Reality Check!


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IWAC
October 20, 2015, 08:41 PM
Looking through my reloading stuff yesterday, I came across a box of speer shot capsules, and a metal Band Aid box, with what I dimly remember is #9 shot in it. To find out how old this stuff is, I called Speer, and the customer service rep looked, and finally said those were last seen about 1978! :eek:

I asked if there had been dimensional changes between then and the new, blue shot capsules. He didn't seem to think so. The loads are the same....38 spl brass, 5.5 gr. Unique, standard primer and a FIRM crimp.

Now, I don't remember ever loading the capsules in .38 Spl. brass; all I had then was .357 Magnum brass, and I remember my FIRM crimp cracking the capsule. :cool:

I asked the young man about loading the capsules in 357 brass, and he said "NO!" He claimed the 357 mag brass had a "step" , and his brass wouldn't accept the capsules. (?) :confused: I Never heard of that before, so I ran a dental pick down about a half-dozen Magnum brass...no "step". Hmmmm.... Maybe his cases had a cannelure, or whatever that knurled ring might be called

Anyway, my thinking is that 357 brass will work just fine, and 5 gr. Unique would work as well as anything, and maybe I could use my taper crimp die for less chance of damaging the capsules.

What do you guys say? Am I on the right track? :)

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Dudedog
October 20, 2015, 08:57 PM
As long as it not 296 or H110 I don't see why a .38 special load won't work in the longer .357 case. (but I have never loaded shot capsules) Some times you end up needing a few tenths more to make up for the larger case volume.

I have never seen any .357 brass with a "step" but that's not to say there isn't such a beast.

Reefinmike
October 20, 2015, 08:59 PM
Ignore what the cs rep said and go ahead and load em up. Never seen a step in 357 brass and the lighter charge with increased case capacity certainly wont kb your firearm.

1KPerDay
October 20, 2015, 09:02 PM
Maybe he thought you were talking about 357 sig. Weird in any case.

au_prospector
October 20, 2015, 09:07 PM
Let us know how they shoot. I am curious specifically if the shot capsule ruptures giving an actual pattern or are we shooting plastic bean bags with lead shot in them? ?

Have not done this, but have thought of it a time or two.

Skinnedknuckles
October 20, 2015, 09:25 PM
.357 brass and some .38 Special have a tapered wall, reducing the ID, that could seem to be a step. The taper starts to bind the capsule at a certain point as it is seated, limiting how deeply the capsules can be seated without cracking them. Other brass seems to have straighter walls, making it easier to seat the capsules to the length listed on the Speer box.

I found that with my Taurus revolver with a 4" barrel, shot shells patterned best with 6 gr of Unique with both #8 and #12 shot when used in .357 brass with a 1.550" COAL, but as they always say on these sites what is safe in one gun may not be safe in another and it is the responsibility of each of us to work up our own loads following safe reloading practices. I also used a taper crimp and a drop of super glue to keep them from walking out under recoil.

gamestalker
October 20, 2015, 09:36 PM
I'm not sure I've ever tried the 38 spcl. load in the .357 brass with those. But you might want to increase the powder charge a tad, maybe .5 gr. or so, and use a fast-ish burning powder also.

But as far crimping is concerned, Speer told me way back in the day to go real easy on the crimp, as you seem to already know.

GS

IWAC
October 25, 2015, 10:59 PM
Thanks for the help; I loaded up 10 of the capsules, "just to see", using the recommended 5.5gr. of Unique in 357 brass. I used my Dillon taper crimp die, which can add a roll crimp in addition to the taper. No glue yet.
It worked fine, and I stuck with the recommended OAL of 1.590 in. We shall see. I will figure out some means of testing them. :) I'd like to buy more sizes of shot, but that would require buying a 25 lb. bag, which would last me at least 999 years! And there is always the WIIDOW factor...What If It Don"t Work? :D

Also gonna see if I can find some .22 shotshells: just for Scientific Research, you understand! ;)

Skinnedknuckles
October 26, 2015, 04:39 PM
[QUOTE=IWAC;10059037] I'd like to buy more sizes of shot, but that would require buying a 25 lb. bag, which would last me at least 999 years! And there is always the WIIDOW factor...What If It Don"t Work? :D
QUOTE]

Two possible sources for shot. If you have any shotshell reloading friends, they can usually be talked out of a few ounces of different shot, but they are most likely to have 7-1/2, 8, and 9 since they are the most popular clays sizes, and those guys tend to be the reloaders.

You can also get enough shot from a single 12 gauge shell to fill 5-6 .38 Special shotshells. That's another way to get a sample to try. I found that the #8 penetrated better than the #9 usually found in the commercial shells. The #12 just sends out a cloud of shot but penetration isn't so great because the individual pellets are so light. One shot of #12 to be sure you get their attention followed by a shot of #8 to let them know you are serious;)

tightgroup tiger
October 26, 2015, 05:12 PM
I used those shot capsules also, had a lot of fun with them in .357mag reduced loads.

I took 00 buck shot and machined out a die and flattened them so they would fit in the capsule. I could get three of them in there and the lid slid in like they were made for it.

At 15yds they would give me about a 3" group, I never got close enough to shoot a coyote with them but I still have some of them around someplace, I remember seeing them about 3 years ago.

I think I was using Unique powder but I didn't record what I was doing at the time. All I remember was it was fun!

That was back in the 1980's and they were "new,old stock" left over that J&L Sporting Goods in Pa wanted to get rid of. I still live up there at the time.

I remember them telling me that these were the only shot shell capsules for handguns at the time that were still being sold and they were already out of production.

Thanks! Now I have to tear apart half my house to find these!

mdemetz
October 26, 2015, 06:02 PM
Maybe he thought you were talking about 357 sig. Weird in any case.
He is probably talking about the serrated crimp on some brass that stops the bullet seating any further down.

MutinousDoug
October 26, 2015, 09:09 PM
I made about 2 dozen of these in 38SPL when they were still available as current manufactured components using #8 shot. Back then I carried a model 66 S&W when I backpacked or hunted and they took a couple of headshot grouse in season at about 10 yards. They patterned pretty hollow beyond that but were fine for that or the little prairie rattlers we have around here (at arms length). I still have about a 1/2 dozen left over since I graduated to carrying a Ruger Bearcat in place of the S&W. I have a package of similarly aged .22 shot shells and another of .45ACP that I haven't opened yet. At arms length or at 10 yds, I'm pretty sure of an adequate headshot on either with the Bearcat using WW Super-X or similar quality ammunition.

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