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How much crimp? Lee FCD guidance sought.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lee Roder, Aug 19, 2009.

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  1. Lee Roder

    Lee Roder Member

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    Spacers are a good idea but require a nut capable of locking onto the die. My Lee dies only come with rubber O-rings which is fine if you like changing and adjusting dies. That's why I got a turret, so even with my dies when I get all this stuff figured out I can hopefully just set it and forget it.

    Do you buy these spacers or have a punch and make them yourself?

    Regarding your crimp, how would a roll crimp change your particular round's function (accuracy, cleanliness, ...)? :)
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I replaced all my Lee rings with mostly Hornady rings, some Redding, etc. Lee rings are fine if you tighten them down on a turret or LNL bushing and leave them alone. Since switching to the LNL I have used some of those Lee rings to lock down some dies on the bushings. Works just fine.

    I bought the spacers many years ago. I do not remember where offhand. .001 to .010 in thousandths, then up by .005 at a time if I remember correctly. (.033 one? dunno. I think I have a few from another set)

    Crimps in general:

    As far as crimps go, roll and taper crimps are both useful, it just depends on the application.

    For lead bullets with a good, properly formed, crimp groove, nothing beats a good roll crimp.

    For jacketed bullets with a good cannelure (A real cannelure with an indentation, not just marks), a roll crimp is usually best, but a good taper crimp will work as well. I like to taper crimp .223 blasting/plinking ammo, but have done it both ways.

    As far as cleanliness, and good ES & SD numbers, you just have to experiment. With slow powders a heavier crimp is usually best, and as the powder speeds up in burn rate you will see it need less and less crimp.

    For plated bullets taper crimps are the way to go.
     
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  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been having to readjust my crimp dies as I change over to the LNL from my Projector.

    Here is what I have named "Medium Plus" in my log book for .44 mag. I would probably call this "Heavy" in .38 or .357 Mag, but it is "Medium Plus" for .44 Mag, to me. I am running some loads over the chrono to see if they jive with what I was getting before with the "same" crimp.

    Magtech 240 Gr JSP's in Hornady and FC range brass.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  4. Lee Roder

    Lee Roder Member

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    Nice roll crimp

    I'd really like to see your roll crimp Walkalong, maybe your "light" versus "heavy" in a cast bullet if you get a chance.

    After learning some things about my Factory Crimp Die here, I've had to go back two steps in the process to make my FCD work better for me.

    I find seating these oversize bullets straight into cases flared by my Lee expander die not easy. While apparently starting straight by hand, rotating the cartridge 90 degrees around its major axis ALWAYS seems to show that my bullet is starting crooked. And my Lee seating die doesn't reliably straighten them for me. Sometimes they seat straight, sometimes not, so I end up with various asymmetric "bulges" which get smooshed over by the FCD as pointed to above. :banghead:

    To the poster who originally suggested using Lyman's M die for cast bullets here,

    THANK YOU SIR! :)

    In the photo, flare for all 3 cases measured .005" larger than case diameter (.375"). This extent is just enough to eliminate lead shaving during seating by me.

    THR-4_th.jpg

    My bullets fit snugly right into the case mouth of the Lyman flared case just as advertised and, unlike my Lee flared case, are held pretty firmly upright. I can shake the cartridge upsidedown even (gently) and bullet remains immobile, just like ammosmith on youtube. When fully seated, what case bulging there is is symmetrical, the bottom of the bullet being the most prominent though barely noticable, so final resizing by the FCD has much less to smooth out than before. After final resize by the FCD, case diameter over bullet is .377" which is almost what it should be given measured bullet diameter (.358") and wall thickness (.010") so bullet "resizing" by the FCD does not appear to be an issue for me.

    While my experience here is admittedly small, the M die is a huge leap forward with oversize bullets. Thanks guys for the opportunity to share!
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I like to use the whole crimp groove when roll crimping lead bullets. In other words, the crimp groove determines my depth of crimp.

    I showed a 125 Gr bullet on top of a scrap .38 Spl case next to a .357 case with the bullet seated & crimped so one can see the crimp groove vs the crimp.

    Medium Roll Crimp on a D&J 125 Gr RFN
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  6. Lee Roder

    Lee Roder Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to crimp a cast example and post a pic for illustration.

    For future reference, I've tried to quantify this FCD's roll crimp in terms more repeatable than "light" or "heavy", etc, and at the same time get an idea of the possible crimps produced by this thing. Seating the die against the ram I can zero the crimp adjustment by turning it down to touch the top of a resized and trimmed but unflared case. Then crimping a single identically sized cartridge in increments of 90 degree turns of the adjuster, I see

    FCD_0-900_deg.jpg

    Walkalong, none of these crimps produced by my FCD have that nicely rolled look your's or other's I've seen do. :confused: What crimp die did you use in your most recent example?
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I pictured a bullet sitting on a scrap .44 Spl case to show the crimp groove vs the crimp again. As posted earlier, I like to use the whole crimp groove when roll crimping lead bullets. In other words, the crimp groove determines how deep (How strong) my crimp is.

    To answer the question posed by Lee Roder...I used a Redding Profile Crimp Die for the .357 crimp, and an RCBS seater (Bullet pre-seated with another die) for the .44 Mag crimp. Those are my two favorite crimp dies.

    The Redding die has a taper built in before the ledge for the roll crimp, while the RCBS does not. If you look close you can see the difference in the sharpness of the angles and the length difference in the crimps.

