May Have Learned Something Today?


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MissouriCrowinMass
April 1, 2010, 05:34 PM
I took the day off to help my wife with her car. It's been raining so much in the NE - I haven't done much shooting lately. Recently, I've started reloading .357 and .38 Special for a Ruger GP 100 - 6" that I bought used.

Attached is a picture of a few targets. All but the top were shot off my range bag for support. Previously, I reloaded 50 .357 Mag cases with 148 grain Rainier Plated Wadcutters using 4.4 grs. of Universal. These shot terrible. 6 shot groups were bigger than fist sized at 50' supported. I took the rest and decided I had not crimped them enough? I was arfaid of damaging the plating. These are the re-crimped plated Wadcutters and they shot much better. Lesson I Think - Don't neglect the crimp.

I'm setting these Rainier Wadcutters with 1/10" protruding. If I try to load them flush, I think the die's bullet setter touches the case as the case bludges a little under the bullet? Do you guys have any experience on how best to set BEWC's? I'd also apprecaite any advice on the loads. I'm just punching paper and I try to load plated as if it were lead.

I also shot some .38 Special cases loaded with 158 grain LRN Better Bullets and 3.8 grains of Win 231.

What I think I learned:

1. Crimp is important with .357 loads.
2. It sure seems that the slower bullet shoot higher like everybody says.
3. Grip is so important. I try to set my grip like the books' say. I try to push-pull. I have big hands and I hold thumbs straight out. I think that if the side of my off-hand thumb touches the pistol....my shots push right. I seem to shoot much better if my thumbs offer no pressure? When you think of it, the bullet doesn't go where the barrel points when you pull the trigger - they go where the barrel is pointing when they leave the barrel.
4. I love the GP-100. I shoot it almost as good freehand as supported. I'm no marksman but I shoot enough pistols to like this revolver, alot.

PS - Is it hard to get powder in the NE! Kittery didn't have any Bullseye, Win 231, Power Pistol or Unique last week! They did have Universal......my first loads trying it. Kind of crunchy going thru the Powder Measure......

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wanderinwalker
April 1, 2010, 08:00 PM
Yes, don't neglect the crimp on revolver ammo! I under-crimped a bunch of .38s with 158gr LWSCs and had horrible accuracy. Bumped the crimp, and last time I measured a group I had 6-shots in 3.5" at 25-yards, offhand, DA. Of course, no pictures and this is the Internet, it might not have happened... :rolleyes:

Grip is important to accurate pistol shooting. The firmness and consistency will influence your group size and position even when firing the same load. I grip a revolver high and find if I grip lower, my groups go high after sighting in.

Lastly, must be a Mass thing on the powder? Have no problem tracking down 2400, Unique, 231, WSF, Power Pistol, 296 and other suitable pistol powders here in my little corner of New Hampshire. And we are sales tax free! :D

FROGO207
April 1, 2010, 11:54 PM
I don't get to Kittery too often but at the Old Town Trading Post there was some of each of those powders there last week. Long ride up state though!!

Mxracer239y
April 2, 2010, 07:57 PM
Not exactly close to Kittery, but Rileys in Hooksett, NH always seems to have a decent selection of powder and primers.

MissouriCrowinMass
April 2, 2010, 10:12 PM
I'm going to have to try Reiley's. Never been there. I play golf in Hudson, N.H. pretty often - sounds like a good ride after golf.

joneb
April 3, 2010, 01:00 AM
I am assuming these bullets are plated DEWC ? I am not familiar with BEWC.
I use faster powders for target loads, I'm not saying Universal won't work... but it may take a little more work to make it work :D
For plated bullets I taper crimp'em less chance of cutting through the Cu plating, I picked up a 9x19 seater/crimp die at a gun show for $5 and took the seater plug out, it's a fourth step but it works.

MissouriCrowinMass
April 3, 2010, 08:13 AM
JibJab,

Thanks for the tip - I reload 9mm and have a taper crimp die. BEWC.......I'm a dummy. They are of course Rainier "plated" DEWC's.

I was thinking going to up for my next batch of .357 Mags. I think I'll go to 4.6 grs of Universal. I had no leading or plating separation that I could see with 4.4 grs.

