I’ve read where some folks like it and others say it simply covers up another problem. Occasionally, I would have a 9mm fail-to-feed but it has not happened once since I started using the factory crimp die.
I agree with your assessment, Carl. I have such dies for several years, mostly in 9mm and .45 ACP. I use a crimp die on .38s, but that's a roll crimp and of course considerably different from the taper crimp on semi-auto fodder.
For defensive rounds like HPs, where a failure to feed might be critical, I also pull the barrel on the 9 or ,45 and do what's called a "plunk test." If the bullet is seated to the right depth and the round is run through the Lee Factory Crimp, it should drop into the barrel easily and make a little "plunk" noise when the case rim hits the shoulder (?) cut into the chamber. I don't think I've ever had a 9 or .45 round hang up in the chamber once it's been run through that Factory Crimp die.
I use the Lee carbide factory crimp die on my 550B in the last die position. Since getting this die, l have not had a round fail the plunk test. Figure this is on about 10k rounds that I have loaded since getting it.
Mite not apply to this discussion, but I use the Lee FCD for 223. The die does a nice crimp. The best aspect of the Lee FCD is the cartridge case length can vary as much +/- .003” and the die will still apply a sufficient crimp.
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