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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This maybe the dumbest question but I am mechanically challenged. I have a three die RCBS die set for the 38 sp. With the 550 press stage 1 decaps and primes and resizes. The RCBS dies have Stage 1 die as the resizing die, stage 2 as the decapping/expanding die. With the dillon set up any suggestions as to how to set up the RCBS dies on the toolhead. I have thoungt of placing the rezing die in the 4th spot and running the cases thru that die then once that is done start reloading. Thoughts or should I just spend the bucks for the Dillon dies?
 

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It sounds like you have a rather elderly set of RCBS dies. You could use your dies if you obtain a depriming assembly from RCBS to fit your size die.You won't use the expander die, as this function is performed by the powder measure. You would put the seat/crimp die into station three, and station four would be empty.
There are some advantages to Dillon dies, in that they are opened up more to guide cases and bullets into the dies, and the seat and separate crimp dies come apart for easy cleaning without unscrewing from the toolhead. Redding Pro-series dies are also opened up at the die mouths as well, and include a separate crimp die.
 

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Unless things have changed you RCBS 3 die set should have a resizing die that deprimes resizes, and on a 550 reprime at station one, station 2 belling and powder drop, you will need a powder funnel (for 38/357)and powder die from dillon. Station 3 Bullet seating, you can use you seating die that came with your set, set the die up just to seat the bullets. Station 4 crimping, in this station your bullets get crimped here you can get a crimping die from dillon or buy a lee factory crimp die these work well and don't cost much and will screw in the toolhead. The 3 die set you have is for a single stage press. What you have is 1, a sizing die,2 a belling die, 3 a seating die, and not exactly set up for a progressive. You won't need the belling die that came with it as this is done in station2, you will need a crimping die, and the proper powder funnel and powder die for station2 for .38/357 from dillon if you don't have it. I'm sure others will chime in Or give dillon a call they will be happy to help Check and see that your sizing die is a Carbide sizing die,(it may not be) you won't need to lube the cases if it is, if it isn't and is just a steel sizing die, get the carbide sizing die. or better yet, go get the dies and conversion kit from dillon,it will cost more, but it'll come with everything you need to get started, and it'll work very,very well
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dillonhelp

You are right this set is old. I have your dies set for .357 mag. and wanted to save changeing the settings. For the money I think I will wait and look for a 2nd set of dillon dies. Ralph these are an old set and the resizing takes place in one die. Thanks for replying.
 

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Use the seating die from the 38 spl. dies to seat and crimp the bullets at station #3. Reset your powder die for the shorter 38 spl. cases and load away. The 357 sizer dies doesn't care if the cases are shorter, it won't know the difference. This should get you going with a minimum of effort. ==Bob
 
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