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Old May 26, 2012, 07:08 AM   #1
daddySEAL
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Factory crimp die needed for revolver ammo?

I've heard that it is important with semi-auto ammo reloading.
But is it needed for reloading revolver rounds?
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Old May 26, 2012, 07:18 AM   #2
m&p45acp10+1
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While not a necessity they are nice to have. I like to seat, and then crimp in seperate steps. I use the seating die to seat, and then to remove the flare. Then use the FCD to lightly crimp the rounds. So far it has worked well.

Note you can seat, and crimp in the same step with good results. I do it with my .41 Mag rounds with good results.
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Old May 26, 2012, 08:24 AM   #3
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"Nice to have" enough to spend the extra money on a FCD, plus shipping, in a 4 die set when you have a very low budget....and have other caliber die sets that you want to get, friend m&p45acp10+1 ?
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Old May 26, 2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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A decent crimp on revolver rounds is critical for ball powders, less so for faster/flake propellants. I crimp as a matter of course for 38.357, 45Colt, and the 44s.

I roll-crimp in a separate operation from seating for revolvers -- and only into a deliberate crimp groove already in the bullet.

With jacketed I'll crimp and additional 1/3 turn from first case mouth contact.
For Lead I'll crimp a full 1/2+ turn
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Old May 26, 2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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I use a factory crimp die with hot loads in an S&W 25-2 revolver with 45 auto rim brass. Factory crimp is for 230 gr FMJ seated at 1.4" OAL, so they do not yank out with recoil.

I should really get an extra 45 Colt seater die and grind some material off the bottom so I can roll crimp.
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Old May 26, 2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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No, an FCD is not needed at all. For revolvers I use a Lyman 'M' expander die and a Redding profile crimp die with great results.

If you seat your bullets straight the first time and use a proper crimp, there's no need for an FCD die in any caliber.
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Old May 26, 2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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The Lee Factory Crim Die is a solution looking for a problem. Personally, I believe the FCD just fixes sloppy reloading techniques. There, I said it!

I reloaded mebbe 20 years, off and on, before I tried an FCD. I tried one for my .44 Magnum, being my favorite round, I thought I may be missing something. Nope, found out FCD did more damage than good to my ammo (swaged down my carefully sized .432" bullets to .430"). Then I thought about my .45 ACP reloads. Nope, all my ammo chambers without "post bullet seating sizing", as did the millions of reloads put together before Lee came out with their FCD. Not Lee bashing, just believe properly adjusted dies will make the use of an FCD unnecesary. A good roll crimp die for revolvers and a good taper crimp die for semi-autos is all that's needed. If your ammo doesn't chamber, find out why.
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Old May 26, 2012, 04:29 PM   #8
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I have never crimped any loads that headspace on the case mouth (.32acp, 9mm, and .45acp). My magnum revolver loads get crimped to keep the bullets in place during recoil. I only use a FCD on my 25-20WCF loads, as the necks will tend to crumple unless crimping is done after bullet seating.
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Old May 26, 2012, 07:21 PM   #9
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"Factory crimp die needed for revolver ammo? "

"Needed" is a strong word. If a FCD is needed at all depends mostly on your specific dies, chamber and bullets. And somewhat on your crinping methods. We can't honestly tell you what will be needed by anyone but ourselves, and that only by experience.
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:05 AM   #10
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The FCD does ok on my 44s once I popped out that silly sizer ring with a punch.
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark
I should really get an extra 45 Colt seater die and grind some material off the bottom so I can roll crimp.
I wonder if you could just get the .45Colt crimp sleeve to drop in in your .45acp die?

http://leeprecision.com/crimp-sleeve-45-colt.html

As far as the OP's question, no, you do not need a FCD for anything. I like using them to crimp in a separate step. The carbide siizing ring doesn't bother any of my loads.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:23 AM   #12
mehavey
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Quote:
I should really get an extra 45 Colt seater die and grind some material off the bottom so I can roll crimp.
Just get this:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/169...-45-acp-45-gap
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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I haven't reloaded for my old Mod 29 Smith in several years. When I did reload for it, I roll-crimped into a cannelure.

