Hi-Point Firearms Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a buddy who is thinking about dabbling his toe into reloading.

He's not an apartment dweller but he's in a comparatively small house with his new wife. Both came to the marriage as established adults with a life-full of stuff and have been having to try to pair down stuff.

Right now he wants to reload for only one caliber, a revolver, and needs to be able to store it away, out of sight, in a closet or something when not in use. Probably .38SPL. He's also not wanting to spend a ton of money.

I'm building up a spread sheet with two tabs, one for a Lee Anniversary Kit with the stuff which isn't in it, and another tab for a Lee Hand Press Kit.

I decided to leave off the case trimming tools because it seems like most folks don't bother trimming .38SPL at all and .357 Mag is 50/50.

I'm also leaving out any fancy case cleaning stuff. Hand wash with a small bottle brush for inside, air dry, and steel wool for the outside.

The bench press setup, minus consumables, I think I can get it under $215 and under $160 for the hand press setup.

I think he's only wanting to build about a box at a time. He's just joined the I'm With Roscoe group and is looking for folks near him to participate in their league.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rerun

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
36,049 Posts
Classic lee loader. Whack a mole reloading. It works, it’s easy, takes very little room. $30 if you can find it in stock. Throw in a scale to check the dipper, and a funnel, and you’re done. Requires no die, no priming tool. Best deal going. This is what I would recommend, hands down.

A C press, no need for an “O” or closed type. Lee, Lyman, or a used model of something off E-Bay. About $50-60. The Lee hand loader seems to run about the same, advantage...no table mount or clamps required

Dies about $40, less for Lee carbide. Lee comes with a dipper.
Lyman pocket touch digital scale, $27 on Amazon. Let’s you use the dipper more accurately.

Primer...$30 for a Lee handheld “New Auto Prime” with shell holders at Midway.

So...$70 all in for the classic, or $160 for the other types, just like you said.

I have several of the Classics. I know people are scared of them. But they are safe, and they work. Barely slower than a basic single stage press, and you do one complete bullet per process, it’s super easy. It’s actually faster to reload 10-16 bullets, as there’s no set up, and no switching dies.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,892 Posts
I'm with ajole. I used a Classic for years on .44 mag and 30-30 with no problems. Cheap and easy to get started on, easy to sell if he decides it's a no go. Otherwise, you're on the right track with presses
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Classic lee loader. Whack a mole reloading. It works, it's easy, takes very little room. $30 if you can find it in stock. Throw in a scale to check the dipper, and a funnel, and you're done. Requires no die, no priming tool. Best deal going. This is what I would recommend, hands down.
[...]
I have several of the Classics. I know people are scared of them. But they are safe, and they work. Barely slower than a basic single stage press, and you do one complete bullet per process, it's super easy. It's actually faster to reload 10-16 bullets, as there's no set up, and no switching dies.
I'm with ajole. I used a Classic for years on .44 mag and 30-30 with no problems. Cheap and easy to get started on, easy to sell if he decides it's a no go. Otherwise, you're on the right track with presses
From what I gather, you can use the Lee Classic whammer-bammer .357 Magnum to make .38 Special rounds also, but will the .357 be able to crimp the .38?

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,892 Posts
I'll wait for greg or ajole before getting dogmatic. With regular dies, you can load .357 with .38 dies, but you can't go the other way because of the length of the round. Works the same with .44 mag/special. I never reloaded .357 with the classic, only 38 and I used a 38 die set. According to Lee, the 357 and 38 can both be loaded with the 357 Classic - https://leeprecision.com/lee-loader-357-mag.html
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
36,049 Posts
I’ve seen both ideas floated, but I am pretty sure, as Histed said, Lee says you can load .357 with a 38 kit, as you simply adjust it out longer, less seating depth on the 38, to get the proper depth for .357. There’s not a crimp, unless you decide to flip the die over and use the powder filler/bullet alignment side to do it.

I’ve read that the opposite works too, but I’m not sure if the .357 body has the neck sizer cut deep enough to make the .38 size properly. My guess is, based on reports, that it does fine. The only real difference may be the dipper.

The biggest issue is, you MUST get your powder load right for the round you’re doing, using the wrong dipper alone, without weighing, could be bad.

