How To Resize 38 Special Brass?
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  1. #1
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    Support How To Resize 38 Special Brass?

    I just started reloading and have run into my first problem. I have about 1000 brass cases I fired from a revolver I no longer use. I have the LEE Loader kit where you do everything by hand with a hammer. The resizer that comes in the kit seems to only resizes about the 1st third of the case.

    Well, the brass will not fit in my new revolver. Out of the 10 rounds I made, only 3 could be chambered and it was a tight fit. All three went bang and hit the target, so at least that part of it worked out.

    My question is, what do I need to resize the fired brass to fit the new revolver? I have no plan to reload anything other than 38 special.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    I'm thinking maybe the least expensive solution is to sell the brass I have and buy new. You can pick up new brass for around $17 per 100 cases. I don't think I'd be loading any more than a few hundred at a time anyway.

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    I’ve found the hard way to stay away from Lee and have migrated to RCBS mostly. More specifically you need a full length resize and that kit is not going to cut it. If you are willing to pay $17 per hundred cases you might consider a single stage press and a full die set. The thousand cases you have will pay you back in the investment. I can’t see you spending much more than $120. Sometimes it comes down to how often do you shoot.

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  6. #4
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    I got back into reloading after 35 years or so. I suggest you buy some used reloading equipment and do it right.
    Went I was putting g my stuff together I bought 90% use stuff
    I bought half a dozen sets of Lee dies, I ended up switching them out for RCBS dies

    Lee stuff IS the bottom of the barrel in my opinion. Even their customer service SUCKS.
    The only thing that Lee make that I like is the Universal decapper die and their old round hand priming tool.
    Look on Ebay and check out the gun forums for equipment.
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  7. #5
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    Highlandlofts seems to agree about the Lee dies. But a entry level lee single stage press should be ok. They can be had for under $40 new. I would go with the RCBS carbide 3 die set. Said to not need lube or strict case cleaning. Still maybe around $50. So look on eBay, midway and maybe even jimbob. Maybe around $100 in total. Sometimes used is an option, but I’d prefer the newer carbide, not needing to fuss so much with the dies will pay back in time.

  8. #6
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    I've looked at a lot of reloading equipment online. There is a dizzying amount of options out there...
    I'm leaning towards a single stage press for now. LEE has a basic press you can get for $30. The RCBS dies are $50.
    I have a digital scale already.
    How about priming, hand prime or ram prime?
    How about powder dispensing?

  9. #7
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    I use a either a digital or beam scale, ram prime. I found that the digital varied with the exact placement of the pan. Went with an inexpensive powder dispenser that was the lowest end Lee and a Franklin Arsenal trickler. I weigh every load. The Lee varies dump to dump with H-110 by as much as .6 gr so I set lower and trickle.

  10. #8
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    I found a used Dillon RL450 on C.list with RCBS 38 special dies. It's more than I was looking to spend but I think I'm going to grab it.

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    How much?

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    $200

  13. #11
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    Does it have any upgrades? The 450 had numerous upgrades available just like the 550. Another question is are the dies carbide or at least in good condition. A carbide die set new is $50 and a typical older set maybe $20 used. It doesn’t sound like it a ridiculous price as long as you use it it will pay for itself.
    Just be careful on purchasing old 450s, if it is the real old style with no upgrades, by the time you add all the upgrades you're almost at the price of a new 550.








  14. #12
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    It comes with carbide dies. The primer and powered are the manual units. But I think to start out maybe doing things manually is a good thing.

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    With the carbide I’d grab it. You should be gtg. Although they say with the carbide you don’t need case lube I use a little furniture spray wax and a hot water rinse after. Good luck.

  16. #14
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    Somewhere along your journey into reloading you should consider a means for cleaning the brass. Clean brass will keep your dies happy.

  17. #15
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    Cleaning, absolutely. Clean the dies regularly too. There are so many threads on this. It’s a little less critical with .38 than rifle cartridges though. I used SS media for rifle but use an inexpensive ultrasonic for pistol.

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