First Attempt At Handloading.... Bullets Tumble


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guyfromohio
January 8, 2013, 10:28 PM
I shot my first batch of 100 handloads yesterday. Very exciting for me. Generally speaking, I was pleased. Nothing blew up, everything fired, and accuracy at 20 feet was as good as any factory loads that I've shot. That being said, the bullets seemed to tear at the target paper.... Almost looking as if they were going in at an angle. I use real targets (not printer paper) and I like to use Birchwood Casey sticker targets over the paper. After about 3 shots through the 3 inch stickers, the sticker would pass through the Target. I'm shooting 158gr plated Barry HP over 3.1grs of Bullseye out of my 642 (J frame snubby). The brass is brand new Remington with Remington small pistol primers. I have some theories, but would appreciate your thoughts.

Theory #1... Under powered for that heavy bullet?

Theory #2... There seems to be quite a bit of bullet in the brass, although total length is equal to factory hollowpoints... Maybe I'm seating too deeply?

You guys know far more than I do, so let it rip.

Also, I don't have access to a chrono.

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Otto
January 8, 2013, 10:36 PM
Switch to lead wad-cutters....better accuracy and more economical. It also cuts clean holes.

guyfromohio
January 8, 2013, 10:38 PM
I wish I could. My range doesn't allow exposed lead. Must be at least partially jacketed/plated.

witchhunter
January 8, 2013, 10:59 PM
Western Nevada Bullet Company in Carson City has 148 gr plated wadcutters, they work great.

NeuseRvrRat
January 8, 2013, 11:03 PM
use cardboard backer behind your target paper

guyfromohio
January 8, 2013, 11:05 PM
All good work-arounds, but what do you think is causing the issue?

NeuseRvrRat
January 8, 2013, 11:10 PM
not having a good backer behind your target

guyfromohio
January 8, 2013, 11:11 PM
Thanks. Although new to Reloading, I'm pretty used to shooting. This isn't normal.

Jim Watson
January 8, 2013, 11:14 PM
A heavy plated bullet and a light powder charge might be your problem.

I can't even find a recent listing for Bullseye and a jacketed or plated bullet in .38 Spl CTG.
3.5 gr Bull was the old standard with a 158 lead bullet.

rcmodel
January 8, 2013, 11:21 PM
accuracy at 20 feet

1. Accuracy simply cannot be judged at 20 feet / 6.6 yards.
That is too close to judge anything, unless the muzzle flash sets fire to the target paper.

2. You need to shoot 25 yards minimum, to see meaningful results in accuracy between different loads.

3. Free hanging targets try to dodge the bullet and get out of the way unless they are backed up by a solid backer board.

rc

ArchAngelCD
January 8, 2013, 11:22 PM
IMO your powder charge is too light. Also, like said above, do you have a solid backer behind your target? Sometimes at low velocities a bullet can push the target slightly before going through it making it look like the bullet is tumbling but it's not.

ezedmayu
January 9, 2013, 12:09 AM
Are you using a factory crimp die? I was having the same problem with Rainier plated bullets and I realized that too much crimp was deforming the soft lead cores, which caused the tumbling. Try backing off on the crimp.

egg250
January 9, 2013, 12:18 AM
I don't see an issue. You have a small (short barreled) gun in .38 special, the rounds functioned fine and had good accuracy. I'm not looking at loading data but it seems like you have a good, light target load, great for practice/plinking.

If you need the clean holes in the paper, use wadcutters or some type of cardboard backer such as been suggested.

guyfromohio
January 9, 2013, 08:49 AM
Thank you. 1) can't use homemade targets. 2) this club has only a 48 foot pistol range. 3). There are maybe 100 guys in this forum that could glean usable data shooting unsupported at 25 yrds with a snub nose revolver. If I can keep a 3 inch group in the three inches that I was aiming at, at self defense distances, with a self defence gun, I'm happy. I know that High road rules that you must be the internet king of all things shooting in order to have a valid question. I shoot factory CCI Blazer and I hit my paper target with a circular hole. I shoot my handloads and I hit my Target with an oblong tear. That is my issue.

That being said, I'm going to increase the powder load by one disc hole on the Lee and try to either not crimp or lighten the crimp. Thoughts?

Searcher4851
January 9, 2013, 09:38 AM
You're attitude toward people trying to help you with your problem aside, I'll chime in here.
I take it that by "homemade targets" you are saying you can't use a cardboard backer? (the lack of a backer is probably one of the biggest problems)
3.1 grains of bullseye is a pretty light load. I've noticed that with slower moving projectiles, the incidence of tearing an unbacked paper target seems to increase, unless using full wadcutter configuration projectiles. (at least from my experiences)
Moving the bullet a bit faster might help.

