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Thread: Lee Factory Crimp vs. Redding Profile die?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lee Factory Crimp vs. Redding Profile die?

    Hi guys,

    I need some help deciding on a dedicated crimping die for my RCBS single stage press.

    Does the Redding profile die do the same thing as the Lee factory crimp die?

    Is there a potential for it resizing my cast boolits or is it a good option as a dedicated crimp?

    I'm only reloading straight wall handgun cases.


    Best regards, Racingsnake

  2. #2
    Boolit Master UNIQUEDOT's Avatar
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    The Redding won't size down your bullets, but Ranch dog outdoors sells custom Lee FCD's that use collets like the rifle FCD's dies which also won't squeeze your cast boolits. Either is an excellent choice.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Ziptar's Avatar
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    For $20.00 the Ranch Dog Collet Die is tough to beat.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks guys. I spoke to Michael at Ranch Dog yesterday but he didn't have my calibre and wont be making.

    I'm glad the Redding die is good. I know it costs more but I'll make good use of it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Lee sells a taper crimp die for about $10. Roll for revolver. Neither will size lead bullets.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    I would listen to 4 wheel on this. Redding is just overpriced for what you want to do.

    An RCBS taper crimp die for whatever Rimless caliber or a roll crimp die for revolver cartridges you are loading, is a better way to go,and not nearly as expensive as the Redding stuff.

    I have no problem paying more for a high quality tool. Redding has not shown me that they are any better than any thing else, (including LEE) and as a result their higher prices are not justified.

    I use the Lee die it was $10. I have loaded thousands of rounds with it.

    My .02

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  7. #7
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    Youre right Randy. I did the price comparisson and for what I'm doing the extra cost is just not worth it. My Lee dies have served me well for 21 years now!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I only picked up a Redding Profile Crimp die because it was a good buy off of ebay.

    It puts on a good crimp, however I do not know if it resizes the case like the Lee FCD.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    It shouldn't, and the Lee die shouldn't either unless the case if bulged to begin with.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    It shouldn't, and the Lee die shouldn't either unless the case if bulged to begin with.

    Randy
    Interesting - I was told by many competiion shooters that the FCD resized the case.

    It seemed to play out when using the case checker gauge. I like never have a round out of spec after going to the FCD. And I'm talking way over 250k rounds.

    I'm not arguing, mind you.

    Just confused

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    lubedude: I use my FCD to debulge the .40 S&W cases before I tumble them. At this point the cases are about .422 in dia for the full length.

    After full length sizing and expanding in the first & second stations of the progressive they are squeezed down below and expanded back up to about .418 ahead of the web of the case. The case head remains .420-422 as it doesn't get sized any further after debulging.

    Figuring .009 case wall thickness per side,,, a .401 boolit +.018 =.419 after loading.

    Figuring .010 wall thickness + .401 boolit = .421.

    This has nothing to do with the taper crimp which should be .417-8 but is only at the very mouth of the case. However the area behind the crimp should not be affected by the actual crimp. The case should be strait and then taper in at the crimp with no resulting bulge behind the crimp.

    Since the FCD carbide ring is .422-.423 No sizing of the completed rounds should take place as the completed round is anywhere from .001-.003 smaller than the sizing ring in the die.

    The whole purpose of the FCD with the after crimp sizing rings is to catch the occasional round that slips thru, with a little more bulge in the bottom or at the crimp than the others have. Point being any round that goes thru this die will easily chamber in just about any pistol.

    I don't use this die this way. I load all of my .40S&W on a Dillon SDB now using the Dillon dies. However I do debulge my brass prior to reloading by running it all the way thru an FCD with the crimping ring removed. Prior to getting the SDB I loaded all my .40 S&W on a C&H Auto Champ with Lee dies in it. However since I debulged my cases prior to reloading the crimp die never sized any of the completed rounds,,,, For the reasons discussed above. They were already smaller than the ring.

