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Identifying Pistol Dies

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Dies from left to right:
Carbide Sizing
Bullet Seat/Crimp
Powder/Expander
Carbide Factory Crimp
Taper Crimp
Collet Factory Crimp
Bottleneck Factory Crimp

Above are photos/cutaways for each Pistol Die we manufacture. From left to right, they are the Carbide Sizing Die, Bullet Seating & Crimping Die, Powder Thru Expander Die, Carbide Factory Crimp Die, Taper Crimp Die, Collet Style Factory Crimp Die and Bottleneck Pistol Factory Crimp Die. The only way to identify what die you have and its function is by its appearance.

On each die there will be a series of stamped letters and numbers, such as: LEE - 45ACP - B9. The stamping indicates we manufactured it (LEE) and the caliber (45ACP). The Letter/Number combo stamped on our reloading dies are an internal manufacturing date code telling us when we made the dies. The Letter represents a month and the number represents the year, starting in 2000. For example A6 = January 2006, B6 = February 2006, etc. In years that have the same last number, such as "0", it could represent either 2000 or 2010. This stamping will not tell us what die you have, only when we made the die.

Pistol Die Functions:
Carbide Sizing Die = Will full length resize your cases using a carbide sizing ring (no case lube required) and remove the spent primer. **Note: Bottleneck pistol cases must use Steel Sizing Dies. These will look the same on the outside, however they do not feature the internal carbide sizing ring. Steel Sizing Dies require the use of case lube.
Powder Thru Expander Die = Will expand the case mouth and allow you to charge the case using either a powder dipper or powder measure.
Bullet Seating & Crimping Die = Will seat a bullet to your desired cartridge overall length. It is also capable of crimping the cartridge at the same time, when adjusted to do so.
Carbide Factory Crimp Die = Will crimp your cases, type of crimp dependent upon the type of gun (revolver = roll crimp, auto = taper crimp). Also features a carbide sizing insert that is designed to detect and correct any diameters on the cartridge case that might otherwise prevent the cartridge from chambering in your gun. Carbide sizing insert can be seen in the bottom of the die and is the most noticeable difference in appearance between this die and the Bullet Seating Die.
Taper Crimp Die = Will crimp your cases with a taper style crimp. No threads present on the inside of this die. Often favored for Cowboy Action Ammunition.
Collet Style Factory Crimp Die = Will crimp your cases with a segmented straight crimp, similar to factory made ammo. Same type of crimp as the rifle Factory Crimp Dies.
Bottleneck Pistol Factory Crimp Die = Will crimp your cases with a segmented straight crimp, similar to factory made ammo. Same type of crimp as the rifle Factory Crimp Dies. Intended for short bottleneck pistol cartridges. Knurled cap found on top of the die.

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