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Old December 16, 2011, 11:15 PM   #1
C7AR15
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Lee Factory crimp die

A friend has started using a Lee FCD and Oh boy has been crimping them!!
The case at top of his .223 ammo is rolled over and squashed in to the bullet.
The instructions state that you can form your own cannelure into the bullet!??
What do you guys think or what has your experience with this Die been ??

Thanks JD
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Old December 16, 2011, 11:21 PM   #2
Ideal Tool
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Hello, C7AR15. Sure..you can form a cannelure... where one wasn't before, size em' smaller..do any thing you want in the way of bullet deformation...Now to expect accuracy after such doings..well, thats something else.
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Old December 16, 2011, 11:30 PM   #3
JerryM
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I like the Lee FCD for straight wall pistol cartridges, but would not want one for any rifle.

Jerry
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Old December 17, 2011, 04:08 AM   #4
chris in va
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I'll have to dig, but a gentleman on here posted his findings with FCD and non with 223. The FCD made a marked improvement in accuracy and velocity consistency.
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Old December 17, 2011, 04:22 AM   #5
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Yes you can find alot of stuff on here that others state and half is legit and half is bull too. After you learn you'll be able to discipher.
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Old December 17, 2011, 06:37 AM   #6
jimkim
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The only way to know if you're getting better accuracy is to try it. That said, I use a FCD with some of my ammo, but only if the bullet has a cannelure. I don't see where it would be necessary with a 223. If he wants a tighter(more neck tension) hold on the bullet, tell him to reduce the diameter of the sizing ball.
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Old December 17, 2011, 07:26 AM   #7
Civil War Life
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I use a light crimp on all my ammo, 223, 30-06, 8mm, 9mm, 38 special and 45 acp with a FCD. This is just for consistency. Don't know how much it affects accuracy yet. Thinking of getting a crono though and may make some comparisons. May not be necessary for some guns but so far I like it a lot better than the taper crimp with the seating die.
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Old December 17, 2011, 08:53 AM   #8
Slamfire
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It is easy, if not inevitable, to over crimp rifle bullets with the Lee Factory Crimp die.

I tried one, followed the instructions, pulled the bullets later, and found all my match bullets had been swaged, to a lesser extent, than the picture of these 6.5 SMK's that went through a Lee Factory Crimp die.

I have been squadded with the world's best shooters. A couple of my Bud's are current F class National champions. No one, and I mean no one, crimps their match bullets. If there was the slightest, tiniest tiny accuracy improvement with a crimp die, everyone would be doing it.

Upon further reflection, we have the finest bullets ever in human history, The match bullets we have are the most concentric, most even jackets, best weight consistency, and yet, some think that they can improve the accuracy of these bullets by swaging them in the middle.

This sort of thinking shows how advertizing can make people stupid.

The only reasons I can see to crimp is for tubular magazines or elephant guns where recoil will push the bullet in the case. These are short range firearms and don't need to be tack drivers. One other reason is if you are using a Vulcan multibarrel cannon. The ramming speed of the cartridges is such that the bullets need to be crimped or they will pop out of the cartridge. These bullets are also secured with tar.

So, elephant guns, lever actions, chain guns may need crimping. If you don't have one of these centerfire rifles, than crimping is not needed.


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Last edited by Slamfire; December 17, 2011 at 09:16 AM.
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Old December 17, 2011, 09:38 AM   #9
mehavey
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Quote:
So, elephant guns, lever actions, chain guns may need crimping.
If you don't have one of these..., than crimping is not needed.
+1

(Actually,... megadittos)

.
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Old December 17, 2011, 10:05 AM   #10
steve4102
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I use the Lee Factory Crimp die for all of my auto-loaders. It helps keep the bullet secure during he violent cycling of the action and increases accuracy. Like any other tool or devise the LFCD can be misused. If your friend is over crimping the like photos above he should back the die out a bit to apply a nice firm medium crimp, no need to over do it.

Here is an accuracy test with the LFCD vs No Crimp. Note the increase in accuracy.
http://www.accuratereloading.com/crimping.html

Here is one of my AR-15 5.56 test targets. Same load same day same same, except for the LFCD. The target on the left is no crimp the target on the right is a medium crimp. Not a bullet smashing crimp like the photo above. I tested several bullet/powder combos with and without a crimp and the results were pretty much the same. This is only one example of many hours of testing.
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Old December 17, 2011, 10:54 AM   #11
wncchester
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"A friend has started using a Lee FCD and Oh boy has been crimping them!!"

Interesting thing reloading is most of it's adjustable and that includes the crimp, so don't blame the tool if the crimped bullets look like those in Slamfire's excellant photo showing abusive levels of crimping. Many of us consider Lee's FCD dies to the very best available but they aren't fool proof. (Not much is! )

Last edited by wncchester; December 17, 2011 at 10:59 AM.
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Old December 17, 2011, 10:56 AM   #12
Jim243
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I agree with Steve, a light to medium crimp will give better results on 223. Most of mine are for AR's and the crimp insures that the bullet is held tightly in the case to avoid bullet set back and to insure that the case is uniformly seated on all sides of the mouth on the case.

This also gives the powder time to fully burn and develop max pressure before sending the bullet down the barrel.

I have found no accuracy problems by lightly crimping all my rounds, just don't over do it.

Jim
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Old December 17, 2011, 11:24 AM   #13
jaguarxk120
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I go with what Slamfire has said. It (FCD) is not needed.

