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Lee Factory Crimp Die in .38/.357

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by StrikeEagle, Dec 11, 2005.

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  1. StrikeEagle

    StrikeEagle Member

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    Well, I just got the Lee FCD for .38/.357. But I'm sort of wondering why... I never had any problems at all chambering rounds and I'm sorta thinking 'If it ain't broke...'

    Well, it was cheap. :)

    Does anyone here have experience using this die? Any effect on accuracy? If you use it, can you tell me why you do?

    StrikeEagle :eek:
     
  2. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    StrikeEagle

    I have that crimp die too. I like to crimp separate from seating. Roll crimp on revolvers is to keep the bullet from pulling out of the case from recoil. Also roll crimps helps ignition with some powders and not just for 357’s.
     
  3. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    I have some of them and don't use them. I have used them with great success crimping revolver loads using bullets without a cannelure. Other than that I don't see any benefit. The Redding Profile Crimp die is a much better crimp die for those that want to crimp in a seperate operation.
     
  4. Rockstar

    Rockstar member

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    Roll crimps should NEVER be used absent a cannelure, regardless of the die brand.
     
  5. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    I have it and the Redding Profile Crimp die. I never had chambering problems either, but I need a good crimp for heavy loads with H110. After using both for many rounds, I can't tell a difference other than the Redding die being more difficult to set up (have to turn the entire die rather than an adjustment knob).

    I still use the RPC die because I have it and it's adjusted for the main 357mag load I use. I wouldn't buy another one though if the Lee FCD existed for that caliber (I had a Redding die for 32acp because Lee didn't make one).

    Chris
     
  6. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    I use it

    and it works fine. The crimp actually seems to be a combination of roll and taper, with the tapered portion nearest the case mouth.

    Rockstar, what do you mean NEVER? Am I supposed to have blown up years ago?
     
  7. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I've started to use one for my .38 loads for Cowboy Action. I spent the money to have my Marlin Carbine smoothed out and I wanted to make sure the loads for it would feed as smooth as possible. I also have always crimped as a separate operation, since I believe that produces less bullet deformation and more accurate ammunition.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  8. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Member

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    I got one specifically to tune up problems with my WW296/H110 hot .357 loads. For some reason I get aggravating velocity variations when I run these loads over the chrony. After testing a few boxes, I found that I'd see a variance of around 10-20fps for 5-8 loads,then a sudden 100-200fps variance for one shot. This turns up on paper,so it's not the chrony. I believe it to be either roll crimp variances due to length variation or powder drop problems (my measure hates fine ball powders). The FCD/profile crimp was a lazy attempt on my part to avoid having to measure the length of each .357 case that I load.
     
  9. pbhome71

    pbhome71 Member

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    One thing that the FCD does that on one mentioned, is that the FCD also do post-crimpt resize of the cartridge.

    It has a carbide ring sized to the MAX diameter. The ensure that a crimped cartridge is not bulged and will be easy to chamber.

    -Pat
     
  10. Rockstar

    Rockstar member

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    Nope, no blow-ups, just lousy ammo. ;) Roll crimps should ROLL into a cannelure. If there's no cannelure, there's nothing for the crimp to roll into. Check with those clowns at RCBS about this issue.
     
  11. callgood

    callgood Member

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    StrikeEagle, see my post currently residing on page 3- Big spread on .357 Gold Dot loads- any ideas? for more replies to a situation like yours. I am still waiting for my PACT scale to be returned to verify my efforts on my new balance beam scale. I got some H110, but may try some BlueDot first when my PACT gets back. I trim my brass, so I know that's not a problem for me- believe the Lee FCD says length variations aren't a factor in any case. I will continue to post my efforts, let us know if you solve the problem.
     
  12. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    Rockstar, roll crimp a round using the FCD on a bullet without a cannelure and then pull the bullet. You may well be surprised......
     
  13. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Lee FCD only for .38 Special and .30-30 Winchester. Nothing else that I own needs this die. My .357 magnums (3) do quite well with the crimp that the Lee seating die gives them. Thank ya ver' much...:D (gotta' start learnin ta talk like thas as I will be in Missoura in a couple a yars):neener:
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2005
  14. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    As I pointed out

    a close look at a case run through the FCD suggests that it actually begins to taper crimp first, then places a roll just a hair below that. So maybe that's how they get around having to uniform case length.
     
  15. StrikeEagle

    StrikeEagle Member

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    So Are We Agreed...

    The Lee FCD is pretty good stuff? I use them in quite a few calibers I reload. The .45 ACP is outstanding, IMO.

    And thank you for your replies! :)

    StrikeEagle
     
  16. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Lee Factory Crimp Dies

    I use Lee Factory Crimp dies in several calibers. I haven't found any definite improvement in accuracy but I think it holds Barnes Triple Shock X-Bullets in place the best at least in my .375 H&H Mag. I also like the fact that I can use it in bullets without any groove or cannelure.
     
  17. Skipper

    Skipper Member

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    +1 on the LEE FCD. I use them mainly for autoloaders and really like the post sizing. You won't even feel most of them,but on some you do,and that's what the die is for. Also,no extra trouble if you're using a turret or progressive setup.
    SKIP
     
  18. Rockstar

    Rockstar member

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    Wrong.
     
  19. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    Then contact Lee, it seems they are wrong too but hey they only design and build them........
     
  20. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    One thing with the LFC die I noticed was after just touching the brass it was hard to tell how far (¼ or ½ or 1 turn) was until I took a nail and put it in the center of the adjustment knob and scratched a mark from the center out. Now it’s easy to tell how far I’ve turned it (kind of like a clock with one hand).


    HSMITH

    I already have LFC dies so I probably won’t buy any others, but why do you like the Redding Profile Crimp Dies better?
     
  21. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Khornet. I have found that if you DON'T have a uniform OAL the crimp will not be equal on all cases for both of the calibres that I use a Lee FCD on. Accuracy? I wasn't after more accuracy as the loads that I have taylored for these two calibres are quite accurate and just needed a firmer crimp to both insure a more positive hold on the bullet (.30-30 &.38 Spec) and to increase the pressure to get a better burn in the case of the .38 Special...
     
  22. Mikul

    Mikul Member

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    I have one for all of my handgun calibers and it works great. There are two advantages that haven't been mentioned.

    1) Bullet Sizing. I cast my own bullets that are sometime 2-3 thou. too large. The FCD will shrink it to size.

    2) Loading .44 cartridges into my Ruger always required that I push them into the chambers even with FMJ bullets, but with the FCD they just fall in.
     
  23. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    Bullet, the Redding die is much better quality. Built to last several lifetimes. I also have noticed that I get a little more consistent ammunition and a little better accuracy. I also do not like the post sizing of the Lee die, it isn't needed if steps prior were done correctly, it can also wreck accuracy on some cast bullet loads.
     
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