things improve over time.

Walkalong
December 13, 2009, 10:59 AM
Reloaders have so much more to choose from these days. A jillion more powders, more products from more companies. Nice reasonably priced competition dies that would have been custom back when. The reloader of today is just spoiled rotten with choices.

That said, not all new products are improvements, or even as good.

To hear some folks talk about it, I don't see how they ever reloaded ammo before the Lee FCD. Some of them would definitely run into trouble David, but, like all older reloaders, as you know, they would have figured it out without needing the FCD die.

I never bash the FCD die user. I do, however, give the die, its concept, and its misuse a hard time.

243winxb
December 13, 2009, 12:15 PM
Hey Walkalong, you should have stuck with this. > Never mind. Tired of saying it. lol :D Lee products for the most part are poor quality and cheap. IMO :neener: And yes i have used there Hammer Loaders , bullet molds, dies, shotgun loader, and more. :cuss: Buy quality first, it pays in the long run. :) For a person that is going to only load a max of 20-50 rounds a year, Lee is fine. :cool:

jcwit
December 13, 2009, 12:25 PM
OK dug the tools out this morning and using a calibers, then using a small hole gauge and measuring with a mike, I came up with .471 using the calibers, using the small hole gage and mike I got .4697. My edition of "The Handloaders Manual of Cartridge Conversions" confers with the .45 ACP drawing supplied by Walkalong, .473 at case mouth, making the carbide insert undersize.

BTW Yes I did throughly clean the insert before measuring.

jcwit
December 13, 2009, 12:31 PM
lol Lee products for the most part are poor quality and cheap. IMO And yes i have used there Hammer Loaders , bullet molds, dies, shotgun loader, and more. Buy quality first, it pays in the long run. For a person that is going to only load a max of 20-50 rounds a year, Lee is fine.



Sorry, but thats just an opinion.

Wonder how I've managed to reload the thousands of rounds a year that I have done with Lee equipment. However they do not have any bragging rights or snob appeal

Lee Roder
December 13, 2009, 01:31 PM
jcwit got me curious so i dug out & measured the id of my 38/357 fcd ring using a ball gage. expanded ball mic'd 9.56 mm (0.3764") and calip'd 0.377". chamber spec (from Lee diagram) is 0.379" so mine also appears a few thousandths too tight.

hmmm

Walkalong
December 13, 2009, 01:38 PM
Gotta remember, brass is springy, so it has to be a hair under the target dimension.

Lee Roder
December 13, 2009, 05:38 PM
right brass is springy but lead's not. fitting 358" sized bullets into their cases results in a my cartridge measuring .377" in diameter. though not tested, i'm sure this die will wreck my .359" bullets. don't know why S&W machines their throats so big.

ranger335v
December 13, 2009, 06:07 PM
"Fears of 'damaging' accuracy with the post-crimping ring are greatly over-rated," ----- I disagree. That doesn't mean it will do it for every situation. It will not, but it can.

I thought that was what I said. ??


"Quote: the problems it fixes are a much greater disadvantage than any small changes on targets." --- I assume you meant "advantage".

No, I meant what I said but poorly worded, as you indicate. What I meant is of the two (potenitial) disadvantages of the L-FCD, I prefer the one of slightly reducing the bullet diameter if that's required for chambering. Accuarcy doesn't matter if the ammo can't be chambered.

Does Lee advertise? If so, I haven't noticed. But then I have hardly bothered with gun magazines for maybe 20 or so years, it's virtually all puff and fluff with little meat in them for a LOONG time now.

