38 spl with 357 setup





#1
I have in the past accidentally loaded 38 spl brass using my 357 setup in my Dillon press. Got to thinking... can I use this to make 38spl loads? I know they will not be seated as well, but will that cause a safety issue
 

usmcnye

Aim Small Miss Small
#2
It is possible that some of your dies are marked as both 38 spl and 357. You did not mention the manufacturer of your dies; only that you use a Dillon press (Dillon presses can be ordered with non-Dillon dies).

I have separate Lee dies for both 357 and 38 spl. The carbide sizing die is marked as 38 spl / 357 magnum. The carbide factory crimp die is also marked as 38 spl / 357 magnum. The bullet seat and feed die and the powder thru expanding die are NOT marked as dual use and are unique to the specific caliber.

Bullet seat depth should always be set to the appropriate OAL (verify thru caliper measure). The carbide factory crimp die takes out any bulge left from a case mouth flare resulting in a consistent case straight wall. Not sure what you mean by not seated as well (bullet seating is either correct or not correct).
 

MAC702

LEGEN...wait for it... DARY!
Commercial Sponsor
Forum Supporter
#3
Every die set I've ever seen as been marked for both 38 and 357 loading. The only real difference is the seating and crimping being done a tenth of an inch lower for 38. They WILL seat as well because you will adjust the die for the new length.

If you made a 357 load in a 38 brass and the OAL was still correct for the 357 length, and you made absolutely certain it only went into a 357 revolver (as it will now unsafely chamber in a 38) you should be fine, in fact you might have less pressure since less of the bullet is seated in the short brass. I did it once when I made 2000 rounds of 357 and was 12 brass short of using all my bullets. I labeled them and fired them first.
 
Last edited:
#4
Every die set I've ever seen as been marked for both 38 and 357 loading. The only real difference is the seating and crimping being done a tenth of an inch lower for 38. They WILL seat as well because you will adjust the die for the new length.

If you made a 357 load in a 38 brass and the OAL was still correct for the 357 length, and you made absolutely certain it only went into a 357 revolver (as it will now unsafely chamber in a 38) you should be fine, in fact you might have less pressure since less of the bullet is seated in the brass short brass. I did it once when I made 2000 rounds of 357 and was 12 brass short of using all my bullets. I labeled them and fired them first.
That was the answer I was hoping for. I kinda figured it was that way, but, wasn’t sure. Thanks
 

Earthquake

Obsessed Member
#5
RCBS dies used to come with a spacer ring in .38/.357 and .44spcl/.44mag, you would set up the dies for .38spcl or .44spcl and put the ring on the die between the lock ring and press and that would allow you to load the mag rounds with out adjusting the dies every time.

Casey
 

gixxer760

Domestic Terrorist aka pa
Forum Supporter
2019 Supporter
#8