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Thread: Lee FCD question

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Lee FCD question

    Trying use a Lee factory crimp die for 30/30. I use them all the time for straight wall pistol cases and have had success. When I install the crimp die in the press per the instructions the case mouth does not reach the crimp. I take the die out of the press and drop the case in it and it does not reach the “crimp collet”. It just drops in and bottoms out on the rim. Cases were trimmed with Lee trimmer to 2.029”. Could the die be bad? Thanks for any help in advance.
    Matt

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub DCB's Avatar
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    Hi madmatt. Take the die apart the inner sleeve of the die should slide up into the tapered outer die body.
    That will allow the case to get to the crimp collet.
    Hope this made sense. The inner sleeve should move freely
    Dave

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    The shell holder moves the inner sleeve up 1/2 inch or so. Set your die deeper and watch.

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks so much guys. Making perfect crimps now.
    Matt

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get stuck upwards. As stated, it needs to move freely (else, you get crushed cases). Ask me how I know....

    I gave up on using it for rifle. Use other brands when I need to. Mostly don’t crimp rifle. For 30-30, you definitely should crimp though.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Been doing this stuff for some 55 years. I don't crimp everything but everything I crimp is in a Lee FCD; love it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Been doing this stuff for some 55 years. I don't crimp everything but everything I crimp is in a Lee FCD; love it.
    You could be Lee’s most interesting man in the world guy. ��


  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy


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    Almost all of my dies are Lee and I use the Lee FCD on all of my calibers. I get a much better crimp and I don't mind the extra step. Some cases get a light crimp and some, like the 30-30, get a little heavier crimp. I really like the FCD.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    One thing I have found with the collet FCD and the Collet Neck size die is to disassemble, Clean polish the outside of the collect where it touches the body and the inside of the body where it touches the collet. Sometimes there is a burr or other rough spot that can cause the collet to stick up inside the body.
    You don't need to polish the whole thing to a high gloss finish, just get the rough spots. Then a coat of light grease.
    I get Super Lube, From Harbor Freight. It is a synthetic grease with Syncolon(PTFE) A Teflon as an ingredient. Very slick stuff I find it works well for lots of things.
    Then reassemble. The polishing helps and lube make things work much better. A bit easier to use and no sticking.
    I prefer the collet type FCD over the carbide FCD for my straight walled pistol cases I use in my Marlin 1894 44 Mag. This doesn't effect the large cast bullets it needs to shoot well. It has generous chamber and throat specs. The Carbide FCD has the carbide ring to ensure the case is small enough to fit even the tightest chamber also squeezes the cast bullets down enough to effect accuracy and leading.
    You can get the Collet type FCD for straight wall pistol cases for Lee directly. That's where I got mine and like it.
    Some modify the crimp ring on the collet for a narrower crimp. I suppose they do this so it less impact on the bullet at the crimp. I doubt you can tell the difference in accuracy between a modified collet or a stock on. The bit of bullet disrupted by the crimp is minimal.
    Leo

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    Again, thanks for all the info.
    Matt

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Another Lee fcd fan here. A blessing for all us levergun lovers.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Sig556r's Avatar
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    Got LFCD for all calibers I load except for 357mag/38sp & 45-70 which I roll-crimp.
    It's more forgivable with variances in case length (within max-min of course) that other crimp dies.
    ...Speak softly & carry a big stick...

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I would like to see a few examples of FCD vs. collet FCD vs. roll crimp die, if someone can post pics or a few links, please. I’m still learning the nuances of reloading.
    Thanks,
    Griff

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangitgriff View Post
    I would like to see a few examples of FCD vs. collet FCD vs. roll crimp die, if someone can post pics or a few links, please. I’m still learning the nuances of reloading.
    Thanks,
    Griff
    If you go to the Lee web sight and open the 2020 catalog they have good cutaway pictures of the collet crimp die and carbide FCD . The carbide factory crimp die can come with a taper crimp or a roll crimp depending on the cartridge it is intended for. The purpose of the carbide FCD is to duplicate a factory loaded cartridge outside dimensions if you want this it's great , if you need or want oversized dimensions it will not allow them.
    A taper crimp is traditionally used on cartridges that headspace on the case mouth or that do not have a crimp grove in the bullet. A roll crimp is traditionally used on a bullet with a crimp grove and it rolls the mouth of the case into the groove. But is not intended for cartridges that headspace on the mouth.
    The collet die will give you a crimp as secure as a roll crimp without affecting the overall diameter of the loaded case and bullet and it is not dependent on case length for a consistent crimp the other crimp dies are.
    The Lee catalog and some of the other folks here can probably offer a better descriptions.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for that overview, I will look into Lee’s website as recommended.

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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