Galil5.56
December 13, 2009, 06:41 PM
This reply from http://robleatham.com/blog/2008/11/03/9mm-minor-part-2/

Sums it up for some folks, me included exactly why the FCD can be a hindrance, not a help, especially with case walls on the thick side and a lot of cast bullets:

ScottShepherd says:

July 8th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Great info Rob. thank you. i have also been working on heavy bullet, fast powder setups in 45. It is very noticeable in the sound of the shot. Also great info when we spoke at lunch after drillmasters. i found that the lee crimp die was sizing .451″ bullets down to .449″ in some cases. .358 in super for revolver was down to .355″ and loose in the case below the crimp. did some accuracy tests with lee crimp and dillon crimp and was shocked at the difference. I became aware of the lack of accuracy at the last drillmasters, i knew the sights were there on some of the shots that scored poor. groups are at least 50% smaller and in the lighter .358 bullets they are 75% smaller. Thank you for unknowlingly helping me with this.

I count on the case to have a bulge so I know neck tension is good for all my handgun loads, and that the .358"/.359" bullets for 9mm and .38 Special, .453" for .45 Auto, and .431" for .44 mag I size to those diameters stay at the diameter I want. I'm in the useless camp concerning the FCD, but if using one makes folks happy, keep on being happy. IMO, I think it may be poor QC/a lot of variability in the post sizing rings diameter as to why why some folks don't get any bullet squishing, others some, and others a lot. FWIW, Lee will/does make an oversize FCD, and I have an unused one in .44 Mag I may give a whirl someday to quell my curiosity.

Walkalong
December 13, 2009, 07:14 PM
I prefer the one of slightly reducing the bullet diameter if that's required for chambering. Accuarcy doesn't matter if the ammo can't be chambered.It can chamber by being more careful loading. It doesn't need the FCD die to squish it if it's done right.


Lee Roder: right brass is springy but lead's not. Bingo. We have a winner! :D

billsnogo
December 13, 2009, 07:16 PM
Aw crap, now I am confused. I am going to be buying the lee turret, and had planned on buying the deluxe dies, now I am not sure.

I decided to start loading just to reduce the cost of each round, but had been, and am more so now interested in improving accuracy as an additional benefit.

I will be keeping tuned to this educational topic :)

Walkalong
December 13, 2009, 07:19 PM
Just search "FCD" in this forum. Lots of conversation. It'll keep you reading for days.

snuffy
December 13, 2009, 07:57 PM
Wow, that's two fer two that are undersized. Okay, I'll go check a couple of mine BRB.

Color me baffled! :confused: Here's my measurements;
9mm .376(at it's smallest point, it's a tapered case) specs say it's .380--.391
10mm or my 40 S&W, .4216, specs say .424? My reloaded, sized 40 ammo is also .4215 with a .401 lead boolit in it.
44 mag, .4548, specs say .457.
45 acp, .4715, specs say .476.

These measurements were taken with a Starret telescoping gauge, then read with a micrometer capable of 0.0001.

Now none of these FCD's touch any of my cases,EXCEPT when an occasional larger-than-it-should-be lead boolit gets seated. Then it's just doing it's job. I wonder about the specs on the handloads.com website. Their dimensions coincide with my Lyman CBH book spot on. Maybe because it's a maximum dimension, not minimum? Or is that chamber dimensions?

snuffy
December 13, 2009, 08:16 PM
It can chamber by being more careful loading. It doesn't need the FCD die to squish it if it's done right.

Hollow words, without explaining. Do you mean NOT trying to load boolits you know are oversized in brass you KNOW are a little thick? Not too bad if done in a revolver, if you're not using a speed loader. But doing this with a semi-auto will get you in trouble fast!

I realize a bullet being oversize, then being sized down while inside a shell will result in a loose neck tension, and a diameter less that you planned on. But don't go bad mouthing the lee FCD just for doing it's job! That's exactly what it's SUPPOSED to do! Is it a good thing? Of course not! So don't use it for that scenario.

Now enter jacketed bullets, one gets a bad/crooked start into the case, results in a bulge on one side of the brass. Without a FCD, that would most likely tie up a semi-auto pistol. That's if the loader was NOT using a case gauge. WITH a FCD, it would still chamber, but being cocked, nothing will make it accurate. It would get you through a IDPA match, I'll bet the score wouldn't be off either.

