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Thread: 22 hornet Lee factory crimp die tips.

  1. #1

    22 hornet Lee factory crimp die tips.

    Hi all, ive read lots on here about the lee factory crimp and have finally got one for my hornet. I use a lee breech lock hand prime. Ive read the instructions but i think that will be too much crimp? How much crimp is too much?

    Cheers
    Ben
    Last edited by Ben410; 22-07-2014 at 18:42. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Hello Ben. I am a recent convert to the Lee factory crimp so have limited experience of using it. I think the amount of crimp on the case is set by the case trim length, in relation to how far down the neck it goes. The die is a collet as you will know, so will only go as 'tight' as until the collet 'segments' close together. I made up a few dummy rounds for trial and error. If the collet is not completely closed then you get three little ridges in the crimp where the brass has 'squeezed' between the segments of the collet. Hopefully Muir will be along with a more detailed answer. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Thanks uncle norm, ive had a 5 min play and set up the die as per the instructions and im struggling to see any marks on the brass? Should I be seeing marks?

    B

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben410 View Post
    Thanks uncle norm, ive had a 5 min play and set up the die as per the instructions and im struggling to see any marks on the brass? Should I be seeing marks?

    B
    Yes you should see a narrow ring around the top of the case neck. This is where the die squeezes the case onto the bullet. The die will not put a crimp on cases that are shorter than the minimum length standard. Check that your cases have not been trimmed too short. Uniform case length is essential to get the same amount of crimp on each case. The Lee hand cutter and case length/shell holder is very good for this, but a little slow if you use a lot of ammo i.e. target shooting. Muir is the man for more technical advice and several of us on here have followed his loading advice for the .22 Hornet with good results. He is on most days and hopefully will be along soon.

  5. #5
    This is what I found on the net.

    It is a delicate adjustment to get the FCD to crimp .002-.004". The FCD absolutely stupefied me the first time I got one.
    I didn't understand the instructions, at first I could get no crimp at all. Then, I was mutilating brass and bullets.
    I called Lee while I sat in front of the press with the die FCD on and told them I didn't understand the instructions and told them how I set up the die and what it did to my brass.
    There are tips from Lee Technical Dept that are not in the instructions.

    The technician had me get my dial caliper and measure the case mouth un-crimped and write the number down.
    He guided me to look at the die from above and operate the die with no case in the holder. He had me watch the 4 petals of the collet and adjust the die till the petals just completely closed on the collet when operating the press..
    The next step he told me made me completely understand the die.

    He had me cut a strip of printer paper 1/4 inch wide and 3 inches long. He had me re-adjust the die from full closure to get a space between the collet petals to just have a slight pinching slip fit on the paper strip with full down of the press handle and pushing the handle hard.
    When I got that adjustment correct he had me crimp a bullet in a case and carefully measure the very end of the case-mouth again, and only measure the crimped area.
    The case had crimped .002". He told me that .002" is a light crimp and .004 would be a heavy crimp I should use for my .375H&H or my .458 Win Mag. with heavy bullets.
    He said the adjustment from .002" to .004" is a very slight adjustment and I should measure my brass to check my adjustment.
    Give that a try, but also check your brass length first! Be sure it is no shorter than .005" less than SAMMI maximum

    The Lee Zip Trim cuts the chamfer on the case to the ideal degree. My tool (Wilson) is too aggressive.
    Use the Wilson very lightly.

  6. #6
    Further to Jack's post above, I have just remembered that there is an excellent video demo on Utube too. Like Jack, I found my normal RCBS trimmer too harsh for the .22Hornet cases and lost several cases trying to get the fine setting right.

  7. #7
    The shim advice is good to an extent. I use it myself. The problem comes in when you have different makes and thicknesses of brass and bullets. Hornet brass, for example, is very thin and the bullets usually thin skinned. If I use the same crimp I use on military 308 brass loaded with Hornady Interlocks, the spring back comes into effect. I usually set my die and lock it. Sometimes I mark the die ring to match a mark on my press so that i turn it in to exactly the same spot.

    I agree: I don't like the Lee instructions and have never followed them. When starting off with a new cartridge -like I have been crimping the 204 Ruger- I generally turn the die in to where it leaves a visible crimp when viewed with a magnifying glass. I then lock the die. That is my starting point for load development. ~Muir

  8. #8
    Thanks gents. Playtime it is then. Ill keep you informed

    Ben

  9. #9
    Right after a half hour play ive got it set so there is a faint ring around the case mouth but no vertical marks on the side of the neck where the collet would of closed on it. This ring is .002 narrower than uncrimped, as per above post. Am I going in the right direction?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben410 View Post
    Right after a half hour play ive got it set so there is a faint ring around the case mouth but no vertical marks on the side of the neck where the collet would of closed on it. This ring is .002 narrower than uncrimped, as per above post. Am I going in the right direction?
    Try it and find out. Don't sweat this .002-004" thing. I use these dies on every cartridge/caliber I load for. When it looks like it has crimped -when I visibly see a turning in of the case mouth- it's crimped and I lock the die, finish off all the cases, and head for the range to see how they shoot.~Muir

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