3 die or 4 die set-up


May 31, 2010, 07:42 AM
i am currently using a set of lee cabide 45 acp dies (3 die set), lee claims no tarper crimp die is needed , due to the way they expand the case. Hornady and Rcbs 3 die sets claim to have the crimp feature built in. Does anyone use the three die set-up without the taper crimp die with good results, or will I need the crimp die as well. This may be the cause of a 45 acp Kimber problem stated in an earlier post

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May 31, 2010, 07:53 AM
You Lee seating die has a crimp built in. It starts as a taper crimp, then turns into a roll crimp, so there instructions say. http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/faq/index.cgi Carbide die set

Carbide handgun dies contain the carbide sizer, the powder through expanding die, the seater/crimping die, a powder dipper, shell holder and load data. The seater/crimper die applies a modified taper crimp and eventually a roll crimp negating the need for a separate taper crimp die. Sometimes its best to taper crimp in a separate operation.

May 31, 2010, 08:37 AM
I taper crimp separately with great results. I never liked the idea of pushing a bullet into the case and at the same time , pushing the neck of the case against the bullet.

May 31, 2010, 08:50 AM
I use the 4 die sets in all pistol calibers, just to seperate the seating and crimping. Although I just barely touch the mouth while crimping, set up is way easier, and I like the post sizing feature of the Lee FCD. I have never measured a cartridge before and after post sizing, but its very minimal if any. Many people belive the FCD is a waste of time, but so is dropping every cartridge into a case gauge. As long as your not using the FCD to fix reloading issues, like over belling, using bullets that are too big in diameter, your gonna be just fine;) I've never ever had a problem before or after using FCD, and setup is just plain simple:)

May 31, 2010, 09:56 AM
As 243winxb posted, your Lee die is capable of taper crimping just like other seater dies are.

I put a slight taper crimp on all my .45 ACP, as do 99% of reloaders. Just enough to remove the bell or a hair more.

Here are a couple of pics (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6284211&postcount=63).

The Lee expander flares just like most expanders out there, so I can not see where they would say you don't need to crimp. Even when using my Redding two step expanders (something they copied from Lyman) I still taper crimp.

June 1, 2010, 03:09 AM
Unlike my friend AC I like the Lee Factory Crimp Die that's in the 4 die set. I use a FCD for all my handgun ammo in a Lee Classic 4 hole turret press.

June 1, 2010, 06:36 AM
what is this over-belling term ,is that the same as expanding? I have ordered a FCD to resize after the seat/crimp. I have talked to a couple of ppl , who have said they have had to add it to resize the case after bullet seating. I hope it is not a bandaid fix because something else is wrong, but
I have checked and re-checked via calipers. the problem occurs after the bullet is seated. so call me a 4 die set-up man.

June 1, 2010, 07:20 AM
I hope it is not a bandaid fix because something else is wrongSmart fellow.

June 1, 2010, 09:11 AM
I hope it is not a bandaid fix because something else is wrong
I have considered using the 4 die set (with FCD) before as all of my pistol dies are 3 die sets.

Because I use the 3 die sets, I make sure the taper crimp brings the case neck flare back to straight for 9/40/45 cases. Although the combination taper crimp/bullet seat die can also do roll crimp, it results in "rough" roll crimp for 9/40/45 cases.

I think that's why Lee came out with FCD, to put more "smooth" roll crimp on straight walled cases if the reloaders wanted that extra roll crimp after the taper crimp. I have seen some reloaders use the FCD to "fix" the rounds they taper crimped and had problems with feeding/chambering. Yes, this would be a band aid fix and I suggested they "fix" the problem first with their taper crimp die so their rounds fed/chambered well.

Now, if your rounds feed/chamber well after taper crimp and want that extra finishing touch of FCD, that's fine too.

If you are getting reloads that feed/chamber well with the 3 die set, I don't think the 4 die set is necessary.

June 1, 2010, 01:05 PM
FWIW, I was a devout "3 die guy" for my ah-hum, lengthly shooting carrier.
However when I reciently traded in the old Dillon SDB for a Lee Classic Turret, I was forced to go to the 4 hole turret. Since I had to buy new dies anyway, I splurged the extra $10 and got the 4 die set. Glad I did. In truth, I think either set puts a suitable light crimp in my needs ( I don't like much crimp anyway). The big advantage is the extra die completes a full length sizing of the completed round. Can't tell you how much this improves reliability at the range. ( No more stray bulged/kinked rounds sneeking into the batch.) I've since bought a Lee 4 die set for all calibers that I reload.

June 1, 2010, 03:29 PM
Ya'll are killing me with the FCD. :D

No reason in the world to roll crimp .45 ACP rounds for an auto. There can be a time and a place for it, but that ain't it. ;)

June 1, 2010, 03:58 PM
Seriously, AC is correct, there is no reason to put a roll crimp on a .45 Auto used in a semi-auto or any straight wall pistol cartridge for that matter used in a semi-auto.

June 1, 2010, 11:40 PM
No more stray bulged/kinked rounds sneaking into the batch.
How are you getting bulged/kinked rounds?

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