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.38 Special 158g SWC

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by The Sarge, Aug 15, 2010.

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  1. The Sarge

    The Sarge Member

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    Not all that familiar with these 158g lead SWC. So I am going strictly by my various manuals published loads. Three published loads for Bullseye call for a 1.420 OAL. If I do this (load to 1.420 OAL) I am crimping above the crimp groove and crimping on the ogive.
    Now I have pushed and the bullet is solid and does not move at all. I have Googled/Searched and really cannot find any info at all concerning crimping over or under the crimp groove to achieve a specific OAL.
    I am using a Lee FCD by the way. They chamber fine.
    Just wanted to solicit/ask if anyone else has had the issue of the crimp groove and the OAL not being in synch and what your recommendations would be.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Col

    Col Member

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    I think you may find that is the minimum OAL,I certainly have loaded and fired .38 special
    over 1.50
     
  3. Ed Gallop

    Ed Gallop Member

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    Good post. I'll have to check my manuals and measure to see if there is inconsistency. I have found variations in OAL from different manuals as well as differing from factory amo so I pay more attention to how they seat in the chamber. If they seats well crimping to the bullet groove then, in my humble opinion, they are not too long.

    I reload and shoot a lot of 38 and 357 158 SWC from a Lee mold in my Smith revolvers and not look at the manual's OAL. Could it be the test firearm in the manual differs from yours? I assume you have new brass not in need of trimming. I am curious to find the solution to your inconsistency and will check my measurements with my manuals.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Crimp into the crimp groove and forget about it. That is the O.A.L. for that bullet. If it is drastically different than the O.A.L. for the bullet the data is for, adjust the charge accordingly.
     
  5. The Sarge

    The Sarge Member

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    The minimum OAL (according to all my manuals) is 1.425...
    On the internet (LoadData.Com-AmmoGuide etc.) all have the Bullseye 3.5g load
    set at a OAL of 1.420.....
    I have found many post in various forum (via Google) where many crimp on the ogive....many just crimp wherever the groove is a don't seem to put much value on OAL....
    My real issue is pressure and seating depth and adjusting the load to match the bullet seating depth if I use the crimp groove.....also (secondary question) is does it matter at all....I see many .44 guys not crimping in the groove but crimping on the ogive.....
    I loaded about 20-25 of these @ 1.420...they chamber fine....bullet doesn't move at all even when I try to "force" it down....I check my calipers and after pushing rather hard downward it is still right where it was....so the bullet is secured.....
    I am also curious of any gas blow by when crimping on the ogive versus the groove....I mean this from a FPS consistency perspective....
    I have a new Chrony (shot my other one :) )....and am going to the range tomorrow....but sure would like to see if there is anybody else out there that had this issue before...there has to be! I know not all cast bullets/molds match up to OAL called for in all the manuals......

    Here is the most common load data that I am using. I have cross referenced it from three sources....
    Bullet Wt.
    (gr)Powder Type Charge(gr)Muzzle Vel. (fps)K.E.(ft-lbs)Pressure Barrel Length)Overall Length (in)
    158Bullseye 3.6 910 290 15500 psi 5.6 1.420
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  6. The Sarge

    The Sarge Member

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    Tell you what....I just adjusted to 1.480 and the crimp is nice and in the groove perfectly...so I am going with the 1.480 OAL and the crimp in the groove....I just read you folks post and it occurred to me...why bother with the self imposed confusion and just seat the dad gum thing in the groove an let the OAL work itself out....I kept the powder charge the same....I cannot imagine .060 out will have that much of any negatives as for accuracy or velocity.....
    Thank you all for your responses....I appreciate it....the only thing I can solicit thoughts from is my cows and a 14 year old dog....so I appreciate real reloaders input very much.........
     
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Ah, you are reaching enlightenment. :)

    People can get too anal in their reloading. Your load, which I have shot tens of thousands of, is a great load and not a maximum load. So you have much more margin than maximum loads.

    Just seat for function and all that other stuff will work itself out.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Exactly........ you just took a big step forward. Feel the relief already?
     
  9. The Sarge

    The Sarge Member

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    Yes sir I do actually.
     
  10. jfh

    jfh Member

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    ...and I will bet your cows and dog give better feedback than my 11-year-old cat.

    Jim H.
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The problem with reloading data giving OAL with a "158 SWC" is, they didn't tell you which 158 SWC they are talking about.

    Was it cast in a Lyman 358156 mold?
    Or an RCBS 38-158-SWC mold?
    Or a Lee TL358-158-SWC mold?
    Or a Magna Engeering mold?
    Or was it swaged by Remington or Winchester or somebody else?

    All are slightly different 158 SWC designs, and all have a "correct OAL".
    And that correct OAL for that exact bullet would be where the crimp groove is located.

    rc
     
  12. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "Yes sir I do actually."

    To make you feel even better, forget much crimping too, do just enough to remove the flare. Even a full house .38 Special load doesn't usually have enough recoil to need a crimp.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It can help the burn though, depending on the powder speed/bullet weight combo.
     
  14. The Sarge

    The Sarge Member

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    I finally realized exactly that! Oh well.....I was going to wait until going to the range with my buddies but just went out in the back pasture and fired a few off in my S&W.....shot great....POI....nice....I love reloading.....cept' when I look at my press through my belly button sometimes :)
     
  15. Publius1688

    Publius1688 Member

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    Ayuh, skip the crimp on the SWC .38 special load. Makes life ever so much easier.
     
  16. Centaur 1

    Centaur 1 Member

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    I have a Lee tl-158swc mold that drops bullets a little on the small side. They're usually right at .357 unless I crank the heat up, then I assume that the mold expands and they start growing. When I first got this mold it worryed me that I made a mistake buying it. Well I mixed up some LLA/JPW/MS lube and loaded them over 3.6 grains of bullseye, then gave them a slight crimp in the groove. I have no idea about the overall length, because a bullet crimped in the groove will chamber in both of my revolvers. I haven't seen any of the problems that people have with this style bullet. It's a good load that's a pleasure to shoot and it's as accurate as any bullet that I've ever shot and no lead in the barrel.
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Looks like I got to this thread too late to help. I would have told you to crimp to the groove too.
     
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