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Discussion Starter #1
I wonder if anyone else has seen this problem. Up until recently, I've been loading 200gr LSWC bullets for my .45ACP IPSC loads on a Dillon RL550B and performing a final crimp using the Lee Factory Crimp Die.

Recently, I purchased some 200gr Moly Coated SWC bullets to eliminate the lube smoke associated with the lead bullets. What I'm finding now is that about 1 of 20 rounds results in the bullet getting pulled back out of the case (about 1/8") in the Lee Factory Crimp Die.

I've tried slightly pre-crimping the bullet in the bullet seating stage and tried increasing and decreasing the amount of crimp on the Factory Crimp die ...none of which eliminated the problem. About the best I can do is back the crimp all the way out at the Factory Crimp die and rely on the carbide sizer only.

Anyone else had this problem and any way to correct it?
 

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Haven't had that problem, but it sounds like inadequate case tension on the bullet, i.e., a powder drop tube expander button with too large a diameter, which is common. Chuck the drop tube in a drill and run the expander button against sandpaper until it is reduced in diameter .002 or so. That should solve the problem as well as reducing the likelihood of bullet setback during chambering and improving powder combustion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Originally posted by Clark:


Translation: Crimp harder. Clockwise adjust the knob on the die. Push harder on the press lever.
Yeah...well normally this would make sense to crimp harder but...

I now know what is going wrong....I don't know WHY though. I did an experiment. Pre-crimped the bullet in the seating/crimp stage and then removed the round to see if the bullet was well seated (press it against a table, see if I could spin it in the case). After comfirming that it was well seated, I ran it throught the Factory Crimp die.

The Factory Crimp die does two things....a carbide sizer ring full length sized the cartridge to spec and there's a tapered crimp sleeve that crimps the bullet. I backed the crimp adjustment all the way out and simply ran the round through the Carbide Sizer. The case lost tension on the bullet when doing this. Why I'm not really sure but I've got a possible idea. My guess is that in the process of running the sizer die down the cartridge, it is "straightening" the case and in doing so causes the mouth to open slightly. If the bullet is slighly small and slippery (they are slippery), the bullet can be spun in the case. When the taper crimp sleeve now comes in contact with the bullet (which is now loose), it can grab the edge and pull it back out. If you bypass the Factory Crimp stage all together...everything's fine. I loaded up the last 75 rounds of the open box with problems...then switched back to my lead rounds.....no problems whatsoever.
 

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I had similar problems; a big batch of Precision coated .45 bullets that were very slippery and about .0015 undersize. I shot them up by loading in Federal (thickest) brass with extra taper - not Lee CFC - crimp. I tried the Bull-X CSJs in .44-40. No way would that thin brass hold those slick bullets. I will fire them through .44 Special/Magnum
 

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Lee FCD

I love my FCD! No matter how I adjusted my Dillon crimp die,I still had some oversize ammo that would not chamber correctly in any of my 6 1911's(mostly using cast bullets of different makers). The Lee FCD cured all my problems.
I even had a 1000 rds. of MSF ammo that was oversize and wouldn't chamber correctly and I ran them all through the FCD and now they work O.K. :p
 

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I haven't had anywhere near 1/8" of an inch difference. But, I did notice that if I measured the COL of some rounds after I seated the bullets, but before I ran them through the FCD, and then again after the FCD, they were sometimes a couple of thousandths longer after going through the FCD. It didn't seem to matter whether I lightened up on the crimp or went harder. It seemed more like the post sizing was what was causing the slight change, perhaps as the round was pulled back through the sizing ring. Some rounds had a bit more resistance than others.
 

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kevins_garage said:
I haven't had anywhere near 1/8" of an inch difference. But, I did notice that if I measured the COL of some rounds after I seated the bullets, but before I ran them through the FCD, and then again after the FCD, they were sometimes a couple of thousandths longer after going through the FCD. It didn't seem to matter whether I lightened up on the crimp or went harder. It seemed more like the post sizing was what was causing the slight change, perhaps as the round was pulled back through the sizing ring. Some rounds had a bit more resistance than others.
That's the nature of the FCD. When the cartridge is sized down, material "flows". It has to go somewhere, as matter can't occupy the same space at the same time so it's lengthening your cartridge. The FCD may be ok on jacketed bullets but why would anyone decrease the diameter of their cast bullets by running it through an FCD. Kind of negates the .452 does it not? When I used to use it, I measured the before and after case diameter and it was always smaller by .0005-.001", which means the same was ocurring to the bullet. No, I'm not a proponent of the FCD but then to each his own.
Bronson7
 

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Bronson7 said:
That's the nature of the FCD. When the cartridge is sized down, material "flows". It has to go somewhere, as matter can't occupy the same space at the same time so it's lengthening your cartridge. The FCD may be ok on jacketed bullets but why would anyone decrease the diameter of their cast bullets by running it through an FCD. Kind of negates the .452 does it not? When I used to use it, I measured the before and after case diameter and it was always smaller by .0005-.001", which means the same was ocurring to the bullet. No, I'm not a proponent of the FCD but then to each his own.
Bronson7
According to Lee, their standard sizing dies are a little on the looser side of tolerances, so they don't "work" the brass as much during sizing. The post sizing done by their FCD supposedly finish sizes the round to what many other companies standard dies size the brass to in the first place. This is what they told me last year when I called them.