    I personally think that when people have problems with FCD's post sizing their rounds something else is amiss. Like too heavy a crimp bulging the case.

    I also would like to see a boolit and completed round that has sized the boolit after loading and crimping by the FCD. WE talk about this phenomenon alot here yet I have never seen this problem myself. I don't doubt that it happens, but I don't believe the root cause is the FCD.

    Hope this explaination helps understanding.

    Last Saturday I had a .308 case that would not chamber. I pulled it out and looked at it and the case mouth was bulged directly under the crimp. IE: this case was a little too long, and thus my crimp die setting for all of the rest of the rounds was too short for it, resulting in a bulged case mouth. Or more properly,,,too much crimp on that round.

    All the rest were fine. Just that one had an issue.

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 05-07-2012 at 10:20 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    WRB - thank you for the excellant explanation.

    I guess another reason I believed the FCD to resize the case was in the area of ruptured cases. I found that ruptured cases when loaded would pass through the case chamber checker when using a FCD. Thus, I have to eyeball each round, since the FCD works too well.

    LIke you, I have not encountered resizing of boolits either. Even my .359 boolits.

    I have to admit I do use the FCD as Insurance that the round will chamber.


    Thanks again!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I just purchased a Redding Profile Crimp die from Mis-South for $21 and change. OK for a quality tool, I think. I have a Lee die set and seat and crimp in two steps, so I "fixed" the Lee Factory Crimp Die by knocking the carbide ring out of it (it would size down the case and bullet too much and resulted in barrel leading) and it doesn't make a decient crimp so I bought the Redding...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master joec's Avatar
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    The only place I use cast bullets are my 45 Colt and I bought a modified FCD from http://www.ranchdogoutdoors.com/ which is like the rifle dies. It works great and doesn't effect the bullet. Oh and it was a couple of bucks more than the FCD by Lee.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I use a number of Redding Profile Crimp dies. They are a combination of a roll crimp and a mild taper crimp. They don't cause any sizing down of bullets.

    Any roll crimp requires cases that have uniform length and square mouths. If you are not willing to do this, then it doesn't much matter what kind of die you use.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    lubedude: I use my FCD to debulge the .40 S&W cases before I tumble them. At this point the cases are about .422 in dia for the full length.

    After full length sizing and expanding in the first & second stations of the progressive they are squeezed down below and expanded back up to about .418 ahead of the web of the case. The case head remains .420-422 as it doesn't get sized any further after debulging.

    Figuring .009 case wall thickness per side,,, a .401 boolit +.018 =.419 after loading.

    Figuring .010 wall thickness + .401 boolit = .421.

    This has nothing to do with the taper crimp which should be .417-8 but is only at the very mouth of the case. However the area behind the crimp should not be affected by the actual crimp. The case should be strait and then taper in at the crimp with no resulting bulge behind the crimp.

    Since the FCD carbide ring is .422-.423 No sizing of the completed rounds should take place as the completed round is anywhere from .001-.003 smaller than the sizing ring in the die.

    The whole purpose of the FCD with the after crimp sizing rings is to catch the occasional round that slips thru, with a little more bulge in the bottom or at the crimp than the others have. Point being any round that goes thru this die will easily chamber in just about any pistol.

    I don't use this die this way. I load all of my .40S&W on a Dillon SDB now using the Dillon dies. However I do debulge my brass prior to reloading by running it all the way thru an FCD with the crimping ring removed. Prior to getting the SDB I loaded all my .40 S&W on a C&H Auto Champ with Lee dies in it. However since I debulged my cases prior to reloading the crimp die never sized any of the completed rounds,,,, For the reasons discussed above. They were already smaller than the ring.

    I personally think that when people have problems with FCD's post sizing their rounds something else is amiss. Like too heavy a crimp bulging the case.

    I also would like to see a boolit and completed round that has sized the boolit after loading and crimping by the FCD. WE talk about this phenomenon alot here yet I have never seen this problem myself. I don't doubt that it happens, but I don't believe the root cause is the FCD.

