Opinion on Lee Crimp dies...

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by SidecarFlip, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    I'm bulk loading 223's right now for match target next spring (tumbling loaded cases too.....:D). My question don't relate to that but rather, does anyone use the Lee Factory Crimp dies?

    Midway had/has them on sale for $9.99 each so I bought 2, one in 223 and one in 308. I load my 223's with Gold Medal Match Dies and bullet seater so there is no crimp option. I'm always concerned about bullet movement in the magazine of my semi auto (no, it's not an AR...), so is crimping worth it and does it increase pressures?

    The 308's are loaded with bushing dies (Redding) so no crimp there either.

    I've never crimped anything but pistol (roll crimp) cartridges but factory ammo usually comes crimped, especially 223.

    Opinions appreciated.
     
  2. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    There are about as many opinions on this as there are people. There is alot of good reading at the bottom of this page on previous questions that are the same.
     

  3. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    I read them BTW and it's like politics, some do and some don't and those that do, most say it's good and gthose that don't, don't for various reasons. My thing is I'm worried about the 223 ptojectiles moving n the magazine. I think I'll croimp a hundred or so and compare them side by side to a no crimp round with the same load and bullet.

    All the boatail spire points I reload (55 grain) come with a crimp grove in the bullet from the factory.

    I think it will distill down to what the rounds do at the range ar 100 yards. I'm used to a very tight group and I've worked the load to that end over the years but always a no crimp so it will be a comparison.

    I was just a bit concerned about excessive pressue. I load on the high end all the time.

    I do notice with the Lee dies, you can control infinitely, the degree of crimp on the bullet by adjusting the collar. You can barely indent the brass or crush it against the bullet, entirely your choice, unlike the roll crimp on pistol reloads where the crimp is not adjustable at all and is a product of the internal sizing button.
     
  4. submoa

    submoa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    I use it for my 223 I didn't see much difference between crimp and no crimp but I just lightly crimp so yeah its worth the $10 bucks to try ;-)
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Appreciate that. Actually, I'm not a fan of Lee dies either, at least in rifle dies. Their pistol dies in carbide work fine for me and I've always been intrigued by their little hand loader.

    Midway had them for less than 10 bucks each so I bit and bought 2. 23 bucks with shipping or about 1/6th of a bushing rifle die set.

    One thing I never cared for on any Lee die was the hex nut/'o' ring stop. Hornady has the best with the side lock. I tend to retrofit everything to Hornady lock rings.
     
  6. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    I'm not generally a fan of crimping, and there's really no need to do so in the 223s for an AR. However, if I do crimp, the Lee is the way to go. I'll be the first to say, I'm not a fan of most Lee products, but they really hit the nail on the head with these, and even more so with their Factory Crimp Die for pistol cartridges. Those, I use on every straight-walled pistol case I load for, religiously, and I don't think I've had an ammunition related jam since I started using them.

    As with anything, you just don't want to over do it with a crimp. Think, "the least that you can get by with, and no more." Given proper neck tension (which isn't hard to achieve), that alone should be all you need for an AR.
     
  7. 429421Cowboy

    429421Cowboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Nothing against them,but i don't see that they would do much for accuracy beyond what you already can do with a good rifle die set. If loading for an auto i could see where the FCD could really help add another degree of relyabilty to your rounds.
    I do know that the pistol FCD is often loathed and hated by those of us who shoot cast bullets (boolits, if you will) since they will size down an oversize cast bullet, while also loosening neck tension. Weather that is all true i am not sure, but i have been provided enough information to lead me to think it is at least possible. I have no real facts on the matter so i draw no conclusions until i test it myself. I also am not one of the inducted members of the Loyal Order of Diehard Lee Haters club either.

    While i am a true Green RCBS man, i do have to admit, Hornady has a good thing going with their lock rings.