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Old May 4, 2011, 12:07 AM   #1
Bill Akins
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Question on reloading die interchangability of press threads.

I have a Lyman "Spar T" turret top reloading press I bought back in the early '80's along with the scale, powder thrower and various other reloading accessories. I have Lyman dies for it and I also have RCBS dies whose threads also thread just fine into the Lyman turret top also. One caliber of reloading dies I don't have is the .45 Colt which I need to get after purchasing my .45 Colt Uberti cattleman Hombres recently.

Right now Cabellas has a sale on their Lee carbide 3 die pistol caliber die sets for $25.00 I like the carbide dies because I don't have to lube the cartridges for resizing. So I'm about ready to order a set of the Lee .45 Colt dies from Cabellas.

Since the threads on my RCBS dies fit into the threads of my Lyman turret top, I'm hoping the Lee die threads will do the same....but am not completely sure and am unsure what threads my Lyman and RCBS dies are.
Does anyone here know offhand if the Lee dies will fit my Lyman turret top threads?



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Old May 4, 2011, 07:37 AM   #2
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I don't have any Lyman equipment but I use a Lee press and have a couple of RCBS dies. The main gripe I see about Lee dies is they don't have a set screw for the lock ring. It's held in place by an o ring but i actually prefer it over the set screw.
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Old May 4, 2011, 08:13 AM   #3
wogpotter
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As far as I've been able to determine from the Lyman manuals the Spar-T & dies are all 7/8X14 thread pitch & interchangeable.
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Old May 4, 2011, 09:47 AM   #4
Hardcase
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The Lee dies will work on the Spar T press.
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Old May 4, 2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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That's good news. Thanks fellas.


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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg Haggen
The main gripe I see about Lee dies is they don't have a set screw for the lock ring. It's held in place by an o ring but i actually prefer it over the set screw.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:39 AM   #7
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Whacha smokin today Clem? I didn't ask for anything. I said I prefer the o ring to the set screw.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:42 AM   #8
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Smokin' Goex...ain't cha?
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:48 AM   #9
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I wish. I can't even get Goex. I'm stuck with Pyrodex. Actually kinda like the stuff tho since I've been using it so long.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
I said I prefer the o ring to the set screw.
I just haven't been able to trust that they haven't moved on me. I bought some locking rings (the kind where the set screw doesn't hurt the threads on the dies) to replace the o rings on all my Lee dies, only to find out that they won't fit on my turret without interfering with their neighboring dies.... So, I continue with the O-rings.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:57 AM   #11
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They won't move. You can even take them off and put them back on and they'll stay set.
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Old May 4, 2011, 12:13 PM   #12
Bill Akins
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I think the Lee carbide dies for $25.00 from Cabellas will be fine and you can't beat the price for a set of carbide dies. Now that I know they will interchange with my lyman spar T press turret top I don't worry about them moving due to the O ring because I'll just be using them for one reloading session at a time and then a quick lube spraydown to retard rust and back in the die box they go until the next reloading session. Even if they did move and I had to readjust them every time I took them in and out of the turret top, I don't mind. A minute or two of extra setup never bothers me because once I get three dies set in my turret top, with my powder thrower in the fourth hole (of six), I can do all reloading operations without taking any dies out by just rotating my turret top to the next die or powder thrower position. I like that. Really speeds up the whole reloading process. Better than having to screw and unscrew a separate die for each step of the reloading operation in a single die holding press. A friend of mine bought a single die holding RCBS press and after seeing my Lyman in action was sorry he didn't get a turret top.
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Old May 4, 2011, 12:20 PM   #13
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I used to just measure the distance from the bottom of the Lee dies to the bottom of the locking nut with my calipers, but after half a dozen or so times, the number never changed, so I stopped and trusted the O-ring.

