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Thread: Crimping 45-70 bullets with the Lee FCD vs. roll crimping



  1. #1
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    Crimping 45-70 bullets with the Lee FCD vs. roll crimping

    I was just wondering how much of a crimp you guys put on your rounds. This die puts a ring around the mouth of the case and crimps it into the cannalure. Is your crimp barely visable, fairly visable or REALLY visable? When I crimp it is barely visable holds really well and you can barely feel the edge at the mouth of the case when checking the before and after so I know i'm doing something there. The only reason why I ask is I just saw Winchester brand 45-70 factory rounds for the first time and all I gotta say is WOW! What a crimp they have on them bad boys. Talk about REALLY visable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The rim looks crushed into the cannalure unless my nephew just picked up an odd ball box! They shot fine though. Well what say you? Maybe i'm not crimping enough? BTW my rounds shoot fine.
    Lou

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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    This is a good question that I would like to know as well. Obviously the FCD can really put the squeeze on, but how much is too much or too little?
    Here are two photo's, the first one is of a commercial "Alaskan Backpacker" 335gr 45LC which are suitable for Ruger or 1894's but not Colts. The crimp is way more aggressive than anything I am doing with my 45/70 FCD as the second photo shows. I want to figure a way to know how much crimp to use without going overkill and overworking the brass, or worse, too little. Hopefully some more people will post some pictures of their crimping to gage by.
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    Clinebo likes this.
    1895 45-70 GS, 1894 45 Colt
    Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. Henry 22LR Frontier
    Rossi M-92 454 Casull


    "When I hold you in my arms
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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    Eaglesnest the 45 colt is what the Winchester 45-70's looked like. My handloads look like yours. When I look down the top of the die while crimping I can see the gaps in the die are coming close to touching. I know you shouldnt let them close all the way with force or you can do damage to the die. I would also imagine that much of a crimp would really shorten brass life!
    boredintr likes this.
    Lou

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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    Anyone?
    Lou

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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    I use the lfcd on many different calibers..

    It doesn't look like much of a crimp when looking at the brass, but it holds quite firmly!!!..

    The suggested start setting is a 1/2 turn in past touching the shell holder..
    I do as you said, I watch down inside the die to see how much it closes..

    Bottoming it out just damage's the die and doesn't give it anymore of a crimp..

    The lfcd is easier on the brass than a roll crimp..
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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    Quote Originally Posted by lever addict
    Eaglesnest the 45 colt is what the Winchester 45-70's looked like. My handloads look like yours. When I look down the top of the die while crimping I can see the gaps in the die are coming close to touching. I know you shouldnt let them close all the way with force or you can do damage to the die. I would also imagine that much of a crimp would really shorten brass life!
    Yeah, I can't think that with that heavy of a crimp the necks would last and not split out. I also think that with some factory, especially the +p or whatever they want to call it, that they are not a little bit hedging their bets to make their ammo as reliable as possible without the remote possibility of bullet movement, either inward, or outwards as it tends to do in a revolver. With these loads approaching maximum safe levels, to have a bullet work itself inward could I would imagine, throw pressures spike over the top. And in a revolver, if a bullet pulled outward it could jam the gun. I think with factory loads they also don't care about brass life either.. For them it just needs to work perfectly in all guns designed for it one time. I have been going back and forth with the FCD and roll crimp wanting to extend brass life in my moderately loaded rounds. Some say roll crimp is best for cast, others disagree.. I am new at all this so am hoping someone with a lot of 45/70 or levergun handloading experience will come along and throw their 2 cents at this topic.
    1895 45-70 GS, 1894 45 Colt
    Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. Henry 22LR Frontier
    Rossi M-92 454 Casull


    "When I hold you in my arms
    and I feel my finger on your trigger
    I know nobody can do me no harm"..

    JM, RIP..

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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    I am kinda like you in that a little seems to work just fine for me too. I can see the crimp but its not crazy deep by any means . If its not enough I give it a little more . Not very scientific but thats just how I do it and it seems to work out .

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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    I agree Mainecat, but when I see factory rounds from a company thats been around forever I kinda second guess myself! I have been reloading just about two years and i'm always learning new things. I'm just wondering if i'm doing it wrong is all!
    boredintr likes this.
    Lou

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    Team 45-70 #3 Team 44-40 #5
    Team 35 #327 Team 30-30 #340
    Team 38-55 #2 Team 1894 #273

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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    The crimp keeps your bullets in the magazine tube from getting pushed back into the case when the round chambered is fired. This can also happen when the tube is completely full. So...if your bullets are not being pushed back, then you are using enough crimp. If they are moving they put a little more crimp on them. I personally use as little crimp as needed, usually a roll crimp.
    JBledsoe likes this.
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    Re: Lee factory crimp die

    Thanks Maincat, learned something new already. I wasn't aware as to the damage that could happened to the die if you crimp it too far. I guess I must have instinctively realized not to bottom it out, but I do come close, so I suppose whatever crimp they used on my 45 Colt ammo is different from the Lee FCD as mine would bottom out long before that much crimp is achieved.
    1895 45-70 GS, 1894 45 Colt
    Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. Henry 22LR Frontier
    Rossi M-92 454 Casull


    "When I hold you in my arms
    and I feel my finger on your trigger
    I know nobody can do me no harm"..

    JM, RIP..


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