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Old 09-04-2012, 12:21   #1
pasky2112
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Lee FCD Swaging Bullets?

Hi everyone.

I had a recent... ahem...overpressure situation in a load that burst the case of a 10mm load. It was suggested that PART of the problem was the use of Lee FCD and/or possibly overcrimping. I pulled a few rnds and posted pics of the blts.

I'd like to get your opinion on these pics re: bullet swaging and the FCD, please. The idea of swaging bullets w/ a crimp die is new to me...please pardon my 'noobignorance'.

FWIW, I only used the die to prevent glock fired reloads from FTF in a non-glock...or tighter chamber. I DO have a Dillon taper crimp in .40/10mm. But I don't want to go down that rat hole.

I'm just curious if you think the FCD inherently swages the bullet and can cause accuracy/safety issues AT NON-MAX LOADS?
Would you reuse these pulled bullets shown? (This is just a sample of the 200 I am pulling) To be clear, the pic of the pair of bullets has an unloaded one on the R.

Thanks in advance to you all for your input.

- Dave

Last edited by pasky2112; 09-10-2012 at 15:14..
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Old 09-04-2012, 13:27   #2
dm1906
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These "look" like too much crimp, and not necessarily "swaged" by the FCD. If you use the FCD as a pass-through (Bulge-Buster), it should be before bullet seating (as a part of case sizing), not after. If using it for only crimping after bullet seating, it does fine if used correctly. Too much crimp isn't good, no matter the tool or method. Excessive crimp can happen with any crimping die if not adjusted correctly. If you have feed issues, something else is wrong. In any case, neither is the cause of your KB!
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Old 09-04-2012, 14:41   #3
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Well, you would do well to actually measure the bullets shown witha a good quality caliber to find out the sizes before and after! The bullet ahead of the crimp maybe larger due to the crimp squeezing the material as such. Yes it is possible that the FCD is squeezing the bullet diamater down smaller than its original size, only measuring will show how much! However usually softer lead bullets ar more affected or swaged.

I only use my FCD with the guts removed as a "Pass-Thru" sizer to recondition & uniform my brass. Be careful when doing the case mouth expansion, this step is critical to uniform the cases while maintaining good tension. I seat bullets to depth without any crimp being applied then in a seperate step I taper crimp to complete the process. The object is to seat the bullets with enough neck tension that the bullets do not move in or out or spin as a finished cartridge.
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Old 09-04-2012, 15:59   #4
pasky2112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm1906 View Post
These "look" like too much crimp, and not necessarily "swaged" by the FCD. If you use the FCD as a pass-through (Bulge-Buster), it should be before bullet seating (as a part of case sizing), not after. If using it for only crimping after bullet seating, it does fine if used correctly. Too much crimp isn't good, no matter the tool or method. Excessive crimp can happen with any crimping die if not adjusted correctly. If you have feed issues, something else is wrong. In any case, neither is the cause of your KB!
Gotya. Yeah. I'm not expecting anyone to make a dead call on a couple pics. But suspected that would be the answer. They were unusually hard to pull with a kinetic. The rings are profound. I didn't see anything like that when i set up the die...AFAIK. The base of ea. of these measure .400"....just like new. FWIW, my seating die doesn't crimp. I separately crimp in pos #4 on my 550b. No pass-through. Just want to remove flare from mouth expansion. Pretty straight fwd.

So, you wouldn't advise swapping out the FCD w/ my Dillon TCD just from what you see?

Thanks again,

- Dave
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Old 09-04-2012, 16:51   #5
dm1906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasky2112 View Post
Gotya. Yeah. I'm not expecting anyone to make a dead call on a couple pics. But suspected that would be the answer. They were unusually hard to pull with a kinetic. The rings are profound. I didn't see anything like that when i set up the die...AFAIK. The base of ea. of these measure .400"....just like new. FWIW, my seating die doesn't crimp. I separately crimp in pos #4 on my 550b. No pass-through. Just want to remove flare from mouth expansion. Pretty straight fwd.

So, you wouldn't advise swapping out the FCD w/ my Dillon TCD just from what you see?

Thanks again,

- Dave

You could, but it won't change anything. Either of them should be adjusted correctly. The FCD is no more capable of applying too much crimp than your TCD. Too much is too much, no matter how it happens.

