.357 and .38 Special dies the same?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LesterPTelestrat, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. LesterPTelestrat

    LesterPTelestrat New Member

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    Are they one in the same? I'm about to buy a .357 and want to know if I can buy one set of dies to reload either .357 or .38 spcl.

    Thanks,

    Lester
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    They sell 38 dies, 357 dies and 38/357 dies.

    357 dies may not bell the case enough on a 38 special (depends on who made the die, and how old it is), or they may not crimp it.

    38 dies will do either, and certainly 38/357 dies will do either.
  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    a quick trick for 357 is to set up your dies for the 38's and then use a 1/8" thick washer under your expanding,seating and crimping dies. Works great as long as you're using the same bullets. Decapping/sizing die is set the same for both.
  4. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

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    I just went for the 38/357 dies - have worked like a charm on my dillon
  5. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Active Member

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    you sure? thought the 357 were longer than the 38 spec????
  6. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    They are... Apparently 1/8" longer. If I read Chris right, you put the washer under the die which raises it 1/8".

    Gotta try that.

    Crpdeth
  7. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Yes sir, exactly 1/8" longer, when you place the washer under your 38 adjusted dies, it lenthens them by 1/8", perfectly set up for 357 !
  8. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    My RCBS .38/.357 Dies came with a 1/8" thick spacer to put under the dies as discussed. It works pretty slick. It's just a big round washer with a hole in the middle big enough for the dies to fit through.
  9. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    :) My Lee dies need no stinking washer :)confused: or is that " badges ?"), just adjusting for which cartridge you are loading
  10. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    ...........but RJay, you're missing the point. With the washer provided with the RCBS Dies you only have to set them up one time for .38's. Then after that to convert to .357 Mag's., you just have to add the washer and it's ready to go ba-da-bing. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  11. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Redding sells a three-pack of spacers. One for changing 38 to 357. One for changing 44 special to 44 magnum (the length difference in those two is different than 38/357 length difference), and a skinny one that goes under your seat/crimp die, so you don't crimp the case, in case you want to use a separate crimping die.
  12. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

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    38/357 dies will do the 357 maximum as well. but you will have to reset the dies. a washer will not work for the 357 max. the lee and rcbs dies will do all 3.
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