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Old February 2, 2013, 11:10 AM   #1
jj320
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Lee factory crimp

Just started using lee factory crimp die. Should you be able to see any indication on brass to indicate how tight the crimp is .
Thanks for the help
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Old February 2, 2013, 11:37 AM   #2
KillThe9Ball
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I'm new to reloading, but I wouldn't think your eye would be able to see it; at least not with a mild tapper crimp.

I'd think the only way to test your neck tension would be a bathroom scale and a caliper... How many pounds of pressure can you apply before the bullet sets back in the case?

Good Luck
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:15 PM   #3
Bart B.
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As the bullet release force is what crimped in bullet need to get "pushed out of the case" you should measure how many pounds of force that takes. Release force is the ammo industry spec for such thing. Build a tool with a bullet puller, shell holder and a bucket of bullets that can be weighed on a scale. There'll be from 1 to several dozen pounds of force needed depending on how tight the case neck's on the bullet as well as the contact area between them and the lubricity between them.

Few, if any, rifle reloads need their bullets crimped in anyway. Doing that adds another variable (release force spread) that hurts accuracy. So, unless you're reloading 500 grain bullets in a .458 Win. Mag. (or other giant behemoth buster cartridge), I'd forget about crimping in your rifle bullets. Lots of handgun bullets need crimped in.
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:24 PM   #4
jj320
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I am loading 444marlin with 330 grn wfn and shooting out of handi rifle so mag tube is not an issue. thank you for the help
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Old February 2, 2013, 12:51 PM   #5
testuser
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If the case mouth is within SAAMI spec, no setback problems, and reliability is good, then I usually won't bother crimping. (Revolver rounds, of course, get a roll crimp.)

I just make a dummy round, cycle it through the weapon, and then measure before and after with calibers. Sometimes, I'll see a 0.001 setback with plated bullets and pistols, which is no big deal. You could also push the nose of the bullet on a workbench to test for tension.

Last edited by testuser; February 2, 2013 at 01:17 PM.
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Old February 2, 2013, 02:36 PM   #6
Lost Sheep
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Thanks for asking our advice.

The Lee FCD for rifle rounds is completely different from the FCD for pistol rounds. Since the 444 Marlin is more like a straight-walled pistol case than the typical bottlenecked rifle case I have to ask which type of FCD you have?

I suspect it is the straight-walled pistol version. If so, please read post #3 from Iowegan in this thread. He gives an excellent treatise on the subjects you brought up.

http://rugerforum.net/reloading/6586...tml#post814465

The Lee Pistol FCD performs two separate functions. Applying a crimp is the primary, of course. Resizing the cartridge as it withdraws from the crimping die is secondary.

The secondary function is controversial. Some hate it for being a crutch that lets sloppy loaders hide their mistakes or that it actually loosens bullet retention. (Both valid points, but seldom on the mark), Some love it for its convenience and uniformity. But I will let the discussion threads speak for themselves.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=509934
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=691050
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB3/vie...?f=11&t=168362

All four of the linked threads, I started to try to clear the air about those controversies. (There have been dozens that talk about the FCD that muddied the waters - do a search for them. Some are hilarious.) I hope these four are helpful.

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Old February 2, 2013, 03:01 PM   #7
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For absolute reliability in semi-auto pistols, the FCD makes sense. The arguments against using it make no sense to me, as the FCD, when used properly, moves one in the direction of perfection which is a good thing. Used improperly it is like most anything else, not so good. These reviews from actual owner/users from Midway USA show why it a essentially 5/5 star perfect rating product and few products are so well liked by user/owners:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/716...cp-45-auto-rim

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/289...nd-w-10mm-auto

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/557...-die-9mm-luger

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/557...-die-9mm-luger

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/217...olt-454-casull
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Old February 2, 2013, 03:34 PM   #8
jj320
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the 444 fcd is a rifle style die with the open top
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Old February 2, 2013, 03:39 PM   #9
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Even the detractors concede the collet style rifle FCD is a very good thing.
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Old February 2, 2013, 05:52 PM   #10
Lost Sheep
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by jj320
Quote:
Originally Posted by post #6
which type of FCD you have?
the 444 fcd is a rifle style die with the open top
Thanks.

However, check Iowegan's post #3 in the thread I posted a link to in my post #6 on this thread anyway. He talks about how to measure crimp strength (even describes the tool he built to measure it objectively).

http://rugerforum.net/reloading/6586...tml#post814465

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Old February 3, 2013, 09:05 AM   #11
steve4102
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Quote:
Should you be able to see any indication on brass to indicate how tight the crimp is .
Yes.

http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=404
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Old February 3, 2013, 11:10 AM   #12
rodfac
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Crimping, if absolutely necessary, in general is destructive to accuracy. That said, I've used it in hand gun loads, to remove the belling necessary to seat a bullet without shaving lead. I use only the amount necessary to remove the bell, and to prevent bullet movement in recoil, no more, and I have 40 yrs of loading notes to prove to my satisfaction that less is better.

In rifle loads, and only with lead alloy bullets, I use it again, to remove the belling necessary as part of the bullet seating operation. I have found that even .44 Magnum rounds, shot from a Marlin 336, require minimal crimping to prevent movement in the tube magazine.

In all of the testing I've done, both bottle neck rifle loads as well as straight wall rifle (.38-55) and pistol loads, a taper crimp gives me better accuracy; and too, I would add, that unless you keep your brass trimmed to the exact same length, a taper crimp will always result in a more uniform neck release force....Bart's comments are right on the mark in that regard.

If your .444 needs the crimp, then use the minimum necessary to prevent the above...in my experience, the amount necessary is barely visible to the naked eye. Remember that lead alloy bullets are deformed by crimping, to a greater or lesser extent. The softer the alloy, the greater the deformation. To prove this yourself, seat a lead alloy bullet, then use an impact bullet puller to remove it, measure before and after and see the difference.

HTH's Rod
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