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I think it is important as it aids in chambering and they say that it allows for proper burning of the powder. I used to run a taper crimp on my 45 act and it improved chambering of the round. It keeps tthe bullet from being pushed farther than normal into the case therefore preventing a dangerous situation and I am sure there are other reasons. I never crimp if I shooting a bolt action but some people do.
 

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You're gonna get a lot of replies on this one. Some feel so, some don't. Personally, I like the LFCD for certain situations. I haven't reloaded anything for my 9mm yet so I can't offer an opinion on cartridges that headspace on the case mouth.

I use the LFCD on all jacketed bullet cartridges. That includes .38, .357, .30-30, .35Rem, 45-70. I also use the LFCD on cast 30-30 and 45-70 rounds, so far. Some claim the LFCD downsizes their oversize lead bullets. I haven't found that to be the case for me but my lead bullets haven't been really oversized like some use. That may change.

There is a big difference in the LFCD for pistol and rifle cartridges. The standard pistol LFCD is built much like a typical crimp die. The rifle version incorporates a collet style crimping area that doesn't seem to downsize the entire area of the case where the bullet sits in the case. Lee has started offering some pistol FCD with the collet style internals recently.
 

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You will get a difference of opinion on this question. Many people do the crimp as a separate operation, either with a standard die, or factory crimp die or taper die. Combining the bullet seat and crimp in one step with standard seating die, works for many people as well. I prefer to crimp as a separate operation, as I feel it gives a more consistent & precise result.
 

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I use the FCD on all my loadings just because it is what I am comfortable with. I do believe that it offers a level of consistancy to my loads, but that is strictly my humble opinion. Ken Waters in some of his articles discuss this at length and being as he has more experience than I do in reloading I went with his recomendation. this has alwaysbeen controversail topic on any gains/loses of accuracy but in the end you need to go with what you are comfortable with.

I load for 30-30, 32 spl, 45-70, 308 win, 45 acp. I just finished a couple of hundred 45 acp and with just the slughtest crimp on the top, they look much better than the factory ammo you get off the shelf. and yes they shoot more accurately as well, is the crimp, the load or the shooter.

I am sure there are many more experienced re-loaders that may think I have drank too much LEE kool-aid, but it works for me. As far as the extra step i also use a LEE 4 turret press so only another crank of the handle in the process.
 

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Lots of possible answers sums it up pretty well. For the .45-70, there is nothing wrong with the LFCD at all... Especially if you are loading large diameter for caliber cast bullets and failed to adequately chamfer the case - seating in one step then crimping in a second can possibly save some cases from damage. The .308 loaded with jacketed bullets - I stick with the integral crimp built into the RCBS seating die, but I still do it in a separate step after seating to the desired length. For the 9mm, which requires a taper crimp since it headspaces on the case mouth anyhow, there is no benefit to a separate die, IMO, but I still crimp as part of a separate step following seating the bullet.

Matter of fact, I treat crimping as a separate step in all my loading work - - After all these years, it is a habit that works well for me, and IMO, it is just part of the deal.
 

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Like Gohon, I too seat and then crimp, two operations so it would not make much difference. The big difference in the LFCD and regular crimp dies in the pistol calibers is that the LFCD has a carbid ring at the base of the die and it makes sure the loaded round is within factory specs and will load in a pistol chamber. The .44 mag rounds for Rifles are about .002'' larger ( Some are larger than that ) and the carbide ring shrinks the round down and the slug is smaller than the bore diameter. This will cause accuracy and leading problems. Lots of people that have the Lee .44 dies will knowck out the bottom ring on the crimp die only, this will still crimp the round but not size back down after crimping, hope this makes sense. Take care, John.
 

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Depends on the round for me. Straight wall - I use roll crimp. But I may factory crimp my 45-70 since rube feed. Will FC the 30-30 and the 35 Rem. Too easy to buckle the shoulder on a 35. I will also FC 30-06 for Garand and 308 for Win 100 auto. For the 308 bolt - no crimp - just neck tension. Same for other mag fed rifles (all mine are 308 recoil or less).

ALL y revolver rounds, shooting cast, get a good roll crimp. 38 SPC, 44 SPC and 45 Colt. 45 ACp gets std taper crimp.
 

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I drank the Lee Kool-Aid. I use both types,the roll crimp type for pistol ammo,and the collet type for bottlenecks. Wouldn't be without them. The extra step in crimping is another opportunity to closely inspect your handloads. Mine shoot very well,I've been using the FCDs for decades,and appreciate the ballistic uniformity and accuracy. By the way,I use RCBS dies for all the reloading, the Lee dies just for crimping.
You'll get a lot of different answers to this post,it's up to you to try it,and evaluate the results for yourself.

