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Bigscot
06-27-2009, 01:03 AM
I have read discussion here that the Lee FCD will actually crimp the boolit down smaller than sized. I was curious if that was true.
I bought some Leadhead 240~ gn Keith boolits several years ago BC. (BC- before casting) to shoot in my SRH. They were sized .431 and shot great with little or no leading. Back then I used the regular RCBS seating/crimp die. Move ahead several years and I started casting and one of the boolits is an RCBS 250 gn K. The boolits drop ~.431. I have shot them in the same SRH and SBH and a Win 94. They do not seem to shoot as well but I now use a LFCD. I also get some leading.

I was wondering if the FCD could be sizing the cartridge down too small. Have not tried the RCBS crimp die again yet but thinking about it.

Just curious on what the thoughts were are on the FCD. I use them on rifles (30.30, .270 and .30-06) with no problem. Both cast and jacketed.

Thanks,

Bigscot

leadman
06-27-2009, 01:30 AM
You can determine what the FCD is doing to your boolits by pulling a loaded cartridge apart.
I used it a couple times until I pulled some cartridges down and saw the damage done to the jacketed bullets.
I think it would be very difficult to avoid damaging a cast boolit with the FCD. I avoid crimping any boolit if I can.

Others may have a different opinion or experience.

sdelam
06-27-2009, 01:54 AM
I use a FCD for 45 acp. When I cast using the lee 230-2R they drop at about .453-.4535. I tried loading as is and had bad leading problems. I sized them down to .452 and All my leading went away.

So I guess my questions would be, if the LCD was down sizing my casts, why would the leading go away once I sized the boolet smaller? Not just one gun either, all 3 of my 45's have the same results.

I maybe wrong but I would think that pulling a bullet would not be the same as shooting one. The case will expand when fired but it hasnt when pulling which would cause more damge to the boolet.

I guess the question would be which happens first, case expansion or bullet travel?

stubshaft
06-27-2009, 02:10 AM
Boolit travel is first. There is no expansion of the neck until the gasses propelling the bullet can act on the neck.

sdelam
06-27-2009, 02:41 AM
So what is causing/ preventing my leading?

Bret4207
06-27-2009, 07:39 AM
I have read discussion here that the Lee FCD will actually crimp the boolit down smaller than sized. I was curious if that was true.
I bought some Leadhead 240~ gn Keith boolits several years ago BC. (BC- before casting) to shoot in my SRH. They were sized .431 and shot great with little or no leading. Back then I used the regular RCBS seating/crimp die. Move ahead several years and I started casting and one of the boolits is an RCBS 250 gn K. The boolits drop ~.431. I have shot them in the same SRH and SBH and a Win 94. They do not seem to shoot as well but I now use a LFCD. I also get some leading.

I was wondering if the FCD could be sizing the cartridge down too small. Have not tried the RCBS crimp die again yet but thinking about it.

Just curious on what the thoughts were are on the FCD. I use them on rifles (30.30, .270 and .30-06) with no problem. Both cast and jacketed.

Thanks,

Bigscot

It can happen. Evening using a non-FCD the internal dimensions are different among dies. If the seater, of any brand, sizes the boolit as you seat or crimp the the possibility exists. You can try measuring a pulled boolit or sacrifice a case and slice a loaded case, no powder or primer, with a Dremel type tool to see.

Bret4207
06-27-2009, 07:49 AM
I use a FCD for 45 acp. When I cast using the lee 230-2R they drop at about .453-.4535. I tried loading as is and had bad leading problems. I sized them down to .452 and All my leading went away.

So I guess my questions would be, if the LCD was down sizing my casts, why would the leading go away once I sized the boolet smaller? Not just one gun either, all 3 of my 45's have the same results.

I maybe wrong but I would think that pulling a bullet would not be the same as shooting one. The case will expand when fired but it hasnt when pulling which would cause more damge to the boolet.

I guess the question would be which happens first, case expansion or bullet travel?

I don't think anyone is claiming it ALWAYS happens. IIRC we first heard the FCD could alter projectile dimensions when a guy reported finding his jacketed rounds swaged smaller. It only goes to figure that the softer lead alloy rounds could do that too and some folks found that to have happened.

