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dannyvp

Which die set?

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Do I need the 3 die set for cowboy reloading 38 or will the 2 die set do it?

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You likely won’t find a 2 die set for 38/357. Normally start with 3. Resize and deprime, expand and seat/crimp. Although most of us like to seat and crimp in two steps, requiring a 4th die.

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Will these 4 die sets work with a Dillon 450?

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Will these 4 die sets work with a Dillon 450?

Sure!   Works fine..... you have four stations.   You will want a Dillon powder drop/expander die/measure in station 2.   So, you won't use the expander die that you get in a conventional die set.  

 

Good luck, GJ

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So I received an RCBS 2 dies set, and the 3 die in the powder drop.

the guy suggested I just buy the Lee crimper die.

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30 minutes ago, Jefro, SASS#69420 said:

Yep, Lee Factory Crimp die will take care of it. Good Luck:)

 

This^^^^^

 

OLG

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Have used Dillon's dies since 2001  in my 550B and never had a need or use for the Lee Factory Crimp Die

 

Bugler

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As I'm sure you've discovered by now that there is more than one correct answer to most questions about reloading.  But one thing I swear by is to have a powder check die in whatever combination of dies I end up using.  Why?  Mistakes happen when you're distracted and there is a lot going on in a progressive press to distract you just long enough to pass an uncharged or double charged case on to the seater.  And the resulting squib during a match is frustrating and embarassing!

 

I've tried the Hornady and RCBS powder check dies and swear by the RCBS.  In fact, they call it a powder LOCK die.  It doesn't just check, it locks up your press if you double charge or don't charge a round.  It's caught me more than once no matter how careful I am.  The Dillon powder check die squeals at you and some of reviewers said it was annoying.  But the big thing to me is that the Dillon also doesn't lock the press preventing further motion until you correct the condition.  To my knowledge, only the RCBS does that.  The RCBS powder lock die is invisible until you make a mistake and then makes you fix the mistake before you can proceed.  I like that.

 

Just my two cents...

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56 minutes ago, Bugler said:

Have used Dillon's dies since 2001  in my 550B and never had a need or use for the Lee Factory Crimp Die

 

Bugler

I didn't either until I started casting my own boolits. The occasional fat one gets through.

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2 hours ago, Bugler said:

Have used Dillon's dies since 2001  in my 550B and never had a need or use for the Lee Factory Crimp Die

 

Bugler

 

Have used Lee dies since 2012 in my 4 hole turret and never had a need or use for Dillon's dies.^_^

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There are thousands of every press and thousands of every die set out there each doing there intended job with thousands of satisfied users.....

 

They all have followers and each company is staying in business because they all work......

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I hope to set everything up in the next couple weeks (traveling a lot).

i was planning on weighing the ammo to verify correct powder charge. A checking die maybe easier and automatic though. I’ll look into that.

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I have about 12 gallons of .38 brass that may have variations in case length. I use the Lee FCD instead of checking/trimming brass. I used to use a powder check die, but have substituted checking weights periodically. Every case after setting up a caliber, then every hundred or so. The Dillon measure is pretty consistent.

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All dies work.  Some dies make you work harder than other dies.  I load a lot of lead lubed bullets and I'm lazy.  Dillon dies have an insert that allows you to clean the lube out without having to reset the die.  I like that pop out pop in.    

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Dannyvp, I also weight my rounds as the last step.  But I found +/- 2.5 grains of weight variation between good rounds and I was only dropping 3.6 grains of powder.  To figure out why I had so much variation, I weighted about 100 each of the bullets and cases.  I found the bullets I was using (purchased from Missouri Bullet Company who I think is a good company) could vary by +/- 1.75 grains.  And since my cases are reused cases from ammo I purchased before I started reloading, in other words a mix of brands, the case weight variation across my cases was about +/- 2.0 grains.  In other words, if I didn't drop powder in a round with a heavy bullet and case, I won't catch it using a weight test. All this lead me to the conclusion that a final weight check to make sure I caught squibs isn't reliable.  That's why I don't load without a RCBS powder stop.  BTW, I load .38 special and .357 magnum.

 

On the other hand, if you reload using only one brand of brass, my biggest variable, you'll probably be okay.  As I use up my initial store of brass, I'm going to replace it with only Starline brass.

Edited by Mountain Man Gramps
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On 9/16/2019 at 5:50 PM, Bugler said:

Have used Dillon's dies since 2001  in my 550B and never had a need or use for the Lee Factory Crimp Die

 

Bugler

 

One rather unique feature to the LEE Factory Crimp die, that doesn't seem to get mentioned, is that it will also resize an oversize situation. IOW, it has a carbide ring in the base, just like a FL sizing die, except it is at cartridge maximum, or about 0.379". It seems to take care of any minor issues, like a slight bulge in the crimp or an oversize bullet. I have a turret press, therefore each reloading step is separate.  I can "feel" this carbide ring bump or drag on the occasional shell. So: even though my ammo may not be perfect, it will chamber in my firearms. 

 

Saami: Ammo max = 0.379", chamber min = 0.3809".

 

For 38 LC: I neck size in a 9mm Luger die and let the LEE FCD size the body when I crimp.  

 

In LEE jargon, "A carbide sizer inside the Carbide Factory Crimp die post-sizes the cartridge while it is crimped so every round will positively chamber freely with factory like dependability"

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 1:33 PM, Mountain Man Gramps said:

Dannyvp, I also weight my rounds as the last step.  But I found +/- 2.5 grains of weight variation between good rounds and I was only dropping 3.6 grains of powder.  To figure out why I had so much variation, I weighted about 100 each of the bullets and cases.  I found the bullets I was using (purchased from Missouri Bullet Company who I think is a good company) could vary by +/- 1.75 grains.  And since my cases are reused cases from ammo I purchased before I started reloading, in other words a mix of brands, the case weight variation across my cases was about +/- 2.0 grains.  In other words, if I didn't drop powder in a round with a heavy bullet and case, I won't catch it using a weight test. All this lead me to the conclusion that a final weight check to make sure I caught squibs isn't reliable.  That's why I don't load without a RCBS powder stop.  BTW, I load .38 special and .357 magnum.

 

On the other hand, if you reload using only one brand of brass, my biggest variable, you'll probably be okay.  As I use up my initial store of brass, I'm going to replace it with only Starline brass.

With the variations in brass weight (even the same mfr), I find it is pointless to weigh loaded rounds. For Cowboy loads, probably could vary a good bit and still be fine.

Ok, you reload police, don't shoot me over that. If you're careful and consistent and hold to established loads (even tailored a bit) and practices, you'll be fine. Any of the reloading manufacturers make decent dies. Yes, there are preferences. Go with a recommendation and if ya don't like it, get something else.

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