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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anyone that is reloading 380 caliber using a separate taper crimp die or are you all using the 3 die set. The reason I'm asking is no one locally has been able to get me a taper crimp die. One place said he had a Lee on order for me, but its been over a month. I just called Lee and they state they don't make one. RCBS does list one.Any input would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So do I understand correctly, that you just use a 9mm taper crimp die? That there isn't a die specific to the 380 caliber, at least by Lee?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DaveLee said:
Try Graf and Sons for the Lee Taper Die.

$17.79 +$4.50 handling/insurance

http://www.grafs.com/product/190868
Thanks DaveLee, this is who I contacted today. He had these in stock and I also ordered the factory crimp die for 9MM. There seems to be some confusion but it sounds like the 90780 is just a crimping die that you can use for a number of calibers. The 90867 is just for 380 caliber and it is a full length sizing die with a taper crimp adjustment feature.
 

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You mean a regular seating die regarding the 90867 (not a full length sizing die) with taper crimp capability. Personally, I prefer a separate "dedicated" taper crimp die (that does nothing else). Sounds like you got what you need.
 

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The Lee (No relation, incidentally) 90867 is the "Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die".

The Lee carbide sizing die for for the 380 is the SD2480, part of a 3 die set -the 90625. ;)

I like the Factory Crimp Dies and use them as the 4th stage on my single stage press. Some think they put too much crimp on the round - but they are adjustable...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
kraigster414 said:
You mean a regular seating die regarding the 90867 (not a full length sizing die) with taper crimp capability. Personally, I prefer a separate "dedicated" taper crimp die (that does nothing else). Sounds like you got what you need.
Kraigster, this die appears to be different than any I have used before.It sounds like it does size your round much like the initial sizing and decapping die but that it does it again as a final stage. I am familiar with the standard seating and crimping die, this would be what comes in the standard three die set.It appears that you have your AOL set with your standard seating die and then do a final sizing and taper crimp. This is just the way I read it.
http://223cal.com/catalog.php?prod=90867
 

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MNBud said:
kraigster414 said:
You mean a regular seating die regarding the 90867 (not a full length sizing die) with taper crimp capability. Personally, I prefer a separate "dedicated" taper crimp die (that does nothing else). Sounds like you got what you need.
Kraigster, this die appears to be different than any I have used before.It sounds like it does size your round much like the initial sizing and decapping die but that it does it again as a final stage. I am familiar with the standard seating and crimping die, this would be what comes in the standard three die set.It appears that you have your AOL set with your standard seating die and then do a final sizing and taper crimp. This is just the way I read it.
http://223cal.com/catalog.php?prod=90867
In my Hornady LNL, I seat the bullet with no crimp using an RCBS .380 seating die. I have it set so all it does is seat the bullet but I have the option of crimping if I adjust accordingly. In the next and last stage, I use a Lee factory taper crimp die. To the best of my knowledge, it (the Lee factory taper crimp die) does nothing more than that: create a taper crimp but according to your link it does perform extra duty - you learn something all the time. And since my reloads come out fine, I never shall we say, bothered to second guess. My sizing die is a Dillon and my neck expander is an RCBS. I have found this combination of dies works well, the sizing die typically being the most critical (one can never have enough dies :))

Thank you for pointing out the uniqueness of the Lee factory taper crimp die.
 

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My understanding (and I did some research late last night), is that the extra sizing provided by the Lee factory crimp die has a marginal effect on jacketed rounds but can be plus when loading hard cast lead bullets as it helps remove case bulge created by the the lead bullet's slightly larger diameter - .452 for cast vs. .451 for jacketed in the case of the .45 ACP. All I can say having loaded literaly thousands of .45 ACP hard cast lead rounds with non-Lee taper crimp dies (all that's done is tapering), is that I have never had a problem. I would gravitate toward the Lee factory crimp die because of its price and availability not because it provides any special advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good morning Kraigster and David Lee, first off, I wanted to thank you guys for being so patient and working with me through this. I have in the past always used a separate taper crimp die for all semi auto loads, I hadn't shot enough 380 caliber to justify setting up to reload it. The LCP has changed that plan. I have, in the past always used RCBS equipment and dies. A while back I purchased a Springfield EMP (9MM). Right away I encountered problems with some of my reloads not allowing this gun to go into battery. What I learned was that my RCBS dies would not resize some brands of ammo at the base.(I actually suspect they were springing back).Someone on the Springfield forum recommended I use LEE dies and I would not have this problem. I later found out that this was a well known issue that the breech of the EMP was on the low end (diameter) of a fully supported breech for the 9mm and the LEE dies simply sized smaller.My other taper crimp dies are all Hornady and they simply taper crimp but due to my satisfaction with LEE recently I thought I would give them a shot. This is what got us to the point we are at and my confusion over the different styles of taper crimp dies.Looking at the pictures I could only assume that you use the die to set the final sizing and the knob to set the crimp but I'll know better when it gets here. Again,thanks I'm enjoying this forum. Kraigster, your doing a great job here!
 

