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  • 38 spl bullets for loading 9mm?

     Steven updated 4 months, 1 week ago 2 Members · 2 Posts
  • Steven

    January 25, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    Just getting started with reloading, lots of conflicting answers everywhere.

    I purchased a Lee 90388 38 SPL bullet die for casting my own rounds. I also got a really good deal on a few hundred 38 cal bullets from a pawn shop. (125gr) The boxes are marked with 9mm luger, 380 auto, 357 and more.

    Would I be able to use these bullets as is to load 9 and 380? Would I need a bullet sizer die of some sort to make sure they are the right dimensions? (Calipers show 9mm diameter and 14.8mm bullet length for both round and flat nose)

    Boxes of 100 were $10, if theyll work I’ll go back and get a bunch more! I haven’t cast any bullets using the die yet but I assume they’d be the same.

  • marcuccione

    January 25, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    If they are lead, without a jacket, you may be able to size them down appropriately. They will lose a little weight as they are resized. If you like you could also ask at r/castboolits

  • [deleted]

    January 25, 2023 at 11:28 pm


  • GunFunZS

    January 25, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    I cast and reload each of those calibers. I have done a lot of 9 mm and I have used bullets intended for 38 special/357 mag in 9 mm.

    My advice is this. 9 mm actually wants 0.357″ bullets more often than not. and the nominal 355 will most likely get you leading unless you are powder coating.

    380 Auto wants bullets under a hundred grains. It also wants exactly 355. 380 is very unforgiving. And both the guns and the ammunition have extremely little margin for error. My advice to you is to leave 380 alone until you’ve loaded a lot and shot a lot of 9mm. Because everything about it is so small very minute changes are relatively big changes.

    The questions indicate that you’re pretty new at this. you need a very accurate scale and you need real calipers. cast bullets are pickier about stuff like that and if you don’t get the right measuring tools you’re going to have a bad time. I didn’t say expensive though. a harbor freight or Amazon pair of digital calipers that cost about 17 bucks will do what you need.

    I would be willing to bet that you will be much happier if you get a 0.357 sizing die.

    Also get a six cavity mold in the lee 120 grain TC format. You can probably make the mold you have work in the meantime. but you’re going to end up making a lot of bullets over the years and you may as well get the right mold. I’ve made about 100k now.

  • CplTenMikeMike

    January 25, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    .38 is actually .357 while 9mm is .355.

  • erik530195

    January 25, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    Did some more research, the box was marked with a number which turned out to be the mold number. Here’s the link

    358242 RN 125 Gr.

    Says it’s for 9mm but is .359…I’m confused now. A review says once it was coated it worked fine in his 9 (though I understand models of guns can vary greatly) after he coated it. The bullets I bought are definitely coated in something like wax

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