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45 Long Colt+Lead Bullets+ Lee FCD

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tkcomer, Dec 8, 2010.

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  1. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Hey all. I'm thinking about buying a pistol in 45 Long Colt. If so, I plan to use softer “cowboy action” type bullets. Does the Lee FCD have a problem with these bullets? I ask because when I went to lead in my 44 mag, I had to send the die back to Lee for one that had an oversize ring. The bullets wouldn't even go into the die. They were Laser Cast bullets sized at .431. If that's the case with the 45, I'd be better off ordering an oversize die from Lee. My 357 and 38 die sets have no problem with cast. Very few of the lead 357 bullets even post size. With the 44, it's about half. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I can't answer your question about the Lee FCD, but I can tell you that I use a Redding three die set for loading my two 45 Colt's and the Redding Seat/Crimp Die works perfectly with the 255 gr Laser Cast bullets.
     
  3. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I've used lead bullets for a 454 Casul with a Lee FCD with no problem but if you've had a bad experience in the past with cast bullets and a Lee FCD, I would call Lee Precision and get their opinion.

    That said and although I very much like and use the Lee FCD, since 45 Colt brass is thinner than say 44 Mag. brass and 45 Colt loads are of fairly low recoil, you would probably do just fine with a standard seating/crimping die.
     
  4. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    That's why I asked about the 45 because of my previous problems with 44. The post size ring would not let the .431 bullet enter the die. It would push the .431 bullet into the case. Jacketed bullets were just fine. That's when I called Lee and was told they sell oversize dies for cast bullets. I like crimping in a separate stage in my turret press.
     
  5. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I use a Lee 4 hole turret, and use a FCD in the 4th position on 45acp and 357 mag. In 45 colt I use a standard lee 3 die set, using the crimp/seat die as a crimp die only and use a Redding Competition Seating die for the seating die. I would use a FCD, I just had that combo laying around.

    I have not had any post sizing problems in any of he calibers above, loading with lead. I load 5 different lead bullets in 45acp, 3 different ones in 357.
     
  6. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Is there anyway to take the post size ring out? I hear they're too hard to open up with a drill.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Beat it out from the top?

    Buy a cheap crimp only die or use the seater to crimp. With lead and a good crimp groove seating and crimping in one step works just fine.

    This bullet was seated and crimped in the same step.
     
  8. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Although I use it for my autos, I don't mess with the FCD in revolvers.

    Haven't had any problems with my .38/.357 or my .45 Colt ammo. With softer bullets, just don't crimp them so hard.

    I give a good roll crimp for hot .357 Magnums, but basically just straighten the brass back out when loading super-soft .38 148gr wadcutters. I haven't shot my Smith 25-5 as much as I would like, but with my mid-level loads, I just use a nice gentle roll crimp and no problems.

    Q
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    If you bell the case mouth as you should, the bell is already past the start of the crimp groove in a cast lead bullet before the seating die crimp does anything.

    We had been reloading cast lead revolver bullets for a very long time with only a seating die crimp.

    But that was before Mr. Lee invented the FCD as a solution to a non-existent problem we didn't even know we had.

    rc
     
  10. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Another +1. Never saw a reason or felt the need to mess with the Lee FCD.
     
  11. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Right now I'm eyeballing the Redding Profile Crimp die to put in my forth stage. Anybody use it? No post sizing with that.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have a couple. They are very nice.
     
  13. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    That's good to hear. Like I said, I like crimping in a separate stage. I spotted this die at Midway. Better than buying another set just to get a crimp die.
     
  14. Bula

    Bula Member

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    I recently knocked out the carbide post sizing rings on all my Lee 4 pc die sets. I cast and size all my lead, so when it dawned on me that I was smashing down, already sized bullets, I knocked the rings out with a punch. Slipped the taped die body (protect threads) into an inverted socket, with the depth adjustment ring still on, leaves the bottom of the die off the bottom of the inverted socket. Punch and hammer it out. I've also read, some just cut the die body short, right where the ring begins.
     
  15. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Was it hard to knock out?
     
  16. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I've never used anything but the standard roll crimp the Lee seating die puts on .45 Colt lead bullets, and I've never had any problem with bullets moving in or out of the cases during shooting. I think the only reason I'd go with a FCD is if I were using jacketed bullets, or loading them in a tubular rifle magazine.
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Not needed there either.

    Any .45 Colt seating die will do a perfectly fine roll-crimp on any .45 Colt bullet of any type.

    rc
     
  18. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Not to sound like a broken record but I agree once again. There's no telling how many thousands of .44Mag's I've put through various leverguns with no more than a simple roll crimp with standard RCBS dies. Cast or jacketed, as long as it has a crimping groove or cannelure, it matters not.
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I'm with rcmodel... mostly.

    If you load your revolver cartridges with real revolver bullets having a crimp groove (cast) or cannelure (jacketed) you can produce good ammunition crimping in the seating die, IF you adjust it right. If you use plated or straight sided swaged bullets, you should get a taper crimp die for a separate step.

    I DO keep a Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die for use on .45 ACP loaded with bulk cast bullets in mixed brass. There it can be the difference in shooting and cussing. It might off-size your bullets in the brass, but if you want better quality, use matching brass and better bullets.
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. I use a taper crimp die with plated bullets in .45 Colt. Works great.

    My aversion to the the FCD for pistol calibers is well known, but Jim made a believer out of me here some time back. The FCD does have one legitimate use. (The one Jim posted) I have even posted such, giving Jim the credit.
     
  21. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    My Lee FCD definitely has a problem with some bullets.
    I can load Hornady XTPs w/o issue.
    But I like Missouri Bullet's Cowboy # 4 - the FCD doesn't.

    I'm guessing it's the bullet's profile.
    I ordered a Dillon crimp die & will try that.
    If it doesn't help I'll send the Lee die & several bullets to Lee.
     
  22. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Even though it's not needed I use a Lee FCD on all my .45 Colt ammo and load only lead bullets. I have a 4 hole turret press so I figure why not use all the stations... lol
     
  23. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Thats why I use them too. I have never experienced any negative effects from it.
     
  24. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    The lee FCD works just fine for auto pistols, the taper crimp is fine. I also got one for loading 44 mag. I did NOT like the way it crimped. I was loading XTP's AND lead SWC. The XTP's just didn't look right. Applying more crimp didn't crimp them any better. It's SUPPOSED to be a roll crimper. looked like a messed up taper crimp to me.

    Somewhere on some forum, someone mentioned the Redding profile crimp die. So I ordered one. Man, what a difference. It'll cost what a set of lee dies cost, but it's worth it!

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=292753

    292753.jpg

    You get a nice, uniform, roll crimp on any bullet. I would suggest that for 45 colt. I don't know if it will allow a bigger boolit to pass through, my 44's were sized to .429, so they worked.
     
  25. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    I have a couple of FCD dies in the 4th hole of my turret but I hardly ever use them anymore for the reasons posted above as well as one very important reason for me- speed. Its faster to load on a LCT with only 3 dies. Arguably 25% faster since there is one less lever pull. After the 3rd station I pull the finished round out and rotate the turret by hand to get it ready for the next round.
     
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