Why I Crimp

QuietTexan

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Do y'all see a visible result from crimping with the Lee FCD? I set up a 300 BLK die for AR loads per the book, and I don't see, feel, or notice anything at all.
 

Old rooster

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Yes I do.
If you can't see a slight crimp you need to do down a bit more.
Thats why the OP said he can tune his loads with the amount of pressure.
On my 47-70 loads I put a firm crimp on my bullet but others are different.
Put a case in your press and FCD and turn it down until you feel the crimp.If you don't feel the crimp your not down far enough.
On 308 I load 2 with a very light crimp and test fire them for accuracy,then a little heavier crimp for 2 more and check for accuracy.
My 300 weatherby mag requires a fairly heavy crimp while both my 30-06's require a light crimps.
If you go down too much the handle will be hard to press down.
Play with it and you will get the feel of it.
Old Rooster
 

jumpmasterkolo

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The first time I heard of the factory crimp die was in the 80's.
While visiting a friend in another state we were working up loads for his rifle at a range and just using the seating die to crimp the bullet in place and just fired a shell and was checking the poi when a guy down the line to our left fired and it sounded hard!People screamed and we ran down there to find the shooter had metal in his face and a kid screaming.The action on his rifle was split.We helped him off the ground and noticed several people injured so the R O called police and ambulance.It was later determined that a bullet suffered setback and blew up due to that.
Thats why I use neck tension but check EVERY shell before I load it in the chamber as I use a sharpie on where the case mouth meets the bullet,that was I can see bullet set back from a distance.
Many law suits and several injuries make me wonder about the dangers of bullet set back due to recoil.
I may return to FCD as I have one for every cartridge I shoot.
Thanks ButterBean.
Old Rooster
OR,
Are you inferring the FCD prevents bullet setback all the time and would have kept this guys bolt from splitting or is your point that marking your bullet and casing should be a habit we all take on? I’m a sponge and want to make sure I’m absorbing the correct lesson here.
THANKS
KʘLʘ
 

Old rooster

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I am not a gunsmith but I feel better bullet purchase would have prevented this bullet set back.
Through more neck tension or factory crimp die I would think.
That episode made me wonder if all my past reloads were tight enough.
For the bench where I load one at a time I use .002 neck tension but hunting I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die.
Just my opinion.
Old Rooster
 

tim_w

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I am not a gunsmith but I feel better bullet purchase would have prevented this bullet set back.
Through more neck tension or factory crimp die I would think.
That episode made me wonder if all my past reloads were tight enough.
For the bench where I load one at a time I use .002 neck tension but hunting I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die.
Just my opinion.
Old Rooster
I agree as a general rule. There are so many variables. Bullet bearing surface to case neck mating surface area. The actual neck tension in terms of force vs dimensional measurement etc.

Lee has made a number of innovative products. FCD & Collet neck die are likely the most popular.
 

Hugnot

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I crimp for my .204R. I discovered that It produced the best accuracy with 40 Vmax's seated about 010 back from lands. Doing that gave me some .100 inches of bullet inside neck and I had some thoughts about runout and seating security. I use a Lee .204 FCD.

I also crimp for my 5.56 AR ammo with 62's having cannelures using Lee .223 FCD.

I always crimp for my .375-.338, front of magazine slams into bullet points. Roll crimp with seater die after seating bullet.
 

7stw

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Do y'all see a visible result from crimping with the Lee FCD? I set up a 300 BLK die for AR loads per the book, and I don't see, feel, or notice anything at all.
The answer is yes, to the part, do you see a difference. I see it in the chronograph, as es, and sd are typically less, across the board. Also see the difference on target. Tighter groups, due to consistent burn of powder. So, it IS rocket science.
I just set up my Lee, FCD, for my now favorite 25.06ai, along with the collet resizer. On first bullet fired loads, with FCD, groups were smaller, then same loaded without.
Butterbean introduced me to the FCD, back around 2012. I've been using them since. I've explained it several friends. Some get it, some dont. As Bean said, when you find your sweet spot, you know. 😁😁😁
 

QuietTexan

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I meant a literally visible result, as in can you see the crimp on the case, because I can't see a difference taking a cartridge out of the press compared to the next one in the block that hasn't been crimped.

In terms of showing up on the target... these are 220gr Berrys over drum-dropped 1680 from a 9" chrome lined barrel. They shoot minute-of-IPSC quite well, but have little practicality past that. I don't want setback in the mag mainly, and I'm thinking I need set the seating die to crimp instead of using the FCD.
 

