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Opinions on the Lee factory crimp dies.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by brutus51, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. brutus51

    brutus51 Member

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    Got a new Colt Cobra target and the chambers were so tight I had to get one of these dies.
    After some research I discovered John Taffin is a big fan of these dies.
    What do you folks think?
     
  2. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    They work for me.
    The thing some guys hate about them is they will reduced the bullet diameter if they're slightly oversized. Some guns need a bullet a bit over sized and in those situations using the FCD can cause leading.
    For me, it's never caused a problem and it's the best crimp IMO. Plus I'm a crimp-o-holic so I like what it does.
     
  3. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I like them. But I'm not all that experienced, so I suppose it doesn't mean too much.
     
  4. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I use them all the time for pistol calibers. I just set it for a light crimp.

    Some will come along and say that the Lee FCD is a solution looking for a problem and that you should not use them. I personally like using them and a light crimp helps me when using Hodgkin Universal, it helps cut down on unburned powder
     
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  5. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I don't always crimp, but when I do FCD.
     
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  6. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    In my opinion, if you have to crimp, the Lee Factory Crimp Die is the best there is.
     
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  7. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I tried not using the FCD at first but was getting a lot of unburned powder left in my pistols using Universal, a light crimp took care of that for me.
     
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  8. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    I love them especially for my lever actions. Trim length isn,t a big issue and your not working the mouth of the case like a roll crimp does.
     
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  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    What bullet? If you pull the bullet from one of your reloads what does it look like? Is the crimp die swaging the bullet to a smaller diameter?
     
  10. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    It's a tool and in some instances is a specialty tool. Kind of like welding, most can be done with an arch welder, sometimes a wire feed mig welder works better and sometimes you need a tig welder.

    All my pistol loads are done with Lee Carbide 3 die sets with the exception of loads used in a particular Witness 45acp. It too has a very tight chamber and a very short leade. This gun is also 28 years old so I am not going to alter it now. This barrel refuses high generous ogives, truncated cones. SWC bullets and oversized bullets.. Handloads that cycle in any other gun have difficulties in this gun. So now if this was a new gun I would most likely either send it back or have it altered.
     
  11. TfflHndn

    TfflHndn Member

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    I like it. I have a Blackhawk in .45 auto that has pretty tight chambers and if I don't use the FCD some rounds don't fully fit. With he FCD they all fit perfectly. I use one with most calibers I load. Worth every penny IMO.
     
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  12. presspuller

    presspuller Member

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    To me it's cheap insurance. Maybe not absolutely necessary, but it doesn't hurt to use it.
     
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  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't use them. Have no need. Not a fan.
     
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  14. swagbrdr

    swagbrdr Member

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    I love them and use them on everything. I just did a load workup on my 300WM. I couldn’t get the SD down into single digits. Finally, the Lee die showed up in the mail. Boom! SD of 2 in my preferred group.
     
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  15. donut1953

    donut1953 Member

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    I really love this forum and learn so much from reading many posts. You are one of the posters that I always enjoy following. I know you have probably posted your feelings on this subject many times but I am curious to why you are not a fan.
     
  16. mrawesome22-250

    mrawesome22-250 Member

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    If it's made by Lee I'm not interested.
     
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  17. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Actually, I agree with him 100%.

    I don't use them... why, when I have either a roll crimp, a taper crimp, or no crimp already available to me? That covers the 'have no need' part, too.

    Not a fan... I actually bought one for the .348WCF, thinking I could get away with not trimming all my brass to the same OAL for proper roll crimp. I could not even get it to work properly. I understand how it works, and what I'm guessing is the shellholder I have didn't actuate it properly... I don't know. All I know is I've gotten along without it OK these past 35 years, and that's probably because the proper crimp is... a roll crimp, or a taper crimp, or no crimp.

    EDIT: Granted, I'm not fighting chamber issues like some of you seem to be... so I go back to 'whatever works.'
     
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  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have a Lee 38 Special Factory crimp die that I only use when I have a 38 wadcutter cartridge that will not chamber. Then I can shoot the round instead of disassembling it. I maybe have one in 500 or 1000 rounds that I have chambering trouble with.

    'Otherwise, I have no use for them.
     
  19. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    38 spec and 357 mag often failed the plunk test with various range brass. FCD fixed it all no sweat.
     
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  20. swagbrdr

    swagbrdr Member

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    So I trim my brass on rifle...ALWAYS. Consistency in brass helps with consistency out in the field. I’ve found rather than dealing with different neck bushings, I can use the lee factory crimp to get even neck tension on my loads, every time. Plus, I don’t have bullets sliding around in the case in magnum loads when they’re in the magazine.

    You may have “gotten along without it” for 35 years, but perhaps it could help you produce better loads now. I would argue that tech has improved in 35 years and the Lee die is an improvement worth considering. Read my post above for my 300WM loads. The one factor I changed to finalize the loads was the Lee Factory Crimp Die.

    Really? I don’t like all reloading equip by Lee, but that’s the same for all the other companies as well. I try to pick the best from them all.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
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  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    The first Lee FCD I bought was to supplement my Hornady 9mm die set that I was gifted when I first started reloading. Besides roll crimping, I had a hard time setting the combo Seat and Crimp functions. It was a life saver as it let me reload a bunch of rounds and have them actually pass the case gauge. As I became more experienced and learned how to correctly set up my Sizing and my Expanding die, it became somewhat redundant. I'll still use it when loading jacketed bullets, even with plated bullets, but never use it with cast bullets

    Once Redding began using the M-die profile in their expanders, I've pretty much changed over the reloading of my main calibers to Redding die sets.
     
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  22. swagbrdr

    swagbrdr Member

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    Another note:

    I don’t use the Lee FCD on loads that are traditionally crimped. So, I don’t use it on .44 mag. I use a roll crimp. I have a specific Redding taper crimp die for 45 ACP set up on my Dillon.

    I only use it on bottle neck rifle loads.

    After reading many posts, it seems many that don’t like it are using it in place of the traditional crimp method on loads that required a crimp of some sort. I think this i my Ah ha moment on this die for folks that don’t like it.
     
  23. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    So the rifle version I have played with a little for 223 and I can see using it on bulk ammunition that have crimp rings on the bullets. I load lead in pistol so the sizing ring is problematic, and they dont use the same type of collet for the crimp. I dont plan on ever owning the pistol version.
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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  25. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Discussion isn't very useful unless making the distinction between FCDs that have a post sizing ring and those that don't. Lee still calls them "factory crimp". Also we shouldn't be referriing to the dies as all cartridges having a roll crimp. They don't.
     
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