Simple .38 Special Single Stage Set Up


April 1, 2010, 10:05 PM

I reload .45 ACP exclusively. However, I do shoot my .38 specials at times and was thinking about re-loading for them. I do not think I want to get a Dillon SDB or 550 so I was thinking about a single stage set up with an electronic powder measure. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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April 1, 2010, 10:09 PM
what do you load your .45 on?

get a pro 1000 in 38 special. I want to try one

April 1, 2010, 10:10 PM
For a low-volume operation, I'd go with the cheapest Lee press in the catalog.

Carbide dies are carbide dies.

I'm an old fart, and I know nothing yet of these newfangled electronic powder measures.
I'm still trying to screw up my courage to convert to an electronic scale.

In any event, and electronic powder measure sounds like overkill for five-boxes-a-year .38 Special loading. A couple homemade dippers should be completely adequate for powder measuring.

April 1, 2010, 10:17 PM
WEG may be an old fart who doesn't like electronics in his reloading-----I'll call myself a not quite as young as I used to be fart who doesn't, either. Just don't trust 'em.
I'd grab the Lee single stage press--I think it's about thirty bucks, some Lee dies, and go with it. .38's are not difficult to load.

April 1, 2010, 10:18 PM
I would say skip a true single-stage (screw in one die at a time) and get the Lee Turret Kit, @$100, instead. It has all the goodies you need, except dies (another $30 or so, per caliber), to make very good pistol ammo. You can easily hit 100+ rounds per hour and probably closer to 200 RPH without trying too hard.


April 1, 2010, 10:22 PM
I have 4 presses, and prefer the plain old single stage if I'm loading a modest amount of revolver rounds.

To get the best crimp, you must be very careful about case length. I trim all my cases carefully the first time loading, and monitor for length each load thereafter (always measure after sizing, not before). For this, single stage works just fine.

Talk about crimping, if you can afford a few extra bucks for an excellent crimp die, look at the Redding Profile Crimp for revolver. It gently taper crimps first, which takes most of the spring out of the brass, then carefully curls the case mouth into a neat and consistent crimp. This takes a huge chunk of variance out of the system.

Get one of those single stage 'beginner' kits that comes with a powder measure. Get it set up to meter your powder consistently, and you'll take another chunk of variance out of the system. You'll be a happy shooter, and good to go for life.

April 1, 2010, 10:24 PM
Probably right about the electronic measure. I have a friend who likes his. I currently use a SDB (bought on eBay years ago when they used to sell them). It has been great. It replaced a Lee Pro - which I disliked.

April 1, 2010, 10:37 PM
just get a lee challenger . If you want 100 rounds now and then

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