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1st 50 .30 Carbine rounds load - OAL and Lee FCD Questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jediagh, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. jediagh

    jediagh New Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    Well my adventures with the .30 carbine rounds continues.
    Case Trimming adventure here

    Loaded 50 rounds today and hope to be able to shoot them in the next 2 weeks to see if what I did works and I don't blow my self up.

    Bullet used: Berry's Preferred Plated Bullet 110 gr RN (.308)
    Cases: Aguila cases trimmed to 1.286 to 1.284
    Powder: Winchester 296

    10 rounds @ 14 grains with Lee FCD
    05 rounds @ 14 grains with NO Lee FCD

    15 rounds @ 14.2 grains with Lee FCD
    05 rounds @ 14.2 grain with NO Lee FCD

    10 rounds @ 14.5 grains with Lee FCD
    05 rounds @ 14.5 grains with NO Lee FCD

    Before I get into the Lee FCD let me ask about the OAL.
    The OAL's on the commercial aguila ammo I have was 1.638 to 1.640 with most of it being 1.639. Looking at the ANSI SAAMI here I see that the OAL can be from 1.625 to 1.680. So in seating my bullets I ended up with 1.644 to 1.646. I loaded 2 dummy rounds (no primer, no powder) and loaded into into my M1 Carbine and they did chamber and extract OK.

    Insert mag with 2 rounds
    Pull back to load round
    round chambers OK
    pull back to eject round

    They chambered OK. The bolt fully closed.
    So I take it I'll be OK with a 1.644 to 1.646 OAL as

    1) it's within the specs
    2) it's cambering ok

    Now as for the Lee FCD I'm at a loss.

    When I tested for the OAL with the dummy rounds I did not use the Lee FCD and both rounds chambered OK. My only other experience in reloading is with .45 and when I load for it if I don't use the FCD my ammo drop properly into my case guage. Yet the .30 carbine loaded OK in the carbine.

    Thus why I loaded some without the LEE FCD to see if they will fire OK in the carbine. I do see a little difference between the ones in the LEE FCD and those not thru it but nothing major. The FCD is applying a very light crimp.

    I did set the lee die to full crimp and that was way too much crimp from what I could see. The bullet looked "fat" and the ammo just did not look right vs what the commercial ammo looks like. So I reset the lee crimp die again and set it to no crimp and then slowly turned the die about 3/4 of a rotation to where the crimp is applied.

    I some of you hate the FCD and say that you don't need it if you do everything else right. & I know some of you swear by it that it works. For my .45 I'm in the it works camp. But for .30 carbine just not sure. Seems like either I did everything right in resizing, belling and seating that this die may not be needed for this caliber.

    Any concerns anyone sees in me shooting the no FCD ammo? The bullet won't come out if I put the ammo upside down. :D
  2. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Senior Member

    May 25, 2011
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    Check to see if neck tension has changed. Berry's plated normally run over size 0.0005"-0.001". If the FCD swagged the bullet down the bullet tension will be less. Put them over a set of scales and push and see if there is a difference.

    I'm in the one that do not nor will not own a FCD. Been doing it that way coming up on 40yrs now and don't see a need for one.
  3. morrow

    morrow New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Do not use a Lee FCD, ever. They are a crutch for people who are making bad ammo. They also deform bullets. All you need is to remove the bell as it headspaces off the case mouth in 30carbine.
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Mentor

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    I say that if you can load accurate feedable ammo without the Lee FCD then do not bother to use it. It will save a step when reloading. Most of those that use the taper crimp FCD use it as a final check to see if the round will pass the carbide ring and if so will then chamber and shoot without feeding problems. I will use a FCD if I need to but mostly I do not need to.:) The main thing that you have to watch out for is that you do not taper crimp your bullet excessively and have it loose in the brass (brass springs back out some and lead bullet does not) when loading/shooting as talked about above. I will taper crimp only enough to remove the belling and only enough to be able to feed the bullet in without it sticking. It sounds like you have done just that. Hint : if your factory ammo works set your taper crimp to just touch the factory round and try some of your rounds seated and crimped that way for function with jacketed bullets. With the plated or solid lead there might be less crimping needed than with FMJ.
  5. jcwit

    jcwit Mentor

    Oct 19, 2007
    Great state of Indiana
    Yes this post #3.

    I've shot literly thousands and thousands of my own cast 100 grain bullets and never use a FCD. It may be OK using FMJ bullets but not lead, plated or not.
  6. Mac Sidewinder

    Mac Sidewinder New Member

    Apr 27, 2012
    West Central Illinois
    A crutch for people who make bad ammo? Lets not insult all the people out there that like the FCD now.

    I look at the FCD as a warning system, just the same as a powder cop die, sizer gauge, etc. If I never feel the carbide ring touch anything then I know everything is fine. If I feel resistance then I start checking out why. After I load a box with it, I know for a fact that I don't have to worry if they will chamber or not. I don't use it as a way of "correcting" any rounds.

    I think it is insulting to say that if you use one you are making bad ammo. If you like it, use it. If you don't, then don't.

  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    I would feel much more comfortable using a roll crimp, especially if the particular cartridge is a stout loaded one, 296 would deffinitely qualify as a stout load. your data checks out good, just don't decide to reduce your charge to more than 3% with this particular powder.

    As for the FCD, nearly everything I've ever heard about them has been regarding problems it has caused.

    Maybe this is kind of off topic here, but are you using Berry'y TP's, or thick plated? 296 produces some pretty high pressure / velocity loads, so be sure you are withn the limitations, if any exist for plated bullets and 296 magnum type loads.

  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    But, you can't roll-crimp .30 Carbine.

    It headspaces on the case mouth.

    I am in the camp of not needing the FCD to load .30 Carbine.

    It is a tapered case.
    And once sized, you should have all the case neck tension you can get when you seat the bullet and iron out the bell with the seating die.

  9. jediagh

    jediagh New Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    gamestalker the box of berry bullets says "max velocity of 1950 fps" on it. What occurs if the velocity if higher than that for a plated bullet?
    The lynam book shows H110 which is the same as WIN 296 with a starting load of 14 and velocity of under 1950 for a 110 gr RN bullet.
    My goal is not to make hot loads just plinking ammo.

    Per berry's website it says to use FMJ loads at the low to middle level only for plated bullets.
  10. morrow

    morrow New Member

    Dec 27, 2010

    All you need to do is remove the taper. It headspaces off the case mouth. It is a very simple cartridge to reload as long as you make sure none are over max length as they do stretch.

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