3 or 4 die set for .45ACP ?

Discussion in 'Reloading Room' started by mrgreen, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. mrgreen

    mrgreen Member

    I have read a small bit trying to decide but i was hoping maybe a few opinions on whether i should go for the 3 or 4 die set?

    I am of course going to use the carbide versions

  2. I use a 4 die set. But I also use a the FCD as a bulge buster.

  3. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

    I personally prefer the four dies when available.
  4. rickm

    rickm Member

    I always get the 4 die set its better get the FCD in the set than to later want it and have to pay much more for it and besides better to have and not need than to need and not have, plus if and when you decide to sale the set it makes it easier to sale. I use the FCD on all my rounds i load.
  5. I do too, and a bulge buster is needed with the 45 ACP. He can either get a case gauge, or he can turn the cases upside down in the chamber to see if they are bulged. If not bulged they will drop in and out seating on the case rim.

    If they don't drop in and drop out, eventually they will cause him problems.
  6. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I personally do not use the FCD. The FCD, in handgun calibers, will post size your reloads to assure they chamber correctly. Unless your technique is flawed or your dies are not set properly you do not need the FCD.

    If you are loading cast the FCD can swage lead bullets and cause leading of the barrel.
  7. Asher1

    Asher1 Member

    I was always told not to crimp any rounds that index off the case mouth... I am no expert, but I have never had any trouble loading 9mm, or .380 and not crimping. I do crimp .223" rnds for the obvious reasons.

  8. Hog wash! The FCD will not swag a properly sized lead bullet. I use cast only in my 45 and 380 and bell the case mouth to help in seating the bullet. As cast the 45 is .4525 - .453 and dummy rounds have shown no swaging BUT my 380 as cast is .359 - .360 and will get swagged but the lead had to go some place and it went to the ogive and up.

    A properly setup FCD will work wonders on a case to help it work in any gun.

  9. That's MOSTLY a problem with roll crimps - I've never had a problem with moderate taper crimps.
  10. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    Thanks! You made my point! Note that I did not say "will" but "can". You are correct also that the FCD, at least the pistol versions, will make a reload work in any gun, but they should work in any gun anyway.

    Now a jab at myself. I have been reloading nearly 40 years and am somewhat anal, maybe even overly so about it. If I find a mistake I will usually pull the entire batch I am working on. I have made mistakes, but none so far that have made it to the gun. Hopefully I never will. I apologize if I have stepped on any toes.

    That said, I am not saying that the FCD is not a good tool. Lee certainly sells enough of them. I just worry that they may hide a mistake or bad form.

    My 45 and 380 are cast also, sized .452 and .356 respectively. Lube them with 45/45/10, run them through the sizer, then lube them again.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  11. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I put just enough taper crimp on rimlesss pistol rounds to assure no bullet setback. A simple test is to push the nose of a reloaded round hard against the edge of your bench. Compare the before and after measurements.

    I do not crimp any of my rifle rounds intended for my single shots, I do crimp for rounds intended for my levers and semiautomatic rifles. For those I like and use the Lee rifle FCD.
  12. If reloading light loads a crimp is very important to insure consistent detonation of lighter loads of powder. Not so much a problem with semi auto cases, but a big problem with rimmed cases. Otherwise a person could end up with bullets stuck in the barrel.
  13. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    That's true. I generally do not load light, but near the top of standard pressures. I do not do +p.

    I put a firm crimp on my 38spl to stop bullet pull and binding of the cylinder.
  14. I use the 4 die sets whenever I get a chance, the FCD seems to work out good for me.
  15. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    4 die set... I taper crimp all my semi-auto pistol rounds. This prevents the bullet from moving deeper into the case when chambering. I don't put any crimp on rifle rounds.


  16. Nothing wrong with being annal with your reloads. No one wants a stuck bullet or worse yet one that goes BOOM.

    Sorry if I came off a bit strong I just get tired of all the folks out there that bash the FCD and never give that caveat. Lee is the Chevy of the reloading world and Dillon is the Lexus and they both get the job done but lets face it the ride in a Lexus is much smoother. If you haven't noticed I'm a Chevy type of guy, lol.
  17. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    So it's a Toyota masquerading around with a fancy badge?
  18. LOL something like that.
  19. Hot-Shot

    Hot-Shot Member

    Not sure what make press you have but I believe the 4 die set includes a factory crimp die , if you load progressively you would need a 4 hole turret, but don't think that would work with a Lee 1000 it only has 3 positions on the shell plate.
    I use three dies and have a single stage Lee press to crimp doesn't take much time but then again I have plenty of that