Anybody that's running as fast as you can double tap, is not worried about minute of angle accuracy. If you are, you're probably the slowest one out there!:uhoh:

Walkalong
December 13, 2009, 08:56 PM
Hollow words, without explaining. Gimme a break snuffy. I have detailed it over and over here, including its merits. Without attacking anyone, by the way. You are just being argumentative now. You can fight by yourself. I won't fight with you. My answers to all your quoted situations are here in other threads.

Same old lame nah nah nah. You get peeved as if you are taking it personally. Lay down you argument for the FCD without the attitude my friend. :)

243winxb
December 13, 2009, 11:15 PM
I wonder about the specs on the handloads.com website. Their dimensions coincide with my Lyman CBH book spot on. Maybe because it's a maximum dimension, not minimum? Or is that chamber dimensions? Measurements are the maximum for a loaded round of ammo. IMO. Here are more drawings. http://www.stevespages.com/page8d.htm Not all are correct, use more than 1 reference as you did.

snuffy
December 13, 2009, 11:56 PM
Gimme a break snuffy. I have detailed it over and over here, including its merits.

I don't need your procedures explained. But maybe someone who's just starting out could use the help. I guess they'll have to spend some time looking at your past threads to find out.

As someone said, I and others loaded a bunch before lee came out with the FCD. Most were very accurate loads for shooting at 200 meters during silly wet (silhouette), matches with a 10.5 inch 44 SBH mag revolver, and a couple of contenders. Others were wildcat 7 X 47 thunder jet loads for the unlimited class, fired in a heavily modified XP-100.

You certainly can get functional ammo without the FCD. You can also crimp and seat at the same time in the same die, IF your brass is all trimmed to the same length. Most don't bother trimming handgun brass, but for long range work it's essential.

1SOW
December 14, 2009, 12:03 AM
I agree with all the major contributors of this post and thank you for your research and effort.

The Lee FCD is designed to provide an optional way to crimp.

It is not designed as a supplementary sizing die-(FCSD?).
EDIT: *Ooops, see my next post with Lee quote.


It's the reloaders responsibilty to understand the above and choose to use or not use this die.

delta5
December 14, 2009, 02:02 AM
If the die set has the FCD, I use it according to the directions. It does a great job on my .45acp loads.. If the post sizing ring catches very hard, i know there is something wrong.

fguffey
December 16, 2009, 09:34 AM
"Do I have to purchase a separate crimp die if I want to separately seat the bullet and crimp in either of these calibers?"

No, it is all in the adjustment, first seat the bullet by raising the die to avoid crimping, after seating the bullets raise the seater plug then lower the die for crimping, when seating and crimping seat A bullet to proper height first then raise the seater plug and adjust the die to crimp, secure the die then lower the seater plug until it contacts the bullet, then secure the lock nut? for the seater plug this allows for seating and crimping at the same time.

F. Guffey

RustyFN
December 16, 2009, 10:45 PM
"Do I have to purchase a separate crimp die if I want to separately seat the bullet and crimp in either of these calibers?"

No, it is all in the adjustment, first seat the bullet by raising the die to avoid crimping, after seating the bullets raise the seater plug then lower the die for crimping, when seating and crimping seat A bullet to proper height first then raise the seater plug and adjust the die to crimp, secure the die then lower the seater plug until it contacts the bullet, then secure the lock nut? for the seater plug this allows for seating and crimping at the same time.

F. Guffey

Would be OK for a single stage but defeats the purpose of the classic turret or progressive.

You don't have to use the FCD, Lee also sells a standard crimp die or you could buy a second seater die and set it up just to crimp. I use the FCD for all my calibers. If it post sizes a round I inspect it and/or pull it apart to reuse what components I can. I don't use the FCD to fix ammo I use it to crimp and as a case gage. I'm lazy and don't want to sit there and run every round through a case gage after it's loaded. I must have been lucky so far. I have only had two rounds get post sized out of thousands loaded, FMJ and lead.

