38 special


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drz436
February 12, 2013, 09:29 PM
I just received my dies and bullets today so I wanted to reload a couple of rounds. The dies are Lee and the bullets are Hornady xtp 158Gn this is the first revolver cartrige I have loaded, I usually load 9mm 45 and 40cal the problem I am having is after I resize the case the ID of the case is .356/.3565 the bullets are .357 I can push the bullet to the canalure by hand. The bullet can't be removed by hand a kinnitac hammer is needed I crimped in a seperate station and the bullet won't go in any deeper what am I missing here I know the walls are alot thinner any thoughts?

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Cosmoline
February 12, 2013, 09:33 PM
I may not be reading that right. Are you saying the brass is too tight to fit the bullet or too loose?

drz436
February 12, 2013, 09:38 PM
The brass seems too loose

gamestalker
February 12, 2013, 09:50 PM
Someting isn't right if you can seat the bullet by hand to the canelure. How much are you belling the case mouth? It should only be belled enough for the bullet to just barely set on top, no more than that. And use the mouth belling plug to adjust the desired amount of bell. The further down you adjust the expander (belling) die it's self, the further down the bell will extend below the case mouth, that will cause too much of the case body below the mouth to get expanded, (belled). That would probably be the problem, I'm guessing. Can you post a pic of an empty & resized belled case so I can see how much bell, and how far down it extends?

Or, you may have some brass that is too thin. I run into 1 or 2 now and then that simply won't produce enough neck tension, usually it's older RP brass, as in 1960's brass.

In any case, if the bullet can't be pushed in using the bench test, you'll be OK. The down side is that your brass may not last as long due to over belling the mouths.

GS

ljnowell
February 12, 2013, 09:56 PM
If its R-P brass, even current production, it can be very thin and cause this. Take your calipers and measure the expander in your charging/flaring die. Being a lee its a good chance its oversize. About half of mine are.

drz436
February 12, 2013, 09:56 PM
After re-reading my post it is a bit confusing I guess my question is compared to the 9mm 40 and 45 cal the neck tension seems very weak I don't even need to bell the mouth to start the bullet

drz436
February 12, 2013, 10:15 PM
Yes it's older R-P Brass I loaded up 5 rounds and crimped to the canalure they all shot fine. I was just a little worried about the very weak neck tension I want to work up to +p load which is 5.2 gn of unique i'm at the starting load of 4.7 right now, will the little neck tension be a problem at 5.2? they are ok with the bench test.

rfwobbly
February 12, 2013, 10:43 PM
2 ideas....

• Put the expander mandril in a drill motor and polish the expander end with some fine (like #400) emery cloth for just 30 seconds. That should take it down .001 to .002 inches. Enough to do the job.

• You said you already load 9mm. The expander in those dies may already be .001 smaller that your 38 expander. See if you can use that die more successfully.

ArchAngelCD
February 12, 2013, 10:58 PM
drz436,
You are correct, after resizing the brass should not be as loose as you're describing. There are many things that can cause this including the brass, defective dies, dies improperly adjusted and other things too. Make sure everything is set up correctly and us brass with a different headstamp and see if that helps.

drz436
February 12, 2013, 11:08 PM
2 ideas....

• Put the expander mandril in a drill motor and polish the expander end with some fine (like #400) emery cloth for just 30 seconds. That should take it down .001 to .002 inches. Enough to do the job.

• You said you already load 9mm. The expander in those dies may already be .001 smaller that your 38 expander. See if you can use that die more successfully.
The die doesn't have a expander mandrill just the normal carbide to bring the case mouth back to dia should it have one for the 38 special?

drz436
February 12, 2013, 11:16 PM
drz436,
You are correct, after resizing the brass should not be as loose as you're describing. There are many things that can cause this including the brass, defective dies, dies improperly adjusted and other things too. Make sure everything is set up correctly and us brass with a different headstamp and see if that helps.
I will try to use a different head stamp I have alot of R-P brass I have the die set up per instructions so it just touches the shell plate I didnt want to by the Lee set but that was all I could find

beatledog7
February 12, 2013, 11:42 PM
I think your sizing die is the problem; it's not squeezing down the case diameter enough. And since it sounds like you have it adjusted right, I'd say that sizing die has been reamed out too big.

For he sake or argument, have you any .357 Mag cases? Does the die size them down enough to get good neck tension?

Either way, if it won't size a .38SPL case down enough to grab a jacketed bullet, it's defective. Lee should replace it.

zxcvbob
February 12, 2013, 11:44 PM
You also might be adjusting the expander die down too far.

joneb
February 12, 2013, 11:46 PM
It sounds like the sizing die is not sizing enough. I measured a r-p 38spl case sized by a RCBS carbide die and the OD is .372"
As mentioned in post #8, I would use your 9x19 expander flare die and see that helps, heck maybe see if you can size the case with the 9x19 sizing die.
R-P brass is thinner than most but it has not been a problem for me with 38spl and jacketed bullets, I like R-P brass for .358" lead.
I have had bullet jump issues with R-P brass in .357 mag. with jacketed bullets and heavy loads but not in .38spl

drz436
February 12, 2013, 11:53 PM
I'm not even using the expander just the resizing die I have a few fiocchi .357 casses I will try those if they wont give neck tension the die might be a little big I would need a dial bore gage to check it and I would need to know what it should be +or-.000

BullfrogKen
February 12, 2013, 11:56 PM
Just remember that unless you bought Lee's .38 Special only dies, you bought a .357/38 Special die.


