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Old 03-25-2017, 12:38 AM
BZimm BZimm is offline
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I want to set up and load 357 ammo, and I'm getting close. I am a newcomer to the reloading hobby, and so far I've been reloading 40 cal for my semiautos. I have a older S&W 28-2 that needs love too.

I bought a set of RCBS dies that can be apparently used for both 38 and 357 and the instructions are a bit vague. In the box is a washer/spacer that I think I understand, but there is also a cardboard-like "wafer" about 3/4" diameter and maybe 0.035 thickness that I do not. At first I thought it was an errant piece of packing material, but then I noticed it in a picture of another set of dies from RCBS. What is that thing for?

And then another question. I'm looking at buying 158 gn plated hollow points from Xtreme Bullets and I see that they have new brass on their website that they manufacture themselves. I'm hesitant to buy new brass, and especially from a relative newcomer in the industry. But....Does anyone have experience with this new 357 mag brass from Xtreme? The price is attractive, but with me in charge there are enough variables already. I don't want to trust my abilities yet and make that judgement on my own.

Thanks in advance for all your advice.

BZimm
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:58 AM
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Default Yes, it is a spacer....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BZimm View Post
I want to set up and load 357 ammo, and I'm getting close. I am a newcomer to the reloading hobby, and so far I've been reloading 40 cal for my semiautos. I have a older S&W 28-2 that needs love too.

I bought a set of RCBS dies that can be apparently used for both 38 and 357 and the instructions are a bit vague. In the box is a washer/spacer that I think I understand, but there is also a cardboard-like "wafer" about 3/4" diameter and maybe 0.035 thickness that I do not. At first I thought it was an errant piece of packing material, but then I noticed it in a picture of another set of dies from RCBS. What is that thing for?

And then another question. I'm looking at buying 158 gn plated hollow points from Xtreme Bullets and I see that they have new brass on their website that they manufacture themselves. I'm hesitant to buy new brass, and especially from a relative newcomer in the industry. But....Does anyone have experience with this new 357 mag brass from Xtreme? The price is attractive, but with me in charge there are enough variables already. I don't want to trust my abilities yet and make that judgement on my own.

Thanks in advance for all your advice.

BZimm
Set your dies up to fit .38 special cases. When you want to do .357, just put it on top of the press and thread the die bottom through it. Notice that it lifts the die up enough to make the difference in length between the two calibers.

If Xtreme is anywhere as good with brass as they are with bullets, their shell cases should be fine. Starline brass is the preferred brand for many people.

I have no idea what the cardboard wafer is, but i know that I've never missed not having it.

Revolver cartridges, being rimmed and with many of them based on an old black powder cases, are a different animal from modern semi auto cases. One diffeence is the roll crimp used in revolver cartridges rather than the taper crimp on the semi autos

Being a newbie, make sure that you read a good " how to " section of a reloading manual.

Have fun and be safe.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:05 AM
BZimm BZimm is offline
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Thank You. I'm fanatical with my reading habits and I am an information junkie. At this point my book shelf far outweighs my ammo cache.

BZimm
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:20 AM
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I've reloaded thousands of rounds of 38 special on RCBS dies and never had to use a cardboard washer - I wouldn't worry about whatever it is.

All my .357 brass is from factory rounds that I've shot. I've bought 38 special brass for about $.06 a piece and wouldn't ever consider buying new brass - the economics just don't add up. It's cheaper to just buy loaded rounds and then use that brass if your or buy once fired brass.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:22 AM
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The wafer contains a Rust Preventer to protect the dies
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:03 AM
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Default Wow.

REAL obscure information. You can only find it here. Now I want a cardboard wafer for my dies.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:39 AM
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Xtreme is not a NEW company.

It had many years doing business as Slier State bullets and
they also processes lead shot for those of use that reloaded for shotguns.

Quality stuff, good prices.
Relax and enjoy their components.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:42 AM
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Yeah on the price and I swear that's what I was gonna do......but for $0.12 per piece, I've got 500 .357mag cases coming and another $0.12 each for 500 HP bullets. I had to do it. No shipping for first time buyer.
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
REAL obscure information. You can only find it here. Now I want a cardboard wafer for my dies.
rwsmith check eBay , probably $25.00 for vintage-original.
"Buy it now".
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Old 03-25-2017, 09:51 AM
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I imagine that Extreme farms out brass making to someone who is already set up to make the brass. All the manufacturer would have to do is make a custom die for the headstamp. I remember reading somewhere that MidwayUSA once sold brass with their own Midway headstamp but that it was actually made for them by Starline.
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Old 03-25-2017, 11:55 AM
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If you paid $.12 for .357 brass that's a pretty good price. Most sellers try and get $.10 or more for used .357 brass
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:46 PM
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I bought my first set of dies in 1967 , 38 special, RCBS , the Cardboard disk was in the box back then...I think it's still in there ! And now I know what it's purpose is , rust prevention !
At that time they sold 38 special and 357 magnum dies , the gunshop owner told me to put the 357 dies back and get 38 special . Then explained how to adjust them for 357 magnum. I found a brass spacer to use at the hardware store and thought I had a right smart idea there.
Gary

