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Factory Crimp Die. Only Lee?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by chagasrod, Oct 31, 2009.

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  1. chagasrod

    chagasrod Member

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    Hey Guys

    Does any other company makes factory crimp dies other than Lee Precision?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No.

    No other company thinks they are necessary, and they are right.

    If you properly adjust the seating/crimp die, there is no need for the FCD.

    I do like the one for the .223 as it makes it impossible to buckle the shoulder if a long case slips by you. On the otherhand, I don't crimp .223 all that often.

    rc
     
  3. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    But all the other companies do make a separate crimp die so you can separate crimping from the seating die, which is the exact same thing the FCD does. The only difference is the FCD has the post sizing ring. I agree with the others that say your dies should be adjusted right and not to depend on the FCD to fix ammo. What I like to use the FCD for is a final check instead of a case gage. If I feel a round get post sized then I set it to the side and check it out or pull it. I have never had a feed problem using this method and have only had two rounds get post sized out of thousands loaded.
     
  4. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    The use of FCD is only in the minds of Lee Die users. A quality die set like Redding or RCBS with a separate taper or roll crimp die is more than sufficent for all our needs in my opinion.
     
  5. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Well I see the lee bashers are on here instead of out trick or treating.:evil::D

    There's 3 types of lee final crimp dies. Straight wall brass uses either a taper crimp,(semi auto pistols), or a roll crimp for revolvers. The factory crimp die for bottle neck cases uses a collet that crimps from the side, or 90 degrees to the long axis of the case. It can crimp into bullet that DON'T have a cannelure,(crimp groove).

    The argument as to whether the use of a FCD is using it as a crutch to solve problems with seating, or other things that cause bulges in the side of a round. I use one as a taper crimper for semi-auto pistol rounds that I shoot very quickly at IDPA and IPSC targets. Revolver stuff gets roll crimped using a Redding profile crimper.
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Just because someone dislikes the Lee FCD for pistol calibers does not automatically make them Lee bashers. It does not.

    I think the Lee FCD die for pistol calibers is a waste 99% of the time (snuffy posted the 1%), and even then the problem could be cured another way.

    I believe (know) some, if not many, of the carbide rings are undersized. That makes matters even worse.

    I think it enables many reloaders to get by with poor reloading efforts by squeezing their problems into "fitting" into the chamber. Just because the round is able to chamber does not make it a good reload, and it can keep the reloader from fine tuning their skills and getting better at their craft. After all, the dang fit fit and went bang, right?

    It can ruin neck tension by squeezing the bullet which will not spring back as much as the brass, and cause leading with reloads that would otherwise work just fine before the lead bullet was squeezed undersized.

    That said. I have a Lee FCD in .40 (I bough a .40 & .45 to try some years ago) that only kisses an occasional round, doing no harm. They crimp no better and generally no worse than other crimp dies. (They would not be my first pic for a crimper, but they crimp well enough)

    I often recommend and speak well of Lee dies and equipment. Lee equipment is the best bang for your buck and will load good ammunition. I just think the Lee FCD die is a bane to reloaders learning their craft. AC
     
  7. jfh

    jfh Member

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    This thread has the definitive commentary on the Lee FCD Die

    Each poster so far has hit the respective issues dead-on. The only thing I can add is to note (as snuffy does) that there are three different FCD dies--and the rifle one appears to be beneficial for a rifle reloader. (I am barely a novice .223 reloader, so I reserver further comment about which I know little in first-hand experience.)

    I use the FCD handgun dies --but set up so that they can properly crimp-only in the 4th position, and catch the odd out-of-spec cartridge as RustyFN does. And, I freely admit to using it on rounds built some years ago with out-of-spec bullets for my semiautos. Specifically, I have a bunch of early-design 10mm 200-gr LTC rounds that are 1) oversize and poor feeding in almost any 10mm. The FCD die there is enabling me to shoot up those rounds in a mostly-non-irritating manner.

    I'd be happier about it if Lee would peddle it as a crimper, and not as a post-sizer.

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  8. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    I like and use my Lee FCD for crimping .30-30 cases. It's the only place I use it...Gives a much firmer crimp then does the seating/crimping die.:D

    Bash all you want...I'm happy...:neener:
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I don't have a problem with the rifle FCD dies. Not a big fan, but nothing wrong with them. Heck Bushmaster, when I buy some 30-30 dies, one of these days, I might even go Lee. :D
     
  10. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    I just ordered dies for my new to me 7.62 X 54R. I got lee pacesetter dies, because it includes the FCD. I'll usually get lee for military rifles, because there's no need for low runnout on the final check.

    I have the handgun FCD's in .357 mag, 357 sig,(that's a bottle neck collet die), 44 mag, 40 S&W, 9mm, and 45 acp. Of those, the ONLY one that ever makes contact with the carbide ring is the 45, when using as-cast lead that may be a little bigger than they should be. Not many post size even with those boolits.

    I don't agree with post sizing to erase mistakes in other loading practices. as a means to identify rounds that might need corrective measures, it works well. As said, if it was ONLY a taper crimper, or roll crimper for wheel guns, it would be a better option.

    The rifle FCD is like no other crimp die made. One of Richard Lee's genius creations,(among others). As said, he gets more people into reloading for little money, they can either stay in the hobby, or get out with little wasted money. a basic set-up can be improved upon, some, like the classic turret are all anybody will ever need. Loading set-ups can be sold to recoup the majority of the cash.
     
  11. ants

    ants Member

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    Snuffy mentioned Redding Profile Crimp for revolver. I hope we paid attention.

    It's a very, very nice tool. For revolver only. If not familiar, take a look at it.



