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Old 03-23-2011, 04:18 PM
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Default Newbie to reloading .357 mag

Hey guys and gals, I usually just stay in the 15-22 forums, but it is time to broaden my horizons and no I am not going to ask about reloading a rimfire

Anyway, as much as I shoot, I want to learn to reload and have been doing alot of research on it and a friend of mine does reloading also. As we know safety first !!! But I have just always wanted to learn how to reload..

But my friend has pointed me in the direction of lee 4 hole turret press and a hornaday 8th edition book, but my question regards .357 magnum loads, and he does not have a .357 to answer my specific question

It is my moms Colt Python that I want to start loading for, as well as my 9mm, SKS and others...I want to load hers for the 125gr. mark.

But I see Lee makes this 3 carbide die setup
3 die setup and they make this 4 die carbide set

I know the difference is that the 4th die is a crimper. Every .357 mag round I have shot i have never seen them crimped. So is it needed to crimp this round?

Thank you for the info and sorry if this has been asked before and the long rambling long post.

Jeremy
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:24 PM
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the 3 die set will crimp, and that is what I use.. But people do say the factory crimp die, in the 4 die set, is the best.. I just have never used it myself.. also get the classic cast turret... and yes you do need to crimp 357
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:55 PM
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In a revolver the rim of the case controls headspace, the rim controls how far into the cylinder the cartridge can go. As you fire the gun the recoil will try to pull the brass case off the bullets, the ones you haven't fired yet, that's one reason you need a crimp. Go with 4 die carbide set and do much reading. The 357 is a good place to start reloading.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:09 PM
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This is a photo of .38 specials from Remington, Speer and my basement. They are all crimped and .357 is crimped in similar fashion.

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:17 PM
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You will want to get that crimp die. It makes life alot easier. The .357 with hot loads will need to be crimped. That roll crimp from Lee is very nice and you will like it, the reason for the 4th die is so that you don't have to mess with changing it every time you seat a bullet and then mess with having to figure out the crimp.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtime7 View Post
the 3 die set will crimp, and that is what I use.. But people do say the factory crimp die, in the 4 die set, is the best.. I just have never used it myself.. also get the classic cast turret... and yes you do need to crimp 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Titegroups View Post
that's one reason you need a crimp. Go with 4 die carbide set and do much reading. The 357 is a good place to start reloading.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David LaPell View Post
You will want to get that crimp die. It makes life alot easier. The .357 with hot loads will need to be crimped.
Thank you all for the information and the picture blujax on the info that I do need to crimp them. I will just spend the extra money and get the 4 die set then.

As for "do much reading", I agree. I want to be as safe as possible doing this, so alot of reading it is and alot of taking notes as I do it as well



Mtime7 - This is the press that my buddy suggested to me Lee Press

Is there a difference between that one and this one Lee Classic that you suggested?
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedCreations View Post
Thank you all for the information and the picture blujax on the info that I do need to crimp them. I will just spend the extra money and get the 4 die set then.

As for "do much reading", I agree. I want to be as safe as possible doing this, so alot of reading it is and alot of taking notes as I do it as well



Mtime7 - This is the press that my buddy suggested to me Lee Press

Is there a difference between that one and this one Lee Classic that you suggested?
Yes. The Lee Classic is cast iron and the other is aluminum. They work the same and the aluminum probably works just fine.

The classic is a little heavier duty and probably a better press.

It does not come as a "kit" as the other one does. In the kit you get a Lee Scale which is accurate but a real pain to use. I suggest a better scale. RCBS or the Dillon beam balance. It is the most important tool in reloading. The Lee Pro Auto disc is also better. So piece it together for a few more bucks and you will be happier.

I also suggest if you are buying a set up, look at at Natchez as their prices are usually lower than Midway.

I use the Classic Press and very happy with it.

Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret Press - MidwayUSA

Lee Classic Turret Press - Natchez Shooters Supplies

The Natchez web site is a bit tough to navigate. Look up what you want on Midway, get the manufacture number in this case 90064, go to Natchez and type in Lee before any Lee product number(Lee90064) in the search and bingo.

Here is a very good review of the press:

http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm
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Last edited by Rule3; 03-23-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:43 PM
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generally the Lee seating/crimp die is plenty for cast slugs - target/plinking loads.
if loading 'premium' or 'hot' jhp slugs with slow powder the factory crimp die likely is a good idea. that's what I use myself. always check OAL.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:20 PM
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The classic cast is the one I would recommend.. I don't have one but have heard great things about it on another forum.. I have a link for you to check out, they have a kit that you can up grade the powder measure and primer feeder, I haven't checked thier price in a while, but it used to be good.. And stay far away from the Lee Scale, buy a used ohaus 10-10 or something off ebay .. If link doesn't work just go to kempfgunshop

https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?...mart&Itemid=41
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:04 PM
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I own both presses and the classic is the way to go, forget the kit and buy a good quality scale, the pro autodisk, and the primer feeder that attaches to the press. You may want to buy some extra racthets for the press, little tiny plastic squares that rotate the turrets, like 50cents each from Lee, you'll probably mess up a couple before you get the hang of it. Also buy the powder extension for the auto disk, About $8. These presses represent a great value. You probably will want to get a copy of the"Lee" reloading manual. I can easily turn out 100-150rds/hr. with mine. Reloading will open up a whole new world to you. Ley us know how things go.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:28 PM
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Quite to the contrary, most .357 Magnum rounds I have ever seen have a very noticeable "roll" crimp. The other common crimp is a "taper" crimp.
Roll crimps are typically used on cartridges that headspace on the rim (38 Special, 357 Mag, 41 Mag, 44 Mag 45 LC, 30-30 Win etc) or shoulder (bottle-necked cases). Roll crimps are not used on cartridges that headspace on the case mouth, such as the 9x19, 40 S&W, 45 ACP etc., but this doesn't mean they don't get a taper crimp to provide for uniform mouth dimensions or to restore the flare that maybe used while seating cast bullets and such.
Most pistol dies have the roll crimp feature machined into the seater die. You can adjust the die to engage the case mouth with this feature while seating the bullet or adjust it to avoid contact with the case mouth. Some mfrs use a shim, others require the lock nut to be re-adjusted accordingly. Taper crimp dies are usually a seperate die (likewise the common Lee Factory Crimp die).
The heavy crimp essentially keeps the bullet from moving out of the case under heavy recoil and can also aid in preventing the bullet from seating deeper while chambering or undergoing any other compression force.
Roll crimps are generally used where there is a crimp groove (cast bullet) or cannelure (jacketed bullet) in the bullet body.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Every .357 mag round I have shot i have never seen them crimped. So is it needed to crimp this round?
I'm sure every factory .357 Magnum has a crimp and anyone who knows what they are doing will crimp reloads. I have a feeling they were all crimped, you just didn't recognize what you were seeing. Slow powders associated with .357 Magnum loads need a firm crimp to ignite correctly and if you don't crimp you run the risk of bullet pull. (especially with stout recoil)
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:47 PM
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agreed on the above posts. But as a first time reloader myself (still very green) I think I can chime in here a bit and give you some first hand trial and error experiences.

