Lee Factory Crimp Dies - Graybeard Outdoors
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default Lee Factory Crimp Dies

Has anyone noticed they have changed? There are now 3 styles.

I bought 2 for straight walled pistol cartridges: .380 and 45 ACP. They have a carbide ring that resizes the mouth before the crimp is applied.

They seem to work really well.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 01:30 PM
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I have no use for Lee's "post crimping sizing" dies for handguns. Yep I tried one and it now resides in a landfill somewhere in So. Oregon. Lee makes "Factory Crimp Dies" for handgun cartridges, and collet crimp dies for rifle and some handgun cartridges,. The collet dies have worked quite well for my .223, 30-06 and 44 magnum, the only ones I use (the rifle cartridges get a very light collet crimp). The FCD for handguns, will give an OK crimp, but it will also size the case down to what it thinks you need. I have reloaded revolver rounds since '69, and semi-auto since '90, and have never needed to size my handloads after they are finished. The one FDC I tried sized down my carefully cast and sized bullets and I got poor accuracy and barrel leading. I poked out the carbide ring, but the crimp was inferior to my Redding crimp, so I tossed it.

No, I'm not a Lee Hater as about 1/2-3/4 of my reloading tools/equipment is Lee, I just believe if one pays attention and fixes any problems in their handloads, they don't need to hide any defects with a post crimping sizing die...

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 01:49 PM
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it was a big argument about 15 years ago on the all the loading forums. Guys loved them or hated them. Some say they swaged down a bullet and it ruins accuracy.. I did a big test with about a half a doz each 44 mags and 45 colts. I loaded a number of the exact same loads both ways and saw instances where it hurt accuracy, accuracy stayed the same and even some that improved. I think the ones that it improves are due to loading progressive and not taking the time to insure your bullet is started perfectly straight. Anyway for the most part I found its a non issue because even the ones it hurt accuracy you were talking a 1/8 to a 1/4 inch at 25 yards and unless your a competitive shooter that isn't buying you much. Even my go to ppc load for my gold cup used a factory crimp die because that's what came with the die set and the gold cup had a tight chamber and when I used it I knew the ammo was going to go bang every time and I took home my fair share of trophys. I think for the most part the big controversy went away. Just like bullets need to be soft to bump up to get best accuracy. Just like linotype bullets will shatter on a deers shoulder. Or the only way to get good cast bullets is to ladle cast. I know my comp days are long over and most of my handgun shooting is 9s 40s and 45s out of glocks, sigs, M&Ps and occasioanly a 1911. Even my comp 1911s are gone and all I have left are a couple carry guns. For those types of guns function trumps accuracy all day long. So where do I stand? RIGHT SQUARE IN THE MIDDLE.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 02:38 PM
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What is the third? All I know is the collet version and the carbide one, which I avoid since I don't really crimp my straight walled rounds, well at least nothing beyond the built in one, and that only very light.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 03:13 PM
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i have some for a few tube fed rifle rounds i load.
i load .45's and such rounds with the same ol'
taper crimp dies i've always used. rounds for
.357 and .44 get roll crimped with the same ol'
dies i've always used.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O-mega View Post
What is the third? All I know is the collet version and the carbide one, which I avoid since I don't really crimp my straight walled rounds, well at least nothing beyond the built in one, and that only very light.
I may be wrong, but I think he is referring to the new collet-type die for bottleneck handgun cartridges. From what I can see on the site, it works basically the same as the original collet, just reshaped internally to accommodate the bottleneck case.

I especially like the collet crimp with .45 Colt because I sometimes play around with .45 ACP bullets when I can pick them up cheap, and most don't have any sort of crimp groove.

Seems to work just as well as the roll crimp on my home-cast bullets which have a crimp groove.

PS: I've never tried the carbide FCD and it doesn't really look like something I'd be interested in.

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Last edited by Terry C.; 08-21-2019 at 03:54 PM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry C. View Post
I think he is referring to the new collet-type die for bottleneck handgun cartridges. From what I can see on the site, it works basically the same as the original, just reshaped internally to accommodate the bottleneck case.

I especially like the collet crimp with .45 Colt because I sometimes play around with .45 ACP bullets when I can pick them up cheap, and most don't have any sort of crimp groove.

Seems to work just as well as the roll crimp on my home-cast bullets which have a crimp groove.

.
Ok, hadn't heard they did that. I can't see the value of a carbide FCD on bottleneck cartridges, especially since the collet version is so popular, even among those that deride the Lee brand.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 12:31 PM
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As far as I can tell, and what i remember, Lee makes two style FCDs. One is the post crimping sizing die, which Lee is now calling the Carbide FCD (for handguns). Lee also makes a collet crimp die, originally made for rifle cases. Lee now makes a collet crimping die for some straight sided cartridges. A very good tool and worth the money. A Carbide FCD is only for covering up a problem with the cartridge OD after crimping. The crimping function is OK and can provide a decent crimp. But running a cartridge through a handgun FCD to resize it is,IMO sloppy reloading. I have reloaded tens of thousands of revolver ammo, and have never had a need to resize any cartridges. My semi-auto cartridge reloading has been much the same, but a few thousand less. I have never had to resize a completed round. If for some reason my handloads won't chamber (either a cartridge gauge or a plunk test) I will find out why and fix the problem, not cover it up. I have had experience with FCDs, mostly for my own information/curiosity, and found the revolver FCDs ruin my cast bullet loads (I didn't bother to try one with any jacketed handloads as I rarely use jacketed bullets in my revolvers). Same with semi-auto handloads, absolutely no reason to size my finished handloads...

I don't understand the "debate", as the "qualities" of Lee's FCDs are clearly visible and easy to figure out, even for the "mechanically challenged"...

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 01:46 PM
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Lee also makes a taper only crimp die for pistol cartridges where you don't want the FCD. I bought them for 357 and 40 to crimp my cast boolits without swaging.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:10 PM
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I have had nothing but good luck with Lee factory crimp dies.
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