Nothing wrong with Lee .38/,357 dies

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by SWO1, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    I had a message from a concerned poster about my remark in another thread. I had said I got tired of resetting the dies form .38 to .357 and bought another set. He wanted to know what the problem was. Just wanted to say in case some others thought the same thing, NO PROBLEM. .357 cases are the same diam. as .38 so the same dies for both, just have to adjust for the differnt case length between the two. It states this by Lee:

    Note: you may use the 38 Special die set to reload for the 357 Mag. You would have to back out the Powder Thru Expander Die, and the Bullet Seating and Crimping Die about 2 turns to compensate for the longer 357 case.
     
  2. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    I just ordered the Carbide Lee 3 die set for my S&W Airweight. I have never used a 4 die set. I assume the 4th. die is a factory crimp die. If there is a real benefit to the factory crimp, please enlighten me. Never had a problem with the standard crimp and am curious if the extra cost is worth it??
    The dies for my 45 LC single shot rifle is a 3 die set. (it's a NEF Survivor 45 LC/410)
    Also have a 3 die set for 45 acp although I don't own that pistol anymore. The recoil hurts the "right-us brothers" in my wrist.
    Also ordered 200 of the Hornady 125 gr. XTPs.
    Went to the LGS today and picked up 500 Rem. Sm. Pistol Primers. They were $3/100.
    I already have some 700X powder. When that's gone, I'll go to Unique.
    Should be ready to "make smoke" soon and then start the "roll my own" process to improve the group - hopefully.
     

  3. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    I love these post I just wish I would get reloading thing together.
     
  4. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Yes the 4th die is a Factory Crimp Die. For majority of loads it isn't required, or even needed. But sometimes depending on the Bullet it might come in handy. It did for my .38 Super. I had a hard time seating and crimping the ones I had for it. They had no canalure and would not crimp firmly enough for me. I put a little tighter roll crimp with the factory crimp die and all is well. Revolvers need a roll crimp vice a Taper crimp. typicaly a semi auto uses the taper crimp. But I was getting "Setback" with the regular neck expanding dye/seating die in that caliber. May not use them in all calibers/guns but at least I have them Just in Case.
     
  5. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    I was in your neck of the woods last winter. It is yet to be seen if we will be going back this winter.
    IF we go to Hudson this winter & IF you would like; I would be happy to contact you. Maybe we could get together a couple times and I could help you get started with your reloading. Nothing I enjoy more than helping others.
     
  6. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Thank You!!I really don't have a bench set up yet. what I was going to use is in the shed and the garage it to humid. The guest room is the only option,The bench will go in there.
     
  7. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    All of my equipment is in my basement (root cellar & furnace room) and it's also very humid. I keep the powder down there in a 2 drawer file cabinet because it's so flammable. I make sure the powder can has a seal in the cap and keep the cap tight. So far, no concerns. Might have a little rust on the press handle but other than that, I haven't had any problems.
    However, I keep the primers upstairs in the ammo cabinet where it is much drier.
    But, then again, maybe your gulf humidity is different that what I have????
     
  8. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Just thinking today and realized that I forgot to order the Lee 38 spl. case length trimmer.
    As I get older, my forgetter keeps getting better.
    Soo, I ordered it from Natchez Shooting Supply this afternoon. Being it was only $4.49 plus shipping, I padded the order with a bulk pack of 300 Hornady Lead 158 gr. SWC-HP bullets. Guess I'll have to locate some empty 38 spl. cases. Not much use of having the Dies, 500 bullets, 500 primers, 1 lb. of 700X and only 1 box of 50 new shells to shoot & reload.
    The sacrifices we men have to make. ;) :p
     
  9. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    greyhawk50 ...... I got many, many hundreds of cases, Win, Rem mostly. I would be more than happy to ship you some FREE GRADAS ....... PM me with your address and I will get them out to ya. Would 200 be good ?
     
  10. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!! That would be very generous of you. 200 would be great.
    Sending PM.
     
  11. TNcaller

    TNcaller New Member

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    Lee has two crimp dies that sound remarkably alike, but do not function in the same manner. There is the Factory Crimp Die found in rifle calibers, and the Factory Carbide Crimp Die for the pistol calibers. The carbide dies are not ideal for cast bullets. There is an excellent tech note found on the Beartooth website that goes into a great deal of detail and includes instructions of modifying a rifle crimp die to work for cast pistol rounds.
     
  12. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    grey ... I have your cases sorted out and ready to mail Monday morning. They are mostly Win, and Rem, with some Fiocchi, Blazer, and Fed mixed in. Thought you might like to try different ones. Some are deprimed and most not. Wouldn't want you miss out on the TOTAL reloading experience. All are Factory and shot once by me. Might be a few that were reloaded once. I have a bonus for ya, if I can fit in the box. My wife is picking up a couple sizes of boxes from the post office lobby this morning. Have to take them to the counter to mail, so wont be until Monday morning when they go out. You SHOULD have them by weekend.
     
  13. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you SWO1. Much appreciated.