Rob
 

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lots of extra steps deburring flash holes, uniforming flash holes, trimming, beveling and flaring case mouth, annealing necks, weighing brass, seat bullets while rotating case, indexing bullet to case, i do them all, but not in every cal
 
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I like the Lee FCD for rifles, not so much the pistol die, for reasons stated somewhere above. I have read a few comments on different forums, from people who are old enough ( and experienced enough) to know better and they all state that crimping should be a separate operation. The reason being that when done at the same time as seating the crimp starts while the bullet is still being seated and that does inappropriate things to the bullet (especially lead). I fully believe that they have their point and I crimp as a separate step, but I'm really not sure how much difference it make.
 

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for the 45-70, 35 Rem or 44 Mag... NO, I purchased another seating die and pulled out the seating plug and set it just to roll crimp. On other pistol calibers like 9mm, 45acp and 380 I got a "Taper Crimp die" I tried the LFCD and did not like it on cast boolits at all... Maybe I would use it on J bullets but the only thing I load those in are 7mm Mag and 6.5x57 so I dont crimp those...


Doc
 

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With taper crimping trying to seat and crimp at the same time makes quite a lot of difference, for the reason that lead may be plowed up ahead of the case mouth and prevent proper chambering, as well as promoting a buildup of lead on the chamber stop shoulder. You cannot taper crimp and seat the bullet at the same time because you're squeezing the case mouth tighter while giving it no crimp groove to go into.....just the side of the bullet. All this while the bullet is still going into the case. That's no good.

Do not, repeat, not , taper crimp lead bullets and seat in the same step. Since autoloader cartridges are most often taper crimped and tend to be mixed cases of varying length and autoloading pistol bullets of lead persuasion have no crimp groove, taper crimping and seating at the same time is especially problematic.

Whether roll crimping and seating in the same step hurts or is benign depends upon the size of the crimping groove in your bullet, the uniformity of your case length, and the crimp shoulder in the die in terms of how quickly it turns the case mouth into the bullet relating to the abruptness of the crimp. Some crimps are formed gradually, some are completed in a shorter distance.

Uniformity of case length and a gradual lead in to the full crimp depth (Look a Keith SWC or a Lyman 358311 sometime to see an example of a well beveled crimp groove) tend to be more friendly to roll crimping and seating in the same step. A narrow crimp groove is less so.
 

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If you load 9mm in a progressive press, it's not an extra step. An extra station, but not an extra step. That being said, I do not use the LFCD for 9mm on my progressive.

OTOH, some argue that for 45-70, a properly adjusted LFCD does not work the brass as much as a roll crimp and therefore the brass will last longer. And to open up another can of worms, some argue that the Lyman M die resizes the neck of the case less than the standard neck expander die of the set and also contributes to longer case life. I do use the Lyman M die for neck expansion. It think it allows a tighter grip on the seated boolit while it is waiting to be crimped. Say like I bump the boolit in the case, or drop it. (Did I really say "drop it"?)
 

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"some argue that the Lyman M die resizes the neck of the case less than the standard neck expander die."

Since the sizing die does the resizing (that is, reduces the case neck diameter) and both the standard expander ball and the M die expander are the same size (contrary to common belief, the M die expander diameter is not "special" for oversized cast bullets as the M die expander is intended for jacketed bullet diameters, not oversize cast) there is little difference in the diameters of full length sized cases and cases that are sized without the expander ball present and subsequently expanded with an M die.

All that the M dies does the standard expander does not is flare the case neck.

There is little difference in how a bullet is gripped between the M die expander and the standard expander. The case treated with the M die does admit the heel of the more tender cast bullet more easily due to the flare.

What the M dies does do, sometimes, is produce a more concentric case neck as the expander ball is often off center in the full length die. However, you cannot expand and decap in a full length die and correct any misalignment with the M die as the M die will follow the crooked neck.

If you want the M die's benefit of less runout of the case neck the expander must be removed from the sizing die. Decapping must be by other means in most dies, but my Lyman 25-20 full length die decaps but does not expand. The M die takes care of that, and the resulting case has very little runout. This die set comes as a three die set and is a very good way to skin the cat for both cast and jacketed bullets, assuming the cast bullets are not too oversized.
 

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I reload 9mm pistol, 308 rifle and 45-70. Is the factory crimp die worth the trouble of adding yet one more step to the reloading process?
I talked to a guy at Lee tech support and he highly recommends seating the bullet without crimping and then using the factory crimp die to do the crimping.
 
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