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EGW U-Die or Lee FCD


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I have searched and read the posts about both of these dies but I would like to hear from people that have used both of them and which they prefer.

Currently I am shooting a Les Baer TRS in 45 ACP. Baer is known for his chambers being tight. Recently I have begun having problems with the gun going completely into battery. Sometime I can take my thumb and push the slide home and other times I can't and have to eject the round. This can sure play havoc with your times.

I was previously shooting these same reloads in a Colt Series 80 and had no problems. I use a Dillon Case Gage and check every round. I really don't want to ream the chamber until I have exhausted every other possibilty.

I have seen the posts about the U-Die and the Lee FCD making a 650 run like sh*t but others don't seem to have this problem. At this point I am looking for any and all information. I am thanking everyone in advance for their help.


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I used the EGW Undersize die and Lee FCD to load major 9 for awhile. The undersize die works well (just make sure you use one shot), the FCD makes the press real jerky because its so tight, so I quit using it, I now get my brass rollsized anyways. If you use both you'll have a lower percentage of rounds that don't chamber, however the difference is minimal in my experience.

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I use an EGW U die and love it. It did make the press clunky because the powder drop kept grabbing the undersized brass.

The solution was offered by Blackbird / Matt. I chucked up the powder drop and lightly polished it. Press runs as smooth as before and produces undersized brass / ammo now.

try it before you open up that Baer.

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I shoot two tight chambered S_Is in .40.

Before the Lee FCD they would jam frequently, even at 1.2.

Purchased the Lee.

I have not had a problem since!

The Lee works for me. I have not tried the EGW die so I can not speak to it. Most of my friends are using Lee.

A great investment. I purchased mine for Lee, he protects is retail customers so I paid retail. Midway has a good price on it.

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Guest Larry Cazes

As a sanity check, I would suggest that you reload a couple of hundred rounds and then use the chamber from your TRS as a gauge to be sure that the ammo is at fault. There can be lots of reasons that a gun doesn't go into battery completely, and oversize ammo/undersized chambers is just one of them. Baer is known for building an overly tight gun that could contribute greatly to this issue. I use the EGW U die for loading .40SW but have never had casehead expansion in .45acp that caused me to use it for that caliber.

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I have seen the posts about the U-Die and the Lee FCD making a 650 run like sh*t but others don't seem to have this problem. 


I use a FCD (love it, I threw the case gauge away!) loading 45 on a 650 and it runs fine. I left the Dillon crimp die in place (backed it off a little) and added the FCD in the last slot. It's kind of spreading out the load of crimping (progressive crimping?) so both dies are working less... there is no "clunkiness".


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Just want to make sure:

The EGW 'U' die and the Lee 'U' Die are the same thing (right?), it's just that EGW is about the only shop that sells it, without calling Lee directly.

I use the 'U' die, works very good.

The Lee FCD I use in a stand-alone toolhead (on a 550), to run those rounds through that wouldn't gauge coming off the 1050. Which seems to be happening after changing to MG's from West Coasts.

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my 45 didnt like lead bullets(especially the real cheap ones that might be slightly out-of round, i had problems with the gun returning to battery, then purchased the lee FCD...not a single malfunction in over 12000 rounds.

now with a 40, i wouldnt have one, especially if you shoot jacketed bullets...and good brass. the U die is what the doc orders there..with a .40 most of the time the lee FCD die doesnt even touch the brass(except for the crimp) although i use a RCBS 10mm size die made in the early 90s, it is tighter than most 40 dies i have seen, especially dillon.

for the 45, i believe the answer is the FCD, for the 40, its the U die..although you could use both in either and not have any trouble(except tennis elbow);)

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