Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-12-2017, 09:02 AM
Mr_Flintstone's Avatar
Mr_Flintstone Mr_Flintstone is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 26
Likes: 24
Liked 33 Times in 11 Posts
Default Newbie question

I'm just getting ready to start reloading, and I've decided on a Lee press; mainly because the only guy I know who reloads has one, and I can pick his brain. I have a question or two for you guys too.

I want to reload the whole .38 spectrum; from 38 Short Colt to .357 Magnum. What different dies, etc... do I need to get, and what powder would be best to cover the range I want to hand load?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-12-2017, 10:43 AM
Rule3's Avatar
Rule3 Rule3 is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida, NRA CERT RSO
Posts: 17,247
Likes: 6,917
Liked 7,538 Times in 3,789 Posts
Default

Hand Gun Dies - Lee Precision

38special dies will also load 357 mag. Not the other way around.

I do not know about 38 SW I do not load that

The above link will help
__________________
Still Running Against The Wind
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 03-12-2017, 10:59 AM
patrickd patrickd is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 314
Likes: 239
Liked 374 Times in 159 Posts
Default

38spl and 357 mag will use the same die set. For your 38 colt you can resize the cases with the 38/357 dies, but unless I'm mistaken you'll be needing to use something shorter like a 9mm or a 380 flaring die to expand the case mouths. Don't take this as expert info though as I have never tried to reload a 38 short Colt.
As for powder, that's like asking what oil should I use in my car. You'll get a million opinions on that. For full on 357 mag loads I use W296 or H110. Alliant's 2400 is also a great magnum powder. Unique is one you can use pretty much across the board. Unique will work in 38spl, but due to low pressures it will burn dirty. For 38 spl I like either Universal or Titegroup. Bullseye works well in 38spl too. I think the consensus on bullets in 38 spl or 357 for best accuracy both seem to favor 158 gr. SWC.
Nothing wrong with a Lee press. Lee has been making equipment for a long time. Doesn't cost an arm and a leg to get started with Lee either.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #4  
Old 03-12-2017, 11:08 AM
jake1945's Avatar
jake1945 jake1945 is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Iowa
Posts: 147
Likes: 81
Liked 70 Times in 37 Posts
Default

Just don't get the Lee 1000 progressive loader. They are a major P.I.T.A.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #5  
Old 03-12-2017, 02:54 PM
Tom S.'s Avatar
Tom S. Tom S. is online now
SWCA Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 3,226
Likes: 3,083
Liked 3,892 Times in 1,431 Posts
Default

Consider getting a turret press (Lee is OK). They will negate you having to pull and replace dies at each stage of the operation, and the force required for pistol reloading isn't enough to require a mega heavy duty press.

And Jake1945 is spot on about the Pro 1000. The only good thing to ever come about from the two I owned was they convinced me to buy a Dillon 650XL.
__________________
So many S&W's, so few funds!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #6  
Old 03-12-2017, 03:17 PM
Nightowl's Avatar
Nightowl Nightowl is offline
SWCA Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Warrensburg, MO USA
Posts: 3,732
Likes: 585
Liked 1,100 Times in 671 Posts
Default

I have a couple of friends with Lee turret presses. After watching one get set up and in use, I wouldn't trade my Dillon 550B for all the Lee's in China! (pun intended)

If you are just starting, consider getting a single stage press, like the RCBS Jr. You can buy a starter kit for a reasonable price. After you have loaded awhile and understand the process and issues, you can move to a progressive like the Dillon 550C. If you are serious and have the money, you can start with the Dillon. They have instructions on set up and video as well as great phone and on line support.

However, you first purchase should be the Lyman Reloading Handbook that explains about all you need to know about starting reloading.

Its great fun.
__________________
Richard Gillespie
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 03-12-2017, 03:36 PM
Bugkiller99's Avatar
Bugkiller99 Bugkiller99 is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Florida
Posts: 1,446
Likes: 1,845
Liked 1,400 Times in 675 Posts
Default

Here is a great place for reloading knowledge.

So you're thinking about getting into reloading...

