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Old July 8, 2012, 10:32 PM   #26
ScottRiqui
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What I take away from this is the same as I've always thought - use the FCD if it works for you, don't use it if it doesn't.

How hard is it to figure that out? I have no idea why some of you guys get so riled up over this.
Looking at your targets, what would you say "worked" for you and what didn't? As you say, all three runs looked pretty good, and the average group size barely varies between the three. From those targets, I don't think I could draw any conclusions about the effects of either the FCD or of uniforming the primer pockets, leaving me right back where I started.
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Old July 8, 2012, 11:10 PM   #27
dacaur
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Dacaur, the following photos show the results of using my .270 Win FCD exactly per the instructions:
Screw in until contact is made with shell holder. Turn 1/2 turn more.
I went no further, even though Lee suggests a more "firm" crimp can be achieved by doing so.
Wow. I have 4 FCD's (.308, 30/30, 9mm, and .380auto) and none do anything close to that regardless of how I have it adjusted, and at the "starting point" mine still has a definite gap.... I wonder if certain calibers just get smaller (too small) collets for whatever reason, that would certainly explain why some people claim it so horribly swags bullets, something I have never seen....
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Old July 8, 2012, 11:35 PM   #28
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Probably more like Lee has very loose tolerances.

Sent from HenseMod6.
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Old July 9, 2012, 01:13 AM   #29
FrankenMauser
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What I take away from this is the same as I've always thought - use the FCD if it works for you, don't use it if it doesn't.

How hard is it to figure that out? I have no idea why some of you guys get so riled up over this.
That's exactly the point that many of us have been arguing for a long time. It's just that this "argument" has been going on for so long, that we may occasionally forget to express our thoughts clearly.

I will admit that I have skipped straight to the "it's not a one-size-fits-all solution" argument, without being clear about my thoughts on its use, a few times too many.
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Old July 9, 2012, 07:05 AM   #30
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My daugther lives near Cabelas and yesterday I was there and bought some Nosler Varmint bullets with a cannalure (versus the Sierra smooth HP I've been reloading). We have to go back to my daughter's tonight and the $40 gift card that been burning a hole in my pocket is going towards a set of Redding dies with a built in crimp ring.

My first time shooting reloads I had them hanging up while feeding with the Colt factory magazine using Lee FL dies. Could be my reloading technique but I'm going to go in a completely different direction to compare any differences.
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Old July 9, 2012, 10:40 AM   #31
HJ857
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Looking at your targets, what would you say "worked" for you and what didn't? As you say, all three runs looked pretty good, and the average group size barely varies between the three. From those targets, I don't think I could draw any conclusions about the effects of either the FCD or of uniforming the primer pockets, leaving me right back where I started.
I think the AR itself is the overriding factor. I would expect different results if a bolt gun was used. But again, I'd still test all the variables possible and pick and choose the best combinations, and that certainly includes testing the FCD.

For my AR's I like the idea of a more secure hold on the bullet. I'm pretty careful about how I load, but I'm kind of sloppy about my storage and how much I bang them around at competitions. I store on stripper clips and put those in coffee cans, I love those blue Maxwell House cans.

If the FCD does not prove itself a liability then I'll keep using it. Most of the time my results show that the FCD either does nothing or very little to influence accuracy (or lack of).

I used to load for a Grendel and the FCD did reduce accuracy notably. Across the board if I recall correctly. That upper had the closest thing to a precision chamber of all my uppers, and that is interesting.

On the other hand, I also used to have a Model 1 NM upper. 5.56 chamber, 1:9. That thing was a laser and really loved light bullets with a crimp. So I don't know. I don't have any answers, only what works out of my rifles.
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Old July 9, 2012, 12:40 PM   #32
the led farmer
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so much bad info out there on the lee factory crimp die. here is a link to the instructions from their website so you don't think i made anything up.
Lee Factory Crimp Die Instructions

so what it does is provide a uniform start pressure to help reduce the effect of variables such as powder type, trim length, primer type, case type etc. uniform start pressure. that's it. in lee's modern reloading volume 2 lee himself states it does not turn poorly made ammo or ammo made from substandard components into award winning, gold medal match winning ammo. it can HELP if used correctly. uniform start pressure.

frankenmauser you are way over doing it. your pic is what the collet looks like fully closed, i bet your ram was up when you took that pic. an open collet looks like this


with the ram up (or a cartridge in the die) collet fully closed looks like this


i also line up the locking ring on the blue index mark i made so i make sure that a 1/2 turn is all it turns. it looks to me like you applied way too much pressure was applied to your die and cartridge and you mangled the brass and bullet. modern reloading 2 says approx 25 pounds of pressure, which is easy to get with any press. reloading is easy, there should be NOTHING forceful, if you are forcing it your doing it wrong. lee also says the fcd is CAPABLE of forming a cannelure, lee never says you SHOULD, especially one to that degree.

