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Saw an old discussion about using the Lee FCD with the 38 /357. Cast bullets were mentioned as something you want to use a roll crimp on.

So here's my question, Using a press at my friends house I loaded Berry's copper plated bullets (not jacketed, plated) and set up a mild factory crimp. I had to use a magnifying glass to check the crimp. It does place a small crease in the bullet that looks like a very fine line.

Had some test cases I made with no powder or primer. The bullets were pulled with an impact puller so I could actually load the cases. That's how I know there is a small line around the bullet. There is no swelling in the bullet due to the crimping when checked with a micrometer.

Was able to easily expand the mouth to load these after the powder and primer were loaded.

So I think everything should be ok, but wanted to double check. These are going to be used in a revolver and and 1894 (hence the crimp). They have a mild load because I use Trail Boss powder since my wife doesn't like the recoil of a full on 357 in the revolver. And I want to get rid of my 38 brass because I hate cleaning out the carbon ring that builds up.

Any replies, tips, help is much appreciated.
 

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So your are using the Lee FCD and are asking if there is enough crimp? I load the RMR 158 grain for 357Mag which is also a plated bullet. Used standard Hornady dies for years and just watched out to not crimp too much. If I had a case or two that made a crunch noise I would segregate and shoot seperatley, checking the barrel for jacket material.
They always shot fine and accurate as the rest.
Last year I purchased Lee FCD for .357, .41 and 44Mag, kind of takes the worry out of the process.
As long as you can push the bullet tip on the loading bench and it doesn't go further into the case you should be good.
Reloads for .357 Mag are generally more accurate if you have a good uniform crimp.

Best of luck

REK
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Last year I purchased Lee FCD for .357, .41 and 44Mag, kind of takes the worry out of the process.
As long as you can push the bullet tip on the loading bench and it doesn't go further into the case you should be good.
Reloads for .357 Mag are generally more accurate if you have a good uniform crimp.

Best of luck

REK
Thanks
An earlier post the person didn't like using the Lee FCD on lead bullets, so I thought I'd ask this question figuring someone might be using the plated bullets and could give an answer. I was worried more about over crimping. But with your reply, I should be good as they pass the push test.
 

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Lee made their regular pistol FCD, and then made a special(?) run of 357 collet type FCDs like what they do with rifle FCDs. Which type do you have? Does yours have an adjustment knob on top? If so, you can use it for both cast and jacketed. HTH
 

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You aren’t going to deform the bullet as long as you follow the directions. Deformed bullets come when you way overuse the FCD. I did it to some .308 on purpose just to see if it was possible to duplicate some of the crazy pictures you see on the net of bullets looking like a coke bottle. It is possible. But to actually deform the bullet, you have to ignore the instructions and crank that FCD down several turns more. “Most” bullets I’ve selected for use in my lever guns have a crimp groove. I use the FCD to apply a moderate crimp in the groove. It reforms the slight flare I made (for cast) and provides a secure grip to reduce setback. In my experience, the FCD has also shown far more uniform velocities in all of the calibers I reload. The standard deviation has been significantly reduced......for me.

One caveat, the FCD is not a replacement for proper neck tension nor is it to correct poor neck tension.
 

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I've used the Lee FCD with Berry's and Rainier plated bullets for decades. Set the die to just kiss the case mouth, gently, like an Angel's lips brushing your cheek. You should barely be able to feel the case mouth with a fingernail. If your neck expander and dies are correctly dimensioned, case mouth tension should hold the projectile firmly, the crimp is just the finishing touch.
 

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Saw an old discussion about using the Lee FCD with the 38 /357. Cast bullets were mentioned as something you want to use a roll crimp on.

So here's my question, Using a press at my friends house I loaded Berry's copper plated bullets (not jacketed, plated) and set up a mild factory crimp. I had to use a magnifying glass to check the crimp. It does place a small crease in the bullet that looks like a very fine line.

Had some test cases I made with no powder or primer. The bullets were pulled with an impact puller so I could actually load the cases. That's how I know there is a small line around the bullet. There is no swelling in the bullet due to the crimping when checked with a micrometer.

Was able to easily expand the mouth to load these after the powder and primer were loaded.

So I think everything should be ok, but wanted to double check. These are going to be used in a revolver and and 1894 (hence the crimp). They have a mild load because I use Trail Boss powder since my wife doesn't like the recoil of a full on 357 in the revolver. And I want to get rid of my 38 brass because I hate cleaning out the carbon ring that builds up.

Any replies, tips, help is much appreciated.
What I do when I load 357 mag. is roll crimp the case as I seat the bullet, Then I run my cases through a CH 38/357 taper crimp die, which seems to further push the crimp against the bullet. I have never had issues with bullets being pushed in or out during recoil with the 357 magnum. I only use jacketed bullets for the 357. I do the same for 38 specials, using plated bullets with cannelure's, although, it isn't necessary, IMO, for 38's.
 

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With light loads you generally are using a fast burn powder and a charge in the range of 5 to 7 grains. A light crimp is okay in this situation. The only time you really need a heavy crimp is with a full Mag load using a slower burn powder that fills the whole case. In this case the heavy crimp holds the bullet in longer to promote better ignition and prevents squib loads.
 

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...I would add that a sturdy crimp in magnum loads limits the possibility of movement or advancement of the other bullets out of the cases under the inertia of the recoil, thus avoiding the locking of the cylinder_
 
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