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45 ACP Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die

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45 ACP Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die Empty 45 ACP Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die

Post by Boxturtle 3/5/2021, 1:32 pm

A Lee Factory Crimp die was purchased for testing.  The die works as advertised.  The carbide ring does not reduce the diameter of cases unless a cartridge is out of specification.  The taper crimp is uniform and the crimp diameter is easily adjusted.  The die is just long enough to work in a Dillon XL-650 press.  There are no negatives to report.

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Post by Dcforman 3/5/2021, 2:52 pm

If you pull a bullet, is it still .452? Or has it been swaged down? Have you tested ammo at 50 yards using the Lee FCD vs a standard crimp die? Just curious!

Dave

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Post by CFPlinker 3/5/2021, 3:19 pm

The problem of the CFCD swaging bullets down is widely known. However it only happens some of the time. What was the wall thickness on the brass you were using in your test?

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Post by Boxturtle 3/5/2021, 3:37 pm

Dcforman wrote:If you pull a bullet, is it still .452? Or has it been swaged down? Have you tested ammo at 50 yards using the Lee FCD vs a standard crimp die? Just curious!

Dave

Accuracy is the same with and without the Lee FCD.


Last edited by Boxturtle on 3/5/2021, 3:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Boxturtle 3/5/2021, 3:37 pm

CFPlinker wrote:The problem of the CFCD swaging bullets down is widely known. However it only happens some of the time. What was the wall thickness on the brass you were using in your test?

Some 45 Colt revolvers achieve an accuracy improvement through the use of oversized bullets.  Colt SSA revolvers in particular often have chamber throats as large as 0.455" or more, with barrel groove diameters of 0.451" or thereabouts.  Bullets for revolver use often display best accuracy if the chamber throats are about 0.001" larger than barrel groove diameter, and if bullets are sized to a sliding fit in the chamber throats.  If 0.452" bullets are fired in a revolver with 0.451" barrel groove diameter and 0.452" chamber throats, accuracy will often be good (other factors may interfere).  If the same 0.452" bullets are used in a revolver with 0.455" throats accuracy will usually be poor.

A solution for large-throat revolvers is to use larger cast bullets (0.455" or close).  This is the situation that has been so frequently misinterpreted.  In this case, the Lee FCD may reduce bullet diameter.  Note also that bullet diameter may often be reduced with or without the FCD, as the neck tension of the case itself is often sufficient to do the same thing.  There are several solutions.  One is to use cast bullets that are very hard.  The hard bullets can withstand the tension of the case.  Another is to use bullets that are very soft, particularly with black powder.  The bullets can "bump up" in the throat.  Yet another solution is to use cast bullets that have a full-diameter section outside the case.  These bullets are correctly guided by the chamber throat even if the remainder of the bullet body is of lesser diameter.

People with a less-than-perfect understanding often broadly interpret specific knowledge and achieve non-factual generalizations.  A case in point is students who were taught Newton's Law of Cooling in college, and then proclaim that boiling water will freeze in less time than cold water. 

I made specific and careful measurements and determined that the 45 ACP Lee FCD does not change the dimensions of an otherwise correctly configured round of loaded ammunition.  If, say by imparting too much crimp, a bulge exists in the case, the FCD will reduce the bulge.  The carbide sizing ring will only make contact with the cartridge if the cartridge itself is out  of specifications.  Correctly assembled ammunition is unaffected by the carbide ring, as the ring does not touch the case.

The situation is more complex than I can describe in a few words, but the idea is here.


Last edited by Boxturtle on 3/5/2021, 5:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by chiz1180 3/5/2021, 5:13 pm

Dcforman wrote:If you pull a bullet, is it still .452? Or has it been swaged down? Have you tested ammo at 50 yards using the Lee FCD vs a standard crimp die? Just curious!

Dave

When used correctly it does not swage the bullet, however it can if you do not adjust it correctly (e.g. crank the adjustment down super tight).  I have had excellent results at 50 yards.

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Post by Boxturtle 3/5/2021, 5:34 pm

chiz1180 wrote:
Dcforman wrote:If you pull a bullet, is it still .452? Or has it been swaged down? Have you tested ammo at 50 yards using the Lee FCD vs a standard crimp die? Just curious!

Dave

When used correctly it does not swage the bullet, however it can if you do not adjust it correctly (e.g. crank the adjustment down super tight).  I have had excellent results at 50 yards.

The sizing component of the FCD is not adjustable.

