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Old 07-10-2017, 07:42 AM
Chacam Chacam is offline
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Default Newbie Question

I will soon be reloading 9mm and .380. And am considering the Lee die set. Do I need the 4 die set or the 3 die set. I think the 4 die set has one for crimping. Will be shooting from a Shield and Bodyguard. Any advice appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:50 AM
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I use the 4 die set with my 9mm. You will want to use a taper crimp die with you sheild and bodygaurd
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:46 AM
ken158 ken158 is offline
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Yes, taper crimp is needed for an auto.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:08 AM
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The 3 die set will seat and taper crimp the bullet at the same time.

The 4 die set has a separate crimping die. The Factory crimp die.(fondly known as the FCD) it works very well for semi auto ammo,

Which opens up the the whole FCD can of worms so let the debate continue.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:27 AM
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Take a look at your press (or the one you're thinking of buying).

If it's a single-stage...
  • ...you want the 3-die set. It'll save you an entire die swap and remove a step.

If it's a 3-hole turret or progressive...
  • You probably want the three-die set.
  • You can use the four-die set, but you'll have to resize and deprime separately. Install the deprime/resize die, disable the auto-index if your turret has one, and batch-process your brass. You can do this with dirty brass that's not caked in mud, or with clean brass.

If it's a 4-hole turret or progressive...
  • You probably want the four-die set. It'll keep you from having an empty station on your press, and the separate seat and crimp dies are generally regarded as being easier to adjust.
  • You can use the three-die set, and install a powder check or powder cop die if desired, or just deal with an empty station.

For the 9mm and .380, I wouldn't worry about a powder check or powder cop die. I can't think of a single powder that doesn't fill the case enough to be easily visible.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:40 PM
edonwheels73 edonwheels73 is offline
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I used the 3 die in my pro 1000 for 380 and had no issues.

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Old 07-11-2017, 05:53 PM
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Default The three die set.....

For me, the three die set works fine. for 9mm. I don't feel that I need special crimp die when all I'm doing is taking the flare off. If you want to use the crimp die, use the crimp die. It will prevent having to seat bullets and crimp in the same operation, but I don't have any trouble with that with taper crimps. Now, roll crimps are a different story. I don't try to seat and crimp in one operation.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:47 PM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
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Lightbulb If you have a single stage press...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chacam View Post
I will soon be reloading 9mm and .380. And am considering the Lee die set. Do I need the 4 die set or the 3 die set. I think the 4 die set has one for crimping. Will be shooting from a Shield and Bodyguard. Any advice appreciated. Thanks
If you have a single stage press it is most convenient to add the Hornady Lock-n-Load bushing (on most LEE, RCBS, etc.) and use the quick change feature: one quick twist to go from die to die. I recommend the 4 die Lee sets for 380acp and 9mm because the FCD is also a 2nd carbide sizing ring that helps virtually insure your reloads will chamber, providing you are within correct OAL dimensions. Quite often the case tension on the bullet can reduce the need for a taper crimp to a very slight one. The extra costs are well worth the time saved and convenience: the Hornady lock rings are also great for your seating dies, as well. Lee lock rings use a rubber O-ring and can slip.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:50 PM
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I'm not a fan of the Lee dies, but I do recommend crimp in a 4th stage.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:34 PM
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Go ahead with the Lee 4 die set. This will give you more flexibility. Lee dies are great dies and will serve you well.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:37 AM
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If you are not going to be loading any lead bullets in the cartridges, only jacketed, then a (3) die set should be fine.

However, having a (4) die set, with separate seating & crimping dies, is best for lead bullets because the seating/crimp die, in a (3) die set, is trying to do both things at the same time & can give bad results sometimes.

Additionally, if your brass are not all the exact same length (not mine ) constantly having to readjusting the combo seating/crimping die is a royal pain. Having separate dies means you can tweek the crimp die, as needed, without affecting anything else. Lee's crimp die (FCD) crimp adjustment is one of the best & easily a reason in it self to buy their (4) die set, IMO.

.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:55 AM
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As_an_aside,_you_need_a_separate_die_set_for_each_cartridge.
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