Lee Factory Crimp Die - Is it necessary???

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by John Conneaut, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. John Conneaut

    John Conneaut

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    I use the "Lee 4 Die Pistol Set" for loading Xtreme plated bullets in my G20 and G17.
    Is it necessary to use the "Factory Crimp Die"?
    Does the "Factory Crimp Die" affect bullet accuracy/group sizes?

    Thanks
     
  2. fredj338

    fredj338

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    There have been billions of lines of text on this. I've been reloading for 40yrs now & never felt the need for anything other than a std roll or taper crimp. So I bought a LFCD in 45acp to try myself. It does affect accuracy, with plated & jacketed bullets IMO. Not a lot but the affect is measurable. These groups were shot at 50ft. JHP on top, Berry's 200gr on bottom.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  3. John Conneaut

    John Conneaut

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    Is it necessary to crimp the plated bullets?
     
  4. Taterhead

    Taterhead

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    The term, "crimp" for straight walled pistol ammo is a bit of a misnomer.

    The short answer is, yes, a crimp is needed. But what that really means is to "crimp" just enough to remove the flair that was made by the expander die. It is critical to do no more than that with plated bullets, or that will damage the plating. Poor accuracy will result.

    I prefer a taper crimp die over the FCD, and (while controversial) many on this forum are of a similar opinion.

    Best approach is to use a dummy round to adjust the sizer, expander,seater, and crimp dies. Slightly adjust the crimp die until the flair is removed such that the round will drop easily into a case gage or your chamber. Then pull the bullet. You should not see any substantial engraving of the bullet from the case mouth. If you do, then that is too much crimp.

    It might take several dummy rounds to trial-and-error this setting. Mixed brass with different lengths will affect the extent of crimp.
     
  5. Taterhead

    Taterhead

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    So it looks like more dispursion with the LFCD? Nice visual.
     
  6. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    IMO, the LFCD can affect accuracy, it also can work like every other taper crimp die. It depends on a lot of variables, caliber (straight wall or taper), bullet diameter, how much belling you use, etc. etc.

    A lot of people swear by the LFCD as the final QA assuring their rounds will chamber (the LFCD has a carbide ring at the mouth of the die which sizes all rounds that are larger in diameter than the ring), others swear at the die as an accuracy killer. Usually the types of people that swear by the die are more concerned with rate of fire with accuracy a lesser factor, most people that swear at the die want as accurate a round as they can make and feel reliability of function is a factor of the care they take in each step of the reloading process (i.e. not "bigger hammer" type problem solvers).

    If you don't understand what I just wrote, pick up a reloading manual and read the instructions on how to very carefully. Then go buy a regular taper crimp die.
     
  7. usnret

    usnret

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    Never used the factory crimp die. No need. Just learn to set up the regular proper crimp die.
     
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  8. jmorris

    jmorris

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    No, you don't need a factory crimp die but you will need some type of crimp die to remove the bell/flare.

    You can adjust any die that can do this in ways that can adversely effect accuracy. In the same respect you can adjust them to an "ideal" setting too.

    Seat a bullet but don't crimp, now pull it back out. It should look just like it did before.

    Now seat and crimp and pull it. That one should also be the same dimensions it was before.

    If it looks like the bullet on the left below, you are swaging the bullet inside the case as you crimp and you can expect less than ideal results from them.


    image.jpeg
     
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  9. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    Is it necessary? As has been pointed out, the only reason for it is to ensure the finished cartridge will chamber. I don't use the FCD that came with my die set anymore for 9mm and I have no feeding issues. So the answer, for me anyway, is that it's completely unnecessary.
     
  10. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Limited test, just two 5 shot groups each, but enough to confirm all the rumores.
     
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  11. A6Gator

    A6Gator

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    I'm with you. Loaded thousands of rounds and case check everything that goes into my guns. Whether plated or jacketed.
     
  12. usnret

    usnret

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    I think that way back when the Lee Factory Crimp Die came out a bunch of the bullet manufactures got together on a disclaimer add that stated "If you use this die, our bullets accuracy guarantee isn't any good any more". Or something to that affect. In other words, they tested it and found it affected the accuracy of the bullets.
     
  13. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    They have an accuracy guarantee?

    I want my money back!
     
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  14. KIDCOP

    KIDCOP Rifle Master Millennium Member

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    I've been reloading since about 1982 when the wife thought $12.50 for a box of Winchester silver tip '06 was too expensive. I moved to 38/357 the 45 ACP. Today the list of cartridges is long. In 1987 I started shooting high power with lots of 308 and 223 being loaded. I looked into the FCD long ago and found there was no real need. The Dies with either a roll crimp or taper crimp is all one really needs if set up properly. Of course Sierra match Kings are held with neck tension only. Trying to crimp to keep cartridges from set back is playing with problems because the brass is actually worn out or work hardened. In some cases this can be cured with annealing but my luck with doing this is poor. I have no problem culling brass that doesn't want to play right.
     
  15. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    The rifle version of the LFCD (also applicable to some pistol calibers which employ the so called roll crimp, usually rimmed calibers) is a completely different die to the LFCD which is a taper crimp for rimless calibers and has the carbide ring at it mouth.

    The rifle version is a collet die which places the roll or profile crimp on the case mouth. This design (patented I think by Lee) is a major improvement in crimp die design as it eliminates the likelihood of collapsing the bottle neck case when applying a so called roll crimp.

    It is unfortunate Lee chose to call two different dies by the same name (some believe willfully deceptive, as the claims of eliminating case collapsing potential is carried over into the marketing literature of the taper crimp pistol version, which is a traditional crimp collar design and no more advanced in this area as any taper crimp die).
     
  16. dudel

    dudel

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    Lee does NOT call them by the same name. Factory Crimp Die (rifle) and CARBIDE Factory Crimp Die (Pistol)

    http://leeprecision.com/reloading-dies/hand-gun-dies/lee-carbide-factory-crimp-die/
    vs
    http://leeprecision.com/reloading-dies/rifle-dies/factory-crimp-die/

    Confusing yes; the same no.
     
  17. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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  18. Timothy Courtney

    Timothy Courtney

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    crockett turned me on to the lee carbide crimp die when used with the lee bulge buster kit to squeeze the bulge out of cases. i run my 380 acp cases through and then resize with my dillon carbide sizer about half the case, just enough to hold the bullet im loading, works great.
     
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  19. KIDCOP

    KIDCOP Rifle Master Millennium Member

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    I don't get it....I've never had to iron out a loaded round. If they don't chamber it's something I did wrong.
     
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