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noob ?: factory crimp 45acp

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by greyling22, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I'm about to start loading for a 45acp out of a 1911 using lead bullets. 230grn lrn maybe? do I need to 4 hole lee set with the factory crimp die, or will I be just fine with the 3 hole and no factory crimp?

    I've reloaded .357 for years w/ no 4th die, but I don't know if an automatic will be picky.
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    The 4th die is not needed if your seater will crimp, which most do, but a lot of folks like to seat and crimp in a seperate operation which would, of course, require a seperate crimp die.
  3. cdrt

    cdrt Well-Known Member

    There's lots of prior postings about crimping the .45 ACP.
    My recommendation has always been to taper crimp, whether for revolver or auto, with an outside diameter measurement on the completed round of .472 at the case mouth.

    Roll crimping is okay as long as you don't overdo it, since the .45 headspaces on the case mouth and to a lesser extent on the extractor (in a 1911).

    A nice load with a 230 grain lead RN bullet is 4.0 grains of Bullseye.
  4. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    For a newbie I'd go with the LFCD. Easier to use than crimping with your bullet seating die.

    Roll crimp is best used on revolver rounds. At least in my eyes.

    I use a Factory Crimp Die with all of my autoloader rounds. Even moreso with lead rounds.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    All of the .45 ACP dies I have ever used will not do a roll crimp.
    (Revolver dies do roll-crimps.)

    And they all will easily & nicely do the required taper crimp.

    The taper crimp is not used to hold the bullet in an auto pistol case.
    It is used to get the case back to factory dimensions and get rid of the case mouth bell.

    If you overdo it with a LFCD you are going to taper-crimp the bullet under-size, along with the case.

    Brass squeezes down and springs back slightly.
    Lead doesn't.
    When you squeeze lead, it stays squeezed!

    The result is a loose & undersized bullet.

  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    :D - ;)

    Inside joke.

    I have been criticized for my dislike of the factory Lee Crimp Die, but is for the exact reasons put forth by rcmodel. Brass springs back and lead does not. :uhoh:
  7. jenrob

    jenrob Well-Known Member

    On lead I would do the crimp in another station wether it be the FCD or another taper. A lot of times when loading lead rounds you will shave the lead a lot or little just depends on how you set it up. I use the FCD on my 1911 loads. I load laser cast 200gr lswc. If I load a jacketed bullet it depends on the mood I'm in if I use the FCD or not. sometimes after I set the bullet I will put the die down just enough to take enough of the flare (bell) out so it will go up into the FCD then I run the FCD down like in the instuctions but don't turn the crimp down I turn it out and just use the sizer ring. I have found that this works great for both lead and jacket bullets.
  8. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    rcmodel (and walkalong) have the issues regarding the 4th / seat and crimp issues laid out nicely.

    I've loaded 1000s of rounds on a (Lee) 3-die setup--both .45ACP and 10mm. Once I had my recipes sorted out (and that includes a specific bullet, as supplied by a given supplier), I could tweak up my (Lee) seater-crimper to do the appropriate taper.

    However: when I got curious about load development again, as in "I wonder how WSF works compared to 231?" or "Will my SA 1911 with the BarSto barrel like 185LSWCs better than the H&G68200LSWCs?" then I would be in for extended tweaking. And that's without talking about the .451 / .452 issues, and LOA / feed questions that would seem to come up....

    So, even for semiautos, I think a 4-die setup (separate seat and crimp) has a real place in load development. Today I just finished loading up 10 mm dev't boxes--Speer 180TMJFNs and WSF / Silhouette / #5 loads, to be used as burnishing loads in a EAA Elite Match 10mm, and to look for sweet spot recipes for that pistol and for a Kimber ST II. Those loads were built on a (Lee) turret, currently set up with an FCD in #4. I'll also be comparing / testing the FCD against the (standard Lee) 10 mm taper crimp die.

    FWIW, the FCD die does have its place in 'cleaning up' poor ammo. The post-sizing works for me when I load some early 10mm 200-gr LSWCs that seat so deep as to make chambering an issue. (These bullets probably should just be put out for salvage, but I am too cheap--they cost me $27.00+shipping when I bought them about 15 years ago.)

    Jim H.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  9. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    I use a Lee 3-die set that crimps in the seater. If set up correctly it provides ammo that is the equal of any factory ammo. I use lead, plated or FMJ rounds and have never seen the need for a FCD. You don't want any crimp on autopistol rounds, since too much can cause issues with case mouth headspacing... best is just to remove the expander bell and a tich more, just so that your finger does not catch on the edge of the case... If your lead slugs are within spec for diameter from the caster you won't have a problem.

    The FCD (imho) is a great thing for highpower Magnum cartridges or for people who have out-of-spec projos or die sets that do not crimp in the seater. Otherwise it is a solution to a problem that does not exist.
  10. okienate

    okienate Well-Known Member

    I like the Lee Factory Crimp Die on 9 mm and .45 ACP and the results I get with it.

    I understand the reasons provided for and against separate crimp dies, but a buddy of mine took the advice to not utilize one when he first started reloading .45 and had issues galore. (Mainly with his brass getting "rolled" upon feeding into his Glock, had several embarassing trips to the range before he asked me to help him troubleshoot his set-up. Basically wasn't really removing all of the "bell" in the brass after seating the bullet with his 3 die set-up...)

    While it is possible to get the required/desired results with a proper and carefully tweaked set-up on 3 dies, I've found that the ability to seat the bullet in one stage and then wrap things up with a MINIMAL amount of crimping, my ammo performs much more consistently. I just have more confidence in my loads when I crimp in a separate operation.

    I've let said buddy borrow my LFCD and he's getting significantly better results. No failures to feed, no more jammed-up/rolled brass.

    I'm not knocking those that don't support separate crimp steps, just trying to voice the opinion that when properly applied they can yield really good results with a process that is much less set-up sensitive....
  11. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    well thanks for all the imput guys. it's only about 6 bucks more to get the 4th die upfront, and I can always decide not to use it. and as with anything, I"ll start with a little and work up until I get the desired results.
  12. KeithB

    KeithB Well-Known Member

    i tapper crimp to .469 - .471 not a lot of crimp is needed just remove the belling
  13. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    I use the FCD on everything I reload so far. Not for the post sizing feature, just because I prefer to seat and crimp in seperate steps. I have a classic turret and you have to stroke the handle weather it has a die in it or not. I think it is easier to seat and crimp in seperate steps for some of the same reasons Jim gave.

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