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Factory Crimp Die -or- NOT

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by fourdollarbill, Apr 18, 2009.

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Lee Factory Crimp Die -OR- Not

  1. Factory Crimp Die

    55 vote(s)
    73.3%
  2. No Factory Crimp Die

    20 vote(s)
    26.7%
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  1. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Member

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    A thread ago rcmodel brought up a very good point. He advised in so many words that the people have been loading good 38/357's for 90 plus years before the FCD so why have it now. I'm a fan of Lee equipment and use the FCD. If you asked me why I could not tell you. It was in the box and I screwed it in the holder. Well after that comment I loaded 20+ without it. Here is what I noticed. The bullet was nicley seated and crimped just as well and the loadmaster handle was easier to pull as it was not post resizing the loaded case. Well I parked the FCD for now, why pull a 4th function if not needed.

    Can you offer a valid reason for this Factory Crimp/Full Length Post Sizing Die?
     
  2. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    When my 9mm fcd arrived, i went over some 9mm's i had already loaded and it never even touched them. So......no i cant tell you.:)
     
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    It's over hyped and not worth the extra money Quality pistol and rifle dies do an excellent job of crimping. A few years ago the NRA Technical Staff did a study between the Lee's FCD versus the standard crimp die and found absolutley no difference in accuracy among several benchrest rifles used. I've reloading for over 40 years and don't use a FCD(I've tried them and scrapped them). I'll put my reloads up against any others using the FCD and the loser buys the beers! Just one man's opinion...YMMV. :)
     
  4. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I use it, and it works for me. Others may not, that's the freedom of choice we have.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I'll second that.
     
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    FCD for Handguns

    The FCD is a "must have :uhoh:" for bullet casters using Lee "no sizing:cuss: required" load & shot bullet moulds. The fat:eek: oversize bullets must be sized soon or later so the round will chamber:barf:. So the FCD can fix this mistake:evil: by making it worse.:banghead:
     
  7. jfh

    jfh Member

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    1. I use it for my semiauto fodder--but not on the better stuff I build for semiautos.

    2. I do use it on my revolver builds--but as a carefully-set-up, crimp-only die, as I have found that it allows me to dial in crimp better than a second (Lee) seater-crimper die.

    3. What little .223 reloading I've done shows me I will probably use it there--but rifle FC dies are a different story.

    With the right bullet and case selection, no post-sizing is done--and if postsizing starts occurring, I've got a warning about the (Lead) bullet QC control.

    However, my respect for others' opinions about the non-need for the FCD suggests that I will again try some building without using it--at least in the Turret.

    Jim H.
     
  8. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    At present the only round I use the Lee FCD is with my .30 WCF rounds. It eliminates crushed shoulders on those thin walled .30-30 cases.
     
  9. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I used to use the factory crimp die in PISTOL calibers, had some feeding and accuracy problems. Got into quite a dicussion here few months ago regarding this and finally decided to try rc model, bushmaster and walkalong's advice. End result feeding problems eliminated and accuracy restored.

    If you're using lead or cast bullets try this, load a round using the FCD then pull it and mic. the bullets dia. Nuff said.
     
  10. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I use it on my 40 S&W reloads, it post sizes the brass so its guarantee'd to chamber, in any chamber. I'm getting good accuracy with it. I've cycled my brass through my XD's chamber enough now, that it barely touches the brass. When I first started out, it would grab the brass, so it probably made a difference then. It really works well on XTP's, with a crimp groove, I can really crimp them down, gives a good burn.
     
  11. evan price

    evan price Member

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    There are only TWO reasons to need the Lee FCD.

    #1, your gun has a very tight Match grade chamber. Odds are this gun also sometimes has problems with some factory loadings, too. The FCD can be used to make sure reloads fit that picky gun.

    #2, You are using it as a seperate step as a crimp-only die instead of seating & crimping in one operation in the same die, to get a more accurate crimp. The caveat here is that it is possible to set up a combo seat/crimp die for the same thing and it's not really necessary- but I understand why you might do it that way.


    The vast majority of FCD users that from personal experience I have seen are people who use the FCD to correct the problems they made earlier in the reloading process- out of spec brass & bullets, incorrectly setup resize & expander dies.
    In those cases the FCD is used to stamp out ammo that will function- but that's not right.

    Post sizing cases with insufficient neck tension to prevent setback does not work. It creates more potential for setback because the brass case springs back slightly after sizing, the lead core of the bullet does not, so you undersize the bullet in the case even worse. I've seen finished rounds FCD'ed to under bore size and then the shooter wonders why the accuracy got worse with the FCD which was supposed to make better ammo.

