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Old June 24, 2011, 10:04 PM   #1
EmptyHull
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new to 45acp and question

I am starting to load 45acp tomorrow. I bought the Lee 3 die carbide set but was told I didn't need the 4 die set. I loaded a couple dummy rounds but wonder if my rounds would be better with the Lee FCD? Tim
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:17 PM   #2
joneb
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I have reloaded 45acp with a RCBS 3 die w/a carbide sizer for 20+ years without the need of a FCD.
The FCD is a solution to a problem that should not exist.
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:34 PM   #3
Jim243
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Empty

Welcome to reloading. Is it absolutely necessary, NO. The 45 ACP is a straight wall case and in most cases does not require a crimp. The Lee pistol dies come in a three die set or the Deluxe 4 die set, which as you know has the Factory Crimp Die included. You can load fine ammo with the three die set.

Now having said that, I always buy the Deluxe 4 die sets for pistol, just because you get the FCD for like $5.00 or so which is a lot cheaper than if you had to buy the die seperately. Is the die useful, yes. There are times you may want to use the FCD just to insure that the case is tight to bullet (just a touch of crimp) and is completely formed around and I beleive the term is concenticly even on all sides. This insures that you will get full power from your load and that there is no leakage around the bullet. Most bullets will fit quite snug and is not a worry, UNLESS you are shooting non-jacketed LEAD bullets. (they are less perfect and require a grease ring around them to insure seal.)

I use the FCD on my 45 ACPs for two reasons, 1st is that it is like a second resizing without the decaping pin to insure my rounds have not been flared too much during the powder drop and are back to spec so I will not have a single falure to feed. (mouth of case being just a bit to big for the chamber).

The second use for the die is actually my first reason for using it, I shoot about 100% range pickups. (cases fired from someone else's gun as well as my own). In combination with the Lee Bulge Buster set, I use the FCD to fully resize all cases (removes any case bulges) and puts the case back to factory spec, before resizing and decaping the case. This also insures that the case will fit your chamber 100% of the time.

So do you need it, no, but it is a handy thing to have around.

Good Shooting and stay safe.
Jim

PS: I just read jibjab's post and it reminded me, the 4 die set comes with a carbide resizing die, and I believe the old three die sets did not, so you have to lube the cases. This may have changed since it's been a long time since I have purchased any new die sets.
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Last edited by Jim243; June 24, 2011 at 10:46 PM.
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:48 PM   #4
chris in va
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Nah, you don't need the FCD with 45acp, at least in my experience using them in a Sig and now a G21SF. Now 9mm is a whole other ballgame.

Just set the seating/crimp die to remove the flare from the charging die.
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Old June 25, 2011, 01:09 PM   #5
EmptyHull
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Well I tried it with the Lee 3 die set for 45acp. They headspace great, I hope the cycle in my 1911 ok. I'll prob shoot them tomorrow and see how it goes. The 4th die would have made it easier though....I'm on a single stage Lyman Spartan press. Choot 'em, Tim
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Old June 25, 2011, 01:50 PM   #6
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Since the 60's, target shooters have reported separating seating and crimping operations produces more accurate ammo. The reasons are not entirely clear. Certainly, without keeping them separate and if you have no crimp groove in a bullet you get some shaving because the bullet is still going in deeper while the crimp is formed. The nose of a soft bullet is probably bulged slightly by the conflict. But with a crimp groove I would think the combined seating and crimping would actually result in more consistent seating depth (lubricated lead bullets sometimes pop back up a little before crimping because of the air compressed inside during seating).

In any event, unless you have a match accurized pistol and are shooting near 90% or better on 50 yard conventional pistol targets, you probably won't really notice the accuracy difference. Only experimenting will tell you for sure, though.
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Old June 25, 2011, 01:50 PM   #7
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3 vs 4 die

Not sure what you are loading 45 ACP for, bullseye, steel matches or just plinking, but the three die set will handle probably 99% of your reloading needs, lead, plated, fmj, hp, swc. Stick with published or trusted reload data and you'll be just fine. You'll get varied, but generally honest advice on this forum, and its free. Those of us who remember the 60's remember the old saying, "Free Sex", "You Get What You Pay For".
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Old June 25, 2011, 01:53 PM   #8
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And sometimes you'd get something else along with it that you had to pay the doctor to fix, so you got a net negative value.

I like the idea of having the Carbide FCD option of adding that $15 bulge buster kit. I don't usually load that warm, but sure pick up enough range foundlings for which that needs to be done.
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Old June 25, 2011, 02:32 PM   #9
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What jibjab said.
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Old June 25, 2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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I've had good success with a taper crimp die in .45acp and 9mm but the fcd wasn't around back when I needed a crimp die. I also seat with a separate die on the previous step.
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Old June 25, 2011, 03:00 PM   #11
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Most of the time the "sizing" isn't needed. But I've had chambering issues with cast loads prior to buying mine. So it's cheap insurance from that standpoint. Additionally the ability to quickly adjust your crimp without having to monkey with the setup on the seating die is very convenient, to me anyway.
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