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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently made this 158GR .357 Magnum loads using a single stage press. I did notice that it was a little harder then usual to press on the lever but it was still making the rounds and they seemed ok.
I made a batch of 50 but some of them I was able to press on the bullet and it just seated deaper into the case. I never seen or had this happen to me. Please elaborate.

Press used was Lee Single stage using their carbide dies labeled for 38 special but it said it will do .357 magnum. I have used these dies for .38 before but this is the first time for .357. Also I do want to clearify I did reset the seating die and its probably name the same setting as I used for .38

Sorry for the pictures being a little dark but these were all able to just seat so low


Compared to a normal one that came fine.
 

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I would first check sizing dimensions with calipers. Then check your crimp, it appears there isn't much if any crimp to hold the bullet in place.
 

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Is there crud build up in your seating die?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How do I check sizing dimensions.
I actually never used a crimp die in any of my loads.

I will check for crud in the die.
 

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How do I check sizing dimensions.
I actually never used a crimp die in any of my loads.

I will check for crud in the die.
Use calipers to check the OD (outside diameter) after you run the case through your sizing die. Compare to the case specs in your manual. 38/357 OD should be .379"

You will need to crimp, you don't want any bullet set-back to occur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not trying to start an argument but I never used a crimp die before and I never had any issues. Is there anything particular about a .357 mag that needs it?
 

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It looks like you may have set the expander die a little farther out then you usually set it and you don't crimp your case mouth, so the bullets are loose in the mouth. You just need to get a crimp die and check your c.o.a.l. with a mic, if they are on the money then crimp them, if not then pull them out a little with a bullet puller reseat the bullet and crimp it.
 

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Every round should have some sort of crimp on it, rather it be a taper crimp for semi autos or a roll crimp for revolvers. They need the crimp to build pressure before being shot from the barrel.
 

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I recently made this 158GR .357 Magnum loads using a single stage press. I did notice that it was a little harder then usual to press on the lever but it was still making the rounds and they seemed ok. I made a batch of 50 but some of them I was able to press on the bullet and it just seated deaper into the case. I never seen or had this happen to me. Please elaborate.

Press used was Lee Single stage using their carbide dies labeled for 38 special but it said it will do .357 magnum. I have used these dies for .38 before but this is the first time for .357. Also I do want to clearify I did reset the seating die and its probably name the same setting as I used for .38
If I am reading your O.P. right, this is what I am thinking. You set your expander die up to expand the brass, and all was fine there. But, upon running 50 rounds some of the brass was slightly longer then the rest of the batch. Therefore they were expanded a bit larger which enable you to "press the bullet in" with your finger. Then, when the cartridge was in the upward motion going into the seater die the bullet rubbed the side of the die and was easily seated deeper then the rest.

To find out if this is the case, measure the case of the C.O.L, and then measure the case of the shorter cartridge and you should see that the shorter cartridge will have a longer piece of brass then the one with the C.O.L.

That is what I am thinking.
 

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Also, if you don't crimp those rounds and they are magnum loads you are risking the bullets being forced deeper into the casings (do to recoil)causing presser to be too high and that is a huge risk. I say crimp them. Light crimps for light loads, and a heavier crimp for full house loads.
 

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Looks like youre using 9mm projectiles. whats the bullet DIA.?

.38 and .357 need .357" - .358" to have proper neck tension. 9mm bulleta re .355" - .356" so even crimped they will easily push back into the case.
 

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JLA, that was gonna be my first question; are the bullets correct?

Ha! snooze you lose...

a light crimp should be applied, don't need to get crazy but it will help you out
 

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Just a hint to keep from having to change your die setting when switching from .38spl. to .357mag. I made a large washer that compensates for the difference in case length between the two. Works fine as long as you are using the same bullets. The case on a .38spl. is 1.115 inches and the .357mag. is 1.29 inches so the washer is 0.135. Don't know if this meats the accepted good practice but it works for me and saves a lot of adjustments.

Josh you may have hit the nail on the head.
 

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Thats a very food idea todd. One method Id use myself if I loaded .38 spec.
 

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Just a hint to keep from having to change your die setting when switching from .38spl. to .357mag. I made a large washer that compensates for the difference in case length between the two. Works fine as long as you are using the same bullets. The case on a .38spl. is 1.115 inches and the .357mag. is 1.29 inches so the washer is 0.135. Don't know if this meats the accepted good practice but it works for me and saves a lot of adjustments.

Josh you may have hit the nail on the head.
It works very well, RCBS at one point in time used to include a washer in their 38/357 die sets. not sure if they still do. I have an 1/8" washer that came with my set.
 

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The washer trick is genious!

I don't ever load 38's any more but if I ever needed/wanted to, that would be a great way to leave my dies in place and adjusted for the magnum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I appreciate all the feedback.
Got a few more things to ad.
From what I understand about crimping it is done right after the bullet is seated? What is the difference between the type of crimp because some of the bullets came out lower so crimping it wouldnt fix the issue because the bullet would of already been seated before attempting the crimp.
I saw one post above where someone mention I might of made the expansion too big. If I was to back it up some would it fix it? When I put in the expansion die I pushed the rod down so that the bottom of the die would touch the top of the bullet seater and I belive I back it up either 1 or 3 turns (whichever is said in the instructions I always mix up the expander and the seater dies so I always need to double check)


I do appreciate everyones feedback I hope to get this cleared up soon
 

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Yup, I've got a washer in both of my .38/.357 die sets. Couldn't find exactly the right thickness so I spent a bit of time working them on a stone although a 1/8" (0.125") would probably work fine.

I agree with Josh. Are these .355" or .356" bullets
Not often you seen a round nose FMJ .357" bullet. BUT...I know they do make em.

(edit...on second look, these look like lead round nose instead of jacketed. Either way, is the diameter correct?)
 

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I appreciate all the feedback.
Got a few more things to ad.
From what I understand about crimping it is done right after the bullet is seated? What is the difference between the type of crimp because some of the bullets came out lower so crimping it wouldnt fix the issue because the bullet would of already been seated before attempting the crimp.
I saw one post above where someone mention I might of made the expansion too big. If I was to back it up some would it fix it? When I put in the expansion die I pushed the rod down so that the bottom of the die would touch the top of the bullet seater and I belive I back it up either 1 or 3 turns (whichever is said in the instructions I always mix up the expander and the seater dies so I always need to double check)

I do appreciate everyones feedback I hope to get this cleared up soon
Joker, measure the diameter of the brass at the mouth, then set the seat die so it expands the diameter .001" and no more. I don't go by the turns of the die, I measure my brass with a caliper.

I hope were helping you.
 
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