    There is no magic die that makes perfect ammo- that comes from patience and experience.
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Not on rifle bullets! The FCD die will swage the midsections of bullets.

    My pistol shooting is conducted between 25 and 50 yards. I shot offhand. Given the short distance and wobbly hold, ruining my bullets may increase my hit probability.

    But not for rifle.

    Still, I am going to continue using the regular taper crimp or roll crimp that came with my pistol dies.

    6.5 SMK Lee Factory Crimp Die

    [​IMG]
     
  13. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    243winxb, that's why I use the Lee push through sizers for my Lee moulded bullets, as my .356 drops at .360, allowing me to size them for either .358 and 38 Special, or .356 and 9mm. Works quite well, good accuracy.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I didn't exactly vote my real feelings.

    I do like the Lee FCD collet die for lever-actions and bottleneck WCF revolver calibers.

    But it is not the same thing as the post sizer Carbide FCD made for straight wall pistol cases. Which I don't feel is a great idea.

    rc
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I like the FCD for my handgun rounds. I even use it on some rifle rounds.

    SlamFire1,
    The bullets in the picture were damaged by too much crimp. Back the die off a little and you won't damage the bullet.
     
  16. bobotech

    bobotech Member

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    I like the FCD for my rifle rounds.

    I thought that the idea behind the FCD for rifles was to swage a canneulre into the bullet like the bullets shown above?

    I use it for semi-auto rifles.
     
  17. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    Does it hurt or help accuracy to crimp .308 rounds? Some bullets have a cannelure, is it beneficial to crimp those? Right now, I've been loading with just neck tension and its worked out fine, I'm shooting a bolt rifle, not semi-auto. I would assume that you should crimp rounds for a semi-auto, with the bolt slamming into them.
     
  18. Landric

    Landric Member

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    I use Lee FCDs in my Classic Turret. I've loaded for years without the FCD, or any separate crimping operation, because I loaded on a single stage press and didn't want the extra step. With the Classic Turret I have to pull the lever four times either way, so I crimp as a separate step.

    I don't use the FCD when I load on a single stage.
     
  19. Oro

    Oro Member

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    I use it on auto-loading pistol cartridges, where it makes a big difference in case uniformity and thus reliability. I use it not so much for the separate crimping feature but for the full-length resizing function. However, I do find the LOA more consistent when using a separate crimp die than with a single-step seat/crimp die.

    It is also gun-dependent. On "service" grade gun/barrel combinations (a Beretta, Glock, etc. pistol in factory form) I do not find it necessary. With higher-grade barrels and custom guns, it becomes very important.

    Did you actually measure them, or just eyeball them? The differences in what makes a round go/no go is usually not visible to the eye. But since you are talking about a revolver round, I don't think it's going to make a difference. I've never had a revolver cartridge reloading set-up give headaches. The real benefit of the FCD is for match-grade shooting and autoloaders.
     
  20. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    That's my same experience. I use the FCD for 9mm, 38 spcl and 45 auto and the post sizing ring never sizes the case and I like the crimp I get from it. If the FCD is making the handle pull that much harder every pull on a Loadmaster then it sounds like there are other problems.
    Rusty
     
  21. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    I use the Lee FC die for semi auto pistol cartridges, 9mm and .45 acp. I also use the rifle FC die for .223, 30-30, 8mm and .308 using cannelured bullets that will be fired from magazine fed military type semi auto's and tube fed Winchester 94 but not for hunting bullets to be shot from a bolt action.

    I have a Lee FC die for .38 spl and .357 mag and am rather ambivalent regarding its use. Generally i just use the regular seatingi and crimping die to do it in one step.
     
  22. The91Bravo

    The91Bravo Member

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    If you have a heavy recoil weapon, and the bullet has a cannelure then crimp it. For semi-auto handgun, then use a Taper crimp, since the weapon headspaces off the neck of the cartridge. If you have a tubular magazine and a shouldered round then you can crimp lightly since the round headspaces off the shoulder of the case.

    Good luck
     
  23. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Member

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    Good Grief I was hoping to have an overwhelming answer one way or the other.
    I'm so cunfused :confused:
    Oh well! I'm just going to use the... OMG I can't decide :what:
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    No chance. :scrutiny:

    It's not needed. Start without it. You'll not likely ever miss it. I do like to crimp in a 4th step in most apps, but I use a plain old crimp only die. Lee makes one of those also. Polish it up and it'll do fine. :)
     
  25. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    There is only one way to make a decision like that, flip a coin.:neener: Now you have to decide heads or tails.

    Rusty
     
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