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Thank you Mnbud for the kind words. Using the Lee factory sizing die as the final step should work fine and its combination crimping and sizing capbility certainly can't hurt and may in fact result in better reloads - it would be my preference certainly if I was loading lead bullets. The Lee taper crimp die is what I am currently using to load my .380's and I have yet to have one single failure in my LCP. I would recommend the Lee taper crimp die for .380 without hesitation whether you are reloading lead or jacketed.

Yes, adjust your Lee taper crimp die as you would any other taper crimp die. Screw it into your press so it touches the top of an empty shell cartrodge. Then insert a loaded or dummy uncrimped round (with bullet seating to the proper depth) and adjust the taper crimp die (screwing down) until you achieve the desired crimp. On the .380 a medium taper crimp is recommended. Finaally, drop the finished round in your barrel and see how it fits. The round should seat all the way in and fall out when the barrel is turned upside down or with just a tiny bit of shaking.
 

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What's wrong with the seat/crimp die that comes with the 3 die set? I have used it for years with no problem on .380, 9mm, .38/.357, and .45acp.
 

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gatchelgunner said:
What's wrong with the seat/crimp die that comes with the 3 die set? I have used it for years with no problem on .380, 9mm, .38/.357, and .45acp.
I think you answered your own question no? :) If it ain't broke don't fix it.

I see the Lee taper crimp/sizer a plus if loading cast bullets. I used one for the first time tonight reloading .45 ACP in my Hornady LNL press. I never had a problem with my conventional taper crimp sizer as far as feeding but the Lee definitely removes more of the case bulge caused by the .452 lead bullets making your reloads look more professional. As such, it also creates a slightly looser fitting cartridge in my Lone Wolff (Glock) .45 ACP chamber (after market barrels tend to have tighter chambers). Long story made short unless you have a tight chamber and/or shoot lead a lot, I think you can do just fine with a conventional taper crimp sizing die such as a Hornady, RCBS, etc. As for the 3 die does-it-all die set, I prefer to use a separate taper crimp die for a bit more precision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
gatchelgunner said:
What's wrong with the seat/crimp die that comes with the 3 die set? I have used it for years with no problem on .380, 9mm, .38/.357, and .45acp.
I wanted to get a taper crimp die for two reasons. I was randomly getting bulged cases with my three die set,I could only imagine this was due to inconsistent length of my cases. This generally occurs when you are into the crimp portion of your die before you have completed the seating operation.
I also like to be able to feel the amount of crimp I'm putting on each round which I believe is easier to do with separate die. I have used Hornady taper crimp dies in the past and I haven't received my Lees yet so I can't say how they perform yet.
 

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1. I think a separate taper crimp die as stated does provide an additional degree of precison over a standard "does-it-all" 3 die set and if you have an empty stage on your press as must auto indexing presses do to house a taper crimp die, it makes sense to install one.

2. If you are having no functioning problems using a conventional taper crimp die that provides no final sizing such as the Hornady and RCBS, despite evidence of case bulge, there is no reason to replace with a Lee taper crimp/sizer die. Any visible bulge is cosmetic.

3. Case bulge will be more pronounced when using lead bullets, particularly hard cast as they are sized a hair larger - in the case of the .45 ACP, .452 for hard cast vs. .451 for jacketed. But again, if you are not having any functioning problems using a conventional taper crimp die, despite the visible bulge, there is no reason to switch to the Lee. The test is to drop a finished round into the barrel chamber. It should easily fall out when the barrel is turned upside down. If it sticks inside (i.e, requiring a good pull with your fingers), you may want to try the Lee.
 
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