The old kits were labeled for both, not sure how the powder dipper worked for that.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I might skip crimping on Powder Puff loads for either, but I wouldn't want to skip crimping for hot loads on the 38 and I would never skip crimping on house loads for the 357.

Peace favor your sword ( mobile)
 
  • Like
Reactions: histed

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I haven't found any documentation saying that the pistol caliber ones are carbide but the documentation says that "Larger cases must be lubricated with Lee Case Lube." I don't see anyone using case lube for 38. Not sure about .357 mag, OTOH. Looks like most people don't bother lubing the .357 cases but a few do.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've seen both ideas floated, but I am pretty sure, as Histed said, Lee says you can load .357 with a 38 kit, as you simply adjust it out longer, less seating depth on the 38, to get the proper depth for .357. There's not a crimp, unless you decide to flip the die over and use the powder filler/bullet alignment side to do it.

I've read that the opposite works too, but I'm not sure if the .357 body has the neck sizer cut deep enough to make the .38 size properly. My guess is, based on reports, that it does fine. The only real difference may be the dipper.

The biggest issue is, you MUST get your powder load right for the round you're doing, using the wrong dipper alone, without weighing, could be bad.

The old kits were labeled for both, not sure how the powder dipper worked for that.
Lee's description on their web site for the Classic Loader 357 Mag claims that it can load .38 also, just buy the dipper and load chart ($1 each). But it didn't say anything about the 357 kit crimping the 38 cases.

I've sent them a question asking about it.

Off site link:
https://leeprecision.com/lee-loader...AP2do8Ctnt1hSNbtPBmq_eiiJae6QVQOrGNqNcC7Yq_Y0

Lee Loader is a complete reloading system, kit includes everything needed to reload 357 Magnum, except wood or plastic mallet. The mallet may be obtained from your local hardware store. This kit can also be used to load the 38 Special with the purchase of load data and dipper.​

(links to the data & dipper are in-line)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rerun

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
36,049 Posts
From Lee:
“You can crimp with the LEE Loader. Place the loaded round in the opposite end of the resizing die. Protect the primer with the decapping chamber on the base of the cartridge. Use several light taps until the desired crimp is formed. That is all it requires. Do not attempt to crimp bullets that do not have a crimping groove.”

I haven’t used any lube in them, they just neck size. I have a few, all rifle types, and I’ve never had any issues.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm just having a hard time figuring out how the 357 Mag Classic die body can crimp .38 spl. The .38 is shorter than the 357 so the crimping spot would be in a different place. :confused:

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rerun

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got the reply from Lee. They confirm that the .357 Mag Classic kit can, in fact, crimp .38 spl.

In fact, the tech said it was literally the same kit with the only difference being the dipper and the load chart.

I think I'll document that in a new thread so that people can find it by searching.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,867 Posts
I got the reply from Lee. They confirm that the .357 Mag Classic kit can, in fact, crimp .38 spl.

In fact, the tech said it was literally the same kit with the only difference being the dipper and the load chart.

I think I'll document that in a new thread so that people can find it by searching.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
In I think it was about 1968, I bought both of those. Worked great. Sold the 357 one when I sold my 357 revolver. Still have the 38spl. My old 38spl does crimp if I wished to. Lee Classics are the perfect tool to learn basics of reloading!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,892 Posts
If you friend goes that route, he ca also get a complete set of dippers and load charts from Lee. Their Reloading manual lists dipper size and loads using dippers for a number of powders
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,867 Posts
If you friend goes that route, he ca also get a complete set of dippers and load charts from Lee. Their Reloading manual lists dipper size and loads using dippers for a number of powders
ALWAYS buy that set of dippers so you can adjust your loads AND use different powders. Therefore you do get a wide range of reloading possibilities for your weapon!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,437 Posts
Late to the party. I responded on the other thread as well. 38nspl Lee loader will load 357 magnum, 44 magnum Lee loader will load 44 spl, 45 Colt Lee loader will load 454 Casull.

The crimp works because you do not tap the loader down to the base to crimp. To do so would destroy your cases regardless of 38 spl or 357 Mag. Just a few light taps and you should have a good crimp.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,867 Posts
I need to add here from my experience. Buy yourself a plastic/rubber hammer to use this most efficiently.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top