Marlin Firearms Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,708 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have Lee dies. I set up my bullet seating die so it just touches the shell holder. This puts some crimp on the bullet, but if more is needed you turn the die in more. Then I crimp with the Lee Factory Crimp Die.

My question is do you set up your seating die this way when using the LFCD? I'm not sure that when using the LFCD maybe I should set up my seating die differently.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
222 Posts
If you're going to use the FCD, you don't want any crimp from the bullet seating die. Back your bullet seating die out and back the center stem out some, too. Put a sized empty case in the shell holder and raise the ram all the way up. Screw in the bullet seating die until you JUST feel resistance, then back it back out a half turn to a turn. This is just to get it out of crimping range, so it's not exact. Lock the die body down. Now put a bullet on the case and run it back into the die, all the way up on the ram. Lower the ram and check the bullet seating depth. Adjust the center stem and recheck seating depth. Continue until your seating depth is where you want it. You should wind up with an un-crimped round with the bullet seated to the right depth. You are now ready for the FCD. If everything is working properly, the FCD does not change the bullet seating depth at all. I check the first two or three rounds just to make sure, but I've never had one change from where I set the bullet seater. Hope this helps.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,028 Posts
Yep, what he said. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,708 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How about after you put the crimp on. If you run your finger down the bullet across the crimp can you still feel the edge of the mouth of the case? Should I crimp enough so I don't feel that lip in the canalure? I can feel the lip and tested it against the side of the table and the bullet does not move.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Depends on what you're loading. Revolver cartridges headspace on the rim so a roll crip is used. That will 'roll' the mouth of the case into the cannelure. Auto cartridges headspace on the case mouth and use a tape crimp. You don't want the case mouth to curl into the cannelure, (if any). The LFCD normally comes with a roll crip for revolver cartridges and a taper crimp for autos. Follow their directions for setting up the LFCD and you should have no trouble.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,578 Posts
The LFCD for rifles has nothing in common with roll or taper crimping. It is a stab or ring crimp.

Adjust by following the instructions, keeping in mind that once the collet fingers are closed, maximum crimp has been applied. This can be seen from the top looking down on the die in the press. Trying for more crimp will damage the die.

I did not see where you listed the cartridge you are using. It is important, so tell us what you are doing or all the information here is invalid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,708 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh i'm sorry! I'm loading the 45-70!

The instructions say to screw the die in till it touches the shell holder then a 1/2 turn more.

The bottom of the die moves when pressure is applied. When turning in the die till it touches the shell holder should I just touch the shell holder or turn it in till the bottom of the die compresses and stops moving and then 1/2 turn more?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
If you have Lee's Pacesetter dies you should have a "dead length" seater that doesn't crimp at all, that set is made to use the included FCD.

Trying to adjust a die of any type by rote - "do this 1-2-3" - is prone to failure. That can get you in the ball park but it will never get things set for best performance; making your cartridges right always requires a bit of tweaking experimentation with the dies. And crimping of any kind is not a precisely critical thing that will blow your hands off it's done 'wrong' anyway, strive to make your ammo look like factory stuff and all will be well.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
23,807 Posts
Not matter what you do and intend to crimp with, trim them all to a common length first.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,578 Posts
Here's the deal:

On a setup like this (LFCD) you "creep up" on the crimp. Screw the die till it makes contact with the shellholder using just your fingers till you can't turn it easily anymore, adjusting with the press ram raised. No need to go all out just yet.

Crimp it. For educational purposes, among other things.

Look at the crimp. Not enough, right? Now you know what "not enough" looks like.

Try for gradually more. If using a cannelure, try for the maximum crimp possible if you wish, but do not go beyond closed collet fingers. What you are looking for is a clean appearing crimped section with defined edges.

Beware of trimming too short. These work from case length, and it is possible to trim enough off that an insufficient annular ring is produced when crimping.....and it is an annular ring that sets this type of crimp apart. If trimmed too short, the crimp will look like a roll crimp, or if really really short, no crimp at all.

The case length works against you and a proper crimp if too short. Proper trim length, to some degree, you will discover after working with the die for awhile.

A substantially applied crimp does not completely iron out on firing, as the mouth of the case will be subcaliber.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
222 Posts
What 35remington said is basically how I do it. After having to take two dies apart and spead the collet fingers back out, I gave up on Lee's instructions! To adjust my rifle FCD dies now I start with a round in the shell holder and run the die down, with the ram all the way up, until I can't turn it any more by hand. I then lower the ram and screw the die in another half turn. I then bring the ram all the way back up, check the crimp and adjust from there. I really like the FCD system, but there are a few things that you need to know beforehand. NEVER run the ram all the way up against an empty die! NEVER try to adjust for more crimp after the fingers are completely closed. All you'll do in either of these conditions is spring the collet fingers closed, and have to take the die apart to spread them back out. The people that complain about the FCD crushing shoulders have the collet fingers sprung closed. It's not difficult to remedy, but it's a pain to go through when all you want to do is a little relaxing reloading. :mad: It's important to keep this die clean, also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
lever addict said:
How about after you put the crimp on. If you run your finger down the bullet across the crimp can you still feel the edge of the mouth of the case? Should I crimp enough so I don't feel that lip in the canalure? I can feel the lip and tested it against the side of the table and the bullet does not move.
If your die roll crimps, you will see the mouth of the case "rolled" over into the crimp groove or bullet's cannalure. If you are applying a "taper crimp" no you won't see anything, but any flare from the expanding die should be removed. Best way to tell depth of taper crimp is by measuring the case at the mouth to see how much is being swaged down; aka taper crimped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,887 Posts
Use your seater die to just straighten the flare or bell at the case mouth. Then use your FCD.
It's not complicated. Don't read more into this than there really is!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top