Best type of crimp for 44mag?


February 26, 2010, 12:00 PM
I'm in need of a crimp for my .44 loads and I'm not sure of what I should get these days there's quite a bit of a selection.

I was just going to go with a lee FCD and be done but I'm just curious what's the input on that.

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February 26, 2010, 12:03 PM
Standard reloading dies do a perfectly fine revolver crimp with the seating dies built-in roll crimp.

It seems to me Lee's collet squasher crimp does a number on the cases that will probably shorten their life before case neck cracks develop.

But I'm just guessing because I don't find a need for them.


February 26, 2010, 12:28 PM
This crimp ( and this crimp ( were done with an RCBS seater die with a built in roll crimp. I am not a fan of the LEE FCD for pistols.

February 26, 2010, 12:57 PM
Are you doing separate seat and crimp, or combined?

February 26, 2010, 01:05 PM
I do it in one operation, especially with cast bullets.

All of them have a deep beveled crimp groove, so the case mouth is clear of the bullet shank before much crimping begins to take place.

Thus, no lead shaving as you can get on lead auto pistol bullets with no crimp groove when seating and crimping in one operation.


February 26, 2010, 01:10 PM
I load .45 Colt, include "Ruger" loads that are the same power as .44 Magnums. I just use the roll crimp built into the Lee seating die. I bought a Lee FCD to try to fix a problem I was having with a certain bullet that I bought, but it didn't help. (I needed more neck tension not a tighter crimp, so I "neck sized" the cases with the base of a .30-06 die and that fixed the problem.) I seat the bullets and crimp the cases in one step, and the FCD just collects dust.

February 26, 2010, 03:03 PM
Lee FCD on a cast bullet can squish them which can cause leading.

February 26, 2010, 03:05 PM
I should have mentioned that my RCBS dies do NOT have a crimp.. or I'm completely missing it -- I have 3 dies, one sizing, one belling/deprimer, and seater.

I picked up these dies from a older gentlemen they are the older RCBS dies, they come in the boxes with the "t" closures, not the snap closures the new ones have..

I am away from my dies currently so I can't post a picture.

It looks like at this point that the roll crimp seems to be the best way to go.

February 26, 2010, 03:31 PM
I have a set of older steel RCBS .45 Colt dies, and the seating die does a nice roll crimp if you adjust it right. You are probably not screwing it down far enough. Try it without a bullet.

February 26, 2010, 04:17 PM
I agree.
ALl older RCBS dies do have a roll crimp or taper crimp capability depending on caliber.

Your .45 Colt dies most certainly will roll crimp.

Take a sized case and run the ram up.
Now screw the seating die down until it contacts the sized case.
Now seat a bullet to the crimp groove.
Back off the seating stem and screw the die down another 1/16" - 3/32" more and it will roll crimp the case.

Now you can re-adjust the seating stem to contact the bullet again and you are in business.


February 26, 2010, 05:27 PM
Are you doing separate seat and crimp, or combined?
Sometimes in one step, and sometimes separately. Any bullet with a good crimp groove or cannelure can be easily seated and crimped in the same step.

February 26, 2010, 05:28 PM
Hmph, alright.

The instructions w/the dies didn't mention anything about that.

February 26, 2010, 06:14 PM
Take a resized case, put it under the crimping/seater die without expanding it first and without a bullet. Run the die down until it is snug against the case mouth, then screw it down another 1/4 turn for good luck. (this is very similar to my method of adjusting an expander die, except I use a fired unsized case for that.)

That's your rough set-up for any seating&crimping die; doesn't matter whether it's a roll crimp or taper crimp. It might not be exactly right but it'll get you close, then you can make your fine adjustments using an expanded case.

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