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Thread: Lee 4 die Vs RCBS 3 die sets.

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    Lee 4 die Vs RCBS 3 die sets.

    Reloading again after a long hiatus.

    Do many of you use the Lee 4 die carbide set for your pistol calibers?

    I don't remember using a "factory" crimp die.

    A Lee 4 die set is about the same price as an RCBS 3 die set. Pros? Cons?

    Thanks guys.

    Jim

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    I am kind of a newbie to reloading but asked the same question when I started. The answers were mixed some guys crimp pistol rounds some don't think you need to. Since opinions were mixed I went with the 4 die carbide set for both 9mm & .40 SW. I do a light crimp on both and have had no problems. If nothing else it removes the flare from the second die.
    Taurus PT22
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    NUF SED

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisit View Post
    I am kind of a newbie to reloading but asked the same question when I started. The answers were mixed some guys crimp pistol rounds some don't think you need to. Since opinions were mixed I went with the 4 die carbide set for both 9mm & .40 SW. I do a light crimp on both and have had no problems. If nothing else it removes the flare from the second die.
    Same here. Haven't started loading for the 9mm yet, but went with the Lee 4 die setup for my XDM
    40 S&W. Originally bought a RCBS set of dies, but decided to get the Lee. Seems to be the better way to go,
    for me at least. Intend to do the same when I start loading for the 9mm, PT709.
    I crimp to the same dimensions as factory. Haven't experienced any problems doing that.

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    I originally purchased the 3 die w/ the press. and went and bought the 4th carbide factory crimp. Been happy with it.
    S&W Sigma 9
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    "Knowing is half the battle."

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    i have the 4 die set for 9mm however I don't use the factory crimp die. I have heard that it can re-size you bullets and I use cast lead so I didn't want them any smaller then they already are. I did a test and found using only 3 dies had the best accuracy for me. my 2 cents.

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    I own thousands of dollars worth of RCBS equipment and have used them for over 35 year but on a lark I bought Lee 4 die set and am impressed (9x19).
    They are well made and their crimp die is by far the best I have ever used. I plan on replacing my .41 mag dies with the Lee 4 die set and may replace others with Lee.
    Just wish I had discovered Lee years ago.
    Go to Lee Factory Sales, less money spent and you get more than other makes.
    God, Country and Fast Boats!

    Why is it you never hear a Liberal(democrat,progressive or socialist)stand up for the liberties of the individual?

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    I have been using Lee dies for a lot of years and have always been impressed with their quality especially considering their price point. You will like the factory crimp die especially in semi auto rounds. You sure don't want any bullets collapsing into the case on the feed ramp. I have never noticed any degradation of accuracy. Just don't over do it.
    KNIFEMAKER

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    I havent started yet but I do have the 4 piece Lee die set. I wanted the factory crimp die just in case...

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    The more I see this “Lee vs. (any other brand) type of question the more convoluted my answers get. So I will do my best to make sense here…

    Unless carbide dies aren’t made for a certain caliber I will always buy the carbide. I have tried lubing cases and using steel dies and the slight difference that the carbide rings makes instead of the steel doesn’t change much for my shooting needs, but I’m not trying for the most perfect impeccable most laser beam ammo in the world. You don’t buy affordable equipment and expect match grade ultra perfection. You buy high end equipment and the best components and keep the most meticulous records, and other such things. Also, I love that it is pretty hard to destroy the decapping pin in the Lee sizing and decapping dies. I have had a few undersize flash holes snatch the pin out, but it pops right back in. If you set the torque right on the collet then you should never snap a pin either. The powder through dies they make work just fine for me and when they are adjusted right. They do need to be cleaned but that is true of any die. I happen to like the screw top rubber o-ring on the bullet seating and crimping die. I haven’t had one move on me yet. They are super easy to adjust. I prefer to set them up for bullet seating only as I like to crimp separate from seat. Many guys do this in one step and it is just a matter of preference. If you set it just right then it works fine. Now the muddy waters… The Lee Factory Crimp Die… LFCD’s take a lot of beatings. Some very well educated and experienced guys have said some bad things about them. The only reason I debate them is because all things are not equal. You will hear the final sizing will swage down you bullet, it will change OAL, it sets an inferior crimp, and makes your teeth rot and fall out of your head. I prefer to look at this issue from two different views. View one is all about auto loader ammo. View two is all about revolver ammo. Rimmed, tapered, or straight walled will apply to either auto loaders or revolvers different but the ammo can be loaded either or depending on the chamber it will be fed into. The same final touches I put on a .45 ACP for my 1911 are not the same final touches I put on a .45 ACP for my 625. I can shoot the most sharp edged heavy crimped SWC’s from my 625 that would turn my 1911 into a jamasaurus rex. So while I highly recommend the LFCD for auto loader ammo, I find it to be neither here nor there for revolver ammo. When loading for a revolver you are wanting to make sure your cast bullet is sized to your bore. If you need an over sized bullet then you need to see if the final sizing ring in the bottom of the LFCD will indeed swage down your bullet in the brass. You also need to see how thick your wall is in your brass since some run thick and with a thick bullet you can have loading issues. The final sizing carbide ring is supposed to just kiss the brass if it even touches it. I have also used it to just remove the flare from bullet seating. If you are using big fat over sized bullets it is an easy fix to just knock the sizing ring out. For revolver ammo I have bought extra seating and crimping dies and just use it as a crimping die to set a nice roll crimp on revolver ammo. For auto loader ammo the taper crimp and final sizing done by the LCFD have made my .45 ACP ammo darn near function perfect in my factory box stock Colt 1991A1, 1911 Series 70 reproduction, and 1911 XSE. The LFCD does have a learning curve in setting it up right. Just read the directions and you will find it pretty simple. So IMHO, for every problem that I have seen thrown in the face of the LFCD, I have either found a solution or the real reason for the problem. Maybe too many guys are just using it like a one size fits all type of tool when it should really be thought of as closer to an application specific tool. If I have left anything out I just can’t think of it right now.

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    I use all four dies for the three calibers I reload. I reckon there is no real 'downside' to using the FCD. Maybe there actually is no upside either - lol - but like chicken soup for a cold..."It couldn't hurt".
    Several firearms in .22LR, .380ACP, 9mm, 7.62x25, 7.62 Nagant. 7.62x54R and .45ACP. Lee Classic 4-hole turret and Lee breech-lock single stage.

 

 
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