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easy way to remove/disable sizing ring in FCD?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 1KPerDay, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    I use the FCD in several calibers and like it, primarily because I can straighten the case and/or semi-crimp with the seating die and crimp with the FCD. But in .38 Special the post sizing ring is so snug It's causing problems. I tried the standby "get rid of it/it's garbage/learn how to reload" option but I can't get my wadcutters to seat and crimp at the same time (this type has crimp groove) without mangling and smearing to some extent. I know all you experts have no trouble with it but I am.

    What I prefer is to have control over it and seat and crimp separately. I realize I could just buy a separate crimp die but I'm cheap and would like to try to make this work first.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Yep. I recommend the Lee or Redding taper crimp only dies all the time. :)
  4. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    You can put the die in a vise and take a punch and hammer and drive out the sizing ring.
  5. James2

    James2 Well-Known Member

    Check this link!

    Take a look at this short paper. Hope it helps you understand the process.

    Getting the crimp right is a big problem for many starting out. You can crimp/seat in two operations with a standard seating/crimping die if you make two setups. Seat first without crimping, then crimp with the seater punch backed out. I prefer to seat and crimp in one operation. I have never had, nor do I expect to buy a FCD.
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    I understand the operation and have made it work fine in .380 and 9mm. With these diameter bullets with a crimp groove, it's just not as neat as I'd like. The rounds chamber fine and I'm sure they'll be accurate. But I'd prefer not to have small bits of lead smeared around the crimp/groove to cause fouling. Maybe I'll try knocking out the sizing ring. It's gotta be in there pretty good.....
  7. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    Thats not a crimp operation problem :D
  8. RB98SS

    RB98SS Well-Known Member

    Just did this with all my LFC dies. 357 Mag, 44, and 45 Colt. Place the die in a vise -- make sure you protect the threads. Drop an empty case of the correct caliber in the die mouth first -- the case head will stop on the ring. Take a wide punch and give it a sharp whack. The ring will come out with the case.
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    Mouth first through the top.of the die, right?.
  10. Muddydogs

    Muddydogs Well-Known Member

    So are we taper crimping rounds designed for roll crimps now?
  11. germ

    germ Well-Known Member

    I was thinking the exact same thing. I like the Redding Profile Crimp die for 38/357. On another set, I've replaced the Lee seater with a Hornady and used the Lee seater for roll crimping only by backing the adjuster way out. Seems to work ok.
  12. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. I NEVER roll crimp a 148gr DEWC. I have always found best accuracy by just straightening the case mouth out with a taper crimp die.
  13. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    I do. I roll the case mouth over the top of the bullet. Some of my 38 cases have really poor neck tension! Actually planning to scrap them all and use only 357 brass. I'm tired of messing with my die adjustments, anyways.
  14. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    I guess i have tried it every which way, but in my 686 they shoot best with no crimp, and just a touch of lead above the case mouth, basically the bevel on the DEWC only sticking out. I have never had neck tension issues with the DEWC, just because they are so long and go so far into the case.

    I used to load with only 357 cases, but I have literally, 10s of 1000s 38 cases. I cant see putting the wear and tear on my 357 cases when the 38s are so plentiful.
  15. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Well-Known Member

    This is a good tip.

    The first one I did (45 ACP), I used a socket wrench extension (for a 3/8" I believe) and it caught on the ring. Couple of raps with the hammer and out came the ring.

    The next one was on a 44Mag/Spl die. Tried the same thing and the ring would not come out. It fought me the whole way. Felt like it was welded in there. Eventually it came out, but I actually buggered up the die threads in the vise during this process. Had to get out a triangle file and clean them up, but it's fine now.

    I've got one on a set of 38/357 dies that needs to be popped out. It is swaging down bullets when I run the loaded round up into the die. I'll try the empty case and punch method this time!
  16. RB98SS

    RB98SS Well-Known Member

    Yep, unscrew (remove) the crimp plunger and drop the case mouth first into the top of the die. It should drop thru but the head should catch on the ring. Better use a sized case or it might not drop to the head. ;)
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Silly me. I read the 2nd post recommending the Lee taper crimp die, and responded without reading the entire 1st post. :eek:

    But yes, I do taper crimp some .38 Spl loads, 148 Gr WC's being one, and plated bullets in general. I also recommend the Redding Profile Crimp die, along with RCBS seaters sans the seater plug, as both roll crimp very nicely. :)
  18. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    You can remove the ring using your press rather than a vise if you want. just screw it in securely and put a piece of wood or such under the die in the ram area to stop things from denting the press.
  19. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    I'm in the opposite situation, I didn't need better crimp, I needed the sizing rings to get my .45s to run consistently.
  20. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    This worked a treat, thanks.

    Those who suggested the FCD was not (solely) the cause of my troubles were right. I have it dialed in better now... Seating die doing a light roll crimp.... Which is likely sufficient, and the former FCD now taper crimp just giving a gentle nudge. With mixed brass, not trimmed, this produces satisfactory results.

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