I do use FCDs for straightwall handgun reloading, not for the post-sizing feature, but because I like the FCDs method for adjusting crimp.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:21 AM   #14
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In my experiance the FCD is an unneeded expense. My standard reloading dies have enough of a crimp shoulder in the seating die to take care of ANY revolver loads. Some powders do better with a firmer crimp and the crimp prevents bullets from "walking out" (actually the case recoils away from the bullet) if you are loading heavy stuff. But in any case the Factory Crimp Die isn't really necessary.
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:13 PM   #15
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When I said on the nice to have. Though not a necessity. When available I buy the 4 die set. I have no problem spending the extra few dollars. The FCD dies for revolver rounds are worth their weight in gold to me. I can set it up and regardless of bullet length I get a good uniform crimp on every round.

Oh and from me that means something. I work my tail off for every cent I make, and I live on a janitor's pay.
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Old May 27, 2012, 01:01 PM   #16
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"But in any case the Factory Crimp Die isn't really necessary."

Well, I accept that YOU don't find the FCD helpful but YOU ain't the only reloader in the world!
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Old May 27, 2012, 03:35 PM   #17
eldorendo
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Quote:
Oh and from me that means something. I work my tail off for every cent I make, and I live on a janitor's pay.
You're wife's a janitor??
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddySEAL
Factory crimp die needed for revolver ammo?
I've heard that it is important with semi-auto ammo reloading.
But is it needed for reloading revolver rounds?
Equally necessary for either type of action, revolver or semi-auto. Also, equally unnecessary.

The Lee FCD (for straight-walled cases; for bottlenecked cartridges the FCD is completely different) performs two functions. Some people derive benefit from both functions, some people from only one function or the other. Some people acutally derive a perceived detriment from one of the die functions.

Function 1 It crimps a bullet (already seated) and it crimps it without seating it any deeper. Seating a bullet deeper (as a combination seat/crimp die does) often causes the case mouth to "dig" into the bullet, as the bullet is moving at the same time as the crimp is being applied or buckle the case.

Making the crimp after the bullet has been seated and is no longer being pushed deeper makes it easier to 1) adjust the die and 2) relieves the "digging in" problem.

Not everyone experiences the digging in problem. It depends on the strength of the crimp and the shape of the crimping groove in the bullet. But it does make adjusting the dies easier. When you adjust the crimp on a combination seat/crimp die, the seating adjustment changes. It isn't HARD to do, but doing it in separate dies is easier.

Function 2 It sizes the cartridge case one last time. When inserting a bullet into a cartridge case, sometimes (especially if the bullet is a little oversize, which lead bullets tend to be for good reasons which I will not go into here and sometimes for bad reasons which I will not go into here, either) the case will bulge a little, especially if the case walls are thick. This sometimes interferes with good, reliable chambering.

The Lee FCD is equipped with a sizing ring that takes down any bulges. This helpd with some handloads. Hurts with some others, as it can inadvertently undersize the bullet inside the case.

If you post-size a round with a lead bullet, the brass is squeezed down and the lead slug is squeezed down also. When the cartridge is pulled completely out of the post-sizing ring, the brass springs back a little, but lead, being a less "springy" metal does not spring back nearly as much. The friction fit between the brass and the lead is thus less than if the post-sizing had never taken place.

Some reloaders go so far as to knock the post-sizing ring out of the FCD. (Incidentally, the same effect could be achieved by simply acquring a second seat/crimp die and pulling the seating stem back, or out. If using batch processing, just use the seat/crimp die a second time with the seating stem backed out.)


In summary:

The Lee FCD die does not replace the resizer die. The Lee FCD is a crimping die and it is supposed to help correct some sizing issues with cases. Some folks swear by them some folks swear at them.

Separating the crimping from the seating makes it easier to install/adjust the dies and makes the crimping operation (particularly for very strong crimps) easier to do without damaging the bullet or the cartridge case (buckling).

The bonus of post-sizing available with a separate crimping die is a blessing (and to some people, a curse) not possible if made part of a combination seat/crimp die.

