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Old 02-19-2011, 08:30 AM
Chap17 Chap17 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NE Indiana
Posts: 300
Default Lee FActory Crip Die? What does it do?

A little help from you more experienced reloaders, please. I've searched and read a lot of posts about Carbine headspacing, proper length and trimming, and crimping. There have been a couple of questions about the FCD but no definitive answer.

Isn't the Lee FCD supposed to duplicate a factory crimp and isn't that what we're after? What am I not understanding? Help?

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Old 02-19-2011, 08:43 AM
meplat meplat is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: AZ
Posts: 3,157

Billions and billions of rounds were loaded without it.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:52 AM
ibmikey ibmikey is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Medical Lake Washington
Posts: 110

They work great with thin case mouths on old Winchester calibers--.25-20, 32-20,44-40 but I cannot see an advantage on a carbine case. With the die you can regulate the crimp better than a standard die. But "billions and billions" of rounds have been successfully loaded without it.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:05 PM
rcolarco rcolarco is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Oblong state west of the Mississippi River
Posts: 3,126

If you adjust your seater die to reduce the case mouth outside diameter to the specified value, you will produce the best round of ammunition possible. The "factory crimp" die will provide no advantage.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:26 PM
303guy 303guy is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 385

The Factory Crimp Die uses a collet to squeeze the case neck into the crimping groove.
I have tried several in rifle calibers and in 38 Special and they work well on bullets with
a cannelure. (Bullets w/o a cannelure don't require a crimp) As for .30 carbine, don't
bother with it.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:55 PM
mac1911 mac1911 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,593

the lee die does a few things
1. it does not put down ward preasure on the case to crimp(on bottle neck cases this is more of a problem)
2. Has a bit more leeway on case length
3. I only crimp cannelured bullets and ever so slightly.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:13 PM
7.62 7.62 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 181

They ruin perfectly good bullets. Use a regular crimp die and cannelured bullets if you just have to crimp. If the bullet moves after you seat it without a crimp, then you need to use the crimp. I have only had to use a crimp one time in 35 years with rifle cartridges. This is when the dies I was using (lee collet or Hornady dies, I detest both) would not give enough tension on 375 H&H loads. If your dies work, you don't need to crimp even for a semi. I have loaded many rounds for the M1 and AR15A2 platforms and never have I had a bullet set back problem. What we are after in handloading, as opposed to reloading, is consistency. That is what we are doing and why we like low SD, low run out and round groups.
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