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Warden Callaway

Lee FCD not crimping

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I know everyone swears by the Lee FCD.  But I've done nothing but swear at them. I've tried them on most every Cowboy load I've loaded and always poor to no results. 

 

My latest frustration this morning is with trying to apply a crimp to my 38WCF loads.  I can't get a crip at all.  It won't even take out the slight bell in the case. (I punched out the insert to make sure it was marked 38-40.) I can look down and see the fingers are closing. I wrap a case mouth with one layor of masking tape and it'll make a mark right at the top of the case.   Cases are nearly new Starline brand OAL of 1.295.  I'm sure I have the die adjusted down planty far and then some more to make sure the ring is being pushes up as far as it will go. 

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Give Lee a call. They are open and have great customer service.

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15 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

You know this is the classifieds. ;)

OLG 

 

Yes. I'm old and sundowners hit me earlier ever day!

 

It won't go down any further than having the fingers fully closed. This is the design for bottle neck cases. 

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Yes. I'm old and sundowners hit me earlier ever day!

 

It won't go down any further than having the fingers fully closed. This is the design for bottle neck cases. 

Never seen a LFCD for the 38 WCF.

Could you post up a picture or two.

OLG 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/25/2020 at 12:56 PM, Warden Callaway said:

I know everyone swears by the Lee FCD.  But I've done nothing but swear at them. I've tried them on most every Cowboy load I've loaded and always poor to no results. 

 

My latest frustration this morning is with trying to apply a crimp to my 38WCF loads.  I can't get a crip at all.  It won't even take out the slight bell in the case. (I punched out the insert to make sure it was marked 38-40.) I can look down and see the fingers are closing. I wrap a case mouth with one layor of masking tape and it'll make a mark right at the top of the case.   Cases are nearly new Starline brand OAL of 1.295.  I'm sure I have the die adjusted down planty far and then some more to make sure the ring is being pushes up as far as it will go. 

My understanding is that LFCD dies for bottle neck cases don't have a post sizing ring...how could they. If you are using a 38 caliber die for a straight wall cartridge, that would likely cause what you describe in 38-40.

 

p.s. Uh yeah, I didn't consider this was 40 caliber.

Edited by Roscoe Regulator

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Posted (edited)

Warden sometimes the case won't go into the die far enough. I had to mill the end off of my 44-40 dies a few thousands then the case will go in far enough to get crimped. Mill the end off the insert.

kR

Edited by Kid Rich
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1 hour ago, Kid Rich said:

Warden sometimes the case won't go into the die far enough. I had to mill the end off of my 44-40 dies a few thousands then the case will go in far enough to get crimped. Mile the end off the insert.

kR

 

I too did that with my 44WCF die.  Also, took a cutoff blade to the slots on the collet hoping they would close further.  Made a marginal difference.  

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Yep, this made me crazy especially if you're using a Dillon. Take some material off of the insert to allow the case to go into the die farther. Or better yet, with the right bullet get a Redding Profile crimp die for the best crimps on 38-40 and 44-40.

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5 minutes ago, Preacherman said:

Yep, this made me crazy especially if you're using a Dillon. Take some material off of the insert to allow the case to go into the die farther. Or better yet, with the right bullet get a Redding Profile crimp die for the best crimps on 38-40 and 44-40.

 

I'm using it in the Lee APP press with Lee shellholder.   Previous to this, I've always used a little Lee C press. 

 

So.  It's just not me struggling with the Lee FCD.  Maybe the ones for straight cases work more reliably?   Maybe it's just the bottleneck cases?  Two different designs.   

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The Lee factory crimp die for straight wall cases works differently. It's more conventional, no "fingers". It sizes the finished round.

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2 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

So.  It's just not me struggling with the Lee FCD.  Maybe the ones for straight cases work more reliably?   Maybe it's just the bottleneck cases?  Two different designs.   

Yep, the ones everyone loves are for straight wall cases. The fingers on the bottle necks will not give that type of crimp. Good Luck:)

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A ton of testing with .44-40 cases, and I found the Redding Profile Crimp Die gave perfect and very tight crimps, whereas the Lee would do about half that.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Using the Lee FCD for the 44-40  after a lot of frustration  I  finally  got a good crimp but I'm not happy with the weakened overworked  brass..like others I'm getting a Redding profile  crimp die.

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3 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Never seen a LFCD for the 38 WCF.

Could you post up a picture or two.

OLG 

 

276646496_LeeFCD38WCFApril2020.jpg.517cf4ae79385dceb1945f9d3b260bb7.jpg

 

Here is the working inside part setting on a Lee shell holder.  The collet pushes up into die body until it hits the restricted slope in the body and closes the fingers.  The fingers completely close slots and will not close any further.  Still it doesn't close enough to put a crimp in case.  

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I would call Lee and see what they say.

To me-looks like there needs to be more vertical slots in the collet 'fingers'.

TNX for the picture.

OLG 

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30 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

I would call Lee and see what they say.

To me-looks like there needs to be more vertical slots in the collet 'fingers'.

TNX for the picture.

OLG 

 

I was thinking of cutting one between each.  

 

The only time I have used the 44WCF die is to iron out any slight bulge in roll crimp on Sawmill Mary's 44WCF loads. 

