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Thread: Lee quick trim question

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Lee quick trim question

    I've been looking at the lee quick trim dies and tool. I have been had in the past buying lee's 357 dies because they are not "backwards compatible" for 38 special. Lee has different part numbers for the two cartridges but at the moment i am unsure which/if can trim both. Does anyone have any experience with these dies and know?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have never seen a die set for either 38Spl nor 357, that would not work equally well with the other...either way!!
    The lee cutter and lockstud, with the fixed case length "pin" work really well chucked in a drill motor.
    I use them more than the Lyman I have...tho the Lyman is obviously more versatile..

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    Lee's 357 mag die set will not expand a 38 special case enough to seat a boolit. I cant remember for sure but i dont think it can crimp 38s either.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man ikarus1's Avatar
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    Trim lengths are different so no the quick trim die wont work. Different part numbers also

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    farmerjim's Avatar
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    You can use the 38 sp die set for 357 mag and 357 Max. The trim dies are set length. I think you could make a spacer to put on top to set the correct length to make a 38 trim die work for a 357 mag, or a longer one for a 357max.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    For the Quick Trim the die sets the trim length so you can’t use one for the other.
    Lee does make a reloading die set for 38 and 357, however the dies marked 357 will not work on 38
    L.E.C.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Have both, the quick trim dies are a specific length of cavity so the cutter can only reach a certain amount of the case. 38's won't reach cutter in .357 die and 357 brass would stick way up and be trimmed to 38 special length in the 38 special die. I will also say that the quick trim does a good job of trimming, for larger quantities the drill drive adapter run off of a power screw driver might be highly desirable, but on the other hand over the course of a week in the evenings after work and dinner no problem to trim 500 cases with the manual crank handle to turn it with. As long as the amount to trim is not great. Do fine on trimming a little stretch or to put a bunch of straight walled cases to same length for consistent crimp, but not so great trying to trim something like 30-06 down to 8mm length after cutting it "sort of close" to the right length.

    Lee makes a 38/357 reloading die which is for loading both, works fine. But has also I think has reloading dies that are for one or the other. I have a 357 mag die set I bought for just 357 and I'm not sure how well it would handle the shorter 38 special cases. Had the one that does both first. Left it for 38 special and use the 357 labeled die set for 357 only.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Thank you. I didnt know if the adjustment on depth was done through the cutter part of the tool or the die. Sounds like its the die so i will get both.

    I started out with the 357 die and was not too happy when i learned i choose the wrong die set. But that was back when i thought i was doing this to save money, so an extra die set was that much less cost efficiency. Now its just, 'well this will make loading easier/more pleasant/better.'

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Obviously I do Not understand why in the wide world of sports the Dies cannot be adjusted for either???
    Hell...I use my 38spl die to neck size my 35 Remington!!!!
    "Adjustment"!!!!!!
    Obviously the "trimmer" is Not gonna be ambidextrous!!!

  10. #10
    Boolit Man ikarus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racepres View Post
    Obviously I do Not understand why in the wide world of sports the Dies cannot be adjusted for either???
    Hell...I use my 38spl die to neck size my 35 Remington!!!!
    "Adjustment"!!!!!!
    Obviously the "trimmer" is Not gonna be ambidextrous!!!
    Look up quick trim dies - you cant make up the difference in trim length. It only adjusts +/- .009 plus the spacer for rifle.

    I guess if you want to trim .357 brass to 1.155 sure, but it would wear out the cutter pretty fast

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by racepres View Post
    Obviously I do Not understand why in the wide world of sports the Dies cannot be adjusted for either???
    Hell...I use my 38spl die to neck size my 35 Remington!!!!
    "Adjustment"!!!!!!
    Obviously the "trimmer" is Not gonna be ambidextrous!!!
    The die marked for 357 hits the shell holder before the expander inside the die reaches the 38 special brass. This also prevents the powder drop from activating. Hope this helps. It was a rage inducing discovery and lead to my first hornady die purchase.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrutalAB View Post
    The die marked for 357 hits the shell holder before the expander inside the die reaches the 38 special brass. This also prevents the powder drop from activating. Hope this helps. It was a rage inducing discovery and lead to my first hornady die purchase.
    So...the expander is Not adjustable?
    I really don't get it.
    Course...I have never used nor probably seen a Powder drop, anything..I'm a pretty much Manual single station, guy!! Unless you count the Redding Turret!

  13. #13
    Boolit Man ikarus1's Avatar
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    The trim dies are not adjustable its a set dimension for the cartridge. The cutter is adjustable in ten steps from .001-.009, so any talk of expander dies etc doesnt apply at all

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikarus1 View Post
    The trim dies are not adjustable its a set dimension for the cartridge. The cutter is adjustable in ten steps from .001-.009, so any talk of expander dies etc doesnt apply at all
    And that's it. Period!
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  15. #15
    Boolit Man ikarus1's Avatar
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    Just for the record, I use one of these with a 480rpm Harbor Freight power screwdriver, and it works fine for my needs. I think I paid $6.99 for the screwdriver after coupon, and $20 for the trimmer, a 45 acp die, and a W.C Wilson case length gage from a fellow reloader. Best $26.99 I've spent in a long time. Not that I'm that concerned about straight wall case length stretch, but having uniform length allows me to use a el cheaper Lyman primer hole uniformer while watching TV


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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check