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issues with loading 38sp

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by trickyasafox, Jan 11, 2006.

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  1. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    so i bought some used 357/38 dies no biggie. i just got around to running em tonight and could not get a crimp on the case to save my life. Closer inspection showed a 357 seating die, while the other dies were 357/38. i guess i need a new seating and crimp die:banghead:
     
  2. oscar

    oscar Member

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    You can load 38's with 357 dies but not the other way. If you screw the crimp die down far enough, it will crimo.
     
  3. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    Oscar meant you can load 357's with 38 dies but not the other way around as you have discovered.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    If you know somebody with machine shop equipment you can have the .357 seater shortened a bit. I have a .44 Russian die originally made for .44 Magnum. Of course if you have to pay a machinist, you had just as well buy a new die. That way you can leave one set up for .38 the other for .357.
     
  5. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    i think im just gonna have to eat it on a new die. oh well, could be worse
     
  6. kimbernut
    • Contributing Member

    kimbernut Member

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    38/357

    RCBS .38/.357 dies come with a special thickness washer so that you can set the dies up for .38 Special then to go to .357 Mag. simply by removing the die placing the special washer on the press and reinstalling the die through the washer which in effect raises the die body the approx. 1/8" of the Mag case.
     
  7. griz

    griz Member

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    Jim is right. If the crimp die is bottomed out, your only option is to shorten it. You can do it on a grinder if that's all you have, just don't let it get too hot.
     
  8. BobC

    BobC Member

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    If you can't lower the die enough to get a crimp, perhaps you can raise the brass. RCBS sells extended shell holders #8956 is the extended version of the #6 shellholder normally used for 38/357.

    http://www.rcbs.com/default.asp?menu=1&s1=4&s2=8&s3=75

    Never played with one of these. But, judging from the picture, I guess you get about an inch of extra height from the extended shellholder.

    (If you shoot lead bullets and opt to buy new dies, consider the RCBS Cowboy dies. These dies for supposedly optimized for lead bullets. I don't know what the difference is on the sizing die but the expander plug expands the case for bullet seating, not just flaring the mouth. I like it. Your mileage may vary.)

    Keep us informed of your progress.

    - Bob
     
  9. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    BobC,

    The problem is that the body of the die is too deep for the mouth of the .38 case to reach the crimp portion, even when the ram is against the bottom of the die. An extended shellholder wouldn't accomplish anything in this instance.
     
  10. Redbeard55

    Redbeard55 Member

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    Reloading 38/357

    Buya Lee Factory Crimp Die for $10-$12 or whatever they are going for these days. Roll crimping is simply too much of a pain. With the Lee Factory Crimp Die you don't have to worry about the brass being exactly the same length. You will never get a bulged neck with the Lee die. Makes reloading a lot easier.
     
  11. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Aah Redbeard55...Yes you do need to be conciderate of the length of the case that you are crimping in a Lee FCD as the bullet seater will only seat to the adjusted depth that you set. If the case is a little shorter it will crimp at that point which in extreme cases will not be in the cannelere(sp)... Or in the case of a case that is too long will crimp above the cannelere(sp)...Practical experience on my part...:)
    But I do recommend the Lee FCD...It is the best buy for anyones money...
     
  12. MarineTech

    MarineTech Member

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    Ditto. I use Lee FCDs on all my handgun cartridges. When reloading revolver cartridges, consistant case length is mandatory for a uniform crimp. I have found though, that the taper crimp Lee dies for semiauto cartridges are more forgiving on case length as long as you're within about .005" on all the cases.
     
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