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Lee Factory Crim Die (.30)

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by rrojohnso, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    Hey guys -

    Question for the reloading guru's. I have a Lee Factory Crimp Die, and it's my understanding it should be used on rounds for hunting or with auto-feeding weapons (which is why I purchased it). I am wondering if I could use this die to crimp .30-06 as well?
    Lee sells a different crimp die (1 model number off), but to me, it seems like the diameter of the bullet is the same, and depending on how the crimp die grabs the neck of the case, could it work? Anyone tried it? :huh:
    Thanks, Bobby
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I have both of these dies and they work great. The reason there are two different dies, one for.308 and one for 30/06 is the cartridge length. The die is a collet die that a"grips" the case mouth forming the crimp. The collet is actuated by pressing against the shell holder/plate when the press ram is at its highest travel. If you attempted to crimp a 30/06, using the .308 die the base of the collet would fall about !/2" short due to the different case lengths.

    You could make it "work" if you made a bushing that went around the base of the case. The case of a .308 is 2.015" long by design. The 30/06 case is 2.494". Any bushing, with an approximate ID of .500" (Case dia is .473 so leave some room), would have to take into consideration the amount that the case extends into the shell holder which is usually about 1/8". After all this is taken into consideration, the time and hassle of making the bushing/spacer, placing it over every round before crimping, would hardly be worth the effort considering the die only sells for $10 (Factory Sales, the Lee Outlet Store).

    You are correct that a Crimp should be applied to any round used in an auto-loader. As for "Hunting Rounds"? It would depend on a lot of factors. If you have a rifle that produces massive recoil, and you have heavy bullets, might be a good idea for a crimp to prevent bullet set-back. It is a definite requirement in rifles using a tubular magazine if you don't want all but the last round in the "tube" to have the bullet hammered back as far as the powder will allow.

    For average "hunting loads" or Match Ammo it may not be needed although some crimp when using slow burning powders. There is a school of thought that a heavy crimp holds the bullet back in order to get more powder burning before the bullet is launched. This theory will prove or disprove itself with experimentation. Accuracy and performance (speed) will tell the tale.
     
  3. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    Thanks for the great response; very informative and useful. I haven't loaded any hunting rounds yet as I am trying to get things dialed in, but it's a bolt gun and shouldn't recoil to the point it's a problem. As for the auto loading rifle, I am loading for a auto loader in the same caliber (.308) in addition to my auto-loading 30-06. Neither are hard hitters, but I want to be sure the bullets don't move on me, and I'd much rather pick up a new die rather than spend the time to make a bushing because time with my family has a value as well.
    Thanks again! Bobby
     
  4. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    I'm going to hijack this thread a little bit, sorry. Maybe others will find this useful?

    deadshot
    What do you think of crimping the non-cannelured bullets? Lee says its ok to do with the FCD, but then I've read other places (can't tell you exactly where) that you SHOULDN'T crimp the non-can. Does it affect accuracy if you crimp the non-can, and it ends up with a ring around the bullet?

    Though the questions were directed at deadshot, I hope others will weigh in also, if they have experience with it.
     
  5. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I know there are a lot with the opinion that you shouldn't crimp a bullet without a cannelure. Many claims of "damaging the bullet", "harming accuracy", etc. Ask yourself this, "How does the cannelure end up on the bullet to begin with"???

    It's "rolled" onto the bullet after it is initially formed. The only difference between crimping a bullet with a cannelure and crimping one without is there is a groove there first on one and a groove is formed there afterward in the other instance.

    I have crimped bullets with the LEE Fcd that had no cannelure and found no issues whatever. Bullets didn't fall apart, accuracy was similar, and all worked great.

    Only caution I would offer is when crimping ANY bullet, using the LEE Fcd die, watch the gaps in the collet. Only adjust the die to the point that the gaps JUST CLOSE. Any more adjustment will damage the die.