AR15.Com Archives
 Dillon crimp die vs. Lee FCD
Vaux  [Team Member]
3/25/2009 10:20:16 AM EST
For those of you that crimp your .223: I got the Dillon .223 die set when I got my 550B and it came with a crimp die. I already had a Lee die set for 9mm with the FCD, so I'm familiar with (and really like) the Lee FCD. I still haven't been able to find small rifle primers, so I haven't had a chance to use my Dillon dies yet. Question: Is the Dillon crimp die a good die, or would I be better served to spend the ~$15 on a .223 Lee FCD and just leave the Dillon in the box?
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COSteve  [Team Member]
3/25/2009 10:29:15 AM EST
You are GTG.

I have Lee Deluxe Carbide 4 die sets in 10mm/40sw and .45acp as well as Dillon .233 rifle dies. I find the Dillon taper crimp die for my .223 works just as well as the Lee factory crimp dies in my 40sw, 10mm, and .45acp pistol sets.
dryflash3  [Team Member]
3/25/2009 5:10:00 PM EST
The Dillon crimp die works fine for me with the loads that I crimp. (550)

Loading single stage (working up loads) I use Hornaday FL dies and Lee FCD.

I have great success with both.
eweloader  [Team Member]
3/25/2009 7:06:36 PM EST
I also have the 550B. I removed the crimping die. I make sure I have the correct neck tension by using the proper neck collet die for the brass thickness I am loading. I see no reason a crimping die is needed for .223 if you are correctly sizing the neck diameter. Of course, if you are using the Dillon sizing die you will be over sizing the neck resulting in not enough neck tension for a semi-auto like the AR. It will be proper for a bolt rifle.
jmart  [Member]
3/25/2009 7:43:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By eweloader:
I also have the 550B. I removed the crimping die. I make sure I have the correct neck tension by using the proper neck collet die for the brass thickness I am loading. I see no reason a crimping die is needed for .223 if you are correctly sizing the neck diameter. Of course, if you are using the Dillon sizing die you will be over sizing the neck resulting in not enough neck tension for a semi-auto like the AR. It will be proper for a bolt rifle.


Explain how squeezing a neck down more than enough results in insufficient neck tension. Is this a typo?

Keith_J  [Team Member]
3/25/2009 7:48:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By jmart:
Originally Posted By eweloader:
I also have the 550B. I removed the crimping die. I make sure I have the correct neck tension by using the proper neck collet die for the brass thickness I am loading. I see no reason a crimping die is needed for .223 if you are correctly sizing the neck diameter. Of course, if you are using the Dillon sizing die you will be over sizing the neck resulting in not enough neck tension for a semi-auto like the AR. It will be proper for a bolt rifle.


Explain how squeezing a neck down more than enough results in insufficient neck tension. Is this a typo?



The crimping force induces compressive stress in the neck. This can reduce the neck tension. The FCD puts no axial stress on the neck or case, just radial force on the crimp area.

The FCD is tricky to setup in the Dillon press because the press goes over-center, meaning there is a LOT of force available. Just 1/32 of a turn can overdo the crimp or damage the collet in the crimper. The cantilever made by the ram head reduces this in the 550.

But the FCD has one great benefit, that being less demanding to trim length.
COSteve  [Team Member]
3/25/2009 7:48:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By jmart:
Originally Posted By eweloader:
I also have the 550B. I removed the crimping die. I make sure I have the correct neck tension by using the proper neck collet die for the brass thickness I am loading. I see no reason a crimping die is needed for .223 if you are correctly sizing the neck diameter. Of course, if you are using the Dillon sizing die you will be over sizing the neck resulting in not enough neck tension for a semi-auto like the AR. It will be proper for a bolt rifle.

Explain how squeezing a neck down more than enough results in insufficient neck tension. Is this a typo?

eweloader is confused by things he's heard where if you over crimp the case mouth after you've seated the bullet, the lead will deform and not spring back while the case will spring back causing a loose bullet. When adjusted correctly, neither the Lee factory crimp die or the Dillon taper crimp die will over crimp the case mouth into the bullet.

