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Found a great deal on .357 brass, can it be trimmed to .38spl?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by KosmicKrunch, Dec 11, 2010.

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  1. KosmicKrunch

    KosmicKrunch Member

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    I found .357 O/F nickled brass for $13 per 250 + flat rate S&H, can fit like 2800 in a box for the same flat rate. He has over 200,000, I was thinking I can trim/re-size them back to .38 special and use them for my mid range loads on the cheap. I have an electric trimmer set that makes the work easy. Although my re-sizing is manual on a Lee Challanger set up perm for the sizing/decap.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    It can be trimmed, but may 1) leave small nickel shards sticking out, and 2) may need reaming.

    Some thoughts:
    • 38 Spcl brass is not that uncommon
    • A trip to your local indoor range may net you the same price in the correct brass
    • Someone here may want to swap you 250 "357" for 300 "38Spcl"

    The later seems like a lot less work and a much bigger bang, without all the possibility for headaches. AND, you make a 357 shooter very happy.
     
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Case walls may be* to thick on brass, keeping the loaded round from chambering. The expander die will open brass to let you seat a bullet, but the finished diameter should be no bigger than .379" Thats a whole lot of trimming. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  4. KosmicKrunch

    KosmicKrunch Member

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    Good thinking there, I can always turn the 357 shooter onto the source rather then have double S&H for each of us. Sadly my range sells their brass after shooting and crushes them after decapping and sold for scrap metal (brass, nickled brass, steel and aluminum). They do not want the liability of a law suit for reloading or selling them for reloaders<eye roll>. Yes, not uncommon, but someone always outbids me or on the I'll take it before me.

    I would clean the brass after trim/resize. I do not think the flare is enough to chip the nickle but in my trimming process I can set a chamfer rather than a flare to be done in the same process.
     
  5. KosmicKrunch

    KosmicKrunch Member

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    Hmmmm My dies handle both 357 and 38 with no difference in the OD, the wall thickness will make the ID a tad smaller but I shoot mild mid range 38. The trim/chamfer would be for OACL to .38 specs.

    I have time, I am just looking to save actual reloading $$$$
     
  6. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    If my 357 neck splits aren't bad I'll trim & chamfer them to 38 SPL length. They are heavier than standard 38 cases though. For 38 loads I'd stay under the max listed powder charge by .2-.3 gr. But that's just me talkin' - YMMV.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It is a metric buttload of trimming, and the OD could possibly end up not fitting some tight chambers as the brass will be thicker where you seat the bullet. Back off Max charges .1 or maybe even .2 Grs, or if you see signs of trouble. Being Nickle wouldn't bother me, except that it is tougher on cutters.

    Lots of cheap once fired .38 available. Your call. :)
     
  8. Win1892

    Win1892 Member

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    Sounds like a good reason to purchase that Python you've always wanted.
     
  9. KosmicKrunch

    KosmicKrunch Member

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    LOL Win1892, I like your thinking. If it were just me, I would go .357, but my wife also shoots my 38 and she likes mild mid range loads.... I am just looking for them on the cheap. As long as I get to shoot, I do not care what load I am shooting so I might as well load for her.

    I can have the lead bullets sized correctly for the 38 specs on the 357 case, my forcing cone and barrel are tight anyways on the 38. Midstates will size and lube as needed and they are dang near half the price of other bullet mfgs.

    I never seem to find the cheap 38 brass, someone always gets it before me.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Buy a .357. Load .357 cases to .38 levels for her and whatever power level you like for you. That solves that. Now all you need to know is which .357. ;)
     
  11. howlnmad

    howlnmad Member

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    So where's this great deal on 357 brass? Every time I find one it's gone.
     
  12. kimbernut
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    kimbernut Member

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    .357 Nickeled Brass

    I'll swap you even and pay frt. for both of us if you like. I shoot a lot of nickeed brass in my .357Mag with low powered target loads. I enjoy both .357 and .38 Spl. but I make sure to use only .357 brass in my .357 loads- no .38 Spl. brass in my .357s At that price I could use 2000.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  13. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I love a happy ending. :)
     
  14. kimbernut
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    kimbernut Member

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    O/Eng.

    Me too! I'm hoping it is forthcoming.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  15. KosmicKrunch

    KosmicKrunch Member

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    Kimber: I do not own the brass yet, I wanted to know if it is ok to do first. Kimber I will send you the addy for the deal. I am more than willing to pay you for the .38 at a fair price to you and I. They are deprimed but not cleaned or resized. They come from a City Owned Police range. They deprime for safety and the primer hole is checked by a laser to make sure they are deprimed.