    Hope this explaination helps understanding.

    Last Saturday I had a .308 case that would not chamber. I pulled it out and looked at it and the case mouth was bulged directly under the crimp. IE: this case was a little too long, and thus my crimp die setting for all of the rest of the rounds was too short for it, resulting in a bulged case mouth. Or more properly,,,too much crimp on that round.

    All the rest were fine. Just that one had an issue.

    Randy
    That is a pretty long post and i kinda got lost in some of it. Not sure if you measured your FCD ring or not. But EVERY FCD I have measured is .003" smaller then Max SAMMI spec. It has to be to properly size brass. That is the approximate amount of spring back in brass. So max Sammi is .423" (don't have the book in front of me), FCD ring is .420. Brass springs back a lot. Lead does not. So lead gets sized more and brass does not.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    One of the beauties of written material is that we can read it several times to make sure we understand what was written. Very seldom can anyone get all of the meaning of a technical post of any length by only reading thru it once. I know I can't do it, there is just too much data to absorb in one pass.

    Your scenario of spring cases but no boolit spring back is too cool, and would explain why some people have problems with the boolits getting sized by the FCD. Problem is it don't work like that.

    We are talking about a Lee Factory Crimp Die with a Carbide sizing ring in the base. I have 3 of them and they all measure .4225. Measured with 3 sets of high dollar calipers from my shop. If they were .420 the case head would not go thru them and we wouldn't be debulging them with Lee FCD dies.

    I don't know where you got the data that brass springs back any significant amount, however if that is true then none of our reloading dies would function correctly.

    I am sorry but this information is false pure and simple. Sorry if this offends, but it is simply not like that, period! Not gonna go there.
    There is 100 guys here who will back me up on this one!

    I've got 30 years in the machine shop and another 35yrs reloading ammo. I would have noticed long ago if this were true.

    If a brass case springs back any more than .0003 (3/10,000ths) I would be surprised. .003 springback is rediculous as there would be no interference with the bullet to hold it in place. The crimp can not be relied on to hold the boolit in place by itself. You need an interference fit between the boolit and the case. It is called "Bullet Pull."

    My Lee Carbide Full Length Sizing Dies measure .4175 and .418 all of the cases I have that have been sized with the .418 die are .418. The .4175 one was bought as an experiment and never used. That's where I got the numbers in the post. .418 -.020 = .398 or .003 interference with the .401 boolit. This little press fit will not size a boolit unless it has a large amount of Velveeta cheese alloyed into it.

    If the case sprang back .003 then you would have to size to .415 in order to get the .418 necessary to have sufficient bullet pull to hold the bullet in place. If the case was that hard it probably would size the boolit. If every die set had this much variation built into it, we would never get it right. My god what would happen if we annealed the case before it was sized? would it still spring back? Don't think so. Now our undersized dies are useless. WE would chase the size of the case until nobody wanted to reload ammo any more and the liberals would get their way and take our guns away, and nobody would care since they were such a PITA to load ammo for to go shoot!.

    A .40 S&W case DOES NOT spring back .003 of an inch under any circumstances. If they did none of them would hold a bullet at all. It physically can not be so. Why would you need an expander die?

    Brass is very maluable and it sizes nearly exactly to what it is shoved thru or what is shoved into it. That's why they make cartridge cases out of it.

    I have post sized many brass tubing parts with the end of a Number Drill in a lathe. We use what ever size we want the part to turn out and with a little oil it comes out just like that.

    The only possible circumstance I can see brass springing back after sizing is if the brass had been loaded a zillion times and had workhardened to the point of near failure. Even then I doubt you would see more than .0005 (1/2 thou). it would break up first, as it would be too brittle to squeeze down to go thru the die.

    Now if you are talking steel cases, that is a completely different story. But not brass. Sorry no way.

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 05-10-2012 at 09:15 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Good discussion:
    I know nothing of brass springing back or not springing back, this is just my findings.

