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Old August 21, 2005, 07:09 AM   #26
HSMITH
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If you are bulging cases and the FCD is taking them out something is wrong in the loading process.
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Old August 21, 2005, 11:12 AM   #27
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HSmith,
I'm not sure, but I think he may mean that he was getting "bulged" cases when trying to crimp with the bullet seating die. I have had the same problem - the darn thing is devilish to adjust for crimping. Just a hair too much...and the case is damaged (at least with my die). I have ruined several cases, while trying to create a light crimp while seating the bullets. So, I crimp as a separate operation...using the Lee FCD also. Works well.
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Old August 21, 2005, 04:00 PM   #28
tenn_man75
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I done the same thing this weekend. Trying to load .40 S&W. The seating crimp die just isn't ajustable enough to do both at the same time. Well I guess if your good you might be able to but I bought the LFC die for mine and love it a lot more. Gives a better and tighter crimp if you need it.
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Old August 22, 2005, 07:38 AM   #29
HSMITH
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Guys, set your seating depth first, screw the seater way down and the die up where the crimp is no where near the case. Set your OAL to where you want it this way. Now, back the seater way out and set your crimp by turning the die body down. On an auto round just take the bell out of the case, any more than that and you can reduce case tension and increase the chances of setback. On a Revolver round just roll crimp it slightly for light loads and heavier only if needed. Lock the die body with the locknut. Now, with a properly crimped round of the right OAL raise the round fully into the die, screw the seater down firmly in contact with the bullet top and lock it down. Load your next round seating and crimping in one operation, your OAL will be within a couple thousandths and you won't bulge the case unless you went crazy on the crimp in the setup operation.

The FCD will take out bulges in cases, but something is wrong if it is. Used that way it is a bandaid fix to a problem that could be serious. Don't use bandaids when dealing with controlled explosions!!!!

The FCD when used to crimp in a 4th step works fine, if the sizing ring is doing anything you need to find the cause.
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Old August 22, 2005, 08:18 AM   #30
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HSMITH
What I meant was I was originally having trouble with the normal die that seats and crimps at the same time.Olaf is right when he says the thing is a pain in the butt to get just right.And its not just about the Lee fc die I simply had heard good things about it and I thought it might be a good tool is all.Believe me I trim every case and no matter what like Olaf said a little either way and you get a funky looking crimp.After reading some of the guys good experiance with the fcd I decided to buy one and try it and by seating and crimping in two steps I have found it to be a better way is all.And the thing is so easy to use.The adjustment is so simple and once you do it it stays.

Last edited by RERICK; August 22, 2005 at 02:11 PM.
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Old August 22, 2005, 08:30 AM   #31
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HSmith,
Thanks for the information. You obviously have the routine with the standard seater die down to a science. However, it is complicated to get it set up properly (as your description of the procedure proves). Being that I like things simple...I will likely continue to crimp as a separate operation, with the FC die. Thanks though...I have added your description of the setup to my handloading notes, for future reference.
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Old August 22, 2005, 01:54 PM   #32
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Olaf,

About 30 years ago I gave up reloading Remington .45 ACP brass because it had thin necks that work harderned after only a couple of reloads, then would spring back so far a new bullet could be pushed in under finger pressure. I don't know if this is true of current production or of other chamberings, but my point is you can't really tell by number of reloadings alone what the condition of your brass is? Try getting a few rounds in different brands and see if this makes a difference to your loads?

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Old August 22, 2005, 02:15 PM   #33
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Unclenick,
Thanks, Uncle, (sorry, I couldn't resist)...that's a good idea. I hadn't thought of that. I have been using Remington brass...and I have a few Igman cases, reused from some commercial ammo. I will try some Winchester brass....and see if this makes a difference.

Thanks again.
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Old August 22, 2005, 04:16 PM   #34
tenn_man75
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HSMITH,

I am glad that someone can do the seating and crimping at the same time. I tried and wasn't able to. I am like the others It just seems a lot more simple to use the Crimper die if you have it. I like it simple too. But thanks for the info. I might one day try what you are saying and like it better. But for now its working pretty good.
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Old August 22, 2005, 07:33 PM   #35
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OK guys. Glad you found the info usefull. I must have 'the touch' or something. It takes me about a minute to a minute and a half to set a die to crimp and seat for normal loading. If I am doing some real barnburner revolver ammo and need a super hard crimp it might take 2 or 3 minutes, and I have bulged a case doing it before but only a couple.

