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Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

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72 usmc
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Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#1 Post by 72 usmc » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:56 pm

I need a reloading wizard. :doh: :doh:

I have never used one (lee factory crimp die) or even looked at one up close. I have a .32 French long cartridge that is using .308 pulled Tokarev bullets or original .309 .32 French long pulled bullets with the new 32 French long Starline brass. I want to crimp these a wee bit tighter especially with the .308 Tokarev bullet. A French long case is .776 inch. Lee does not make a crimp die for the french Long cartridge. They do make a 30 luger, .309 Lee factory crimp die #90175. The 30 luger case is .850 inch long. Can 30 luger crimp die for a bottle neck cartridge be used to get a good crimp on a straight wall .32 French long case??? Or is the 30 luger crimp die too long & useless? .850-.776 is only a difference of .074 inch. The French Long case is short. Is there enough internal adjustment to allow a French long case to reach the crimp inserts top and make a .309 crimp?????

Or the .30 M1 Carbine lee crimp die is .308, but the M1 carbine case is way too long at 1.290inch. The .32 French long case may not reach the crimp insert??? A .32 ACP is .312 too large and will not provide a good crimp. Can an insert be switched in the dies? Say, I buy a 30 luger and replace the .309 crimp insert with the M1 carbine .308 insert??? Or, are these all unique and the crimp insert is not removable and will not interchange?? Maybe a .32 ACP with the .308 M1 insert or the .309 30 luger insert used in the 32 acp? .32 ACP case is .680 inch in length. Shorter than the .32 French long case that is .776 inch.

Any of the reloading experts that have used Lee crimp dies have any suggestions? Are the crimp inserts the same and can be switched out? How can I crimp the .32 French long for better tension??? Our is it better to just cut down an .30 cal M 1 carbine FL seating die to get a better crimp. I'd have to grind off about 1/2 inch on the bottom of the die so the .32 French long case gets up into the die and receives a .308 roll crimp. Suggestions???
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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#2 Post by DaleH » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:18 pm

The shellholder pushing on the bottom of the collet is what causes it to ‘squeeze’. My Dad always used one of correct diameter but using a shorter case length than he needed (but case also needs to enter the die body). Then he’d play with a stack of various thickness washers, metal & nylon, that he’d drop over the case once in the shellholder. Sometimes he’s file the washers to get the exact dimension or tension desored. Then he’d glue the stack together. Best I can offer ...

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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#3 Post by 72 usmc » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:39 pm

I like that idea.

My problem is the two dies : 30 luger, bottleneck cartridge, and the 30 carbine straight wall are the correct the diameter, but the crimp die is way too long for my shorter French long case. In contrast, The 32 ACP crimp die is shorter & the correct diameter and may work with washers, but the crimp is way too large at .312 inch. I wonder if the inserts can be switched ? I need a nice .308 or as close to it crimp job. Some use .30 cal m1 carbine bullets, but there is then a problem with neck tension- I can push the bullet back into the case if I push down hard on a reloaded bullet. I am ok at with a .309 or .310 bullet on my CH4D French Long die. But a bullet of the size .307/.308 is problematic with neck tension. I need a crimp die solution.
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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#4 Post by DaleH » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:53 pm

Will Lee make a custom die? I ordered a custom item from them the other day and they called me to discuss it ...

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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#5 Post by ammolab » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:02 am

The .312” 32 ACP would still have enough “squeeze” to crimp your .308” bullet. My 7.62x54R factory crimper does fine with .311” or .308” bullets.

Just use the washer/spacer trick. This assumes it is a collet type crimper. My Lee 9x19 factory crimper is not. My 30 Luger die is.

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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#6 Post by les1234 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:07 am

Perhaps another way to fix it might be a slightly smaller diameter expander button. That would give better neck tension, even without a tighter crimp. What is the diameter of the expander ball in your dies? If you have a Lyman "M" die for .30 caliber, it might work substituting it for the expander die in your CH die set. If it's not exactly the right diameter, Buffalo Arms has custom expander balls that fit RCBS/Lyman dies-don't know how they compare to the C-H dies, never had any of those.

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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#7 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:47 am

The .312” 32 ACP would still have enough “squeeze” to crimp your .308” bullet.

So the Lee crimp dies have some give/play on the downward small end of the crimp process? Say a 32 ACP die set up at .312 can actually go down smaller by about .003 inch? Is it safe to say the max is .312inch and the Lee factory crimp die with the 4 jaw collet insert actually goes much tighter than the advertised .312 they state on the package. I thought the 4 jaws on the collet insert only go down to .312inch when you push the shell hold up to the crimp die. ???? I should be able to adjust this with brass washers.

