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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using Lee Factory Crimp Dies on all my semi auto rifles for the last couple years. So now, I'm just beginning reloading for my pistols & revolvers, 45 ACP, 44 Rem mag, 460 S&W mag, and 480 Ruger mag. From what I take of it, Revolvers get roll crimps and semi autos get taper crimps. So who makes the best over all crimp dies for hand guns. I started out buying Forester Dies, have switched to RCBS; just want to buy crimp dies for my hand gun loads and get the ones everybody else finds best for overall use.
 

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for semi-auto rounds i luv the Redding taper crimp die

i like the Lee taper crimp die for rifle

overall, for rifle i prefer forestor dies, for pistol i prefer redding...
 

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For pistol/revolver ammo, I just use the crimp feature of the seating/crimp die regardless of what brand my dies are. Haven't used a separate crimp die in 20+ years of reloading.
Roll for rimmed cartridges.
Taper for any cartridge that headspaces on the case mouth (rimless, semi-rimless, rebated-rim, etc).

I don't crimp as a separate step either but I know some guys do.
If you've got a progressive/turret press and have an extra station then I can understand doing it as a separate step if you choose. Since I run a single-stage or an old 3-station C-H with no room for the separate die it seems an extra wasted trip through the press to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Got two kids in school, spent close to 40k last year, got back 5k today from IRS over their school tuition. So I was a rich man for a couple hours. I did get 3 RCBS revolver die sets and they have have roll crimp feature; so will try that for a couple months. Mostly pistol reloading supplies, got 500 460 S&W brass from Starline, they will have 44 mag brass mid march, 96 bucks/500; backorder if ya need any.Got bunch of .452 for 460's, 240, 300 grain XTP mag and some FTX .452 at 200 grains. All the mail order places are getting supplies in slowly, just going out quicker. I did call a Anch gun shop and was able to get 2k 151 fed mag pistol primers, $50/1000; I didn't have much in pistol primers so got them. Got the wifey some boots and sweaters; she's a happy camper and so am I.
 

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Just to be clear the LEE Rifle Factory Crimp Die is a good tool for rifle cartridge. It more tolerant of a batch of cases not trimmed to the same length and crimps with a collet action. The forces to do the crimp are horizontal and will not collapse the shoulder of the case if you get the FCD set up for too much crimp (not a good idea to over crimp with this tool as it can deform the bullet).

The LEE Pistol Factory Crimp Die is not the same kind of tool. It uses a vertical crimping action like every other combo seating and crimping die (but in a separate tool for just crimping) and not the collet crimp of the Rifle version. It also resizes the case if necessary as it has a carbide sizer in the base of the die. It taper or roll crimps depending on the specific cartridge it is setup for. It is no better than anyone else's separate crimp die, assuming you don't mangle up the case during the crimp phase of using the die and really need the resizing feature.

In short, I really like the LEE Rifle Factory Crimp Die and do not care for the LEE Pistol Factory Crimp Die. On the rifle cases that I do crimp I usually use a Lee Rifle FCD. On pistol or straight wall cases I do NOT use the LEE Pistol FCD but do use the combo seating and crimping die.

LDBennett
 

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Just to be clear the LEE Rifle Factory Crimp Die is a good tool for rifle cartridge. It more tolerant of a batch of cases not trimmed to the same length and crimps with a collet action. The forces to do the crimp are horizontal and will not collapse the shoulder of the case if you get the FCD set up for too much crimp (not a good idea to over crimp with this tool as it can deform the bullet).

The LEE Pistol Factory Crimp Die is not the same kind of tool. It uses a vertical crimping action like every other combo seating and crimping die (but in a separate tool for just crimping) and not the collet crimp of the Rifle version. It also resizes the case if necessary as it has a carbide sizer in the base of the die. It taper or roll crimps depending on the specific cartridge it is setup for. It is no better than anyone else's separate crimp die, assuming you don't mangle up the case during the crimp phase of using the die and really need the resizing feature.

In short, I really like the LEE Rifle Factory Crimp Die and do not care for the LEE Pistol Factory Crimp Die. On the rifle cases that I do crimp I usually use a Lee Rifle FCD. On pistol or straight wall cases I do NOT use the LEE Pistol FCD but do use the combo seating and crimping die.

LDBennett
That good advice and I have used Lee dies for more years than I'll admit.
 

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The best roll crimp die is Redding's Profile Crimp die.
All the taper crimp dies I have seen are equally good.
The Lee FCD for pistols is designed to "iron out" any bulges from poor loading techniques and to assure all rounds chamber for action pistol competition. The only down side to the die is that they can swage down cast lead bullets that are more than 0.002" over the nominal size for the caliber (i.e., if you are shooting 0.431" or larger lead bullets in a .44 [0.429" nominal diameter], the die might swage the bullet down in diameter).
Other than that, I have found the crimp (whether taper or roll) from the FCD to be as good as anyones, except the Profile Crimp die for roll crimps.
 
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