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Lee Factory crimp die


zdog

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I have a friend that shoots lead in his 9mm para that was having problems with key-hole-ing who had to go up to a .357 bullet to stop the key-hole-ing. He uses a lee factory crimp die. I know I was having problem with leading in my 625 that slowed down after I stopped using the lee factory crimp die.

zdog

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10mm can be a issue as well pretty easily. Even in FMJ. Lee has stated that the FCD is .001-.002" under SAAMI size. My measurements say it's .003" ish under size. It's a small window about if your round is exactly at SAAMI and your FCD is actually .003" it can size the bullet just a little. This isn't a guess. I have actually measured this. For some reason this ticks people off. 10mm is a issue because because the case is a little thicker then the .40 S&W. Case thickness, final round size and fcd size (they are not all going to come out the factory exactly the same) all play a role. Remember Brass spring back about .003" after sizing (try and push a sized case back in the sizing die to understand this). Jacketed and Lead have different amounts of spring back as well. I have not FMJ spring back because I don't have the right dies to measure FMJ spring back. Lots of people are going to say "mine are fine". I am sure that is true. I am just giving you some data as I have measured it.

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Only been reloading for a year. Haven't had any issues yet, but I always keep reading about the lee fcd. If you listen to all the hype about it you would think its a magical die that is delivered by unicorns. If you read the description from lee it doesn't seem like it is intended to do all these things that people boast it does.

What am I missing here? Is it meant to do one thing but just happens to solve other issues by pure coincidence? Are people not setting dies correctly and the fcd just happens to bandage the issues yet not really solve the base problem? Someone please educate me here. Thanks.

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I pulled bullets and measured. In 9mm my FCD does not size down bullets, even cast bullets. In .40 it does size down cast bullets.

I've been using the FCD for a long time and recommend its use with jacketed bullets. With cast or plated bullets, it's worth trying but results vary.

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Lee uses the Factory Crimp Die as their version of the Redding GRX to remove Glock bulge. It only worked on about 1% of my deprimed cases so I have quit worrying about it.

I believe you're thinking of the Lee Bulge Buster not the FCD.

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Lee uses the Factory Crimp Die as their version of the Redding GRX to remove Glock bulge. It only worked on about 1% of my deprimed cases so I have quit worrying about it.

Wrong use of the FCD die. It's actually too big to use as a "bulge buster" for the case base bulge, aka "glocked brass". The std Lee sizing die does better in this respect. The EGW U die (made by LEE for EGW) does best. The FCD will remove the bulge from loaded rds in the bullet area. I run my .45acp 250gr (.45LC bullet crimped in it's groove for my S&W 625) loads thru the FCD after they come out of my SDB just to remove a "ring" they have at the bullet base. The FCD doesn't "size" anything but the bullet base "ring" on these.

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I pulled bullets and measured. In 9mm my FCD does not size down bullets, even cast bullets. In .40 it does size down cast bullets.

I've been using the FCD for a long time and recommend its use with jacketed bullets. With cast or plated bullets, it's worth trying but results vary.

You are absolutely correct about this! I hadn't noticed that this was posted in the 9mm sub-forum.

I haven't had any trouble with the FCD resizing 9mm bullets but I have had issues with .40 S&W moly-coated ones. I have since switched to FMJ's and haven't had any problems since.

Since I resize all my .40 brass through a Redding G-rX I don't have any trouble with "glocked" brass and this is not why I choose to use the Lee FCD. I use it because I have noticed that when I do the Standard Deviation in my chrono'ed rounds is less than when I was using the Dillon Crimp die.

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Lee uses the Factory Crimp Die as their version of the Redding GRX to remove Glock bulge. It only worked on about 1% of my deprimed cases so I have quit worrying about it.

I believe you're thinking of the Lee Bulge Buster not the FCD.

Trust me the Lee Bulge Buster uses the Factory Crimp die minus the crimp ring, I know I bought one. Can always go to the Lee website to check it out.

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Lee uses the Factory Crimp Die as their version of the Redding GRX to remove Glock bulge. It only worked on about 1% of my deprimed cases so I have quit worrying about it.

I believe you're thinking of the Lee Bulge Buster not the FCD.

Trust me the Lee Bulge Buster uses the Factory Crimp die minus the crimp ring, I know I bought one. Can always go to the Lee website to check it out.

