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Old December 6, 2009, 06:25 AM   #1
ONEEYE7
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30.06- 30/30 factory crimp

lee lists a factory crimp for each the 30.06 sgf and the 30/30 win. and the part numbers are diff. when you crimp with the lee dies arent you just crimping the last small portion of the case. bullet size is the same. shouldnt you be able to use the same crimp to bo both? or am i missing soomething? thanks
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Old December 6, 2009, 08:17 AM   #2
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The crimp section in the die is set up by the length of the case. Thusly, the two cannot be used interchangeably.
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Old December 6, 2009, 09:07 AM   #3
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Correct. The case brass is not strong enough to operate the crimping collet, which, to indent the bullet, takes a lot more force than a conventional roll crimp. For that reason, the actuator has to be driven by contact with the steel shell holder on the ram. To accomplish that, it takes the form of a sleeve that reaches down over the length of the whole case. The die body and sleeve therefore have to be the length of that case, less the height of the shell holder portion above the back end of the case head. The .30-30 and .30-06 cases are not the same length, and therefore require different length actuator sleeves, and that means separate dies.
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Old December 6, 2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for clarifying that. I was thinking about the same issue and wondered why I needed a crimping die for each caliber.
Are they worth the time and money if I am just shooting loads a little below max pressure?
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Old December 6, 2009, 09:55 AM   #5
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Hey Uncle Buck,

You don't need a Lee Factory Crimp Die for anything. On any RCBS, Lyman, Redding, Hornady, and other standard dies, the bullet seating die is also a crimping die. Actually, you can seat and crimp in the same die and in the same operation. Also, you will find a lot of folks are crimping cartridges that don't really need to crimped.

The main reason for crimping a bullet in a cartridge is to keep the bullet from moving in the case neck while under recoil or while feeding from a magazine. For most bolt rifle rounds, case neck tension is more than sufficient to keep the bullet in place and no crimp is required. Most folks using semi-auto rifle cartridges crimp their bullets in place, but if they were to actually check their rifles and cartridges, they might find their bullets are not migrating at all and therefore also do not require a crimp. Straight walled rifle cases such as the 45-70 and straight walled pistol cases such as .357 mag are usually crimped to keep bullets from migrating from recoil. Even these types of cartridges only need enough crimp to keep the bullet from moving. Using more crimp than absolutely necessary simply wears out case necks more quickly. Semi auto handguns such as a 9mm should not be crimped any more than what is necessary to remove any case mouth belling that was used to aid in seating the bullet. Most semi auto cartridges headspace on the case mouth, and crimping will change headspace. There is something called a taper crimp used for semi auto cartridges like the 9mm, and it is really nothing more than a hint of a crimp just to insure the case mouth belling is removed.

The Lee Factory Crimp Die comes in two flavors: one that will size a finished pistol cartridge to make sure it will fit in a standard chamber, and another one which for rifles that will actually crimp the finished round so hard it will make its own indentation in a copper jacketed bullet. Firstly, if you made your cartridges properly, your finished cartridges should fit your chamber without then sizing the finished round and actually swaging the bullet inside the case neck. Secondly, squeezing a perfectly good bullet and making your own cannelure does nothing to make the bullet fly better. If you need to crimp a bullet, do it in a bullet that already has a cannelure made for crimping.

Some folks have described the Lee Factory Crimp Die as a solution looking for a problem. Sounds about right to me.

Best wishes,
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Old December 6, 2009, 11:20 AM   #6
ONEEYE7
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thanks guys! i have semi auto 30.06 and a marlin 30/30, just wanted to know if i could save a few bucks with one crimp. i guess not.
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Old December 6, 2009, 12:24 PM   #7
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Well said David W.
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Old December 6, 2009, 12:32 PM   #8
David Wile
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Hey Oneeye7,

Unless Lee bullet seating dies are non standard from other dies, you can save a buck by crimping with your bullet seating/crimp die. It will do both operations in one movement of the handle if it is adjusted correctly. You do not have to get additional dies to crimp your 30-06 and 30-30 loads. If you have a Lyman, Speer, or Hornady loading manual, you can find a section on reloading that shows how the bullet is seated and crimped in one die, and there are cutaway drawings to allow you to see how it is done. It has been done that way for as long as I have been reloading (50 years), and the Lee Factory Crimp Die has just come along in recent years. How do you think we managed all this time without the Lee Factory Crimp Die?

Best wishes,
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Old December 6, 2009, 12:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for clarifying that even more. I thought the rifle dies did a good job of crimping, but I had read somewhere that the extra crimping die was a necessity. I have not had a problem (Yet) with my bullets comming loose, but I did not want to take a chance.
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Old December 7, 2009, 08:00 AM   #10
ONEEYE7
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i have the lee dies for the .06, and they are diff. from other makers. the bullet seating die is a bullet seating die and the crimp die is separt. the crimp die does make a very nice crimp.
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Old December 7, 2009, 01:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
The Lee Factory Crimp Die comes in two flavors: one that will size a finished pistol cartridge to make sure it will fit in a standard chamber, and another one which for rifles that will actually crimp the finished round so hard it will make its own indentation in a copper jacketed bullet.
As for the second part about the rifle crimp die,if your crimping the bullet to the point that your actually doing that then you don't know how to use the die properly. From another post.

