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Old August 28, 2000, 03:14 AM   #1
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Join Date: January 16, 2000
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Decided to reload some .38 Specials.No problem...been reloading off and on, for years.I decided to reload for .357 Mag. Using the .38 dies...I swear I did that back in the 80's when I got my first .357Mag. Problem is...I can't remember how I adjusted the dies. I think I just backed them out of the turret to allow for the longer case length of the .357. Since I seem to be having a major brain fart...I would appreciate any info.
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Old August 28, 2000, 09:38 AM   #2
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Location: Green Country, OK
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Mr. X, do you have the spacer that came with your dies? You can use it under the belling and seating die, but on the turret press you'd need one for each. I used to just back them out appropriate distance. Now I have two sets of dies each mounted on its own turret and adjusted appropriately. Do you use the 'powder thru' die? Saves alot of time. sundog

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Old August 28, 2000, 04:26 PM   #3
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Yes, you can reload .357mags with the Lee 38 special dies. First, with the shell holder on the ram, raise the ram all the way up. Make sure that the decapper is over the shell carrier, run the die all the way down until it touches the carrier. Lock the die down. You should be all set on that. Next drop the ram and move the powder through die over the shell holder. Lift the ram up again, run the die down until it touches. back off one and a half to two turns. Now run an empty case through it and check the bell of the case mouth. Too much, back the die off, too little run it down slightly.

The bullet seating die is done the same way. Except back of three or four turns on die body. Too much crimp, back off the die body, to little crank it down. Go in small increments. Then turn the seater down until you get the depth you want.

here is a quicker way: Put a shell inthe ram, push it up all the way, turn the die body down until the case mouth is touching theshoulder of the die, you'll feel it. Next put a already made bullet (careful!) Run the bullet seater down until you feel it hit the bullet. There, you should be within a couple of thousanths. Now make minor adjustments to finalize your preferences.

Just one word of caution, be absolutly sure that the sizer dies is going all the way down the case length. If not, you will get a buldge at the bottom of the case that will make loading and extraction the round sticky.
For the price of a set of Lee Carbids, about $25, you may want to pick up an extra turret and set of dies, makes life a lot easier.

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Old August 28, 2000, 08:26 PM   #4
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Thanks...I think I may just spring for a set of .357mag dies and a turret so I won't have to constantly adjust the .38 special dies.
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Old August 28, 2000, 08:35 PM   #5
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,187

That's EXACTLY what I did for my turret, extra die set and extra turret head. If you order turrets from Lee, you can get factory seconds (pits in the finish, but OK mechanically) for a lot less.

Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
Chances are he knows how to use it.
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Old September 1, 2000, 02:17 PM   #6
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I just load everything in .357 brass, light loads and all. Saves some time, though probably not as economical powder-wise.
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