The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

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The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby MudBug » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:49 pm

I got mine yesterday, and I'm guessing a few more have either got theirs or soon will. I think we need one of you smarties to give us a rundown on how to do it, or how to have it done.

We may need to discuss a standardized crimp height so that we can petition bullet makers and mold maker for bullets to match.

I'm gonna sticky this thread and reserve the first post for whatever we decided is the best process and final specs.
Eric

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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby MudBug » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:49 pm

This is the basic mod.

Use a socket or something the right size to knock the collet out of the die.

Then however you can manage it (Lathe, friendly machinists, hacksaw and sandpaper) remove 0.5 from the die body and 0.55 from the collet.

You can then reshape the actual crimp on the collet if you want, making it more round than the stock profile.


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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby gunnut » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:44 am

I took my die to my local Gun Smith. Had him take .5 off of both die & collet. That worked. But, put the crimp at the case mouth. I had him take .05 off the collet to lower the crimp .05. IMHO, This is a good place for the crimp on the 230grn. FMJ bullets.....Always open to new ideas!
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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby MudBug » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:29 pm

I've noticed in a couple posts here that you (or maybe another member) re-profiled the crimp so it's more roundish. How to you get the crimp out of the sleeve?
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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby gunnut » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:54 pm

I used a small socket to tap it out from the top down. Just make sure it's a good fit.
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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby Volt » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:53 pm

I got my die a couple of days ago but i geuss I dont get it,
Sorry I think I need pictures for this one. I like the idea of being able to use it on 200 and 230 gr bullets.
So you take .5 inch off the back of the collet. and a .5 inch off the front or bottom of the die?
did you widen the gap between fingers and by how much?
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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby jagermaster » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:57 am

gunnut wrote:I took my die to my local Gun Smith. Had him take .5 off of both die & collet. That worked. But, put the crimp at the case mouth. I had him take .05 off the collet to lower the crimp .05. IMHO, This is a good place for the crimp on the 230grn. FMJ bullets.....Always open to new ideas!


Would you post a pic of a loaded crimped round in the position you are talking about.
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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby wildcatter » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:25 am

Ok, to my way of thinking lowering the crimp .050" is a good start and is normally just fine, mine is lower at this point. The problem occurs when the side crimp is deep enough into the side of the case that the valley or the top two edges of the crimp are wide enough to reach the case mouth. At that point the new crimp could shrink the case mouth enough, to where the case wont grab the end of the chamber, causing excessive head space. So, .050" is ok, but not if the crimp is excessively deep. I am about to standardize a side crimp especially made for the Kill Bullet, that will also work for the crimping groves for most of the other manfs bullets that have more than one cannelure groove. I think maybe that I will offer a die that will side crimp to this standard until we can get Lee on board. In the mean time go ahead and do your mods, don't wait for me, it's not like you won't keep right on using your die and the expense is well south of $15 bucks or the cheapest thing we are doing.. Looks like I'm going to have to do a youtube thing on how to do the mod and then how to use it. When I start to do these videos I may as well do a ton of other topics, start think about what you want to see and then when someone starts a new topic, maybe called "Video Wants and Wishes" or some such, we can start to catalog what you renegades want to see..

PS.. I also make my groove substantially less wide. The Lee crimp is something like .100" wide, mine is on the order of .020", but anything is better than the tapper crimp, for this application and things are not standardized yet.
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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby pitted bore » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:53 pm

Here's how I've modified my Lee 45-70 factory crimp die, and it seems to work well.

First you have to get the die apart. I had to try several methods; perhaps my die was really tight. One of the methods succeeded, but I've forgotten what it was. Sorry.

To modify the die, I dug out my little Sherline lathe that I got on eBay a couple of years ago; it's pretty ancient.
I put the die body in the 3-jaw chuck, and cut off the base so the length of the die body is 1.660 inches.

Then I put the collet in the 3-jaw chuck, and cut it off so that when the collet is in the die body, the collet extends 0.50 inches below the die body. (This measurement is made with the collet pushed finger tight into the body.)

As many have noted on this site and on the calguns thread. the crimp applied by the Lee die is too wide. So I reversed the die in the chuck, and turned off "some" of the width of the crimping ridge (ring?) so that it would produce a narrower crimp. I cannot measure how much I turned off. I did not alter the internal diameter of the ridge of the collet, so the diameter of the crimp it applies remained the same.

Using the modified crimp die with 450B cases, the center of the crimp will be located about 0.20 inches from the case mouth.