Thanks

joneb
April 3, 2010, 02:39 PM
If I try to load them flush, I think the die's bullet setter touches the case as the case bludges a little under the bullet?
Do you mean there is a bulge in the case where the bullet's base is ?

SSN Vet
April 3, 2010, 07:38 PM
I've loaded the Berry's 148 gr. DEWC

I seat the bullet ~1/16" proud of the case and crimp slightly with the LFCD to roll the case mouth over onto the curved edge of the bulled.

You've got a LOT of surface area on these bullets and you typically wouldn't load that bullet hot in either 38 spl or 357 mag., so I don't worry about bullet set back and only crimp lightly.

Call Cabelas up in Scarborough. They seem to manage to keep a decent stock.

Of just break down and order from Powder Valley. It doesn't take that much powder and primers to give you enough savings to cover the hazmat fee.

918v
April 3, 2010, 08:17 PM
Here is my $.02

Continue to seat those wadcutters a little out of the case. Seating them deeper will bulge your case. These don't have a hollow base to conform to the inside of the case.

Taper crimp them. Don't roll crimp into the plating.

Increase the powder charge in .2 grain increments until your groups shrink. You are prolly at 800 FPS and have plenty of room to go. You won't strip the plating, if you're worried about that.

Support your both your barrel and your grip when bench testing. Resting your wrists on a range bag is not that stable. Your gun can do 1" at 50 feet easy.

joneb
April 4, 2010, 03:09 AM
A bulge in the case from the base of the bullet doesn't bother me, as long as the round chambers easily. Just remember seating the bullet deeper raises the pressure of a given charge, so the 4.4gr charge could be appropriate with a decreased COL.

MissouriCrowinMass
April 4, 2010, 12:49 PM
My Speer Manual says to set DEWC'ers like SSN Vet recommends. Like JibJab said, I found that doing that buldged the cases just below the seated bullet. My guess was that the concave end of my Lee Bullet Setter was maybe applying a force to the top of the case as it set the bullet 1/16" or so below the top of the case.

The buldge was not enough to affect chambering in the GP100. It just looked bad. I did adequately crimp those rounds like SSN Vet said to by just barely rolling the top of the case over the top of the DEWC. In fact, they shot very, very well. Much better that the rounds I set out 1/10" and didn't crimp adequately. But......when I adequately crimped the 1/10'ers .....the difference in accuracy between the two methods was real close.

Good tip on supporting the barrel. My accuracy problem is at least partially due to my 58-year old eyes. Unless, I'm in bright sunlight. My front sights are always a bit blurry. I figured that if your sights are 8" apart, a 1" difference in windage POI in 50-feet is only 1/1,000 of an inch misalignment of the front sight. I know I'm not seeing a 1/1,000 since Joe Namath won a Superbowl and Liz Taylor was hot. :)

joneb
April 4, 2010, 01:57 PM
I found that doing that buldged the cases just below the seated bullet.
There is a internal taper, the case wall gradually thickens towards the base, and the bullets base is engaging the taper.
the concave end of my Lee Bullet Setter was maybe applying a force to the top of the case as it set the bullet 1/16" or so below the top of the case.
The seater plug shouldn't touch the case wall.
A 1/16" below seems to deep :scrutiny:

918v
April 4, 2010, 03:30 PM
There is a internal taper, the case wall gradually thickens towards the base, and the bullets base is engaging the taper.

The internal profile of the case has several "areas". The first is the part holding on to the bullet. This area has a uniform case wall thickness. The next area is the middle of the case. There, the case wall thickness is at least double, sometimes four times as thick as the case mouth. The third area is the case head. There, the brass is very thick. The transition between these areas is a slight taper. If you take a new case and look inside, you can see these transitions/tapers as you move the case and watch the light reflections.

When you seat a full-wadcutter flush with the case mouth, the bottom of the bullet will hit the tapered transition from area 1 to area 2 and will bulge the case. This does not happen with hollow base wadcutters because the skirt collapses to conform to this internal taper. Also, this does not happen when using brass designed specifically for wadcutters. Such brass has a longer area 1.

I prefer to sit them out past the case mouth so they do not bulge the case.

MissouriCrowinMass
April 5, 2010, 06:18 AM
I never knew that about tapered case thickness! Makes perfect sense. I guess I was wrong about the bullet seater compressing the case. This is a great Website for learning reloading. Thanks to all.

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