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Thread: question on RCBS cowboy dies

  1. #1
    Boolit Master billyb's Avatar
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    question on RCBS cowboy dies

    Any one know the diameter of the expander plug in the 38-357 cowboy dies? I would like to know please. Thanks Bill

  2. #2
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    williamwaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyb View Post
    Any one know the diameter of the expander plug in the 38-357 cowboy dies? I would like to know please. Thanks Bill
    Yes. I have one. IMHO it is a rip off. It is larger than my standard RCBS expander by 0.0004 the final result is indistinguishable from ammo loaded with the standard die.

    I am not at home right now. I will get more data later.
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/

    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the
    government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."
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  3. #3
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    .357 is the diameter for expanders in the 38-357 cowboy dies. Normally they are .356.

  4. #4
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    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    supposed to be a bit bigger so lead bullets will load better.

    mine do a fine job when I'm not on my SDB--but that just might be my mind finding a good reason for buying them.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    williamwaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyb View Post
    Any one know the diameter of the expander plug in the 38-357 cowboy dies? I would like to know please. Thanks Bill
    Here is my results with the RCBS Cowboy dies.

    Expander Diameter Average of four measurements
    Across 4 different diameters.

    Regular die .3743 - . 3746 Avg. .37445
    Cowboy die .3759 - .3761 Avg. .37560
    Difference .0011


    Resizer differences
    ( Average of 10 cases )
    ( Same 10 cases with each set of dies )


    Outside Diameter Before Sizing After Sizing After Expander
    Regular RCBS Dies .3773-.3785 .3713-.3725 .3743 - .3746
    RCBS Cowboy Dies .3773-.3790 .3715-.3725 .3759 - .3761

    Inside Diameter
    Regular RCBS Dies .3515 - .3520
    RCBS Cowboy Dies .3520 - .3525

    Note that after expanding, the maximum difference in inside diameter is 0.0010 The minimum difference is 0.0000
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/

    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the
    government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."
    - Henry Ford

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Not only is the expander larger but the inside bullet seating guide diameter is also larger so that you can seat a larger bullet.
    EDG

  7. #7
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    I like mine, but they are not radically different from the standard dies. They look real good.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    I use a standard set of rcbs dies, except that I substituted the Cowboy expander plug. I believe it is sized .357. It is enough of a difference that my SWC and 360432 358 bullets seat with the right neck tension and they do not swage down smaller. Good results with this setup. I don't see a need for a full Cowboy set, unless aesthetics are an issue.

    I do like that the Cowboy plugs come with a brass-colored lock ring so I can easily tell what expander plug is installed.

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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