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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was a long, cold, snow winter and I decide it was time I learn to reload. Read several manuals cover to cover and watched so many Youtube videos on the subject I'm surprised I didn't get a visit from ATF. Most of my test loads seem to go together fine but I'm having issues with my 45-70 loads. Cases were prepped sized, primed and charged. I'm loading LaserCast 405gr and seating to 2.53" OAL which is just at the middle of the cannalure. That is the recommended OAL in the Oregon Trail Bullet Company manual. However, when I use the Lee Factory Crimp die it pushes the bullet down another .02" giving me an OAL of 2.51". I've tried resetting the die, seating the bullet a little shallower but nothing I do seems to matter. I took the FCD out of the press and bullets pass through without issue. I'm at a loss. Any of you seasoned professionals have any advise?
 

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The most useless investment that I ever made was a Lee factory crimp die. It set on a shelf as I hope to someday find a practical use for it.....paper weight?

With cast bullets the LFCD is worse than useless, with jacketed bullets it works great, but I never shoot jacketed bullets in a 45-70. The LFCD would resize the cast bullet.....whether I wanted them resized or not.....then it squeezed the crimp area of the bullet which distorted the bullet and diminished accuracy.

I hope you have better luck with it than I did.

JB
 

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That's good info JBledsoe. I've used FCDs for jacketed and it does work great for them but never used it on cast. I can see where it would be a problem though.
 

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I use the Lee FCD's with everything I load for (no 45-70 though), and about 90% cast bullets. No issues for me, and perfect crimp, but none of my bores require greatly oversized (above nominal bore dimension) bullets. Maybe I'm just lucky in that respect, but I do (now) have a better understanding of how the Lee FCD works and why Mr. Lee designed it to do what it does. I also understand the possible limitations of the FCD and accept the fact that it may just not be the best tool for every possible application, but can't understand the reason for the bitterness and vitriol that seems to creep in to every thread that mentions the Lee FCD.
 

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I have just finished loading a few of the laser cast in my 45-70 and used the LEFCD to some success. I have it set to just barely touch the case and put just the slightest crimp almost unnoticable unless you look at it closely. It seemd to work fine on my most recent re-loads. but jbledsoe may be on to something with this affecting accuracy. i am going to the farm this weekend and hope to report back on any problems I have with this batch.

I also used the LEFCD on my 45 acp loads with lead bullets and my rounds look better than factory winchester white bulk box. I once again had it set so light that it barely leaves an indent but I feel enough to give me some grip on the bullet. I also have found that the pressure on the stroke of the press needs to be very consistant and the same or I expeerience the same problem you have mentioned. once again I have not shot any yet but plan on doing that over the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input guys. I used a LFCD to load some 30-30 using cast and some .357 and 38 special using both cast and jacketed. Just having issues with the 45-70. Guess I'll try crimping with the bullet seating die and see if that's an option.
 

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As mentioned a light touch is needed because of the potential to crimp and change the size of the cast boolit.
This is separate and distinct from the resizing ring built into most LFCD's.
I have a Ranch Dog custom that doesn't have the resizing ring but it's my understanding you can remove it yourself.
Honestly with most cast being oversized if you've sized the brass then it will be very snug anyway.
 
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I use Lee FCD's on all my rifle cal's up to 444 and they work fine for me with lead and jacketed. You indicate that the case mouth is seated to the middle of the cannelure before you crimp. Perhaps the bottom of the crimp groove is being forced deeper by the constricting of the case mouth? Maybe too much crimp? I'd experiment with that theory by long-seating a boolit so the case mouth is nowhere near the crimp groove before crimping. See if the same thing happens.

If you get consistent OAL's after crimping does the shorter OAL matter to the gun?
 

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I've never had an issue with the .45-70 FCD resizing bullets, and I use a lot of .460" bullets in mine.

I have noticed that the area crimped is larger than a roll crimp, due to the die squeezing the brass rather than rolling the end. I also have noticed the OAL shortening slightly with a heavier crimp, using the FCD. It is consistent, and if accuracy is suffering, it's not too bad as the loads shoot well, indeed.

But, nonetheless, I do have in my grubby little hands, one Redding Profile Crimp die. And, if early indications hold out, it may be the better of the two dies for crimping in the small grooves provided with the bullet I use. I just don't really know, yet. I haven't loaded and shot enough rounds to conclude, but so far, pretty good.

The Lee is a great die for Jacketed, but I'm more concerned with cast in .45-70.

I'm with Tedak on the shorter OAL. If it's working, I'd use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As stated I'm just starting out in this reloading adventure. Does the shorter OAL effect accuracy? Don't know yet as I'm just building test loads. If all goes as planned I'll be out at the range tomorrow and find out. I do think have use a slightly aggressive crimp. Getting the hang of things has been a trial and error experience. I guess we'll see where we go from here.

Vic, I did look at the Redding Profile Crimp die and it looked very interesting. Let us know how it works for you.
 

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It was a long, cold, snow winter and I decide it was time I learn to reload. Read several manuals cover to cover and watched so many Youtube videos on the subject I'm surprised I didn't get a visit from ATF. Most of my test loads seem to go together fine but I'm having issues with my 45-70 loads. Cases were prepped sized, primed and charged. I'm loading LaserCast 405gr and seating to 2.53" OAL which is just at the middle of the cannalure. That is the recommended OAL in the Oregon Trail Bullet Company manual. However, when I use the Lee Factory Crimp die it pushes the bullet down another .02" giving me an OAL of 2.51". I've tried resetting the die, seating the bullet a little shallower but nothing I do seems to matter. I took the FCD out of the press and bullets pass through without issue. I'm at a loss. Any of you seasoned professionals have any advise?

You worry too much...

As long as there is enough energy to get the bullet out the end of the muzzle, and there are not signs of high pressure, one would just work up or down from there depending on the velocity you're shooting for.

I've never gotten what I consider consistent overall length from any set of dies and press combo in any bullet/cartridge combination that I've tried. I personally think its in the linkages of my presses, but that's just my theory. Anyway, just follow the manuals as closely as you can, and you'll be fine....
 

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What I like about it is that, due to it being a true roll crimp, it does not "involve" so much of the case in the crimp. The Lee die uses a collet to sqeeze the case in, and this area is larger than the area provided for the crimp on the bullet I use, so it simply seats the bullet further in the case as it compresses the brass.

Whereas the Profile crimp rolls the end of the case in, and, if adjusted correctly and the bullet seated properly, simply fills the crimp groove.

mtm, I've not noticed any degradation of accuracy with the slightly deeper setting. I don't want to speak too soon, but I will say that the loads using the PCD are on par with the loads using the FCD, but I was wanting more samples, if just for statistical confidence.

I do like the looks of the PCD better when loading the cast bullets I use. The FCD can be used to either fill the cannelure provided on jacketed or crimp a bullet where there is no cannelure, or if the cannelure is in the wrong spot to provide the proper OAL for the Marlin. This is something the PCD can't do. You also have to have cases of the same length with the PCD, the FCD is more forgiving of brass length, to a degree.

But, all in all, my feelings are that the PCD is a better choice for cast, FCD for jacketed.
 

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At best the LFCD uses maybe .020 of the bullet, if that affects your bullet sizing, you got bigger issues with your bullets then the LFCD. I have never ever had a issue with a LFCD with any bullet in any cartridge! I would quit reloading if it wasn't for the LFCD.
 
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