At the point where the crimp is applied, the diameter of an empty case is reduced, from about 0.483 to 0.468 inches, so the crimp is about 0.0075 inches deep. With a jacketed bullet present, it really makes the bullet into a wasp-waisted shape.

At 0.20" from the case mouth, the crimp to too far from the mouth to be useful with many bullets, and in particular with the 185-grain SWC bullets with which I've been playing. I use a common method for solving such die problems: the case is put into the shell holder of the press, and a washer of suitable thickness is placed over the case so it rests on the shell holder. With the 185s, I use a washer that is 0.130 inches thick. This moves the crimp that much closer to the case mouth.

Different thicknesses of washers can be used to adjust the crimp location precisely where it's needed, for example into a cannelure.

Below is an image showing a 185-grain fully encapsulated semi wad cutter (Hornady #45137) .451, diameter, crimped into the case. The Lee crimp was applied after using the Hornady taper crimp to take the mouth diameter to 0.476 inches. The Lee-crimped case is flanked on the left by a Hornady 250-grain FTX factory load, and on the right by one of my 250-grain FTX handloads. The crimp should be obvious. There appears to be a slight flare at the mouth, but in fact the mouth measures 0.476, just as it did before the crimp was applied. I applied the Lee crimp after the taper crimp because I worried about the taper crimp possibly loosening the Lee crimp.

In Chapter 7 of the 185-grain SWC saga, I'll try to describe the results of using the crimp.

Please post if there is something unclear in the above, and I will try to clarify.

--Bob

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Re: The "modifying a Lee 45-70 factory crimp die" thread

Postby wildcatter » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:40 pm

pitted bore wrote:Here's how I've modified my Lee 45-70 factory crimp die, and it seems to work well.

First you have to get the die apart. I had to try several methods; perhaps my die was really tight. One of the methods succeeded, but I've forgotten what it was. Sorry.

To modify the die, I dug out my little Sherline lathe that I got on eBay a couple of years ago; it's pretty ancient.
I put the die body in the 3-jaw chuck, and cut off the base so the length of the die body is 1.660 inches.

Then I put the collet in the 3-jaw chuck, and cut it off so that when the collet is in the die body, the collet extends 0.50 inches below the die body. (This measurement is made with the collet pushed finger tight into the body.)

Doc, looking at your side crimp, you might want to go south a bit say another .020" and you might want to follow up what you have with a slight taper crimp to smooth out what looks like some slight belling at the mouth..

As many have noted on this site and on the calguns thread. the crimp applied by the Lee die is too wide. So I reversed the die in the chuck, and turned off "some" of the width of the crimping ridge (ring?) so that it would produce a narrower crimp. I cannot measure how much I turned off. I did not alter the internal diameter of the ridge of the collet, so the diameter of the crimp it applies remained the same.

Using the modified crimp die with 450B cases, the center of the crimp will be located about 0.20 inches from the case mouth.

At the point where the crimp is applied, the diameter of an empty case is reduced, from about 0.483 to 0.468 inches, so the crimp is about 0.0075 inches deep. With a jacketed bullet present, it really makes the bullet into a wasp-waisted shape.

At 0.20" from the case mouth, the crimp to too far from the mouth to be useful with many bullets, and in particular with the 185-grain SWC bullets with which I've been playing. I use a common method for solving such die problems: the case is put into the shell holder of the press, and a washer of suitable thickness is placed over the case so it rests on the shell holder. With the 185s, I use a washer that is 0.130 inches thick. This moves the crimp that much closer to the case mouth.

Different thicknesses of washers can be used to adjust the crimp location precisely where it's needed, for example into a cannelure.

Below is an image showing a 185-grain fully encapsulated semi wad cutter (Hornady #45137) .451, diameter, crimped into the case. The Lee crimp was applied after using the Hornady taper crimp to take the mouth diameter to 0.476 inches. The Lee-crimped case is flanked on the left by a Hornady 250-grain FTX factory load, and on the right by one of my 250-grain FTX handloads. The crimp should be obvious. There appears to be a slight flare at the mouth, but in fact the mouth measures 0.476, just as it did before the crimp was applied. I applied the Lee crimp after the taper crimp because I worried about the taper crimp possibly loosening the Lee crimp.

In Chapter 7 of the 185-grain SWC saga, I'll try to describe the results of using the crimp.

Please post if there is something unclear in the above, and I will try to clarify.

--Bob

[ http://home.earthlink.net/~kakeen1/abooks/450b/crimped.jpg ]
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