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Loading 38 Special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gun Geezer, Sep 13, 2009.

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  1. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Member

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    I have been loading 38 special. I not a novice, but not certainly "old timer" at it either.

    I have always used bullets with a cannalure and had no problem putting a roll crimp on them. I've never had a problem loading anything until now.

    I have just switched to trying some 125 gr Berry's. Of course, Berry's do not have a cannalure.

    I am trying to use the roll crimp to put a very light squeeze on the brass, just enough to straighten out the flare. My 1st 100 rounds I had 15 that bent or bulged enough to not go into by check gauge. I checked the brass length and found way more variance than I thought there would be. So, I trimmed them all to the same length and re-set the seating/crimp die.

    I loaded another 100 and out of those only 2 were bent and bulged. Obviously, case length is critical if there is cannalure for the case to roll in to.

    But I still am not happy with the several that still don't load well.

    I am sure there is still something I'm not doing right. How do I load these Berry's bullets with no cannalure using a roll crimp die?

    Does someone sell taper crimp dies for 38 special?
     
  2. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I use a 9mm taper crimp die for .38 spl bullets without a cannalure, I found it at a gun show for $5. I trim my .38 spl brass to 1.147 and have no crimping issues.
     
  3. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Member

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    If 38 spec taper crimp is not available I'd yours is a really good idea. thank.s
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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  5. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I would suggest two things to you. First of all assuming that you are loading with a three die set where the third die both seats and crimps. If so I would seat all my bullets w/o crimping first and then crimp as a second step. Adjust your crimp die(after backing out your seating stem) down a quarter turn at a time until you can NOT push your bullet into the case with hard hand pressure. ou don not have to achieve a complete roll crimp to hold the bullet in place. That should give you a good loaded round. Remember to save a good loaded round for reference for when you reset your die. Second suggestion would be to purchase a separate taper crimp die. You may find a used one on Ebay or Gunbroker or advertise for one on THR. Good luck. :)
    BTW: All factory rounds are basically all taper crimped these days, both pistol and revolver rounds.
     
  6. lykoris

    lykoris Member

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    +1, it works very well for .38spl
     
  7. Beelzy

    Beelzy Member

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    Follow Loaderound's advice.

    You should learn the intracacies of the crimping process so you can figure any bullet/crimp for any and all types of cartridges you will run across. YMMV
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Light Taper Crimp On Berrys 125 Gr TrFP In .357 Brass

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Notice the bright spot at the edge of the case mouth from the crimp die.
     
  9. something vague

    something vague Member

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    I actually use Reddings Profile Crimp die. This die has been one of my favorite specialty dies I've purchased. It's great for putting a heavy roll crimp on my hot .357mag loads and also does well with a light roll crimp for the lighter loads. It also is set up to put a taper crimp on rounds that don't need roll crimps i.e. Berry's bullets. It produces a taper crimp before it ever gets to the roll crimp section. I love this thing.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, the Profile Crimp has a slight taper leading to the roll crimp ledge in the die. They advertise it that way. They work very well. I have a couple of those as well. Good stuff. If you want a medium to heavy taper crimp, it won't work, & you'll need the straight Taper Crimp die, but for that Berrys 125 Gr TrFP and light target loads in .38 Spl, all you need is a light taper crimp, so it should work just fine.
     
  11. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    You don't need a crimp at all. Plated bullets are loaded with cast bullet data. They don't get driven fast enough to need a crimp. Note how the plating is cracking and coming off Walkalong's bullet.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    On some plated bullet loads I use heavier crimps. That is just a stain from handling the reloads. No peeling or flaking going on. You don't have to limit yourself with lead data for plated bullets either. I have never experienced flaking or peeling of plated bullets at up to 1350 FPS in some cases. There is a lot of bad info floating around about plated bullets that simply isn't so. ;)
     
  13. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...just a stain..." That second picture not the same bullet? The lead is visible.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It is the same bullet, and it is a stain. The lead is simply not visible. I have handled these rounds with sweaty hands and it stained the bullet. (last 7 in a box of 50)

    Believe what you want to. I have the round here with me and I know the truth. :)
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Looks like the same bullet to me only a closer picture.

    If Walkalong is telling you something you can believe him.
    He is an honest person with no reason to lie here.
     
  16. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    I see what you mean, there.

    The lead's not visible--that grey spot is a reflection of the camera. :)
     
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