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Thread: Lee Factory Crimp Die

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Lee Factory Crimp Die

    I'm loading 45ACP with 230gr CB, using a Lee Factory Crimp Die and a light crimp. I've read that this crimp die is not recommended as it swages bullet down. Should I be using the crimp feature of my RCBS seater die.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    It's best to seperate seating and crimp.

    The Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die is a crutch used to cover up poor loading practices. It will size down your cast boolits to SAMMI spec J-Word bullets. That's not good in several ways.
    NRA Benefactor.

  3. #3
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    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    If it works for you, keep doing what you are doing. If not try something else.

    I have never used a Lee handgun factory crimp die, I always used the seating and crimp die that came with whatever die set I had. Sometimes a roll crimp for revolvers, sometimes a taper crimp for brass flingers.

    Good luck, whichever way you go.

    Robert

  4. #4
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    Chad5005's Avatar
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    i use the lfcd on everything i load for handguns,to use the crimp on the seater die,brass really should be the same length

  5. #5
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    I had tried to get the 45 acp to run my loads and had no end of problems, either they wouldn't be full length, wouldn't cycle or just plain wouldn't feed/chamber correctly. I bought the FCD as a last-ditch effort before casting aside the 45 auto. I am very happy to report that the FCD fixed those problems. And accuracy really isn't affected for what I do with it. Everyone's opinions will vary for this piece of equipment, but it has earned it's place in multiple other calibers for me. No more buckled shoulders on bottleneck brass.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I use it for all my auto pistol loads . 9 , 40 , 45 acp I like it. If I run into one where it causes a problem I have regular taper crimp dies for all of them . That die will duplicate factory load outside case dimensions if that works in your guns you will like it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigiron View Post
    I'm loading 45ACP with 230gr CB, using a Lee Factory Crimp Die and a light crimp. I've read that this crimp die is not recommended as it swages bullet down. Should I be using the crimp feature of my RCBS seater die.
    Is the case where the bullet is seated catch the carbide ring at the mouth of the FCD? If so how much and how is the accuracy when shooting?

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I seat and crimp in separate steps. I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die to put the crimp on the cartridge.
    In my experience, unless you are using an unusually large diameter boolit, it will not swage the boolit down and it does not do that for me.
    I use the Lee FCD on all my handgun rounds and have no issue with accuracy or leading in any of my handguns. Cartridges I load are 38 Special, 357 Mag, 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP. I have several different handguns in each caliber and the ammunition works in all of them.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I use the Lee crimp dies mainly because it separates the bullet seating and crimping operation. With the taper crimp dies you can dial in the amount of taper/crimp you want so cast bullets do well with them. The rifle collet crimp die works really well with my cast loads too.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    I seat and crimp in separate steps. I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die to put the crimp on the cartridge.
    In my experience, unless you are using an unusually large diameter boolit, it will not swage the boolit down and it does not do that for me.
    I use the Lee FCD on all my handgun rounds and have no issue with accuracy or leading in any of my handguns. Cartridges I load are 38 Special, 357 Mag, 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP. I have several different handguns in each caliber and the ammunition works in all of them.
    I find the same thing.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    The Lee fcd is great for tube fed levergun reloading.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Use the lee fcd. See if you can even feel it size down the bullets most probably not. If it is sizing down the bullet just use the fcd die to kiss the bell to straighten it out. If your over size bullets chamber but the loaded Rounds won’t completely chamber, because of the case mouth flair just insert the loaded round into the fcd .030 or so. This removes the bell from flaring. If it sizing your bullets down from being to large but still chamber and you still want a crimp ,you can still use your crimp die in your seating die.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I use the lee collet style factory crimp die on all my cast boolit loads accept 450BM. It has shrunk my average groups that were on average from 2 to 4 MOA down to sub MOA at 100 yards. My avatar is a pic of my most recent load Using the collet crimp. Keeps a nice even crimp for constant pressures.

    Here’s some examples..



    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 07-14-2020 at 03:47 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Lee crimps are good and work well. Use 'em if you like 'em. I do.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I size both the lee 230 TC and 2R to .452, and seat and crimp in the same operation with my RCBS set. I don't trim 45 auto and used mixed cases. I set my die up by measuring some cases and finding a short one. Back my crimp off and seat a bullet to my desired overall length. Then I back the seat plug out and set the crimp to just kiss that short case. I run them and have no issues. My runout is maybe -.002 to +.003. Not acceptable for precision rounds but fine for blasting ammo through the 1911. I easily hit my 6" plate at 25 yards.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I know all your target shooters and competition shooters don’t crimp. Here’s a target I used 180 grain Speer hot core jacketed ammo I shot last week out of my 7600 pump chambered in 35 Whelen at 100 yards with a three shot group using a lee special run 35 whelen collet crimp.



    Using that Lee Collet factory crimp is the ticket for me!

  17. #17
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    bigiron.
    Here's my two cents.
    I have quite a few fcd's. I use them on quite a few different calibers.
    I find in most cases unless you go crazy with a crimp die you're not going to have a lot of problems. Most cast that are purchased are cast so hard that a light crimp from a fcd is not going to cause problems, unlike some cast that you might do with a softer alloy so you may want to check on how they shoot with the fcd and with the crimping die on your seating/crimp die. I have found that unless your reloading dies are made specifically for lead/cast bollits they are made for seating/crimping j-word bullets and not cast. So, for me, I elected to use the fcd instead of the crimp die that comes with the reloading die set. As us generally the rule auto loaders use a taper crimp due to the head spacing on the mouth of the case and the roll crimp on those that head space on the rim. So that's my take on crimping lead for both rimmed and non-rimmed cartridges.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I love Lee's FCDs. The rifle types are much different from the handgun types but used correctly they both do their intended jobs very well. Nothing does well if it isn't used correctly and we shouldn't blame the dies for our own mistakes.

    The straight wall cartridge (autoloader) FCDs have a unique purpose....make ammo that will chamber every time because it makes sure the finished rounds aren't larger than SAAMI specs. Thick wall cases and oversize bullets can easily add to make ammo that's a tad larger than a tight chamber can reliabily swallow but it has nothing (directly) to do with reloader skill.

    Of course some folk have pistols with such large (sloppy) chambers they rarely need any help and you will often see them saying the other folk just aren't reloading right. ???

    Thing about this issue is, Lee's FCDs are speciality dies. All speciality dies are obviously specialty tools; if you need them they're wonderful but if you don't need them there is no point to using them.

    Bottom line, Lee's FCDs are great speciality dies, so are their Collet Neck Sizers.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Good post 1hole !

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy 468's Avatar
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    I only use the Lee FCD on my 9mm, 10mm, .40, .45, .38, .357, and .44 mag loads...��
    Mould forth, and load in peace.

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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