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Old June 2, 2011, 07:15 PM   #1
lasvegastransplant
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Your thoughts about the 380 Lee Loader

Just came in the mail today. I purchased one because I hardly see them for 380.

I have a Lee turret(3 stage) and Lee single stage. I have yet to buy a 380 factory crimp die. This cool little kit comes with a crimp. You have to use a plastic hammer and I think tap on it until crimped. I'm not too sure. Can you over crimp with the crimp from this kit? Can the round get stuck? I KNOW it will take time but that's all I have.

Since I'm lacking the FC Die could I use this crimp from the kit?? I have a set of lee 380 dies. It states that they crimp slightly I think.

TO CRIMP OR NOT TO CRIMP(been asked like a million times on the net)? I have read a bunch but no definite conclusion yet. I lean towards yes but is it necessary with lead?

What are your thoughts? They should make more of these kits for people on budgets or on the move and need to reload. I know they have lee classic loaders but not in 380 anymore. Plus this one comes with a hand priming tool and crimp. Anyone own this exact kit? I plan on using it from time to time just to pass the time.... Thanks
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Old June 2, 2011, 07:21 PM   #2
mikld
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Do the instructions say anything about reversing the round in the main die body for a crimp? I believe you just want to straighten out the flare in the mouth, not an actual crimp...
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Old June 2, 2011, 08:14 PM   #3
lasvegastransplant
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The crimp is in the picture just under the powder scoop.

Right under the scoop in the picture is the crimp that slips over the round. The other side of the crimp is for flaring the case.

Just wondering if anyone has used this kind of crimp and how hard/easy is it to use? I don't have a factory crimp die so I wanted to use this one from the kit meanwhile. Do I even need to crimp with the Lee 3 die set?

Who has used this crimp before? Thanks
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Old June 4, 2011, 10:44 PM   #4
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lasvegastransplant
... I don't have a factory crimp die so I wanted to use this one from the kit meanwhile. Do I even need to crimp with the Lee 3 die set?
You don't need the factory crimp die. .380 ACP is a semi-auto round, it needs a taper crimp, not a roll crimp. The factory crimp die is a sort of "belt-and-suspenders" device, but the third die in the 3-die set also applies a taper crimp as it seats the bullet. Get that die properly adjusted and you're good to go.
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Old June 4, 2011, 10:55 PM   #5
lasvegastransplant
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Lee factory crimp die

So you mean to tell me that the $20 I just spent last night was on the wrong item AND not needed? What exactly does the factory crimp do then? I got the Lee FC Die #90867. What is the one I got for? Let me know so I can try and cancel my order...before they ship MONDAY
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Old June 4, 2011, 11:09 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
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"...hardly see them for 380..." That's because hardly anybody loads .380.
"...needs a taper crimp..." Absolutely. Just like a .45 ACP. Aids feeding.
Throw the scoop away and use a scale. The scoops can varythe powder charge plus or minus a full grain. Mind you, the .380 doesn't use much powder. Max loads are under 5 grains.
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Old June 4, 2011, 11:28 PM   #7
lasvegastransplant
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I have an RCBS 5-10 scale and a Lee Auto Disc

I don't use the scoop. I was just showing off this cool little kit and asking if i could use the crimp from the kit.

I purchased a factory crimp last night. People say no crimp and some say yes....? I will probably only try the Lee Loader once in a blue moon. I purchased it as something to have just in case.

My Lee factory crimp die will be shipped Monday. Should i use it or cancel my order?? I think I should use it.
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Old June 5, 2011, 01:20 AM   #8
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I don't think there's any debate on crimping pistol rounds. A light taper crimp for autos, a roll crimp for revolvers.

Depending on the caliber, the FCD should have the correct crimp type for that round, but you don't need it because your Bullet Seating Die should also apply the correct crimp along with seating if you set it right (my 9mm set does this).

The FCD can also be used to post-size a completed round. I guess it also has a resizing ring, to iron out any bulges that would prevent chambering, but it's regarded as a practice to cover up sloppy reloading.
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Old June 5, 2011, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Throw the scoop away and use a scale. The scoops can varythe powder charge plus or minus a full grain.
-1

The dippers are fine, make sure you calibrate them with a scale before you start using them. If you can't get to within .1 grain consistency on a small handgun load there is something wrong with your technique.
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Old June 6, 2011, 11:18 AM   #10
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Use the scoop in conjunction with your scale. Once you get the hang of using a scoop, very repeatable loads can be easily done. Develope your own style and do the same thing every time and you'll have no problems (you won't have an adjustable measure, but useable). Get the term "crimp" outta yer head. Cartridges that headspace on the case mouth are not crimped. The crimping die just straightens out any flare in the mouth of he case allowing the cartridge to seat fully on the mouth. My 45ACP die set does not have a "crimp" die; I use the de-flaring tool". BTW; I have I single stage and a turret press and mebbe a dozen die sets and several Lee Loader sets just because...
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Old June 6, 2011, 07:48 PM   #11
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My thought is I want one and where do I find it

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Old June 6, 2011, 10:30 PM   #12
lasvegastransplant
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Ebay and have only seen 2 total ever listed.

I have looked many times and finally found one I wanted to buy. This one has the hand priming tool. I have seen a Lee Classic Loader in 380 also. It's a little different. These in 380 are pretty hard to find. I would buy another if I found one.

"AND"... Anyone that shoots more than usual should start reloading. After a little math I will be paying under $13 per 100(still high). That's half price for my own reloads. Eventually I will like to pay near nothing for a good day out with the Family. Ammo is way too expensive in my opinion. SO....I'm just guessing(I'm new to reloading) but I would say A LOT of people reload 380.

I'm very pleased with my little kit. I have not tried to use it completely yet but will some day. I'm actually thinking about collecting them.
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Old June 7, 2011, 06:30 AM   #13
Qtiphky
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Have a turret

I have a turret press and load for my 380 as well. Saves a huge amount of money as the 380 has become very popular and loaded ammunition is way too expensive. The only problem I have is that my Walther launches the empties into the next county and sometimes my sheet doesn't catch all of 'em.
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Old June 7, 2011, 08:08 PM   #14
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U think ur gun is bad try a lcp, they go every way but the next county. I can shoot a box and find usually about 1/2 to 3/4

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