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Loading 357 in 38 dies

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tekarra, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. tekarra

    tekarra Member

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    I use a Lee Turret Loader with Lee dies.
    Does anyone here load .357 using their .38 dies?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Probably almost everyone.
    It is just a simple .135" die adjustment on the belling and seating dies.
    The sizing die remains unchanged.

    You can load .357 in .38 dies, but you can't load 38 in some older .357 dies because they are too long to adjust down to .38 Spl length.

    The same applies to .44 Spl & .44 Magnum (.125"), and all the .32 S&W/.32 H&R Magnum/.327 Hornady Magnum cartridges.

    rc
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I used to use the Redding spacer to use my dies set up for .38 Spl to load .357. That way I did not have to re-adjust my dies.

    Single .135 Spacer for .38 Spl/.357 mag

    Single .125 Spacer for .44 Spl/.44 Mag

    Single .062 no crimp/partial sizing spacer

    Redding spacer set

    These days I use these dies for .38 Spl and .357 Mag. I use the sizer for both, with separate expanders. I use the same seater for both. I use the thin spacers for adjusting the amount of crimp. The crimpers are set for medium or heavy, and I use the spacers for anything lighter.
     
  4. Shimitup

    Shimitup Member

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    The only dies I have experience with is RCBS which are labeled 38/357. The only issue I could see running into with with .357 in a truly 38 specific die is not being able to run it far enough down to size it's full length without crunching the mouth.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    All the .38 dies I know about since I started loading in 1962 work just fine for sizing & loading .357.

    I have 1970 vintage RCBS .38 Spl & .44 Spl dies, and I for sure load .357 Mag & .44 Mag with them.

    The problem with older dies was, the .357 & .44 Mag seating & crimp dies were too long to adjust down far enough for the shorter Spl cases.

    rc
     
  6. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Some 357 dies won't seat/crimp 38 spl correctly, however Lee's 38/357 dies do both 38spl & 357 mag...the 357 mag dies do 357 mag and 357 maximum.
     
  7. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    I've been using RCBS dies for years. Their 38/357 dies come with a spacer that can be used once the dies are set for 38 to then load 357.
     
  8. stonecoldy

    stonecoldy Member

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    As Evan stated, the Lee die sets for 38 Special easily process both 38 Special and 357 Magnum (what i've used for several years). I will dedicate my Lee 357 Magnum dies for loading 357 Remington Maximum for my T/C Encore rifle. I purchased a tapered bullet seating plug for loading the Hornady 180 gr SSP bullet in that caliber.
     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have and use the Lee 38/357 dies a long time. I also bought a second set and turret so I don't need to adjust anything. Be careful though, Lee has a 38/357 die set and a dedicated .357 Magnum die set. As said above, you can load 357 ammo in a 38 die set but usually not 38's in 357 dies.

    From the Lee Site:
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    There are .357 only die sets, and are marketed as such, but the majority of die sets are marked .38 Spl/.357, or are at least advertised as such, since they will load both. All the die makers sell such a set.
     
  11. Vartarg

    Vartarg Member

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    Two sets

    For me, the Lee carbide dies are so inexpensive, I just bought a set for each....problem solved. I just used a black permanent marker to tell them apart.

    Knowing myself, if I tried to use one for both, I'd screw it up!:eek:
     
  12. tekarra

    tekarra Member

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    Thanks to all for the advice.
     
  13. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    I used to use my Lee .38/357 dies for both, but since i started using a progressive press for pistol calibers i bought a Lyman 4 die set that is stamped .38 spcl 357 mag 357 max. and i now use those for .357's.
     
  14. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    I use the deluxe die set from Lee. The .38 Spcl dies will work on the .357 Mag but not the other way around. Seating die and expander die need to be adjusted for the .357.
     
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