Last Updated :: 6/17/2010 12:14:37 AM
Setup and Use of the Lee Factory Crimp Die
Lee Factory Crimp Die. (My Experience w/ Pics.), by babob
I'm still pretty new to reloading and to date I have not had any issues with not crimping my .223 loads. I still was curious about crimping and the first thing I did was adjust my RCBS bullet seating die to apply a crimp and it was working very well until I applied a crimp to a case that was longer than what I had originally adjusted my die to and needless to say it crushed the shoulder of the case some.
At this point I decided that the Lee Factory Crimp Die was the way to go since I had cases that varied in length. So far I'm very pleased with the results and thought I would take a few pics for everyone to view. I also ask you veteran LFCD users to look at the crimp that was applied and tell me if you can from the pic, if I have applied too little, too much, or just the right amount of crimp.
The Die & Some Cartridges
The Un-Crimped Cartridges
Comparison of Crimped and Not Crimped Cartridges
I have not shot any of the CRIMPED cartridges yet, so I have no data on the effect of crimping on my reloads. I admit that I do feel a little more relaxed shooting crimped cartridges. I've never had a bullet "set back" in the case but I'm told it only takes one.
Original Replies to Questions & Updates..
My plinking ammo and that's what this is, consists of the following:
Various cases WIN, WCC, LC, REM, RORG....
CCI 450 primers
25.0 H335 or 26.0 Varget.
Neither charges are max loads and I have yet to see any signs of pressure for either one. With that said, I do plan to try these first before I go back and crimp the 1000+ I already have loaded. I started an old thread a while back about the position of the cannalure varying by bullet type and how to seat those bullets. The general concensious was that since I was not crimping, there was no need to seat the bullet to the cannalure. Just seat to desired OAL.
I need to crimp some that have cases trimmed to 1.75" and possibly seated in a little further but, the LFCD states that you can crimp bullets that do not have a cannalure so I should be able to crimp even the ones in the pic below without seating further into the case mouth and retain a better OAL of 2.24" correct? Remember the ones I show above were crimped using cases trimmed to just 1.74" so the cannalure is still a little above the case mouth.
I looked at some Q3131 factory ammo I have and it appears that it has the same amount or crimp as the ones I did with the same visible characteristics.
Also, here are a couple additional pics of the ones I crimped.
Here's a couple of pictures of various ammo with different crimps.
It appears to me that Winchester uses one type of crimp. LC and older 193 ammo uses one type. The Hornady TAP appears to have NO crimp.
Reminder that my reload at the end was crimped using a case that was trimmed to 1.740". When I get the chance, I'll post a pic of one that was made using a 1.75" trimmed case and center the cannalure as best as possible.
Case Trimmed to 1.748"
WIN 55gr FMJBT w/ Cannalure & 1.748" Case
Bullet Seated to 2.206"
Comparison Pic with NO Crimp
LFCD Set @ 1/2 Turn
LFCD Set @ 1/2 Turn + A Bit More
Comparison Pic With Other Factory WIN Ammo
* RANGE REPORT COMING UP ! *
Well I had just enough time this evening to try these LFC cartridges out.
I forgot to point out that all the cases used were on their 2nd reloading.
I used a friends 85 yard makeshift range. The only problem with the range is that you are shooting downhill and at a slight angle also. The rifle I used was my Bushmaster Patrolman's 16" Carbine w/ a Aimpoint M3. It's not easy picking up those red spots I put on the targets with a red dot optic @ 85 yards, but what the hell! I also shot 5 LC XM193 rounds at a target to confirm point of impact and to cross reference primers. The POI & primers looked the same for both the XM193 and reloads.
The results I got with the crimped cartridges were very similar to what I got with un-crimped cartidges in the past. Accuracy IMO was the same.
I just love that pic.
Targets for LFCD Ammo With A Light (1/2 turn) Crimp
Targets for LFCD Ammo With A Medium (1/2 + Turn) Crimp
Fired Cases & Primer Pics
Even though the groups appear to be tighter on the "medium" crimped cartridges, I believe that I will go with a "light" crimp in order to delay case mouth splits as long as possible.
THAT TOOK A LOT OF COPY-N-PASTn FROM THE ORIGINAL THREAD THAT 82ND HELP ME FIND. I HOPE THIS HELPS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN USING THE LFCD WHEN RELOADING .223 AMMO.
SINCE THE ORIGINAL POSTING BACK AT THE END OF FEB. 07, I HAVE USED THE LFCD ON ALL THE AMMO I PRODUCED BEFORE I GOT IT AND ON ALL PRODUCED AFTER WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ANY HORNADY 75gr A-MAX LOADS THAT DO NOT FIT INTO A MAGAZINE.