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Old November 20, 1999, 08:30 PM   #1
DAL
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Join Date: October 15, 1999
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 653
I have some .357 Mag. Lee reloading dies I
bought back in 1987 that I want to start using to reload .38 Spl. brass. Can I use the .357 dies for this, or will I need to buy a new set of dies? Of course, I know that the two cartridges are interchangeable in a .357 handgun, but what about the dies? The
paper that came with the dies says nothing about reloading .38 Spls.;I've seen Lee advertise their dies recently as .38/.357, but since I bought mine so long ago, I wasn't sure if something is different now or not.

Thanks for any help on this matter.
DAL

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Old November 20, 1999, 10:08 PM   #2
WalterGAII
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Lee also makes a die for .44 Spl/.44 Magnum, as well as a die just for .44 Magnum. I don't think that you can load the .38Spl with the .357 die.
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Old November 20, 1999, 11:09 PM   #3
TheOtherMikey
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Join Date: October 16, 1999
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There shouldn't be a problem. The .38 case is just a little shorter than the .357 so you will need to adjust your dies, especially your bullet seating die, to make up for the difference. Try it, what do you have to lose.

Just make sure that things like OAL are correct and that the crimp is placed correctly.

Hope this helps, Mikey

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Old November 21, 1999, 02:27 AM   #4
Hal
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DAL,

Yes, the .357 dies work for .38Special. The only snag is the belling the case mouth. The expander needs to be screwed almost all the way down. I just loaded 300 rounds of .38 on my Lee in the last 2 weeks. I used both 125 grain JHP and 158 grain LSWC with no problems other than the above.

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Old November 21, 1999, 11:41 AM   #5
RickC
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I bought my Lee Carbide die set for .357 in 1984. I load both the magnum and its little brother with it. No problem. Just check your overall loaded length of the first rounds when switching between the two.
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Old November 25, 1999, 04:37 PM   #6
DAL
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 653
In case anyone's interested, here's the reply
I received to my e-mail from Lee about this
question.

"You could use the sizing die, but the expander die and the bullet seating
die are too 'deep' for the .38 cases. The .38 Special dies can be used to
load both calibers."
patrick

I've already re-sized and decapped a batch of
.38 Spl. cases using the .357 Mag. die with
no problem. Now I think I'll try to do the
rest of the process on one case just to see
what will happen. If it works, great; if
not, I'll just have to order a set of .38
Spl. dies from Midway.

Thanks to all who responded.
DAL

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