In your case it's possible that your guns wanted that size boolit and you provided that. Fatter is better, but only to a point. Going to a smaller size you not only altered the physical properties of the boolit as it entered the barrel, but the burn rate and other intangibles of the load/boolit/gun combo. We're all so used to skinny boolits that rattle down the barrel that we often forget about the gun that wants a well fitted boolit, but not one that's oversized. Maven recently reported the same thing with a 38 Special IIRC. Fit is still king, your case is just one of a little too big it would seem.

BD
06-27-2009, 09:04 AM
I've had varying degrees of success with the Lee FCD, and they work in several differnt ways, depending on whether you're talking about a rifle FCD, or a straight wall taper crimp FCD. You really need to try it if it seems like it would help, and then evaluate the results on an individual basis.

The straight wall taper crimp auto pistol cartridge FCDs all have a carbide ring at the base which puts a definate limit on the cartridge outside diameter. If you're seating a fat boolit which causes the case OD to exceed that limit, it does get sized down.

I've "cured" leading in about a dozen 1911s using store bought cast boolits by convincing thier owners to size to .451 I know I'm in the minority in this line of thinking, but it works. Most new 1911s have barrels that will slug .4505 or .450, and one source of leading in the breach end of the 1911 barrel is the lead scraped off the lip of every oversized SWC on the edge of the chamber mouth each time you pull the trigger. Folks seat SWCs with just a fingernail of the front drive band showing so they will chamber, but blowing that .452 boolit with the square drive band edge through that .4505 hole, (also with a square leading edge), is gonna remove a little lead, each and every time. IMHO sizing the boolit so it will be able to chamber into the throat is better all around, (provided there is a throat, not all 1911s come with one).

Even better is using a boolit with no shoulder, sized to fit the throat and seated so it is in the throat once chambered.

The rifle FCDs are another critter altogether. They use a collet to crimp a small ring into the side of the boolit, whether there is a cannelure or not. I use these on three rifles I own when loading full cases of slow powders behind condom slugs. It has really helped the accuracy in all of them.

I'm using one of these now which I've modified to crimp into a lube groove, .1 behind the case mouth. In the .450 B case this keeps the boolit from setting forward as the action slams home, while still allowing it to headspace on the case mouth. Not an ideal situation, but it works. It's brought the velocity SDs from the 50s and 60s down into the single digits, and a couple of loads are starting to show some promise.

BD

Calamity Jake
06-27-2009, 10:23 AM
The only FCD I have is for 44-40, it does not have a carbide ring and only taper crimps the case mouth and will not size the boolit if set up right but will distort boolits if set up wrong.

TAWILDCATT
06-27-2009, 10:42 AM
I am puzzled about this whol discusion.I dont use the pistol die but do use the rifle FCD.the rifle only touches a small ring around the bullet so it cant "SIZE" the bullet.the pistol die brings the case to nomanal size so the bullet has to be much oversize to make a difference.mainly the Lee die is to take down a messed up crimp. as I roll crimp pistol,I dont use the FCD.If you properly crimp the case in roll crimp you dont have that problem and the lee die makes a small ring crimp. so whats the problem. some one does not know what they are doing.:coffee:[smilie=1:

HeavyMetal
06-27-2009, 11:35 AM
The usual porblem with the Lee FCD die, the pistol version, is adjustment. Taper crimps are incredibley hard to see with the "naked" eye and when you do get enough crimp to see it it's way to much!

Adjusted properly the FCD can and does work well but it is way "fincikeyier" than it needs to be.

You need a good set of dial calipers to set up a Lee FCD die by measuring the crimped area until you just get a difference in case mouth diameter then stop!

leftiye
06-27-2009, 12:15 PM
Boolit metal hardness is a big factor in crimp of any type sizing or deforming a boolit. Soft lead will probly ALWAYS deform if crimped EOS. This may be mitigated by using annealed brass (and maybe not). Despite the need for crimps in revolters, if you can get away with not crimping - do so (say if a lighter recoiling caliber were in use). In single shot rifles, I carry this on to include having minimal case neck tension (thumb seating). The popular 50/50 WW/pure alloy is more than soft enough to deform in a major way by both crimps, and case neck tension, let alone a Lee FCD. I have seen many of my cast boolits after I unloaded them with an inertial boolit pooler - I generally recast them as they are so boogered up.

