1 post
Joined June 2021

357 to 38 Quick Conversion

With my old rock chucker, converting from a 357 to 38 (or back) is simply adding a special washer/spacer and reseating the die. It appears that the only way to perform a a quick conversion with my 550B (I just got it used) is to have another setup with separate 357/38 dies and a different powder dispenser. Is this reality or is there a better way I dont know of?
154 posts
Joined December 2012

RE: 357 to 38 Quick Conversion

That's what I do with my 650. 2 quick change set-ups, each with their own dies and powder measure. Otherwise, you'd have to adjust the dies every switch, as you'd have to remove the die from the tool head to add/remove the spacer washer.
52 posts
Joined February 2016

RE: 357 to 38 Quick Conversion

Unfortunately, I think you'll either have reset your dies or assemble separate tool heads. I have done the latter. About five or six years ago a company named Whidden manufactured a tool head with a separate rail that allowed you to set the tool head at oune height or move the rail to set the tool head at a different height. Their theory was this tool head allowed you to load 38/357 or 44 spl/44mag with a single tool head. But, while this special tool head seemed good in theory, I've not talked with anyone who actually used one. Maybe someone on this forum has and and speak more knowledgably than me.
Even though this would seem to work theoretically, it would still require a separate adjustment of the sizing die, since lifting the tool head to magnum height would place the sizing die a sufficient distance off the shell plate that a magnum casing would not get fully sized UNLESS the resize/decapping die were adjusted for the longer casing.
In any event, I have not seen these offered for sale in some time. This makes me think they are no longer made.
I'll continue to monitor this one because I would be interested in learning of another way to manage this without assembling separate tool heads for magnums and specials.