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Old March 28, 2013, 09:25 AM   #1
under_dawg
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Has anyone removed the sizing ring in lee factory crimp die?

I'm loading lead bullets in 45 colt, 45 acp, and 44 mag. I like the idea of crimping on a seperate station, so I'd like to remove the carbide ring (to keep it from swaging my lead bullets down) from the LFC die. I have never modified any of my dies and was wandering if anyone else has.
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:33 AM   #2
Wallyl
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Removing sizing ring

Instead of doing that I use a sizer larger than the caliber I want to crimp. For the .45 Colt/ACP I asked Lee to "pretty please" open up the sizer ring on a .45 Colt die..which they did for me. Of course you must remove the crimper insert and replace with the correct caliber. I highly recommend using Lee Taper Crimp Dies instead...they work beautifully and are easier on brass, making the case life longer. I wish they made on in the .41 Magnum caliber.
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:41 AM   #3
A pause for the COZ
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I am not going to get into why you want to do it. ( been there done that)
But if you want too do it. It can be done pretty easy.

They are a press fit with maybe some solder or glue.
Heat it up to expand the die a bit.



Knock out the ring. Using a punch or what ever fits.



Tada!!! all done.



Now depending on the crimp die. Some may need a little bevel added to the crimp insert to allow for easy round insertion. My 32 cal die did and my 38 die did not.
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:50 AM   #4
hammie
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@Mr. COZ: Thanks for the tutorial and great pictures! I've often thought about doing that.

One question though: How did you bevel the crimp insert? I imagine that's pretty hard steel? Is there a way to do it without going to a machinist?
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:34 AM   #5
A pause for the COZ
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The crimp insert is not hardened, well at least not like carbide.
I just used a grinding insert on a dremel tool. Took maybe 30 seconds to do.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:43 AM   #6
hammie
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@Mr. Coz: ...and I have a dremel. Sometimes I make things more difficult than they need to be. Thanks.
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Old March 28, 2013, 04:32 PM   #7
under_dawg
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I really appreciate the advice and the photos. I think I will buy an extra LFC die for my 44 and 45 colt set and bust that ring out as shown because I think I'd rather have the roll crimp with those particular bullets. I'm leaning toward buying a Lee 45 acp taper die since it uses a tapered crimp anyway. That way I'll still have a LFC with the post sizing ring for jacketed bullets (even though I hardly shoot them anymore). Once again thanks for the help.
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Old March 28, 2013, 07:12 PM   #8
dickttx
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Have you tried the FCD's to see if they even do that?
Mine don't in 9mm, 38 Super, 45 ACP, that I use regularly.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:36 PM   #9
Lost Sheep
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Why Lee?

Other die makers make crimp-only dies without the post-sizing ring.

Also, if you just buy an extra Seat-Crimp die, you can crimp only with it very easily by simply backing out or removing the seating stem.

Just a couple more options.

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Old March 29, 2013, 12:48 PM   #10
under_dawg
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I don't know much about other die makers, but I will certainly investigate them. The Sportsmans Warehouse here sells rcbs and hornady dies, but I have never looked for just a crimp die. I would like to find a roll crimp die for 44 and 45 colt and maybe 357.

I don't know how much its swaging the lead down, but it definately takes a good deal of effort to move bullet thru the post sizing ring. I noticed my 44 mag 240 gr lswc with 9.0 gr of hp-38 which should be around 1000 fps was leading badly and it shouldn't be at that velocity with 18 bhn bullet. But I may be wrong, regardless, I am going to try a few without being post sized and eliminate that from my causes.

Last edited by under_dawg; March 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM. Reason: adding info
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Old March 29, 2013, 04:07 PM   #11
mikld
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I got a FCD out of curiosity in .44 Magnum. I used it on 3 cartridges. Pulled the bullets and measured them. Undersize by .004". Punched out carbide ring to use die for crimping only. I got such a ragged, uneven crimp my Lee FCD now resides at a Southern Oregon landfill...
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Old March 29, 2013, 10:22 PM   #12
Clark
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I have a Lee 45acp speed die that the carbide ring unscrews.

The ring is a .467" go, so it is small ring, like a sizer, not a big hole, like a factory crimp.


Here is an old vestigular page in the Midway website:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/120...die-38-special


I sure have broken enough Lee 45acp carbide rings. I have even modified them with diamond cutters.
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File Type: jpg Lee 45acp speed die 3-29-2013.jpg (88.7 KB, 21 views)
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Old March 29, 2013, 10:59 PM   #13
teeroux
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I had a spare lee 45acp carbide die lying around that I converted to a Universal decapper. I cut the carbide die off with a hack saw and beveled a mouth to aid insersion of a case. Works like a charm and it ain't cost me nuthin but time.(Mispelling added for simulation of southern back woods accent. I know your out there grammer Nazis.)
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Old March 30, 2013, 12:32 AM   #14
Lost Sheep
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You can give aid to those who would follow in your footsteps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld
I got a FCD out of curiosity in .44 Magnum. I used it on 3 cartridges. Pulled the bullets and measured them. Undersize by .004". Punched out carbide ring to use die for crimping only. I got such a ragged, uneven crimp my Lee FCD now resides at a Southern Oregon landfill...
Sorry to hear about your ruined die. Did you ever figure out what ruined the crimp function? I mean, did it have a proper crimp before you punched out the sizing ring.

Your experience might teach someone else who wants to remove the ring how to do it properly.

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Old March 30, 2013, 12:47 PM   #15
mikld
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Nope, never got a good crimp, pro or post "ring-ectomy". Having been a lifelong machinist/mechanic removing the carbide ring was easy for me. 6" drift punch down through the top and a few taps with a hammer and the ring was gone. I made sure there were no dings or burrs left after punching out the ring and the crimp sleeve was ok (?). The resulting crimp looked like the "ridge" was cut off center and the finish was rough (never had a similar problem w/Lee dies).

I cast my own bullets and size them for each gun I shoot them in. My Puma gets a .432"+ bullet and the FCD swaged the bullet down to roughly .429". I had been reloading for .44 magnum about 18 years at that time, with leading problems worked out and really didn't need a new die/system for loading my .44s, just curious I guess. I like a Redding profile die for my .44, and I just went back to that...
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