    Walkalong: I own a .357, it is way too heavy for my wife and daughter, so she shoots my 3" Mod 36-2 round butt with Pachmyer grips. She really enjoys that gun and the mild loads I make for her. My daughter and her will go through 200-300 rounds while I am tinkering with my other pistols in my stall. I just wanted to know if the 357 brass can be made into 38, like I said, I have time and just wanted to save reload $$$.

    Howland: LOL Me too, that is why I am HUSH on the addy til I either get mine or decide not to. I will let the cat out of the bag soon either way in this thread.
     
  16. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I'd be most concerned about the headstamp saying "357 Mag"
    while it's actually sized for .38 spl.

    I wouldn't want the headache of trying to remember which is which.
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    KosmicKrunch,
    Since you own a .357 Magnum why not do what Walkalong suggested. Load the .357 Magnum brass to .38 Special levels? That will also speed up cleaning by eliminating the carbon ring left by .38 special brass in a .357 Magnum cylinder.

    It's very easy to down load .357 Magnum brass to .38 Special levels, it's done all the time...

    BTW, would you mind sharing your source? In most parts of the country used .357 Magnum brass is hard to come by while .38 Special brass is plentiful.
     
  18. Skip_a_roo

    Skip_a_roo Member

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    The headstamp is the only problem I see with it. The case walls aren't going to be that big of a deal that far up the case. It is still in the same area a bullet would be in most older 357mag loads anyway, crimping over the end of the last driving band, M28/M27 fashion.

    Having headstamps that say 357Mag that would fit in a chamber rated for a 38spl is not what I would want laying around. One mistake later on with a hot load in a case that can be shot in a revolver not suited for that power, no thanks.

    What if one of those rounds get into the gun your wife and daughter were shooting?

    No, not when they are counting on me to give them safe loads to shoot, nope.

    Do what you feel is safe for you and yours. You will have to live with the results.

    And please, don't think that it can't happen. I'm sure someone else has already done it.

    p.s. What will you be training your little girl to do anyway? Put ammunition in a firearm that says it is supposed to be fired in something else? Buy the 357Mag and get some 38spl too.
     
  19. Steve Marshall

    Steve Marshall Member

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    There will be no dimensional issues with trimmed down .357 brass. But perceptional issues abound. On a different tack, if you'll do a search, I'm fairly certain you can find a source that will be close on the price for 38 spl. brass. Example: I went to oncefiredbrass.com and they were selling 250 rounds of 38 Spl. brass for $15, saving all the labor of trimming/deburring for virtually the same price. And no mix-up.
     
  20. Steve Marshall

    Steve Marshall Member

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    I just went to the sell section and the first ad I saw was for 38 Spl. brass @ 4
    cents each.
     
  21. KosmicKrunch

    KosmicKrunch Member

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    Skip & Hondo: of all the answers, yours was the most compelling and I agree. OK I am not going to do the 357's trimmed to 38's. That was a sound and well thought out reply and I appreciate the kick in the butt and a heads up. Yes, I want to teach my daughter correctly. Next year she starts a reloading class (10 classes in all, hosted by the reloading group at my Gander Mountain) and will have her own reload bench. She will most likely want it all PINK and POWDER Blue :) (she has a pink 10/22 and a pink .410 and a powder blue Savage Mk II in .17 wmrf.) if she ever asked for a Pink M4, I will send her off to a re-thinking camp in Alaska somewhere LOL. YES I know they exist, I just cannot take a PINK M4 in my house, makes me shiver just thinking of it.

    Steve: in all of my searches, I never heard of oncefiredbrass.com I am headed that way now to see what they have. GLARES with squinted eyes that Steve found brass in the sell section.......loads blowgun with tranq darts...... Usually by the time I get there, super secret PM's are passed back and forth and all the brass is gone like magic.

    Archangel: My wife and daughter (both are a very small framed and dainty women unlike me, I am a wide butt bull moose in a crytal shop) cannot handle the weight of my 357's, she must shoot the 36-2 with a 3" barrel and they both do very very well with it. I do not want either of them to bulk up like a Female Russian Shot Putter to handle the larger guns I have.
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Once fired .357 had been hard to find and overpriced for a while now. I have seen it not only advertised, but sold, for more than Starline sells it for new. :mad:

    I ordered 500 from Starline when it was out of stock. I still received it in less than a month, before the "expected availability" date. :)
     
  23. Skip_a_roo

    Skip_a_roo Member

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    Kosmic,
    Glad I could be of some assistance. I try REAL hard to make my posts informative and at times a bit quippy. It gets to be challenging being so literary-ily challenged! ;)

    Be safe, have fun, enjoy your family.
     
  24. Skip_a_roo

    Skip_a_roo Member

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    I got to thinking, my daughter uses a very similar firearm to your wife and daughter!
    Ours is just stainless!

    [​IMG]

    The most important thing is that they keep shooting! Buy the pink AR if you have to! :D
     
  25. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    SO, where is this cheap .357 brass?
     
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