Have a Target Classic on the way, and need to buy a new set of dies. In the past, I have only used the Lymans, but I hear the new RCBS Legacy dies come with two expanders, and that seems like a pious idea. Any thoughts?
I just thought maybe you'd like an opportunity to get a 35-55 Lee Pacesetter die set, I have the 45-70 set and really like it, it's one of my favorites!! I just got a Hornady 405 Winchester die set, I think it's gonna be one of my favorites, too!!!! :grin:
The problem with any dies regardless of maker is that they will shrink the brass too much on resizing, and then leave one of those funky buldges where it looks like the bullet is too big for the case. I'd sugest that whose ever dies you get that you experiment a bit and only size the minimum amount needed to seat a bullet and let the case chamber. I'm using the Lee dies, but because of the size of my chamber I don't resize at all. My sizing die has become a taper crimp die for all practical purposes.
Be prepared to find a chamber that is ever so slightly undersize to the barrel dimensions. Whenit comes and you do your first loading for it, let us know how things are going as what may seem unusual in standard loading practices are quite normal with the NEF 38-55.
I learned the hard way on .38-55 die sets I have three and they all work well but I wish I didn't have to buy all three to learn what I wanted. Lee first off worked very well but not with the .380 dia bullets I later learned why the expander die has a removeable piece for the belling process The die set comes with a .376 dia expander, You can unscrew it and order the larger one from Lee. Would have saved me some cash if I'd checked that first. The Lyman set with the M die worked just about like the Lee set, again wrong expander for big cast rounds. You can probably get one from them to work also. The RCBS Cowboy set (case hardened look with brass locking rings, real pretty) is made for cast bullets the specs are just a little diffrent and it comes with two expander plugs. One is for the big bullets thats what told me what was wrong with the other two die sets. Of course I bought them last.
The Lee will work great with the right size expander, I didn't really care for the Lyman set. Anybody need a set of .38-55 dies? :roll:
If your rifle is like mine and JPH45's, you won't be needing an expander plug either. Just seat a 380" cast bullet over your favorite powder charge in a fired, NOT RESIZED case, then run the loaded round into the sizing die (with the decapping stem removed, of course) just enough to allow it to chamber, and go shooting.
I'm using a Lee universal decapping die to deprime my fired cases, they need not be resized to hold an ew bullet of .380" diameter.
If you're stuck on using jacketed bullets, you'll need a factory crimo die too, and will have to resize your fired cases.
Good luck, and please keep us informed as to your results.
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