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  #1  
Old 10-06-2008, 04:09 PM
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Reloading .38/.357 magnum


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I have a Lee .357 magnum reloading kit.

Locally I can't get .357 magnum bullets. Would .38 bullets be just as good or would I have to use a lighter load in .357 magnum cartridges?
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2008, 04:20 PM
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38 special and 357 magnum use the same diameter of bullet(.357 inch). The only difference that you need to concern yourself with is the load data for the two cartridges. DO NOT use magnum data in the 38 special.

Buy a current load manual and enjoy the read. It's well worth the money. Lyman #49 is out and I recomend it highly.

Cheezywan
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2008, 04:44 PM
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Yup, they are the same bullets, just that th 38's are loaded to lower velocity and pressures to work in 38 special guns. That means that you can load any .357 bullet in your 357 or for that matter in a 38 special which has a the same bore diameter. That's why you can shoot 38 special ammo in your 357.

Like Cheezy said don't use 357 mag load data to load 38 special cases. You can however use 38 special load data it 357 mag cases. Makes for wonderful plinking loads with just a few grains of Bullseye or my favourite Tightgroup powder.
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2008, 04:53 PM
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cheezy is correct, I just wanted to add that if you are using cast bullets, the diameter will change a little too. When I am loading 38spl's I use cast bullets (soooo much cheaper) and they are sized at .358. Use what your gun likes, but generally, I buy the cast bullets .001 (sometimes .002) larger. You could slug your barrel and find out exactly, or just try a few different ones and see what groups well. Stick with jacketed ammo for .357mag loads, you will get (generally) higher velocities.

Quote:
DO NOT use magnum data in the 38 special.
DO NOT use magnum data in the 38 special CASES

Once you get the manual, you will see loads split up by the case and then by the bullet type. Don't start winging it, use whats in the book. It will list loads for cast (by weight) and jacketed (by weight) in both .38 spl and .357, they do differ for the same bullet in different cases.

I have both the lyman and the speer manuals. If you are reloading, its the most important $80 you will spend. Seriously.
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2008, 05:01 PM
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Yes. I covered not putting .357 loads into .38 cases on another forum

My first task (aside from demolishing the kitchen to make way for kitchen 2 - you can tell I'm married ) is to finish decapping my existing .38 and .357 cartridges.

My Lee kit came with a filling spoon (no 7) for .357 magnum. I don't recall which powder I'm supposed to use with it but as I said - no rush as I still have another couple of hundred cases to decap. I'm also going to buy some more cartridge boxes. My local shop only had two in .357 (I could have got .44, I suppose).

As an afterthought - how many pages are devoted to .38 and .357 reloading? I might just borrow somebody else's book and photocopy the requisite pages.
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2008, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SagePhotoWorld View Post
As an afterthought - how many pages are devoted to .38 and .357 reloading? I might just borrow somebody else's book and photocopy the requisite pages.
Booo!!!!

GET YOUR OWN BOOK.

There are probably 8 pages for each, but it is an invaluable resource.
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2008, 02:09 PM
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Lol. I managed to get a Lyman revolver handbook. It has various powders. I can see the blue dot powder locally and I even found a pack of 500 .38 bullets for $55. I didn't buy anything other than the book though.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2008, 03:16 PM
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Good book. The data is a bit dated though. Blue dot? You should read this for 357 magnum.
http://shootersforum.com/showthread.htm?t=49357

Last edited by Cheezywan; 10-07-2008 at 03:19 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2008, 03:59 PM
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I haven't got that far yet. I still have to get some more boxes for my cartridges and to decap another hundred or so.

I've been buying the clear boxes at $1.99 but they're out of them in .38/.357 at the moment. I have a feeling that Sportsman's Warehouse is in difficulties.

The manual was the cheapest they had that had all the data. They had some individual booklets at $8 apiece. I thought they represented poor value though.
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2008, 04:24 PM
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I really like unique for cast loads in .38spl. Check out some loads for that.
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2008, 04:42 PM
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Your spending your money backwords from my view? You can store your reloads in a plastic sandwich bag.
I was trying to get you started good with your Lee loader. It's a very good tool. Just slow.

