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Thread: Factory crimp dies - interchangeable in same diameter calibers?

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default Factory crimp dies - interchangeable in same diameter calibers?

    I have loaded quite a few .300 WM cartridges, but I gave my rifle to someone who needed it. I am going to buy a 30-06 rifle soon, and I was wondering if my Lee .300 WM factory crimp die might work for the ought-six as well. It's just a collet die, and it seems to me equal diameter calibers might be interchangeable with it. Your thoughts?

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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    I've wondered that myself. Only because I'm to lazy to try it, I reasoned that although the diameter is the same per se, the collet is cut different lengthwise.

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    The factory crimp dies work off the length of the cartridge. You could probably use some sort of spacer and get the .300 Win Mag crimp die to work since the '06 is shorter.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I have loaded quite a few .300 WM cartridges, but I gave my rifle to someone who needed it. I am going to buy a 30-06 rifle soon, and I was wondering if my Lee .300 WM factory crimp die might work for the ought-six as well. It's just a collet die, and it seems to me equal diameter calibers might be interchangeable with it. Your thoughts?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    I asked that question a while back, and was told, "NO".

    I think they are based on case length, so that would hafta be in limits, and there would need to be clearance, and possibly alignment.

    I suspect that some would work for some others, but maybe not, and the only way to tell would be to try it. I'd like to know the full story on this myself.

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    Maybe I need to do a bit more research on how factory crimp dies work. I know loading dies like .357 can also load .38 SPL etc. But FCD's apparently are caliber specific. If machining or spacers are necessary, I think I'd rather just buy another die.

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    For my 460 I use a 45/454 Lee FCD. The die wonít adjust that far, from 45 Colt all the way to 460 Smith so I set the die up about ĹĒ off the shell holder then adjust as normal. The bottom ľĒ doesnít go through the size ring but it was already sized and is well beyond where the bullet may have opened it up. Itís simple the way they work, itís just a floating ring with a radius that rolls the end of the case into the bullet . . . take one apart and look just be sure to put the ring back the same way.

    Now in necked cases they work different, some can be fiddled some canít. Iíd guess your 300wm die will be too long to crimp 30-06 and not that it matters much too fat to size it. Good news though being Lee itís short money to buy the proper die, $14.98 from Lee and likely even less for 30-06 from some vender sale. Even a semi custom is just $25 and a friend just got a full custom for a wildcat for $45. Oil up your 300wm dies, put them away till they are needed some day and buy 30-06 stuff. If you donít have 30-06 dies just get a Lee 3 die set that has the FCD included, Lee makes great dies for a great price.

    Lee 3 die set for 30-06 $35.98
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    Andy - I agree, Lee makes good stuff at a great price. As a general rule whenever buying dies, I just buy whatever is available. That is almost always either Lee or RCBS. I do have one Lyman set - for the .450 Marlin. I can't find any difference in quality between them, and the Lee dies are always cheapest. My .460 dies are Lee carbides. I think I'll just buy all the loading components for the 30-06 and start loading. I'll get a die set that has both full-length and neck sizers, plus the FCD. The '06 will be my first rifle to be fed hand-loads exclusively.

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    I'm not too fond of some of Lee's stuff but I believe their dies are better than same grade dies from other makers. I too have a mix of stuff mostly RCBS and Lee but always try to find the Lee dies any more because I like them best, that they are cheaper is a nice bones though.

    My 460 dies are Hornady because like you they are what I could find at the time but their taper crimp sucks for 460 so a shopping I went. At the time Lee didnít make a 460 crimp die (maybe still donít?) so I took a shot that 45/454 would work and it does just fine. Sometimes we got to do what we can getting into something odd or new but 30-06 stuff is everyplace and you will use it from now on so Iíd get exactly what I wanted the first time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    At the time Lee didnít make a 460 crimp die (maybe still donít?)
    That's correct - they don't. I found out from Ranger Rick though, that if you put together a dummy round with your chosen bullet in an un-primed, empty .460 case and send it to Lee, they will mace you a FCD. I'm thinking about doing that with some of RR's 535 gr. bullets. With the dies I have, I can't get a tight enough crimp without buckling the case to keep the big 535's from popping out under recoil.

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    Default Crimp dies

    If I read Lee's literature correctly the .454 and similar pistol carbide factory crimping dies use a roll crimp - the die just irons out any buldges that result so all the rounds will chamber.

    The bottle neck rifle cartridges use a collet to crimp the sides of the cases into the bullet instead of roll crimping so the overall length isn't important.

    Don't know why a collet crimp die like the rifle dies wouldn't work on pistols rounds. A friend had one made up for a .500 Nitro Express. Perhaps they will make a collet crimp for the .460 - or were you looking for a factory crimp carbide die?


    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    That's correct - they don't. I found out from Ranger Rick though, that if you put together a dummy round with your chosen bullet in an un-primed, empty .460 case and send it to Lee, they will mace you a FCD. I'm thinking about doing that with some of RR's 535 gr. bullets. With the dies I have, I can't get a tight enough crimp without buckling the case to keep the big 535's from popping out under recoil.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    That's correct - they don't. I found out from Ranger Rick though, that if you put together a dummy round with your chosen bullet in an un-primed, empty .460 case and send it to Lee, they will mace you a FCD. I'm thinking about doing that with some of RR's 535 gr. bullets. With the dies I have, I can't get a tight enough crimp without buckling the case to keep the big 535's from popping out under recoil.
    Yea that was my next option, it's just $25 and I thought I may do that at some point. I just took a shot with the 45/454 die thinking if it didnít work I would set it up in a turret with 454 dies and order one for 460 so I wouldnít be out anything acutely. It works well enough on 460 that I just picked up another 45/460 so I can stop switching it between my 454 and 460 heads and leave them both set up now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    If I read Lee's literature correctly the .454 and similar pistol carbide factory crimping dies use a roll crimp - the die just irons out any buldges that result so all the rounds will chamber.

    The bottle neck rifle cartridges use a collet to crimp the sides of the cases into the bullet instead of roll crimping so the overall length isn't important.

    Don't know why a collet crimp die like the rifle dies wouldn't work on pistols rounds. A friend had one made up for a .500 Nitro Express. Perhaps they will make a collet crimp for the .460 - or were you looking for a factory crimp carbide die?
    The collet crimp is what I want. For every caliber. I like a strong crimp, and the collet type is about as strong as they come.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    For the 460 I use a Redding Profile crimp die, cost more than the standard FCD Lee, about the same price as the custom Lee FCD, they work the same (roll or taper) and readily availible. Have not had a single bullet jump crimp since I started using it. I am using the roll crimp. They make the profile crimp die for rifle too (taper or crimp).
    I also use Lee FCD for every thing I reload for and the stuff Lee dont make a die for, I went with the redding profile crimp.
    On a bottle neck case, if the diameter and lenght is not the same it will not crimp in the right spot. 7mm mag, and 300 win mag use the same parent case, however; if you try and use the FCD for 7mm on 300 it will smash the case at the shoulder, and if you use the 300 die on the 7mm, well lets just say it does not work very well, at all!
    Hopefully this will save ya some smashed brass.
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    Default Factory collet crimp

    I guess a custom die from Lee is the only option for the collet crimp. From what I can tell the collet is compressed causing the crimp when the crimp die hits the shell holder so the shell is not under any force except where the crimping collet contacts the top edge of the case mouth - hence the case length is not important as it is with the roll crimp. Apparently the collet will even force the shell into the bullet if a crimp groove isn't present.

    I'll try this week and see if I can get some quotes from Lee for the .460 and .500 or if they will even make them.


    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    The collet crimp is what I want. For every caliber. I like a strong crimp, and the collet type is about as strong as they come.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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