When I was using a standard Lee sizing die, I noticed my rounds were definitely being "re-sized" at the FCD stage. There was a noticeable resistance when the round entered the FCD and resistance when exiting. Since I switched to a Lee Undersize sizing die, all of my rounds now go through the FCD with little, if any, effort and do not feel like they are being "resized", unless the brass is a little thicker than normal or the case is bulged a little more on one side than the other.
 

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kevins_garage said:
According to Lee, their standard sizing dies are a little on the looser side of tolerances, so they don't "work" the brass as much during sizing. The post sizing done by their FCD supposedly finish sizes the round to what many other companies standard dies size the brass to in the first place. This is what they told me last year when I called them.

When I was using a standard Lee sizing die, I noticed my rounds were definitely being "re-sized" at the FCD stage. There was a noticeable resistance when the round entered the FCD and resistance when exiting. Since I switched to a Lee Undersize sizing die, all of my rounds now go through the FCD with little, if any, effort and do not feel like they are being "resized", unless the brass is a little thicker than normal or the case is bulged a little more on one side than the other.
So Lee admits to making their sizer to an overly large tolerance that produces a sloppy bullet fit and possible chambering problem, then sells you a die built to proper size and form to "correct" the problem caused by their improperly built die?? :hrm: :hrm: What a marketing idea!!

I agree with Bronson, I don`t really see a need for the FCD, nor do I want to swag my bullets after they`ve been seated in a case. Then again in over 35 yrs of loading rifle, handgun and shot gun ammo I`ve never had a problem with my ammo caused by my sizer not doing it`s job and needing help. I will cede to the thought though that there likely is a defective die out there built by other manufactures then Lee, just not that they are produced on purpose.

I know, I know, Flame away......................... :rolleyes:
 

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no flame

I use the FCD extensively but not always, because of the anomaly noted.
It, without question, has its place in my process and I highly recommend it. Often a change in process allows one the fullest benefit of a specific tool or operation, ay?

Setback is very very bad. :hrm:
 

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Why

After reloading thousands of mixed brass .45 LSWC with my Dillon 550B, I still don't have the need for a Lee FCD.
Must be doing something wrong :biglaugh:
 

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Ol` Joe said:
So Lee admits to making their sizer to an overly large tolerance that produces a sloppy bullet fit and possible chambering problem, then sells you a die built to proper size and form to "correct" the problem caused by their improperly built die?? :hrm: :hrm: What a marketing idea!!

I agree with Bronson, I don`t really see a need for the FCD, nor do I want to swag my bullets after they`ve been seated in a case. Then again in over 35 yrs of loading rifle, handgun and shot gun ammo I`ve never had a problem with my ammo caused by my sizer not doing it`s job and needing help. I will cede to the thought though that there likely is a defective die out there built by other manufactures then Lee, just not that they are produced on purpose.

I know, I know, Flame away......................... :rolleyes:
The way it was explained to me was exactly the way I stated it - they are built to the looser end of tolerances (.001-.002" loose) so as not to "overwork" the brass. The Undersize die is about .003" smaller than the standard die. Most people do not have any problems with standard Lee dies, as you will find a lot of comments about people just dialing up some extra crimp to hold their bullets in place. I chose to go with the undersize die because I prefer to have case tension hold my bullets. The standard die just wasn't giving me enough case tension. Lee will "exchange" a standard die for an undersize die for "free". You pay the shipping (I think I paid about a $1.50 the last time I sent one in) to them and they pay it on the way back. They just don't normally sell their 3 and 4 dies sets with Undersize dies.
 

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Cuba 71 said:
After reloading thousands of mixed brass .45 LSWC with my Dillon 550B, I still don't have the need for a Lee FCD.
Must be doing something wrong :biglaugh:
I have reloaded tens of thousands with no Lee FCD. I drop my match ammo thru a gauge and maybe 30% won't go. I set that aside and use it only for range ammo. That said, I have never had range ammo not work because it was oversize.
 