Two401Pm  [Team Member]
3/25/2009 8:53:58 PM EST
The Lee factory crimp die works best when loading cases like the marlin444 with lead bullets and the 45-70 or that type case with lead bullets I guess i could have just stated with straight wall type cases and lead bullets. Everything else I have used taper crimp dies for all semiauto pistol rounds.357,41 mag,44 mag 45 colt, all get a firm crimp with the Lee die..
eweloader  [Team Member]
3/25/2009 10:13:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By eweloader:
I also have the 550B. I removed the crimping die. I make sure I have the correct neck tension by using the proper neck collet die for the brass thickness I am loading. I see no reason a crimping die is needed for .223 if you are correctly sizing the neck diameter. Of course, if you are using the Dillon sizing die you will be over sizing the neck resulting in not enough neck tension for a semi-auto like the AR. It will be proper for a bolt rifle.


Not at typo. The mandrel that sizes the neck diameter in the Dillon and other sizing dies expands the neck inside diameter so that 0.001 neck tension, or less, results. I went through this problem and had discussions with Dillon and other die makers. In order to have 0.003 neck tension you need to remove the mandrel and use a neck collet die that sizes the neck OD to the appropriate diameter for the brass thickness your are using. If you are using a die with a mandrel you need to resize the mandrel if you want to achieve the correct neck tension for a semi auto rifle like the AR. Neither Dillon or other die makers supply a mandrel with the diameter necessary for 0.003 neck tension.

The easiest and normally accepted way to measure neck tension is to first measure the cartridge neck OD after sizing. Then measure it after insertion of the bullet. The difference in measurement is the neck tension. It is recommended that neck tension for semi auto rifles be 0.003 to prevent bullet setback as the round is being chambered.
gs1150  [Team Member]
3/26/2009 5:10:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By eweloader:
Originally Posted By eweloader:
I also have the 550B. I removed the crimping die. I make sure I have the correct neck tension by using the proper neck collet die for the brass thickness I am loading. I see no reason a crimping die is needed for .223 if you are correctly sizing the neck diameter. Of course, if you are using the Dillon sizing die you will be over sizing the neck resulting in not enough neck tension for a semi-auto like the AR. It will be proper for a bolt rifle.


Not at typo. The mandrel that sizes the neck diameter in the Dillon and other sizing dies expands the neck inside diameter so that 0.001 neck tension, or less, results. I went through this problem and had discussions with Dillon and other die makers. In order to have 0.003 neck tension you need to remove the mandrel and use a neck collet die that sizes the neck OD to the appropriate diameter for the brass thickness your are using. If you are using a die with a mandrel you need to resize the mandrel if you want to achieve the correct neck tension for a semi auto rifle like the AR. Neither Dillon or other die makers supply a mandrel with the diameter necessary for 0.003 neck tension.

The easiest and normally accepted way to measure neck tension is to first measure the cartridge neck OD after sizing. Then measure it after insertion of the bullet. The difference in measurement is the neck tension. It is recommended that neck tension for semi auto rifles be 0.003 to prevent bullet setback as the round is being chambered.


Pfft.

I just chambered 30 rounds 3 times each that were sized using my Dillon 223 dies.
Measured them and had ZERO, I'll say it again ZERO setback.
Nadda,none, zip, zilch.
eweloader  [Team Member]
3/26/2009 5:20:35 PM EST
Pfft.

I just chambered 30 rounds 3 times each that were sized using my Dillon 223 dies.
Measured them and had ZERO, I'll say it again ZERO setback.
Nadda,none, zip, zilch.[/quote]

I did the same without a serious problem until I realized with some brass I was getting setback. Much depends upon the brass neck thickness and how work hardened it has become.

Have you measured your neck tension? I do regularly and set my dies to achieve 0.003. I prefer to be safe rather than sorry.
jmart  [Member]
3/27/2009 8:08:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By eweloader:
Originally Posted By eweloader:
I also have the 550B. I removed the crimping die. I make sure I have the correct neck tension by using the proper neck collet die for the brass thickness I am loading. I see no reason a crimping die is needed for .223 if you are correctly sizing the neck diameter. Of course, if you are using the Dillon sizing die you will be over sizing the neck resulting in not enough neck tension for a semi-auto like the AR. It will be proper for a bolt rifle.


