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C&H 38 Special Dies

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Taildragger-J3, Sep 14, 2009.

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  1. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    I just bought these dies from "the bay". I had heard / read good things about C&H dies, so I bought them. As far as I know this is all I"m getting. I had thought that straight case dies (like 38 Special) had 3 dies, one for sizing, one for decaping and expanding and one for seating. Does anyone know if the die with the decapping pin does both resizing & decaping in one stroke? Do I need to expand the mouth before setting & crimping the bullet?
     

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  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You are missing a die there of some sort.
    Looks to be the sizing die missing on that old CH set.

    All straight-wall calibers require three dies.
    Either
    1. Sizing
    2. Depriming / expanding & belling.
    3. Seating & crimping.

    Or
    1. Sizing & depriming.
    2. Powder through expanding & belling.
    3. Seating & crimping.

    rc
     
  3. Lee Roder

    Lee Roder Member

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  4. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    I've been reloading my 38s with a Lee Loader. It makes fine ammo, but is a hassle banging on the cases for resizing. I've got the little expander from the loader, so if the die with the decapper in it is a sizing die I can make do with the that expander. I wonder if C&H would sell me just the missing die. HMMM . . .
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    C&H won't, because they went out of business years ago.

    CH4D is the new company.
    Here is a price list.
    http://www.ch4d.com/catalog/?p=36

    .38 Spl is a Group B die set.

    rc
     
  6. Lee Roder

    Lee Roder Member

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    I think you probably could get a replacement die, see http://www.ch4d.com/, but it may be cheaper to keep your eye on ebay or gb.

    Or you could use another brand expander die. You might actually find it beneficial if you are seating cast.

    Starting from a Lee 3-die set, I've currently 4 dies in my turret, all different brands, just to build a plain vanilla caliber like my 38spl.

    :D
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Pretty sure he needs a sizer die.
    Might as well get a carbide one of some brand nowdays.

    rc
     
  8. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    Thanks rcmodel. I had been to the CH4D site but had not found that page!!

    Lee Roder, I'm loading both JHP and cast lead. I'll look around and see what I can find for an expander.

    I guess I should have paid more attention before I bid. I've bought some from GB and should have looked there first.

    Thanks guys!!

    BTW rcmodel, do you fly R/C too? I've been fooling with those things for way too many years to admit.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Looks like he has a sizer/decapper & seater, but needs an expander. As posted, any brand will work. By the time he buys an expander, and buys a carbide sizer, which is worth it, he could just buy a Lee carbide die set.

    Of course, if it is the expander he needs, and his sizer is steel and he doesn't mind lubing cases, he could get by with a $10 expander.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I still think you are missing the Sizing die.
    The two dies in the picture you posted both have threaded rods in them.

    Pretty sure the one on the left is a seater die and the one on the right is the decapping / expander die.

    Only the sizer die would not have a threaded rod in it.

    That's the way C&H dies sets came for all but a few bottle-neck pistol caliber two die sets.

    rc
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Agh. Well I guess the old C&H dies differ from most today. Yep, buy a Lee sizer and go at it.
     
  12. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    OK, over on the CH4D site, the "Group B" dies include a "Full-Length Sizing Die" an "Expander Die" and a "Seating Die" but it doesn't say which does the decapping. Obviously the one pictured on the right is for decapping. I thought maybe the sizing die would do the decapping, but y'all are saying that the decapping is done during the expanding cycle. HMMM . . .

    OK, so I can get a sizer die (carbide preferred) or just cut my losses and get a whole other set. (There are several over on GB)

    Just looked and the Lee Carbide sizer die over on Midway SEEMS to show the decapper inside it!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    From the gunbroker add Lee Roder linked in post #3.

    [​IMG]

    Top die = Expander / Decapper.
    Middle die = Sizer.
    Bottom die = Seater / Crimper.

    Course, I could be wrong.
    Who knows if the eBay guy just screwed the center stem out of the missing die in the sizer die or something?

    rc
     
  14. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    I saw that pic but wasn't sure which die was which. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  15. fecmech

    fecmech Member

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    I think someone may have sold you the dies from a CH Auto Champ progressive loader. The expander was under the powder measure and the powder dropped through it. I can't tell for sure by the picture but I think I see the carbide ring in the die with the decapping pin.
     
  16. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    According to the listing these are:

    I HOPE femech is right!
     
  17. fecmech

    fecmech Member

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    Taildragger--I have 2 different CH carbide dies in .38-357 and one in .45 Auto. In the .38 the dies are marked 38-.357 Tung sizer or 38-.357 TC sizer. The .45 is listed as .45 TC sizer. I have CH Auto Champ progressive presses so I have press specific dies for expanding. Hope this helps.
     
  18. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    I have the same dies. The one is a carbide sizer with a decapper. The other is either an expander or seat/crimp.

    In my set all three have a rod in them. The sizer decapper and the expander rod is exactly the same but one has a pin and the other doesnt.

    J.
     
  19. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    OK, since the die in this picture APPEARS to have a decapping pin on the rod, MAYBE it is the sizer after all.

    Maybe I can use the expander from my old .38 Special Lee Loader instead of having to buy another die for expanding IF the rod in this die doesn't do the expanding on the way out of the die.

    I'm REALLY ready for them to get here so I can see for myself what I have!!!
     

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  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    There is no way possible you can resize & expand in the same die at the same time.

    The sizing die brings the case down undersize.

    Then the expander opens it back up & bells it in another operation.

    If you could expand & bell it while in the sizing die, which you can't, it would get sized undersize again on the way back out.

    rc
     
  21. mallc

    mallc Member

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    CH Dies

    I have a set of CH in 9mm. Really nice tooling! Station one decaps and sizes. Station 2 flares. Station 3 seats and crimps. All three have adjustment screws.

    Hope this helps.

    Scott
     
  22. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    I REALLY appreciate all y'all have done to try and help me make sense out of these dies I've still not put my hands on. RC, what you said makes the most sense (likewise mallc) I just don't understand why the expander die (if that's actually the one missing) is missing. OH WELL. Maybe it will make sense some day.

    Y'all are really a great bunch of guys.
     
  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Actually, at one time, you did just that. Expand the dickens out of the case in the sizing die and hope there was some flare left when you dragged the case back out of the die. I have old books showing the three die set to be as big an innovation as the four die set when they came along. The RCBS listing in the 1956 Stoeger at hand makes a big thing out of the advantages of the three die set over two.
     
  24. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    OK, the dies came today. The one with the decapping pin says ".38 SPL SIZER" then has an H inside a C. The other one says "38 SPL CRIMP SEAT" with the CH. I took the decapper out of the die and cleaned off a bunch of "gunk". Here's what it looks like.

    What do y'all think now???
     

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  25. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    What are the diameters of the bands above the knurl on what looks like the expander ball of a two-die set?

    Can you show a closeup of the mouth of the die? I could not tell on the seller's picture if the ring on the bottom of the die was a carbide insert or just a mark from bumping the shellholder.
     
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