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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would post this here also. Hope that is ok.

The Lee factory crimp die for my 45/70 loads literally fell apart this morning. No doubt, since I am no wiz on reloading it is my fault, but I am wondering if any of you have experienced this? The retainer spring now seems stretched out and trying to put the die back together has been "trying" as well.
One more thing. I noticed that although the die gave a great crimp, it would reduce COL from 2.55 to 2.4 or even 2.3 after crimping. Anybody else ever notice this? What am I doing wrong??

I was loading 420 grain hard cast from Cast Performance.

Any and all comments are much appreciated.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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If you were reducing the length of the brass after running the case into it, it is possible that you are compessing the brass by trying for too much crimp. "Sneak" up on the correct crimp by trial and error with minute die adjustment.

The amount of crimp needed is less than you think to do the job being it is really a collet pressing in on the bullet from a horizontal plain. Almost like a "mini shoulder".

Once you arrive at the proper adjustment, keep the lock ring at that position and put an index mark with an ink marker at 12 o'clock on the die so you know where you are when re-installing the die.

Sounds like the retainer has broken in the die if it came apart.

I would pack it up with a dummy round if possible and return it to Lee with an explanation of the problem. They will make it right for you.

Hang in there,

Regards
 

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DoubleD,
I had that same problem with the Lee 45/70 die.
Prior to then,I used(withe pretty good succes),a venerable Herter's die.
The Lee was new,and the latest thing,so I bought it.
I was so pissed the the newer,more expensive die was less then what I already had,that I chucked it. Thinking back,I would be smarter to have returned it.
I now have a Redding taper crimp.It is just right.
Frank
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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I'll go along with Contender on this one.

Have had the Lee Crimp Die for some time and loaded countless 45-70 rounds with it - never a problem. All the crimp you're wanting is enough so the bullet won't be tapped back into the neck of the case by the following cartridge in the tube. Doesn't take a whole bunch of crimp.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help, folks.

I ordered another Lee die plus a Redding profile crimp. Will see what works best.

I think Contender is probably right; I may have been going for too much crimp and that caused a shortened COL and induced the die to fall apart.

BUT - Frank, are you using heavy loads with the Redding? I like Redding equipment in general and with the Redding there is nothing to come "undone'" but it needs to be lubed every few rounds at the taper. I bought the Lee because of the good comments about it on this and other boards.

I am speaking with Lee later to see what they think.
 

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Regarding the Redding profile die, I concur with Double D. It will start to gaul the brass a bit at the mouth of the case but have found if I leave some of the displaced bullet lube from seating a cast bullet at the mouth of the case, it tends to alleviate that problem mostly.

The Profile Crimp is actually a hybrid form of taper/roll crimp. You are virtually "sizing" the mouth of the case to a certain degree.


Regards
 

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DoubleD,
My experience with that Lee die was several years ago,when Lee was a new thing to me. I am sure that I had a defective die,and should have returned it.
All my 45/70 loads are for the Trapdoor Springfield,and realitively low powered. The primary reason for the crimping die is to remove the bell at the mouth of the case;I only shoot cast bullets. I have had no problems with the Redding,and can recommend it for my type of reloading.
For the record,recently(2 years ago)I bought the Lee Factory crimp die foe my 30/30. This is an entirely different application.The crimp is into a groove in the bullet,ind is a little heavier. It works just fine;I can recommend it for that particular type of reloading.
Frank
 

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Hey guys, you might get in touch with lee (or any of the reloading tool companies) before you replace anything that wore out or broke. I had a lee priming tool break after many years heavy use, I called lee to ask about getting parts(to buy), the "rude" lady kept interupting me as I was telling her how much I used it and wanted to buy the parts to get it going again. She kept asking me for my address etc. then when I shut up long enough for her to get the info she wanted, she said they'd get a new one (complete, not just parts) right out to me at no charge.
 

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I have Lee crimp dies for most of my calibars and I have had no problems with them. I usually clean any bullet lube off of them with brake cleaner when done and everything just keeps working fine. I agree, I would call, or e-mail them and they'll make it right.
 
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