That said, there are a few caveats with progressive loaders. One, and probably the least often discussed, is the minor changes that can occur between setting up with a single (stage) cartridge, then running with a full plate. With a single case at each stage, the case is applying pressure to one die at a time, and any play, however slight, in the [turret/shellplate/dieplate/etc.] will be more balanced once all dies are simultaneously engaged, which will take up much of the "play" you had before. This allows a possibility of the crimp die (as well as the others, including the expander) engaging more than when originally adjusted. This amount is normally less than can be noticed, but could push a result from acceptable, to beyond acceptable, in an extreme situation. I'm not saying this is what happened, merely offering one possibility of many.

As The Shadow said, over crimping can cause a bullet to deform, increasing the diameter ahead of the crimp a little. This is not what I would call "swaging", but it's a deformation, nonetheless. However, I've never seen this to a degree it actually caused a pressure issue, especially with lighter charges. It can affect accuracy and bullet performance, to some degree, but even then, it's slight. As suggested, you should measure the bullet diameters, at several locations along the bullet. While I do not believe this is related to your failure, it may be beneficial to adjusting your handloading practice. If, for some reason, it is related, it will be no more than a very small piece of a much larger picture. This alone will not cause a failure such as you've had. Something much bigger did that.
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Old 09-04-2012, 22:41   #6
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I would use the taper crimp die and just iron out the bell. I agree with the notion that these excessively crimped did not cause the KB. But they can impact groups. I have noticed that excessive crimp can be a bit asymmetrical. That could impair bullet trajectory slightly.

I'm still leaning toward a greater than expected powder charge as the root cause of the KB.
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Old 09-04-2012, 22:48   #7
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I also load on a Dillion machine with Dillion 10mm dies. I also run all my "reloads" through a lee fcd. Ive found running a finished round through the FCD straitens everything out. Depending how you belled the case and how straight the bullet started when seated could leave a small buldge at the base of the bullet. I really don't see how what your doing is causing a problem. Most people would agree a heavy crimp on soft lead is a bad idea. A heavy crimp on a Plated bullet will hurt accuracy. If a load is within psi spec and it shoots good with a heavy crimp I don't see what's wrong. I just looked at a box of BB 220gr hard cast at the store. I pulled one round and held it up to the light and I was very surprised how heavy the crimp was. Maybe it was just a some random thing. Bad case? Over charge? Oversize bullet? I would reuse the bullets. I'd get out your calipers and set your crimp so it's either straight with the back of the bullet or maybe .0015 smaller.

Last edited by orangeride; 09-04-2012 at 22:52..
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Old 09-07-2012, 22:41   #8
pasky2112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeride View Post
I also load on a Dillion machine with Dillion 10mm dies. I also run all my "reloads" through a lee fcd. Ive found running a finished round through the FCD straitens everything out. Depending how you belled the case and how straight the bullet started when seated could leave a small buldge at the base of the bullet. I really don't see how what your doing is causing a problem. Most people would agree a heavy crimp on soft lead is a bad idea. A heavy crimp on a Plated bullet will hurt accuracy. If a load is within psi spec and it shoots good with a heavy crimp I don't see what's wrong. I just looked at a box of BB 220gr hard cast at the store. I pulled one round and held it up to the light and I was very surprised how heavy the crimp was. Maybe it was just a some random thing. Bad case? Over charge? Oversize bullet? I would reuse the bullets. I'd get out your calipers and set your crimp so it's either straight with the back of the bullet or maybe .0015 smaller.
Thanks. I would venture to say I don't really crimp intentionally. Like you said, I just try to remove ~.025" of bell expansion and straighten out the case to spec. I guess it crimps as a result. Not sure how else to do it. I use the FCD to completely straighten out the 'misshapen' cases from Glock stk bbl.. They plop right into bbl chamber/case gage perfectly. Never had a prob w/ them in non-Glock platforms, either (in .40 S&W)
One just has to b careful not to overcrimp to effect chamber pressure negatively and/or remarkably deform bullets.
So, I'm still not convinced there is anything inherently wrong w/ Lee FCD for pistol cartridges when used properly.

Thanks again,

- Dave


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