Lee Crimping Dies

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by nevadal, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. nevadal

    nevadal New Member

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    Just getting up to steam....guess that is why the dumb question.

    Loading up 300 Savage carteridges, I have cleaned, resized using RCBS Die,
    trimmed to specs, chamfered & deburred.

    Seating bullet with RCBS seating die adjusted not to crimp...Everything
    looks good.

    Wanting a factory crimp, I installed the Lee crimping die per specs, and
    proceeded to crimp.
    My question is this....how can I know that it crimped, I see no difference in
    the carteridge before and after crimping. And is the crimping suppose to be a lot easier than the other procedures?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    crimping is just the tightening of the throat to the projectile its need not be noticable but hold the projectile firmly and not allow the projectile to move down into the cartridge
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The LEE Factory Crimp die for rifle cartridges puts noticeable broken marks around the case mouth. If the cases are shorter than minimal book case trim length (been trimmed too much) the crimp may miss the case neck.

    The die is a collet actuated by the shell holder on the press ram pushing the collet to make it close. Adjustment is critical. Read the direction but first checkout your trim length (after re-sizing the empty case).

    LDBennett
  4. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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  5. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    What did you "trim to"? Should be between 1.861"-1.871".
  6. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    I have loaded .300 Savage round for my old Mdl. 99 Jeep rifle for years. I shoot cast and jacketed in it. Never needed a crimp.:)
  7. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    I did a little accuracy test with the LFCD just yesterday.

    To make a long story long, I have always used the Lee Factory Crimp die when loading for semi-autos. I tested the LFCD for accuracy a long time ago, my tests showed enough improvement in both securing the bullet and in accuracy that I have blindly used it ever since. Lately I have read that many handloaders are having mixed results with the LFCD and most of it bad.

    With all this negative talk about the Evils of the LFCD, I started to second guess my previous accuracy tests. Maybe I wasn't getting the improved accuracy I thought I was. So, I loaded up a few rounds with the crimp and a few without and headed off to the gravel pit.

    The rifle was a Colt HBAR off the shelf AR-15 5.56.

    This first target was Sierra 53gr HP Matchking with 25.5gr AA 2520. The heavy crimp was "heavy" a pulled bullet showed a deep groove in the bullet. The Med-light crimp showed a slight ring or groove, but just barely.

    [​IMG]

    This next set of targets is all with 53gr Sierra HPMK and 26gr 748. I fired five at the crimp target then five at the No-crimp target, then I reversed it and fired five ant the No-crimp first and so on. My plan was to shoot 25 rounds at each target, but I got booted out of my shooting spot by some loggers hauling equipment into the pit, so I only fired 15 at each target.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion. Not enough of a sample to draw and real conclusion whether the LFCD improved accuracy or not, but enough of a sample that it sure as hell didn't hurt.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Crimp wins.. I always crimp with an LFCD.
  9. nevadal

    nevadal New Member

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    All trimmed to 1.861 & 1.863
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    A crimp is required in any of the following situation to assure the bullet stays put during its ride in the gun or during storage or rough handling:

    Hunting loads

    Cartridges for guns that carry ammo in them (magazine or tube fed, for example) as the recoil can reseat bullets or the tube feed spring can reseat the bullets

    For lots of cases that have minimal to no neck tension due to too thin case walls even when used in single feed bolt guns

    Ammo that is to be handled roughly (like transported over long distances on rough roads or carried in the pockets or on the person for extended periods of time

    Revolver ammo (roll crimp)

    Semi-auto pistol ammo (taper crimp)

    There may be other situations and the test is: Will rough handling by me or the gun risk the bullet getting pushed back into the case...EVER.

    Crimps are mainly for assurance the ammo stays the same as the day it was made regardless of its trip through life, not for accuracy improvement regardless of LEE's over sold hype. But maybe its me that is stupid. If you read LEE's book you would quickly find out that only he knows everything there is to know about reloading and all other manufacturers of reloading equipment are nummies.

    I like and use the LEE Factory Crimp Die (FCD) for rifle cartridges because it works for its primary task of assuring the ammo does not suffer a pushed in bullet. The LEE FCD for hand guns serves no purpose for me as it does not work the same way (rifle version uses a collet whereas the handgun version does not). With the FCD all the cases do not have to be exactly the same length. Slight variation (below the max trim length) all crimp the same which is not true of roll crimps. The Lee FCD is not perfect, as with all other LEE products: they tend to use the wrong materials for the task at hand. The collet can (it has for me) gall and then need some help with a stone but the LEE FCD works so well when maintained that I still use it.


    LDBennett
  11. nevadal

    nevadal New Member

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  12. nevadal

    nevadal New Member

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    Best Forum around. Thanks to everyone.

    nevadal
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