Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:28 pm

Thanx Hoot. I've had SEVERAL inquiries.
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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby Hoot » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:27 pm

Two hours later...

...and done!

Some of the missing posts were not because of broken image links. It turned out that when the 450b site was rebuilt earlier this year, my apostrophy and quotation marks in the body of the text got re-interpreted to ASCII characters and since the phpBB code apparently could not interpret them, the entire post was blocked. I moved the images from the first part, from my old ISP to my new ISP storage, for safe keeping, but I discovered that they were still accessible from the old ISP after moving them. Ditto on the second part {Stab) image links on Tiny Pic were still active. It all boiled down to the converted punctuation marks causing the post to be blocked. When I went to the blank post and chose edit, it was still there, with the broken punctuation marks. I probably could have just edited the broken marks and the post would have reappeared. If anyone see's other posts by me that are blank, let me know and I'll see if they just need their apostrophy and quotation marks edited to re-enable them.

Hoot

Followup: Some posts I have made were created using MS Word. Copied and pasted as the body of the post. The ones entered manually did not suffer from the apostrophe and quotation marks being re-interpreted after the site rebuild. Just the ones made using MS Word. Must be a problem unique to MS Word, when dropped into a phpBB site post.

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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby Jim in Houston » Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:45 am

And Here are my edits of Hoot's description of using the Lee FCD Die for Side-Crimping the BM450. It is much clearer if you have the FCD in your hand, while you read these.

.

This is how I set up a run:

1. Have some brass not worthy for reloading for whatever reason, handy to serve as test indicators and a Sharpie.

2. Run the set nut on the FCD up as far as possible. You can get them up a little further if you put them on upside down.

3. With the shell holder in the ram, run it up all the way and screw the die in until it contacts the shell holder.

4. Retract the ram a little and screw the FCD down one revolution.

5. Looking down from the top, at the collet fingers inside the FCD, run the ram back up all the way and you will observe the collet fingers constrict a little toward the center at the top of the stroke. Repeat screwing the FCD down further until the collet fingers do not constrict any further and the gaps between them are closed.

It doesn't hurt to cut some thin strips of paper towel and pull them between the gaps in the fingers with the collet relaxed from time to time, to get any junk out from between them. Edited by Hoot If I made your FCD, do not spray degreaser into the FCD to clean it, or immerse it in a cleaning tank. I put a small amount of MoS grease inside where the wedges of the collet fingers engage the wedges of the body. It keep the collet from seizing. You don't want to wash it off. Shooting a little compressed air down inside to blow out any debris is fine. The un-modded die ships with no lubrication.

6. Having now set up the FCD, mark up the last 1/4 inch of one of the test cases with the sharpie. Put it into the shell holder and raise the ram just enough to see and feel the collet fingers begin to engage the case. Don't use any more pressure than needed to imprint the sharpie ink and you'll be able to reuse the case. That may take some practice. Run the ram back down and inspect the case to see where the crimp line is located. If it's where you want it to be, lock down the set nut and you're ready to process your preloaded rounds.

7. Taper crimp all the rounds after you apply the FCD and don't taper crimp them as heavily as when you are using just a taper crimp alone. It mainly serves to de-flare the case mouth.

8. If you need to move the crimp to be closer to the mouth, measure the amount with a calliper and use the shim washer, or combination of them to get that change in distance. It may take a try or two to get the combination figured out, so always have the sharpie and test cases close at hand. When you add a shim, you need to repeat the set up procedure. The end of the bottom of the collet engages the shell holder when you run the ram up and presses the collet up into the FCD body where the wedges of the fingers and body force them to deflect inward. That's how it works. If you add a shim, it's like screwing the die body down past where the fingers are fully engaged, so you need to back out the die to offset the change in height. The shell case has no bearing upon how the FCD mechanics work. Again, when you get the crimp located where you want it to be, screw down the lock nut. When using shims to move the location of the crimp, you have to slide them down over each round before you crimp it and remove them when you pull the finished round out. It adds a step to the reloading process, but that's how it's done. The alternative would be to have several modified FCDs cut to preset lengths and just use the appropriate one for the crimp location you need. That gets expensive, but it eliminates the need for shimming.

