i was considering buying the lee crimp die to use on my 356win, and maybe one for my 30-30. i figure that the die would let me use 200gr. bullets in the 356 with the crimp groove that is not in the correct position. what do you guys think?
You'll love the Lee Factory Crimp Die. As a matter of fact I have them for every caliber that I load; and I highly recommend them. I've never had a problem with them and they do seem to contribute to consistancy when it comes to velocity and accuracy. No factory crimped load I have ever shot did not display at least acceptable accuracy for hunting and most are better than that. I consider the Lee Factory Crimp Dies to be an essential tool.
Also, they do let you apply a crimp any place on the bullet that you want, so you are not limited to the crimp groove or to using only bullets with crimp grooves.
I too, am a fan of the Lee factory crimp die. Most of the bad stuff going around was generated by Lee's competitors. There were quite a few adds dipicting them as damaging to bullets and accuracy. If you put too heavy a crimp on the case you can damage the bullet and possibly effect accuracy, but if you don't, you wont. It is a matter of using the dies properly, and if you do, they are one of the best tools available to the reloader, just watch what you are doing and follow the recommendations from Lee. I use them extensively on my .30-06 ammo for my 1917 Enfield and 03A3 as well as on my .303 British ammo.
In general, I cannot stand Lee products, but to paraphrase our fearless leader, You'll get my Lee Factory Crimp die when you pry it from my cold dead hands!
It's one of those things that when once used, you wonder how in the world you ever got along without it.
I have used Lee products since I started reloading and generally like most all of them greatly. I use the factory crimp dies in several calibers and my 356 set (without the factory crimp die) reminded me why I like them so much. I have mangled several 356 cases trying to get the crimp just right with the two die set! The 356 crimp die is defintely on my things to get list! I had taken them for granted until I had to do without them.
Have any of you used the factory crimp die for heavy bullets in the AR-15 that have no cannelure? I'm not a big fan of Lee products, but I haven't used all that many of them either, so maybe it's unfounded. I mainly got turned off to them from their bullet casting products. Of the 30 or so die sets I have, none are Lee. I like to use a crimp for the AR, but the 64gr winchester bullets that it likes with the 1-7" twist barrel no longer have a cannelure. I also saw the ads that showed bullet deformation and decided not to try one. What are your thoughts on this?
I have always prefered another brand of reloading die (green box), but have come to really like Lee's Factory Crimp Dies for my lever gun cartridges. Theyy are very easy to use, and apply the perfect crimp. Haven't used them in my bolt gun calibers yet, as I don't normally crimp them.
I've used the Lee Crimp Die with several cartridges and find it does increase consistency in velocity across the board and accuracy (a bit) in most. Well worth the cost and extra step in the reloading process.
I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die on .223 for my ARs and Mini14 ammo. Like I posted earlier, the negative adds are from competitors of Lee who were losing sales. The dies are fully adjustable and you can damage the cases and bullets if you overtighten the dies, but if you don't, you wont. I have pulled .223 bullets that I have used the Lee die on and they are no more deformed than those I have crimped with RCBS or Lyman dies because I adjusted them correctly.
In my Colt HBar (1:7 twist) I have noticed that accuracy has improved since I started useing the Lee die, but in all fairness, it could be that I have just become a fantastic shot and not the dies (just kidding). I also use the die on my .308s for the M1A, FNFAL and HK91, with equally good results.
I load several calibers. Use dies from most everybody in the business. The one thing in common is the Lee Factory crimp die I use on everything. Use it, use it correctly and you will not be disappointed.
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