As far as your specific question about .38 cal. I don't think you will find one powder and one die set to handle all applications you mention.
__________________
Reg. Magnum wants/Rossi wallet
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #8  
Old 03-12-2017, 04:58 PM
Scuba16 Scuba16 is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 3
Likes: 10
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I got a lee turret press about 2 years ago you can start out slow doing one thing at a time. then as you go along and get more experence you can go faster .what i like most about the turret press is you set the dies in the turret and your set to go . Each cal i reload is set up in a differant turret so it is set . I reload 9 mm to .308 so all i have to do is change turret and ready to to next cal
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #9  
Old 03-12-2017, 05:55 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: May 2016
Location: 30min SE Montreal
Posts: 596
Likes: 128
Liked 347 Times in 214 Posts
Default

Your mind seems to be already made up for the press;so no need to develop the subject any more.As for the powder to use that'll cover the spectrum,I don't think that it is a good idea.Not that it doesn't exist but at best you will have a compromise that will only do ok in every cal you intend to use it in.
Qc

Last edited by Qc Pistolero; 03-12-2017 at 09:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #10  
Old 03-12-2017, 06:01 PM
patrickd patrickd is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 314
Likes: 239
Liked 374 Times in 159 Posts
Default

I also would like to steer you CLEAR of the Lee Pro 1000. I bought one used and now know why the guy wanted to be rid of it. Everything works fine except the damned priming system. In short the thing will drive you insane trying to load on it. I recommend a turret press of whatever brand you like.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #11  
Old 03-12-2017, 07:37 PM
Mr_Flintstone's Avatar
Mr_Flintstone Mr_Flintstone is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 26
Likes: 24
Liked 33 Times in 11 Posts
Default

Thanks for all the replies. The one I was looking at Lee Precision Challenger kit. My main reason for wanting to reload is because of the lack of availability of .38 SC and .38 LC (at least locally.) 38 special would also be nice, but truth-be-told I'll probably not reload .357 magnum. I just don't shoot enough of it. Eventually I want to add .30 carbine, and 8 mm Mauser; but that's down the road. Right now what I want to load is just .38 SC and LC. Then when I get comfortable, add the others.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-12-2017, 08:47 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is online now
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Harlem, Ohio
Posts: 4,225
Likes: 2,639
Liked 3,575 Times in 1,629 Posts
Default

The 38 S&W cartridge and the 38 Special are different shaped, length, and a few 1/1000ths different diameter. Plus they use a different shell holder. Except for all that, they are the same.

As to one powder for everything: there is only one, UNIQUE. These will most likely be slow and lead (and filthy) But, it can be used in everything. They old Lyman 45th Edition, had at least one load for every known cartridge with Unique. I am of the old breed in that I like WW231. It will do low to medium velocity loads in almost every handgun round. But for true target loads, the king is Bullseye! My F-I-L won 2 national championships and a room of trophies with Bullseye in 38 Special and 45 ACP. (He used, and uses ALCAN primers, which haven't been made in decades.) When his house burnt down about 25 years ago he lost about 30 pounds of Bullseye and 40,000 Alcan primers. (and probably 30,000 round of reloads) The loading presses and loading components were replaced before the kitchen table!

The only other truly universal powder is FFFg Black Powder, and that is a different level of reloading! Some of those 38 Short Colt and 38 Long Colt and a few 38 S&W revolvers are Black Powder only pistols, so be careful!

Ivan
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-12-2017, 09:08 PM
rwsmith's Avatar
rwsmith rwsmith is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: (outside) Charleston, SC
Posts: 19,844
Likes: 23,111
Liked 15,241 Times in 7,778 Posts
Default Most of us use....

The most powders that you will need will be three. A fast burning, medium burning and for top magnum loads, a slow burning powder.

If you know that you are going to concentrate on target or max loads you can drop one on either end and use two.

You can get by with two if you don't want to load the most magnum magnums because some medium powders can be loaded up pretty warm.

If you aren't going to shoot slow moving target loads, you can drop the fast powder.

I'd say that you at least need two powders and will never really need more than three.

Some faster target powders can actually be loaded to warm ranges, but beware. Many of these powders requre only a tiny amount of powder and it's easy to double charge a case, which will blow up a gun. Bulkier powders that fill the case more are desirable for beginners until you develop your reloading as to eliminate, as much as possible, the chance of an overcharge.