It just makes me nervous that a lot of times the FCD is recommended to cover up loading mistakes rather than trying to get to the bottom of the problem. I'm not saying anyone on this thread is doing so, but I think it is important to point out especially with new reloaders using the search function all the time.
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Old August 22, 2005, 08:07 PM   #36
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I've never had any particular problem with the traditional method, either (not counting my issue with the old Remington .45 ACP brass with the extra-thin springy necks). Of course, I've mostly loaded cast or swaged bullets for bulls eye shooting, and almost any crimp will work in soft bullets since over-crimping just makes its own crimp groove a bit deeper.

Back when the taper crimp was a new idea, I bought a separate .45 ACP taper crimp die and added it to a spare position on my ancient Lyman Spar-T turret press. The extra step paid off in brass life. I shot Winchester almost exclusively then, and would get around 50 reloads of softball per case with it (3.8 grains of Bullseye behind a 200 grain cast SWC). I also figured out back then that headspacing off the bullet rather than the case mouth cut sandbag groups of that cast bullet load in half; down from 2½" to 1¼" at 25 yards from my fit-up Goldcup.

The headspace trick is valuable. It had long been known among target shooters that mil-spec match ammo shot better than most commercial match ammo with the same bullet style and weight. This despite the fact Lake City brass was famous for its off-center flashholes and uninspiring case neck concentricity. After all the pundits had noodled it around for awhile, the consensus was that the pitch used to seal the bullet in the case would stick the bullet just enough more firmly than conventional seating that more consistent (and a bit higher) start pressure was achieved. (This is the factor I suppose the LFC dies improve upon, though the match bullet makers don't like what the rifle version does to the shape of their bullets and I've never heard of match shooters adopting LFCs in any great numbers. The difference may be that the match shooters are already tuning their ammo to the point start pressure variation isn't an issue for them. I know mine run very low velocity SD's on the chronograph.) In the case of headspacing on the pistol bullet, having it touch the lands increases start pressure and assures the bullet is already lined up on the throat of the 1911 barrel for better concentricity.

The other thing the bullet headspacing does is get around the fact the .45 ACP cases actually shorten about ½ a thousandth with each reloading of those low pressure loads. They generate nowhere near enough pressure to stick the brass to the chamber wall. Trying to headspace off shortening cases makes for an interesting headache. Especially if you don't segregate your brass by reload count, and I was shooting way too many range foundlings back then to do good segregation.

Hope this is useful.

Nick
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Old August 22, 2005, 08:25 PM   #37
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I wasn't trying to be ugly or nothing.. I just found it safer for me to use it cause I kept on buckling the cases and I spent an Hour trying to get the bullet to crimp enough. It kept on moving on me when I loaded the shell into the chamber from the climp. It was move from 15 to 20 thousandth on me and You all told me that was a big no no. So I had to find a way to fix it and that was my only source of getting it fixed safely. Yes HSMITH I wish You could show me what I was doing wrong I really do. I would love to find out the reason I was doing it. For someone who has done it for years it would be easy to set right. I just started loading so I am thinking of what is easier for me to learn on my own and for my own saftey I thought it to be best to buy the FDC than to blow my hand off. I like all my fingers where they are at. I wish I had someone that has done reloading pistols for years to sit down with me and show me. But I am having to learn from yall and books.
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Old August 23, 2005, 07:09 PM   #38
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Smith's points are valid. If there's a bulge, then something's wrong. But, then, that's sort of a no-brainer, isn't it? There's obviously something systemically wrong if you're consistently dealing with bulged cases, and, per Herr Smith, you need to find out what you're doing wrong.

As Dillon recommends and millions of reloaders have found out, seating and crimping in separate stages works really well. I choose to use the FCD, not so much for the carbide sizing ring, because I RARELY feel it doing anything, but because I seat and crimp in separate stages, and I like the crimping method and results with the FCD.

Sometimes, we mere mortals err and start a bullet a little "off", resulting in a slight bulge. The FCD will fix that bulge, but the fact that one bulges one-in-a-thousand or so rounds doesn't mean that one's entire reloading regimen should be set up based on that one-in-a-thousand aberration.
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Old August 24, 2005, 02:30 PM   #39
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After years of crimp issues with various brass most of all military I used the Lee factory crimp and find it foolproof and very forgiving. I had problems with neck tension and even after trimming and checking case neck thickness I still had some loose bullets. The lee has solved my problems and it is all I use. I had a set of Hornady dies for 308 Win. that NEVER properly set enough crimp, too little or wrinkled necks, even with brand new resized brass! Caution though, do read the directions and do not over adjust the crimp die as it can damage the die.
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