and back to the o/p a three shot group i don't believe gives you a good idea of accuracy, especially with an ar which is not a precision rifle. when i work up a load for ar i shoot a minimum of 10 shot group per load, and then 10 more rapid fire to make sure they cycle.

it's an effective tool but you gotta use it right, bottom line.

this debate is up there with what's the best shtf rifle or what pistol has the best stopping power. classic.

my $.02
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Old July 9, 2012, 06:19 PM   #33
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They have changed the instructions!

These are the instructions that came with my FCD!





Anyone notice that the part that "the Lee Factory Crimp die will form a cannulure in the bullet as it crimps the case" ?

Or the part where it says "Bullets do not need a crimp groove as the Lee Factory Crimp Die will form one while crimping" ?
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Old July 9, 2012, 06:41 PM   #34
dacaur
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So whats the difference between a factory formed cannelure and one formed by a FCD?

That is, excluding ridiculously mangled bullets like the ones in the pics above. I believe I head mention of "Their proofs are made by editing their results to prove their hypothesis"... Just because you followed the directions and adjusted it to where they said, doesnt mean you adjusted it RIGHT. I mean, you wouldn't screw the bullet seating die to exactly where the directions tell you and leave it at that would you? How about the sizing die? NO, you screw it to where the directions tell you, then you adjust it to where it needs to be, SO why do you treat the FCD any different? The same thing needs to happen with the FCD, screw it where it tells you, then adjust it so it doesnt mangle your bullets. If you can tell just by looking at them that its not right, then for goodness sake, adjust it so they are.

If I posted pics of some the rounds I have made with poorly adjusted seating dies, people would say I'm an idiot and have my dies adjusted wrong (my first 9mm round came out of the press with the bullet completly inside the case), but when someone does the same thing with a FCD, people flock to agree with them that the FCD is the problem, rather than the operator.....

I just dont see why some people are so convinced that its a "guaranteed accuracy killer" to squeeze a bullet equally from all directions like a collet does.... What do you think happens when it enters the barrel? It gets squeezed from all directions by the rifling on the barrel, only that happens MUCH more violently....

Just like some guns just dont like specific bullets, it should be no surprise that some guns wouldn't like a crimp....
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Old July 9, 2012, 06:51 PM   #35
the led farmer
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^^what he said^^

Quote:
Anyone notice that the part that "the Lee Factory Crimp die will form a cannulure in the bullet as it crimps the case" ? Or the part where it says "Bullets do not need a crimp groove as the Lee Factory Crimp Die will form one while crimping" ?
yes! it forms a cannelure! what's your point?? have you ever seen a cannelure like frankenmauser posted on a factory bullet?? or a crimp like that on factory ammo?? it's subtle. . .take a look for yourself someday. he mangled it, operator error, end of story.

you gotta use the tools correctly y'all...

Last edited by the led farmer; July 9, 2012 at 07:06 PM. Reason: props to dacaur
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Old July 9, 2012, 08:04 PM   #36
FrankenMauser
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so what it does is provide a uniform start pressure to help reduce the effect of variables such as powder type, trim length, primer type, case type etc. uniform start pressure. that's it. in lee's modern reloading volume 2 lee himself states it does not turn poorly made ammo or ammo made from substandard components into award winning, gold medal match winning ammo. it can HELP if used correctly. uniform start pressure.
You're ignoring Lee's own statements about the tool. The instructions and reloading manual both claim that the FCD will improve accuracy, durability (rough handling), and function; and is not only capable of forming a cannelure, but that a "firm" crimp is preferable.

Since the photos I posted show the results of what Lee, apparently, considers a "light" crimp, I'd hate to see what a "firm" crimp would be...
(Turning the die in to touch the shell holder, then 1/2 turn more is Lee's starting point with that die. For an even more "firm" crimp, the die must be turned in farther, according to the instructions.)


Quote:
frankenmauser you are way over doing it. your pic is what the collet looks like fully closed, i bet your ram was up when you took that pic. an open collet looks like this
Of course the ram was up. How are you supposed to screw the die in until it touches the shell holder, with the ram down?
You can't crimp a cartridge with the collet closed.....
Re-read what I wrote. That die was set up exactly per Lee's instructions, to illustrate what the tool will do when used exactly as designed and described. If you don't like the results, perhaps you should complain about the tool or Lee's sloppy tolerances, not the operator. If it is a faulty tool, I should not have to be the one performing Quality Control.
How would a new reloader know any better, if they've never seen a proper crimp before; yet this "wonder tool" that promises to fix all of their problems is crushing their bullets?


