Military 38 cases?


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reno92
March 7, 2010, 12:59 PM
I tried to load some wad cutters in some WCC81 cases and they dont chamber good at all. I am thinking they are enough thicker that they are causing problems, previously I was using commercial cases with no problems. they stick right where the base of the bullet is. The bullets mike out at .358. Any one else notice this?

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rcmodel
March 7, 2010, 01:31 PM
Yep'

The GI .38 Specials were loaded with a 130 grain FMJ-RN.
Most definitely a shorter bullet then a 148 wadcutter or 158 grain lead anything.

And the GI cases are thicker, with a more pronounced web taper.

rc

reno92
March 7, 2010, 02:07 PM
I have generally used these cases for 125 grain jacketed bullets. I think I remember giving up on them for cast 158's, I just didnt know if it was what I was doing wrong. under sizing, over crimping, oversized bullets,ect. The fact that they stuck in the chamber at about the same place where the bullet base is.

MMCSRET
March 7, 2010, 02:10 PM
I load my WC style bullets in R-P or W-W cases. Works much better. I save my mil-spec cases for +P and +P+.

medalguy
March 7, 2010, 09:19 PM
Try using a Lee Factory Crimp Die with carbide sizer ring. This will resize the entire case after seating the bullet, eliminating the "unsightly bulge" in the case. They should chamber OK.

ReloaderFred
March 7, 2010, 09:19 PM
Brass intended for Hollow Base Wadcutters from the factory is generally thinner than other brass, particularly in Winchester and Remington brands. This is done to accomodate the longer bearing surface of the HB bullet.

As you've found out, military .38 Special brass is thicker. I load a bunch of it, but not with HBWC bullets. I load those bullets in commercial brass.

Hope this helps.

Fred

GRIZ22
March 7, 2010, 11:57 PM
Brass intended for Hollow Base Wadcutters from the factory is generally thinner than other brass, particularly in Winchester and Remington brands.

I don't think factories make special thin brass for wadcutter loads. It may be sized differently at the factory.

I've also noticed GI brass is thicker but haven't had any problem loading 158 gr SWCs.

ReloaderFred
March 8, 2010, 12:14 AM
GRIZ22,

Winchester makes (or made) a special brass case for the HBWC, marked WW on the headstamp, with two cannelures. I've got about 2,000 rounds of it left from when I was shooting PPC. The brass is notably thinner than jacketed bullet brass.

I load about 10,000+ rounds of .38 Special per year, and I've noticed pecularities with several different brands of brass, and the thinner brass used for HBWC's is one of them.

Hope this helps.

Fred

David Wile
March 8, 2010, 12:40 AM
Hey folks,

I just don't get the whole Lee Factory Crimp Die with carbide sizer ring thing. First you go to great lengths to resize a case to proper dimensions, and you also size a cast bullet to an exact size for your barrel (.358 in this caliber). Then when you assemble the round, you find the properly sized bullet has expanded a case that is obviously too thick for that bullet.

What is the answer? Buy a Lee Factory Crimp Die with carbide sizer ring and run the over sized round through the sizer ring so everything is made small enough to fit the chamber. That means your .358 bullet is no longer .358, but rather some smaller size. If you are going to resize your .358 bullet to .355 or whatever, why not just size the bullet to that size in the first place?

Why? Because the undersized bullet will not perform properly. And besides that, if you want to simply resize your faulty cartridge, why not just pull the primer punch out of your carbide sizing die and use it? It will undersize your bullet just as poorly as the Lee Factory Crimp Die, and you won't have to pay any more money for an extra tool to make your faulty ammo worse.

This whole idea of "fixing" faulty "unsightly bulge" cartridges by resizing the case with the bullet in it is pure sophistry, but that doesn't stop a lot of folks from going for the snake oil pitch. You simply cannot make a bad cartridge good by resizing the finished round to a smaller dimension that will make it fit in the chamber. It may fit easily in the chamber, and it may go bang, but that does not make it a good round.

If a finished round will not fit in the chamber, something is wrong, and it needs to be corrected. In Reno's case, the problem seems to be solved. The cases are not functional with his choice of bullet. Therefore, he should use the correct cases to accomodate his bullet rather than simply forcing a bad round through a sizing ring and making both the case and the bullet inside small enough to fit the chamber.

There are so many folks who have bought into the idea of "fixing" bad rounds with the Lee Factory Crimp Die, I just don't understand how that can be. Virtually all reloading manuals have taught us about the importance of properly sizing cast bullets for peak accuracy. Do folks not read manuals any longer since we now have the internet?

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

ljnowell
March 8, 2010, 12:54 AM
Hey folks,

I just don't get the whole Lee Factory Crimp Die with carbide sizer ring thing. First you go to great lengths to resize a case to proper dimensions, and you also size a cast bullet to an exact size for your barrel (.358 in this caliber). Then when you assemble the round, you find the properly sized bullet has expanded a case that is obviously too thick for that bullet.

What is the answer? Buy a Lee Factory Crimp Die with carbide sizer ring and run the over sized round through the sizer ring so everything is made small enough to fit the chamber. That means your .358 bullet is no longer .358, but rather some smaller size. If you are going to resize your .358 bullet to .355 or whatever, why not just size the bullet to that size in the first place?