I use a turret press now, so I have a base for every caliber. No more worries.
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Old May 4, 2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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Bill, you said you're looking at the 3 die set. Years ago I bought the 45lc Lee Deluxe 4 die set from Cabelas (the deluxe set is carbide also). I like to seat and crimp in two steps and the 4 die set has the factory crimp die in it. The 4 die set is on sale also, and for the 11 or 12 bucks more you are getting a crimp die.
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Last edited by noelf2; May 4, 2011 at 01:17 PM.
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Old May 4, 2011, 01:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Years ago I bought the 45lc 4 carbide die set from Cabelas. I like to seat and crimp in two steps and the 4 die set has the factory crimp die in it.
I also use the factory crimp die for roll crimps because it makes the process so much easier than having to adjust for both seating depth and crimp. It gets two really big thumbs up from me.

Maybe setting up a regular seating/crimp die is supposed to be an easy process, but for some reason, it's an ordeal for me.
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Old May 5, 2011, 12:36 AM   #16
Bill Akins
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Quote:
Noelf2 wrote:
Bill, you said you're looking at the 3 die set. Years ago I bought the 45lc Lee Deluxe 4 die set from Cabelas (the deluxe set is carbide also). I like to seat and crimp in two steps and the 4 die set has the factory crimp die in it. The 4 die set is on sale also, and for the 11 or 12 bucks more you are getting a crimp die.
and....

Quote:
Hardcase wrote:
I also use the factory crimp die for roll crimps because it makes the process so much easier than having to adjust for both seating depth and crimp. It gets two really big thumbs up from me.
Noelf2 and Hardcase thanks for that info and advice, as always I appreciate your helpfulness, but I have several questions for both of you.

All my revolver die sets are three. First I decap the cartridge and and resize the case with one operation using one die. The next die bells the case mouth so the bullet goes in more easily. The third die seats the bullet and crimps it according to how deep I set the bullet depth and how more or less I set the crimp to crimp. If the bullet isn't seated as deeply as I'd like, I simply screw the seating shaft of the seating die down a little bit more. I've found that on setting the depth for the first bullet I reload, even after the bullet is already crimped, naturally that crimping slightly decreases the length of the case and on occasion I've found my bullet needed to be seating just a teeny tiny bit deeper, and I didn't realize it until I had already crimped it. I set the crimp to be very moderate at first just so if I need to seat the bullet a teeny bit deeper, the crimp is not hard to overcome for seating the bullet deeper. Then once I get it to the depth I want it, I increase the crimp and I'm ready to go for the rest of my cases.

True, to increase the crimp it requires the case to go up higher into the die and that will also seat the bullet deeper. So if I need more crimp I have to back off just a bit on the seating shaft. So I do my seating and crimping adjustments in small increments until everything is set just right.
After that everything just becomes repetitive motion and I get "into the groove" of manual reloading. It takes very little time and has never been a problem for me to get both the seating and crimping adjusted for the one die.


So my question is....besides the negative (for me) aspect of a fourth die taking up unnecessary space on my press's six position turret as well as comprising making me turn the turret to another fourth position that I never previously had to use before, as well as requiring an extra movement of the press lever arm over what I currently do.....what exactly is the advantage of having one third die that only seats and a fourth die that only crimps when I can do both procedures in one operation with just one die and have no problem setting up my single die that does both operations of seating and crimping?

I completely understand what you both said Noelf2 and Hardcase, but I just don't see the advantage to an extra die when I've been using three to load my revolver ammo for years. Am I overlooking something perhaps neither of you mentioned that would give me more of an advantage by having four dies instead of the usual three I've always used other than it separates the functions of seating and crimping from one operation to two separate operations requiring an extra turn of the turret and an extra movement of the press lever arm?


Also is there some difference between what you are calling "factory roll crimp" from the regular crimp I've always used in my single seating and crimping dies?





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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; May 5, 2011 at 01:02 AM.
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Old May 5, 2011, 06:47 AM   #17
Hawg
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I have a factory crimp die for my 44-40. It doesn't look anything like a factory crimp. It looks like a taper crimp with four extruded dimples in it. I prefer a taper crimp anyway so I don't use it. It's easier to just use the seat/crimp die for both operations.
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Old May 5, 2011, 09:58 AM   #18
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I almost thought that the Black Powder Forum would be immune from the dreaded FCD thread, but I guess there is no safe haven.

