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Thread: Lee Factory crimp 9mm: yes or no?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy nueces5's Avatar
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    Lee Factory crimp 9mm: yes or no?

    Hello, everyone.
    I have been quite successfully loading my glock 17 with the MP 135 g and RNFP cast boolits. The precision was adequate and I am quite happy with the 4-inch groups at 10-15 meters. I thought it was the precision I could get with a pistol that is not precision specific.
    Until I use some boolits that I had from the RCBS 124 CN mold. And the group was much better. I was amazed at how accurate that boolit could be. So I have used it again, I have encountered a problem. When it enters the brass, the base of the boolit bulges out, generating a small bump, something I knew when I started using dies dillon (the 9mm round looks like a bottle of coke).
    So I took one that didn't fit into the glock chamber, and I painted with a marker. I put it on and turned it a little so that the place where it is bulging is marked, and it showed me that it is at the height of the base of the boolit.
    Here is the pic.



    I was thinking I would go back to using the LFC so that I could leave all my loads the same. Has this happened to anyone?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I've experienced the common "wasp waists" on some of my 9mm handloads. Mostly occurs when the bullet is slightly larger and the brass slightly thicker. I quit using cartridge gauges long ago and depend on my plunk test. I have had zero need (or want) for a post crimping sizing die (FCD) on any of my semi-auto handloads and only kiss the case mouth with a taper crimp die to "deflare".Yes, I have tried an FCD for handgun ammo, and it now resides in a landfill somewhere in So. Oregon. Try a few of your "bulged" handloads with a plunk test, if some don't pass I'd suggest looking for another fix (checking brass by headstamp, measuring bullets review your seating/crimping) and pass on the FCD..
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy nueces5's Avatar
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    plunk test not satisfactory, it is out of the level
    If I put the loads in the mag, the force of the slide totally puts the loads in the chamber, but if I try to remove them, I have to force it to eject them

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    I get the bulge, but usually it is pretty concentric. I do use the Lee FCD because many of my 9mms will be used in an AR. I get the same thing in my .40s, but don't crimp those beyond the slight crimp by the seating die, no issue with loading those, even in my Glock.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Goodness. Lee's FCD is a tool, not magic. If your ammo needs it, use it; if you don't need it then it doesn't make any difference.

    The only contradiction is when those who don't need it seem to presume they are the wiser reloaders and stoutly proclaim that no one else needs it either. Fortunately, not many folk pay the deniers any mind so a lot of us who actually know what we're doing just chuckle and keep a few FCDs in our tool box.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Handloader109's Avatar
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    Get one of these
    https://usa-shop.armanov.com/product...37047803609255
    to check your ammo. the bay sometimes has them a little cheaper. Yes imported in 3 days.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    You can do two or three things. If they don’t chamber or are tight use the factory crimp die. If you don’t want to size your bullet down with the factory crimp die pull bullets and find thinner brass and sort by head stamp, and reload. Or you could pull bullets and size them smaller, then reload.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    I’ve had similar issues. I’ve found the FCD sizes the bullet too small for my barrel. What worked for me was to use a M die.

    I hope that helps.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I use the NOE case expander instead of the M die works great. You still will have problems with thick brass and oversized bullets. The Noe expander or M die will just make it seat easier and not shave lead.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    GONRA's slam-bang auto pistol reloading finds Lee FCD useful for all sorts of stuff.
    You can ALSO REALLY screw up. You and yer micrometer gotta think it thru.....

    Lyman M dies and related items are VERY USEFUL too.

    Lottsa great reloading goodies for sale these days!

    BUT a small basement machine shop is still very handy.....

