Originally Posted by Bill Steele
Lee makes a lot of claims about the FCD. I have read people claim the FCD will do a consistent roll crimp on revolver rounds regardless of the length of the brass, what a crock.
The thing I don't like about the FCD is the carbide ring at the mouth of the die. This ring will contact the case mouth when loading with headstamps that have slightly thicker brass or when loading lead bullets (.430+ in .44RM), screwing up that area of the round before the crimp portion of the dies gets to the case mouth.
Many like the FCD to size the Glock bulge in brass or to correct sizing errors when loading oversizd bullets in thicker brass headstamps, etc. It is a "bigger hammer" approach to loading. It will assure your round will chamber, but can also make it less accurate.
The claim that it won't crush cases is about the bottle neck rifle version of the FCD. This a completely different design than the handgun version and gets mixed up by many uninformed on the net (guys just parroting what they read from someone else). The LFCD is a terrific crimp die for rifle round use.
The normal Lee sizing die has a tight mouth and will size the glock bulge fine, so using the LFCD to take a Glock bulge out is primarily for use with other brand sizing dies that are designed for progressive presses with radiused mouths.
For me personally, the only nice design feature of the LFCD is the knob on top of the die to adjust crimp. With the dies I prefer, you must loosen the lock ring and screw the die in and out to adjust crimp. That is the only thing I like about the Lee FCD (for handgun rounds).
I think there is more misunderstanding about the FCD than just about anything out there. Most of the misinformation is caused by Lee themselves.
Know what? I actually understand all that you are saying about this. This is either sad or impressive to me. Well, it can't be sad because this is stuff that we should know as reloaders so it must be an impressively good thing. I have suspicions (sp?) about the dies altogether and what you are saying is an annoyance for alot of cast lead shooters prolly who like to have an oversized lead bullet on top so that they get that nice seal and reduce the leading in their barrel. Yes? Those that do not want to shoot with gas checks or jacketed or plated cause they are shooting cowboy cheap. As far as die construction, I have never looked underneath the skirts of any of my dies except the universal decapper after I broke the third pin trying to decap a berdan .30-06 shell that was TOLD to be just military crimped... No, it was berdan, not crimped. After looking at those enos and dillon dies, I think they are cool in that you can drop out the insides for cleaning with just a cotter pin or whatever and they hold their adjustment. That is great, but they are also what about $63 EACH? Yeah, Lee makes it tough to buy other dies when they price theirs so low. I had already bought an FCD for the 44mag and the 9mm. I will proceed with caution.
I only bought it for the 44 mag because I wanted to know that as a noob I am doing the most that I can do to have a fully functioning round at the end of the day. BUT, I still do not know that much about crimping. The lee die crimps AND seats the bullet or sizes and crimps depending on which you get. I am going to guess that ALL of the lee bullet seating dies crimp as long as you drop the die down more and then adjust the bullet seating depth with the knob on the top. THAT is my hypothesis based on what I have seen.
Sorry, I ran off on a tangent again...
It is funny that you say that the Lee sizing die will remove the glock bulge. I ALMOST bought one of those Redding RX dies for the 40 cal because of all of the 40 cal that I pick up and the Lee literature never addressed the issue that people have with 40 cal unsupported chambers. So then why Lee makes no mention is odd to me but why do all of those other folks rush out to buy those bulge busting die kits for $35+ when they can just get a Lee sizing die in the set for $10 less? Makes no sense. (said the pot to the kettle) And to think that I was going to get one when I started loading .40. LoL. Glad I waited.
Anyways, good stuff to know. I heard that some folks opened up that carbide ring or removed it altogether and just use the die to crimp, but how would that be any different then a regular crimp from their lee bullet seating die? Heh...
Mr. cycle61: If you ever want to add a factory crimp die later on you can always buy them for about $13-$20 by themselves. There is a killer website that is called fsreloading.com. IF you have the urge to buy anymore LEE stuff, check them out. They have some of the best prices on dies of course we all have our opinions of dies as you can see and mine has been steadily reduced to lee dies are GREAT for beginners (like me!) but certainly do your research.
OMG those balance beam scales are SWEET! I was able to crank out about a round per 40 seconds last night when I was reloading my 44 loads to test again. I picked up an rcbs powder trickler and that 505 scale was easily dialed in (despite that it was missing a pan) and loading things to an EXACT amount is awesomely easy now. For load development they can not be beat except by one of those cool auto dispensing scales that cost about 4 times as much...