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9mm dies

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 340PD, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. 340PD

    340PD Well-Known Member

    I have done my searches. Now I am confused. I will be reloading 9mm luger in a single stage press. I currently load .357 and 45acp with a taper crimp using four dies. I have no problem with the fourth taper crimping step. I love standing at the bench in my own little world. Do I need to make the same steps with the 9mm? What brand of dies should I buy?
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    I've loaded 10s of 10,000s of 9mm with Lee carbide dies. I do have their Factory Crimp Die, mostly as a pseud0 case-guage. I've had no issues with any ammo made on those dies, with or without the 4th step.
  3. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member

    I also have the Lee 4 die set. I like the dies, and now own two sets. A few times I omitted the FCD from my turret and couldn't tell the difference when I shot them.
  4. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    Not sure what you are confused about. Reloading 9mm is the same as reloading 45acp. 357 is usually roll crimped though and that can make a difference.

    On a single stage press I usually crimp with the seating die, but it doesn't usually matter.
  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Most of the current production auto pistol dies come with a taper crimp machined into the seating die. Manufacturers' info should confirm that. If so, you could seat and crimp in the same step.

    Most revolver dies have a roll crimp although I know RCBS offers both for some cartridges.

    When I started reloading around 1980, all seating dies came with roll crimps, even the auto pistol dies. Separate taper crimp dies were few and special order for the most part. They were crimp dies only with no seating capability. I got into the habit of crimping auto pistol rounds in a separate step and prefer that to this day.

    In the 80s, Lee offered a line of taper crimp only dies that increased the availability of taper crimp dies.

    In my opinion, the Lee FCD is a solution looking for a problem, but lots of folks like them. So, what ever rings your bell.
  6. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Even though you have the 4 die set with the FCD, I would first set up my 3 dies so the finished rounds pass the chamber drop test and reliably feed/chamber from the magazine when the slide was manually released.

    Reason? If you make mistakes with the 3 dies, FCD will erase them and you won't know what you did wrong.

    Many people claim their use of FCD and jacketed diameter bullets for more "finished smooth factory look" and consistency of rounds for reliability, but reloaders have been doing that for a long time before FCD were introduced.

    For larger diameter lead bullets, I would not recommend as they may post size the bullet and contribute to leading.

    My FCDs collect dust in the box but they are useful for push-through sizing overly bulged cases (but not the tapered 9mm cases).

    < Flame suit on ... Just in case :D >
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  7. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    I use a taper crimp die for any semi auto caliber and I will crimp as a separate step. I use a roll crimp on revolver caibers and combine seating and crimping in the same step.
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I agree with bds. (suit on)

    I do however, gauge every sized 9MM case before I use it. If it doesn't pass my Wilson case gauge, I scrap it.

    I have an EMP with a SAMMI minimum chamber. It runs like a Swiss watch, but cannot handle any cases over .3915 at the base.

    An FCD die might "fix" that, but it also squeezes the loaded bullet in the case, so I would rather not.

    I do not mind the extra step. I sit and watch TV and gauge cases. About 10% of range brass fails the gauge. It is less when using my fired brass.

    All of my other 9MM guns will easily accept the brass that fails the gauge, but since it may get used in the EMP, and I want it to fit any gun, I gauge my 9MM brass.

    There is absolutely no need to taper crimp 9MM in a separate step, unless you just want to.
  9. Twmaster

    Twmaster Well-Known Member

    I've loaded a few thousand rounds of 9MM with a Lee Carbide die set and do not have the '4th' crimp die. All my ammo seems to 'JustWork[tm]' in my carbine.

  10. hAkron

    hAkron Well-Known Member

    I like the FCD for some things and I have trouble with it for other things. When I load .45 LRN it helps with some chambering issues I was having. I use a Redding 357 Sig micrometer seating die that has no crimp so I like the FCD for that round too. I've tried it recently on some 124 gr 9mm lead bullets that I cast and it seemed to undersize the bullet in the brass and caused enough spring back on the brass that the bullet didn't stay snug. My feeling is that the FCD's are great, just not for every single application.
  11. Cherokee

    Cherokee Well-Known Member

    I like the RCBS 4 die set with separate taper crimp die for 9mm reloading. I have found it best to taper crimp separately, at least for me and the Lee FCD is not good for cast bullet 9mm loads. Just my experience........
  12. spcrobbins

    spcrobbins Active Member

    When setting up the seat/crimp die, how do you set the crimp?
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I guess I ought to buy a new set of dies to test but I just cannot see how you can get a good taper crimp in the seating die. The bullet will still be moving into the case as the case neck is sqeezed in against it. This sounds like a recipe for copper or lead to be scraped up off the side of the bullet, with adverse effects on reliability and accuracy.

    It is not the same thing as simultaneously seating and crimping a revolver round where the bullet has a groove to crimp into.
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    You adjust the seating die body down until it straightens out any case mouth bell and returns the case side wall to original taper.

    Then you use your dial caliper to measure the case mouth of the loaded round.
    For 9mm it should be .376" at the mouth on a loaded round.

    A taper crimp does very little of anything to hold the bullet in the case.
    Case neck tension does that.

  15. rjrivero

    rjrivero Well-Known Member

    Are you guys able to re-load 9mm brass fired from a machine gun? I have some once fired Uzi Brass that I can't seem to size appropriately. I'm told pass through dies won't work with a 9mm, but I wonder if there is something out there that can bring the brass back into shape.
  16. hAkron

    hAkron Well-Known Member

    Remove the seating stem. Screw the die in until it touches an empty piece of sized brass (screw it in until the brass starts to turn). Put a bullet on top of the brass and raise it up into die. Screw in the seating stem until you feel it hit the bullet. Raise the ram and screw the stem down a turn or so. Lower the ram and then check how far the bullet has seated. Keep screwing it down and checking. Once you get close grab your calipers and measure till you get it where you want it. Next lower the die a 1/4 turn and raise the stem a 1/4 turn. Run the bullet back up and make sure that the bullet isn't any deeper and that the mouth is no longer expanded. For my pistol cartridges I like to crimp enough that I see a slight shiny line about the width of a human hair.
  17. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Well-Known Member

    I like Dillon's dies. Once you get them set where you like them, they're there for life! Very easy to take them apart to clean them without disturbing your critical die-body ajustments. Very important when loading bunches of cast bullets!

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