quick newb question about dies


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StorkPatrol
March 27, 2010, 11:28 PM
What is the difference between 3-die sets and 4-die sets for pistol reloading? I'm noticing that a lot of carbide dies are sold as 3-die sets. What part is missing from the set? Do carbide dies eliminate the need for the 4th die?

I'm looking at getting started with a turret style reloader. I like the ability to get a couple sets of dies and a turret wheel for each caliber. I also like the idea of carbide dies in that they eliminate the step of lubing the cases and are just higher quality in general.

What do I need? --Stork

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Bush Pilot
March 27, 2010, 11:34 PM
4 die set probably has a factory crimp die.

bds
March 27, 2010, 11:39 PM
For Lee die sets,

3 die carbide set includes a carbide sizer/decapping die, powder through expander die, bullet seater die. 4 die set adds the Factory Crimp Die (FCD). Many successfully reload without the FCD and some swear by it.

The carbide Factory Crimp Die checks the size of the case, ensuring that every round will chamber properly in your gun.

4-die Deluxe set includes a carbide full length sizing die with decapping unit, carbide powder through expanding die, for expanding and belling the case mouth while charging the case with powder, a carbide bullet seating die, and Lee's exclusive carbide Factory Crimp Die.

Both 3 and 4-die sets also come packaged with the appropriate shellholder, powder dipper, load data sheet and flat 4-die plastic container. Carbide dies do not require the cases to be lubricated prior to use like non-carbide dies

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=622255

StorkPatrol
March 28, 2010, 12:06 AM
Yes, I was looking at the Lee dies to potentially go with a Lee Classic Turret reloader. So why do they leave the crimping die out of the nicer set?

bds
March 28, 2010, 12:14 AM
So why do they leave the crimping die out of the nicer set?

They add the FCD to the 3 die set to make it a 4 die deluxe set.

Alabama2010
March 28, 2010, 12:42 AM
they also offer a carbide version of the 4 die set- at least in 45 acp.

StorkPatrol
March 28, 2010, 12:55 AM
Ah-Ha! I found the 4-die version of the carbide set at Midway.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=622255

Deus Machina
March 28, 2010, 05:27 AM
I would not feel at all bad about using the 3-die set without the crimping die.

However, I paid a little extra to get the FCD, just from personal preference. I like being about to work in on my crimp, and not have to worry about messing up or resetting my seating depth.

Carbide, however, is a strict necessity for me. Wish they made carbide rifle dies...

Tom S.
March 28, 2010, 10:24 AM
Three die sets do crimp in the third die, but many reloaders prefer to do the crimping in a seperate station. Many straight wall pistol cases head space off the mouth of the case, so it's critical that crimping does not affect this. That's why lots of us use a taper crimp die in a seperate station/operation.

Duckdog
March 28, 2010, 02:02 PM
I am one of the guys who swear by a factory crimping die, both for rifles and pistols. One other nice thing about the 4 hole turret, is that when reloading rifles witrh cast bullets, the extra hole allows the mounting of the universal expanding die, or M die that is a nescessity.

You'll be happy with the classic turret. If your going to load handgun ammo, I would also get the lee auto disk to charge the cases with. It's cheap and it works excellent.

StretchNM
March 28, 2010, 02:43 PM
I too swear by the Lee Factory Crimp die. I have yet to use the crimping adjustment when seating.

The main reason you have 4 dies in pistol reloading is the expander die. With straight-walled pistol reloading, you need at least three dies: full-length sizer, expander, and bullet seater/crimper. The FCD is not necessary, just preferred by some of us.

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