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Lee FCD Using Cast Bullets in 9mm and 45 ACP

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tkcomer, Nov 13, 2008.

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  1. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Does anyone use the Lee Deluxe pistol dies in 9mm and 45 ACP with cast bullets? I use them in 38/357 and have no problem. Kinda bumpy at times coming out of the FCD, but they fit the guns I stick them in. In my 44 mag, I had to send in a bullet to Lee to come up with a FCD that would work with the .431 cast bullets I was using from Laser Cast. The standard die would shove the bullet down into the case before a crimp was applied. Worked fine with .429 jacketed bullets. I'm going to start loading for 9mm and 45 ACP and would like to know if anyone has had problems with their Lee die sets with cast bullets in these calibers. Thanks for any replies.
     
  2. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    I use them and like them a lot. You will get differing opinions. I recommend you try them for yourself before you swear off them. Good product for some.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Some of the carbide inserts seem to be undersized on the carbide crimp dies. I am sure Lee would replace it if you called them. The concept of the die is great, but the couple I fooled with post sized too much. I bet if I called Lee they would replace them, but I just quit using them. They should ONLY post size rounds that are over sammi specs, but the ones I fooled with did a lot more.

    On the other hand, some folks think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Handloaders made it just fine for many years without them. ;)
     
  4. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Oh, they work great in jacketed rounds. It's just my problem with cast bullets in the 44 die makes me wonder how they'll do with 9mm and 45 ACP.
     
  5. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    They work as advertised on lead bullets, IIRC the early adds said they were designed and recommended for lead bullet loads.
     
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Been doing it ever since I started casting my own a year or so ago, no issues.
     
  7. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I use them in both 9mm and 45 ACP. Had real feeding problems with my 45 and called Lee, they recommended a FCD and that was the end of my problem. I really like them.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If it is fixing a feeding problem, there is something wrong that could be fixed by better load procedures. It should not be necessary to squish ammo for it to feed. The intent of the die was to fix an occasional round that was oversized due to an oversized bullet or crooked seating to make sure it would not jam in a sammi sized chamber. A case gauge will weed those rounds out without squashing all of your reloads. I think it does more harm than good. Most blasting ammo will never show the difference though. As long as it is minute of dirt clod I guess folks are happy.

    I am in the minority here of course. :)
     
  9. TEDDY

    TEDDY Member

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    fcd

    may be you are right. I roll crimp but rifle is different and I think they are great for rifle.
     
  10. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    I use the FCD with 9.. and .45acp cast slug loads. easy does it on the crimp.
     
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Feeding problems because of a match chamber on a custom 45 cal barrel. Yup, squish them slightly to fit better.
     
  12. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    Thanks for the answers. I've never loaded for the 9 or the 45. I'm planing on using jacketed bullets to get started, then swap to lead. Just wanted to know how the FCD did with cast.
     
  13. robctwo

    robctwo Member

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    I do not use Lee dies other than the FCD, and have used it on 9mm and .45 cast with great success for a few years now. Anything from 155 SWC to 230 gr RN in .45 and 124 gr to 147 gr in 9mm.
     
  14. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    I just ordered the Lee Deluxe dies for the 9 and 45 plus the turrets to go with them. One day, I'll see how they do. I just wish I'd saved all the friggin' brass I let go after all these years.
     
  15. straight-shooter

    straight-shooter Member

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    I can use the 38/357 FCD with no problems. Now the 45ACP I cannot use. It actually sizes the bullet in the brass making the cast lead bullet undersized thus leading my barrel. I removed the sizing ring in the FCD and now just use it for crimping. No problems with it downsizing the bullet now and works great this way.

    Best thing to do is pull a bullet after loading it. Measure it's diameter to make sure it is not undersized for your barrel diameter. That is if you slugged your barrel so you know the bullet diameter you require in the first place.
     
  16. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Well just pulled a 45 ACP round apart that had been run thru a FCD. Cast bullet had been sized at .452, miked recovered bullet at .452 no change. Round had been pulled with the impact type puller.
     
  17. straight-shooter

    straight-shooter Member

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    Sounds like your good to go. My .45 pistols all measure out at .450.5 when I slug the barrel so .452 is ideal for shooting lead.

    I often wondered if I have a defective FCD in the .45 set. It would size the bullet down to .450.5 in the brass. I may just purchase another .45 FCD and give it a try.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, my point exactly.
     
  19. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    How did you get that carbide ring out?
     
  20. straight-shooter

    straight-shooter Member

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    I used titanium drill bits. You just want one slightly larger than the carbide ring. Drill the insert and then step up to the next size drill bit and repeat. On the second bit it actually grabbed the insert and spun it. The insert then cracked and came out.

    Only thing you wanna watch out for is don't use any drill bit bigger than the actual inside diameter of the die. Sounds involved but it's really easy once you get started on it.

    I heard another person just used a punch and got it out but I was unable to make that scenario work for me.
     
  21. Bronson7

    Bronson7 Member

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    I stopped using it a long time ago on 45 ACP cast bullets. It would size down the bullet .0005-.001". I started thinking it was kind of silly to be careful about buying cast bullets sized to .452 only to squish them down with a FCD.
    Nope, I'm not a big fan of it and I produce very reliable ammo for my 45s without it.
    Bronson7
     
  22. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    what Walkalong said FCD not needed.
     
  23. tkcomer

    tkcomer Member

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    I use the Lee 4 hole turret press and like seating and crimping in separate stages. I used my old RCBS seat/crimp die until I got the new FCD that worked from Lee. Didn't have a problem with those rounds going in the gun. I'm not really a big fan of the "post sizing" feature. I wonder how hard it would be to open up the carbide ring say, maybe .003 without removing it?
     
  24. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    If you load for volume, use mixed brass, and shoot a lot, the Lee 4 die set is indispensible. I would have an occassional failure to feed in my CZ-97B and upon examination, I would find a "wrinkle" or slight bulge where the bullet didn't seat straight into the case.

    Since I went to the Lee dies with the FCD, not the first bobble in last 500 rounds. I use cast bullets mostly, but have used jacketed as well with no problems.

    So I bought a set for 9mm, and another for .40 S&W. Wouldn't build bullets without these dies now.
     
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