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Lee FCD pushing bullet out of case?

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Howdy.  This is a really strange problem.  I've loaded thousands of 45acp rounds with no problem, using mostly 230gr RNL.  I have always used a Lee dies with the Factory Crimp Die (in a Lee 4 hole turret), and I've been happy that I've never had any ammo problems in my 1911's.  But recently I switched to Cimarron Bullets Hi-Tek coated 230 RN. They measure about .453.  Very nice bullets.  But I started having a problem with some rounds coming out longer after crimping than before.  It varies, but sometimes a LOT longer.  There is some randomness to it.  I experimented with different amounts of belling (Lee dies).  At first, I thought the FCD was pushing the bullet up on the upstroke as it resized the finished round.  And it might be doing that sometimes.  But sometimes it is pushing the case up on the downstroke!  I have had a few where the bullet actually squeezed completely out of the case on the downstroke of the FCD.  The upstroke was then very easy, with a bullet sitting loose on top of the case at the end.  I thought maybe I could seat and crimp with the seater die, then run it through the FCD after to be sure of a good round, but I get shaving of the bullet coating doing that regardless of how much belling.  So, I bought a used set of RCBS dies, and am now using the RCBS crimp die after seating with the Lee die.  This is making good ammo (according to a case checker - I had never used a case checker before but did buy one recently).  But I'd sure like to know if anyone else has run into any similar problems with 45acp bullets (coated or otherwise) pushing out of the case with a Lee FCD.
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Second that!  No need for, and with the variety of nose shapes found on different supplier's .45 caliber RN bullets, there's no way I would use a Lee FCD crimper.  All you need on the .45 auto case is a taper crimp that is about 0.471" outside diameter right at the case mouth.  Almost all the standard taper crimp dies in .45 auto die sets will do this very well and with all the various shapes of bullet noses.


If you want to detect loaded rounds that are too big to chamber, use a loaded round check gauge.  I gauge every round to be used in matches.


If you want to FIX rounds that are too big, especially bulged bases right above the extractor groove, here's where the Lee FCD die comes in handy. Normally it is used (after removing the seating/crimping guts, and getting the Bulge Buster kit from Lee), by pushing fired cases up through the FCD die body with a pusher rod that fits the shell holder recess in a single stage press ram (main part to use from the Bulge Buster kit).  But it will also SAFELY work on a loaded round which gauges too large.  If the case is bulged, or the crimp is too large a diameter, or the rim of the case is too large, that Lee FCD die swages the round back down to a sure size to chamber.     


Good luck, GJ

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In over 50 years of loading 45ACP with hundreds of shooting discussions with other reloaders I have never heard of anyone using a Lee FCD for 45ACP.


I've been using the Lee FCD since I started loading 45 ACP for Wild Bunch.

Use the same set up for loading plated bullets for other shooting. I have had zero issues.


Marshal Stone

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I've used a Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die for all my 45 ACP rounds and 45 Colt since I started shooting WB. Makes a uniform round. I seem to remember Capt. Baylor recommending it in a Chronicle article, but I could be wrong.

I usually get a couple 1000's of growth from seating to crimping but I get that with Dillon crimp dies too.


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The Lee FCD puts the taper crimp right at .471 for me, so no problem there.  Like I said, no problem with many lead bullets (and some FMJ and Golden Sabres some years back as well, now that I think about it).  Somehow these Hi-Tek coated bullets are more slippery or something. 
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