Loading 38 Special


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Gun Geezer
September 13, 2009, 06:13 PM
I have been loading 38 special. I not a novice, but not certainly "old timer" at it either.

I have always used bullets with a cannalure and had no problem putting a roll crimp on them. I've never had a problem loading anything until now.

I have just switched to trying some 125 gr Berry's. Of course, Berry's do not have a cannalure.

I am trying to use the roll crimp to put a very light squeeze on the brass, just enough to straighten out the flare. My 1st 100 rounds I had 15 that bent or bulged enough to not go into by check gauge. I checked the brass length and found way more variance than I thought there would be. So, I trimmed them all to the same length and re-set the seating/crimp die.

I loaded another 100 and out of those only 2 were bent and bulged. Obviously, case length is critical if there is cannalure for the case to roll in to.

But I still am not happy with the several that still don't load well.

I am sure there is still something I'm not doing right. How do I load these Berry's bullets with no cannalure using a roll crimp die?

Does someone sell taper crimp dies for 38 special?

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joneb
September 13, 2009, 06:22 PM
I use a 9mm taper crimp die for .38 spl bullets without a cannalure, I found it at a gun show for $5. I trim my .38 spl brass to 1.147 and have no crimping issues.

Gun Geezer
September 13, 2009, 06:25 PM
I use a 9mm taper crimp die for .38 spl bullets without a cannalure, I found it at a gun show for $5. I trim my .38 spl brass to 1.147 and have no crimping issues.
If 38 spec taper crimp is not available I'd yours is a really good idea. thank.s

Walkalong
September 13, 2009, 06:37 PM
I use the Redding taper crimp die (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=719395) for plated bullets in .38 Spl. Works great.

loadedround
September 13, 2009, 06:37 PM
I would suggest two things to you. First of all assuming that you are loading with a three die set where the third die both seats and crimps. If so I would seat all my bullets w/o crimping first and then crimp as a second step. Adjust your crimp die(after backing out your seating stem) down a quarter turn at a time until you can NOT push your bullet into the case with hard hand pressure. ou don not have to achieve a complete roll crimp to hold the bullet in place. That should give you a good loaded round. Remember to save a good loaded round for reference for when you reset your die. Second suggestion would be to purchase a separate taper crimp die. You may find a used one on Ebay or Gunbroker or advertise for one on THR. Good luck. :)
BTW: All factory rounds are basically all taper crimped these days, both pistol and revolver rounds.

lykoris
September 13, 2009, 06:48 PM
I use the Redding taper crimp die for plated bullets in .38 Spl. Works great.

+1, it works very well for .38spl

Beelzy
September 13, 2009, 07:04 PM
Follow Loaderound's advice.

You should learn the intracacies of the crimping process so you can figure any bullet/crimp for any and all types of cartridges you will run across. YMMV

Walkalong
September 13, 2009, 07:41 PM
Light Taper Crimp On Berrys 125 Gr TrFP In .357 Brass

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105334&d=1252884990
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=105335&d=1252885003

Notice the bright spot at the edge of the case mouth from the crimp die.

something vague
September 13, 2009, 08:23 PM
I actually use Reddings Profile Crimp die. This die has been one of my favorite specialty dies I've purchased. It's great for putting a heavy roll crimp on my hot .357mag loads and also does well with a light roll crimp for the lighter loads. It also is set up to put a taper crimp on rounds that don't need roll crimps i.e. Berry's bullets. It produces a taper crimp before it ever gets to the roll crimp section. I love this thing.

Walkalong
September 13, 2009, 08:34 PM
Yep, the Profile Crimp has a slight taper leading to the roll crimp ledge in the die. They advertise it that way. They work very well. I have a couple of those as well. Good stuff. If you want a medium to heavy taper crimp, it won't work, & you'll need the straight Taper Crimp die, but for that Berrys 125 Gr TrFP and light target loads in .38 Spl, all you need is a light taper crimp, so it should work just fine.

Sunray
September 13, 2009, 09:37 PM
You don't need a crimp at all. Plated bullets are loaded with cast bullet data. They don't get driven fast enough to need a crimp. Note how the plating is cracking and coming off Walkalong's bullet.

Walkalong
September 13, 2009, 09:44 PM
On some plated bullet loads I use heavier crimps. That is just a stain from handling the reloads. No peeling or flaking going on. You don't have to limit yourself with lead data for plated bullets either. I have never experienced flaking or peeling of plated bullets at up to 1350 FPS in some cases. There is a lot of bad info floating around about plated bullets that simply isn't so. ;)

Sunray
September 13, 2009, 09:49 PM
"...just a stain..." That second picture not the same bullet? The lead is visible.

Walkalong
September 13, 2009, 10:16 PM
It is the same bullet, and it is a stain. The lead is simply not visible. I have handled these rounds with sweaty hands and it stained the bullet. (last 7 in a box of 50)

Believe what you want to. I have the round here with me and I know the truth. :)

ArchAngelCD
September 14, 2009, 04:18 AM
Looks like the same bullet to me only a closer picture.

If Walkalong is telling you something you can believe him.
He is an honest person with no reason to lie here.

Deus Machina
September 14, 2009, 04:33 AM
I see what you mean, there.

The lead's not visible--that grey spot is a reflection of the camera. :)

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