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Post by chiz1180 3/5/2021, 5:49 pm

It is not the carbide sizing ring that causes people the problem. If you take the die apart you have three main components, the threaded adjustment knob, a the crimp ring, and the die body (which incorporates the carbide ring). The bullet gets swaged down when it is forced too far into the crimp ring.

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Post by Allgoodhits 3/5/2021, 8:31 pm

Boxturtle wrote:A Lee Factory Crimp die was purchased for testing.  The die works as advertised.  The carbide ring does not reduce the diameter of cases unless a cartridge is out of specification.  The taper crimp is uniform and the crimp diameter is easily adjusted.  The die is just long enough to work in a Dillon XL-650 press.  There are no negatives to report.
Put the lock ring on the under side of the tool head. That will permit the die to thread down further.
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Post by Boxturtle 3/6/2021, 5:35 am

Hi Goodhits,

Thank you.  I'm familiar with that suggestion.  As I said, the die body is long enough to work on the Dillon XL-650, so no such change is required.

Take care, Tom

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Post by rich.tullo 3/6/2021, 8:21 am

Good for range brass the is all out of spec. Not great for 50 yard accuracy. They will not be terrible but I get better results out of Redding for match ammo.
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Post by BE Mike 3/6/2021, 8:29 am

Boxturtle wrote:
Dcforman wrote:If you pull a bullet, is it still .452? Or has it been swaged down? Have you tested ammo at 50 yards using the Lee FCD vs a standard crimp die? Just curious!

Dave

Accuracy is the same with and without the Lee FCD.
What size groups are you getting at 50 yards? What bullet are you using? How is your accuracy testing done? What gun are you shooting?
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Post by 8eightring 3/6/2021, 12:51 pm

I have found that the LEE FCD does a really good job as long as the crimp adjustment is not adjusted down too far. The die works well on my Dillon 550.
I have found a problem on my Hornady Lock n Load Progressive ( I hate using that word Progressive )  when using 38 full wadcutter bullets .
The case rim rides up on the case retaining spring at the crimp stage of the cycle. That tilts the case over at an angle and causes  the case to hit the bottom of the die instead of entering the die. If using round nose or SWC bullets the bullets would guide the case into the die. Not so with full wadcutter.  I had to go with a Dillon crimp die that has a large funnel profile on the bottom.
The bottom of the Lee FCD is shown in a photo.
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Post by Boxturtle 3/6/2021, 1:48 pm

8eightring wrote:I have found that the LEE FCD does a really good job as long as the crimp adjustment is not adjusted down too far. The die works well on my Dillon 550.
I have found a problem on my Hornady Lock n Load Progressive ( I hate using that word Progressive )  when using 38 full wadcutter bullets .
The case rim rides up on the case retaining spring at the crimp stage of the cycle. That tilts the case over at an angle and causes  the case to hit the bottom of the die instead of entering the die. If using round nose or SWC bullets the bullets would guide the case into the die. Not so with full wadcutter.  I had to go with a Dillon crimp die that has a large funnel profile on the bottom.
The bottom of the Lee FCD is shown in a photo.



Thank you for your thoughtful, informed opinion.  The information is useful.

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Post by James Hensler 3/6/2021, 2:47 pm

Agree to disagree
Sir the stem can be removed and the die doesn’t even have to be installed in the press. A finished 45 ACP round using either a .452 or .451 will NOT go through the ring of a FCD. If you take a finished round with no or very little crimp ( just for testing this ) pull the bullet and it will measure .452 if that’s what you are using. Now run it though the die without the stem in the die and pull the bullet. It will measure .446
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Post by james r chapman 3/6/2021, 7:23 pm

James Hensler wrote:Agree to disagree
Sir the stem can be removed and the die doesn’t even have to be installed in the press. A finished 45 ACP round using either a .452 or .451 will NOT go through the ring of a FCD. If you take a finished round with no or very little crimp ( just for testing this ) pull the bullet and it will measure .452 if that’s what you are using. Now run it though the die without the stem in the die and pull the bullet. It will measure .446
we sure do disagree.
are using calibrated "C" clamps to measure with?????
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Post by chiz1180 3/6/2021, 7:32 pm

Pulling a bullet is with an inertial puller to get a measurement is flawed. You are forcing the bullet to pass through the crimped portion of the case, which by definition is the narrowest part of the case. If this were to happen during the round firing the case would not loose the crimp dimension imparted by the die, every fired case I have looked at does not retain that characteristic. Pulling a bullet is not the same as firing a bullet, the physics is completely different.

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Post by rich.tullo 3/6/2021, 8:16 pm

You can see pretty well if the bullet is sized if the bullet comes out looking like you did not seat it you are good. 

