Best die for roll Crimp for 38 spec


Active Member
I had been loading 38s on a dillion 550 up untill about a month ago. My son needed one so it was given to him and grand kids. I had to dig out old dies which had not been used in over 20 years and one move ago. It was a hodge poge of dies. Don't know how but I ended up with 3 carbide sizers but only one seater die--a lee. The first batch I was unable to get a roll crimp and had trouble chambering the rounds. I have since purchased a taper crimp die but still want a seater die that will give a good roll crimp. I know all should if adjusted right but if I am going to spend the money, I want to get a good one. Need recommendations from serious shooters and figured this was the place to find them.


Well-Known Member
I have good luck with the RCBS cowboy dies and hornady dies.
If you want to just make a pretty crimp it’s hard to beat the Redding profile crimp dies.


High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Twenty years ago, Lyman roll crimped at a 45 degree angle and made a nice crimp if the cases were the same length. RCBS used to roll over a 30 degree angle and was more tolerant of case length. I have been using Redding profile crimp dies the last ten years and been happy. FWIW


Staff member
Only issue I have with the Redding profile crimp is that they don’t handle way oversized bullets well. If you are sizing to .358 they are a great crimp die.


Well-Known Member
I use a gobbly goo of dies too, but I prefer to find older die sets for my final crimp.
my last one was a redding for my 44 mag, I use a taper crimp die for many of my 38 and 357 loads.
right now one die head has an rcbs for the roll crimp die in the 38 set, and a Dillon seat die with the rcbs taper crimp setup is in the 357 head.
the 357 max head is set up straight rcbs-rcbs with a LEE carbide size die.
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New Member
I have the same issue as Brad using the Redding Profile Crimp die in .45 Colt; they're made for use with 'standard' diameter (jacketed) bullets. Great crimps, though! Hmmm, I wonder what Dougguy would charge to hone one out a couple of thousandths of an inch...


High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Yep, you read the Redding blurb and it alludes to "profile", meaning it will reduce the top 1/4" of pf the case plus crimp. the are really designed for jacketed bullets anyway. Although I use profile dies for 32/20 and 32 ACP with cast also. Their regular crimp dies are more traditional, just rolling in a crimp.


Well-Known Member
IME, most of them do a good job. But some folks want to seat and THEN
crimp in separate die. I have used a Redding 'profile crimp' separate die,
and while it is just fine, doesn't really seem much improvement over an
RCBS seat-and-roll crimp die, at least with Keith designs, and consistent length
brass. With some really narrow crimp grooves, could be problematic, and need
two separate steps.

Can be done with the same die, seat, then readjust the die to only crimp and
re run.....but pretty inconvenient. Maybe buy a loose regular seat-and-crimp die on Ebay
and set one to seat, one to crimp?



North Central Arkansas
Always used RCBS carbide dies for straight walled pistol ammo. With oversized cast, I have moved to their carbide Cowboy dies. Have accumulated enough seating/crimping dies that I always crimp separately.

Have one Redding seating/crimping die for 9mm. I like the hollowed out seating stem design............allows for seating round nose or flat nosed bullets, without having to change stems. However, Redding doesn't include stems long enough to just seat without crimping. I emailed them for a longer stem and explained the issue. They did send a longer stem but it still partially crimps. Their catalog is useless, doesn't include the lengths of the optional stems.:headbang: