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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out shopping today for dies for my recently acquired 336 CB in .38-55. A knowledgeable (and prolific) poster had stated somewhere that the Lyman dies were the way to go, with the "M" die being the reason. I could not find Lymans, but found a set of RCBS which were very nice, with a beautifully polished and blued expander plug.
Can anyone make a recommendation?
Thanks!

Charley
 

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RCBS are fine dies and size correct for the 38-55 I have the same rifle and bought the Lee dies which has a .375 win sizer which is .100 too short and oversizes the brass unless you raise the die up .100 and a little more to allow for the larger bullets in the seating station. The M die is a valuable asset for cast. But then the Lee factory crimp is a good value also. Good luck with the 38-55 is a very fine cal and rifle, there are a few issues regarding cast size, you will find your groove will slug around .3785 - .3795 and as such the cast bullets in .379 will work well for it. I have no troubles with mine using .377 or .379 9-9.5 gns of Unique works quite well for me, with a 250gn cast. RX7 29.5 gns with a jacketed 250gn works very well for me.
 

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The RCBS dies are excellent. The expander that comes with them works well for the new Marlin. As an added note, if you ever venture into single shot 38-55s, Buffalo Arms offers custom made expander plugs for the larger bores in a lot of them. There may be some variations among early repeaters, too. I use .380" bullets and needed a larger plug to expand for them.
 
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Get a set of RCBS Cowboy dies for the 38-55 , they are great :wink:
I went the Lyman route with the extra "M" die for the 30-30 after I broke my Lee set . They work really well also .
But the RCBS Cowboy are the way to go . I use them in 32-20 , 32-40 , 32HPS , 38-40 , 44-40 and 40-65 . Have not had any problems at all 8)
 

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Whats special about the cowboy dies?
 
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Leverdude said:
Whats special about the cowboy dies?

They are supposed to be made with cast bullets in mind although they work nicely for jacketed as well.
I have been saying that the Cowboy dies are cheaper and they were when I got my 38-55 dies even thou I couldn't find any.
But in reality according to the midway catalog , the Cowboys are $48.50 and the regulers are $39.95.
 

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Thanks 6PT.
So they expand the neck a little more or have separate flaring die?

I was having trouble with 45/70's & bullet runout. Got a Lyman "M" die & it fixed things for me. I'v got a 93 32/40 getting put together & was thinking of an "M" die for it but will look into these cowboy dies too now. I have a Lee die set for it already tho so I'll be trying with them before I spend money on more. I doubt I'll have the same trouble anyway, I built a couple dummies without issue but they were jacketed bullets.
 

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I use Cowboy dies for my 1893 Grade "B" in 32-40. They work fine with cast bullets. RCBS has a line of dies called the Legacy Dies. They are made for a few of the Sharps cartridges and some others. The cost is quite low compared to other die sets. Check Buffalo Arms' website. They have a ton of dies in various brands.
 

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I can't say for sure about their dies for 38-55 but RCBS' dies for the 45-70 are better IMO than the Lymans. RCBS' expander is a better design even than the "M" die. I am still waiting to get the right parts for my Hornady die set- it was send with the wrong seater guts. When I get that stuff, I will post pics of the differences between the Lyman, Hornady, and RCBS dies (in the 45-70). I'm sure others of the same make and basic cartridge shape will be similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the replies!
I just picked up a used set of RCBS (in perfect condition, not a mark on 'em!) for $20.00, and I'll post when I load my first batch.
 
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