Why? Because the undersized bullet will not perform properly. And besides that, if you want to simply resize your faulty cartridge, why not just pull the primer punch out of your carbide sizing die and use it? It will undersize your bullet just as poorly as the Lee Factory Crimp Die, and you won't have to pay any more money for an extra tool to make your faulty ammo worse.

This whole idea of "fixing" faulty "unsightly bulge" cartridges by resizing the case with the bullet in it is pure sophistry, but that doesn't stop a lot of folks from going for the snake oil pitch. You simply cannot make a bad cartridge good by resizing the finished round to a smaller dimension that will make it fit in the chamber. It may fit easily in the chamber, and it may go bang, but that does not make it a good round.

If a finished round will not fit in the chamber, something is wrong, and it needs to be corrected. In Reno's case, the problem seems to be solved. The cases are not functional with his choice of bullet. Therefore, he should use the correct cases to accomodate his bullet rather than simply forcing a bad round through a sizing ring and making both the case and the bullet inside small enough to fit the chamber.

There are so many folks who have bought into the idea of "fixing" bad rounds with the Lee Factory Crimp Die, I just don't understand how that can be. Virtually all reloading manuals have taught us about the importance of properly sizing cast bullets for peak accuracy. Do folks not read manuals any longer since we now have the internet?

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

I dont know about all that really. I have heard the stories of resizing bullets, etc. I recently tried one in 45acp on a barrel that was a little tight. It did not resize my bullets to an undersize dimension. When i pulled bullets and checked, they were still .452. So, in reality, your viewpoint isnt always correct.

918v
March 8, 2010, 01:15 AM
But in this case it is:

If you seat a .358" wadcutter in a 38 case and it bulges the case to the point that it won't chamber, and then you run it through a FCD that resizes the case so it fits, it means the bullet got resized as well. Why? Because the bullet is softer than the brass.

David Wile
March 8, 2010, 07:05 AM
Hey ljnowell,

You just stated, "I dont know about all that really. I have heard the stories of resizing bullets, etc. I recently tried one in 45acp on a barrel that was a little tight. It did not resize my bullets to an undersize dimension. When i pulled bullets and checked, they were still .452."

Get serious and think about what you just said. You said you loaded a 45 ACP round that was a little tight, that you resized the round so it would then fit. Then you say you pulled the "bullets" which were still .452. Again, think about what you are saying. You have a loaded round that is tight in the chamber, you then size the loaded round so it now fits the chamber without being tight, and yet the bullet was somehow not reduced in diameter. How can that possibly be? Are you suggesting the sizer ring somehow made the case wall thinner without making the bullet any smaller?

I don't know exactly what you did, and I am not suggesting you are being dishonest. I am simply stating you are wrong in your obsevations and reporting incorrect conclusions. I know there are many others who would report similar experiences to yours, but they are also wrong. You simply cannot take a straight walled cartridge of any size, put it through a sizer ring that reduces it in an obviously measurable size and expect the bullet has not been reduced in size.

To suggest the Lee Factory Crimp Die sizer ring can do so is defending the indefensible. You are correct, however, in your first sentence which states, "I dont know about all that really."

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

918v
March 8, 2010, 11:36 AM
Is it possible that you seated a bullet crooked, induced a bulge, removed it with the FCD, but did not appreciably reduce the bullet diameter overall?

R.W.Dale
March 8, 2010, 11:55 AM
BTDT

Milsurp, PMC or +p 38 cases are not suitable for wadcutters seated flush with the case mouth

ljnowell
March 8, 2010, 11:55 AM
Is it possible that you seated a bullet crooked, induced a bulge, removed it with the FCD, but did not appreciably reduce the bullet diameter overall?
You know, I have contemplated that many times. Like I have said in another post though, I examined closely all steps, and made changes, some of them excessive to test those theories.

I do not believe that this is the case though. In my case the rounds in question were just barely not able to fit a barrel. In fact, if you were to load them in a mag and drop the slide on one it would chamber fine, you would notice the difference, but they would all fail the drop in test on the barrel out of the gun. A pass with the FCD changed that.

I am not talking about bullets that are way out of spec or anything of the like, maybe thats why there was the response above. If you have rounds that are radically out of spec, you need to look somewhere else. This was case of rounds that would pass in anything else, but that one aftermarket barrel. When the FCD was used the round dropped in fine. I then shot those rounds in all of my .45acp pistols, without any leading or other ill effects that are so often proclaimed loudly on internet message boards. Finally, I pulled bullets and measured them, and they all measured correctly at two points opposite each other on the bullet.

GRIZ22
March 8, 2010, 12:26 PM
Winchester makes (or made) a special brass case for the HBWC, marked WW on the headstamp, with two cannelures. I've got about 2,000 rounds of it left from when I was shooting PPC. The brass is notably thinner than jacketed bullet brass.


I have some of the WW and RP factory wadcutters around. I'll have to check this out with the attitude I can learn something new ReloaderFred.

It's been a few years since I loaded 10K of 38 special a year but I do agree I have noticed variations in brass. Sized easy (must be thinner), primer pockets easy or hard to seat, etc.

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