RayinNH
06-27-2009, 03:35 PM
I'm not sure everyone is talking the same language here. As BD and TAWILDCATT mentioned the Factory Crimp Die only crimps a small ring around the case neck. Sure it's going to resize that portion of the boolit but not the whole boolit...Ray

http://www.factorysales.com/html/catalog/dies-p3.html

chevyiron420
06-27-2009, 03:51 PM
i dont think everyone understands that a FCD for pistol is different than rifle. the pistol die acts like a sizer die to make sure the rounds will chamber. if you have a boolit\case combo that bit of bulge to it the die will size the whole thing down including the boolit. if you have worked hard to get a boolit to fit your gun and that boolit expands your case beond the die size it will undo all your work.

DLCTEX
06-27-2009, 03:55 PM
There is a great difference between the rifle FCD and the Pistol FCD.. The rifle die is a collet die that crimps only the mouth of the case. The pistol die has a carbide ring in the mouth of the die that sizes any oversize rounds to ensure that it will chamber. Some have been found to be undersize and then there is the problem of cast boolits being generally larger than jacketed bullets, so the die sizes it to chamber, which sizes the boolit in the case. We may be asking the die to do more than it is designed to do. The only pistol die I have is for 45 ACP and if the crimp is correct the FCD does not size it at all. If I feel any drag as the ram is lowered then I look to see what is wrong. It usually is improper crimp due to a case needing trimming.

RayinNH
06-27-2009, 04:02 PM
chevy, I stand corrected. I just went to Lee's site and looked at the pistol FCD. I've never seen one before. Nothing is getting by that carbide sizing ring untouched if it's bigger than the I.D of that ring...Ray

BCB
06-27-2009, 04:18 PM
BigScot,

If you seat a cast boolit in the case and insert it into the FCD and it rubs going in, then you may have a boolit that is too big to be used in the FCD. Still I donít know that it sized a boolit to the point where it might cause an accuracy problem in a handgun. But if you insert the case with the boolit seated into the FCD and it doesnít rub going in but it does coming out, you may have too much crimp. Yet, even if it does rub coming back out of the FCD, it would only be sizing a very small portion of the boolit, that is, where case bulged a bit from the crimp. Iíve used them and handguns and rifles and I have had not problems at all. And yes, I know the handgun (straight walled cases) ones are different than the rifle (bottle necked cases) ones.

Good-luckÖBCB

sdelam
06-27-2009, 07:30 PM
I decided to pull some rounds to see what if any damage I was getting. I pulled 5 rounds from left to right I have a pair lee 230-2R unsized loaded 2 months apart. A Lyman 452374 sized to .452, a Hornagy 200g SWC, and a 185g XTP. All had a FCD as the final step.
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m237/sdelam1/Pic4.jpg

I wish I had some of the 230-2R's that I sized to compare but I must have shot them all and everything is packed for the big move to Ohio. You'll notice that both of these have distinct sizing/damage to most of the boollets. Perhaps it is this section of unsized boolet that was giving me the leading?

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m237/sdelam1/Pic1.jpg

Next is the Lyman 452374 with no damage and the Hornady 200g SWC with very miner damage. I did note that the hornady are much softer than the range scrap I normally cast.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m237/sdelam1/Pic2.jpg

And lastly the 200g again with the 185g XTP which shows no damage.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m237/sdelam1/Pic3-1.jpg

So what did I learn? I learned not to load 1500 rounds before pulling a few to make sure you got the crimp right. I'm down to my last 200 of those, I just hate cleaning the barrel after shooting them. I would like to play with the crimp more to see if I was just over crimping those 230-2R's or what. Maybe by Sept I'll have my stuff up and running again. Hope this helps someone else as well.

Catshooter
06-27-2009, 11:31 PM
My Lee FCD for .45 ACP doesn't size my .4515 boolits at all. I checked.


