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Thread: Lee factory crimp die

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Lee factory crimp die

    I aint ever used one, what am I missing?

    Thanks

    ~Bazoo

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    RobS's Avatar
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    Not much if you are looking at the straight wall pistol. The Collet style FCD though as it's place as it does not have the carbide post sizing ring to swage down your before seated boolit diameter. I will say though some dies carbide rings allow a seated cast boolit to not swage down where as other dies well not so much. I've had several LFC dies in pistol (straight wall) and all of them except the 45 Colt FCD squeezed down the intended cast boolit diameter by a good margin.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    Nueces's Avatar
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    First, there are two general type called by the same name. The pistol cartridge version incorporates a carbide sizing ring at the base, that is cut somewhat larger than is the one used for initial sizing. It's designed to iron out any bulges that might interfere with chambering. It can also mess up a round loaded with a larger than normal slug, by swaging the slug down, thus loosening it in the neck. I have several, but use them as primary sizers when I want to avoid overworking a case to be used with a large diameter bullet, such as a 0.455" in a 45 Colt.

    The rifle type, or collet type, Lee factory crimp die is entirely different. In this one, a collet rides inside the die. When the loaded round is forced up into the die, this collet contacts the shell holder, which causes the top of the collet to meet a taper inside the die, thus closing the collet at the end of the neck. This crimps the round. Case length is less critical here and this die is the berries for dealing with the WCF short cases (218 Bee, 25-20, 32-20, 38-40, 44-40) that have such thin brass at the neck. No danger of crushing a case during crimping with this one. I have one for nearly everything I load and use them when other crimpers cause trouble.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I aint ever used one, what am I missing?

    Thanks

    ~Bazoo
    Not a thing!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I aint ever used one, what am I missing?

    Thanks

    ~Bazoo
    Only if you are into unusual loading. Modified it is the only practical way to crimp a heeled boolit. Bernie at Old West Molds modifies them for this purpose.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    If you want 100% reliability then the FCD for semiautos is good. If you want to load over SAAMI spec lead alloy bullets, then it will not cause any problems except it can swage down the larger diameter bullets. Aside from crimping, it will make sure ammunition is of the proper diameter as specified by SAAMI. I like it for jacketed bullets in brass that has been fired and reloaded. A poll here, with the most handgun FCD haters found that 2/3 used them and 1/3 did not. So do your due dilligence and decide for yourself. I use it on all my self-defense jacketed ammunition.
    Last edited by jmort; 08-12-2017 at 10:31 AM.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I love 'em both. Pistol cartridges never fail to chamber and adjusted properly, they give a nice rolled crimp. Bottle neck cartridges get a nice crimp that never stresses the shoulder.
    To each his own. I wouldn't be without them.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    I use them for every caliber I load. Rifle and pistol. I have also read that they help with more uniform pressure when the shell is fired.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8wal View Post
    Not a thing!
    Agree! The only one worth considering is the rifle FCD
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    If you want to see how well the Lee ones work on rifles, You need a runout measuring gizmo like the one Hornady makes. Load up some ammo and check the runout, then run the thru the die TWICE, rotating 30 degrees between crimps. then remeasure the runout. I have taken el cheapo white box Winchester ammo that shoots 3" 5 shot groups and turned it into sub MOA ammo with these dies.

    As far as handguns go, roll crimp revolvers and taper crimp autos. Some handgun like rifle cartridges also require a taper crimp .... like the 450 Bushmaster.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I use a FCD for 9mm, 38/358 and 44 magnum. The only time the FCD bottom ring touched the case is when I had some coated lead bullets that measured .360 plus. I put the bullets through a Lee sizer die down to .358 and the bottom ring doesn't touch anymore.
    I like it for being able to adjust the crimp so easy. My choice to do so as I've used just a set/crimp die as well.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Another cheap overhyped lee answer looking for a question.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    the handgun one may be intended for folks using jacketed bullets, but from what I have read the whole idea of the rifle one having the ability to roll or taper crimp makes it seem a lot better deal then being stuck with a seater/crimper die like everyone else has.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

    kungfustyle's Avatar
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    Basically if you don't want to trim your brass to the exact same length then you need to separate the seating from crimping. This allows you to get the correct col of the cartridge and then somewhat of a uniform crimp when reloading a rifle. That's the skinny of it. Works great for rifles and deforms pistol rounds too much for cast.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    Another cheap overhyped lee answer looking for a question.
    Who's that for?

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub MAGA's Avatar
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    I use them for everything

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    How much variation in case length, for rifle cartridges, can the FCD handle?

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    some of my die sets had them included, I only use them if I'm running jacketed rounds. I've seen/read too many issues with them for cast rounds. Fortunately for me that means its just 223 and 30-06 that I use.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I use them on all my handgun rounds. The carbide ring doesn't touch the brass unless the boolit is way oversize.
    It does an excellent job on the crimp. Very easy to adjust precisely.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    ive used them on many handgun calibers. All semi auto though. The work just fine unless you get a carried away with over crimping. I prefer a roll crimp on a revolver and in the 40 years ive been loading rifles ive never seen a need to crimp a bullet in a rilfe case
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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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