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Thread: 45ACP dies...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    45ACP dies...

    Do I really need the FCD for the 45ACP using pickup range brass? Midway has the 3 piece for $25, with FCD is $35. I'm trying to use it for my Sig 220 and don't want to have the same undersize issue I've been having with my CZ 9mm.

  2. #2
    Boolit Man Tn_River_Ratt's Avatar
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    Get the FCD. It solved alot of my problems.

    Ratt

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Untold billions of rounds of .45 ACP have been loaded without a factory crimp die. As long as your sizer and taper crimp dies are properly adjusted, I don't think you really need one.

    However it is only $10 more....


    Robert

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    jcwit's Avatar
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    Fractory crimp die is not needed, as Mk42gunner states a properly adjusted taper crimp die is all you need. This has been hashed and rehashed over and over again on The High Road.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    The Lee factory crimp die is desiged for jacketed bullets (.451 in this scenario) so if you size your bullets to that diameter the die will not swagger down the lead bullet. If you size your bullets to .452 then it is very possible that the die will reduce your lead bullet down to .450-.451. Those that have used the die (my self included) can proove with a simple test in that if you have seated a .452 bullet and when you run the round into the crimping stage and the bullet hits on the carbide ring with resistance of the Lee FCD then without doubt the bullet is being swaggered down. I pulled bullets to varify as well.

    Many have used this die and it can work with a .452 bullet as it has been done by many here. In My Case: With the constant leading in my XD barrel I simply modified the die by cutting off the carbide ring and now have a very nice taper crimp die that does not swagger down those nicely sized .452 bullets. Yes I could have chosen to by a different crimp die but I am one cheap SOB so the "mod" was my next obvious solution.

    FWIW

    Rob

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I think SOME of it has to do with the handloader AND the sidearm. I have a Ruger P345 and it really appreciates me using the FCD.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I couldn't get my 1911 to feed without one. YMMV, but I'd spend the money and save the aggravation.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have loaded a million rounds since 1958 and a good 200,000 of them have been 45 ACPs shoot through many 1911 type pistols, and I don't own a Factory Crimp Die in any caliber and have no plans to buy one.

    You can use just about any crimp die if you take care about the diamter of the case mouth. The easy way is to use a taper crimp die, which comes with most 45 ACP die sets. Here is how you set it. Jacketed or cast bullets makes no difference.

    1. Put a loaded factory round (I use and old GI ball round) in the press shell holder and raise the ram to max height.
    2. Screw down the taper crimp die on the loaded round. Get it as far down as you can go using just hand pressure. Don't use a tool.
    3. Set the die lock ring.

    Load and shoot until your hearts content. If your loads malfunction, the problem won't be found in the case.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    How tru Charger--Now if you could only convince the masses.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    markinalpine's Avatar
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    Just don't overcrimp!
    Any crimp die can be set too agressively, and downsize your boolits. I did this with a RCBS die set for .45 Colt before I figured out I had it too tight. Since I was reloading dummy rounds to check thing out, I just had to take them apart and recycle the boolits, but I was surprised. I do use the Lee FCD for .45 AP, but this is for a 1911A1 that is up to spec, .45 barrel with .451 groove diameter, and the different lead pellets I've cast and size to .452 are still .452 after running thru the FCD.
    Mark
    Any way you sell it,
    No matter how you spell it,
    When you start to smell it,
    BO Stinks!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Heavy lead's Avatar
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    I like the FCD in some cases, 45 ACP is one. I feed all three 1911's the same load and they're always run through it (very light crimp setting). Mine don't lead. I only clean barrel's after 1000 rounds whether they need it or not.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    not a big issue on 45acp cases...but uniform length means a uniform crimp which means a uniform fit in the chamber.


    like i said not a big issue in 45 acp unless you are a bullseye shooter...
    mike in co
    only accurate rifles are interesting

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



    Cherokee's Avatar
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    I use FCD for Jxxx bullets, but not cast. FCD is a sizer die for loaded ammo of .451 bullet diameter for 45 ACP. I feed 5 or 6 different 45 ACP's and don't have any problem using a proper taper crimp on cast bullets.
    God Bless America
    US Army, NRA Endowment, TSRA Life
    SASS, Ruger & Marlin accumulator

  14. #14
    Boolit Master JesseCJC's Avatar
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    If you use a glock, you will find it makes life much easier on the 2/3rd time loading out of an unsupported chamber. After I got the Lee FCD, I never had to check a round in the case gauge again.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master deerslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesseCJC View Post
    If you use a glock, you will find it makes life much easier on the 2/3rd time loading out of an unsupported chamber. After I got the Lee FCD, I never had to check a round in the case gauge again.
    I agree my glock will not work without the FCD even in the 45 auto caliber

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    MtGun44's Avatar
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    The FCD is a solution looking for a problem. Not needed for normal guns. I do not
    shoot Glocks, so maybe that is one of their many "advantages" that I don't appreciate.

    The primary problem with .45 ACP loading is failure to taper crimp, followed by too long
    a boolit seating length with the boolit engaging the rifling before the cartidge is fully
    seated. If you pull your barrel and set the boolit seating depth properly and then
    adjust the TC to push about half the thickness of the brass case mouth into the
    lead (by eyeball or maybe with a magnifier, this is not rocket science). Once they
    will drop into the chamber full depth with no more than about 1 lb of finger pressure,
    you are good to go.

    The FCD can oversize the loaded round, making the cast boolit, which is normally a
    bit larger than a jacketed boolit, smaller than it was originally. This can result in
    leading and inaccuracy.

    I say avoid the FCD. But then I have only loaded about 250,000+ rounds of
    .45 ACP over the last 30 years.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    "Need" is a strong word. As you can see from the comments, sometimes it helps and, if so, you need one. Sometimes it doesn't so you don't need one.

    Nothing in this game is an absolute, no matter our personal experieces one way or the other. Even if they can help, improper use/adjustment will negate any potential benefit. I like them so I use them, but I loaded functional ammo a long time before Lee came up with any FCDs.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master




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    thank you 1hole. I've tried it both ways and in my 1911 it didn't seem to make a bit of diff. So, until something goes wrong, I'll not risk squeezin my boolits down. Mike

  19. #19
    Sold my FCD's including the one for 45 acp. Seem to get more consistent OAL and crimp when using the tradition seating/crimping die (Lee). Don't miss it in 38 special either.

    Shooting all cast lead these days, no jacketed bullets.

  20. #20
    I think the facotry crimp dies aren't needed, but if you over crimp it can help you to take out the bugle. In my opinion, they're like bullet pullers. You shouldn't have to use them, but sometimes you do.

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