1SOW
December 16, 2009, 10:45 PM
FWIW: Staight wall/tapered cases only require a very 'light ' crimp, so below may mean nothing for 9x19, 40cal or .45acp. The last sentence is interesting though.

Lee Modern Reloading, Pistol Loading Sect.:

The single operation in the reloading process that damages the most ammunition is the crimp operation. Attempting to crimp too much either buckles the case or forms a slight bulge just behind the crimp. Either way the round will not chamber.

The Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die overcomes these problems. It cannot bulge the case and it post sizes the case just in case an oversize bullet or thick case wall makes the cartridge over maximum cartridge size. It requires an extra operation. If you are the Lee Load-Master or four hole Turret Press, it's no problem, because there is a station for the Factory Crimp Die. This die allows unlimited crimp with never a chance of a bulged case because it will be ironed out as it is extracted. The carbide sizer is slightly under under minimum chamber dimension, so the rounds will fit any standard chamber, but will not squeeze the bullet within the case.

Walkalong
December 17, 2009, 10:08 AM
The bullet moves such a tiny amount while a light taper crimp is being applied that there is no reason to crimp in a fourth step unless you just want to. Unless your dies are set up wrong, or you are applying way to much crimp, seating and crimping 9MM, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP in one step won't hurt a thing.

Is it easier to set up seating and crimping seperately? Sure. Is it hard to set up seating and crimping in the same step for those calibers? No. Do it any way you want, just don't think you cannot seat and crimp those calibers, and similar ones, in one step. :)

ar10
December 17, 2009, 02:21 PM
FWIW: Staight wall/tapered cases only require a very 'light ' crimp, so below may mean nothing for 9x19, 40cal or .45acp.

I think Lee came out with the FCD first for straight wall cases and they work very well. Hornady now has what they call "Taper Crimp die", which is pretty much the same..
What can occur, if you do not crimp, roll or FCD, in a semi-auto is the possibility of the bullet getting knocked back into the case and compressing the load when loading the next round.

Walkalong
December 17, 2009, 03:24 PM
What can occur, if you do not crimp, roll or FCD, in a semi-auto is the possibility of the bullet getting knocked back into the case and compressing the load when loading the next round.

Again. Neck tension holds the bullet from moving back in the case in auto rounds like 9MM & .45 ACP. The crimp does not. A slight taper crimp from whatever crimp die you choose will not & can not make up for poor neck tension.

The FCD can in some instances actual hurt neck tension which would make bullet set back more likely. The lead in bullets simply will not spring back as much as the brass, losing some neck tension.

1SOW
December 17, 2009, 11:08 PM
Again. Neck tension holds the bullet from moving back in the case in auto rounds like 9MM & .45 ACP. The crimp does not. A slight taper crimp from whatever crimp die you choose will not & can not make up for poor neck tension.

I agree. The crimp in a straight case takes the bell out and back to your desired diameter at the mouth. I use as little bell as possible and still be able to load smoothly. My jacketed 9mm is taper crimped to .377/8, and the bullet seater /crimper does that.

The FCD doesn't seem to effect that case mouth dimension in my set-up.

It does seem to engage the case slightly much closer to the base on many rounds. I've triple checked my Lee full length sizing/deprimer die set-up, but the FCD still engages many of the cases down low. Maybe that's just that 'intentional' undersizing of the ring or some mistake I'm intentionally making out of ignorance.

I just finished reloading my last 850 rounds and getting ready to develop another load for a new-to-me bullet.

With almost 6000 rds through the press using two powders and three different jacketed bullets, I've never had a shooting problem (after load development) related to sizing, feed, extraction, setback or accuracy needed for USPSA and AASA steel/'non-precision' targets inside 25 yards. I've shot at 50 yds and hit, but grouping was not an accurate description. At 50 yds, I know I'm the major problem.

I really don't believe this die does anything very significant in my case. It may be a sanity check.

Walkalong
December 18, 2009, 08:54 AM
I agree.Most do, as most understand this. I just keep seeing posts about crimp more if your auto bullets set back. :banghead: :D

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