Cat

leadman
06-28-2009, 12:38 AM
sdelam, did you check the diameter of the bullets you pulled compared to the same bullets that weren't loaded?

sdelam
06-28-2009, 02:26 PM
No I was unable to measure anything. All my stuff is packed up. Unloaded boolets, calipers, etc.. I just got lucky that my kenetic puller wasnt packed yet. I got 2 weeks until the truck shows up and I'm trying to get it all ready. Sorry

TAWILDCATT
06-28-2009, 03:23 PM
The tumble lube looks like some thing else is going on.and it should not lead any way.only if your pushing the pressure.I shoot a 1911 long slide and only cleaned at end of season.and no leading.I still dont understand the difference in the pistol dies.yes I know of the ring.theres a ring in your full length die too.it does not matter only if it is to small.as I roll crimp I dont use the die.and taper crimp is only a short ring.does the die have fingers like rifle die.if it does not some one is pushing your button.this tune does not play right.correct me if I am wrong.as I would really like to know.:coffee:[smilie=1::Fire:



















i













i roll crimp

Jon
06-28-2009, 05:49 PM
I use the 45acp FCD and without it I had all kinds of problems with chambering in my 1911. I use the Lee 230gr RN TL from a 6 cavity mold. I run them through a .452 sizing die before loading, but some of them still have some resistance going through the FCD.

I don't benchrest shoot with them but they seem pretty accurate offhand. I'd rather lose a little accuracy rather than have trouble with feeding any day.

Bigscot
06-28-2009, 09:53 PM
Glad to see this subject generated some interest. Looks like I may have to load some using the RCBS crimp die to test.

Thanks for all the input.

TAWILDCATT
06-29-2009, 04:57 PM
since I loaded 45acp before I had a press I have trouble understanding the problems.I loaded hundreds on a modern bond tong tool.and never sized the bullets.never measured them either.none of the reloading tool makers sold measuring tools.you had to buy machinist tools.some put to heavy a crimp on the case but that is a roll crimp or they dont take the flair out.because they are told not to crimp.aparently the pistol die is a taper crimp die with a carbide ring in it.
so it would seem the adjustment is bulging the case.less crimp would seem to be the answer or not enuf crimp to get the flair out.:coffee:[smilie=1:

JustSomeGuy
07-03-2009, 07:06 AM
This is very interesting... I just bought a couple of Lee FCD's to try out. The one I was most interested in was for 40S&W using commercial manufactured long lead bullets of the 220grn variety, which leave a bulge in the case which sometimes prevents them from chambering properly. That would be a no-no in a match situation. At present I use a slight, and I mean slight, taper crimp to return the case mouth to the proper dimension as measured with a digital caliper so they can properly seat on the case mouth as per specification. My concern was and is (I havent used the new die yet) that the slight resizing that the FCD would do to the bullet would: 1) make it undersized and cause some leading which I do not have now... and/or 2) physically restructure the metallurgy of the bullet similar to resizing it in a bullet resizing die thus making it softer on the edges or outside diameter and thus cause leading. Now... given that the case surrounds the bullet at the time it would be "sized" by the FCD I am not convinced that scenario 2 would occur, because it is not being scraped but rather slightly crushed, but you never know. The lead bullets for the 40S&W are supposed to be .401 and not the usual .400 that plated or jacketed bullets are. I have measured a few and those measured seemed to be the correct size. The only other thing I can think of is that the long lead bullet uses more seating pressure than a shorter one as it goes into the case and may be deforming some of them by bending them slightly... not enough so that you could see it with the naked eye, but enough to affect the chambering. Still... there is that unsightly bulge! Even with that, some will chamber in a particular gun and some will not. Yet they may chamber in another similar gun. That is... if one wont chamber in a gun I am shooting, forcing me to extract it by forcing the edge of the front of the slide against a 2X4 crosspiece from the range bench, it may then be put in the magazine of another gun from the same manufacturer and may indeed chamber and fire. So I dunno! To FCD or not to FCD... that is the question. I guess I'll just have to experiment and see. Regardless, it would be nice to hear from some of you that have tried this with a 40S&W if possible.

Bret4207
07-04-2009, 07:58 AM
I guess I'll just have to experiment and see. .

And right there are the words that we all should be thinking. I truly believe each gun and each shooter is a law unto it/himself. What works great for me in my EAA Witness 40 S+W (SWMBO actually) may not work at all for you. I think you are off to a great start.:drinks: Keep looking and playing with things and you'll figure it out. Maybe smoking some cases will show where they are binding. It may well be further down the case. Also pull a few boolits and see if the case is deforming them.

The FCD can mess up a boolit, or a bullet for that matter. But so can a regular die used improperly. It may help, it may not. As you said, experiment.