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  #1  
Old 05-23-2011, 10:02 PM
taseal taseal is offline
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Lee factory crimp die vs the lee 3 die set's seater




Why would I want the factory crimper die (they actually sell a 4 die kit) when the 3 die kit's bullet seater has a crimping function to begin with? the seater has none-slight taper-full crimp apparently

Just confused.

and should I crimp these rounds for the handgun? Probably...

Lee Carbide 3-Die Set

Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die

and the Lee Deluxe Carbide 4-Die Set that includes the factory crimper when the seater already has the feature?

Just want to know if I should buy the 4 die set, or the 3 die set...
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2011, 10:16 PM
dickttx dickttx is offline
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Get the four die set. It is much easier to get your OAL with one die and crimp with another.
In addition, if your rounds come out out of spec the carbide sizer in the FCD will size them back.
Lots of others will be able to be more specific.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2011, 10:37 PM
taseal taseal is offline
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what about that lee bulge buster? the reviews at midway, people seem to love it. good video on youtube explaining how it works on a case gauge as well.

it goes inside the FCD. it would make it a 5th step I guess

btw, are you guys putting a taper crimp?
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  #4  
Old 05-24-2011, 01:42 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Just like the books and manuals say...

Virtually all straight wall semiauto pistol requires a taper crimp.
Check out your reloading books and manuals. They'll explain more.
You expand/bell the case mouth to start the bullet at the seating die.
But you can't leave the case expanded or it won't fit in the chamber.
The taper crimp operation is simply to remove the bell from the case mouth.



The LEE FCD is not just a separate crimp die,
it's also a 'finishing die' to iron out minor wrinkles on the finished round.
Many reloaders like 'em, many reloaders hate 'em.
Many reloaders say that if you got wrinkles, you should find the origin of the problem and fix it.
Others say that it helps make all rounds uniform so they feed reliably in different pistols.
It's all up to you. You make your own decisions at the bench.



The crimping part of the FCD happens to be an absolutely excellent crimp die.



Bulge buster is used on empty brass before you size & decap.
Thus it would not be a 5th stage, because you do it before the first stage.
You only use the bulge buster when you get used brass with a bad bulge on the side.
If you don't need it, you don't need it.
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2011, 07:20 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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I always recommend seating and crimping in two separate steps. When you're trying to find a good OAL and a good crimp for reliable feeding, to be able to adjust them independently is a real time-saver and headache-saver. When using a combined seat/crimp die, "timing" is vital. You don't want the crimp action to begin until the seat action is complete. This takes very careful adjustment of the die.
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2011, 09:11 AM
john16443 john16443 is offline
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Consider the Taper Crimp Die

taseal - you may want to consider the purchase of just a taper crimp die as a fourth die, not the factory crimp die. As others have stated, seating and crimping in separate steps offers advantages, and I've found more uniform results using a separate crimping die.

I have the 3-die sets for 9mm and 45acp, and bought separate taper crimp dies for each caliber.
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2011, 01:28 PM
taseal taseal is offline
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Which taper crimp die do you use?

And with the fcd, can't you just unscrew the die about halfway and have it act as a taper crimp die?
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2011, 01:55 PM
GeneticJoe GeneticJoe is offline
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+1 on what he said more reliable feed with the crimp die
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2011, 04:41 PM
taseal taseal is offline
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So there is the lee factory crimp die, and there is something else that only does taper crimp?

I'm assuming, whe properly set, it will crimp as if it was a factory rou d?

I'm reloading rifle ammo atm, and I dont crimp them so... Not even sure what to look for.

Oh and I did some calculating, it's about 8-9 bux cheaper per 100 if the brass was reused 5 times.
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2011, 04:43 PM
MW surveyor MW surveyor is offline
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If you don't have the four die set. Get it. If you have the three die set, get the taper crimp die. Way easier to use especially if you are using a turret press. If using a single stage...What's one more step?

Oops, just noticed you are reloading for a rifle and not pistol......Never mind. Got me confused now as I went back to read your first post. Go ahead and taper crimp pistol rounds that head space on the cartridge. Roll crimp for revolver rounds either with the separate die or the seating die. But is is easier to do using the 4th die.

As far as reloading cases for pistol rounds, I reload mine until I see some deterioration or splitting at the mouth. Used to keep track of the number of times I've reloaded pistol cases but stopped after about 10. Don't keep track any more.

Last edited by MW surveyor; 05-24-2011 at 04:50 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2011, 04:47 PM
RustyFN RustyFN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick A View Post
Virtually all straight wall semiauto pistol requires a taper crimp.
Check out your reloading books and manuals. They'll explain more.
You expand/bell the case mouth to start the bullet at the seating die.
But you can't leave the case expanded or it won't fit in the chamber.
The taper crimp operation is simply to remove the bell from the case mouth.



The LEE FCD is not just a separate crimp die,
it's also a 'finishing die' to iron out minor wrinkles on the finished round.
Many reloaders like 'em, many reloaders hate 'em.
Many reloaders say that if you got wrinkles, you should find the origin of the problem and fix it.
Others say that it helps make all rounds uniform so they feed reliably in different pistols.
It's all up to you. You make your own decisions at the bench.



The crimping part of the FCD happens to be an absolutely excellent crimp die.



Bulge buster is used on empty brass before you size & decap.
Thus it would not be a 5th stage, because you do it before the first stage.
You only use the bulge buster when you get used brass with a bad bulge on the side.
If you don't need it, you don't need it.
Nick that was one of the best unbiased explanations of the FCD I have seen.

