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Old June 17, 2011, 11:40 AM   #1
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Seating and crimp die

I'm useing Lee's dies and have been useing the FCD to crimp. I would like to skip that 4th step and crimp with the seating die.

It says to adjust bullet to desired depth and turn die in half turn, I guess for the crimp. When you do this it seats the bullet deeper so do you also turn the adjustment for seat depth back out a half ? It seems I could save time if I seat and crimp at the same time.

Can you do this for revolver and auto loads ? I'm going to try with the 38 spl lead rounds to start.
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Old June 17, 2011, 11:48 AM   #2
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Read the instructions again. It is a two step adjustment process. Raise the seating plug and screw the die down on a case until you fell it hitting the top. This is the starting place for the crimp. Next, place a bullet in the case and then adjust the seating stem to give you a little over the correct COL. Lower the case and then screw the die down a little and test the crimp and COL. You will have to make several adjustments to get the correct COL and crimp.
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Old June 17, 2011, 12:12 PM   #3
Don P
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The Lee web site has some good video's on die adjustment
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Old June 17, 2011, 12:36 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Unscrew the die, unscrew the seating stem.

Put a case in the die and raise the ram all the way.

Screw in the die until it touches the case.

Back the die out 1/2 turn.

Lower the ram.

Place a bullet on the case.

Screw in the seating stem some.

Raise the ram.

Measure OAL and adjust seating stem until correct.

Now unscrew seating stem.

Place correct OAL round in press.

Raise ram.

Screw die in until it contacts the case.

Lower ram.

Screw die in 1/4 turn.

Raise ram.

Verify crimp. Adjust until correct crimp is applied.

Now, with die adjusted, cartridge present and ram fully raised into die, adjust seating stem down until it contacts bullet.

You should now have a correct crimp and length.
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Old June 17, 2011, 01:30 PM   #5
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bossman - why do you want to seat & crimp in one step ? Just to eliminate a separate step ? I have found that crimping separately works better for me because the bullet is crimped after it is fully seated, not while it is being seated. Yea, its a separate step for a single stage loader but I find the benefit of better ammo outweighs the additional step, especially for cast lead bullets. Just my opinion.
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Old June 17, 2011, 02:04 PM   #6
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peetzakilla, thanks so much for such a detailed post. I had to read it a few times but the light bulb finally came on.

CherokeeT, I loaded 200 rounds yesterday and my arm is wore out. I'm thinking of doing this as an arm saver . I would just like to try it out and see what the ammo is like.
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Old June 17, 2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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It is true that you're likely to get more consistent ammo if you seat and crimp in separate steps. How much better and whether or not it matters is up to you. I do it both ways, depending on the purpose of the ammo.

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Old June 17, 2011, 05:37 PM   #8
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Cherokeet is right, it is best to seat in one operation and crimp in another. Seating while crimping permits the bullet to move slightly while the die is preforming the crimp. Movement however slight deforms the bullet: not good.

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Old June 17, 2011, 05:49 PM   #9
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Also remember that the crimp die also takes any bell out of the case mouth and makes sure the top third of the case is completely uniform and to spec. This additional step is why I got the breech lock Challenger press; swapping dies out is a breeze.
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Old June 20, 2011, 08:53 PM   #10
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Seating and crimping in one step seems to work best for me on revolver loads with a roll crimp and a fixed COL (because of a crimp groove). Depending on the die, it can work ok for a taper crimp, but I've found seating and crimping .380 in a single step with RCBS dies an exrersize in frustration. Since getting my turret press, crimping and seating in 2 steps is a no brainer, but if you are using a single stage I can absolutely appreciate wanting to combine any steps you can.
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Old June 21, 2011, 12:20 AM   #11
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When it comes to bullet seating & taper crimping for auto pistol ammo, i agree completely with my peers, that it is best to seat the bullet to the depth you desire & then taper crimp in a separate step. Did you notice the majority of reloader's who responded to your question, are all in total agreement with this method ????? Hey, the choice is yours.


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Old June 21, 2011, 08:00 AM   #12
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I also agree with the others, seat and crimp in 2 operations. 200 rds in 1 session would get my arm sore, too! I usually do 50 at a time, gaging and boxing in between. It's a short break. Keeps me from going into the "zombie mode". Big chance for mistakes.
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