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Newbie first loading question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by pittspilot, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. pittspilot

    pittspilot Well-Known Member

    Howdy all,

    Have been workin my way into loading for awhile. Read alot. Came across a good deal on an RL550B and am now set up to go. Dillon is right up the street so it seemed to be the way to go. I have decided to start with .38 special.

    Here is where I think it prudent to start.

    1. Berry's plated RN 158 Grain.
    2. 4.0 Unique
    3. S&B small pistol primers.

    Will be shot out of a 28-2.

    One question. What OAL would you go with? I am thinking 1.445.

    Thanks for any thoughts.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I am loading similar bullets to 1.440. No reason 1.445 won't work.
  3. pittspilot

    pittspilot Well-Known Member

  4. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    One question. What OAL would you go with? I am thinking 1.445.

    The Berry's 158gr. is a great bullet to load. I crimp right into the top edge of the canalure-can not tell you the OAL, but they shoot well. I apply a moderate crimp to the plated bullets-NOT-too heavy on the plated..Bill.
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I didn't think there was a cannelure on plated bullets? I never saw a cannelure on a Berry's bullet.
  6. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Neither have I.

    A cannelure, otherwise known as a crimping groove, would create a weak spot in the already thin copper plating. I am told (but have never witnessed or experienced it myself) that if the plating strips off you could wind up with a barrel obstruction. Generally a disastrous event.

    If you roll crimp into the sides of a plated bullet you can create the same condition or weaker. A taper crimp, if done too strongly would be little better.

    The good news is that (if you have not over-expanded/belled the case mouth) when you seat a plated (or jacketed) bullet, it stretches the brass case quite a bit and the case crips the bullet quite tightly and the friction is enough to keep the bullet from being driven deeper into the case in handling or pulled out of the case in recoil (unless you have a lightweight gun and a very heavy recoiling 38 load). Bullet creep (or crimp jump) happens in lightweight .357 Magnums occasionally, but more often in the Scandium and Titanium 44 Magnums and larger, heavier bullets.

    In short, apply just barely enough crimp to remove the case-mouth bell. Or, better yet, chamfer the case mouth just enough that the base of the bullet can be started into the case and then squeezed into the case by the seating die.

    Lost Sheep
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I bought a Lee 38 Taper Crimp Die specifically for the CCI shotshells capsules and for the rare occasions I load plated bullets. A taper crimp die works very well in both loads.
  8. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Well-Known Member

    Can't say about Berry's. I load a ton of Extreme 125 gr .38 cal and they do have a cannelure and they are plated.
  9. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    I am not doubting you, but could you post a link to a picture? The only "Extreme 125 Gr" bullets I found with anything that looked like a cannelure were Hornadys and it was a line of serrations more than a crimping groove.


    Lost Sheep
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    The X-Treme bullets are very good, but the "cannelure" is more just marks than an actual indention. Its great for giving a mark to seat to, but I wouldn't actually consider it a cannelure, and wouldn't roll crimp into it. I taper crimp them with a proper crimp die.

    Here is a medium and heavy taper crimp on a Power Bond bullet with a similar "Cannelure".

  11. pittspilot

    pittspilot Well-Known Member

    Scratch that load. The 8th round didn't clear the barrell. Managed to get it out, but I think the load may need more oomph. 4.3 grains maybe.
  12. pittspilot

    pittspilot Well-Known Member

    Okay, a little help please.

    So I had a squib on about the 8th round. So I went to 4.2 grains, still unique. First round was another squib with the round nose sticking out of the barrel. That is going to be the devil to get out.

    Okay, so perhaps I should go with jacketed data. 4.7 and stay with the 1.445 OAL?

    Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    4.2 grains Unique is below anyones recommended starting load with a 158 grain jacket bullet.

    Start at 4.5 with plated bullets.
    You might end up with 4.7 giving a real nice load.

    And check your scales to insure you are really getting that.

  14. pittspilot

    pittspilot Well-Known Member

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