David E
January 9, 2013, 09:49 AM
1) crimp too heavy. Crimp just enough so 1/2 thickness of brass is imbedded into this particular bullet.

2) powder charge too light. Increase charge per loading manual, not by what you happen to think should work better.

3) gun doesn't like that particular bullet. Try different brand.

4) combination of above.

5) lose the attitude.

quaid
January 9, 2013, 09:50 AM
When my club puts up new plywood backers even 45 acp round nose cuts nice round holes.

StandingTall
January 9, 2013, 10:00 AM
Thank you. 1) can't use homemade targets. 2) this club has only a 48 foot pistol range. 3). There are maybe 100 guys in this forum that could glean usable data shooting unsupported at 25 yrds with a snub nose revolver. If I can keep a 3 inch group in the three inches that I was aiming at, at self defense distances, with a self defence gun, I'm happy. I know that High road rules that you must be the internet king of all things shooting in order to have a valid question. I shoot factory CCI Blazer and I hit my paper target with a circular hole. I shoot my handloads and I hit my Target with an oblong tear. That is my issue.

That being said, I'm going to increase the powder load by one disc hole on the Lee and try to either not crimp or lighten the crimp. Thoughts?
From Berry's site:

"When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads."

Hornady's 8th edition lists a charge of 4.2gr. of Bullseye under 158gr HP-XTP with a col of 1.450. I'd suggest starting with about a 3.8gr charge and a light roll crimp.

beatledog7
January 9, 2013, 10:13 AM
My range doesn't allow exposed lead. Must be at least partially jacketed/plated.

A partially jacketed bullet does have exposed lead, so this statement is contradictory. If this is an accurate statement regarding what your range says, you should get them to clarify.

guyfromohio
January 9, 2013, 06:33 PM
Beatle.... "Partially" was my word. I meant that exposed lead in the center of a hollow point was ok... Even if visible. Here are their words:

Steel shot, unjacketed, lead, and steel ammunition are prohibited on ranges. Steel ammo is not allowed because our recycling center will not take brass, lead, or aluminum with steel in the mix. Lead causes contamination of the range and clogs the air filters. The less it is shot, the healthier your shooting environment. The ONLY exceptions to unjacketed ammo are .22 caliber rimfire, shotgun ammunition, and cowboy ammunition.

Cheetos
January 9, 2013, 06:39 PM
Do you have a picture of your handloads so we can see what the crimp looks like?

readyeddy
January 9, 2013, 06:51 PM
Getting tears in the target when using round noses or hollow point is common in my experience. Besides, if your bullet was tumbling then I don't think you would be getting tight groups, even at 20 feet.

ScratchnDent
January 9, 2013, 07:03 PM
3.1 is a light load. My snubby likes 3.5 or more behind a 158 copper plated.

guyfromohio
January 9, 2013, 07:16 PM
@ready...

Never thought of that. I actually never shoot anything but jacketed round nose for comparison. I am going to up the charge. I'll see if I can post a pic. For some reason my phone hasnt been recognizing the upload button.

guyfromohio
January 9, 2013, 09:41 PM
177471

I think the crimp may be the answer. I was really pulling on it. So here is what I've done:

1) increased to 3.5 grains of powder
2) decreased the seating depth by .05"
3) totally unscrewed the crimping die and then brought it back down with a half turn tightening

I'm going to shoot tonight's rounds tomorrow and will update then. Again, my apologies for the curt replies.

Bullet in front is my tight crimp. In back is the current state.

chris in va
January 9, 2013, 09:49 PM
Good grief, yeah...that is way too much crimp. I bet your new ones work fine.

Nappers
January 10, 2013, 05:01 AM
:what:

yeah, toooo much crimp.

I hardly crimp, just snuggle the bullet in my .45acp.

I make my own target stands and use that foamy back board kids use for projects, works great, use a big washer and a wood screw and remove and replace.

David E
January 10, 2013, 09:04 AM
177471

I think the crimp may be the answer. I was really pulling on it.

There should be a slight "catch" as the crimp begins at the very end of the handle arc, but it shouldn't require you to "really pull on it."

It's a learned feel, so don't beat yourself up over it.

Jim Watson
January 10, 2013, 09:34 AM
There is also the possibility that there may not be an answer.

The IDPA Nationals one year had a BUG side match, snubby revolvers provided by S&W, .38 Special ammo by CorBon. The ammunition was their Performance Match with plated bullets, not their hollowpoint gunfighting stuff. The guns were hot and dirty and we were peppering the rather close targets with fragments of copper as the plating peeled off.

Plated bullets are not a good match for revolvers, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

guyfromohio
January 10, 2013, 04:15 PM
This batch was much, much better! Thank you for your help. I'll keep tweaking them, but the ugly part has been solved.

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