Lee Factory Crimp Die


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Pilot
January 28, 2010, 06:50 AM
In my most recent move I have misplaced some of my pistol reloading dies. I had several calibers in Lee three die sets that I can not locate. I am contemplating replacing them with the Lee deluxe four die set which includes the factory crimp die. Is this worth the extra $10 of cost over the three die set? What does this die accomplish that I can not do with the other seating die?

I am reloading .45ACP, 9MM, .380 and .45 Colt for now.

Thanks.

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shootinxd
January 28, 2010, 07:08 AM
I would get the 4 die set and try it for yourself,I'm sure this thread will get LOTS of opinions!You should decide for you gun,application.

Walkalong
January 28, 2010, 07:17 AM
What does this die accomplish that I can not do with the other seating die?Nothing. ;)

Jeff H
January 28, 2010, 07:57 AM
What does this die accomplish that I can not do with the other seating die?

It provides entertainment by having the ability to start a bunch of hotly debated threads on internet forums. :D

qajaq59
January 28, 2010, 08:03 AM
I tried one for my .308 and wasn't that impressed. It's in the drawer and I'm using the seating die to crimp again. But I guarantee that there are others that love them, which is fine.

Walkalong
January 28, 2010, 09:38 AM
The pistol FCD & rifle FCD are two different animals. There should be two different discussions for them.

It provides entertainment by having the ability to start a bunch of hotly debated threads on internet forums. :D

They are good for that. :uhoh:

running iron
January 28, 2010, 10:03 AM
I use my LFCD all the time using old brass for 45 acp. I still use a single stage press and always have a couple of rounds that won't fit my case gauge. It seems no matter how bad they are, the LFCD will iron out the problem to enable the round to fit. Maybe it's my mistakes that cause this to happen in the first place, but at least I don't have to pull bullets or ever have a jam or FTF.

MMCSRET
January 28, 2010, 10:18 AM
The FCD and the handgun Carbide Crimp Dies are tools that are useful for some applications but not all. They are like a pair of pliers in a tool box, good to have and difficult to do without but not used for everything.
Pay the money, you will find uses for them.

Nuke8401
January 28, 2010, 10:30 AM
I have loaded many 9mm and 45ACP with FCD and would not do without it. While you can do the crimp with the normal seating die "I think" differences in case length with unknown brass are much easier to deal with using the FCD and give me the same crimp each time independent of small differences in case length. I never neasure 9 or 45 brass.

I reload range brass with a Lee classic turret, 4 hole plate, with FCD, most likely 5,000 to 10,000 a year and never have problems with chambering rounds as I did without the FCD.

Sam1911
January 28, 2010, 11:33 AM
I do appreciate having the FCD for .45 and 9mm as they act (IMHO) a bit like a "poor man's" cartridge gauge. If my rounds make it through that sizing ring at the last station, they WILL chamber in my guns. I go through a lot of rounds between matches and practice and I really DON'T want to sit and gauge every single round. (Though I've heard some folks do.)

It is also convenient (not necessary, just convenient) to be able to set the crimp separately from the seating station.

However, on revolver cartridges with lead bullets I've found them to be a PITA. I get a nicer roll crimp from the seating die adjusted properly anyway, but the real issue is that the sizing ring in the FCD grabbed every single round HARD, going in AND coming out, and made the loading operation miserable. I've never had a .44 come through the loading process that wouldn't chamber in any case.

So, if it was me, I'd get 4-die sets for all your auto-pistol cartridges and the standard sets for .45 Colt.

-Sam

rcmodel
January 28, 2010, 11:41 AM
Just keep in mind that if the Lee FCD is post-sizing your loaded round any noticable amount, it is also post-sizing the perfectly sized bullet you so carefully chose as well!

Brass can compress and spring back slightly.
Lead bullets? Not so much.

I do like the rifle FCD collet die in rifle calibers that require crimping for tube magazines however. But they do not post-size the whole round including the bullet.

rc

Asherdan
January 28, 2010, 12:04 PM
To elaborate on rc's point...