Not being next to you on the bench, my guess is you didn't read the instructions closely enough and had it backed off more than you needed to. Remember the .357 case is longer, and you bought .357 magnum dies.


My general rule is I screw in the expanding die until it hits resistance in a case. Then I screw it in a bit, check to see if the bullet starts. If not, screw it in half a turn more, check to see if the bullet starts. And I do that until I get the heel of the bullet into the case and it'll seat well without buggering up my brass.


I'd put $20.00 down that you have your dies adjusted wrong.

ArchAngelCD
February 12, 2013, 11:56 PM
I will try to use a different head stamp I have alot of R-P brass I have the die set up per instructions so it just touches the shell plate I didnt want to by the Lee set but that was all I could find
There is really nothing wrong with Lee dies but it does sound like you might have gotten that very rare defective die. If it is defective Lee will replace it for you or since they are brand new you can get a replacement at the place of purchase.

drz436
February 12, 2013, 11:59 PM
It sounds like the sizing die is not sizing enough. I measured a r-p 38spl case sized by a RCBS carbide die and the OD is .372"
I would using your 9x19 expander flare die and see that helps, heck maybe see if you can size the case with the 9x19 sizing die.
R-P brass is thinner than most but it has not been a problem for me with 38spl and jacketed bullets, I like R-P brass for .358" lead.
I have had bullet jump issues with R-P brass in .357 mag. with jacketed bullets and heavy loads but not in .38spl
I just measured a R_P case after resizing and the OD is .374 at the mouth I think the die is out of tolerance, too big

BullfrogKen
February 13, 2013, 12:03 AM
What's the Inner Diameter?

ArchAngelCD
February 13, 2013, 12:04 AM
Readjust the dies like mentioned in Post #16 before you condemn the dies...

Reefinmike
February 13, 2013, 12:19 AM
methinks you don't have your resizing die seated down enough. with my lee die set, if you have the die set so it just barely pops the primer, you can bell the case mouth and push a bullet down in fairly easily. your sizing/depriming die should just barely be a hair above the shellplate when the ram is fully raised.

joneb
February 13, 2013, 12:34 AM
What's the Inner Diameter?
That is the question but I do not have a inside tube micrometer.
As far as die set up I assumed the poster had a handle on that ?

gamestalker
February 13, 2013, 12:38 AM
On the +P topic, you should really give Longshot a try. I use it for all my +P 38 spcl. loads and it really works nicely, and with absolutely no spiking issues, it is really very manageable in this respect.

But back to the neck tension topic for a moment. if your going to be working up to +P levels it's pretty important to get that neck tension issue diagnosed. It really stinks when your having to deal with bullets locking your gun up. You can try my old personal time tested "don't bell the case" method too as one more attempt if your using jacketed bullets?

GS

BullfrogKen
February 13, 2013, 12:38 AM
Even the most cheapest micrometer should the ability to measure both inside and outside diameter.

If you don't have one, spend the $17.00 or so its costs to get one and buy it. I've used mine on countless household projects, in areas completely outside of reloading.

zxcvbob
February 13, 2013, 12:44 AM
I use RP brass exclusively for my oversized DEWC bullets because it's so thin. Do you have any Winchester or CBC or S&B or Starline (etc) brass you can try? I think you have a combination of problems, and the RP brass is part of it.

Try "neck sizing" your brass with your 9mm sizing die adjusted really high. If you have a lock ring on it already for 9mm you can put a 2nd ring underneath to experiment without losing you 9mm setting.

joneb
February 13, 2013, 12:54 AM
Even the most cheapest micrometer should the ability to measure both inside and outside diameter.
A OD micrometer can not measure ID, calipers will get you close but not exact.

BullfrogKen
February 13, 2013, 12:58 AM
OK, in my haste I mis-spoke.

Most calipers will measure it. Basic micrometers will not.


But it will tell you what you need to know a lot better than, "my bullet seats too low after resizing".

joneb
February 13, 2013, 01:07 AM
I have a few Harbor freight digital 6" calipers I paid $10 each. I may modify one to measure ID more accurately but this will take some time.

ljnowell
February 13, 2013, 01:12 AM
You can always order a cheap set of telescopic gauges online. They are very handy to a reloader, IMO. I have a nice set, along with mic's and calipers from my days as a mechanic. You dont have to spend big bucks to be exact enough for this use though.

BullfrogKen
February 13, 2013, 01:19 AM
I ordered mine from MidwayUSA a long, long time ago. They come in very handy, in all sorts of HoMo jobs.

drz436
February 13, 2013, 08:53 AM
Thanks to everyone for your replys. I measured the inside of the Die with my digital calipers and came up with .372 does this seem normal? tonight after work I will try some different brass and see what happends if the Die is ok I will try my 9mm Die as suggested to get a little more neck tension for my R-P brass.

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