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Lee 3 or 4 die carbide set

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by NevadaBob, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. NevadaBob

    NevadaBob

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Just getting into reloading, have viewed the above stickys and various youtube sites but am not sure what carbide set will suffice for loading 9mm & 38 special. If the 3die set will do, why is there a 4 die set? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. rewster

    rewster Silver Member

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    Nov 7, 2010
    Rhode Island
    The 4 die set includes the factory crimp die.
     

  3. NevadaBob

    NevadaBob

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Correct...and that's the essence of my question: is it necessary to use the factory crimp die?
     
  4. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    The 3 die set is all you need.
     
  5. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    San Diego
    Nope, not necessary at all. Especially if you're loading on a single stage it's a whole additional step.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  6. alwaysshootin

    alwaysshootin

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    It's not necessary, but personally, prefer the FCD being use on all my semi auto rounds. I prefer to seat the bullet, and crimp in separate stages, versus done all in one. Secondly, the FCD runs the length of the round making it to perfect specs. Have never loaded a round, using the FCD, that wouldn't chamber!
     
  7. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    It depends on how your loading, as XDRox said. It's not *needed* but many new reloaders find it easier to seat and crimp in separate steps, rather than on a single step.

    If you're using a progressive press, you should have the stations to seat/crimp separately, and it can make things easier. You can get the Lee 3 Die set, then add Lee's taper crimp die.. for about the same price as the Lee 4 die set that comes w/ the Factory Crimp Die...

    Lots and lots of debate on the factory crimp die on whether it is necessary or not, etc. I don't really think that it is, but I have one in all calibers, simply because I always buy Lee 4 die sets. If you set your dies correctly, the Factory Crimp die is going to do very little "work" and will more or less just crimp a round just like a standard crimp die.

    Most of the problems with the FCD, come from people who use the FCD to correct problems caused by not adjusting their other dies correctly (usually their sizing die and/or seating die)...

    That's just my opinion, I'm sure C4W will be along shortly to tell me I'm an idiot, and all FCD users should die.. ;)

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  8. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Single Stage = 3 die set.

    Progressive = 3 die set + a regular crimp die. Same price as 4 die set.

    I prefer to not have a FCD iron out mistakes before I even know they exist.
     
  9. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Set your dies up correctly, use proper technique, a LFCD is a solution to a non existent problem. Does it find the really oddball round that something went bad on" Sure but so does a case gage. Can it screw w/ your accuracy depending on bullet type" Sure, but some have diff accuracy stds than others.
    Nope, not needed. Like Steve, a 3 die set w/ add'l seating/crimping die is all I want or need.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  10. I don't have any luck with Lee dies at all. I think their taper crimp die and FCD are crap. not machined smoothly and shaves brass and definitely decrease brass life. other taper crimp dies gives your a nice mirror ring. you get what you pay for Lee products. the downtime and frustrations is not worth the price.
     
  11. alwaysshootin

    alwaysshootin

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    You see, we have a different opinion here, and, unless you want the world to stop turning, there must be differences in opinions. A few years back, I bought an aftermarket "match grade" barrel, and, after 20 years of never a problem with my reloads, with the extremely tight chamber, the problems started. I used the FCD and all problems vanished. That is why I now, and will continue to use the FCD. As far as accuracy loss that you mentioned, I guess I'm not using "wrong" bullet type, because I've had no experience, whatsoever, of accuracy loss. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best $10 I've ever spent, for an unnecessary reloading tool!
     
  12. I crimp/seat pistol rounds in one step. I use the FCD for my rifle rounds. YMMV. Good luck.
     
  13. meleors

    meleors Cranky Member

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    Here
    So you are saying that it can do the same thing as a case gauge but without an extra step? :tongueout:
     
  14. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I have been loading for a LW and now KKM barrel for the last 3 years at least. I don't really keep track. I sold my LW barrel to a friend. My ammo made with a Lee Sizing Die and a Dillon Crimp die was beyond 100% reliable in the LW barrel. When he got it he couldn't get it to run with his ammo. Difference was the Dillon sizing die. We used the same bullets.
    If your the least bit interested in finding out what the FCD is fixing then you could try this. First a little foundation work. The FCD is simple a LEE Sizing die with a Crimper built in. Nothing special really. Main difference from the Lee sizing Die is the FCD is sized about .007" larger then the Lee Sizing die. Besides that they both size the same depth down the case. FCD is .007" less effective then the standard Lee Sizing die.
    So if the FCD is fixing your loads it's simply a matter of finding out what it's fixing. It's either a sizing issue or a seating/crimp issue (seating causing a bulge). So if it's not a sizing issue then it's most likely a seating/crimp issue.
    Simply take a bunch of cases (enough to know that some of then wouldn't work). Size a bunch with your sizing die. Size a bunch with ONLY the FCD. Drop both batches in your chamber. If they all chamber then you have a seating issue or crimp issue. If some of your cased sized with only your sizing die don't go in cleanly then you have a sizing issue.
    I would personally would be curious to know what he FCD is fixing (it's not even my gun and I am still curious, it's my nature I guess), simply so I could resolve it so the FCD didn't need to "fix" stuff any more. You could use the FCD if you wanted to after that but it wouldn't be "fixing" anything. Just providing a crimp.
    If this isn't helpful to you perhaps it would be to someone else.
    I personally have no interest in other using or not using a FCD. If they ask me I will give my opinion. But that is all it is.
     
  15. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

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    Steve... you gotta realize... asking him to do this would be asking him to think.

    You see... in HIS mind, he's "good to go". Had a problem, the FCD fixed it, and now he's happy. Doesn't want to hear that perhaps his reloading process is in error.

    We're gonna end up in another 15 page whoop-to-doo all over again.

    Just point him to the previous thread, let him read through that. Even if he does, bet he still keeps using the FCD.
     
  16. fredj338

    fredj338

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    No. A case gae finds the offending round & you remove it. The LFCD makes it "right", but at a potential cost to accuracy. You should be inspecting your ammo anyway after reloading, a case gage for a batch of match ammo is just good insurance, but not req'd for 99.9% of the rounds that come off a good press setup.
    Accuracy wise, yes, it does afffect the accuracy in a negative way w/ some bullets. Does it matter, maybe not. My accuracy requirements are quite high, but then I don't test ammo @ 21ft either.:tongueout: These were shot @ 50ft. Does it matter, maybe, maybe not? I certainly wouldn't use the LFCD w/ soft plated bullets by that target. BTW, that is my best 1911 w/ a Barsto match bbl, very tight specs. My Dillon dies have never caused an issue.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  17. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Nope. I have said all I have to say, Unless he responds back and has a question. I am happy to help. I am not going to spend even a single post trying to convince him the FCD is bad. He has already decided he likes the FCD. I just wanted to explain how to figure out what might be going on. If he wanted to invest the time to figure it out OR if it perhaps would help someone else.
     
  18. alwaysshootin

    alwaysshootin

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    My only question is why I didn't get your opinions on the FCD earlier? You are both/all correct, and all FCD will be taken off my turret heads today! Thanks for your knowledge, and opinions. It is appreciated. To the OP, I am truly sorry for sharing, my incorrect opinion, on the FCD. They obviously do not help, and apparently hurt accuracy. Both of which, I did not know, until today.
     
  19. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    :bunny: