NEW Lee 4 Die Set for 450B!!

Talk about your 450b reloading experience, ask questions, etc...

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Re: NEW Lee 4 Die Set for 450B!!

Postby powerhead357mag » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:42 pm

I had a Lee fcd. Didn't do much for me. As for makeing a stab crimp die I ground down the sleeve on a 460sw Lee fcd and had amazing results. Here's an exaggerated crimp I did to show how and where it crimps

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Re: NEW Lee 4 Die Set for 450B!!

Postby CJP1 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:16 pm

I thought that the Hornady dies price was a little steep so held off on buying them. When I saw the Lee dies at Titan I bought them only to realize that they are their Pacesetter dies and have a steel resizing die. Was kind of a letdown to me as I really didn't want to add extra steps to loading routine. I loaded two batches for chronoing on two different days with these dies. I was having canted bullets and ignition problems so I bit the bullet (no pun intended) and bought the Hornady dies. No more canted bullets in my loaded rounds as the alignment sleeve works great. Now what to do with the Lee dies?
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Re: NEW Lee 4 Die Set for 450B!!

Postby MOOSE EARS » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:24 pm

You either love Lee dies or loathe them. I learned my lesson with Lee dies and have nothing but Hornady currently in use. But someone will buy your dies gladly. Lee lovers are out there, obviously.
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Re: NEW Lee 4 Die Set for 450B!!

Postby Gutpile » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:29 am

So my question is ? Is the factory crimp die from Lee in this set better than a modded side crimp die?
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Re: NEW Lee 4 Die Set for 450B!!

Postby Buckeye45 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:42 am

Thank you Gutpile for asking that. I keep waiting for someone to review the new Fcd. I realize I may not be quite as "meticulous" as some here in terms of crimping. I'm looking for a serviceable tool to get the job done for hunting purposes.
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Re: NEW Lee 4 Die Set for 450B!!

Postby Hoot » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:32 am

Buckeye45 wrote:Thank you Gutpile for asking that. I keep waiting for someone to review the new Fcd. I realize I may not be quite as "meticulous" as some here in terms of crimping. I'm looking for a serviceable tool to get the job done for hunting purposes.

The challenging part about discussing the FCD is differentiating between when someone is talking about the FCD Mod originally championed by Wildcatter and illustrated in This Thread, and the Standard Lee FCD, which has been around since long before the 450b was just a concept. The original FCD was an enhancement to whatever style crimp was used in bottleneck calibers. I myself have an FCD for every bottleneck caliber I own. Some times it enhances accuracy. Some times it reduces the velocity SD, but it was just another spin on how to crimp the bullet at the mouth of the case, if you choose to crimp. Truth be told, a lot of reloaders don't crimp their bottleneck bullets at all. There is enough neck tension from the length of the neck to secure the bullet in the first place.
Fast forward to the 450b. Its almost impossible, nah, it is impossible to get a reliable amount of neck tension in the 450b to satisfy all but the most casual reloader, without overdoing the taper or even the new mouth FCD and worrying about safely headspacing on that mouth. The problem is mostly relegated to the original form of the 450b rifle, the autoloading AR platform. The taper crimp, while probably the best compromise between adequate neck tension and accuracy, still leave something to be desired. Enter the side crimp (below the mouth).

The physics governing the ability to transfer an effective stab crimp through a brass wall and into a copper bullet is a challenge. If you ever watched someone on a trampoline with a semi-rigid surface, you will have seen the narrow feet on top yielding a more gradual bulge on the bottom of that surface. OK, so at least I noticed it... Anyway, getting the jaw bite of the FCD to propagate through the brass case wall and make the same imprint on the bullet is next to impossible. The solution that Wildcatter provided and spelled out in the aforementioned thread, was too make the jaw bite narrower. We're talking like a dull tubing cutter wheel narrow. The narrower the bite, the more likely it will transfer a similar bite to the bullet inside. Here's an image of the original bite width and a modded bite width. In reality, the narrower bite in the picture could have stood to be even more narrow:


Now the Lee FCD, regardless of caliber, is designed to deliver that wide, flat crimp right at the case mouth. That's why we modded the original .45-70 FCD (now the 460 S&W) to move that bite further down the case for a side crimp, as well as narrowing the bite width. Here's a look at four stab crimps with the die adjusted to move them wherever you want the crimp to be located. Like with the taper crimp, it is always desirable to plant the stab on top of a bullet's cannelure or in the case of all copper bullets, into one of the driving band grooves. Hence the adjustable depth:


If you want to accomplish a side, stab crimp, you will have to similarly mod the FCD die that came with your LEE 450b die set. That is, unless you just want the crimp to remain by design, at the mouth.

The original Hornady taper crimp doesn't just make the mouth narrower. There is a general taper applied down the case about the length that the bullet is seated. It creates not only a light bite at the mouth, but it shapes a reverse taper on the case for the duration of its contact with the bullet. Kind of like a slight wedge. I doesn't mess much with the heel of the bullet as you don't want the last thing that touches your muzzle to be narrower in diameter. That destabilizes the bullet just when its the most vulnerable.

So always be clear when throwing out the term FCD, to differentiate between a mouth FCD crimp or a side stab FCD crimp, that you're discussing.

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Re: NEW Lee 4 Die Set for 450B!!

Postby Thom28 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:52 pm

I load for both the Ruger No.1 and the Gunsite Scout. I set my Hornady tapered crimp to just barely put a crimp on the case and use the Lee Final Crimp Die to crimp my cases to .474.
I have never had a problem with bullet creep in the Gunsite and both these rifles shoot Barnes 200gr XPB bullets at 1/2 to 5/8" 5 shot groups at 100 yards.
I do use a Lee FCD on all the straight wall cartridges I reload.
I realize with the AR 15 you do need a stronger crimp to prevent bullet creep.
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