Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by stonebuster, Feb 17, 2022.
As I made my way through the 100-round MTM box I hit a row of rounds that had crummy crimps. The lowest ones in the black were semi-crimped I guess, the really poorly crimped one tore the target way low rather than cutting a hole through it.
After this cylinder I stopped shooting them so I can inspect and redo the ones that need it.
Consistency rules the roost. I missed these and it shows!
OP, did the cases come out sooty?
Was there anything else that changed with these recently reloaded rounds like a different batch of bullets or how you might have lubed cases? I had a batch of plated that smoked and attributed it to whatever lube they had in the process. Yes I know plated implies really clean metals to get ions to attach, etc etc etc, but these smoked a bit. Good luck.
Same powder weight, HP-38, same Xtreme 158gr RNFP copper plated but a new box of bullets. I did think the bullets out of the new box of 500 felt more slippery than usual although my gloves stayed dry. Some of the cases looked a little dirtier(soot) than usual. I'll crimp some a little more and try them next trip to the range. I usually store the finished product back in original boxes/loading blocks primers down in case the in the hope of eliminating any positional powder issue due to HP-38 not filling the case much.
I've read through this and a couple of things came to mind: Yes, a loose or incomplete crimp can allow for less-than-complete ignition BUT (big BUT, like Kim's ) that's not the only factor here.
A SRP (standard? magnum?) emits more gas and at higher pressures than a SPP (standard is assumed here) which can cause a loosely crimped bullet to "jump" the case mouth and enter the throat, lowering chamber pressure when the charge ignites and causing incomplete burn. Thus: smoke. Check to see if the smoky loads were SRP or SPP. You already know to fix the loose crimp. But, that doesn't explain the lack of residue. Moving on....
How many were smoky and were you shooting a freshly-cleaned revolver? It might not have been your handloads at all but solvent/lubricant left in the cylinder and barrel smoking off. Did you clean your pistol recently and did you remember to mop out any extra oil/lube/solvent? Did the smoke go away after the first cylinder? If it is excess oil/lube/solvent then the first cylinder would have burned off most of it, the second cylinder would have burned off the rest and the third would have been what you're used to, no or very little smoke. This would explain the smoke and the lack of residue. In this case the loose crimp is irrelevant; it is your cleaning and clean-up procedure.
Not necessarily. Smoke indicates non-combustion. Oil or wax, typically. But grease, lubricants, solvents, and other high-heat combustibles partially burning but not completely oxidizing results in smoke and smudge.
Which would explain why -
I suspect either you didn't mop the chambers completely clean or left lubricants in the chamber throats and that's what really caused the smoke. A loose crimp might (might!) be the red herring.
Probably the crimp, then. It's all kind of subjective, not objective, when it comes to how we perceive things like smoky and dirty.
X-Treme makes more than one bullet, are you using plated, cast or "soft jacketed"?
I’d say the extra lube probably is responsible for the smoke.
could create small variations in pressure from round to round and perhaps in smoke generation.
Perhaps your initial crimp setting was enough to create a functioning crimp on even the shortest cases you loaded in the first batch. And your new crimp setting didn't create enough of a crimp on the shortest cases you loaded in the second batch.
1) Try going back to the initial crimp setting and see if the smoke goes away.
2) Trim a few cases to a consistent length, set your crimp die to produce a consistent crimp on these cases, and see if this makes a difference.
Experimentation is one of our most important reloading tools, after all.
Oh, and let us know what your results turn out to be!
no, no, no, no
All powders benifit from a decent crimp , not as critical with fast burning powders but very critical with slow burning like 2400 . A loose crimp and maybe a primer that flashed over the powder lying in the case on it's side and you got an incomplete burn. Smoke and soot comes from it . Every once in a while you get a not so tight crimp . 4.3 grs. of HP-38 is not a Too Light load but there is a lot of room in the 38 Special case ...sometimes all the powder gets positioned towards the bullet . Do this before firing your revolver , point the barrel skyward to position all the charges to the rear of the case (NRA Bullseye Match shooter trick) .
Full wadcutter bullets are loaded deep into the case to take up some of this extra room 2.7 grs. Bullseye gets lost in a 38 Special case . Your load is fine , it was just a light crimp and/or powder position and it could have been a faulty primer ... only getting a partial flash .
Lately , in the last 10 years , I've seen more Wonky primers than in the preceeding 40 years ... they may have increased primer production but primer duds have increased with them .
Don't back off your crimp , apply a medium - firm crimp that holds the bullet under pressure from your thumb ... You don't have to go all Magilla Gorilla on the crimp , just a firm one .
Sorry my first post didn't specify "plated". It should have as I did in post #7.
Pretty much it ^ ^ ^
Accuracy is paramount.
All the other things are a distant second.
I have cleaning rods and patches and
several ways to clean dirty fired cases
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