As you said, playing with it will give you a better understanding of how these factors interact. If I was not clear on something, please ask more questions. Having covered the "Lion's share" of the process, the answers will not be so long.

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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby Jim in Houston » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:02 am

Three (or maybe more) questions, which I think have been covered elsewhere previously, but to which I cannot find the answers:

    How far below the case mouth should the taper crimp be?

    What should be the diameter of the taper crimped case after the crimp is applied?

    If I am crimping a bullet with cannelures (some, if not all of the 225's), should I side crimp into the cannelure, and - if so - to what diameter? Ditto for the follow-on taper crimp?
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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby Hoot » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:33 am

Jim in Houston wrote:Three (or maybe more) questions, which I think have been covered elsewhere previously, but to which I cannot find the answers:

How far below the case mouth should the taper crimp be?


Far enough below the mouth so as not to decrease it's diameter to the point where it will not headspace on the lip in the chamber. As far as what is the optimal depth, that is an area ripe for experimentation.

What should be the diameter of the taper crimped case after the crimp is applied?


WRT the depth of the side crimp. Again that's an area for experimentation, but you don't want to misshape the bullet so much as to impact it's accuracy. Needless to say, you also don't want the bullet retained so tightly that it's more of a controlled explosion than a burn. I don't recall measuring mine, more like setting it until it looked right and crimping the rest to the same degree. I can't see any reason for crimping it tighter than what you might accomplish with the taper crimp, so I'm guessing .474 would be the most I'd go. I emphasize that it's an area for more experimentation. IIRC, after doing a side crimp, I taper crimped the mouth very little, say .476. That's just to remove the slight flaring that side crimping near the mouth causes.

If I am crimping a bullet with cannelures (some, if not all of the 225's), should I side crimp into the cannelure, and - if so - to what diameter? Ditto for the follow-on taper crimp?


Whenever possible, I tried to crimp into the cannelure. That's what they're there for. You don't misshape the bullet and it provides an excellent purchase. Again, I never measured the degree, but I'd guess it was in the area of .474 maximum. You don't need to squeeze as hard when you're hitting a cannelure.

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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby Jim in Houston » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:54 am

So, the answers to my questions are, "It all depends?" :-) Thanks for the guidance. Once I get some time to experiment, I will try the figures you gave and post the results.
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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby Hoot » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Jim in Houston wrote:So, the answers to my questions are, "It all depends?" :-) Thanks for the guidance. Once I get some time to experiment, I will try the figures you gave and post the results.


Jim, a lot of other members have dabbled with side crimps much more than I. Hopefully they have some concrete metrics to add to the conversation. The times when I played with them, it was for 5 or 10 rounds to try some technique or equipment variation and then if it was beneficial, I might write about it. If it wasn't, I didn't. Believe me, I shot a lot more than I wrote about, so I didn't get into many specifics. The fact that the 45-70 FCD is modified to accomplish this in the 450b means that there are probably many different jaw widths, some rounded, some with sharp edges, all of which factor into how much crimp depth you need to apply. If it were a standardized piece of off-the-shelf equipment, then measurements that one person used would have significance to everyone else who uses it. That's not the case here. That's why I advise experimentation to find what's best for your particular die and bullet selection.

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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:21 am

Here's a quick demonstration.
http://youtu.be/Ur1B_YtYbec
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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby MOOSE EARS » Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:56 pm

I just successfully followed the detailed instructions and made my crimp die. It works perfectly! And now my bullets aren't setting back any. Thanks for the sound advice and foolproof instructions!
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Re: Lee FCD Mod Step-By-Step w/images

Postby dantheman » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:22 pm

Someone should market these on Ebay


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