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Old June 16, 2012, 10:37 AM   #1
Nathan
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Exclusive 357 mag Die set

I load quite a bit of 38 spcl and some 357 mag. Am I strange for wanting an exclusive 357 mag set? I was thinking about using the washers, but the bullet seating will still be exclusive. Also, with my LNL, the washers would be a pain.

Also, what is your opinion of LEE 4 die sets? I'm thinking about doing a Lee 4 die set or maybe buying used a any brand(likely RCBS) 3 die + a Red Profile crimp die. Preferences?
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Old June 16, 2012, 10:43 AM   #2
DFrame
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I assume you can buy 357 exclusive sets. But why? It would just be an added expense when all you need to do is to adjust your 38/357 dies slightly. I'm not sure what you're talking about with, washers?
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Old June 16, 2012, 11:08 AM   #3
steveno
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if you set your dies to reload 38 special all you need to do is get a washer the thickness which is the difference in length between the 38 and 357 cases. I'm not sure how you work that out with the LNL press but it sure is easy with a single stage press.
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Old June 16, 2012, 11:13 AM   #4
wncchester
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"Am I strange for wanting an exclusive 357 mag set?"

I think so ... there is absolutely no efffective difference or advantage to it.

No washers are needed, properly adjusting handgun dies is quite simple and it isn't time consuming.
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Old June 16, 2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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McMaster-Carr is the place to get 7/8 shims to adjust dies.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#shim-assortments/=i05a3r

The set listed is less than 10 bucks.

The sizing die needs no adjustment. The expander and seater WILL have to be lengthened from loading 38 special TO .357 mag. Simply screw the die out, place the required shims under the lock ring, re-install. Once you have the shim stack figured out, you should never need to change it. You might need two sets to arrive at the thickness for each die.
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Old June 16, 2012, 12:13 PM   #6
moxie
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Not sure about other brands, but RCBS .38/.357 mag die sets come with the necessary washer you use with the expander and seater dies for .357. Very easy to do.

I'm not aware of any .357 exclusive sets.

I think what the OP wants is a dedicated seater die. Just buy one of the .38/357 seater dies. Use the washer. Not strange and not a problem.

See: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/156...ial-357-magnum
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Old June 16, 2012, 12:22 PM   #7
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I have seperate sets of dies for 10mm/.40 S&W and .357/.38 and keep a spare turret for each on my Lee press. Spare Lee turrets and dies aren't that expensive and it saves me time.
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Old June 16, 2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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I found a spacer that's the perfect thickness for .38/357 dies between the platters of an old hard disk drive I took apart looking for magnets.
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Old June 16, 2012, 01:40 PM   #9
Lost Sheep
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I think get your questions

You are using a bushing-style single stage press and want to leave your dies set in the bushings for quick changes without readjusting on installation.

Sizing die - you don't need an extra.

Case-mouth belling yes.

Seat/crimp yes.

So, go get a used, tool steel die set at a gun show for a couple of dollars (there is little market for them since tungsten-carbide dies are so much more desirable) and put the steel sizing die aside. With the other two dies, there is no difference between a carbide set and a steel set.

4th die question? See this thread
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...87#post5117287

But with a single stage press, there is no way I would not use the seat/crimp die and do my loading in the normal 3-die way.

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EDIT: OK, not a single stage. See my next post

Last edited by Lost Sheep; June 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM. Reason: To correct assumption about type of press
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Old June 16, 2012, 02:03 PM   #10
Nathan
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I have the Hornady LNL progressive. I agree that a shim set would be good, but you need 2 or 3. Expander, Seater, crimp. An exclusive seater improves things. . .or better an exclusive seater and crimp.

Still, it looks more cost effective to buy a used die set off eBay and a profile crimp die.

I would like to switch between calibers without loosing my settings for each. My point is that even with shims, I loose my setting. With the LNL bushings, I just drop them in with a quarteer turn, I'm back where I was when I last loaded.

The exclusive single dies and shim sets, add cost due to shipping and so on.


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old June 16, 2012, 04:31 PM   #11
Lost Sheep
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OK, you have a progressive press. You cannot buy an extra tool head (like some Dillon models and the Lee Pro-1000)

But you have the bushings.

The spacers are not working for you because you lose your die settings on account of the lock rings moving when you unscrew them to install or remove the spacers?

