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Old April 2, 2020, 11:43 AM   #1
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LEE Factory Crimp Curious

I use (and like) the Lee Factory crimp die. But I'm curious. I recently bought a full-length re-sizing die and like the results I get with it. I truly think these products give me a little better end result.

Now, about the LFCD, even with my use of the full sizing die I get resistance upon first running a cartridge up into the die. It's like that floating carbide ring is really ironing things out. A lot of cases need some elbow grease to get the cartridge in and out. Do others that use this FCD have similar results? I'm having this happen with .45acp primarily.

The cartridges go through a case gauge OK but seem like the die is smoothing something even with the cartridges all passing the 'plunk test'. Does your use of the FCD give you similar or is there something I need to adjust? My rounds seem a bit better these days than before so it all seems good. Thanks.
- Robert
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Old April 2, 2020, 12:33 PM   #2
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The FCD works when it is initially engaging the case to put the top crimp on. After that it moves down the rest of the case and smooths up any ripples. Kind of the opposite of the resizer or the taper crimp dies.
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Old April 2, 2020, 05:32 PM   #3
Bart B.
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The most accurate 45 ACP ammo used in competition and accuracy tests had no crimp at all on jacketed bullets.
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Old April 3, 2020, 06:44 AM   #4
wild willy
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I load on a Lee turret I have nine turrets set up.Some of the setups use the same Lee factory crimp die.Lee QC on these dies are terrible as far as the ring size one in the same caliber will barely bump and the other you can barely force the same case in.If you return the die to Lee they will send you one with a larger opening.I think this is one of the reasons some people have no problems and some do.
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Old April 3, 2020, 02:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bart B. View Post
The most accurate 45 ACP ammo used in competition and accuracy tests had no crimp at all on jacketed bullets.
I just use the FCD to take out the bell from step 2. I don't crimp/de-bell with my seater die at all. I only use the FCD in a 4th step because I like it. The cases are uniform after going through the full-length sizer so after the bell is removed it just seemed the case in the FCD was more difficult to process than I expected.
- Robert
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Old April 4, 2020, 06:51 AM   #6
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I use Lee factory crimp dies on all my pistol calibers. It smooth thing up and give consistent crimping.
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Old April 5, 2020, 04:23 PM   #7
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It might be sizing down the flare put on mouth of case at beginning of stroke, and the LFC pistol dies can size further down the case then some sizing dies at end of stroke. It can also size down some lead bullets, depending on bullet dia, coating and brass thickness.
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Old April 6, 2020, 05:59 AM   #8
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One of the variables with mixed head stamps is the thickness of the case wall. With the expander making the inner diameter uniform, that leaves the outer diameter as variable and having an inconsistent feel in the FCD sizing ring.

I load with sorted head stamps.

If your bullets are lead, larger in diameter than intended for the dies, that would be important to mention.
Not an expert, just a reporter.
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Old April 6, 2020, 12:49 PM   #9
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I have a couple of LFCD's in handgun calibers (I assume that is what the discussion is about, NOT the rifle LFCD).

In my instance, I found that the carbide sizing ring was sizing the lead bullet down as it passed over the bullet and case mouth. I pulled a few to be sure that the bullets were post-sizing and found that they were.

Some handloaders fixed the problem of the loaded bullet being sized down by knocking the carbide ring out of the die and just using the die to crimp the bullet. I did the same...just using the die as a standard crimp die, sans offending carbide sizing ring.
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Old April 6, 2020, 01:19 PM   #10
Marco Califo
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Conversely, the carbide sizing ring in FCD (pistols) is also used to "Bulge Buster" brass that gets pushed all the way through that carbide ring. To do this you need the bulge buster "kit" which also requires the LFCD. The crimping sleeve is also removable and you remove it for Bulge Busting.
So the LFCD is a sort of "transformer" tool.
After working with 40 S&W range brass I consider inspecting cases, rejecting bad ones, and passing the rest through that carbide ring necessary for safety., and peace of mind, in that caliber specifically.
Dekontaminierter Glanz über alles!!
Gruß Glock!

Last edited by Marco Califo; April 6, 2020 at 01:23 PM. Reason: add detail.
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