I don't cast, so no help there .
Lee shell holders in the GREEN BOX will work, I use them all the time. The RED BOX for the Lee auto prime, will NOT WORK-- I have a NIB SARCO?REDDING hardness tester for sale, Just let me know. I have never use this. Picked it up for a guy and he never came across with the money.
WELCOME to the forum. BTW- Lyman makes outstanding books on casting.
Dang, wish I lived close by ~ cuz it would be fun to see the look on your face when you shot your first reloads....
So forget your post above, find a experienced reloader to help you get started on that first batch of cartridges...just to walk you through the basics of safe reloading practices...and you'll be chrome. Man, I wish it was me walking you through it. Most guys that have reloaded for awhile are really jazzed to help someone new get started....
Lots of questions. Exactly how I was when I started not long ago. I am not a expert or even long term reloader but I will offer my thoughts to your questions:
1) Yes, I use the Lee shellholders on the RCBS hand primer.
2) TVB offers a few sizes in 38 caliber guns because there are a lot of types of revolvers in that caliber and lots of old and new as well. Lots of variables and those wanting to get the very last bit of accuracy out of their particular gun might want a slightly different sized bullet. If yo are going to be ordering from TVB, just call and talk to Jessie Clark, the owner. He will walk you through it and help you decide what you need. Personally, I have yet to go wrong with .358 sized bullets for 38 special and 357 mag.
3) Yes, I believe this is correct. It is the same principle where people load 38 special loads using 357 brass because they don't want the carbon ring that comes from shooting the shorter cartridge in the cylinder. I hope others will chime in on this one though.
4&5) I have no clue. Sorry. I know Jess can help you with this also.
Greg Dan is coming down this Friday to get some pointers. I still have to e mail him my address. Let me know when your ready.Linotype is very close to Lyman,s no 2 mix. Your bullets will be about 5 grains lighter with that alloy.
You are going to be fine Greg. About a million years ago, I sat and watched a guy that had been reloading for years before that. The great thing about the guy was, he liked to talk. He stayed on subject and was very exacting. I would sit, watch and listen for hours. I loaded my first 30-40 Krag rounds with his equipment. Relax, take notes, ask questions. Most important, have fun!
Greg in some instances it is just as dangerous to UNDER LOAD a cartage as it is to over load it. An under loaded cartridge can detonate instead of burn progressively. WITH THE 44 MAG you have a lot more volume than you do with the 44 special.