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357 Mag & Lee Factory Crimp Die...

This is a discussion on 357 Mag & Lee Factory Crimp Die... within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; How do you set yours up? Do you set the bullet seating die so that it doesn't crimp at all, and do it all with ...


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Old February 23rd, 2017, 09:18 PM   #1
 
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357 Mag & Lee Factory Crimp Die...

How do you set yours up? Do you set the bullet seating die so that it doesn't crimp at all, and do it all with the FCD?

I'm new to 357 and I keep hearing 'heavy' or 'full' crimp.
This is the first round I'm reloading that really needs a good crimp but I don't want to go too far.

Any setup advice would be welcome.



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Old February 24th, 2017, 09:34 AM   #2
 
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On Lee's Precision website, they have some excellent, short videos for setting up all their dies.

They make more sense than the written instructions.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 10:03 AM   #3
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Personally, I don't care for Lee's FCD for handguns. My experience with them has not been good. For a new reloader I'd say separate the seating from the crimping steps and use a plain old roll crimp die (or a Redding Profile Crimp die). It's been a long time since I checked my FCD for type of crimp, and I just objected to the post loading sizing feature, and you seat die may have a crimp included (seat all bullets, back of seating stem, lower die to achieve desired roll crimp). Many reloaders seat and crimp at the same time but the adjustment needs to be right on; off one way and there is too little/no crimp, off the other way the case buckles from too much crimp, or the bullet is still moving as the crimp tightens. So for now, just make it 2 steps...
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Old February 24th, 2017, 10:32 AM   #4
 
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I use a Hornaday roll crimp in a seperate step for .357 Magnum.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 11:23 AM   #5
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Lee FCD's seem to be a love/hate thing. Personally, I'm a hater. When I load .358" lead bullets, the full length post resizer squishes the bullet diameter down to .357". This results in bore fouling. For jacketed bullets, the finished cartridge looks great but neck tension is poor compared to normal RCBS or other brands of dies. Thanks but I'll stick with RCBS or Dillon dies for all my handgun needs.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 11:28 AM   #6
 
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+1. I think the FCD smashes my bullets too. I just seat and crimp with the same die.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 11:51 AM   #7
 
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This is from "Modern Reloading" 2nd edition by Richard Lee.
It gives a detailed instruction for seating and crimping beyond the instructions that come with the die set.


This is what I do with my revolver rounds. I only use the crimp die on rifle rounds.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Last edited by patkelly4370; February 24th, 2017 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Clarifying thoughts.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 12:25 PM   #8
 
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The only use I have found for the FCD is to resize some PMC cases that for some reason develop a small ring when use for Berry's 148 g Wad Cutters. The die smooths out the case. Normally I seat, back off the adjustment, adjust the die and then form the crimp. All my reloading is done on single stage hand equipment,
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Old February 24th, 2017, 03:42 PM   #9
 
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I use the Lee FCD exclusively. I also use it as directed. I never get any leading if I keep velocity under 1250 fps. I don't see my lead bullets "squishing down". I get a very nice factory-looking crimp. I frankly cannot see the problems some people have with it. But, that's just me, after loading maybe 7500-10000 rounds.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 04:30 PM   #10
 
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Well once again I agree wholeheartedly with Lowegan, all my pistol dies are RCBS and they crimp the mouth of the case just right as far as I'm concerned. I've been reloading about 50 years and haven't had a problem in all that time, in fact I've still got some old steel dies that are RCBS, sure was excited when they came out with the carbon steel dies, and replaced all my ole favorite pistol dies mo ricky tick with the carbon.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 04:46 PM   #11
 
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I use the Lee collet type crimp die. It doesn't size the bullet down like the die with the carbide ring.

Lee Collet Style Crimp Die - Lee Precision

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Old February 24th, 2017, 09:18 PM   #12
 
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Hmmm. Thank you all for your replies - I think I need to look a little more closely at my Lee crimp settings. If I get no joy, it looks like I'll have to get a new crimping die.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 09:18 AM   #13
 
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How does the FCD die work on pistols? I use the Lee crimp die on my 5.56, is it the same?
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Old February 25th, 2017, 02:00 PM   #14
 
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setting the Lee FCD

I had the same issues the first couple of times I used a lee FCD. I wondered if it was even doing anything. Eventually I watched the videos on their site and tried a few things and found a trick that may be helpful at least with a Lee Press and I would think with ANY press.
-I do not crimp with the bullet seating die. I set it per LEE instructions.
-When I put the factory Crimp die in I set the bottom of the die to touch the shell holder per their instructions.
-back the die adjusting screw well out of the die and then run a loaded cartridge up the top of the ram. Again...this is still per their instructions
- Let go of the handle leaving the cartridge all the way in the die.
-now crank the adjusting screw down and watch the handle!
-When the die touches the top of the brass the handle will start to move UP..this visual works much better than trying to 'feel' the top of the brass.
-now you can turn the screw about 1/4 turn further to get a crimp. or 1/2 turn to get a full crimp but be careful....just beyond 1/2 turn you can see that it appears to crunch down the brass. If you see that back out about 1/8 turn at a time.

I hope this helps

Last edited by Carolus64; February 25th, 2017 at 04:36 PM.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 02:14 PM   #15
 
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GONRA sez - like lowegan - use RCBS or Dillon dies for all my handgun needs.

BUT fiind the Lee Factory Crimp dies very useful for a "final reloading operation"
to make sure any "bell mouthing" is removed.

Zillions of other ways to do this of course....
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