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Old March 1, 2007, 07:50 AM   #1
VaFisher
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357 Sig

Just purchased a Lee 3 dies set along with a Lee factory crimp die. I purchased the factory crimp die because I read on other post here somewhere that it works best with this caliper. Are there any other special process tricks about this load I should know before I get started. This load will be used in a glock 32 thats not had any problem shooting factory or other reloads purchased in the past.
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Old March 1, 2007, 09:18 AM   #2
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The amount of crimp is important, as is bullet selection.

You want to make sure that the sides of the bullets are fairly straight, as the case has a small bearing surface. Under recoil, you can have the bullet 'set back' into the case.

I use truncated cone bullets. I just bought 600 GDHP from www.midwayusa.com that are designed for the 357/38 super.

I have had terrible luck with 9mm 115g roundnose bullets. They are too 'round' to seat properly.

Federal Nickel plated brass has smaller primer flash holes and can be a pita to deprime.
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Old March 1, 2007, 02:03 PM   #3
Abstract
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Just be sure that you adjust the seater/crimp die so that it seats only.
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Old March 2, 2007, 12:07 AM   #4
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I actually just got the same Lee 3 die set plus an additional factory crimp die. I can't figure out how the crimp die works - are you supposed to tighten the knob all the way and then adjust it to touch the shell plate or let the knob out a little bit before and then tighten afterwards? I just seems like no matter how much I tighten, there's no tension on the case/bullet and I can't "feel" it sizing or crimping like I do with my other non bottlenecked pistol cartridges using their respective Lee factory crimp dies. Is there something about the special "collet" type Lee dies that I don't know about?
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Old March 2, 2007, 07:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for all your help in this.
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Old March 2, 2007, 07:45 AM   #6
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ledavatar,
The factory crimp die has a tapered collet. You adjust the did by touching the the shell holder plus a half turn. When using, it touches the shell holder and with pressure you form the crip. If you are not getting enough crimp adjust the die down more until it gives you the crimp you want.
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Old March 2, 2007, 08:57 AM   #7
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If you squash cases, you have too much crimp.

Not being a smartass here (hard to believe, I know), but I have squashed a bunch of them.

The difference between squashed and just right is a thin line.
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Old March 2, 2007, 06:58 PM   #8
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Ok, if I take the die out of my press and i drop a sized and flared brass into it, the .357 Sig brass will only stop when it is completely flush with the die opening. Since my shellholder will take up room at the extraction groove of the brass, it seems like there is no way my shell will even reach the "tapered collet" no matter how much I screw the die down. In fact, I've screwed the die down to the point where I'm exerting direct pressure on my shellplate, not the brass. At this extreme state, the brass mouth still comes out non-crimped.

I'm very confused. I didn't think this collet type dies would require much different adjustments than the normal straight walled Lee crimp dies I've used.
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Old March 2, 2007, 07:20 PM   #9
rangermonroe
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You got me there.
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Old March 2, 2007, 08:41 PM   #10
VaFisher
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In fact, I've screwed the die down to the point where I'm exerting direct pressure on my shellplate, not the brass. At this extreme state, the brass mouth still comes out non-crimped.


This is how the die works, it has to touch your shell holder to put pressure on the collect. The more pressure applied to the shell holder the more the die collect will close to form a crimp.
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Old March 4, 2007, 10:54 AM   #11
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Maybe everybody here understands that the straightwall FCD is a totally different kind of die from the bottleneck FCD, but, it seems to me, at least one member is confused.

As Vafisher says, the collet in the bottleneck FCD applies the crimp. If one reads and follows the instructions that came with the die, one will have success.

The FCD for straightwall cases does not use a collet for crimping, and it does contain a carbide sizing ring at the bottom of the die, for post-sizing brass.
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Old March 4, 2007, 05:00 PM   #12
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Ok, the attached pictures should illustrate the problem. The brass neck, the part that is supposed to be crimped, only touches the innards of the collet when it is deep into the die like in picture 1. It seems to me that it is only at this stage where the neck is ABLE to be crimped.

The problem is that my Dillon 550B shellplate takes up all the space at the extraction groove of the brass, which means the brass cannot FULLY go into the die like it should in order to be crimped (see picture 2).

In case you're wondering, the part of the die that touches the shellplate is movable, but in picture one it is moving up the die as much as it can.

So no matter how I adjust the die, the shell plate is always going to take that much room on the bottom, preventing me from fully inserting the brass up enough to crimp correctly.

The only solution I see so far is to trim the part I marked (see picture 3) so that it touches the shellplate a bit later when the brass is fully into the die and position correctly inside the collet.

Does that make more sense?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lee357SigColletDie1.jpg (70.1 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg Lee357SigColletDie2.jpg (101.3 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg Lee357SigColletDie3.jpg (75.7 KB, 33 views)
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Old March 4, 2007, 07:30 PM   #13
Abstract
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I'd call Lee before I did any trimming, if I were you. I've used their collet crimping dies for rifle bottlenecks for years, and sometimes the collets will get "sprung", and have to be snapped back into place.

Also, doesn't the part that you're asking about trimming acutually move inside the die...like a sleeve?
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Old March 5, 2007, 06:35 PM   #14
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Your problem IS; your die is not turned down far enough. Okay, I know it can't go any further down the way you have it set up. Take the lock ring completly off the die, then screw the die all the way through the tool head, until you can put the lock ring on FROM THE BOTTOM! Now you will be able to push the shell far enough into the die for it to be crimped. BTW that's how mine is set up in my dillon 650, it wrks VERY well!

This die is similar to other lee FCD dies for bottle necked rifle shells, but the collet is NOT visible from the top. The aluminum cap is just there to hold it all together, it does nothing to adjust the crimp, that's done by screwing the whole die down further.
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Old March 6, 2007, 07:55 AM   #15
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Diddo on the lock ring change, this should give you all the adjustment needed.
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Old March 7, 2007, 12:28 PM   #16
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Thanks for the advice. I just tried the suggestion, but the problem remains. At first, I thought it's not that I can't screw the die down enough, it's that the shellplate is limiting me from inserting the brass in enough to be crimped.

Yesterday, however, I discovered something else. It seems like after some pressure on the crimp station, I do see some sort of crimp on the neck. I noticed about 3/32" of the neck coming out with slightly different shine, which I guess is from the neck being squeezed. So in that sense my original suspicion is unfounded. The new problem is that even after I put my entire weight into the lever on the crimp station, there still isn't enough crimp! I definitely screwed the die down enough, because the lever doesn't even come all the way down when it stops dead (and remember I put enough downward force short of breaking the shellplate). There's not enough crimp because if I turn the completed round upside down on a table and push it w/ my finger, the bullet slides into the case.

I've just had enough of this! Finally yesterday I just decided to crimp and seat at the same time. It's not great, but it works.
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Old March 7, 2007, 06:33 PM   #17
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Sounds like you have die problem and should contact Lee and ask them what to do to fix the problem.
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