Jerry Keefer in his brilliance made a special die that expanded the case to load swaged bullets. 

I accomplish something similar using a M Die and a NOE bullet mold expander for a 45 70. You can push the bullet about 1/2 way down before feeling pressure and then when you tapper crimp everything is uniform and un damaged. If you look at pulled plated bullets you will see damage at the base and the same is true for flat based bullets. The damage caused by the bullet moving pass the bell can cause in accuracy exampled by radical flyers like an 8 when you are holding 10 at 50 yards. You will still get flyers but I made ammo with good cast bullets that match JHP in performance using this system.

The LEE factory crimp die is excellent if you are using range brass which could have been fired out of a Glock. But it is not for long line match ammo. I get the best crimp out of Redding and I have the LEE, RCBS and Hornady. I had a gun that shot lights out but had a tight Chamber It was an early 1990's Madore which grouped under "2 in 2016 but was finicky and only pluncked perfect mixed brass ammo. I got the LEE and that solved the problem. The lee makes nice looking ammo but if you are looking to make 10x long line ammo its is not for that unless you are using new brass and loading .470 or greater.
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Post by chiz1180 3/6/2021, 8:36 pm

Find someone that consistently can shoot 10x cleans at 50 and get back to me.

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Post by rich.tullo 3/6/2021, 8:47 pm

chiz1180 wrote:Find someone that consistently can shoot 10x cleans at 50 and get back to me.
Not nice. But if the bullet cannot do it from a Ransom rest or a sand bag then how can you expect to shoot in the 90"s on the long line if your ammo is throwing flyers. ASYM and JHPS can buy you points but $30 on a die and plug makes better or equivalent at lower cost and in today's market with available bullet heads.
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Post by James Hensler 3/7/2021, 6:36 am

james r chapman wrote:
James Hensler wrote:Agree to disagree
Sir the stem can be removed and the die doesn’t even have to be installed in the press. A finished 45 ACP round using either a .452 or .451 will NOT go through the ring of a FCD. If you take a finished round with no or very little crimp ( just for testing this ) pull the bullet and it will measure .452 if that’s what you are using. Now run it though the die without the stem in the die and pull the bullet. It will measure .446
we sure do disagree.
are using calibrated "C" clamps to measure with?????
Jim I remember you saying once that your die is like 30 years old. I have to tell you that since you bought yours Lee has changed the diameter of the tungsten ring and I don’t care how many new ones you try what I said is true! The Ohio State University School of Engineering taught me that I am smart enough to use C clamps to measure shit only if they are calibrated
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Post by James Hensler 3/7/2021, 6:40 am

chiz1180 wrote:Pulling a bullet is with an inertial puller to get a measurement is flawed. You are forcing the bullet to pass through the crimped portion of the case, which by definition is the narrowest part of the case. If this were to happen during the round firing the case would not loose the crimp dimension imparted by the die, every fired case I have looked at does not retain that characteristic. Pulling a bullet is not the same as firing a bullet, the physics is completely different.
Sir are you implying that a crimped case will reduce the size of the base of a projectile when removing it via a bullet pulling hammer? If you are you obviously haven’t done it before
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Post by chiz1180 3/7/2021, 8:55 am

rich.tullo wrote:
chiz1180 wrote:Find someone that consistently can shoot 10x cleans at 50 and get back to me.
Not nice. But if the bullet cannot do it from a Ransom rest or a sand bag then how can you expect to shoot in the 90"s on the long line if your ammo is throwing flyers. ASYM and JHPS can buy you points but $30 on a die and plug makes better or equivalent at lower cost and in today's market with available bullet heads.
My point is that the LEE die can make acceptable bullseye ammo. Most of the points in a match are on the shortline, clean the shortline and average of 90 on the longline and you shoot a 2610. A gun that groups 3" will shoot in the 9 ring all day long which will average at least, but likely greater than a 90. 

For reference I did a quick ransom test with my gun with 10 different load combinations, of the 10 only 2 grouped larger than 3 inch, most well below that. All these combinations used a Lee FCD. This is bullseye not bench rest, in most cases even the most modest equipment will not hold a shooter back.

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Post by James Hensler 3/7/2021, 10:39 am

45 ACP Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die C51a1d10
45 ACP Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die 1f84ff10 
Explain this
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Post by tovaert 3/7/2021, 10:44 am

I thought it was best just to resize the .45ACP round to remove the flare, since it is not tapered. I use the Lee FCD for this (for .45 and 9mm as well). I'm curious about the Redding die though.

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