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  #1  
Old 09-06-2017, 07:00 PM
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Default RCBS .357 and .44 Mag SPACERS?

OK, so been loading since 1969. Have not loaded .357 in quite a while, preferring to just stick to .38 shells.

Used my well-used RCBS carbide dies for a few .357 hulls and applied the "spacer."

The belling on my .357 shells was so wide that they had to be forced through the Crimping die opening.

No, I did not check them first. I assumed the spacer was correct and I KNOW my dies were set-up in tune with 1,000's of .38 shells previously.

SO..............I used Two different sets of calipers and measured 3 different RCBS spacers that came with 3 sets of .357/38 dies.

*The spacer is Supposed to be .135, the difference between lengths of .38 and .357 shells.

Here are the 3 measurements:

Ring # 1: .130
Ring # 2: only slightly less than .131
Ring # 3: slightly less than .130

Remember, I used two different calipers and they are supposed to be .135

Curiosity: The .44 Mag spacer is supposed to be .125, so I pulled out just one of the 3 I have and it measured: .128 (with both sets of calipers).

There are 2 more sets of .44 mag dies but I did not bother to "mike" their spacers out of disgust.

Further, I pulled out a Redding spacer set and the .357 was
.135 and the .44 was .125 - - - Both Perfect!!

So..............my not knowing the actual thickness of my RCBS spacers made for one of my only bad reloading experiences.


My 3 sets of RCBS .357 dies range from 2 years old to maybe 15 years old, but NONE of the spacers are correct.


Anyone else had this problem?

I just ordered REDDING spacers for all sets of .357 and .44 dies: 3 sets of each caliber. I feel I should not have had to do this.

Not happy w/ my old friends at RCBS right now.

Y'all take care, Bo
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2017, 08:39 PM
Willyboy Willyboy is offline
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Default RCBS Spacer

Ok, I just measured my RCBS spacer and it is .126". I never noticed because I have never used it when changing from .38SPCL to .357 Mag. I just reset the dies, which is no big deal. Willyboy
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:23 PM
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Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Being an Ironworker, I was able to use a 1 1/8" hard washer
to use as my spacer........ a little large but it works.
Barrowed it from the old MGM Grand built in Reno a long time ago.

Hope you get that spacer problem fixed.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:36 PM
reddog81 reddog81 is offline
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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It sounds like you have numerous sets of dies. Why not just set one for special and one for magnum? That's what I did and it works just fine.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:34 AM
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
It sounds like you have numerous sets of dies. Why not just set one for special and one for magnum? That's what I did and it works just fine.
reddog: funny you suggested that. To tell the full story, I now have four sets of .357 dies and four sets of .44 dies.

Two sets will be "set" up for .38 and .357 in separate conversion assemblies for two Dillon 550 presses. The remaining two will be used in my old RCBS Rockchucker.

Same goes for .44: four sets - 2 will be dedicated to two conversion assemblies for Dillon and 2 will remain for the RCBS RC'hucker.

I was just bugged by the obvious incorrect spacer thicknesses. RCBS makes wonderful dies. They should do better on their spacers. I will still keep Redding spacers around "just in case."

Am thinking seriously about using the RCBS washers to lock down some huge bolts in a foot bridge I plan to build this fall.

Problem solved in more ways than one.

Y'all have a good evening. Bo

Last edited by BoCash; 09-07-2017 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:37 AM
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Midway USA has the Redding spacer kit on sale right now.
Redding Die Spacer Kit - MPN: 80901
It includes the .125" spacer, the .135" spacer and an additional .062" spacer for partial sizing.

This will fix your problem for just over $12.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:26 AM
lebomm lebomm is online now
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Cartridges of the World lists max case lengths of the 2 Specials as 1.16" (identical), and the 2 magnums as 1.29" (identical), yet the factory spacers for the two bore sizes are different.
I made my own spacer from tool steel back before the die makers started including them with the dies, and ground it to .135" (available data at the time listed lengths as 1.155" and 1.290"). It has worked for both .36s and .43s without difficulty for 20-odd years now without having to reset dies when changing case lengths. What am I missing here ?

Larry

Last edited by lebomm; 09-07-2017 at 02:27 AM.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2017, 11:45 AM
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I've never owned any spacers, they weren't furnishing them back in the early 80's when I started reloading and bought my dies, which I am still using.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:50 PM
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H Richard View Post
I've never owned any spacers, they weren't furnishing them back in the early 80's when I started reloading and bought my dies, which I am still using.
I was wondering this. My RockChucker setup is an older one that was purchased used and came with all RCBS equipment including 38-357 carbide die set.

The only "spacer" I have with my setup is what I consider a lock washer. It goes on under the dies and makes sure they stay put. When I need to switch between 38 and 357 I just readjust the die.

Not being rude, but I wouldn't be relying on spacers to make sure things are set up proper.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:50 PM
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Buy an RCBS die set to get a good carbide sizer die, buy 2 gun show special die sets so you have a set of dies for 357 Mag/ 38 Spl and another set for 44 Mag / Spl. The sizer die doesn't change, the belling and seating is always correct. No fiddling require.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:40 PM
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RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS? RCBS .357  and .44 Mag SPACERS?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer1911 View Post
Buy an RCBS die set to get a good carbide sizer die, buy 2 gun show special die sets so you have a set of dies for 357 Mag/ 38 Spl and another set for 44 Mag / Spl. The sizer die doesn't change, the belling and seating is always correct. No fiddling require.
^^^^^^^^^
What he says. I just find it easier to use two sets of dies. But, then again, I gave up trimming pistol brass decades ago, so I doubt the spacers would be of much use to me anyway.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:48 PM
Pisgah Pisgah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iPac View Post

Not being rude, but I wouldn't be relying on spacers to make sure things are set up proper.
I'm with you. I have separate die sets for .38, .357, .44 Spec. and .44 Mag. Never use spacers, and even though each set is dedicated to a specific cartridge, I check the settings each time I get ready to load. Takes a few seconds, saves much trouble.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:13 AM
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You might make a trip to the washer section of your local hardware store, along with your trusty measuring tool and check a few 7/8ths washers. You may well find ones that will fill the bill.
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