    I did some measurements yesturday and this is what I got from two
    new .44 Mag die sets. Brass used was WW once fired all same head stamp
    and lot, fired from the same pistol with the same load.

    Lee Die sizing ring measures .4505
    Brass measures .4525 after sizing

    Lyman Die sizing ring measures .446
    Brass measures 4485 after sizing

    My brass is coming out .002 - .0025 larger than the ring

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    One of the beauties of written material is that we can read it several times to make sure we understand what was written. Very seldom can anyone get all of the meaning of a technical post of any length by only reading thru it once. I know I can't do it, there is just too much data to absorb in one pass.

    Your scenario of spring cases but no boolit spring back is too cool, and would explain why some people have problems with the boolits getting sized by the FCD. Problem is it don't work like that.

    We are talking about a Lee Factory Crimp Die with a Carbide sizing ring in the base. I have 3 of them and they all measure .4225. Measured with 3 sets of high dollar calipers from my shop. If they were .420 the case head would not go thru them and we wouldn't be debulging them with Lee FCD dies.

    I don't know where you got the data that brass springs back any significant amount, however if that is true then none of our reloading dies would function correctly.

    I am sorry but this information is false pure and simple. Sorry if this offends, but it is simply not like that, period! Not gonna go there.
    There is 100 guys here who will back me up on this one!

    I've got 30 years in the machine shop and another 35yrs reloading ammo. I would have noticed long ago if this were true.

    If a brass case springs back any more than .0003 (3/10,000ths) I would be surprised. .003 springback is rediculous as there would be no interference with the bullet to hold it in place. The crimp can not be relied on to hold the boolit in place by itself. You need an interference fit between the boolit and the case. It is called "Bullet Pull."

    My Lee Carbide Full Length Sizing Dies measure .4175 and .418 all of the cases I have that have been sized with the .418 die are .418. The .4175 one was bought as an experiment and never used. That's where I got the numbers in the post. .418 -.020 = .398 or .003 interference with the .401 boolit. This little press fit will not size a boolit unless it has a large amount of Velveeta cheese alloyed into it.

    If the case sprang back .003 then you would have to size to .415 in order to get the .418 necessary to have sufficient bullet pull to hold the bullet in place. If the case was that hard it probably would size the boolit. If every die set had this much variation built into it, we would never get it right. My god what would happen if we annealed the case before it was sized? would it still spring back? Don't think so. Now our undersized dies are useless. WE would chase the size of the case until nobody wanted to reload ammo any more and the liberals would get their way and take our guns away, and nobody would care since they were such a PITA to load ammo for to go shoot!.

    A .40 S&W case DOES NOT spring back .003 of an inch under any circumstances. If they did none of them would hold a bullet at all. It physically can not be so. Why would you need an expander die?

    Brass is very maluable and it sizes nearly exactly to what it is shoved thru or what is shoved into it. That's why they make cartridge cases out of it.

    I have post sized many brass tubing parts with the end of a Number Drill in a lathe. We use what ever size we want the part to turn out and with a little oil it comes out just like that.

    The only possible circumstance I can see brass springing back after sizing is if the brass had been loaded a zillion times and had workhardened to the point of near failure. Even then I doubt you would see more than .0005 (1/2 thou). it would break up first, as it would be too brittle to squeeze down to go thru the die.

    Now if you are talking steel cases, that is a completely different story. But not brass. Sorry no way.

    Randy
    So why does a sized case not go back into the sizer? Anyone who is wondering who is right just need to size a case and then try and and insert that case back into the sizer. Try the same thing with a bullet you just sized. Neither will fit back into the sizers by hand or even with a hard push using a dowel for instance. I was being polite before but you are wrong. Richard Lee even confirmed this in another forum one time. He said it was about .002" but it varied caliber by caliber. The ones I measured are .003" but I ain't arguing over .001".

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Said another way.

    To bend metal you have to bend it past the point you want it to return to. A FCD is no different. It is sized smaller then it's designed size it is meant to size to by about. 003"

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check