Some means of monitoring powder fill is needed.

For those of us that charge powders away from the press we look down the cases with a flashlight when finished charging to check the powder levels.

Anyone starting reloading needs to read at least one how to section of a good reloading manual that will tell you what to avoid, differences in types of cartridges, and safety tips.

PS. If you want you can prime off press also with a hand primer. Of course its' less handling if you can do all of the operations on the press, but some of us have reasons to vary.
__________________
"He was kinda funny lookin'"

Last edited by rwsmith; 03-12-2017 at 09:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #14  
Old 03-12-2017, 09:32 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: May 2016
Location: 30min SE Montreal
Posts: 596
Likes: 128
Liked 347 Times in 214 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flintstone View Post
Thanks for all the replies. The one I was looking at Lee Precision Challenger kit. My main reason for wanting to reload is because of the lack of availability of .38 SC and .38 LC (at least locally.) 38 special would also be nice, but truth-be-told I'll probably not reload .357 magnum. I just don't shoot enough of it. Eventually I want to add .30 carbine, and 8 mm Mauser; but that's down the road. Right now what I want to load is just .38 SC and LC. Then when I get comfortable, add the others.
Just out of curiosity,may I ask why the .38SC and LC and not the .38Spl which would be much easier and I think safer to start with?
Qc
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-12-2017, 10:09 PM
Mr_Flintstone's Avatar
Mr_Flintstone Mr_Flintstone is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 26
Likes: 24
Liked 33 Times in 11 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qc Pistolero View Post
Just out of curiosity,may I ask why the .38SC and LC and not the .38Spl which would be much easier and I think safer to start with?
Qc
It's just a personal hobby shooting short and long. It would be much easier if I could load them myself.

I'll probably buy both the dies for SC/LC and a set for .38 Special/.357. I may start with 38 special and work my way down, or the other way around. Like I said earlier, I'm a complete novice, but I do take instruction and constructive criticism well. I know how much I don't know, but I'm willing to learn.

Last edited by Mr_Flintstone; 03-12-2017 at 10:14 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-19-2017, 03:52 PM
Mr_Flintstone's Avatar
Mr_Flintstone Mr_Flintstone is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 26
Likes: 24
Liked 33 Times in 11 Posts
Default

Well, I got all my stuff set up yesterday. I started with 38 special. I wanted to start really light, so I loaded 3 gr trail boss with 125 gr swc. They were pretty cool popcorn loads, and I was able to shoot 2 inch groups at 30 ft with a Taurus 85. Later I reloaded some 38 short colt brass that I had with 2.4 gr Titegroup, and the same 125 gr swc. They actually felt a little more powerful than the specials I loaded, but still very light. As I get more comfortable I'll amp up the loads a little.

Lee doesn't make a trimming die for LC or SC, so I'm at a loss as to how to trim those to length. Since I didn't have any LC on hand, I wasn't able to load any of those.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-19-2017, 04:37 PM
Alk8944's Avatar
Alk8944 Alk8944 is offline
Member
Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question Newbie question  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sandy Utah
Posts: 5,677
Likes: 475
Liked 3,044 Times in 1,466 Posts
Smile

Mr_Flintstone,

Lee makes a .38 Short and Long Carbide die set. You can buy this and load .38 SC, LC, .38 Spl. and .357 Magnum by adjusting appropriately. They will not load .38 S&W, .38 ACP and Super. or .380 ACP.

There is virtually never any reason to trim any revolver cartridge case, Never! Save your self some grief and forget this.

Unless you have revolvers specifically chambered for .38 SC & LC save your self time and energy and forget about these. If all your guns are .38 Spl./.357 Magnum then stick with those cases. Then buy the .38 Spl./.357 die set.
__________________
Gunsmithing S&W since 1961
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newbie member & newbie question WestTexFree Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles 13 03-05-2017 07:30 PM
Newbie with newbie question chaseman31 Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols 11 12-06-2015 07:11 PM
Yet another newbie question sleestak Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles 7 12-09-2014 10:35 PM
Newbie and 625-4 question Guilhem S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 12 03-13-2014 01:28 PM
newbie question win4me Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles 9 11-18-2012 10:05 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:08 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)