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Old 03-25-2017, 01:51 PM
BZimm BZimm is offline
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That's funny. I bought these dies from a guy pretty much sight-unseen and the guy doesn't reload. Talk about the blind leading the blind. Anyway, we agreed on a pretty fair price inc. shipping.

They appear to be awfully close to unused. Included the spacer and the rust preventive disc. And some other doodads that I'm not sure of. The long threaded stems I'm guessing are used in the seating die for alternate bullet profiles, but the little fella's I'm not sure of.

Will you guys look at these and guide me why I own them?

Thanks, BZimm
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:41 PM
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Default Ah.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by BZimm View Post
Yeah on the price and I swear that's what I was gonna do......but for $0.12 per piece, I've got 500 .357mag cases coming and another $0.12 each for 500 HP bullets. I had to do it. No shipping for first time buyer.
Music to my ears. Opening up a brand new box of tinkling brass.
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:59 PM
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I have like a half-dozen RCBS die sets I bought new from the mid-1960s onward, I remember none having a paper washer/disc. But some still have original VPI paper wrappers in the boxes.
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Old 03-25-2017, 06:12 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BZimm View Post
Thank You. I'm fanatical with my reading habits and I am an information junkie. At this point my book shelf far outweighs my ammo cache.

BZimm
Way to go BZ.That's the way we all should go, that is the SAFE way!
Qc
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Old 03-25-2017, 10:08 PM
robert1804 robert1804 is offline
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I don't see if the label on the dies says "carbide" anywhere. I see "combo".
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Old 03-25-2017, 11:56 PM
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They are not carbide. Mine are just like that. Well probably not as clean but you get the point. They look great and should last you forever. The only thing is I am not a big fan of the old style locking rings but new ones can be bought fairly cheap.

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Old 03-25-2017, 11:56 PM
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If you wanted to, that is.. 😊

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Old 03-26-2017, 01:38 PM
BZimm BZimm is offline
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Yeah, the locking rings are pretty cumbersome. I already added the Lee rings to the dies. I had to do that for clearance on my turret.

With all the lubricants available, why is it that I never hear you guys talk about like Ballistol for a case lubricant? I understand that avoiding any contamination of the primer and powder is paramount, and it seems that something as organic as Ballistol used in trace amounts could be a benefit to the process.

Now chew on that one......
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:49 PM
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Never thought about it but I just saw where some people do that. I don't use Ballistol so I guess that's why I never considered it.

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Old 03-26-2017, 03:10 PM
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For many years I have use STP as a case lube. One can lasts forever. But I can't understand why Ballistol would be any different regarding primer and propellant contamination, or why that is even considered a problem.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BZimm View Post
Yeah on the price and I swear that's what I was gonna do......but for $0.12 per piece, I've got 500 .357mag cases coming and another $0.12 each for 500 HP bullets. I had to do it. No shipping for first time buyer.

After 5 or so reloads, the price difference between once-fired .38s and new .357s pretty well disappears, so don't worry, be happy!
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:11 AM
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the little fella's as you call them are the setscrews that go into an RCBS press to hold in the "Automatic Primer Feed Combo" onto an RCBS press that will take it and the screw with the hole and cup are a part of the universal primer arm for a RCBS press.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:13 AM
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In reading this post and the responses, I gather that your sizing die is not of carbide composition.

When I first started reloading I would use a regular steel sizer die for my .38 Special & .357 Magnum cases. It was tedious and time consuming to clean the cases, lube them, size them, then remove the lubricant from them prior to belling the mouth/re-priming. Then I had an epiphany. Someone suggested that I obtain a carbide sizer die that required no lubrication. In law enforcement we call this a "clue". I was amazed how much easier (and fun) it now was to reload metallic cartridges.

Since then I use carbide resizing dies for my 9 m/m, .45 Auto, and .41 Magnum cartridges. Trust me, at some point you will transition to carbide sizing dies if you continue to reload at quantity. They are available for most, if not all, straight-walled pistol/revolver cartridges.

Congratulations on embarking on such a rewarding hobby. It will pay dividends in the long run.

HTH

JPJ
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