The "real value" in a good reloading manual is in the "how to" stuff. That part doesen't change a whole lot. Load data does. You can use the web for that(at your own risk).
lowaloha,

Cheezywan
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2008, 05:14 PM
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I figure the plastic boxes are a good idea. I have limited space and so organising things makes sense. I had all my empties in cardboard boxes that were disintegrating. I did try empties in a plastic bag but it disintegrated too. $1.99 per 100 rounds isn't a lot when it can be continually recycled. I can even stick a sheet of paper inside with a list of the number of times that box has been reloaded - which should give me some indication of how long the brass lasts.

I will probably invest in a small case trimmer. I probably need something better than the spoon measure included as I notice the loads seem to vary according to the powder used.

I figure a 1lb tub of powder and 500 bullets should last me a long time.
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2008, 05:35 PM
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you don't have a scale? Get a scale and a manual.

At least the info in the manual will give you an idea of things that you will actually need to SAFELY reload ammo.

http://cgi.ebay.com/SPEER-BOOK-SPEER...d=p3286.c0.m14

http://cgi.ebay.com/Lee-Relaoding-Re...d=p3286.c0.m14

Ok, there's a manual and a scale. About $50. If you want anything else, get a powder measure, loading board and a powder funnel.

Forget plastic boxes and case trimmers, those are ancillary. There are things you need to be safe.
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2008, 08:10 AM
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I just started handloading last week, and have found this to be a little tougher than I thought. Powder measurments that are off by a very little, can have a big impact (no pun intended), on your rounds consistency and safety. Im very glad I listened to these guys here and got the 49th edition Lyman manual. TONS of great info in there. I find myself just sitting around reading it like a novel before work.
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  #15  
Old 10-08-2008, 11:13 AM
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Phew! I just finished decapping all my cartridges.

Now I need to resize them all and finish getting boxes to hold them all. Sportsman's Warehouse looks to be in trouble - the staff never know when they'll have replacement stock or what stock is due to arrive. The reloading shelves are empty. Empty shelves represent lost profit.

I'm doing it all in stages - decapping, resizing.

When I get to the loading stage, assuming I have the boxes by then, I'll probably work on it a row at a time loading in 10 cartridge batches.
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  #16  
Old 10-08-2008, 03:09 PM
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All de-capped. Good.

Re-size all now. Visual inspection as you go.

Flare or "belling" the case neck is next. (this is the time to look for splits because they will be most obvious).

Is a good idea to "weed-out" the ones that "feel" different during all stages of reloading. That does not mean to toss them. Just segregate for sameness.

You're on your way!

Cheezywan
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  #17  
Old 10-08-2008, 03:53 PM
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I have just chucked one case - the decapping tool felt a bit funny and I found it had penetrated to the side of the cap and made the hole a lot bigger and lopsided. Actually, maybe I should put that one with the scrap brass.
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  #18  
Old 10-08-2008, 05:01 PM
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Is your call on "how" you choose to segrigate your cases. "You" are now your own ammo factory. Quality control is now in your control. You can spend as much time at each prosess as "you" choose. Attention to detail makes good ammunition. Factory ammo won't do that for you. They(the factory), don't care. You do!

Cheezywan
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  #19  
Old 10-08-2008, 06:08 PM
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I get all the boxes I need from the trash can at my range. The factory ammo boxes people discard have the little plastic rack that really stiffens up the cardbard box.

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  #20  
Old 10-13-2008, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmd3006 View Post
I get all the boxes I need from the trash can at my range. The factory ammo boxes people discard have the little plastic rack that really stiffens up the cardbard box.

.

I even gather up those plastic trays to use as relaoding trays. I normally use .45 acp for loading .38/.357, and .357 for loading 9mm and .380acp. It works for me, and free is the cheapest, right? LOL
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