Not at typo. The mandrel that sizes the neck diameter in the Dillon and other sizing dies expands the neck inside diameter so that 0.001 neck tension, or less, results. I went through this problem and had discussions with Dillon and other die makers. In order to have 0.003 neck tension you need to remove the mandrel and use a neck collet die that sizes the neck OD to the appropriate diameter for the brass thickness your are using. If you are using a die with a mandrel you need to resize the mandrel if you want to achieve the correct neck tension for a semi auto rifle like the AR. Neither Dillon or other die makers supply a mandrel with the diameter necessary for 0.003 neck tension.

The easiest and normally accepted way to measure neck tension is to first measure the cartridge neck OD after sizing. Then measure it after insertion of the bullet. The difference in measurement is the neck tension. It is recommended that neck tension for semi auto rifles be 0.003 to prevent bullet setback as the round is being chambered.


OK, but that has nothing to do with your original assertion, i.e., that "oversizing results in insufficient neck tension". Oversizing is what happens when you use a Dillon trim die and it squeezes the neck down quite a bit. What you are describing is "too large" expander ball diameters and that actually results in undersizing. That's different.

If your expander is steel, you can polish it down a thousandth or two using a stone and then finishing with crocus cloth. I wouldn't recommend using just crocus cloth, it takes far too long. If it's carbide, you're SOL. Lee also offers polished (undersized mandrels) for around $5, for either their conventional resizers or their collet neck dies.

To get that .003 neck tension you're describing, you'd need to use an undersized mandrel with a collet die. The stock mandrel provides the same .001 neck tension as does Dillon's expander. And when using a collet neck die, you ought to pair that with a Body Die from Redding or a conventional resizer to take care of the body and shoulder bumping.

The other option is to use a that accepts neck bushings, but then remove the included expander. Redding, Forster, and I think Hornady, produce these.


eweloader  [Team Member]
3/27/2009 8:25:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By jmart:
Originally Posted By eweloader:
Originally Posted By eweloader:
I also have the 550B. I removed the crimping die. I make sure I have the correct neck tension by using the proper neck collet die for the brass thickness I am loading. I see no reason a crimping die is needed for .223 if you are correctly sizing the neck diameter. Of course, if you are using the Dillon sizing die you will be over sizing the neck resulting in not enough neck tension for a semi-auto like the AR. It will be proper for a bolt rifle.


Not at typo. The mandrel that sizes the neck diameter in the Dillon and other sizing dies expands the neck inside diameter so that 0.001 neck tension, or less, results. I went through this problem and had discussions with Dillon and other die makers. In order to have 0.003 neck tension you need to remove the mandrel and use a neck collet die that sizes the neck OD to the appropriate diameter for the brass thickness your are using. If you are using a die with a mandrel you need to resize the mandrel if you want to achieve the correct neck tension for a semi auto rifle like the AR. Neither Dillon or other die makers supply a mandrel with the diameter necessary for 0.003 neck tension.

The easiest and normally accepted way to measure neck tension is to first measure the cartridge neck OD after sizing. Then measure it after insertion of the bullet. The difference in measurement is the neck tension. It is recommended that neck tension for semi auto rifles be 0.003 to prevent bullet setback as the round is being chambered.


OK, but that has nothing to do with your original assertion, i.e., that "oversizing results in insufficient neck tension". Oversizing is what happens when you use a Dillon trim die and it squeezes the neck down quite a bit. What you are describing is "too large" expander ball diameters and that actually results in undersizing. That's different.

Actually, what I meant by oversizing is the oversize of the neck ID. We are both saying the same thing.


If your expander is steel, you can polish it down a thousandth or two using a stone and then finishing with crocus cloth. I wouldn't recommend using just crocus cloth, it takes far too long. If it's carbide, you're SOL. Lee also offers polished (undersized mandrels) for around $5, for either their conventional resizers or their collet neck dies.

To get that .003 neck tension you're describing, you'd need to use an undersized mandrel with a collet die. The stock mandrel provides the same .001 neck tension as does Dillon's expander. And when using a collet neck die, you ought to pair that with a Body Die from Redding or a conventional resizer to take care of the body and shoulder bumping.

The other option is to use a that accepts neck bushings, but then remove the included expander. Redding, Forster, and I think Hornady, produce these.

I use a full length sizing die with the neck bushings and I remove the expander. Exactly what you suggest to achieve the neck tension I want. I do not think we are in any disagreement.





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