Reality Check! - THR

Go Back   THR > Ammunition, Gear, and Firearm Help > Handloading and Reloading

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Thread Tools
Old October 20, 2015, 09:41 PM   #1
Join Date: September 11, 2013
Posts: 245
Reality Check!

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!

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.

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. (?) 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?

Last edited by IWAC; October 20, 2015 at 10:04 PM.
IWAC is offline  
Old October 20, 2015, 09:57 PM   #2
Contributing Member
Join Date: October 19, 2013
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 1,535
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.
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"
Patrick Henry
Dudedog is offline  
Old October 20, 2015, 09:59 PM   #3
Join Date: April 17, 2012
Posts: 1,044
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.
Reefinmike is offline  
Old October 20, 2015, 10:02 PM   #4
Join Date: January 19, 2006
Location: Happy Valley, UT
Posts: 11,190
Maybe he thought you were talking about 357 sig. Weird in any case.
Pet peeve: "You better send that defective __________ to me for proper disposal." Not original. Not funny. Not helpful. Please make it stop.
1KPerDay is offline  
Old October 20, 2015, 10:07 PM   #5
Join Date: August 10, 2011
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 525
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.
au_prospector is offline  
Old October 20, 2015, 10:25 PM   #6
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Posts: 97
.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.
Skinnedknuckles is offline  
Old October 20, 2015, 10:36 PM   #7
Join Date: September 10, 2008
Location: SW Arizona
Posts: 9,631
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.

gamestalker is offline  
Old October 25, 2015, 11:59 PM   #8
Join Date: September 11, 2013
Posts: 245
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?

Also gonna see if I can find some .22 shotshells: just for Scientific Research, you understand!
IWAC is offline  
Old October 26, 2015, 05:39 PM   #9
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Posts: 97
[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?

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
Skinnedknuckles is offline  
Old October 26, 2015, 06:12 PM   #10
tightgroup tiger
Join Date: March 20, 2011
Location: Peidmont/Triad, NC
Posts: 2,031
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!
tightgroup tiger is offline  
Old October 26, 2015, 07:02 PM   #11
Join Date: August 11, 2009
Location: Elkhart, IN
Posts: 199
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.
mdemetz is offline  
Old October 26, 2015, 10:09 PM   #12
Join Date: October 24, 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 778
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.
MutinousDoug is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Firearms Forum, Inc.
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.