Anyone use Lee 3 die set and does it crimp?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by pzlehr, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. pzlehr

    pzlehr

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    I have been using a Lee Turret Press that works great, it's a 4 hole turret. I use a Lee factory crimp die in the 4th hole and I get very good reloads. Well I graduated to the Pro 1000 and it is a 3 hole turret. I am having trouble getting any kind of crimp at all. When I load a round the bullet actually is loose in the case. Does anyone else have this problem and how can it be overcome? I hate to have to set up a press where I have to go through another stage just to crimp a bullet. Any help would be appreciated!!
     
  2. Pete789

    Pete789

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    I have never gotten into that kind of production, just use single stage. I used to buy Lee 3 die sets but found myself buying that crimp die, so anymore I buy 4 die sets. I have had a loose bullet or two, so I always do a light crimp. Might be over cautious, but rather that than under cautious. Never had any problems crimping everything. I mostly am plinking metal gong targets at 7 yards or so. Nothing real fancy.
     

  3. smokey45

    smokey45

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    Neck tension from the sizing operation should be holding the bullet. Make sure you're not over belling the case mouth at the charging station. To answer your question, yes the seating die also crimps when properly adjusted.
    s45
     
  4. dkf

    dkf

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    What cartridge are you reloading? On the Lee 3 die pistol sets the bullet seating die crimps also.

    To set it up put a sized empty case or even loaded round in the press, unscrew the seating stem out so it won't interfere with the brass or bullet, pull the handle so the ram comes up all the way and then screw the seater die down until it touches the brass. Once it touches the brass go down an extra 1/4 turn or so. You may need to adjust the die some to get the crimp you want.

    If the bullet is loose in the case after sizing, then you got issues that a crimp will not and should never "fix".
     
  5. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 12 Air Medals.

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    Like what already has been said. Yes the third die seats and crimps the round. If it is a pistol cartridge you are doing a taper crimp. But all you want a taper crimp to do is just remove the bell on the mouth of the case. The more crimp you but on the round the looser the bullet gets in the case. What holds the bullet is what was done at the sizing stage not the taper crimp stage. Revolver crimp is a roll crimp where you actually roll the mouth of the case inward into the crimp grove on the bullet.
     
  6. MO Fugga

    MO Fugga Malt Liqra® Lifetime Member

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    OP, these guys here have me convinced to get the Hornady Custom Grade seater die, which has a taper/roll crimp depending on how you want it set. I have always crimped separately (on a Lee turret), but for volume, I'm all for skipping a step.
     
  7. pzlehr

    pzlehr

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    Here's a question: why would Lee make a taper factory crimp die (as an extra step) for semi-autos? I'm reloading 9mm. I have usually reloaded revolver rounds and have had no problem. As I said earlier when I used the Turret Press, I used the factory crimp die, so I don't know if stopping at the seating die would have been good enough or not. So what is Lee doing, making stuff to buy we don't really need? Thanks for your input about using more or less crimp. I'll do some adjusting and see what happens.
     
  8. Dave Shooter

    Dave Shooter

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    The problem with seating and crimping in the same station usually comes from variation in case length. You may have the seater die set up perfectly, but then a slightly longer case goes in and the die will start to apply crimp earlier, while bullet is still being seated to depth. In extreme cases this can lead to the case buckling. If you don't crimp at all at the seating station you eliminate this problem, but it requires another operation or a fourth station on a progressive.
    No sane person I know trims common caliber pistol brass, although this would help if you had to seat and crimp in same station.
     
  9. dkf

    dkf

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    I prefer to seat and crimp in two steps, only way I don't is if I am short on room in the turret.. Especially helps when trying to set up the OAL if you swap bullets or change OAl.
     
  10. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 12 Air Medals.

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    Pistol rounds more or less head space of the mouth of the case. So if you put more crimp on the case it will no long head space on the mouth of the case. Revolver head space on the rim of the case. So on those you can use a taper or a roll crimp. But most people roll crimp into the crimp grove of the bullet.

    If you over crimp a case? what you are doing is sizing the case and the bullet. So now when the round comes back out of the die the bullet stays at what it was sized to. But the case expands back out, because it wants to go back to the size where it was before you crimped the round. An easy way to understand this that the brass case wants to go back to whatever size it was before.

    With the bullet seat and crimp die. You run the die in the press then with a sized and belled case using the bullet seating stem you run the case in and out of the die until you get the COL that you want. Once you get your COL you run the bullet seating stem out where it does nothing then you run your die down until you get the crimp you want. Now with the round still in the die you lock your lock ring down. Then screw the bullet seating stem down until it makes contact with the bullet. That is why most people use two different bullet seating and crimp.

    When setting up the crimp I like to use a case gauge and keep running the die down until it will fit in the gauge then just turn the die in a tad more. Then pull the bullet and there should be no or a very slight ring around the bullet where the mouth of the case was. This is really important if you are using plated bullets.

    In taper crimping you are only removing the bell on the case. You are not crimping anything.
     
  11. tom mac

    tom mac

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    I've run the Lee 1000... and setup is very critical to get the right taper.
    Make sure the resizer is all the way down plus 1/8 turn. Don't over bell in #2 and then as mentioned, run a few cases with the bullet seat up ( actual directions with it are fairly right on ) so a head can't fit.
    When the taper is right you should be able to push the completed bullet against the bench without any head set back... ie 'the push test'.

    As a side note... keep the primer feed tube clean and keep tapping it now and then :)