Quote:
it looks to me like you applied way too much pressure was applied to your die and cartridge and you mangled the brass and bullet. modern reloading 2 says approx 25 pounds of pressure, which is easy to get with any press. reloading is easy, there should be NOTHING forceful, if you are forcing it your doing it wrong. lee also says the fcd is CAPABLE of forming a cannelure, lee never says you SHOULD, especially one to that degree.
Don't make assumptions.
It only took about 10-15 lbs of pressure on the press handle, to crimp those. So, if your quote about 25 lbs is correct (I've never seen it), I'm well within tolerances.



Anyone with even the smallest amount of reloading experience can see that the photos Slamfire and I have posted are of bullets that have been severely over-crimped. But... they are not photos of "operator error". They are photos of what the tool does when used according to Lee's instructions and recommendations.
If you must use the tool the wrong way (not fully adjusted) to make it work, then the tool's design (or tolerances) must be questioned.

Just remember - I'm not trying to "debunk" the FCD's claims. I'm trying to figure out where it actually works (and why).



Right now, I have 150 rounds of .270 Win loaded with Sierra 130 gr SPBTs and 150 rounds of identical loads crimped in the FCD. There are 6 different test lots within the whole. Each test lot is comprised of a single lot of R-P brass, and each case within an individual lot received identical prep. Each lot has different characteristics to aid in testing different claims about the FCD's performance. All of the cartridges are using powder (IMR4350) and primers (Win LR) from the same lot numbers. Each test lot is loaded with the same powder charge increments. Each test lot is split in half -- half crimped, half uncrimped.

The test has been designed so a minimum of 50 rounds should be fired during any one test session; but each test lot can be fired on different days (in different atmospheric conditions) while still providing meaningful data, due to the inclusion of a 'baseline' in each lot. In addition, many of the tests can be cut short before the full 50 rounds is fired, if weather conditions turn poor, due to charge weight increments within the test lots.

In addition, I have plans to repeat the entire test with Remington Core-Lokts or Winchester Power-Points, after this round of testing is over. That will allow for comparison of cannelured bullets vs the previous no-cannelure testing.

When I have compiled enough data, I'll create a new thread for the discussion.
Claims being tested:
1. Provides consistent start pressure.
2. Will form a cannelure. {completed}
3. Improves accuracy.
4. Improves function. {completed}
5. Will never damage a case, when instructions are followed. {completed}
6. Bullets without a cannelure are more accurate with FCD than traditional crimp.
7. More durable cartridges. {rough handling complete - live-fire testing still required}
8. "Firm" crimp is more preferable than "light" crimp.
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Old July 9, 2012, 08:09 PM   #37
tpcollins
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UPDATE - today I bought the Redding 2 piece set and I will set the seater up to "not roll crimp". I also just ordered the Redding Taper Crimp die and I will load up the same rounds the same way as I did with the Lee dies and FCD - ought to be a good apples to apples test.

I list the losing set of dies here in the classifieds.
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Old July 9, 2012, 09:39 PM   #38
the led farmer
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are of bullets that have been severely over-crimped. But... they are not photos of "operator error". They are photos of what the tool does when used according to Lee's instructions and recommendations.
according to who?? the internet? you?

pshh
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Old July 9, 2012, 10:07 PM   #39
FrankenMauser
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according to who?? the internet? you?
Please stop trying to drag this thread into the gutter by refusing to read other posters' comments, attempting to provoke hostile responses, and not contributing in any way.

Your responses are in no way part of a "discussion". They are simply hostile statements and questions, seemingly intended to do nothing more than ruin this thread and anger other posters.

Your questions would be answered by doing nothing more than actually reading the previous posts in this thread, or even taking a look at the instructions included with your own Factory Crimp Die. Skimming over the posts and jumping to angry conclusions is not a way to contribute to the discussion. It just derails the thread.


On a separate, but somewhat related subject ... perhaps you neglected to the Forum Rules, when you registered. They outline the purpose of TFL, quite nicely, while explaining what type of behavior is expected.
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Old July 9, 2012, 10:32 PM   #40
Brian Pfleuger
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I think that's quite enough anger all around.

Astonishing, the things we can't discuss without resorting to this nonsense.
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