7stw

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I meant a literally visible result, as in can you see the crimp on the case, because I can't see a difference taking a cartridge out of the press compared to the next one in the block that hasn't been crimped.

In terms of showing up on the target... these are 220gr Berrys over drum-dropped 1680 from a 9" chrome lined barrel. They shoot minute-of-IPSC quite well, but have little practicality past that.
Yes, you typically do see three evenly spaced imprints at the top edge of your brass. Now, there again, depending on how hard you have it set, but even a lite "crimp" at least shows the collet mark your brass. If you are not showing it, you are either to loose, or too shallow.
Uniform trim length is critical. Very critical.
 

Old rooster

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QuietTexan I rely on the die crimp on all handgun ammo and have since the early 70's but I don't always notice a crimp ring all around on some rifle rounds so that's why I went to the FCD but as long as you have confidence in your setup then go with it.
I did inherit a roll crimp die for 45acp and use it.
The chances of setback bad enough to blow up a gun is low but even after many many years of reloading I had a 300 savage in an older Remington 700 classic suffer from slight bullet setback but I had used a sharpie to mark a loaded round and was unable to see the sharpie on the bullet.It wasn't much but I caught it and use a FCD ever since for hunting but for casual shooting or setting up a load I just use neck tension and the sharpie and have been ok.
I use the thin sharpie with a Ultra Fine Point tiny tip and just mark the bullet
Old Rooster
 

cajun

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Dec 11, 2007
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Yes, you typically do see three evenly spaced imprints at the top edge of your brass. Now, there again, depending on how hard you have it set, but even a lite "crimp" at least shows the collet mark your brass. If you are not showing it, you are either to loose, or too shallow.
Uniform trim length is critical. Very critical.
Trim length is not as important with the lee fcd as it applies a taper crimp and the crimping surface is larger than your typical roll crimp die. Ideally your cases should be all trimmed to the same length for consistency but its not as critical as a roll crimp.
 

Orange Dust

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Here's how I use the Lee FCD for accuracy, I'm not trying to push it on anybody or saying that what anyone is doing is wrong, I love reloading and I have spent a small fortune on the latest and greatest and 30 years later I have come full circle and am almost where I started finding I can do a lot with a little. Anyway The Lee FCD, It comes with instructions and they work fine set to those specs but here is how I use it to "Fine Tune", Back the die way off and raise a round, screw the die in until it tightens up against the round, (Hand tighten really snug and I take a fine line sharpie and mark the die, lock nut and press at this point for reference), lower the round and give it a 16th to 1/8th or so of a turn, ( I prefer to cam over doing this with the Rock Chucker press so I know I'm consistent ) it may not look like it did anything but I assure you it did, crimp a string of however many you want and see if it helps, if it didn't give it another 16th to an 1/8th of a turn in and repeat. You can take bigger swings if you like but I don't .The way I use the Lee FCD its the same as finding a powder charge or seating depth. Once again I'm no professional and I'm not a competition shooter I'm a hunter who loves fast accurate rifles and this works for me and i use it on everything I load for, I have seen it help various calibers and I will say that I personally have never seen it hurt one in any way, , I do a lot of unconventional things from the Case Lube or the Dies I like to use some folks think I'm crazy I reckon, Once again this is just how I do things, I just want to say this again so it doesn't get all twisted,

ButterBean
Butterbean, I use this die the same way. My loading is a hybrid of what you are saying, and it proves you are not wrong. Here is what I do: All depends on the setup of the rifle. I make the call by the scope that is on it. If the rifle has exposed turrets, I use premium brass that has been fully match prepped benchrest style, and load it using every trick I know just like if I was competing in 1000yd benchrest with HBN coated bullets. If it does not, I sight the rifle in for MPBR and load stock cases using standard dies along with a Lee FCD. Uncoated bullets. Out to 3-400yds they shoot just as well. Seems to depend more on the rifle with good loads. Those rifles may also shoot very well at long range, but I have no idea, never shot them far. The first way is a lot of work. Is it worth it? Don't know for sure but I FEEL BETTER doing it, and they do shoot very well. It is a hobby after all and the time preparing those loads is very satisfying. The other loads are more like work. Higher volume, and just get it done so you can go shoot. I would also throw it out there that if you don't want to neck turn this die will make your loads much more consistent if you use it right. I will say this: The Lee FCD turned both my .17 Remington Sakos into tack drivers. Without it both rifles struggle to stay in an inch @100. That is what sold me on the FCD. The .17's are as picky to load for as it gets.
 

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