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3 die or 4 die set-up

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by lilquiz, May 31, 2010.

  1. lilquiz

    lilquiz Well-Known Member

    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
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    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
    Sometimes its best to taper crimp in a separate operation.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  3. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    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:)
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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.

    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.
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. lilquiz

    lilquiz Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Smart fellow.
  9. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Tacoma

    Tacoma Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    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. ;)
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    How are you getting bulged/kinked rounds?

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