An extra (or extra use of a) seat/crimp die can serve as a crimp die by simply removing the seating stem, but the post-sizing will not take place. This would be inconvenient on a progressive or autoindexing turret used in continuous mode, but convenient enough if processing in batch mode, as on a single stage or any press in batch mode.

Good luck

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Old May 27, 2012, 08:40 PM   #19
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All true, but it stops there

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld
The Lee Factory Crim Die is a solution looking for a problem. Personally, I believe the FCD just fixes sloppy reloading techniques. There, I said it!
True, sort of. It is the person who BUYS one that is looking for a problem. If you don't need post-sizing there is no problem. Separating the crimping operation from the seating operation does solve the problem some people have in adjusting their seat/crimp die by making it easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld
I reloaded mebbe 20 years, off and on, before I tried an FCD. I tried one for my .44 Magnum, being my favorite round, I thought I may be missing something. Nope, found out FCD did more damage than good to my ammo (swaged down my carefully sized .432" bullets to .430").
Definitely, you are one of those loaders who do not need the post-sizing function. Of course, if you ask Lee Precision to ream out the post-sizing ring to it does not squish your .432" bullets, they would have done it, for no charge, I am told.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld
Then I thought about my .45 ACP reloads. Nope, all my ammo chambers without "post bullet seating sizing", as did the millions of reloads put together before Lee came out with their FCD. Not Lee bashing, just believe properly adjusted dies will make the use of an FCD unnecesary. A good roll crimp die for revolvers and a good taper crimp die for semi-autos is all that's needed. If your ammo doesn't chamber, find out why.
Absolutely, yes, if your ammo exhibits ANY problem, find out why and take whatever steps are needed to fix it/prevent it.

Separating the crimping operation from the seating operation (with or without the post-sizing) is a tremendous advantage if you shoot very heavy loads, which benefit from a really strong crimp. You may be able to get a stronger crimp than if you crimp while the bullet is still being seated (still moving into the case), which, to my mind is the primary reason for the production of the FCD.

I tend to agree that the post-sizing is an afterthought introduced to cure a problem that should not exist if the handloader did the bullet selection/sizing and insertion properly in the first place. But the fact is that some brass has thicker walls than others and lead bullets do tend to be a bit oversized but if you combine those slugs with that brass, the post-sizing solution does find a problem to solve.

Thanks for reading.

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Old May 27, 2012, 08:56 PM   #20
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Agree 100% with mikld. Read this and other boards. There is no end to the problems people have with FCDs. Just get the basic adjustments down, understand what is happening when you do, and you'll have perfectly fine ammo. Period. And no, you don't need to seat and crimp in two steps. Here again, if you get the dies adjusted properly, the bullet will be seated and crimped properly. No jump. No setback. Auto or revolver, any kind of rifle, machts nichts.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:37 PM   #21
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Moxie, you and mikld can agree all you want. I agree with wncchester, that each of us will decide what we need. We are just trying to answer the OP's question.

My personal feeling is that the FCD for most folks is a waste of time and a die station, but that it has its uses in certain circumstances, not limited to operator incompetence

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Old May 28, 2012, 07:54 AM   #22
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I believe I did answer the OP's question. The FCD is not needed for reloading revolver rounds, nor for anything else.
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Old May 28, 2012, 08:30 AM   #23
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I have to differ.

Revolvers beyond that of a mild wadcutter - especially any using a ball/spherical powder -- need a roll crimp
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Old May 28, 2012, 12:05 PM   #24
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mehavey,

Agree 100%. But you don't need an FCD for that. That's the point of the discussion.
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Old May 28, 2012, 12:35 PM   #25
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In my opinion (and I know what that's worth) if a person learns how to adjust his reloading dies correctly, the FCD is not needed. Now, if a new reloader doesn't care to learn to reload properly and choses use "cover-up" or "fix-its" then an FCD (for pistol ammo) should be a part of his routine. So for the OP the choice is yours; sloppy reloading and cover-up or proper reloading and ammo that will chamber everytime...
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