I like to shoot cast in my Marlin 1894 44RM but need at least a .431 sized lead bullet for proper bore fit. With the standard FCD the post sizing was smashing the .431 bullet down enough to get me leading the first few inches of the bore. I sent it in and Lee opened it up by .002 at no cost. Problem solved, die permanently marked for cast use.

Something to be aware of.

mnhntr
January 28, 2010, 02:12 PM
I love my Lee factory crimp dies. I had issues shooting USPSA with reloaded 38s not wanting to slide easily into the cylinder due to the .358 size and .45acp not chamdering for same size problems but this thing makes them uniform and chamber without fail.

Pilot
January 28, 2010, 08:34 PM
Thanks for all the great info. I think I'll get the four size set for one or two and try it out. I used the three die sets for years without feeding issues and I had a lot of different calibers. I am sick I can't find them. If I like the four size set I'll buy the FCD seperately.

The other piece of bad news is I can't find any of my other equipment either, tumbler, press, scale, etc.

I think I am going to use this as an excuse to finally get a progressive press like the Lee Turret. They are inexpensive and my time is worth something. Not to start a press war, I am sticking to Lee. Which progressive do you recommend. I want to stay inexpensive as I have to buy a bunch of dies eventually.

FROGO207
January 28, 2010, 09:14 PM
FWIW I have both and like them as well as rifle one.
You do know the day the new ones arrive you will find the missing items.:banghead:

mcdonl
January 28, 2010, 09:18 PM
That is what I just bought... the 9mm 4 die set. I also got a Lee 38 3 die set, and I have not yet got my arms around what they all are.

Sam1911
January 29, 2010, 08:24 AM
a progressive press like the Lee Turret. ... Not to start a press war, I am sticking to Lee. Which progressive do you recommend.

To be exact, a turret isn't a progressive press. A turret press occupies the middle ground between a single-stage like the Lee Classic Cast (which is getting great reviews) and a progressive like the Load Master or Pro1000. You're still working one cartridge at a time. Still 3 or 4 pulls of the handle for each round created.

Folks really seem to like the Lee Classic Turret press. I don't think you can go wrong with that choice.

If you want to know about the true progressives, some folks have had good luck with the Lee progressives and some find them finicky and frustrating. I have competitive shooter friends who use them and they have made them work, but report that some of the parts are a bit flimsy and need replaced often. However, Lee has great customer service, so even if the press goes down frequently, they'll do a good job of getting you back up and running.

Personally, I think the Dillon offerings are worth the money, but every system has its little quirks and you have to learn to work with what you get.

-Sam

Hunt480
January 29, 2010, 09:01 PM
I use the use the Lee Classic Turret, and these 4 die sets are great. Having the factory crimp die speeds the process for me. I take my time just like I do on the single stage. I load 41,44,480,475 and 500 on mine . Lee doesn't offer the Factory Crimp Die for the 480/475 or the 500 so I got these two crimp dies from Redding. So I don't have to reajust anymore just pull the handle one more time. All my ammunition turns out really good and works good in all my guns.
These 4 die sets and the 4 hole turret has been the answer for all my reloading needs. I can swap calibers quickly and convenient. I like to reload but I would rather spend more time shooting.

bullseye308
January 30, 2010, 01:13 AM
Oh man, it's like crimping. Some do and like it and some don't and like it. Try it and see if it works for you. Worst case it doesn't work for your needs and you offload it for what you have in it. Best case it works and you don't have to place another order or drive across town to get one.

It's about 51% for and 49% against. Kinda like Ford/Chevy, Ruger/S&W, stuff like that.

Pilot
January 30, 2010, 01:26 PM
You do know the day the new ones arrive you will find the missing items.

Frog,

Ain't that the truth. I may go through all my boxes one more time and see if they turn up. :banghead: X2!

Sam,

Thanks for the clarification on the Turret press. I think that will do just fine as I've used a single stage for years.

Memnok
January 31, 2010, 01:13 AM
Ain't that the truth. I may go through all my boxes one more time and see if they turn up. X2!

Something similar happened to me. I lost a box will all my reloading stuff. (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1169561)

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