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3 vs 4 die set

6Corsa6

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What is the extra die for in a 4 die set vs a 3 die set? I'm looking into reloading 223 and 9mm and just wondering if it's really worth it to get the set with more dies.
 

robertvarner

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Since I regularly buy the Lee 4-die sets, I opt to get them for two reasons; carbide dies and for the Lee Factory Crimp Die.

There are times, especially with necked calibers, to be able to add just a gentle crimp to the round. For me, the FCD is just the trick and I'm comfortable with the results.
 
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6Corsa6

6Corsa6

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I have just looked at lee dies. I don't have specific ones yet. Will check out the video when I have time
 

ageingstudent

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What is the extra die for in a 4 die set vs a 3 die set? I'm looking into reloading 223 and 9mm and just wondering if it's really worth it to get the set with more dies.
In a pistol/revolver set the 4th die is usually just a crimping die. Some folks like to seat and crimp in separate steps and the 4th (crimp only) die just makes it easier if you have a 4 hole turret or progressive press. If you have a single stage you really don't need the 4th die because you can just seat without crimping with the third die and then set the 3rd die to crimp in a 4th pass after the projectiles have been seated. I like to seat and crimp in separate steps with my revolvers (especially when seating and crimping soft lead projectiles) and the roll crimp; with autos and the taper crimp it usually isn't as difficult to get a good crimp vs seating. The factory crimp die in the Lee sets does a nice job either way so it's a nice to have option from the 4 die sets.
 

ron

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Revolvers use a 3 die set for seating and roll crimp in one die. Semi auto pistols require a taper crimp in 2 different dies.
One seater die and one taper crimp die.;)
 

robertvarner

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Revolvers use a 3 die set for seating and roll crimp in one die. Semi auto pistols require a taper crimp in 2 different dies.
One seater die and one taper crimp die.;)
Some prefer a taper crimp alone rather than a roll crimp in the same operation of seating the bullet.

I have both and use them depending on how I want to prepare my loads.
 

ron

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Some prefer a taper crimp alone rather than a roll crimp in the same operation of seating the bullet.

I have both and use them depending on how I want to prepare my loads.
Dillon sells magnum pistol dies in set of 3 and semi auto pistol dies are a 4 set. Taper crimp for a revolver?
What caliber? I have always used a heavy roll crimp for 357 or 44 magnum.
 

ageingstudent

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Dillon sells magnum pistol dies in set of 3 and semi auto pistol dies are a 4 set. Taper crimp for a revolver?
What caliber? I have always used a heavy roll crimp for 357 or 44 magnum.
You can get a separate taper crimp die for revolvers if you are shooting non cannelure projectiles like some of the plated brands. They help keep the plating from being shaved. I have one for .38/.357. Lee Precision sells them. I also have a collet crimper I use for .357 it works quite well.
 
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osprey

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Even on my three die sets for revolver catridges I roll crimp on cannelure with a separate step. Over the years I have acquired multiple die sets for my revolver calibers so I leave seating die to seat and another seating die set to roll crimp only. This works out well on my turret press.
 
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The 4 die set is by far the best . The 3 die set works but it can be a royal pain to get them set up properly compared to the 4 die set.
 

Certaindeaf

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I just loaded up around 2,000 9mm with Lee's 105 gr SWC. These were .3585 dia and if I used the Lee FCD, the bullets would get squeezed out around 1/16 - 1/8" after using it.. so I didn't use it.
Just used the regular Lee seating die to remove the bell from them sharp-based fatties.
 

robertvarner

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That's the major reason I like reloading. There are many ways to produce a round of ammo with choices of calibers, equipment, and techniques.

Each time you reload, it's like a science experiment each time.

In addition, the NWFA web site is a resource with many people willing to share their experiences and skills for those who are just getting into it. ;)
 

po18guy

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The thing about simultaneous seating and crimping is that the die is attempting to fully seat the bullet against the crimp as its being made. Both can work against each other, but the bullet nose can be deformed as it is forced against the crimp. This may be more critical in rifles as to accuracy and in semis as to reliability. Separating the operations takes a little more time but produces better ammo.

By way of analogy, one might think of it like a front-wheel drive car. They are known to understeer going into and through a corner, as the front wheels must do two things simultaneously: Steer and propel the car. This can overload the tires. A rear-wheel drive car splits the tasks between front (steering) and rear (propulsion) wheels.
 

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