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I've started reloading again after a 12 year hiatus. I added a factory crimp die to my .45 ACP setup (all Lee stuff). Presently, I do all the crimping with the bullet seating die and use the factory crimp die as a check. 95% of the loads go thru the FC die with no friction. Is this the way to do it or should I back off the crimp with the seating die, using it just for bullet depth and do most of the crimping with the factory crimp die?
 

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That is kind of what I have been doing with 40 and 45. I do put a very light crimp with the seater and a light crimp with the FCD.
 

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Personnaly, I will NOT use the LFCD, it's just not needed & can actually hurt accuracy depending on the bullets used. If you are using one, then you should be crimping w/ it & seating w/ the other. SOme test targets that I shot, all @ 50ft, my best 1911. I would just get another Lee seating die & crimp & seat in separate dies. The LFCD causes as many problems as it solves.
 

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I've fired over 250,000 of my reloads over the past 15 years, most loaded using Lee FCDs. No problems yet; however, I don't load nekked lead. I either use Precision black bullets, plated, or jacketed.

If you're using the FCD, then you don't crimp AT ALL with the seater die.
 

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I've fired over 250,000 of my reloads over the past 15 years, most loaded using Lee FCDs. No problems yet; however, I don't load nekked lead. I either use Precision black bullets, plated, or jacketed.

If you're using the FCD, then you don't crimp AT ALL with the seater die.
So you have NOT noticed a drop off in accuracy or you have not tested the accuracy? The worst performers were the plated bullets. Hard cast lead didn't seem an issue. Jacketed accuracy wasn't great either.
 

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So you have NOT noticed a drop off in accuracy or you have not tested the accuracy? The worst performers were the plated bullets. Hard cast lead didn't seem an issue. Jacketed accuracy wasn't great either.
Never shoot any lead. Do notice a significant difference, of course, when plated bullets are crimped too tightly. Never any problems with jacketed bullets.

If the FCD is deforming either lead or plated bullets, of course accuracy will suffer.

FWIW, I rarely feel the sizing ring doing anything when I'm using the FCD. I just like the way it crimps and the way the crimp is adjusted.
 

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I use the FCD is to remove the bell from the case. I could do it by carefully adjusting the seating die, but the sizing ring on the FCD does it without adjustment and there is no drop off in accuracy with lead, plated or jacketed bullets. That's with 45 ACP and 40 S&W. For 38/357, I do use the FCD to put a roll crimp on the bullet and having separate dies for each operation is a plus. Could I make do without the FCD? Probably, but it doesn't hurt either (for me).
 

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I use the FCD is to remove the bell from the case. I could do it by carefully adjusting the seating die, but the sizing ring on the FCD does it without adjustment and there is no drop off in accuracy with lead, plated or jacketed bullets. That's with 45 ACP and 40 S&W. For 38/357, I do use the FCD to put a roll crimp on the bullet and having separate dies for each operation is a plus. Could I make do without the FCD? Probably, but it doesn't hurt either (for me).
Well, my targets don't lie & others report siom results using the LFCD. It was never necessary, still isn't. If you seat & crimp in separate steps like many do, just buy another conventional seating die & remove the seating stem to crimp only.
 

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I only tested the FCD in 9mm and 45 acp and had the same results as Fred.
The only difference was, my accuracy tests were at 50 yards not 50 feet. At 50 yards, the FCD increased group size from 30%-75% depending on the bullet used and die adjustment.

The 9mm die I gave away. I bashed the carbide ring out of the 45 die and still use it today as a crimp only die so, that would be my recommendation on how best to use one.

Jeff
 
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