Since I am using a square deal press, what am I missing by not being able to use the FCD? As far as I can tell the press and its dies are doing a fine job on my 9mm ammo.

zdog

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As far as I can tell the press and its dies are doing a fine job on my 9mm ammo.

If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

I guess my question is: Why use the FCD. What are its advantages. I see where so many people use it but why? I use a FCD for my .223 rounds because I think it gives a more positive crimp and lessens the possibility of the bullet still in the magazine from moving back in the case.

zdog

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I guess my question is: Why use the FCD. What are its advantages. I see where so many people use it but why? I use a FCD for my .223 rounds because I think it gives a more positive crimp and lessens the possibility of the bullet still in the magazine from moving back in the case.

If any of your pistol's has a very tight barrel (and you don't want to ream it out) the FCD will significantly decrease your case-gauging failure rate.

In my case, I use the FCD in both 9mm and .40 S&W because it reduces the ammo's Standard Deviation numbers. In all honesty, I cannot say that this always means more accuracy. By the same token, the FCD allows you to adjust the crimp very effortlessly but, on the other hand, if you don't play around with different reloading components much, this adjustment option is not really all that necessary.

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I pulled bullets and measured. In 9mm my FCD does not size down bullets, even cast bullets. In .40 it does size down cast bullets.

I've been using the FCD for a long time and recommend its use with jacketed bullets. With cast or plated bullets, it's worth trying but results vary.

The 9mm is a aberration. It's a tapered case so it behaves very differently. If you have a .40 or any other straight wall cased round and a matching FCD take your loaded round and try an insert that loaded round into the FCD. More then likely it will not go into the die. The bullet/case combo is bigger then the FCD carbide ring. Same thing happens when you try and reinsert a sized case into your sizing die. It won't go in (that is the spring back I mentioned before). Not with out a press helping you out. Below are some pictures of a 9mm FCD. One picture you can see the loaded round falls almost entirely into the FCD. No resistance. That is my old production load. MG 124gr loaded to 1.130" OAL. The other is my current production load. 147gr Lyman bullet (I cast) loaded to 1.080" OAL. It won't go into the case at all. That is the difference with a FCD in 9mm. It doesn't behave like any of the straight wall FCD's. If I didn't shoot lead loaded really short I wouldn't mind using a FCD in 9mm. It doesn't even touch the bullet in most cases. Straight wall calibers are very different.

DSC_3318.jpg

DSC_3317.jpg

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As far as I can tell the press and its dies are doing a fine job on my 9mm ammo.

If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

I guess my question is: Why use the FCD. What are its advantages. I see where so many people use it but why? I use a FCD for my .223 rounds because I think it gives a more positive crimp and lessens the possibility of the bullet still in the magazine from moving back in the case.

zdog

Rifle FCD is just a crimp die. It's not a sizer at all.

Pistol Carbide FCD are also a sizer. The round passes through a sizer that is .003" smaller then the largest size allowed under SAAMI specs. It is also a crimp die. But the big difference is that is post sizes your round to make sure the final product meets SAAMI specs. It is nothing like a rifle FCD. Very different animal.

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As far as I can tell the press and its dies are doing a fine job on my 9mm ammo.

If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

I guess my question is: Why use the FCD. What are its advantages. I see where so many people use it but why? I use a FCD for my .223 rounds because I think it gives a more positive crimp and lessens the possibility of the bullet still in the magazine from moving back in the case.

zdog

Rifle FCD is just a crimp die. It's not a sizer at all.

Pistol Carbide FCD are also a sizer. The round passes through a sizer that is .003" smaller then the largest size allowed under SAAMI specs. It is also a crimp die. But the big difference is that is post sizes your round to make sure the final product meets SAAMI specs. It is nothing like a rifle FCD. Very different animal.

Very informative. Thanks,

zdog

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FCDs can swage a lead bullet undersize. The actual cause of this may very well be the cartridge case itself. Case wall thickness does vary between manufacturers, and even betweem lots of cases from the same manufacturer. Lead bullets must be full bore diameter, or even slightly larger to seal against the bore effectively. They most emphatically do not work well undersized. So it stands to reason that a thicker case wall & a larger diameter bullet would result in the bullet being swaged down in diameter by one of those "pox on humanity" pistol FCDs. The rifle FCDs are a different animal entirely, and I do buy those.