Bill,

You'll do fine with the 3-die set. Especially since that's what you're used to using. I've got a 4-die 45 Colt set and the FCD is FREE TO A GOOD HOME for anybody who wants to pay the shipping to get it (not worth it in my opinion though).

I think you'll be very happy with the Lee dies.
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Old May 5, 2011, 10:52 AM   #19
Hardcase
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The only reason that I use the factory crimp die is because I hate fiddling with the seat/crimp die to get everything to match up. It's just a matter of convenience to me - if Lee had never made one, I'd still be happily reloading without it.

As far as I can tell, there's no difference between the crimp that the FCD gives you and the other one. And I think that you bring up a valid point, particularly with your press, about having to advance the turret, then pull the arm. My turret automatically indexes, so it isn't such a big deal for me.

The extra step doesn't bother me, but Foto Joe is right that your three die set will do you just fine.
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Old May 5, 2011, 11:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
True, to increase the crimp it requires the case to go up higher into the die and that will also seat the bullet deeper. So if I need more crimp I have to back off just a bit on the seating shaft. So I do my seating and crimping adjustments in small increments until everything is set just right.
I think you've already answered your question about why I like to separate the seating and crimping. Once I set the seating depth, I can forget it. Then I can set the crimp without affecting seating depth. Just my preference, and I don't find that pulling the handle once more is hurting me much, actually, I can use the excercise...
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Old May 5, 2011, 12:48 PM   #21
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Not to beat the dead horse.......


I use the FCD also in the same manner as Hardcase and noelf.....I really like not having to fiddle with trying to get both things tweaked using the same die.

BUT....I'm loading .38 special really long in order that .38's run effectively through my level action '92 for SASS. I'm seating the bullet only at 1.50 OAL (which has been discussed ad nauseum here, so I won't go there again). Because I'm not crimping in the crimp groove, I like the FCD because I can really crimp hard in a separate step to get it to "bite" (for lack of a better term) into the side of the lead bullet.

Could I load without the FCD? Sure, but I find for my particular application, it makes things easier.
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Old May 5, 2011, 02:39 PM   #22
Bill Akins
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Thanks for all the helpful info guys. Just a couple more questions.

When the term "factory crimp" is used, does that refer to the close together multiple little teeny vertical crimp lines that go around the crimp line of the case mouth seen on some factory loaded rounds? That of course looks different from the smooth, lineless taper crimp I've always used when reloading. And if those multiple little vertical crimp lines around the case mouth is what is known as a "factory crimp"....do any of you see an advantage to that kind of multiple line crimp over a lineless taper crimp?

Or (as I am thinking in theory) compared to a smooth uniform taper crimp, would that extra multiple line crimp incur extra molecule compression stress upon the metal of the case mouth making the case mouth edge brittle quicker and either need annealing or trimming sooner after several reloads?



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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; May 6, 2011 at 03:12 AM.
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Old May 6, 2011, 09:50 AM   #23
Foto Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Akins
When the term "factory crimp" is used, does that refer to the close together multiple little teeny vertical crimp lines that go around the crimp line of the case mouth seen on some factory loaded rounds?
It's my understanding from reading too many FCD threads on THR's handloading section that the FCD is a taper crimp only. The teeny lines won't be caused by an FCD, at least the not the one made by Lee.
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Old May 6, 2011, 10:23 AM   #24
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Mine just leaves four extruded bumps. They're very hard to see and it doesn't seem to matter how far you turn the die down the crimp won't get any tighter.
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Old May 9, 2011, 11:12 PM   #25
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Quote:
I don't have any Lyman equipment but I use a Lee press and have a couple of RCBS dies. The main gripe I see about Lee dies is they don't have a set screw for the lock ring. It's held in place by an o ring but i actually prefer it over the set screw.
I really like the Hornady split clamp type rings. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=391359

They never move and I don't have to worry about a little lead pellet falling out so that the set screw damages the threads.
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