I use a FCD for every pistol caliber I load. I like to use the carbide sizing ring as a case gage so I know my match ammo will chamber and not have to waste all that time after I'm done running every round through a case gage or gun barrel. Anything that gets post sized gets set to the side and inspected. I have only had two rounds get post sized in five years and thousands of rounds. You can make perfectly good ammo without one.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2011, 07:34 PM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Maybe I'm misreading something, but it appears to me that the OP doesn't understand that the Lee fcd is just a separate taper crimp die that happens to also post-size. I use a FCD for every straighwall caliber that I reload. I particularly like the crimp adjustment method on the FCD, as opposed to screwing a die body in and out.

I always seat and crimp in separate steps.

As far as those naysayers who advocate finding the source of the crinkles, sometimes there's no systemic source...just common human error. Rarely do I feel the carbide sizing ring engaging the cases.

OP: You don't adjust the crimp on the fcd by screwing the die in and out....there's an adjustment screw in the top of the die.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2011, 07:40 PM
taseal taseal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalterGC View Post
Maybe I'm misreading something, but it appears to me that the OP doesn't understand that the Lee fcd is just a separate taper crimp die that happens to also post-size. I use a FCD for every straighwall caliber that I reload. I particularly like the crimp adjustment method on the FCD, as opposed to screwing a die body in and out.

I always seat and crimp in separate steps.

As far as those naysayers who advocate finding the source of the crinkles, sometimes there's no systemic source...just common human error. Rarely do I feel the carbide sizing ring engaging the cases.

OP: You don't adjust the crimp on the fcd by screwing the die in and out....there's an adjustment screw in the top of the die.
ok, that explains it a bit better now.

I was confused because poster john said
Quote:
'want to consider the purchase of just a taper crimp die as a fourth die, not the factory crimp die.'
So I thought they were 2 diff types.

so the lee FCD is a taper crimp die?

and that's cool there is an adjustment knob, not die in/out.

It uses a collet I suppose?

and at the same time, it 'sizes' the cartridge eh? very neat.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2011, 09:06 PM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taseal View Post
ok, that explains it a bit better now.

I was confused because poster john said

So I thought they were 2 diff types.

so the lee FCD is a taper crimp die?

and that's cool there is an adjustment knob, not die in/out.

It uses a collet I suppose?

and at the same time, it 'sizes' the cartridge eh? very neat.
There are taper crimp dies that don't post-size, but they're generally adjusted by screwing the die body in or out. The FCD for straightwall cases does taper crimp. It doesn't use a collet.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2011, 09:32 PM
RustyFN RustyFN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalterGC View Post
Maybe I'm misreading something, but it appears to me that the OP doesn't understand that the Lee fcd is just a separate taper crimp die that happens to also post-size. I use a FCD for every straighwall caliber that I reload. I particularly like the crimp adjustment method on the FCD, as opposed to screwing a die body in and out.

I always seat and crimp in separate steps.

As far as those naysayers who advocate finding the source of the crinkles, sometimes there's no systemic source...just common human error. Rarely do I feel the carbide sizing ring engaging the cases.

OP: You don't adjust the crimp on the fcd by screwing the die in and out....there's an adjustment screw in the top of the die.


Good explanation Walter. That's also one of the things I like best about the FCD, very easy to adjust.
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2011, 09:43 PM
Snapdragon Snapdragon is offline
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I have just recently gotten into the lee crimping dies and wish I had gotten some sooner. The ones for bottle-neck cartridges and those for straight-walled cartridges work differently.

The ones for the bottle-neck cartridges have a collet that is adjusted by screwing in or out the die.

The ones for straight-walled cases adjust by screwing in or out a knob at the top of the die. Back off the knob, raise a case into the die, screw the knob down until you feel the resistance of the crimping cone hitting the mouth of the case, lower the case, and then screw in the knob in enough to get the desired amount of crimp. One half to .75 of a turn usually is usually plenty. The straight-walled dies also have a carbide ring that helps iron bumps out of the loaded round.
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  #17  
Old 05-24-2011, 10:05 PM
taseal taseal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post
I have just recently gotten into the lee crimping dies and wish I had gotten some sooner. The ones for bottle-neck cartridges and those for straight-walled cartridges work differently.

The ones for the bottle-neck cartridges have a collet that is adjusted by screwing in or out the die.

The ones for straight-walled cases adjust by screwing in or out a knob at the top of the die. Back off the knob, raise a case into the die, screw the knob down until you feel the resistance of the crimping cone hitting the mouth of the case, lower the case, and then screw in the knob in enough to get the desired amount of crimp. One half to .75 of a turn usually is usually plenty. The straight-walled dies also have a carbide ring that helps iron bumps out of the loaded round.
Thanks for explaining hwo to make it work.

now, the straight walls of the die irons the bumps out of the case.

isn't that the bulge buster's purpose? to flatten the case?

or is the crimp die doing that post setting to flatten it out, just incase during crimping/seating the case buckled a little?
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  #18  
Old 05-25-2011, 06:47 AM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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The die walls don't straighten out the anomalous bulges. There's a carbide sizing ring in the bottom of the fcd. Ordinary seating/crimping dies don't post-size.
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  #19  
Old 05-25-2011, 09:45 AM
dickttx dickttx is offline
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One more little tidbit. I don't know that I have ever had the sizing ring in the Lee FCD touch a case. But if the case were out of spec it would. Some have reported that their sizing ring was too small.
The FCD for semi-auto cartridges taper crimps. The one for revolver cartridges will also roll crimp.
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  #20  
Old 05-25-2011, 01:59 PM
UrbanSI UrbanSI is offline
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I've loaded about 5k 9mm of LRN 115g from Missouri bullet without crimp and just recently had my first fail to feed.

If your bell is correct(I tend to under bell just before lube starts to come from the case mouth on the bullet) you should be ok. YMMV
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