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Posted (edited)

Height of the restricting slope is too far above the shellholder.   Take metal off bottom of die so the die can be lowered to the point you get enough crimp because the collet goes in far enough.  

 

And - Make sure the tip of fingers of the collet has sufficient metal at the crimp spot to actually form a tight crimp.  To check that, chuck the crimping collet in a vise with padding to prevent scratching the outside of the collet.  Close the vise so pressure applies between the slots, until the slots close.  Measure the inner diameter inside the tip of collet where crimp section is (across, not parallel to, the vise jaws).  Compare that to the diameter of crimp you are trying to apply.   If the collet won't close down tight enough (I doubt this will be the case), then you have a defective collet that will NEVER close tight enough.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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Is your shell holder too thin/short between bottom of shell rim and top of shell holder?

 

Have you tried another brand of shell holder?

 

The collet rests on top of the shell holder during compression. If shell holder is too short, light or no crimp would result.  

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30 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

I was thinking of cutting one between each.  

 

The only time I have used the 44WCF die is to iron out any slight bulge in roll crimp on Sawmill Mary's 44WCF loads. 

 

What I would try.

GJ's post just below yours has several good points.

OLG 

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Maybe the initial hole, before they cut the slots, was too big. You could measure it with a pin gage set, I suppose. Then measure when the slots are closed in the die.

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Have you given any thought to either removing material off the top of the shell holder.

Or from the bottom of the collet-or both.....

OLG 

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I got some ideas I'm going to try but the sun is shining so I got to get outside and at least act like I'm doing something. 

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On 4/25/2020 at 12:56 PM, Warden Callaway said:

I know everyone swears by the Lee FCD.  But I've done nothing but swear at them. I've tried them on most every Cowboy load I've loaded and always poor to no results. 

 

My latest frustration this morning is with trying to apply a crimp to my 38WCF loads.  I can't get a crip at all.  It won't even take out the slight bell in the case. (I punched out the insert to make sure it was marked 38-40.) I can look down and see the fingers are closing. I wrap a case mouth with one layor of masking tape and it'll make a mark right at the top of the case.   Cases are nearly new Starline brand OAL of 1.295.  I'm sure I have the die adjusted down planty far and then some more to make sure the ring is being pushes up as far as it will go. 

The 38-40 die is a seating die, not an FCD per se. Maybe general bashing of the LFCD could be set aside. I see that the standard max for these cases is .010 longer than you measure. There is also a caution about setting the shoulder back during resizing. I learned with new Starline in 44-40 not to resize new brass, and you might try the same. The Lee die is likely designed to be compatible with a Lee shell holder, and we know brands vary in how closely they allow a die to approach the case head. I generally use Lee dies only on Lee presses, of which I have an assortment.

I use RCBS Cowboy dies on 44WCF and every other lead bullet cartridge application they support. Very few issues. They offer a set for 38WCF.

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6 minutes ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

The 38-40 die is a seating die, not an FCD per se.

 

The die I'm dealing with is a Lee factory crimp die. Not a seating die. I'm using it in a separate step to crimp loaded 38WCF.  Using all Lee tools. 

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Warden ;

Mine works like a Charm Now ....

I did take some 400 grit paper and run it through the slots form side to side on both sides about 6 strokes on each side of the slot, through both pair of slots .

Not really a lot of metal removed just a light polish ... 

I did notice a tiny scrap of metal on the bench afterward ...

I shoot .38 WCF. a bunch and this is the very best way to get a Great Crimp with-out damaged cases ...

 

Jabez Cowboy  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

The die I'm dealing with is a Lee factory crimp die. Not a seating die. I'm using it in a separate step to crimp loaded 38WCF.  Using all Lee tools. 

I didn't find that on Lee's current website, referenced only in a 3-die set, but it would make sense that they would offer some kind of actual crimp die.

Edited by Roscoe Regulator
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2 minutes ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

I didn't find that on Lee's current website, referenced only in a 3-die set, but it would make sense that they would offer some kind of actual crimp die.

 

https://www.grafs.com/catalog/product/productId/8192

 

This link shows a generic picture of the die.  The actual 38WCF die is shorter.   

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33 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

https://www.grafs.com/catalog/product/productId/8192

 

This link shows a generic picture of the die.  The actual 38WCF die is shorter.   

That shows "out of stock", which raises the question whether Lee still offers it. That doesn't take away from the fact that you own one.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

That shows "out of stock", which raises the question whether Lee still offers it. That doesn't take away from the fact that you own one.

 

Lots of Lee stuff is out of stock.  

 

https://leeprecision.com/factory-crimp-die-38-40.html

 

In stock at MidwayUSA. 

 

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016833587

 

Edited by Warden Callaway

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30 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Lots of Lee stuff is out of stock.  

 

https://leeprecision.com/factory-crimp-die-38-40.html

 

In stock at MidwayUSA. 

 

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016833587

 

Okay, Lee shows it under Rifle dies and out of stock.

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Just now, Roscoe Regulator said:

Okay, Lee shows it under Rifle dies and out of stock.

 

I'm glad we have that cleared up. 

 

BTY,  44WCF, 38WCF and 32-20 are all rifle cartridges that happen to be later chambered in handguns.  

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