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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I'm getting into reloading these days and I've found that there is a lot of money to be spent. I decided to start out with a Lee Loader for the .38 special because I was able to find one, and I don't have a lot of money to spend. I have a M66 .357 and want to load +p specials. I also want to fiddle with the .357 mag rounds... So I was wondering if the .357 round can be loaded with this nifty little kit?

And, since you guys are probably experts at this stuff, I was wondering if any of you guys know of a few rounds to start with as a beginner. I have HP-38, Hogdon Clays and H110. I don't have any pistol primers at the time... seems I'm not alone here.

I am also fairly new to the gun, but I'm curious about the Buffalo Bore .38 +p 158gr LSWCHP as my carry round.

Thanks guys!
 

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I'd like to know,myself,been thinking hard about trying my hand at reloaing (at least for my pair of .57 Magnums,both of which fires their fair sare of +P .38 factory loads),thanks for posting these questions,they'l hel me out as well :)
 
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The Lee Anniversary 4 hole turret is a very good affordable start up. You will need a few more accessories to really get going. Spell out what you have and what your goals are and you'll get more feedback. Replicating Buffalo Bore is NOT a start up project. There is a lot to learn but the information is available from multiple sources. Goals, timelines-budgets. You'll get lots of help guarenteed!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not new to guns, but this is the first time I've been INTO guns. I'll give Obama the credit for that. Anyway, I'm wanting to load a round that can duplicate a good factory carry load for practice. I like the steel magnum because it can help a guy like me learn to manage recoil with a lighter round. I'm not a bad shot, but I know my limits for accuracy in rapid fire so I'll stick with something in the .38+p flavor until I feel confident with the .357 mag rounds.

My budget is small. I've got lots of fired brass... both .38 and .357. I've got a Lee Perfect Powder measure, digital scale, micrometer, Lee dippers and that is about it... until my Lee Loader comes in. One reason I like the idea of the Lee Loader is because I don't have a place in my house that I can dedicate to reloading yet. I'm going to try and build a nice work table in my office later. Oh, I also stocked up on lead weights. But, I don't plan to cast until I'm comfortable with loading.

I've got everything for loading my .44 mag/specials... I just can't seem to find small pistol primers anywhere!
 

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I'm not new to guns, but this is the first time I've been INTO guns. I'll give Obama the credit for that. Anyway, I'm wanting to load a round that can duplicate a good factory carry load for practice. I like the steel magnum because it can help a guy like me learn to manage recoil with a lighter round. I'm not a bad shot, but I know my limits for accuracy in rapid fire so I'll stick with something in the .38+p flavor until I feel confident with the .357 mag rounds.

My budget is small. I've got lots of fired brass... both .38 and .357. I've got a Lee Perfect Powder measure, digital scale, micrometer, Lee dippers and that is about it... until my Lee Loader comes in. One reason I like the idea of the Lee Loader is because I don't have a place in my house that I can dedicate to reloading yet. I'm going to try and build a nice work table in my office later. Oh, I also stocked up on lead weights. But, I don't plan to cast until I'm comfortable with loading.

I've got everything for loading my .44 mag/specials... I just can't seem to find small pistol primers anywhere!
For standard loads in .357 - .38 Special I haven't used small pistol primers for the last 30 years. Small rifle primers work in all of the small pistol and rifle cartridges that I reload just fine and have never had a problem. Just make sure the primer pocket is nice and clean so the primer will seat below the surface of the cartridge head. I cast the Lee 358-140 SWC with wheel weights sized to .358 and lubed then loaded with 3.8 grains of green dot. This is a medium pressure/velocity round that is accurate and won't lead your barrel and is CHEAP to reload....

 

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Another addition to add. Start buying up what you can when you can. If you see a box of small pistol or rifle primers, pick them up. Find lead, Get it. Powder is the same way. Current estimates are looking 6-9 months for this round of shortages. you can always get die sets or additional parts for reloading but the components are scarce right now.
 
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Hey guys. I'm getting into reloading these days and I've found that there is a lot of money to be spent. I decided to start out with a Lee Loader for the .38 special because I was able to find one, and I don't have a lot of money to spend. I have a M66 .357 and want to load +p specials. I also want to fiddle with the .357 mag rounds... So I was wondering if the .357 round can be loaded with this nifty little kit?