Simplest solution is to get lock rings that don't move.

http://www.hornady.com/store/Sure-Loc-Lock-Ring-1-Each/

Adjust the dies in the bushings for the 38 Special, tighten the lock rings and never move them again. The spacers should take care of the length difference between the .357 and the 38 special brass. If the spacers are the wrong height, it should be a very small difference. Sanding the spacers thinner would take some time. Shimming them up, you're on your own.then adjust the SPACERS for .357 Magnum. This will take some time, as sandpaper may be involved.

Personally, my solution is to never shoot 38 Special. All my reloads are in .357 brass. I have only ever owned 50 rounds of 38s and that was back in 1975. When I want 38 Special loads, I just load my .357 brass to that power level.

Interjecting my personal feelings on the matter: I think you are going overboard. It isn't that hard to adjust your dies (3-die or 4-die), especially if you make one "dummy" round to use as a template for adjusting your dies.

Make one PERFECT cartridge with no primer and no powder for each brand of brass, style (profile) of bullet and degree of crimp you habitually use. Place that in your press, run the ram all the way up and adjust your seat/crimp die(s).

For the case-mouth belling die the process is similar, but there is no bullet in the case. You just crank the die down until finger pressure isn't enough.

Keep your dummy cases in labelled boxes, padded so the empty case don't get bent.

But that is a lot of work for a marginal convenience. If you practice adjusting your dies a dozen times it will become second nature to you. And then you will say to yourself, "What was I THINKING?

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Old June 16, 2012, 09:50 PM   #12
CherokeeT
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I've been doing this a long time: I have dedicated expander, seater and crimp dies because I hate making those die adjustments.
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Old June 16, 2012, 11:03 PM   #13
David Bachelder
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I'm guilty too. I have two sets of .38/.357 RCBS carbide three die sets. One is used for .38's and the other for .357 mag.
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Last edited by David Bachelder; June 17, 2012 at 07:13 AM.
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Old June 17, 2012, 01:10 AM   #14
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bachelder
I'm guilty too. I have two sets of .38/.357 RCBS carbon three die sets. One is used for .38's and the other for .357 mag.
Carbon? Is that what you meant? Or Carbide.

Carbon steel is not Tungsten-Carbide.

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Old June 17, 2012, 06:44 AM   #15
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I have three sets of dies for the .38/.357. One each with the adjustment I have on them locked in place and the other set for help (as in when relatives want to help me reload).

It is up to you, but Lost Sheep has a valid point, with practice you should be able to get your press set up quickly.
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Old June 17, 2012, 07:12 AM   #16
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I used to make the die adjustments when switching between 38 and 357. Then one day I found an beautiful old set of Lyman 38 dies at a gun store for $8. They are not carbide and they don't need to be. I still use the carbide 357 resizing die for both since that doesn't need to be adusted. It's nice to have two sets of dies in my opinion, especially if you can find a cheap used set.
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Old June 17, 2012, 07:14 AM   #17
WESHOOT2
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Finish using the Redding Profile Crimp Die.

I personally prefer the 4-die Lyman 'Deluxe' sets, but the LEE set offers savings.

-Carbide sizer (I use and recommend a LEE 'U' die for sizing old oft-fired cases)
-Lyman 'M' flare die
-LEE seater
-Redding Profile Crimp



I have never enjoyed my RCBS pistol dies in any chambering.
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Old June 17, 2012, 07:14 AM   #18
David Bachelder
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Yes, carbide. My bad.
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Old June 17, 2012, 11:11 AM   #19
Peter M. Eick
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I have a set for 357 magnum, 38 special and 38/44 along with 357 maximum.

Dies are cheap. Why reset the dies when I can just swap them for another set?

I do agree with the profile crimp. I have them on every revolver round. They make a very nice crimp.
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Old June 20, 2012, 06:14 AM   #20
WESHOOT2
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major minimum mouthful

Quote:
They make a very nice crimp
Not just "nice", but (well-proven) better accuracy and ballistic performance.

There is no downside to the Redding Profile Criomp Die; I use them for every revolver cartridge I make, too
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Old June 22, 2012, 12:37 AM   #21
Northrider
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I also have the Hornady LNL single stage press and did not relish the idea of adjusting the dies after I had them adjusted in the bushings. I was going to get an additional set of dies for .38/.357 to use strictly for .357. Never occurred to me to just use .357 cases and load for .38. Oh, the things I learn on this forum. Thanks for the idea, Sheep.

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