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Looks like you need a different expander...a Lee with the 38 S&W insert or if you are on a Dillon press, have an expander (powder funnel) made by Lathesmith. There is a thread here (somewhere) that covers replacing the expander plug in a 9mm Lee expander die with the one for 38 S&W and Lathesmith is in the vender sales section. Both of these options have worked well for me for loading lead boolits in the 9mm. Good luck, you'll get it.
    Take a kid to the range, you'll both be glad you did.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lyman makes a gauge for checking loaded rounds. My rounds are checked 100% as I go. It;s not a inconvenience to me.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016393015?pid=464540

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    From your picture it is hard to tell if that is a bulge or a crushed case. To me it looks crushed which could result from too much crimp.

    And what did you mean by "it is out of the level"? If you are saying the case mouth is no longer at a 90 degree angle to the length, this could also indicate you are crushing the case.



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  14. #14
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    i personally would be sizing my boolits, but what the heck do, I know.
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy nueces5's Avatar
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    English is not my language, so it is easy to misunderstand using google translator.
    I use a dillon 550, with the Lathesmit expander set to 358, so there is no problem with that. I can't switch to lyman M die.
    I use the barrel of my glock, very clean, to check my loads. The idea is to do everything possible to have a system that can minimize defects. In the old days when I bought boolits from a manufacturer, I used the LFC and had no undersizing problems, keyholes, or anything else that I discovered when I started making my own boolits.
    Using the LFC I have had a tendency to undersizing when brass has thick walls.
    But I don't have many possible solutions, I think all roads lead to the LFC

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have recently given some of my 9mm loads to my son and a few friends who can't find ammo, they all shoot Glocks. All are cast boolit loads, mostly the LEE 2R design. Everyone claims Glocks have loose chambers, I am finding the opposite. My Beretta 92 gobbles anything I have cranked out, doing my plunk test, but I must use a case guage and they must fall in 100% for them to function in any of the Glocks mentioned above. It seems they all have very tight throats, and my seating length, although not beyond any stated OALs, will not chamber, without a healthy slam to the back of the slide. Go figger. If one is loading for multiple pistols, a case guage is almost mandatory.

  17. #17
    Moderator & CBPAO


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    Lee Factory Crimp Die is a good tool. If it is a carbide FCD it guarantees that your finished ammo will chamber. I use the carbide version for all my pistol reloads for which they are made, and the regular non-carbide version for most of my rifle reloads.

    But, in the matter of your photo, I think the big dent was caused by a combination of that case being too long and too much crimp being applied.

    DG

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy nueces5's Avatar
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    I started to check my finished ammunition well, and went to look for my LFC at a friend's house.
    Looking at my loads in detail, I realized that The boolit entered not aligned with the brass, then towards that bulge that is seen in the photo. I had changed in the die dillon seater, for TC boolits, I tried with the RN and they entered better, so I left it that way.
    And I produced 75 loads that did the plunk test perfectly.
    Tomorrow I will try using the dillon crimp.
    Thanks to all

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    That sure looks like the bullet was crooked. This crushed the case on one side and probably made the case mouth out of round.

    I would work on getting the bullets started straight before changing anything else about your process.

    FWIW, I gave away all of my pistol FCDs, I have found no use for them.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by la5676 View Post
    I have recently given some of my 9mm loads to my son and a few friends who can't find ammo, they all shoot Glocks. All are cast boolit loads, mostly the LEE 2R design. Everyone claims Glocks have loose chambers, I am finding the opposite. My Beretta 92 gobbles anything I have cranked out, doing my plunk test, but I must use a case guage and they must fall in 100% for them to function in any of the Glocks mentioned above. It seems they all have very tight throats, and my seating length, although not beyond any stated OALs, will not chamber, without a healthy slam to the back of the slide. Go figger. If one is loading for multiple pistols, a case guage is almost mandatory.
    I'm guessing this is a chamber/throat length/fat bullet issue moreso than a sizing issue. A case gauge won't tell you this, only the barrel of the individual pistol will. Ran into a similar issue with my son's hellcat. With the particular plated bullet we're using, had to seat to 1.080 for them to feed in his pistol. Shortest I've EVER had to go with a 9mm....
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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