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bullet jump in 38 spcl

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gspn, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    I started reloading for .38 special last night. I've reloaded for many other calibers for a long time...just not .38.

    So I worked up some 148 grain wadcutters and I took three guns to the range. A S&W Model 14 target gun, a S&W air weight Chiefs Special and a 1st Generation Colt detective Special.

    The Model 14 shot great as usual. The Chiefs Special did about what I expected. The Colt however locked up on the third shot. The gun is so light that the recoil caused the wadcutters in the last two cylinders to jump out and get stuck in the cylinder throat. When I ejected I got primed brass and gunpowder falling out of the gun and I had two wadcutters stuck. One was partially out of the cylinder and the other was just inside it.

    I guess I'll need some more crimp if I intend to run that gun anymore.
  2. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Well-Known Member

    No, you need more neck tension on your bullets. I loaded max load in 38 spl without a crimp for in a 1 7/8" barrel Taurus revolver and had no problems with bullets moving around in my shells. You can do it also.

    Make sure your running you cases the whole way into the resizing die and not over flaring them on the next step.
  3. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Colts have short cylinders and a smaller amount of bullet jump will tie them up. Neck tension may help hold the bullet but its nothing you can set or easily adjust and how well it works depends upon you bullet size, the size of the expander, and most importantly your load and how much recoil it produces. I'd suspect your loads where on the upper end of power and velocity and not a typical light target load using wad cutters. most dies sets come with an expander for jacketed bullets so the typical larger diameter lead bullets at .001" over jacketed are usually quite tight. A tighter crimp WILL solve the problem and has been the solution for over 100 years of revolver loading to prevent bullet pull under recoil.
  4. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    You are correct.

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