And, since you guys are probably experts at this stuff, I was wondering if any of you guys know of a few rounds to start with as a beginner. I have HP-38, Hogdon Clays and H110. I don't have any pistol primers at the time... seems I'm not alone here.

I am also fairly new to the gun, but I'm curious about the Buffalo Bore .38 +p 158gr LSWCHP as my carry round.

Thanks guys!
I load with the lee loader, Have loaded for .380, .38 special, and .357 I really like to load this way but I am retired and plenty of time to reload. Really after geting comfortable with reloading it does not take long to turn out a lot of rounds..
 
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Most any brand of loader including "Lee" will load the .38/.357 cartridge, the .357 being only about .1" longer.

Google the gunpowder company by name and you'll generally get suggested loads for their particular powders. You can also Google "Handloads" and get a wealth of free load info too.

For fast burning "target" loads I prefer Bullseye or the slightly cleaner burning AA#2.

For mild to wild loads the venerable "Unique" is hard to beat.

The Carpenter's mantra is "Measure twice, cut once".

In handloading it could be said, "Measure your powder carefully and check it twice before seating the bullet".

Never reload when tired, distracted, or if you've been using alcohol or drugs (presciption or otherwise) that could impair you abilities. Be safe and ENJOY!
:thumb:
 

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I use W231, which is the same powder as HP-38. I use 4.0 gr under a 158gr cast lead SWC. Depending on who's data you're looking at, this is either a max standard .38 load or a minimum +P load. It works very well.

I believe the only difference between a .38 Lee Loader and a .357 is the dipper and the load data. You should be able to do both with one kit, but you'll need your own data. Since you say you have a powder measure this shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Small rifle primers work in all of the small pistol and rifle cartridges that I reload just fine


​I never would have thought to try this. I know my LGS keeps rifle primers a bit more regularly than pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I use W231, which is the same powder as HP-38

This is also good to know because in my Lee 2nd edition, I see lots of loads for W231.
Very Cool! You guys are great! Thanks!
 

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Another thought; Pistol powders are as hard to find in this area as pistol ammo although the shelves are stocked with field loads for shotguns and powder designed for reloading shotguns. Some shotgun powders make very good pistol powders so look in your reloading guide before your nest trip to the LGS and you may score a bargain. Bullseye, Unique, 231 haven't been around in months but all the Blue Dot, Green Dot, Red Dot and All American you could ask for is available here....
 

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Using the powders you have the HP38 is a good powder for mid to full power 38 spl loads and the H110 is good for full power 357 mag loads. The Hogdon Clays is a good powder for target and plinking loads with lead bullets but be careful you don't double charge.
 

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For the price of a Lee Loader, consider a Lee Breech Lock Hand Press kit. I've used the Lee Loader, but the constant hammering is not fun... especially when seating primers. The Lee Breech Lock Hand Press kit comes with a Ram Prime. Then all you need is a die kit & bushings. It's a little more expensive than a Lee Loader, but when you're ready to move to a bench mounted press... you'll be able to transfer the dies over.





 

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I like the concept of the lee loader, and some day I may get one if I find a caliber that I want to try it on. As it is, I went the hand press route as well. I have it in 357/38 and 30-06. I like it. I think the lee loader will be fine for you from what I have studied. Good way to learn in my opinion, and not as big of a cost.

As for small rifle primers... What information is out there on how to adjust the powder measurements for them. Being a newbie, I didn't realize you could use small rifle primers for hand guns. I've been staying away from pistol magnum primers as well, being unsure how to mix unique with it. I haven't seen any load data for 357 magnum and a rifle primer.
 

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I have a Lee classic turret and a Lee hand loader. I can take the hand loader to the range, or just work up a few rounds away from the house.
 

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I like the concept of the lee loader, and some day I may get one if I find a caliber that I want to try it on. As it is, I went the hand press route as well. I have it in 357/38 and 30-06. I like it. I think the lee loader will be fine for you from what I have studied. Good way to learn in my opinion, and not as big of a cost.

As for small rifle primers... What information is out there on how to adjust the powder measurements for them. Being a newbie, I didn't realize you could use small rifle primers for hand guns. I've been staying away from pistol magnum primers as well, being unsure how to mix unique with it. I haven't seen any load data for 357 magnum and a rifle primer.
IIRC take off 0.2-0.3gr when using small rifle primers. If you're loading low-midrange target loads I wouldn't worry about it.

Same would apply for small pistol magnum primers.
 
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