Quote:
"a few years to when Speer and Richard Lee got into a ****ing match about the Lee Factory Crimp die. "

Yep. Actually, that was in the late 70s, early 80s if I remember correctly. Fred Hundington had sold RCBS, Vernon Speer sold and CCI sold out to the Blount Group so the original owners were gone and a bunch of destructive "professional" management MBAs were running things, wrongly. Pretty much damaged Blount in the same process.

Richard Lee had just gotten into making presses, dies, etc. His tools were designed from the ground up to be made on largely automated and CNC tooling by unskilled labor forces so they could be high grade tools sold at low prices. It worked. Soon, Lee was cutting deeply into the "big boys'" markets. Speer and RCBS struck back by publishing badly misleading magazine adds showing how badly Lee's tools worked, especially the (excellent) rifle Factory Crimp Dies. (They massively over-crimped some rifle bullets and put the photos in their adds to "prove" their point.)

Federal got caught up at the same time with a big suit claiming injury from some idiot misusing Federal primers, not a part of Blount, and it cost Lee a bundle to defend against Federal pointing a finger at Lee. Lee wanted no more of that so they started posting the warnings against the use of Federal caps we still see.
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Old December 7, 2009, 01:40 PM   #12
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The Lee rifle FCD's impart a deeper and firmer crimp than standard die crimps. Its consistency is also immune to case length variance. The deep crimp can usefully increase start pressure, especially with slower powders. The idea was inspired partly by observations made at the National Matches that military ammo was often more accurate than its commercial counterparts and than ammunition hand loaded using the same components. This was traced to the pitch seal used by the military when seating their bullets. It glues the bullet in enough to increase start pressure, and that improves combustion uniformity. This is also why some loaders observe better accuracy using the rifle FCD.

I have not tested this personally, but having looked at a lot of shadow graphs of shockwaves forming on bullet surfaces, and knowing that energy has to go into their creation, I would expect the ballistic coefficients of such indented bullets to be lowered over that of their smooth counterparts, and that their long range accuracy would therefore be adversely impacted, even if they did better at shorter ranges. There is also the issue of how symmetrically the crimp can be formed, and how much helical motion any asymmetry adds to the bullet's flight path, which likewise affects effective ballistic coefficient, as well as long range POI scatter.

So the deal with the collet-type rifle FCD is that it is another tool in the kit that you can try when developing loads to see what it does or does not do for you at the ranges you intend the ammo for? It will improve some ammunition and do nothing or worsen others. You just have to experiment with your bullets in your gun.

Military ball ammo, M2 for example, often has such a crimp in addition to the pitch seal. On the M2 bullets I've pulled it is not very uniform, though I have not seen the equipment that forms it, so I don't know why? M2 is not remarkably accurate. The crimp is apparently considered useful in making the ammunition more rugged, particularly in machine gun feeding. It may be worth noting that it is not used on military match ammunition.
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Old December 7, 2009, 01:43 PM   #13
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The Lee Factory Crimp Die is handy if you want to crimp in a separate step from seating. In that case they are inexpensive compared to other brands of crimping dies. I like to crimp separately in pistol cartridges because I use lead bullets and the lube builds up too much to seat and crimp in the same die. I don't find it so important to crimp separately for jacketed rifle bullets.

For some reason many reloaders believe and proclaim to others that the Lee FCD will apply excessive crimp to the bullet. All I can say is they never used one or read the directions. The FCD is adjustable. You can apply as little or as much crimp as you want. If you are heavy handed then maybe you will get excessive crimping. If you pay attention and make fine adjustments you can get a beautifully fine crimp.

You should crimp for semi and lever actions (you apparently know this already). You can use the seating die of most brands to also crimp in the same step. If you want to crimp in a separate step, then Lee offers an inexpensive dedicated crimp die that is fully adjustable.
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Old December 7, 2009, 01:57 PM   #14
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That adds the point that pistol shooters have noted for years that crimping as a separate step results in more accurate ammunition than using the crimp feature in the seating die does. Not having the metal scraped as seating and crimping occur simultaneously is the usual explanation offered. Better COL consistency apparently results, as well.

The Lee FCD adds that carbide ring. I think it is a good thing for high reliability ammo and for folks shooting IPSC and other disciplines where speed is a factor and target surfaces are larger and less demanding of mechanical precision from the gun than in bullseye shooting. For bullseye shooting I would not expect to want the added squeeze on the bullet, because a slightly oversize lead bullet often has accuracy advantages. Squeezing a bullet too far (and I'm thinking especially of swaged lead bullets here, since cast alloys can often spring back some) could theoretically have negative leading and and accuracy consequences. I'd like to prove it one way or the other by experiment when the time and opportunity offer themselves up.
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Old December 7, 2009, 09:00 PM   #15
plainsman456
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I have them in 30-06 and the 308win.I have been playing with the 30-30win in the 308 die,it seems to work so far.I guess I have to much idle time on my hands.
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