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Lee Factory crimp die

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Eric F, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Eric F

    Eric F Well-Known Member

    can some one please tell me what exactly this die does. Why is it diffrent from the seating/crimp die they already have. What kind of crimp does it make, rolled tapered ect.

    is there a diffrence between the rifle and the pistol dies well other than one is for rifle and the other is for pistol.

    There seems to be little information for my questions. Thanks
  2. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    There's 3 different factory crimp dies. For auto handguns, it's a taper crimp die. For revolvers, it's a roll crimper. For both it has a carbide ring in the bottom that assures the entire round is at saami minimum, any bulges will be ironed out.

    For bottle necked rifle it does NOT have any sizing ring, and the crimp is applied via a collet that squeezes the neck from the sides. Look closely at a factory loaded rifle round. You will notice the very top of the case neck is crimped into the bullet. The lee FCD for rifle duplicates that crimp.
  3. Eric F

    Eric F Well-Known Member

    ok I got it for pistol its a final sizer and crimp, so if I were using one would I just not crimp with my seating die then or do I still need that crimp too?
  4. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    The beauty of the lee FCD is you use your normal seater/crimp die as ONLY a seater. That allows you to seat and crimp as a separate operation. Back the seater/crimper die out so you aren't touching the case mouth, then lower the seater stem to get to where you want the seating depth to be. Many of us do that in a progressive that allows 5 die holes to be used. You can do it with a 4 die loader, you just don't have a spot for the powder level sensor.
  5. jr45

    jr45 Well-Known Member

    Which crimp is better? For my pistol rounds and 7.62X54, I crimp when I seat. I use the FCD when reloading 30-06 since the lee seating die does not have a built in crimp.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    There is no reason at all you even need to, or should, crimp 7.62x54 or 30-06.

    Neck tension alone is all that is necessary to hold the bullet in the case against recoil or feeding in bolt guns.

    All the Lee FCD, or crimping in the standard die will do for you in those two calibers is shorten case life.

  7. jr45

    jr45 Well-Known Member

    I must crimp my 30-06 since I shoot it in my Remington 742, 760, and M1 Garand (also must crimp my 30-30). I had bullet set backs before with out it. I do aneal my cases every so often. Back to my original question: Is the FCD crimp better than the standard seating crimp?
  8. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "Which crimp is better?"

    If there was any consistant advantage to either, that would be the only one made, or bought.
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    I do not recommend the Lee Factory crimp die for rifle ammo. More specifically match ammo, or bullets with thin skins.

    I tried the LFC die years ago and found that you can crush good match bullets with the thing, and not know. It took very little pressure, and I was following factory instructions.

    I shot all my “swaged” 308 match bullets up.

    Last year I was dismantling match ammo from a friends estate. He had loaded 6.5 Swede with SMK’s. The tags said “light factory crimp”.

    You would not have known by the case necks that any crimp had been applied, but when I pulled the bullets, they looked exactly what my 30 caliber bullets looked like.

    So, my question to one an all, why buy premium hunting or match bullets, and screw them up with this device?


    MMCSRET Well-Known Member

    In my highly unskilled and extremely inept shooting I have tested rounds crimped and uncrimped both with the seating die and with the LFC die. I have even reused fmj projectiles in .224, .263, .308, and .311 and could not find any difference as long as the bullets and loads were concentric. I do prefer a factory style crimp on most of my loads as a personal thing. The crimp ring in the pic above has never seemed to affect accuracy in any meaningful way for my part.
  11. jr45

    jr45 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting pics. I never reloaded match ammo and did not know they could be damaged like that from crimping. I reload mainly Remington and Hornady PSPs (with factory crimp grove) and had pulled some bullets before with no damage to the jackets. Maybe the PSPs have thicker jackets..?
  12. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Well-Known Member

    I use a LFCD but you don't want to 'squeeze the guts' out of a slug. took me a little while to figure out the method. I can say that I have better groups - pistol rounds noticeably so. it doesn't do much for rifle rounds useing fast powder it seems. but it sure seals the canelllure good.
  13. nksmfamjp

    nksmfamjp Well-Known Member

    Yea, all crimping does that to a certain extent. That is how you get the mechanical lock. Match bullets are not built for crimping. Usually crimp style bullets have a groove or cannelure. For auto pistols, a light crimp helps hold the bullet for feeding.

    I set up my seater crimper to take the bell out. Then I use the LEE FCD to crimp until I see a light ring of crimp on the case. About 1 turn from touching.

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