Consistant pressure on the press?


January 18, 2013, 08:44 PM
I'm fairly new to reloading and am questioning the thought of attaching a weight to my reloading presses handle/arm for consistant pressure when using my Lee crimping die.
Thoughts anyone?

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January 18, 2013, 08:48 PM
It's not as much a matter of pressure or weight on the handle as it is maintaining a full stoke. The press should be set up so that at the end of each stroke you hit the mechanical stop built in to the press (adjustable on some presses). Adjust your dies for that range of motion. That's as far as you can or will ever need to go. Applying any pressure after you hit the stop will not accomplish anything.

January 18, 2013, 08:48 PM
not necessary

January 18, 2013, 08:50 PM
Don't waste your time, money, and energy.

Hang a weight on it, and you have to pick it back up every stroke of the press.

The good side would be:
You will have one arm that will impress the girls.

The bad side is.
Don't ever let them see the other arm, or they will think you are deformed and not worthy of reproducing with them.

And the other bad side is:
It would not be a consistent, or uniform, as the built-in press stop.

But seriously, the full stroke press stop itself sets the limit of how much crimp the die applies.

If you adjust the crimp die properly, and use the full press stroke, there is nothing else it can do except apply the same amount of crimp each time.


January 18, 2013, 08:51 PM
This is not necessary. The important thing is to properly set up the press and dies.

January 18, 2013, 09:01 PM
Okay, thanks folks! In the past I must have had my crimping die set wrong, just thoughts while waiting for temps to warm up. Im waiting for warmer weather to sit at the range for a few hours. I just bedded my Tikka action in it's Bell and Carlson stock so I'm going through the load development again, just to check it out well.

January 19, 2013, 04:50 AM
You never specified what kind of crimp.

You do want to strive for a consistent pressure with the LEE rifle FCD's. Unless you have neck reamed all your cases and trim them every time, you cannot rely on setting this die up for a mechanical stop.

January 19, 2013, 06:57 AM
Yes it is the Factory Crimp Die that comes with the Pacesetter package of dies. I do resize, trim, chamfer and clean with every reload.

I think the problem I was having was with my 7.62 x 54r cases before I got my trimmer. Kinda surprises me being the cases are Lapua and I have never used one of the cases more than once so far. I stopped crimping and consistancy really improved.

I'm still working on bringing that old Mosin to M.O.A., it's real close and I'm pretty sure I know what to do with it now to get there.

January 19, 2013, 10:24 AM
25lb weight. Its been done by some, when using the lee Collet neck sizing die. :D

January 19, 2013, 11:26 AM
glad you can afford that brass. with 54r i just crimp enough with fcd die to give just a little more than the neck tension has already given. i only use the rcbs neck sizing die with .311 bullets. neck tension is great with that die. brass is hard to come by these days. its hard to do but i measure the crimps with calipers to get consistency. it has a pinched point and a flattened area that is imprinted on the brass. measure the flattened area 180 degrees apart. and as always write everything down. i also have mosins that are at moa and consistency in reloading has been the reason these old guns can do that. keep up the good work:D

January 20, 2013, 02:40 AM
Yes it is the Factory Crimp Die
In this case, you can forget everything the other guys have said before my first post.

The official Lee instructions say you should stop pulling on the lever just about when the four pieces of the die come together, and no more. But in reality, it's kinda difficult to SEE this, exactly. What you end up doing is what 243win suggested. You just give about 25 lbs of force, or so, and no more. This should be enough to fully crimp the round without over-stressing the die, and it should prevent you from overcrimping and squishing the bullet when you run into brass with thicker necks.

This pressure-dependence thing is one reason why I avoid using the Lee rifle FCD. I have played with it, and the crimp looks great. But I haven't had occasion to need it, yet. The only bullets I crimp have a huge cannelure, and I prefer to use the regular seating die to add my crimp to these.

January 20, 2013, 04:17 PM
Thanks, looks like I'll be rigging some kind of weight for the crimping process.
Since it was mentioned I have been careful about even pressure on the handle while crimping bullets but I'm only human.

January 20, 2013, 04:28 PM
Once again.

Let the press stop be the crimp stop.

If you adjust the die properly, they will all be exactly the same at the top of the ram travel when the press linkage stops further ram travel.

Hanging a weight on the handle would not be nearly as precise as the mechanical stop when the ram cannot go up any further because its impossible!!


January 20, 2013, 04:59 PM
Although I haven't checked adjustments on the dies for a while I'm usually one to follow instructions with something as important as this is to me.

Out of curiousity I grabbed my calipers (I don't have a mic) and started measuring my rounds I loaded last. They are all consistant at least in that respect.

After these load developement rounds are narrowed down I'll make a couple lots, one crimped and one lot not crimped for testing. The only issue I can see is that these loads are for my Tikka which is about the most accurate firearm I have ever had in my hands. The differences may not show themselves so readily is my guess. I bedded the action on the Tikka recently is the reason for the load development rounds.

Stupid lottery ticket anyway, looks like the backyard indoor range will have to wait for the next drawing! :rolleyes:

Thanks again.

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