I contacted Lee to see if a crimp die could be made for .32 French long. I see the Lee factory crimp die in .32 ACP, .312 actually crimps down to .308 ?? If this works that is the cheep fix. This would then work.
Now my CH4D seating die works fine with .309 or .310 bullets. I just take the top seater out and run the case in and get a roll crimp. But with smaller bullets say .307/.308 there is a neck tension issue. I am planing to resize the case down to .308 not the .309 that the CH4D die produces. I am using a cut down .30 Carbine die to to resize the case to .308. This worked nice with .309 French pulled bullets. Maybe CH4D has a pin I can use that forms to .308-- it is a straight case. Not sure about this. I actually remove the pin the pushes out the primer out because it is a straight case that I am resizing. The die body does all the work. The Ch4D seating die works, but a crimp would be nice and if the .32 ACP crimps down to .308. I would not even need to resize the case to .308 in my carbine die, I can just use my special order .309 CH4D set. The crimp die would produce a nice tight fit to the finished ammo.

I see that the rifle 7.62x54R Lee crimp die is set at .312 and yours goes down to .308. It works on both sizes. I would think a Lee pistol crimp die should function just the same. This sound like an easy fix.

Thanks guys for the ideas.

Any more, please post :dance: :clap:
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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#8 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:34 am

Interesting the Lee crimp die is listed as use with 3 lengths; not exactly like the rifle die.
CARBIDE FACTORY CRIMP DIE 32 S&W LG, 32 H&R MAG, 32 ACP

"CARBIDE FACTORY CRIMP DIE 32 S&W LG, 32 H&R MAG, 32 ACP
SKU 90067
MSRP: $22.98
Lee 32 S&W Long, 32 H&R Mag, & 32 ACP Carbide Factory Crimp Die sizes the cartridge while being crimped so every round will positively chamber freely with factory like dependability. This die applies a roll style crimp. The adjusting screw quickly and easily sets the desired amount of crimp. Trim Length is not critical so this extra operation takes less time than it would if cases were trimmed and chamfered. A firm crimp is essential for dependable and accurate ammunition, as it eliminates the problems of poor ignition of slow burning magnum powders."

So the .32ACP at case length of .680 inch to 32 S&W long at a case length of .920 inch with the .32 French Long case falling in-between at a case length of .776 inch. It should be adjustable somehow to crimp the case. Anyone actually own and use a .32 ACP lee crimp die # 90067?? How well does it work.
Can it crimp .307/.308 bullets?

So the pictures show different views indicating the same die,not what I would call similar, but both have the same number. Lee # 90067. I think I am looking at a collet style crimp die at the top and the lower are called the Lee carbide factory crimp die which is what is shown for a .32 acc. The question: will this crimp down to .308 since it appears not to be like a rifle crimp die with a collet. It seems to have some sort of sleeve and adjust part on the top. Does anyone have one of these? Will it crimp a .307/.308 bullet or is it fixed to .312? Anyone use this die shown in the bottom two photos? It appears length is ok, and the die has a range from 32ACP to .32 S&W long, but I am not sure how much such a die will crimp? Is it set at .312 or is that sleeve actually a 4 sided collet?????? I need someone that has one of these to explain and if they think this lee die would work with a smaller bullet than .312 inch. THANKS. I am just not sure what both pictures show for the same Lee number#90067, it's like 2 different die types? Talk about a state of confusion :doh: :oops: :snooty: :think:
lee-precision-factory-crimp-die-270-winchester-short-magnum-90962-a3343-700x700.jpg
LEE90067.jpg
LEE90067.jpg (46.33 KiB) Viewed 646 times
Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 9.58.00 AM.png

The Lee company states:
A carbide sizer inside the Carbide Factory Crimp die post-sizes the cartridge while it is crimped so every round will positively chamber freely with factory like dependability. The adjusting screw quickly and easily sets the desired amount of crimp. It is impossible to buckle the case as with a conventional bullet seating die. Trim length is not critical so this extra operation takes less time than it would if cases were trimmed and chamfered.
Revolver dies roll crimp with no limit as to the amount. A perfect taper crimp is applied to auto-loader rounds. The crimper cannot be misadjusted to make a case mouth too small to properly head-space. A firm crimp is essential for dependable and accurate ammunition. It eliminates the problems of poor ignition of slow burning magnum powders.
Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 9.52.50 AM.png
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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#9 Post by les1234 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:50 pm

Lee has 2 different types of "factory crimp dies" for straight wall handgun cartridges. One uses the collet system like the rifle FCD dies. The other has the floating crimp collar, and a carbide ring to iron out any bulges in the lower part of the case. It is the collet type that will only crimp a case of one specific length.

