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Back to reloading soon---question.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BCCL, Feb 14, 2011.

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  1. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    After not reloading for about 20 years, I am headed back into it, for 45 Colt, and have a question on the difference between 2 sets of Lee carbide dies.

    One set, for $10.00 more, comes with the "Lee's exclusive carbide Factory Crimp Die." and the other one doesn't.


    Going to be reloading for typical 1873 SA copies (Lower end "Cowboy" loads), but will also be doing some "Ruger Only" loads for a Blackhawk for Whitetail Deer.

    Is this extra die something I will need?
     
  2. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    The FCD allows you to seat and crimp in separate steps on a progressive loader. Since you are loading for cowboy loads, I assume you will be using soft lead bullets. That means slightly flaring the case mouths so that you don't shave the lead. By adjusting the FCD, you can make it close up the mouth so there is no more bell. You can do that with the bullet seater/crimp die also, but its a little more exacting. For 45, both the seat/crimp die and the FCD produce roll crimps when adjusted below the point of removing the bell. The FCD also has a carbide sizing ring to do a final full length resize of the case.

    Since the dies are so inexpensive to begin with, I always get the Lee 4 die sets for pistol. $10 isn't worth sweating it and it's better than wishing you had it to try but didn't.
     
  3. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Member

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    I have the FCDs for most of my revolver cartridges. Really, for medium loads, they weren't really necessary for my .357 or .44 mag or .45 Colt loads since I use a very mild roll crimp. When I used the single stage press, I eventually got out of the habit of using them completely. Being lazy, it meant having to screw in another die and handle all the rounds once again, so I just got so I did the seating and crimping in one move. That doesn't work as well when I need a heavier roll crimp like I often do for .454 and .480 Ruger. I made a bulge on some of the .480 Ruger loads one time by applying a heavy roll crimp and seating and crimping in one operation. I don't have a FCD for that one, so I now seat and then crimp in separate operations if I need a good heavy roll.

    But ever since I went to a Lee Classic Turret, it's just a simple lever throw to use the FCD, so I do it that way for all the cartridges.

    If it was me, I would get the 4 die sets with the FCD. Then you can make up your own mind on which way to do it best.
     
  4. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    I use the separate crimp die for all my pistol reloading. 99% of my reloads are with cast bullets and the FCD gives a bit more control. Easily worth the extra saw buck.

    Welcome back to reloading. The 45 Colt is one of my two favorite cartridges (the other being 38 Special). I load the 45 with black powder, fun and mild, to heavy duty stuff in the Blackhawk, and everything in between.

    Jeff
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Skip the FCD. Buy a $10 Lee crimp only die to crimp in a separate step if you do not want to seat/crimp in the same step. If you are loading lead with a good crimp groove or a jacketed bullet with a good cannelure, there is absolutely no need to crimp in a second step.
     
  6. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    In your opinion, when would you use the FCD?
     
  7. murf

    murf Member

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    agree with walkalong on the extra regular crimp die. suggest you use a heavy roll crimp on those "ruger only" loads.

    murf
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    From one of my posts in another thread:
    Other than that, never. :)
     
  9. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    Walkalong, you have me a little confused here??

    Are you saying that if I want to seat and crimp in one step, I should get the 4 die set with the FCD?

    I'll be shooting almost entirely lead bullets.

    Buying the 4 die set, and buying the 3 die + the Lee crimp only die, will be hte same price either way.
     
  10. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    With all due respects to Walkalong and others, in my experience, the FCD will doing everything a regular taper crimp die will do, depending on how you adjust it. Vice versa is not true nor will a taper crimp die roll a crimp into a groove. While the FCD die can't roll crimp exactly, the "factory crimp" will accomplish the same thing "pressing" the edge into a groove. That said, I don't recommend crimping with it as per Lee's instructions unless you've got a crimping groove, as that will crush bullets. Go lighter. You can crush bullets BTW with any crimp die. Be aware, that a roll crimp always needs a crimping groove (cannelure).

    You should close the flare made to seat your lead bullets and that's all if your bullet have not cannelure...more crimp than that needs a crimping groove. Adjusting any seating die requires trial and error adjustment. Too much crimp sometimes bulges the case below the crimp...Lee takes care of that (mistake) by sizing again as you crimp. If you don't over crimp you generally don't need that resizing. Still it's insurance for those in a hurry as Walkalong hinted at.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    No. The seater will crimp as well as seat.

    Absolutely. It crimps just like any other crimp die. (Slight differences in the crimp ledge and the exact crimp achieved aside)

    Vise versa is true as far as crimp goes. The only thing regular crimp dies cannot do is post size.

    A taper crimp die taper crimps. A roll crimp die roll crimps. At least that is what they should do.

    A die that just mashes the case edge down in a cannelure or crimp groove is not roll crimping. It sounds like a poor excuse for a proper roll crimp IMHO.

    Since I have not seen a FCD for revolver cases that use a roll crimp, I do not understand your "the FCD die can't roll crimp exactly" statement. I would be very interested to see one now. AC
     
  12. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    Thanks Walkalong.
     
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