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New style Lee "factory crimp" die

formerlywrongformerlywrong Member Posts: 139 ✭✭✭
What is the concensus on the Lee crimp dies which have a short carbide insert which sizes the upper part of the case, while the crimp occurs at the case mouth?

Just bought 2, .45ACP and .44Mag, have only used .45, don't like it.
Leaves a cosmetically-objectionable shiny band at the top of the case. I thought what I was getting were the collet-type crimp mechanism which squeezes in on the case mouth equally, not roll crimp, and does not place any force on the bottom of the case. Am generally more than satisfied with Lee products otherwise.

Your thoughts appreciated!

Comments

  • geeguygeeguy Member Posts: 1,047
    edited November -1
    I use the final Lee Size die for ALL my pistol rounds, auto's and revolvers. Yes it does leave a "band" mark, but they always fit and feed. One of the best reloading tools I've found and well worth the minimal cost. I agree with Perryshooter on the .45 (I set mine at .467")that it's not needed, but have found a few that the final size adjusted. I have never had a round go through the Lee and "not fit", and I have some very tight chambers.

    I guess my comment is "what's the down side" other then a mark? The "up side" is they always fit. For those of us that are hurt in competition with Alibi's and non-feeds (the really good guys seems to be able to overcome these)it's a great tool that I recommend to most reloaders.

    Use it, you'll like it. When you see the mark you know it's a good round.
  • B17-P51B17-P51 Member Posts: 2,185 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That is the only LEE product I use and own one for every caliber I load for. Best thing that a person can do for pistol ammo. The rifle factory crimp dies are A-1 also, although they do not final size, case length is not critical to getting a uniform crimp.
  • formerlywrongformerlywrong Member Posts: 139 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by geeguy
    I use the final Lee Size die for ALL my pistol rounds, auto's and revolvers. Yes it does leave a "band" mark, but they always fit and feed. One of the best reloading tools I've found and well worth the minimal cost. I agree with Perryshooter on the .45 (I set mine at .467")that it's not needed, but have found a few that the final size adjusted. I have never had a round go through the Lee and "not fit", and I have some very tight chambers.

    I guess my comment is "what's the down side" other then a mark? The "up side" is they always fit. For those of us that are hurt in competition with Alibi's and non-feeds (the really good guys seems to be able to overcome these)it's a great tool that I recommend to most reloaders.

    Use it, you'll like it. When you see the mark you know it's a good round.


    Your comments well taken. What got me wondering about this design is that if you take a just-loaded case with little or no crimp and run it through a standard sizing die, the bullet will become pretty loose and fall out, if it has a jacket, maybe not with lead. I really like their "factory-crimp" rifle die design, and thought before I received the pistol dies that their crimp was achieved the same way.
  • formerlywrongformerlywrong Member Posts: 139 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by perry shooter
    The reason you NEVER want to run a loaded straight walled pistol round through a normal sizeing die is it is MADE to make the case small in diameter and then the belling die makes the top half the right inside diameter for proper bullet pull with a slight bell on the end to allow you to start the bullet The reason for this design is because case wall thickness varies between brands if sized from the out side only. Bullet pull would also vary Reminginton and TZZ Match brass will let a 230 grain ball round drop down and hit the top of the powder charge with the same sizeing die as federal brass that will not allow the bullet start in the case. once the bullet is seated to correct OAL then the crimp die only closes the case mouth. A roll crimp will not work UNLESS each case is the exact same length. with a taper crimp one or two thousands tighter then the area down the case you still head-space on the case mouth but you don't deform the bullet. If you run a loaded round of 45ACP through a sizeing die you may CRACK the carbide ring [:(]or stick a loaded round in a normal die that could go off when trying to get it out of the die [xx(][xx(] or deform a.452 bullet to .44? and it would be tooo small to engage the rifling [V][V] when fired.[:0][:0][:0] If a round goes off in a sizing die you will have to change your GUNBROKER NAME TO FORMERLYALIVE


    Can't disagree with anything you have said here. I did not mean to imply I routinely run loaded rounds into a sizing die, sorry if it sounded like that. I actually tried it one time, starting with a sized and expanded case, primed, no powder, and bullet seated and crimped as I wanted it.

    Maybe even the name change would be a good idea, except somebody else would have to do it for me, eh?
  • stargazerstargazer Member Posts: 6 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I use the Lee FC die on everything I reload. It does a great job of crimping even if there is no cannelure. I like that post size ring too as it squares up the round and all feed just fine.

    what I don't like is their expander die down stroke slight case grab/bump designed into the expander plug. Keeping it clean helps and Lee even said to polish the bottom of the plug to make the grab less.[:)]
  • HandgunHTR52HandgunHTR52 Member Posts: 2,735
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by stargazer


    what I don't like is their expander die down stroke slight case grab/bump designed into the expander plug. Keeping it clean helps and Lee even said to polish the bottom of the plug to make the grab less.[:)]


    The reason that they do that is that their expander dies are "powder thru" design. The "bump" is built in to ensure that all the powder has flowed thru the die into the case and it settles the powder in the case.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    I like it for jacketed ammo, though it sometimes distorts cast bullets. Also, given that I have a 3 hole turret press, it means a final extra step, so I generally don't bother.
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