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Well guys, I'm looking into reloading my own ammo. I was hoping to buy a Lee Classic Loader, but I hit a wall when I was looking at the calibers they come in. Right now the only 9mm I own is my 995, and the only .357 mag is a Ruger Black hawk. 357 ammo is more expensive then 9mm, as is .38 sp. On the other hand, I AM planning on getting a C9, and I foresee an increase in 9mm expenditures. Help :'(
 

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Re: .357 or 9mm ?

well since you're on hi-point forum then go with the 9mm :D

seriously though i've gone through the same decision process. i'm getting into reloading and i'm looking for a compact gun to ccw. right now i carry the glock 37 (full size) and it get a little bulky at times. I have a hi-point 9c and i love the round but the gun itself is not carry worthy (weight, capacity, etc). anyway i was looking at the glock 19 (9mm) or the glock 32 (357sig) both are compact. i decided on the 357sig and this is why. the advantages of the 9mm is that it's cheap, readily available, and most guns chambered for it has high capacity, and low recoil thus easier double tap/follow up shots. when you start looking at self defense purposes then you will need +p rounds in the 9mm. when you start shooting the +p rounds then almost all the advantages of the 9mm have deminished. the +p rounds are not cheap (on par with regular 357sig), they are not readily available as regular 9mm rounds, and the recoil increases as the velocity increases. some of the +p rounds are approaching the 357sig performance. the 357sig is at starting loads a +p+ 9mm, uses the same .355 bullet, is comparable in price as the +p 9mm rounds, and capacity is only a two round difference. with all that in mind i went with the 357sig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: .357 or 9mm ?

Thanks for the reply. I was talking about .357 magnum though, not .357 sig. Though, if I were to hand-load 9mm I could, in theory, load hot +p+ rounds and side step alot of the cost issue... Any way, edited my first post to clear up the Magnum/Sig confusion.
 

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IMO, I'd start with the .357/.38. The reason being, they have greater potential for learning more about reloading.

If nothing else, toss a coin. Whichever one you start with, it won't be a mistake.
 

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I bought a Lee Loader for both calibers. I use the same powder (unique) and primers. I would start with whatever you shoot more often.

For Defense, I would use good commercial ammo.

As far as 9mm vs .357 for defense...

When I was a cop and carried on duty, I wanted a little extra punch. This is primarily because I could envision a number of senarios that would require shooting either some distance (some type of barricade situation) or through something before getting to the bad guy (car window or door, etc.)

I have a different view now, I guess. I see CCW/OC defense as an absolute, last ditch, oh-shit deal. (Kind of goes w/o saying, I know.) That being the case, I am thinking very close range, touch distances most likely, non-protected targets (no body armor/good use of cover, etc).

Now, it goes without saying that penetration beyond the target is wasted energy and dangerous for by-standers. For this reason, a nice hot .357 is more than one will usually need. A 9mm that expands well is a good choice as far as I'm concerned. Hell, a .380 that's with you will for sure beat a .357 sitting on your dresser. A .22 that's with you... same deal. Also, a 9mm you shoot really well while moving trumps a .44 you don't shoot as often because it's unpleasant or expensive to shoot. Rounds on-target count, nothing else.

I am not sure I understand the "too low capacity" and "not enough power" crowd when it comes to civilian defense carry. I am, however, educatable! ^-^
 

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9mm. more bang for your buck to start with.

mikana - +1 i hate it when i get flack for carrying a 22 for self defense. a 22 in teh pocket is a good as a dozen 45s in teh safe.

SW
 

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I'd start with 9mm. You can always upgrade later but the 9mm is easy and cheap to start with. Also you won't be tempted to start making hot ammo as just about everyone who loads magnum is at one time or another. Max loads in a 4 inch .357 ain't much fun to shoot.
 

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I'm in the same boat. I think I will eventually reload for both but I definitely shoot the 9mm more and own more weapons that chamber it. Therefore, I will start with that and see where it takes me.
 

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My next is going to be 9mm just because 38/357 is plentiful in my area but sometimes more expensive. 9mm sells out fast unless you buy expensive +P defense loads. This will be my first rimless pistol reloading experience and i would like to try working up a 9mm carbine load. It doesnt have to be true +P just better tailored for the added barrel length and still cheap for plinking.

If you mainly want to save money (dependng on area) 38/357 can save you quite a bit IMO if you are shooting the same amount. You can always buy Silver Bear or other cheap imported 9mm if you dont mind a bit more cleaning. In your shoes i would lean towards the 38/357 dies ect but im am very bias to the great old BlackHawk. Much easier to pick up the brass from your Blackhawk too. ;)
 

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I dont like revolvers so I am bias on this but I would go with 9mm.. I dont know why anyone would talk about stopping power of a 9mm.. getting shot hurts.. doesnt matter what its from... You can get Nato rounds for 15$/bx50, it "higher" pressure than a normal 9mm but honestly I use target loads.. Im not going to get into a shootout and if something comes down my way its not to do anything but to get away.
 

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reloading savings are reloading savings, regardelss of caliber IMHO. I look at reloading as a fun 2nd hobby, so I reload most all the calibers I shoot. .380/9mm/.45ACP. And I am considering getting a 7.62x25 steel die set (if I feel like having to lube cases) for my turret.
 

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Start with a set of .38/.357 dies because it's more versatile. Once you're comfortable with that and decide weather or not reloading is your bag sink some money in the 9mm's. If you do enjoy it it won't be long till you're starting a cuss jar to fund your next set of dies. I'll really really try to talk you into getting a good reloading manual, I have an old Hornady manual and it's served me well over the years.
 

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Start with a set of .38/.357 dies because it's more versatile. Once you're comfortable with that and decide weather or not reloading is your bag sink some money in the 9mm's. If you do enjoy it it won't be long till you're starting a cuss jar to fund your next set of dies. I'll really really try to talk you into getting a good reloading manual, I have an old Hornady manual and it's served me well over the years.
Made perfect sense to me. :p
 

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When I started reloading in 1994, I reloaded 38/357 and 7.63x39. I lost interest and available time for a while, but when I got back into it last year (retired), I splurged and bought dies for 9mm, 40s&w, and 45acp. Then a few months ago I bought factory crimp dies for the 9,40 and 45. Last week I shot some of the 357 I had loaded in 1994, and even used some primed cases from that era, all with perfect results.

I have a Lee anniversary edition and load totally single stage. I think you will enjoy doing both or all the calibers you can manage to acquire. Since last October (08) I have managed to accumulate more than 1000 rds of each caliber, besides what I shoot.

Good luck!
 

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A friend of mine has 5 lee reloader presses, you know, the low priced potmetal ones. He has them in a row on his loading bench all set up for 38 special. This works just great. Each press is set up for a different operation and easily adjustable. If something goes wrong he can re do any step , no fus ,no mus.
He laughs about his progressive press set up. He can do one at a time or as many as he likes per station. In some ways , his set up is better than a normal progressive as he has better control of the process in each step. He claims it is almost as fast as a progressive with none of the disadvantages.
I have one of the same presses and it works just fine. As a starting reloader, I highly recommend this press for the low price and practicality.
I also suggest the 38 special(357 mag) to start up with for mostly the same reasons the other guys gave. Most important would be the learning process. The revolver ammo is not a problem as to making the gun function . Low or high pressure loads the gun will work . This will save the most money per reload and allow the most shooting. As most realize, reloading does not save any money because you just shoot more. Let us know what you finally get and how it works out._D
 
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