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re: "I believe you're thinking of the Lee Bulge Buster not the FCD. "

I've never heard of the Bulge Buster, but have been using the Lee FCD in 9 and 40 for about 3 years. Without it on station 5 of my 650, I would be unable to use most range brass, as Glock is not the only one that has "the Bulge".

Without the LCD it wouldn't be worth the time to reload those calibers for me, as I was getting a failure to chamber in about 50-60% of my used brass. Searched high & low before running across the LCD. Haven't kept up on any newer developments.

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[Trust me the Lee Bulge Buster uses the Factory Crimp die minus the crimp ring, I know I bought one. Can always go to the Lee website to check it out.

Yes it does use the FCD but when the FCD is used like a normal die, case in a shell holder not pushed completely thru, it won't remove the base bulge. The std Lee sizing die will do more. If that's not enough you use the EGW U die. Though not 9mm, all my .45's are run thru a std Lee sizing die before going into the SDB. The std Lee sizing die sizes the case near the base more than the Dillon SDB die. All the Bulge Buster (I bought one also) did to cases that had been run thru a std Lee sizing die was (slightly) size down the rim.

The FCD does nicely remove "bullet bulge" or bullet base "ring" but you do have to be carefull about sizing down the bullet. Lee will make custom sized FCD's if the "std" FCD sizes too much or too little.

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[Trust me the Lee Bulge Buster uses the Factory Crimp die minus the crimp ring, I know I bought one. Can always go to the Lee website to check it out.

Yes it does use the FCD but when the FCD is used like a normal die, case in a shell holder not pushed completely thru, it won't remove the base bulge. The std Lee sizing die will do more. If that's not enough you use the EGW U die. Though not 9mm, all my .45's are run thru a std Lee sizing die before going into the SDB. The std Lee sizing die sizes the case near the base more than the Dillon SDB die. All the Bulge Buster (I bought one also) did to cases that had been run thru a std Lee sizing die was (slightly) size down the rim.

The FCD does nicely remove "bullet bulge" or bullet base "ring" but you do have to be carefull about sizing down the bullet. Lee will make custom sized FCD's if the "std" FCD sizes too much or too little.

I wasn't talking about it's normal use, I was talking about it a part of the Bulge Buster. Probably time to explain my reloading process again. All pistol brass is deprimed in a RCBS Rockchucker Jr using EGW or Lee undersize dies, .223's go through a RCBS small base die, brass is then hand primed. The 550 has a sizing die in station 1, the bullet seater varies by caliber, every tool head finishes with a Lee Factory Crimp. All match brass is case gauged to eliminate the occasional oversize rim. Did I mention I have OCD.

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I wasn't talking about it's normal use, I was talking about it a part of the Bulge Buster. Probably time to explain my reloading process again. All pistol brass is deprimed in a RCBS Rockchucker Jr using EGW or Lee undersize dies, .223's go through a RCBS small base die, brass is then hand primed. The 550 has a sizing die in station 1, the bullet seater varies by caliber, every tool head finishes with a Lee Factory Crimp. All match brass is case gauged to eliminate the occasional oversize rim. Did I mention I have OCD.

I don't think we're far apart. I load on a SDB. .38 special cases size fine in the SDB dies, .45acp does not, at least for use in a revolver. .45acp brass goes thru my old Rock Chucker to be sized and deprimed, Lee sizing die. I just got a U die and haven't used it yet. My 250gr RNF bullets (.45 LC bullets crimped in their crimp groove) leave a ring at the bullet base so after they come out of the SDB they go back thru the Rock Chucker and a Lee FCD die to "iron out" the ring. Then the primers are fully seated by hand. Then it goes into a TKCustom "moonclip checker" after being mooncliped. The process makes me think I should buy a 650.

Using the "Bulge Buster" (.45acp brass) and pushing the case thru gave no more sizing than I was getting with the Lee sizing die. The case rim O.D. becomes an issue. My brass did start as once fired LE "left on the ground" Federal brass fired thru semi-autos. At least on .45acp the std Lee sizing die un-glocked it "enough" although not down to "new brass" size. The "Bulge Buster" did no more. The SDB sizing die would not size it down enough near the base. My experience with the "Bulge Buster" was that it would work best on rebated rim cases with maybe an undersize (custom) FCD die.

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