First the Lee powder scale is 20 dollars, and rightly so. It's sort of a pain to read and calibrate. Once calibrated its accurate but sensitive to a fault. The main thing is IT WORKS and for 20 bucks, if you cant afford anything else don't be afraid (its the only one I have atm and it WORKS just fine. )
Next is the Lee Pro powder disk. These are fine, but they do not throw the charge specified in the Lee reloading manual #2. If for a certain powder it says to use disk .53 to throw 6.2gr (hypothetical disk and charge) your probably going to have to use the next highest auto disk up, .57. I would recommend getting the 2 disk set so you can accurately fine tune your loads to .1grains. I would like to say in my searching and reading of reviews I've not heard really good things about the micrometer charge thingy (the name escapes me atm). But you will be justified in your purchase and given a little time experimenting, will be happy you did with the 2 disk set.
Moving on to the 3 or 4 die set. GO 4, you will be happy your able to make a decent Roll crimp on your 357. I got the 3 die set with mine and purchased the 4th separately.. waste of money on my account considering the carbide factory crimp die cost 18+shipping and the whole 4 die set costs what, 30 bucks?
Moving on to presses. If you have the time get the lee classic turret press. I started out as a beginner reloader buying the Loadmaster. Granted Ive had experience using my buddy's press for a few months but nothing is the same as owning and using your own, there is definitely a learning curve to the LM. The classic press albeit slower will produce more fine reloads due to the amount of hands on time you have to put into each round. If that's not your thing, the turret is faster and just as reliable considering you can do single stages at a time if you wish.
books to purchase? As many as you can get your hands on.
I own Lyman 49th, Lee 2nd, Hornady, a 9mm cartridge data guide (junk). Im trying to find Speer #14 at a decent price and Ill definitely snatch that up.. Sierra is also a good name in reloading.
um did I cover everything? Oh welcome to the world of reloading and before smith crazy can do it, Ill figure id ask.. When you gonna start casting?

just read the above post.. You need a roll crimp on 357 charges, for nothing else then just to make sure your bullets stay seated during recoil.
oh and again. If you go turret 4 hole and are planning on reloading different calibers pick up a spare 4 hole turret for each set of dies. Ready to change calibers? pop out the whole turret dies and all and put in the new caliber. ready to go with no adjusting. cheers.
jc
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
I'm sure every factory .357 Magnum has a crimp and anyone who knows what they are doing will crimp reloads. I have a feeling they were all crimped, you just didn't recognize what you were seeing.
Yep, I am far from one who knows everything.. I assumed, whoops there is that mother of all f-up words that a crimp would somewhat smash the casing to the bullet and leave ridges around..Kinda like the "fall asleep grooves" on a freeway...

Here is a pic of her gun(crappy cell pic) and 2 pics of the golden sabers that I have for her gun(like you guys haven't seen them before). but since i didn't see any marks, i didn't think they was crimped..But when i look at Blujax's pics above that are all crimped, they look the same....








Quote:
Originally Posted by Jc85 View Post
if you cant afford anything else don't be afraid (its the only one I have atm and it WORKS just fine. )
If you go turret 4 hole and are planning on reloading different calibers pick up a spare 4 hole turret for each set of dies. Ready to change calibers? pop out the whole turret dies and all and put in the new caliber. ready to go with no adjusting. cheers.
jc
Thank you and everyone for this information. You guys can sure blow a newbie brain up

I was planning to purchase another turret due to my 9mm and then for my future .223,etc.

I think my buddy just advised me to go with that press, as it gave more to get started out somewhat cheap...But cheaper is not always better...

So looks like the classic 4 press and then the 4 die set is in my shopping cart....

Thanks again everyone
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:03 AM
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You are going to have much fun with that Python. The cartridge picture you published doesn't show much roll crimp. There is no cannelure, so perhaps they are taper crimped. I don't know as have no experience with this ammo - maybe someone else does. Lots of talk about crimp here and I don't know if anyone mentioned this yet, I apologize if they did, but every reloader needs a good dial caliper. Not a digital, but a dial caliper. If cases are all exactly the same length you will have best crimping results. The little Lee hand trimmers work well for pistol cases when you need to trim. Happy shooting!

Last edited by McShooty; 03-24-2011 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:39 AM
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Make sure you buy the Lee Classic 4 hole press instead of the Deluxe 4 hole press, it is a much better press. Also, if you buy the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure make sure you buy the Pro model and not the standards model, again a much better tool.
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