    I seldom use the FCD, but it is handy for big magnum rifle where you have a heavy bullet and lots of recoil. I am completely convinced that I don't need it if I get the neck sized right, but it's comforting to know that I can do a light crimp if I feel like it, without ruining anything.

    Although I don't use the FCD for 223 Rem any longer. It was scattering groups at 300 yards with premium thin-jacketed bullets like Nosler BT. When I stopped using it, nicer groups came back. The collet action must have been squeezing the jacket as Walkalong mentioned.
     
  12. Roccobro

    Roccobro Member

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    I don't think there is any "bashing". What needs to be clarified is the negative comments are true regarding pistol dies- NOT rifle.

    The Rifle has some definite merit as RC said in post #2. And I happily use it for my non-bolt action .223 ammo.

    It is ...a novelty?... in the pistol die set. Mostly unneeded, but desired by some. I rather have factory made options available that I don't need vs. a need and there not being a maker of it!

    I feel lucky to be a re-loader.

    Justin
     
  13. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    If you load a lot of mixed brass with cast bullets for general shooting with the .45 and 9mm like I do the Lee FC dies take care of the occasional problem you get with extra thick brass bulging a bit. The post sizing portion will make sure the case stays within SAAMI maximum diameter and while most rounds never get touched it does catch the few out of size ones that get bulged during bullet seating.

    In revolver cases the Lee FC dies don't do much for me at least.

    For loading semi auto rifle cartridges for magazine fed military rifles in 7.65 or 5.56 with canelured bullets the collet crimping Lee FC die works great as with rounds that go into tubular magazine fed rifles like the Win 94. You can put as hard a crimp on a canelured round as you find in mil-spec ammo or adjust it to something less.
     
  14. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I find all this a bit odd. I use a Lee FCD for .45 Colt and it does a great job of putting a nice roll crimp on the case without damaging it in any way. I'm not using it to FIX anything, just as a final step to get a nice crimp. I just ordered another for .454 Casull since I don't want to change the setting on the one I use for .45 Colt. I have FCDs for .223 Remington and .308 Win and have been experimenting with them for AR-15 and AR-10 loads. Sierra isn't a big fan of crimping for the M1A suggesting instead to size the neck 0.003" under the loaded O.D. I was planning on using the FCD for the M1A but will try Sierra's recommendation first.

    Redding doesn't seem to have a profile crimp die for .45 Colt/.454 Casull.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Experienced reloaders can use the FCD effectively, and some do. My problem with the FCD is inexperienced reloaders and its use. It is recommended much too freely to fix the wrong thing.
    Actually, I have one.

    Midway

    I like mine better than the fellow who wrote the review. Most reviews for Reddings Profile Crimp Dies are very good.

    I like the Redding Profile Crimp dies and the RCBS crimp only and seater/crimper dies. They seem to make the best crimps of the dies I have.
     
  16. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I'm with you on that one Jim.
     
  17. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Walkalong, thanks ... I missed that one since I was looking in the .454 Casull section on Midway. :eek:

    Redding .454 Casull dies at Midway

    I still like the Lee FCD for .45 Colt though and won't be ordering the one in your link. How does the saying go ... "if it ain't broke ..."

    :)
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That's right, if it ain't broke, I wouldn't mess with it. :)
     
  19. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    The FCD is the only crimp die that I have since I have bought almost all Lee stuff, so if I want to crimp separately, that is what I use. I am curious what type of mistakes that it supposedly fixes though, the only time I see much post sizing is with nickel cases which I assume are a tad thicker than brass and loading lead bullets in them. How would that be solved in any other way than using the FCD?????????????
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Ever try loading those bullets without the FCD. Just give them a slight taper crimp them with the seater. Bet you don't have any problems. ;)

    But to answer the question. If the ammo won't work without being post sized, it needs to be loaded straighter, or the bullets are over sized and need to be replaced with a better quality bullet, assuming the bell has been sufficiently removed with a slight taper crimp.. :)
     
  21. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    This is the quote that sums it up, IMHO. I have many many 38 spec rounds loaded using 3 dies, but for 357 I wanted to use the FCD for a real good crimp, and I have felt some post sizing as noted in my last post. As far as I can tell, everything I load with 3 dies will chamber and work as well as those loaded with 4 dies so even being new to this, I am thinking that I am not doing anything intrinsically wrong.
     
  22. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    I use it on my .308 rounds. I'm not a benchrester, and I don't like to spend lots of my time trimming cases to the same length. I can use a Lee FCD because I can crimp without spending the time to make sure all my cases are the same case length.

    Sloppy reloading? Probably. In the purest sense of the craft, yes it is. But it works, and it lets me get by without trimming as often. Still need to trim, but not as often, and that I like.
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I would agree.
    Any good crimp die will do that of course. Make a real good crimp that is.

    The ones that think they are fixing ammo with the pistol FCD are usually talking about auto calibers where they have trouble feeding, but mysteriously they feed OK after squishing them with the FCD. They are either squeezing down poor reloads, or for some reason getting a better crimp with the FCD die than they were trying to use the seater to crimp and seat simultaneously. Probably because it is easier to set up the crimp separately from the seating operation, although with a slight taper crimp on auto calibers, it isn't that difficult.


    Rifle FCD is a whole nother critter. A nifty way to crimp where case length is not much of a concern. :)
     
  24. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Consternation and nose looking down aside, IF YOU'RE GOING TO BOTHER TO CRIMP RIFLE AMMO AT ALL you'll get better more consistent results with much less work if you spend $15 for a FCD. Rifle Calibers I don't have a FCD die for are rifle cartridge combination's I have no intention of crimping for at all
     
  25. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Member

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    I've always viewed the FCD as a "solution" for folks that don't know how to PROPERLY adjust their dies. If they would READ and FOLLOW the INCLUDED istructions the FCD die wouldn't be very popular.......
     
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