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  1. #1
    Marksman
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Camby, IN
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    394

    Factory Crimp dies: necessary?

    So, I have a 4-die set for my .40 that I am reloading that has the factory crimp die, but some of the other sets of dies I have picked up for reloading only are the 3-die sets (.380, 30-30, and 223). These do not include the factory crimp dies, which from my understanding are not necessary but may be good to have? My friend I reload with says its a good one to have as kind of a final check all. Thoughts? These are lee carbide die sets, just in case that changes anything.

  2. #2
    Grandmaster rockhopper46038's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Location
    Fishers
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    6,718
    Not strictly necessary for straight wall auto pistol cartridges (your .40 and .380, or 9mm, .45ACP, etc), but I like to use them anyway. They do help prevent case buckling and they help prevent bullet setback. I don't reload for rifle yet, so I'm uncertain about those calibers.
    Don't be an asshat.

    Pretty much always looking to buy a Colt Combat or Lt.Weight Commander in 38 Super or 9mm


  3. #3
    Expert ckcollins2003's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    Muncie
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    1,124
    I've gotten by without it... I also have a friend who swears by having it, as it's caught a few of his bullets that were out of spec.

    IMO, if you're running a progressive, what does it hurt to have one more step? I run a single stage so I check each round through each step.

    As for being necessary... I guess that's just another opinion thing. Kind of like cleaning primer pockets, trimming pistol casings, and tumbling...

  4. #4
    Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5,022
    When i was a rookie reloader and found out this would correct errors in die setup i jumped on the wagon for every caliber i reload. Once i went to the range witb some handloaded 45 acp ammo that wouldn't chamber. A lee factory crimp die would have caught that extra quarter turn i should turnex the seating die. Another trip to the range and the recoil was working bullets out of the cases in a 44 mag revolver because the crimp wasnt firm enough. In both these situations i could have had i right with the seating die, but i didn't. To the naked eye the ammo looked good, but range trips were ruined because it wasnt.

    Long story short, i use a lee factory crimp die on everything now. I reload two rifle calibers for long range precision and i use the lee fcd on them. You can overdo it, but its not very likely.

  5. #5
    Shooter
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    NWI
    Posts
    3,208
    Quote Originally Posted by rockhopper46038 View Post
    Not strictly necessary for straight wall auto pistol cartridges (your .40 and .380, or 9mm, .45ACP, etc), but I like to use them anyway. They do help prevent case buckling and they help prevent bullet setback. I don't reload for rifle yet, so I'm uncertain about those calibers.
    9mm case has a taper and i though .45 did also.

  6. #6
    Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    13,286
    factory crimp die outweighs the taper crimp by far. a uniform slight ring around the neck looks correct.
    never give a "more emotional than normal" female your gun.

  7. #7
    Expert
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Eminence, IN
    Posts
    1,000
    i run a factory crimp die because i was having some problems with the bullet depth moving on me. It wasnt major but i wanted them to stay right where i put them. Its an extra stage but the way i have my set up it doesnt take any extra time in my progressive press because im pulling the handle anyway for the other stages anyway.

  8. #8
    Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2,895
    Well, seeing as how folks have loaded millions of rounds of semi-auto pistol ammo without using a Lee FCD, it's fairly obvious that such is not "necessary". They're just extremely useful, particularly if you aren't terribly familiar with how to properly adjust your seating/crimping die.

    Or, looking at it another way, the FCD makes things a little more fool-proof, which even experienced reloaders can greatly appreciate. For example, I reload 44/40 shells. These are notoriously thin-walled and it's VERY easy to buckle a case if your crimp die is adjusted just a tiny bit too far down. Since this brass is not easy to find or inexpensive, the FCD is a godsend for this round.

    So, not necessary, just useful.

  9. #9
    Expert Robert Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,393
    I use the FCD on about everything I load. Lee does make them for the .223 and the .308. They do work.

  10. #10
    Expert 04DarkShadowGT's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    2,135
    I use factory crimp die in my lee setup on 45 and 9. Not on 38 or 357.

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