    Medium Roll Crimp on a Magnus 215 Gr SWC in .44 Mag
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Light Taper Crimp On Berrys 125 Gr TrFP In .357 Brass
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Notice the bright spot at the edge of the case mouth from the crimp die.
     

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  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Medium Plus Roll Crimp on a 180 Gr XTP

    Using a RCBS Seater Die in station 5 to crimp with bullet pre-seated in station 4 with a Hornady seater.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  10. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    Loading 35 rem 200gr hdy rn 37.5 grs varget, start load 36gr- max 39.5 gr. Any advice on whether I should use the lee fcd or just crimp while seating. Just working this up I have two rounds to test in the morning.Used the lee fcd seem pretty good to me couldn't push it in or pull it out with my hands fwiw
     
  11. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Heavy Taper Crimp on a Powerbond 125 Gr HP in .357

    Used a Redding Taper Crimp only die in the 5th station after seating with a Redding Competition Seater in the 4th station. With this much Taper Crimp is absolutely necessary to crimp separately.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  13. millertyme

    millertyme Member

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    I don't reload much of anything but 240gr LSWC for my .44Mag and whether I load it light or heavy I use the same crimp, about like your 720 in the photo above. Where do the rest of you get that pretty lookin high polished brass from? I run mine through a tumbler and it comes out looking sand-blasted.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Sand-Blasted?

    What the heck are you using for tumbler media?

    Ground walnut shell & polishing compound should give a less polished look with more of a "brass" color.

    Follow with ground corncob & polishing compound and it will leave the "brass" looking like a 24ct gold wedding ring!

    rc
     
  15. millertyme

    millertyme Member

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    Hahaha, I forgot the damn polishing compound. I just got my tumbler, btw.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Haven't loaded any of these in quite some time. I used a light roll crimp. This crimp will stop bullet set back with plated bullets, but is too weak to indent a jacketed bullet with no cannelure.

    Light Roll Crimp on a Ranier 155 gr TrFP in .400 Corbon
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    In the previous post I showed a light roll crimp on a .400 Corbon, which is what I use now. I had previously tried a medium roll crimp. I pulled some bullets crimped that way and I found that it was pretty close to too much crimp for the Ranier bullet as it almost cut through the plating. Not quite, but close. After some testing I found that a light roll crimp worked just as well. It was accurate, gave just as good ES & SD numbers, prevented bullet set back just as well as a medium roll crimp, but deformed the bullet less and was not on the ragged edge of being too much crimp for the plating.

    Pulled Ranier 155 Gr TrFP from a case with a Medium Roll Crimp
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  18. delta5

    delta5 Member

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    When I load 45acp with standard 230g fmj bullets, i set them for min OAL and crimp at 1/2 to 3/4 turn past contact on the FCD. They come out perfect, looks and feels like out of the box bullets.
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Light Taper Crimp on a Zero 125 Gr JHP in .38 Super - Dillon Crimp Die
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  20. mettstraw

    mettstraw member

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    I have recently join this site and this is nice idea for providing us this information. Would you mind to let us know more about this? Thanks!
     
  21. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Crimp- Too Much or Ok?

    Looks like to much Roll crimp on this 45 Colt to me. What do you think?:confused: ToMuchCrimp.jpg
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a very healthy crimp. More than I would use, but not more than some people use. It's hard on brass, but if that much is needed, then so be it.

    I would bet that much is not needed, but it could be with certain calibers/powder/bullet combinations. Never say never.

    It looks like a bullet with a fairly shallow cannelure, but better than some. A good deep cannelure sure helps when applying a nice heavy roll crimp.

    If I needed that much crimp, I would perhaps look to change bullets, but I would also take a very close look at my crimp dies crimp ledge.

    Bottom line is it should work just fine, but be hard on brass.

    IMHO - AC
     
  23. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    Light or Med crimp

    .357 Mag 158 gr Power Bond Plated flat point. This is for my plink load of 5.8 gr Universal using a SP primer. I'm beginning to think this might be more of a medium crimp, than a light crimp.

    It looks like the plating has been breached but with high power maginification that I can't capture well enough with my cheap camera, I see that there is no lead showing. The light makes it look like there is.

    platedlightcrimp1.jpg

    platedlightcrimp2.jpg

    Since the plating has not been breached am I realistic that this would be considered a good crimp to have? I'll use this load for my 2 1/2 barrel revolver and my 20" lever action rifle.

    Comment from the considerably more experienced than me?

    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    PM sent. Sounds like you will be fine. They are tough bullets, and don't mind a heavy taper crimp.
     
  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Loaded 50 of these today.

    In Post #30 I showed these same bullets in with a Medium Roll Crimp using a RCBS seater die in a separate step.

    This time I used a Hornady seater, and I seated & crimped in the same step. I think it did a very good job. The crimp ledge in the Hornady pistol seaters is a nice relatively long tapered ledge instead of a very short almost 90 degree ledge in the RCBS and other similar dies. It worked very well. This is the first time I have crimped with a Hornady pistol die seater, despite having owned a few for some time. I give it an A. (They seat real well too of course)

    Medium Roll Crimp on a D&J 125 Gr RFN
    - Using a Hornady seater to seat and crimp in one step.

    Medium Roll Crimp on a D&J 125 Gr RFN In .38 Spl Pic 1.JPG
    Medium Roll Crimp on a D&J 125 Gr RFN In .38 Spl Pic 2.JPG
     

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    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
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