Since you have the .30 carbine die option, I'd just use that. Or use the CH die to size the case, then use the expander die from the carbine set to expand the case. Most likely, your CH dies are sizing the case small enough for .308, but the expander is opening it up too much.

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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#10 Post by ammolab » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:09 pm

The collet type die would crimp enough...the “sizer type”? No

As I said earlier...if the 32ACP is a “sizer” like the 9mm?...forget it.

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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#11 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:13 am

Thanks guys. From what I see I am going to use cut down cheep Lee M1 carbine dies and see how that works on the pulled tokarev bullets or buy .309 so I got a larger size.
I will let everyone know if Lee can make a collet correct .307/308 sizing die for the .32 French long and the cost, if & when they get back to me. M1 dies are a dime a dozen at shows. I do not want to modify my RCBS set.
One would think with the new Starline brass that functions perfectly, Lee would want to put into production a carbide, 4 die pistol set for the .32 French Long-- guess they do not need any money. :doh:
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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#12 Post by ammolab » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:33 pm

I have the lee 30 Luger factory crimp die. It is a collet type. As is it may not crimp you slightly shorter French ctg.

If you remove the .074” or more from either the bottom of the crimping collet of the die OR the top of your shell holder, it will crimp the French round as you desire.

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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#13 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:00 pm

If you remove the .074” or more from either the bottom of the crimping collet of the die OR the top of your shell holder, it will crimp the French round as you desire.
Correct

Note I have the wrong ideas below see next post on how the Lee Crimp dies work, a learning curve
An interesting idea. I have one question. I am not sure how the collet crimp die works. I believe, that the inside shaft (red arrow pointing at it) moves up as the shell plate pushes up onto the base of the die. How does it function? How much movement occurs with the lower inside shaft. When you crimp a luger case, does this shaft have to move up into the crimp die's body flat to the base of the dies base of the treads in order to push the collet tight to the top? The shaft has to be flush to the base of the die? Minor adjustment is just 1/4 turn of the die in the press?

Or is the collet already positioned at the top of the die body and that sleeve allows for the play/adjustment to push the case of the luger cartridge just a wee bit into the collect for crimp adjustment. In other words, that lower section of the sleeve that slides into the die's body (shown in the lower photo), hardly moves Up in order to crimp a 30 luger case CL= .850. Most of the contact with the shell plate is on the shaft the moves up & down, not the base of the die body. If this is the situation, I have lots of room for a shorter case's adjustment? The shaft just moves more up into the body allowing for .074 more play due to my shorter case. Or, does that shaft have to move up to the base of the body, up to the threads in order to function?

I have no idea how much the shaft insert moves up into the die's body in the working of the die when it crimps a 30 luger case. If I am thinking correct, I believe the way the crimp die functions, ( I have never seen one) THINKING INCORRECT SEE NEXT POST ON HOW THE DIE IS BUILT
s-l1600-1.jpg
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:19 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#14 Post by 72 usmc » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:39 pm

OK ammolab, stupid is as stupid does :arrow: :arrow: I watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NOWqX0BX6o
Sorry, I understand now, I see that the base of the die is solid/fixed. There is a pressed in collet insert. It does not slid up & down. The die is adjusted by its base, so I can remove some and make it function for the smaller French Long case. The shell holder pushes up against the bottom of the die and the case held in the shell holder slides up into the die's body and contacts the internal collet fingers. The collet applies the crimp by the adjustments made by turning the die body for more or less crimp. So by removing .074 from the thin base of the 30 caliber luger's longer crimp collet die should work. I can shorten the die length to fit the .776 French Long case. Removing .074, which isn't much, will shorten the die and it should function so it should produce a .308 crimp on my French long when using smaller pulled Tokarev tips.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWnw0sTBO8w
For the record the Lee crimp dies reviewed

For 16-20 bucks its worth a try. :clap: :clap:
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Re: Lee pistol crimp die questions HELP

#15 Post by les1234 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:56 pm

Shortening the bottom of the inner sleeve will do what you want. Basically, you want it so that when the case, in the shell holder, contacts the bottom of the sleeve, the "fingers" on the collet portion should line up with the mouth of the case where you want the crimp to be. Adjusting the die up or down only regulates how tight the crimp is, but the length of the inner sleeve part of the die dictates where the crimp will be.

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