IMHO for .45 ACP........
IF, you know how to use/adjust your three die set correctly. You don't NEED a Lee FCD.
Die Adjustments, How to..........
So........LEARN. If you still find it too difficult...........well, go ahead and spend the money on a FCD (it's your money).
BTW...........the crimp that you're looking for on a .45 ACP is a "taper crimp" NOT a roll crimp (which is usually for revolver cartridges).
Q. What is the difference between a roll crimp and a taper crimp?
A. With a roll crimp the seater die actually rolls a very small portion of the case mouth into the bullet cannelure. If the seater die is set too low or the bullet does not have a cannelure, the die will attempt to form the crimp. However, it may turn too much of the case mouth in, or eliminate space to roll the neck into, which will distort or crush the case. The taper crimp die actually squeezes the case around the bullet. There should not be any indentation or other indication of a visible crimp. The die merely removes the bell from the case mouth that was used to ease seating of the bullet and pushes the case mouth parallel to the bullet. Anymore than that and the die begins to push down on the case wall and causes a bulge, preventing it from chambering.
Taken from: The RCBS web site.
Line Drawing- crimps..........(Q. What is the difference between a roll crimp and a taper crimp?)
Pic- .38 Special roll crimped vs. 45 ACP taper crimp (almost to the bottom of the page)......
Then...........the manufacturers of dies will make their standard three dies set with the final product in mind. They know that most of use use .45 ACP in auto loading pistols. So, when the die is manufactured they take that into consideration and when properly adjusted the die will deliver a good "taper crimp" (for auto pistol ammo) or "roll crimp" (in the case of revolver ammo).
Thus, it goes back to KNOWING HOW TO make the correct adjustment(s).
DID YOU KNOW that the .45 ACP through a M1911 may take
"some tuning" to get things reliable?
That's RIGHT..........the M1911 was made with "military ball ammo" in mind. So IF you want to use anything else, you may have problems.
So........your reloads may need to me tuned to your pistol OR you may need to tune your pistol, at some point.
But for now..............let's stick with your reloads. BTW.........you never mentioned the bullet that you were using.
And, for someone starting out........well, it's a good idea to copy a KNOWN.
Can I ASSUME that you're attempting to make a copy of US MIlitary ball ammo?
Anyway, check out some of these measurements I took awhile back.............
Humm......you got me thinking (dangerous)........so, I measured a variety of different 45ACP rounds. I got these for FREE w/o the boxes.
NEW WW silver colored HP
NEW WW black colored HP
*NEW WW SWC Jacketed looks like the Match 185 gr.
NEW FED SWC Jacketed looks like the Match 185 gr.
NEW FED FMJ 230 gr.
CCI Blazer FMJ 230 gr.
And my RE-Loads 200 gr. LSWC
FYI.......and the ONLY cartridge that DIDN'T PASS my M1911 barrel hood test is noted *in red. The case head stood a little higher than the barrel hood extension. YES, even though the OAL is shorter……it actually was too long and sat higher than the barrel hood extension (the actual bullet shape made the difference).
So, what do you think about YOUR COAL? Then agian, like I said.............you never mentioned what bullet you were using.
Do you know about the barrel hood test?
Barrel Hood Test
Seating depth can be determined by dropping a loaded round into the chamber of the barrel. The barrel must be removed from the gun, and held with the chamber facing up. The back of the cartridge case should just line up with the hood of the barrel, but not project up above the edge of the barrel hood. Adjust the seating down a bit at a time, checking the round in the barrel until the back of the cartridge case just lines up with the hood of the barrel. Crimping is also a critical factor in loading for a parallel sided “rimless’ case.
Pictures of the test (almost to the bottom of the page)...........
I've used that test for my 2700 match ammo. It's not a 100% guarantee but, as I mentioned before.......some TUNING may be needed.
OK..........that all being said............
YOUR rounds need to be crimped well
(so it won't telescope back into the case) and take another look at your COAL.
PS.............OK I see that you subsequently posted that you were using Rainier Ballistics FMJ 230 gr. bullets. IF they are "PLATED BULLETS"..............be careful.
As for your pistol..........well, you do know about "break in"........right. And, not all pistols are the same. A reload may function perfectly well in one M1911 style pistol and that same reload may give you trouble in another. The same can be said about some factory ammo.
Anyway........most people will use factory rounds to break in a new firearm. And, NEW reloaders will usually attempt to mimic a good
"Factory Load/Round." Then.......TUNING might still be needed.