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Thread: Problem Seating & Crimping Cast Using Lee Dies

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    369

    Problem Seating & Crimping Cast Using Lee Dies

    Background info

    I don't have much experience with Lee Dies so I'm hoping members here can help me out... I am attempting to load for a P64 9x18 Makarov. I slugged the barrel @ .366". While waiting for a .367" sizer die to be made, I attempted to set up my Dillon 550B for some .366" (as cast) boolits....The dies I purchased with the pistol were Deluxe Lee Carbide and Lee Factory Crimp die.... I had a Dillon conversion kit on hand for 9mm Luger and it is the same as the 9x18 with the exception of the powder funnel(9x18 is larger diameter than 9mm)...but was told that it would work fine...and it does appear to work with jacketed bullets...I have ordered a custom powder funnel to be made for the cast, but that will be a couple weeks before it arrives... I pulled boolits from seated and crimped cartridges and found that they were squeezed down to .364" even without any crimp...

    The powder funnel expands the case and should help, but it appears that the Lee seating or crimping dies are too tight and remove the flare before the bullets are seated to the proper depth... after some searching, it appears that I need to get rid of the Factory Crimp die as it has a sizer in it that will reduce the finished case dimension to that of jacketed cartridges and I am trying to seat something that is .003" bigger.

    Currently I am playing with it and backed out the seating die, run the ram up then lower the die until it makes contact with the case mouth then adjust seating stem until proper COAL is obtained... backing the stem back out and adjusting the die in until flare is removed... does this sound right or am I completely missing the boat?
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Abiquiu, NM
    Posts
    1,574
    Your on the right track with the seater/crimp die. Once you have the amount of crimp you like, put the loaded round back in the press and lower the seater to where it engages the bullet, then lock the die down. I adjust the expander die to just about 0.20" which can be measured on dial calipers.

    I would try your 9mm crimp and maybe the seat die to see if it works for your combination of bullet and crimp.

    take care

    r1kk1

  3. #3
    Boolit Master




    Bzcraig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Nampa, ID
    Posts
    3,506
    The Lee FCD has a carbide sizing ring to resize after bullet seating that can, as in your case, swage the booking down after seating. Lee makes a steel crimp die without the carbide sizer that will not swage your booking down. Here is a link to the die

    http://www.titanreloading.com/pistol...per-crimp-die-
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    369
    thanks for the help guys... the taper crimp is what I was trying to find.. I just ordered a hornady seating die so that I could remove the seating stem from the Lee and use it for a crimp(taper) die after it is seated...If that doesn't work, I'll go to Titan...

    Thanks to all who helped... it is much appreciated
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    DougGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    just above Raleigh North Carolina
    Posts
    4,619
    The Lee seater will give you a roll crimp, not the one you want. They make a taper crimp die that's just a die body no seater stem, that one is the one you want for taper crimp.
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    ABQ, NM
    Posts
    37
    If you have a Lee FCD for a larger caliber, you may be able to swap the crimp sleeves inside the die such that only the crimp sleeve is touching the bullet. No amount of crimping should size the entire bullet. I've also successfully used an expanding lap with diamond paste to lap the carbide rings in Lee sizing and FCD dies larger (as well as to lap out Lee push-through sizers), but this requires more tools and measurements than you may be willing to undertake at this point.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    3,155
    The beauty of it is that it will size your case down and the bullet at the same time, you don't need a lube sizer, one of Lee's better ideas, except for my favorite...the Zip trim!!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    NE Florida
    Posts
    670
    If you are using any of the 9mm Luger dies in any of the positions you will have problems. If you are using the Luger powder funnel die it will not expand the case enough to seat a bullet without resizing the bullet. If you have a single stage press try using your Lee dies to see if you can identify where the problem starts. You could have an out of spec die. You might want to contact Lee for help. I have been loading the Mak since the early 90's and have run into numerous issues. The specs for various Mak pistols are all over the place. Many sources use .363 as bore diameter. My Russian PM is .364 and I have slugged other makes of pistols with bores as large as .367. Also you may not need to crimp at all, try clambering some rounds to see if you are getting any setback. And don't use the Lee Crimp die that has the carbide sized. If you are using .367 boolits
    your cases are going to have bulges. If they chamber you will be ok. In the end it will be worth the trouble as most of these pistols are very accurate when you find the right combination. Good luck

    Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Gee_Wizz01; 03-27-2017 at 02:13 AM.

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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