Shooters Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
742 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just just the Lee die set for my Dad's 30-40 Krag rifle. I haven't used them yet. The sizing and seating dies seem like regular dies to me. Not much difference than any other dies. But the crimp die seems pretty cool. Seems like a good way to get rid of bullet run out without much fuss.

What are your thoughts on them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
It's a solution for a nonexistant problem.

If your looking at runout -- a crimping die won't solve it, the bullet has to be seated correctly to start with.

There are many posts on crimping dies and some one posted pictures of pulled bullets all squashed out of shape after run through a fcd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,872 Posts
Yep, squashed out of shape from a gorilla's strength. That's not how to use a Lee FCD. If I wanted to dog Lee and their FCD, I could do that too. Adjust it improperly, bear down on it with all my strength, yank the bullets and take some pictures, then post them and complain. Easy. For those that have used the FCD, we (I) recognize it as either inexperience or mal-intent. Or, I could avoid the hassle of cranking down on bullets and dog Lee (and the FCD) by failing to recognize the inexperience or mal-intent of said poster, and repeating it (as above).

Or....I could adjust it properly, use it as intended, pull the bullets and post some pictures, and you could be the judge.

I use them on most rifle reloads. Really, a rifle cartridge (bolt gun or single shot) probably needs no crimp as long as the neck is sized correctly during the process, but I put a light crimp on many, and a heavier crimp on others. It works fine if you choose to use it. It will not correct runout for a competition shooter, but if you study the design, you can see that it certainly will help with an alignment problem, IF there is one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,872 Posts
I never used any other than Lee, but the Lee bullet seating die will also crimp. I believe that's how dies made by others work too. The difference with the Factory Crimp Die is that it has a long split collet that wraps around the case neck and exerts pressure from all sides, along a portion of the length of the bullet. IF a bullet was cocked slightly inside the case neck (which is a problem that should be fixed before crimping), it will move it into alignment during the crimp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,665 Posts
Are they easier to use than regular crimps like on the RCBSs and Hornadys?
You screw them into your press and raise the ram. When the FCD touches the shell holder, you then screw it in a half turn or full turn depending on how much crimp you want. VERY easy to use and a little more intuitive than setting crimp while seating it seems to me and gives me more control over my results.

Yes, if you want to make a mess of things, it would be easy to do through negligence or malice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
The Lee FCD for rifles is, without question, the best crimp die available but it's not idiot proof. Because it's adjustable the user must have some concept of mechanical things AND know what the he77 he's trying to do. If not, he would be much better served with a conventional crimper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Where the FCD really shines, is in old military rifles with long throats. I have a sporterized model 1917 Eddystone (30-06) that I shoot the Hornady 220 grain roundnose softpoint in. My groups with a dose of IMR 4350 about a grain above the starting charge were 6" at 200 yards, with the bullets seated to the cannelure. I couldn't touch the lands of the rifling with the bullet just barely started into the case. When I used the FCD and the same powder charge with the bullet seated to the same depth, my groups shrunk to 2 1/2" at the same yardage. The crimp produces a more uniform start pressure, and it may just be my opinion, but I think that the four indentations left on the case mouth by the die kind of guide the bullet into the throat and keeps it straighter as it engages the rifling, producing better accuracy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
I use them on all my revolver (with modification) and my straight wall rifle cases. Just got a 35 Rem and I have a lee FCD for that as well. I like the way these crimp, and where I need a crimp, I use them...the best anybody has come up with so far!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
The Lee Factory Crimp Dies for straight wall pistol cartridges are completely different than the ones for rifle and bottleneck pistol cartridges. The former consist of a conventional crimp ring and a carbide post sizing ring. The latter use a collet to crimp the case mouth, and work great. I prefer either seating while crimping, or conventional taper crimp dies for straight wall pistol cartridges.

Andy
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,920 Posts
Mine went nuts...

I have the FCD for .223Rem. Seems the inside slider thingy got sticky and began crushing the shoulders. So I took it out and cleaned it. Problem persisted. So I took out the slider thingy and now have to place it over every shell. It takes about twice as much time, but the shoulders are not being crushed. I quickly learned where to place the inside slider thingy over the case to get it to slide right up into the screwed-in thingy without hitting it. I have to do it this way now because I lost the little wire spring clip that keeps the inside sleeve captured within the outside sleeve. It works, so I have decided not to buy a replacement...
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,735 Posts
They really shine for cast bullet loads.

And no, they won't correct runout problems. But they are very useful, and easy to use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Most Lee collet type dies (crimp or neck sizers) will benefit from a little polishing on the collet/closer interface to improve smoothness and consistency.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,872 Posts
I agree. On some of mine, a 1/2 drop of oil on the outside of the collet (inside the die) helps too after polishing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
"Seems the inside slider thingy got sticky and began crushing the shoulders."

The slider thingy gets hung in the UP position if we "dry fire" it, meaning pushing the collet sleeve up without a case inside. It cannot "crush" a shoulder unless it's hung up.

I love the things but they do nothing I've seen to reduce run-out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,872 Posts
NVShooter, could you, by any chance, be confusing the crimp die with the collet die? Sometimes it needs a little polishing, as has been said, and as you learned, it can lock up if "dry fired".

(I had to read that post twice to decipher the English, but thanks to Ranger, I finally got it. Thanks!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
But for rifles with tubular magazines...

...the Lee factory crimp dies are worth the investment. A good firm crimp keeps the bullets from getting pushed deeper into the case when loaded up end-to-end, with the ensuing recoil when touching off a round or two.

I use them for all my lever and slide actions rifles.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top