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Discussion Starter #1
I was going to order a Lee 3 die set for the .38 Smith & Wesson, I don't see a crimp die listed. Will a factory crimp die for the .38 Special work on .38 S & W?
 

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I wouldn't think so. The Smith and Wesson is a slightly larger bullet. The slightly smaller diameter of the Special die would end up sizing the lead bullet, I think.
 

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David,

A tangental comment.... Have you ever used Lee dies before? I'm not a big fan.... got a set in a trade once and when I saw the plastic seater stem I tossed them in the trash....

I know they are a few dollars more, but you can't beat RCBS.

Drew
 

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David Lapell said:
I was going to order a Lee 3 die set for the .38 Smith & Wesson, I don't see a crimp die listed. Will a factory crimp die for the .38 Special work on .38 S & W?
No, a 38 special die won't crimp 38 S&W, since the S&W case is much shorter than the special case.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have actually had very good luck with Lee dies. So far I have never had any issues with them. I have loaded hundreds of .357, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt as well. No problems so far.
 

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I use certain Lee dies also. I load for over 30 calibers, and have maybe 3-4 sets of Lee dies. No problems so far. I did hear of my friend's Lee press breaking in half after 100 rounds. This was a huge Lee press though, one to load .50 BMGs on. Moral of the story, don't buy a Lee press to load .50 BMGs, buy the Hornady or RCBS set-up! ;)
 

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Don't do this at home kiddies but I hand load .38 S&W with perfectly fine results by using my .38 Special sizing die and then 9mm dies for, case mouth flaring, bullet seating, and for the crimping operation. No muss, no fuss and the cases don't split, swell, or threaten to turn into rabid, yellow dog democrats. I'm sure that the 4 boxes of brass I've been using for the past 10 years have at least 5 loadings on them. I got 1000 .38 S&W cases from CXM but haven't had to dip into them to this point.

I shoot the hand loads in a Colt Banker's Special and a Webley Mark IV.
 

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Nope. For all the reasons listed above, .38 Special dies don't work very well with .38 S&W. I would advise buying one of the Lee Factory Crimp Dies, however. They work wonderfully well, especially with tapered cases like .38 & 44-40 WCF. I wouldn't bother reloading .22 Hornet, 25-20 WCF or 32-20 WCF unless I had one of Lee's crimp dies screwed into the press. Just one of life's little pleasures.
 
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