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The Undersize die is about .003" smaller than the standard die. Most people do not have any problems with standard Lee dies, as you will find a lot of comments about people just dialing up some extra crimp to hold their bullets in place. I chose to go with the undersize die because I prefer to have case tension hold my bullets.
Kevin, I agree with your reasoning, case tension is what should hold the bullet in properly assembled ammo. The taper crimp is for nothing more then to smooth the "belling" out of the mouth and reduce the mouth wall to proper diameter, it does almost nothing to hold the bullet. "Dialing up" the crimp can cause more problems and can accually cause the bullet to be looser. Even ammo that has a need for tight roll crimps like the 357, 45 LC, ect, still benefit from a tight case wall on the bullet.

The idea of the die being built oversize to "not over work" the case is a poor fix for a non existant problem. The crimp is what works the brass the most in properly prepared cases, and splits develope at the mouth, not on the case wall because of this. The object of full lenght resizeing your brass is to insure the cases/ammo will feed and chamber in ANY SAAMI chamber and hold the bullet in place with enought tension to keep it from moveing. If we undersize our cases and find they don`t hold the bullet, or feed everytime, in every gun (due to the sizeing not COL or other possible errors) then the die isn`t working as needed and is defective in my opinion.

Rifle shooters neck size to reduce wear on their brass but more importantly to have the case fit the chamber with zero slop to improve accuracy. The method isn`t suggested for semi autos, pumps or other types of actions that can have feed problems from this practice, and most will tell you they don`t do it for hunting or other ammo that has reliabiliy as one of the top criteria for their ammo. They still don`t need a crimp and neck tension holds the bullet just fine in rounds built this way. They still at sometime NEED to full size the cases to get them back down to proper size when they start chambering hard.

Lees idea to undersize cases then resize the case, and likely swag the bullet as a side effect if it doesn`t work is not my idea of a proper method of reloading. Nor is it a likely way to improve accuracy. The ammo may shoot fine and chamber slick as a high priced lawyer, but I prefer mine to be right from the start and so far haven`t had troubles with my methods and tools. Good components, tools, and procedures produce good ammo, and if your loads aren`t right a change in them is needed more then a "fix it" tool.

Again this is just the lowly opinion of one reloader, and is only that. I`m well aware there are other methods then mine, and mine may be wrong, although I highly doubt it :biglaugh: :biglaugh:. I`ve not loaded every cartridge and experianced every problem that can arise so there might be a real need for the Lee FCD I just haven`t seen it yet. I don`t really have a problem with others feeling a need or useing it so much as I do Lee feeling the need to make a tool to erase errors caused by the use of their other products.
 

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"U"sage

I reuse cases sometimes over fifty loadings, and it becomes difficult to size said cases to provide sufficient neck tension.
I use LEE 'U' dies in 9x19, 38 Super (boyohboy, is this one a candidate for worn out brass :hrm: ), 38/357, 40 S&W (Glocks, take that!), and 45 ACP. Some 45 cases have been reloaded so many times that the '65 date can hardly be read; know what I mean?

Conventional sizing WILL NOT size some cases sufficiently, regardless of crimp.

(I've crimped so hard the top of the bullet broke off yet one could still rotate the remainder, ay? Observed others experiencing the same conundrum.)

Currently over fifty die sets.......
 

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Ol` Joe said:
...Lees idea to undersize cases then resize the case, and likely swag the bullet as a side effect if it doesn`t work is not my idea of a proper method of reloading. Nor is it a likely way to improve accuracy. The ammo may shoot fine and chamber slick as a high priced lawyer, but I prefer mine to be right from the start and so far haven`t had troubles with my methods and tools. Good components, tools, and procedures produce good ammo, and if your loads aren`t right a change in them is needed more then a "fix it" tool...
I am just going to leave this thread now. I don't know what Lee's ideas/strategies/marketing efforts/whatever are. There are tolerances for everything. I don't think Lee is going above or below any SAAMI specs. Anyone that wants anymore info on Lee dies would probably be best off calling Lee directly. They have always been very responsive to my questions and as I said, are always willing to return/exchange any piece of Lee equipment.
 

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Kevin I`m sorry if I`ve come across as ranting toward you. I`m really just upset with Lee and should have done a better job of directing my thoughts. If you took it I was condemming, singleing out, or argueing with your choice of tools I`m appologize, it wasn`t meant that way.
I am not a fan of the FCD and never have been, I do use and like some of Lee`s other tooling though. It`s just my opinion of the company has been bruised.
I also will drop this.
 

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kevins_garage said:
The Undersize die is about .003" smaller than the standard die. Most people do not have any problems with standard Lee dies, as you will find a lot of comments about people just dialing up some extra crimp to hold their bullets in place. I chose to go with the undersize die because I prefer to have case tension hold my bullets. The standard die just wasn't giving me enough case tension.
I'm with Kevin here. In addition to my Lee FCD, I bought the Lee undersized sizing/depriming die, though, my problem was bullet setback (i.e., deeper into the case), not pulling it outward. This has--for now--tackled the problem.
 
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