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Problem with lee fcd.......

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 45 long, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Hello to all ! Just joined the site today after a lot of browsing. Lots of good info & advice.
    I'm having trouble with the Lee fcd in 45 colt. After I seat the bullet to my desired depth, when I try to apply a light crimp, the die seats the bullet anywhere from .005" to .010" deeper in the process. I've followed the instructions to the letter, but here I am !!
    I'm fairly new to reloading, so if anyone could shed some light I'd be very grateful.
     
  2. Prowler53

    Prowler53 Member

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    So you adjusted your bullet seating depth and then adjusted for crimp by turning the die down to desired crimp. Did you follow up with that and re-adjust your seating depth screw? If not...you will need to back out the depth adjustment screw. Any adjustment of the die will affect the bullet seating depth.
     
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  3. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Thanks for the reply Prowler. I don't think there is a seating depth screw. This is just a crimp die.
     
  4. Prowler53

    Prowler53 Member

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    My bad....The factory crimp die should not change the O.A.L if it is set up correctly. I believe there was a post on these forums for someone who had the same problem.
     
  5. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Which press are you using? What happens when you back out the seating die? Maybe a stupid question, but are you sure you have the right crimping die? The crimping die shouldn’t make any contact at all with the projectile. What sort of projectiles are you loading?

    on a side note, was that die included with the set? Doesn’t the round you’re loading for headspace on the rim anyway? I always employ a roll crimp for my revolvers. I have a four station press. I just ordered an extra seating die and use that one to crimp only.
     
  6. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Hi Tony, Like I said, I'm new to reloading. I'm using the Lee hand press just to get started. The die set is the Lee deluxe 4 die carbide set. The round does headspace on the rim, but I'm trying to control the seating depth for a stated pressure. The revolver is a pieta 58 Army with a conversion cylinder.
     
  7. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    So, I’m gonna assume that you bought the fcd separately. Well, something is contacting the bullet when you crimp.

    if you just want to shoot...

    unless things have changed, the lee seating die seats and crimps. Since you’re already doing it the hard way, I’d seat the bullets making sure that the die body is cranked out far enough that it isn’t crimping. Then, back the seater out so that it doesn’t contact the bullet and turn the die in to apply a roll crimp which not only fine for a revolver, but I think more desirable.

    anyway, something in that fcd is contacting the bullet. Make sure that the bullet passes all the way through the die and only contacts the brass. Since you’re new to reloading, I suppose you could be applying too much crimp and the crimping die is closing before the projectile can pass through it. It really doesn’t take a whole lot of crimp from a fcd to hold the bullet solidly in place.
     
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  8. Stew0576

    Stew0576 Addicted

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    This sounds like a possible solution
     
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  9. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    The Factory Crimp Die is part of the set. The seating die is set according to the instructions so it won't apply a crimp. Everything is hunky dory until I use the Factory Crimp Die. I only have it set to apply a light crimp
     
  10. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    I just tried passing a bullet(Speer 230 gr RN)through the insert in the die that does the actual crimping, and it slides right through. Could the action of the brass being folded in on the bullet pull it deeper ?
     
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  11. drband

    drband Member

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    As suggested, dial back ALL the crimp in the FCD and see if the die will allow the seated bullet to pass through. The carbide resizing ring can squeeze the bullet a bit if the case has thick walls but it should not change the seating depth. If you need a little more crimp, dial it down while the cartridge is raised fully into the die. Stop when you feel the least resistance. Cycle the case and measure it. If you need a bit more, turn in the crimp adjuster 1/8 or 1/4 turn and cycle it again. Measure. Repeat till satisfied.

    If the carbide ring moves the bullet when there’s no crimp set, maybe your bullet is oversized?? Hopefully that’s not the issue.
     
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  12. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    The brass is Starline, and they do seem a bit thicker than others. I didn't seem to have this problem when I was reloading Fiocchi brass.
    I'll have to spend some time at the range to get some more empty cases to try your suggestions. Thanks for everybody's input.
     
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  13. Bandit67

    Bandit67 Member

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    IMHO .005 is insignificant, especially in a large straight walled case like .45 colt. I would shoot them as is or if it really bothered me I would seat the bullet .005 longer and when the crimp die pushed it in .005 it would be perfect.
    There are many reloaders on here that never measure OAL for revolvers. They just crimp in the cannelure and call it good.
     
  14. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Good to know, thanks for your input.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The roll crimp has pulled the bullet a hair deeper, it happens. You might try adjusting the seating depth a hair different before crimping, try to get the case mouth to roll into the deepest part of the cannelure or the top of the crimp groove.. Pics would help.

    And yes, .005 is nothing to worry about.

    Some crimp pics.
     
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  16. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Even if the fcd was part of a set, the seater die should still be capable of crimping. As I said...unless things have changed. For a revolver, put the fcd aside and roll crimp the rounds.
     
  17. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I use Lee FCDs with all my die sets. I have only seen that when I had too much crimp set. Back off a bit and see what happens
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  18. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Thanks for all the help. As soon as I have some more empty brass I give them a try & post about the results.
     
  19. Prowler53

    Prowler53 Member

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    As TonyAngel said.....The Seater die will also crimp. I have the 4 die set but I don't use the FCD for my revolver. Honestly Just a waist of time imo. I do check my rounds with a case gauge after loading. If they are tight they get tossed.
     
  20. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    For straightwalled rimmed cartridges I do as said above : crimp in to the cannalure and don't worry about it, if I was approaching a max load it would be more of a concern . I too use the FCD, I wouldn't be without one. Best crimp out there (for revolvers and lever actions) in my opinion.
     
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  21. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I would suggest a new reloader put their FCD on a shelf somewhere, get a decent roll crimp and seat and crimp separately. I have had no good results using a Lee FCD for handguns. When I started reloading in '69 I used a Lee Loader and the two steps were separate. I went to a press and dies and continued to separate the seating and crimping and I feel I have more control of the individual steps. I still seat all then crimp all, especially my revolver handloads. The FCD I had ruined some perfectly sized lead bullets and after I punched out the carbide ring the resulting crimp was just so-so. There are better crimps available and I use a Profile Crimp from Redding, and a collet crimp from Lee (44 Magnum), and a plain old RCB roll crimp for my 38 Specials and 45 Colt handloads...
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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  23. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    The Lee FCD is a crimp only die. The bullet is seated in a separate step
     
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  24. santacruzdave
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    santacruzdave Contributing Member

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    A photo of the bullet and the crimp would help. When reloading for a revolver with a bullet that has a crimp groove I usually don't pay attention to COL; other than making sure the cartridge fits the chamber and does not cause the cylinder to hang up. What I do pay attention to is seating the bullet so that the crimped case mouth ends up in the center of the crimp groove or towards the upper end of the crimp groove.
    Good luck and stay safe!
     
  25. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I set my die so that the case mouth is in the middle of the cannalure on the bullet. Then I back it out so I can set the crimp to what I want. Then I turn the seating stem back down until it touches the top of the bullet to set the depth. Try more rounds and see if the die seats and roll crimps OK at the same time. I have never measured the OAL of a round that has a cannalure I just seat it to the middle and work my loads up from that setting. I use the Lee seating die and make all the brass are reasonably the same length to get a consistent roll crimp. I only use the Lee FCD for 30-30, 32 SPL, and 4570 for use in tubular MAG firearms. YMMV
     
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