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Cases - trim .357 to .38?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mbopp, Apr 2, 2010.

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  1. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    I'm accumulating .357 Mag cases that have developed neck cracks from repeated loadings. I load very few full power loads, most of my loading is cast bullets at .38 SPL levels for the old K-frame.
    I chucked a couple of these cases in my case trimmer and cut them back .135" to 38 SPL length. Is there any harm in using them or am I missing something?
     
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Shouldn't be any problem using them a couple more times. The brass is work hardened and will likely crack after a couple more loadings anyway so you may find the effort to trim isn't worth the few extra loads. If you want to prolong the case life you can anneal them to soften the brass back up.
     
  3. 918v

    918v Member

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    I'm sure you realize that trimming that much is a real pain.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The only possible problem is, the .357 mag case has a thicker case web taper then .38 Special, and you may notice the bullet base getting squeezed in, especially with HBWC bullets.

    They will also have slightly less case capacity then .38 Spl cases.

    rc
     
  5. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    rcmodel took the words right out of my keyboard! ;)

    Just be aware of that fact and don't go crazy with max loads. If you planned to load up some +P loads, they may turn out to be a little more pluser P than you thought they should be.
     
  6. jfh

    jfh Member

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    what rcmodel said and Mal_H elaborated on.

    Jim H.
     
  7. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    OK, that's about what I thought.
    Just by weighing the trimmed cases I find they're heavier than .38 SPL cases. I'll be loading mild cast wadcutter loads in them so excessive pressure will be an issue. I won't be making +P+ or short Magnums out of them!
    Trimming them isn't that bad, I've got my case trimmer rigged to use a cordless drill to spin it. I did that conversion when making .357 Herrett brass from .30-30 cases years ago.
     
  8. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    mbopp:
    I have done this as well (trimmed 357 to 38 and loaded wadcutters)
    I do not seat the wadcutters to the crimp groove though.
    I crimp in the lube groove closest to the crimp groove for a longer OAL.
    This puts the bullet into the throat of a revolver chamber and increases the room for powder in the case.

    Just sayin'

    Tilos
     
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