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Discussion Starter #1
Going to start loading 38/357 with titegroup and mostly Nickle brass.

1. Quick question on primer, do I need to use magnum primers on the 357?
2. Using Xtreme 125gr FP. Is crimping necessary?

Any other suggestions or things I should look out for would be appreciated.
 

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Magnum primers are usually only required for some gunpowders, like 296/H110 to get better ignition. Check for what your manual recommends.

Crimp is generally recommended for revolver cartridges to prevent bullet pull (backing out) from recoil. You might not need it for light loads but probably will for heavy loads.
 

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No need for magnum primers with Titegroup.

All revolver ammo should get at least a light roll crimp or a taper crimp. I use a taper crimp with plated bullets as not to cut the plating.
 

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One thing you might consider is to get a .135" die spacer so you don't have to mess with your seating and crimp settings when switching between 38Sp and 357Mag. Pretty handy.
 

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^^^^ +1,

It has been my experience that standard primers work with TG. That being said, go with the type of primer your loading guide recommends. I always roll crimp my .357 magnum loads, light or heavy, they all get crimped. .38 Special, specially light "plinking loads" will work with a taper crimp but stick with a good roll crimp for mid-range and "hot" loads even in the Special.

Grumpy
 

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One thing you might consider is to get a .135" die spacer so you don't have to mess with your seating and crimp settings when switching between 38Sp and 357Mag. Pretty handy.
Using the spacer seems like more work to me. :rolleyes:

How hard is it to set the seater die anyway? Takes me all of two or three seconds to accomplish (especially on straight wall cartridges). :hrm:
 

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The spacer that has come with all the RCBS 357/38 die sets I have bought is very convenient since you also have to adjust the expander die and the seating/crimping die for both seating and crimping when changing from one chambering to the other. Set up the dies for 38 Special and use the spacer when loading 357.

edit: Some old 357 Magnum dies sets would not load the shorter 38 Special.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good suggestion on the spacer guys! Although itnis quick to set up, I still prefer not having to do it.

I usually crimp with a lees factory crimp die. But for the 38/357 i bought the hornady die set. Didn't come with one. I'll have to see how the seating + crimping process work with those
 

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I'd recommend the Redding Profile Crimp Die for .38spl/.357. That's what I use for crimping as the final step on my Dillon 550. Great dies and they also have crimp only dies for taper crimping too...
 

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If you are going to be loading both chamberings on a frequent basis you might want to just go ahead and buy a second set of dies.

Another rather convenient possibility that would allow rapid adjustment would be to get a carbide sizing die set, an extra expanding/belling die, and a Lee Factory Crimp Die.

I am not a big fan of most of the Lee dies I have but have found the Factory Crimp Dies to be quite serviceable after I put better locking rings on them.
 

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Definitely don't need magnum primers with TG. I wouldn't go too crazy on the crimp either. If you're using slower burning true magnum powders like 2400 or H110/296, you'll want a heavy crimp to prevent bullet jump and to ensure proper powder burn.

If you're trying to get stout magnum loads, TG isn't a good powder for that. You want a slower burning powder. But I realize powder availability in some areas of the country aren't great so you have to use what ya got.

I've used Xtreme 125s and 158s with TG and Bullseye in a 357 mag case for some really light loads - shot well.
 

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No need for magnum primers with Titegroup.

All revolver ammo should get at least a light roll crimp or a taper crimp. I use a taper crimp with plated bullets as not to cut the plating.
All my reloading to date (just a few months) has been done with Lee equipment. Turret press and Lee 4 piece die sets for 45 ACP and 9mm Luger. My next caliber to load will be 38/357. Question is this: Is there a Lee 4 die set for 38/357 that comes with a roll crimp, or is Lee only into taper crimp dies?
 

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All my reloading to date (just a few months) has been done with Lee equipment. Turret press and Lee 4 piece die sets for 45 ACP and 9mm Luger. My next caliber to load will be 38/357. Question is this: Is there a Lee 4 die set for 38/357 that comes with a roll crimp, or is Lee only into taper crimp dies?
I have the lee 4 die set for 38/357 and it comes with a roll crimp die (FCD).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What's wrong with the taper crimp on the seating die? I've always used Lee FCD, but plan on giving the taper crimp on seating die a try with the 38/357. Anything I should know?
 

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The spacer that has come with all the RCBS 357/38 die sets I have bought is very convenient since you also have to adjust the expander die and the seating/crimping die for both seating and crimping when changing from one chambering to the other. Set up the dies for 38 Special and use the spacer when loading 357.
I can only imagine it being practical if you stick with one type of bullet style though. :scratch:

The ogive between different types of bullets would be slightly different (thus throwing off where the crimp groove falls (if the bullet even has one? :confused:) when it's finally seated), I bet. And reloading only one type of bullet sounds pretty boring to me. :hrm:
 

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I can only imagine it being practical if you stick with one type of bullet style though. :scratch:

The ogive between different types of bullets would be slightly different (thus throwing off where the crimp groove falls (if the bullet even has one? :confused:) when it's finally seated), I bet. And reloading only one type of bullet sounds pretty boring to me. :hrm:
The seating depth is about the easiest setting to make and can be done in a very short time. You only have to adjust the seating stem.

If you are starting out with a new bullet style, lower the seating stem much lower than normal and then carefully seat the bullet a little bit at a time without pulling the handle all the way down until you get the bullet to the correct depth. Raise the seating stem higher than normal and push the cartridge all the way into the die. Screw down the seating stem until it hits the top of the bullet. Tighten the lock screw on the seating stem and you should be ready to go. It takes longer to explain it than it does to do it.


The time-consuming adjustments are the expansion and crimping dies. Their settings would not change for different types of bullets and would not need to be readjusted between 38 Special and 357 Magnum if you use the spacer.
 

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Just be careful to use the minimal amount of roll crimp necessary on those plated bullets.

I suggest going just barely tighter than pressing the case mouth flare back straight if you are shooting X-Treme plated bullets, kinda like a taper crimp. For a while check the last one or two loaded rounds left in each cylinder before you shoot. The heavier the revolver the less chance there will be any bullet pull. A Sharpie pen helps here. Good bullets, BTW.
 
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