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Thread: Do I need a LEE Factory Crimp Die

  1. #1
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    buckwheatpaul's Avatar
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    Do I need a LEE Factory Crimp Die

    I am fixing to start reloading 300 AAC Blackout and have always used RCBS or LYMAN dies and just used their seater and crimp die in 308, 45-70 etc. As of late I have wondered if the Factory Crimp Die would be of benefit to this process? Feel free to wade into the debate and thank you in advance....if it comes out yeah....then I will need to buy some more Taper Crimp Dies for 308, 9mm and 45 acp.....thanks in advance....Paul
    When guns are outlawed only criminals and the government will have them and at that time I will see very little difference in either!

    "Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems man faces." President Ronald Reagan

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    Boolit Buddy hoodat's Avatar
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    I've been buying Lee dies for the last few years and have decided I like them. The sets I've got came with the factory crimp die. So far however I haven't needed to use it. I like the idea of it, and depending what I'm doing, might use them in the future. jd
    It seems that people who do almost nothing, often complain loudly when it's time to do it.

  3. #3
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    Dieselhorses's Avatar
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    I feel more comfortable taper crimping cartridges I use in semi-auto's. Not so much in SS's and bolt guns.
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
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  4. #4
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    Finster101's Avatar
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    Are you loading for a bolt gun or semi auto? I like them for semi's to help prevent set back. If you do not have one you can always try it without it and decide if you need it later. The Lee die set with it included is a good value though if you do not already have dies.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckwheatpaul View Post
    .... I have wondered if the Factory Crimp Die would be of benefit to this process?
    If you want to crimp a bottleneck cartridge there is no better crimper.

    Other crimpers obviously work but all of them demand exactly equal case lengths or the dept of crimp will vary with length. Of course consistent case length is always desirable but the FCD is MUCH more tolerant of small case variations.

    It does have one moving part - the sliding crimping sleeve - that has to be understood and used properly so there is a small learning curve. (Seems a lot of people never get it right so they need simpler conventional crimpers! ??)

  6. #6
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    Walks's Avatar
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    Don't care for them at all.
    I use a light Taper Crimp. Has worked for Me for many years.
    I HATE auto-correct

    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    If you want to crimp a bottleneck cartridge there is no better crimper.

    Other crimpers obviously work but all of them demand exactly equal case lengths or the dept of crimp will vary with length. Of course consistent case length is always desirable but the FCD is MUCH more tolerant of small case variations.

    It does have one moving part - the sliding crimping sleeve - that has to be understood and used properly so there is a small learning curve. (Seems a lot of people never get it right so they need simpler conventional crimpers! ??)
    This describes the benefit of a FCD well. Taper crimping can lead to bent up cartridges if they are not all the same length. The FCD tends to crimp whatever part of the brass is there. I like it, but do not use it on all of my loads.

    BNE
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  8. #8
    Hello Paul,

    My answer is probably not.
    I only use the Factory Crimp Die when loading Heeled Bullets (.44 Colt, 38 Long Colt).
    For my lever action rifles (30-30, 32-40 & .357), I've always had good luck with the tapered crimp.

    AntiqueSledMan.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    And I think the fcd is the best and easiest when loading for tube fed leverguns. I have one for all the many levergun cartridges I load for. I guess different strokes for different folks.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    The closest thing I have to a 300 BO is a 223/5.56 and I use a FCD for the final round formation/crimp. I haven’t had any issues with rounds feeding or bullet setback. However, I haven’t reloaded this round without using the FCD. I guess I just made up my mind that I needed it and stuck with what works.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  11. #11
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    kungfustyle's Avatar
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    I use the factory crimp die on my rifles and roll/taper for my pistols. My 223 rifle liked fcd'ed loads but my 308 didn't, Just the rifle? They work well on both cast and jacketed. Lee's instructions say you can use them without a cannalured bullet but I didn't get good results. They do work very well with cast in all my rifles.

  12. #12
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    Walks's Avatar
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    I bought CH Taper Crimp dies for .30-06, .308 & .223/5.56, Used them for over 40yrs in Garand, M1A. The Colt AR-15, at least 6 various other AR rifles and 3 Mini-14's.
    I saw lots of Cowboy Shooters have problems with both .38-40 & .44-40 in using the fcd. I tried it in .44-40 & .38Spl, neither worked well.
    Taper Crimp for Me.
    I HATE auto-correct

    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

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  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master


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    You are presumably belling your cases. You have to crimp that back down somehow. Just about anything works.

    If I get the choice, I choose a Lee collet crimp die every single time, no matter the cartridge. They are simply the best crimper that has been created so far.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Note that the Lee FCD has two different versions. The original for the straight wall pistol cases is nothing more then a taper or roll crimp. But with a twist, there is a carbide ring located at the die opening that can/may also resize the case. Lots of debate on these as they can also resize the bullet. Some knock the carbide ring out to prevent this.

    The second version was developed for use with rifle cartridges. This uses a collet that is squeezed down around the case mouth. This removes the bell (if there is one) along with giving decent bite to the bullet. Properly adjusted it can also crimp the case into a cannelure.

    This type of FCD does not have the carbide resizing ring. Just the collet crimp ring.

    Lee has since (recently?) released the collet type FCD for some pistol cartridges. IIRC, the .357 SIG got the first one. Which is also a bottle neck. But it is also available for the .45 COLT, which is straight. These again, don't have the carbide resizing ring.

    45_Colt

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy 414gates's Avatar
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    You can't go wrong with a Lee FCD.

    They work as advertised.

    A roll crimp is suited for heavy bullets in heavy recoil calibers that are not single shot.

    For all semi-auto calibers, the FCD works very well, you get the added bonus of a final dimension check in the die which ensures the round will chamber.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I like the LFCD, as well. The action of the collet puts no pressure on the shoulder and the cases stay as sized. You can adjust the amount of crimp from very light to very heavy. (light seems to work best for me). Also, the Lee taper crimps work Mellon the cases that need a taper. For the money, it's hard to beat.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    they are handy for a lot of applications but reading stuff in different places I get the feeling some use them like a crutch because they never really took the time to learn how to adjust seat/crimp dies properly.
    they are especially handy when trying out different bullets that might not have cannelure or crimp groove in the right place for the particular caliber you are loading.

  18. #18
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    I use them on all cartridges that they make them for, and for which I reload. I even had a special one made by Lee (very reasonable cost) for .43 Spanish. Very satisfied with the LFCD.

    DG

  19. #19
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    buckwheatpaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finster101 View Post
    Are you loading for a bolt gun or semi auto? I like them for semi's to help prevent set back. If you do not have one you can always try it without it and decide if you need it later. The Lee die set with it included is a good value though if you do not already have dies.
    I have both types....bolt and semi....but I am also thinking about my 35 Rem as it is a tube fed and my 9mm and 45 ACP....
    When guns are outlawed only criminals and the government will have them and at that time I will see very little difference in either!

    "Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems man faces." President Ronald Reagan

    "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the law breaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is acoutable for his actions." Presdent Ronald Reagan

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckwheatpaul View Post
    I have both types....bolt and semi....but I am also thinking about my 35 Rem as it is a tube fed and my 9mm and 45 ACP....
    But don't forget that there are two different crimp die styles. Look into this before purchasing. Otherwise you may not be purchasing what you think you are.

    45_Colt

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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
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check