Crimp Die questions

Loading .223 Remington on an XL650 and occasionally on an RL550C and rarely on an RCBS single stage... in case any of that matters.

I have the Dillon 3 steel die set, RCBS FL small base 2 die set, RCBS FL small base AR/TC 2 die set, and Lee 4 die set which includes the Lee factory crimp die.

On the XL650, I've used the Dillon crimp die before, but then I started using a powder check die, as well as a Mr. Bulletfeeder mini. That forced me to combine seating and crimping into one station.

I tried a Double Alpha/Lee seat/crimp die. It really says it's a Double Alpha and Lee even though I don't know if it's any different than just a Lee, other than the name. Anyways, I could not get it set satisfactorily for my standards with my 55gr projectiles.

I then switched to my RCBS AR seating and crimping die. My reason for choosing that die is because it's a taper crimp die and I will be firing these in AR style semi-autos. It took significant tweaking, but I achieved decent results with this die.

Sorry for all the build up but here is my current scenario and it includes my questions... I'm stopping the use of the powder check die and that frees up a station which will allow me to seat and crimp in separate stations. I have my choice of crimp dies to choose from and they are:

  1. Dillon Crimp Die
  2. Lee Factory Crimp Die
  3. RCBS Seating and Taper Crimp Die from Black box
  4. RCBS Seating and Crimp Die from Small Base FL Green box (is this a taper crimp die like the black box?)
Which crimp die from the above options would you recommend?

What makes the LFCD different than the Dillon Crimp Die?

Why does the LFCD have such a following? What makes it so desirable for some folks?

Any wisdom will be appreciated. Thanks! Bub
 

walterbunning

Administrator
This is a complex question, but a good one. There is no simple answer.
My recommendation is to NEVER seat and crimp at the same station with the same die. If you choose to employ a powder cop (I do, by the way), and thus find yourself short of stations, then you are short of stations, plain and simple. The solution is to run your brass through on a separate pass FIRST. Get is sized and primed (maybe even expanded) on the first pass. Then bring your prepped brass into the system and charge, powder check, seat and crimp.
That said, I don’t have a Dillon press, and don’t even know if their system permits re-arranging the stations like that. But this has been my M.O. since using the powder check die.

Regarding which crimp die, I use different ones for different situations. I don’t think there’s a “one crimp die fits all”. For plated bullets I prefer the Redding Profile Crimp die because it provides a strong taper crimp with the option doing a slight roll at the end if a cannelure is present.
For jacketed rounds and most cast bullet rounds, I prefer the Lee Factory Crimp Die for it’s ability to resolve any slight bulges or other sizing defects. It can do that because it has a carbide sizing ring at its base. However, those dies also will swage cast bullets down to a size that may be too small for your particular firearm, making it undesirable in that case.

In the case mentioned above wherein a larger than standard cast bullet size is required making the Lee FCD undesirable, I get a second caliber specific seat/crimp die and use that to provide the necessary roll or taper crimp.
 
On the Dillon 550 C, the powder station is always station 2 which has the fail safe rod so the last 2 stations are your options. Dillon users will know what I mean. On the 750, it is the same for the powder station, station 2, so the last 3 stations are your options. In so far as seating and sizing is concerned, I have used, very successfully, the Hornady New Dimension seating and crimping die very successfully. I used it on the 550 C because I used the 3rd station for a bullet placement device. Therefore, station 4 was seating and crimping. Because the 750 has 5 stations I have gone back to seating in station 4 and crimping in station 5.

I have currently set up to load my 550 C for 45 ACP without the bullet loader and my 750 is set up for 9mm with the bullet loader. On the 550 C, I use the Hornady New Dimension Die to seat the bullets with the crimp feature disabled. I use the Lee Factory Crimp die to crimp at the final station.

While I may not care for the Lee Reloading presses, (My Opinion) the Lee dies are very useful and serve a great purpose with specific uses.

On the 750 and reloading 9mm, I use the Hornady New Dimension Die (seating and crimping) for seating only with the crimping feature disabled and the Dillon crimp die. I may replace the Dillon die with the Lee die because Lee gives you the ability to fine tune the crimp while Dillon is figure it out and tighten it down.

I am a believer that specific dies with a specific purpose have better functionality than a complete set by one manufacturer.
 

76Highboy

Administrator
Staff member
  1. Dillon Crimp Die
  2. Lee Factory Crimp Die
  3. RCBS Seating and Taper Crimp Die from Black box
  4. RCBS Seating and Crimp Die from Small Base FL Green box (is this a taper crimp die like the black box?)
Which crimp die from the above options would you recommend?

What makes the LFCD different than the Dillon Crimp Die?

Why does the LFCD have such a following? What makes it so desirable for some folks?

Any wisdom will be appreciated. Thanks! Bub
I would go Dillon. Reason being, the crimp is one continuous line around the edge of the mouth. If you examine the Lee, it has collets. Those collets leave 4 indentations on the edge of the case mouth. This explains the the difference also.

IMO, the reason the LFCD is so desirable is for the price of the die it does a great job and it is easy to set up. For some reason though, most reloaders assume that because the LFCD is so easy that the rest are difficult. If that makes you itch your head... I have been itching me head for years over that one too.

Your best bet is to use each and see which one gives you the best shot groups. That would be your best pick.

This thread rocks!!!

Highboy
 
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