Using a bullet puller kinetic or otherwise(collet type) remove a bullet from its brass hull.Ok guys, need a little Lee FCD input/feedback. It’s my first venture into using one in 40+ years of reloading (both for competition and hunting, all the thousands of rounds I’ve fired are in prep or practice for one of these or the other). But I digress...
I’m working up a hunting load for a 338 Lapua using new unfired Lapua brass, H-1000, and the Barnes 265 gr. LRX-BT. all brass has been trimmed with the WFT, flash wholes tooled, and primer pockets uniformed. i know none of this is usually required for Lapua brass, but I guess I’m just sort of anal LOL. All brass was sized using a Redding body die and the neck sized using the Redding neck die with a 0.002 neck tension bushing. Then run over a Sinclair 0.002” mandrel. Surprisingly enough, the mandrel did feel like it was opening the necks up. Didn’t expect that, but moving on....
Started out with Fed 215GM primers but was getting one round out of every 4 or 5 that would fly out ofthe group and the chrono would show a big drop in velocity for that round. So my suspicion is that I’m not getting consistent ignition. Hence i decided to give the FCD a try, thinking maybe a little light crimp may enhance the burning process. I also shifted over to using CCI primers. I know shouldn’t be changing two things at once but I’m working on a tight time frame. I leave on a hunt in 8 days and would like to take the 338 if possible.
So, anyway, set up the die initially one half turn down from when it contacted a loaded round. Got what looks to be a pretty good crimp. I was surprised to see that you can actually see the crimp. There’s a pronounced line visible on the brass just barely down from the case mouth:
View attachment 222221
Thinking this might be too much, I Backed the die out approx. one eighth of a turn or slightly more and still get a crimp, but not nearly as pronounced a mark on the case:
View attachment 222222
Since my intention was to try a light crimp to see if it mattered or not, I’m leaning towards using the lighter setting. So, here’s my questions:
1. Do you normally see a line like this on your brass with the FCD? i was expecting more of a taper crimp that wasn’t visible like this.
2. Do you think the lighter crimp is enough to make any difference? I’m an hour away from the range and can’t reload once there so i need to take a best guess approach.
3. Is the heavier crimp too much? The current load is right near the top listing in the Barnes manual. Concerned about pressure increases as well.
ANY serious suggestion, impressions, etc. are welcomed. I’ve currently got 5 rounds ready to go with the heaviest crimp, 10 with the lighter crimp, and 38 with no crimp at all. Range trip planned for tomorrow. Any ideas or help from those experienced with these dies?
Examine your bullet for any deformities (ie ring around your bullets copper jacket). Any grooves or marks on your copper jacket can cause all kinds of problems downrange.
In that light, if nothing is found leave your die alone, however, if a ring is found on the bullet jacket you are over tensioning your collet in the Lee FCD die. In that case, you should back off 1/8 -1/4 turn and crimp another round.
Now repeat the procedure by removing and examing your bullet for deformities.
Keep this up by pulling your bullets and examining them until there are no rings present on your copper jacket.
Now you are set correctly. ( A small ring around the case neck is normal and nothing to get excited over )
A little time spent now will result in a more enjoyable day at the range while sending rounds downrange.
This may seem a little much but with practice, you will find as Butterbean refers to as" the sweet spot," on the FCD die, and no further adjustment is needed.
O.B.T.W. Your Lee FCD die was a smart investment on your part.
Hope this will help you!