One last thought, everyone that has gotten smaller group's with the FCD all shots were fired from a machine rest, right.

Or perhaps shooters used a universal reciever thats solidly mounted to a concrete bench, right!
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Old December 17, 2011, 01:19 PM   #14
Mike38
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Since pictures of crimped vs. non crimped results showed up, I figured I’ll post mine. Same load, same everything, back to back groups, ten rounds in ten minutes. First target is non crimped. Second target is crimped medium with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. .223 at 100 yards, 5 shots. First target (non crimped) measures 1 1/8 inch. Second target (crimped) measures 11/16 inch. These are typical results for me. I know the second target looks like four shots, but it’s five. If you look real close, there is a double in the lower left hole. The Lee Factory Crimp Die works for me!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Nocrimp.jpg (82.6 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg Crimped.jpg (81.7 KB, 118 views)
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Old December 17, 2011, 03:42 PM   #15
80viking
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A Lee Factory Crimp Die can improve a load that is not very good to begin with, but will only degrade your fine tuned super accuate favorite hand load.
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Old December 17, 2011, 11:45 PM   #16
steve4102
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Quote:
A Lee Factory Crimp Die can improve a load that is not very good to begin with, but will only degrade your fine tuned super accuate favorite hand load.
And you base this on what? Actual tests, speculation, opinion, What?
You might want to take a look at these actual test results again.

http://www.accuratereloading.com/crimping.html

I don't know about you, but I would say that a load that shoots to .377 would be a "super accurate" load. Note that the LFCD did not degrade this "super accurate" load, in fact the crimped load measured .374.

Last edited by steve4102; December 18, 2011 at 12:00 AM.
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Old December 17, 2011, 11:51 PM   #17
Civil War Life
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This sort of thinking shows how advertizing can make people stupid.
Just because someone uses a product and is satisfied with it does not make them stupid, but rhetoric like yours makes you a JERK. To each his own. I don't shoot super duper match events with the greatest shooters ever known. If I did, I probably wouldn't use the FCD. I dare say match shooters in that league don't use Lee reloading equipment. Maybe they do. I don't now. I am however offended when someone suggests that I or anyone on this forum is stupid because they use this or that product. The images you posted show bullets grossly over crimped. My opinion.
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Old December 17, 2011, 11:59 PM   #18
steve4102
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One last thought, everyone that has gotten smaller group's with the FCD all shots were fired from a machine rest, right.
Let me ask you something. Would you make a ridiculous comment like this if this discussion was about testing different powders, bullets or primers for accuracy?
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Old December 18, 2011, 12:03 AM   #19
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Here is another target using the LFCD. This is 20 rounds fired from a Ruger Mini-30 at 100 yards. Note the lack of fliers that the Ruger Mini is notorious for.
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Old December 18, 2011, 09:49 AM   #20
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It's far from ridiculous when the supporters of the "FCD" act as if the thing is the Holy Grail of reloading.

Plus if the thing is sooo good how come there are posts about "just have to polish these parts" to get it to work. Or out of the box tools have to be sent back for adjustment? There's a "two year warrenty" on the tools??

Last edited by jaguarxk120; December 18, 2011 at 10:37 AM.
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Old December 18, 2011, 09:56 AM   #21
michaelcj
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I use the FCD with both my .22 hornet and 30WCF. Like any die you have to adjust it to work properly. Have had no problems and it has improved the accuracy [groups] with the hornet in particular. I adjust for a light crimp.

Mike J
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Old December 18, 2011, 11:08 AM   #22
steve4102
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Quote:
Plus if the thing is sooo good how come there are posts about "just have to polish these parts" to get it to work. Or out of the box tools have to be sent back for adjustment? There's a "two year warrenty" on the tools??
Another comment that has absolutely nothing to do with whether the LFCD improves accuracy or not. Nobody claimed it was the holy grail of handloading. My experience with the LFCD is positive and it does what Lee claims, helps secure the bullet and improves accuracy. What's your experience with it?
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Old December 18, 2011, 11:51 AM   #23
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It's far from ridiculous when the supporters of the "FCD" act as if the thing is the Holy Grail of reloading.
I must be reading a different thread than you. From what I have read the people that have used a FCD are showing pictures to prove they had better results. They didn't say everybody had to use it they are just showing it worked for them. The people that haven't used a FCD and don't have pictures to prove it didn't work are going out of their way to say it doesn't work and nobody needs to use it, probably just because it's Lee.
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Old December 18, 2011, 11:59 AM   #24
jaguarxk120
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Afetr looking at that equipment, I just can't bring myself to throw my money away on that stuff.

Through the years I have made good purchase's in equipment and now the only thing I will buy is Redding maybe RCBS.
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Old December 18, 2011, 12:26 PM   #25
tahoe2
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I have used Lee Factory Crimp Dies for years, and I believe they
have significantly improved my groups across the board.
A nice medium to heavy crimp (in the cannelure when possible) for
my Remington 7400 in .280 Rem. A lighter crimp for my model "99"
in .300 Savage(short neck) and a medium/light crimp for my mausers a M48,
M24/47, and two M93's, my K98 prefers a little bit heavier crimp, my
Marlin 375 in .375 winchester also prefers a med/hvy crimp.
it took a lot of shooting to establish this; but it was worth it.
I do not use it on pistol or revolver ammo (taper crimp on pistols,
and a heavy roll on magnum revolvers).
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