It all depends on what you prefer. If you like the FCD it's worth it. If you don't it's not. We'll know the idea is catching on when Lyman, Hornady, and Redding start making separate crimping dies.
The reason they don't is they didn't think of it and lee did! Same goes for the many other things that lee has done that the others wish they had thought of. Like the collet neck sizing die, the auto disk powder measure, lee molds and melters, all less money that the other companies. It most likely is a patent matter, it most certainly IS a matter of they couldn't make it as cheaply, so we wouldn't buy it!
As for me, I use one sometimes. I use the barrel/chamber of the pistol I'm loading for as a case gauge. The "plunk" test involves dropping the shell into the chamber, hearing a solid plunk when it bottoms out, then tipping it 180 degrees to have it freely fall out on it's own weight. If you have to force it to completely chamber, something wrong.
I agree with JC, MOST
dies can be adjusted so the FCD won't be needed. As long as you're NOT using oversize lead boolits
. There's also the fact that some brass is simply thicker in the mouth area of straight walled cases. Use an oversized lead boolit in a thicker case, you'll have a sticky shell in the chamber. R_P cases are notorious for being thinner at the mouth. Most of the others are thicker.
If you don't separate and sort, you can have problems that setting dies has no effect on. Sort by headstamp, then set dies accordingly.
Since this thread started with a question about Hornady dies, I'll put my .02 in for that. I own several sets of Hornady dies. I've had trouble with all of them. That flaky sliding seating chamber is always falling out because they use a tiny spring clip to hold it in. Then there's their attempt to copy the lee sliding decapper/neck expander stem. It slips no matter how tight the collet that holds it is tightened. In their defense, I griped to them, they sent me their new and improved
threaded stem, actually 2 of them for both of the rifle sets I had. Needless to say, I'll never buy Hornady dies again!