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quick newb question about dies

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by StorkPatrol, Mar 27, 2010.

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  1. StorkPatrol

    StorkPatrol Member

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    What is the difference between 3-die sets and 4-die sets for pistol reloading? I'm noticing that a lot of carbide dies are sold as 3-die sets. What part is missing from the set? Do carbide dies eliminate the need for the 4th die?

    I'm looking at getting started with a turret style reloader. I like the ability to get a couple sets of dies and a turret wheel for each caliber. I also like the idea of carbide dies in that they eliminate the step of lubing the cases and are just higher quality in general.

    What do I need? --Stork
     
  2. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Member

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    4 die set probably has a factory crimp die.
     
  3. bds

    bds Member

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    For Lee die sets,

    3 die carbide set includes a carbide sizer/decapping die, powder through expander die, bullet seater die. 4 die set adds the Factory Crimp Die (FCD). Many successfully reload without the FCD and some swear by it.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=622255
     
  4. StorkPatrol

    StorkPatrol Member

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    Yes, I was looking at the Lee dies to potentially go with a Lee Classic Turret reloader. So why do they leave the crimping die out of the nicer set?
     
  5. bds

    bds Member

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    They add the FCD to the 3 die set to make it a 4 die deluxe set.
     
  6. Alabama2010

    Alabama2010 Member

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    they also offer a carbide version of the 4 die set- at least in 45 acp.
     
  7. StorkPatrol

    StorkPatrol Member

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  8. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    I would not feel at all bad about using the 3-die set without the crimping die.

    However, I paid a little extra to get the FCD, just from personal preference. I like being about to work in on my crimp, and not have to worry about messing up or resetting my seating depth.

    Carbide, however, is a strict necessity for me. Wish they made carbide rifle dies...
     
  9. Tom S.

    Tom S. Member

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    Three die sets do crimp in the third die, but many reloaders prefer to do the crimping in a seperate station. Many straight wall pistol cases head space off the mouth of the case, so it's critical that crimping does not affect this. That's why lots of us use a taper crimp die in a seperate station/operation.
     
  10. Duckdog

    Duckdog Member

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    I am one of the guys who swear by a factory crimping die, both for rifles and pistols. One other nice thing about the 4 hole turret, is that when reloading rifles witrh cast bullets, the extra hole allows the mounting of the universal expanding die, or M die that is a nescessity.

    You'll be happy with the classic turret. If your going to load handgun ammo, I would also get the lee auto disk to charge the cases with. It's cheap and it works excellent.
     
  11. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    I too swear by the Lee Factory Crimp die. I have yet to use the crimping adjustment when seating.

    The main reason you have 4 dies in pistol reloading is the expander die. With straight-walled pistol reloading, you need at least three dies: full-length sizer, expander, and bullet seater/crimper. The FCD is not necessary, just preferred by some of us.
     
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