Neck Tension on 38 special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by cardinalorange, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    You're talking slightly pass each other. I think what Jim was referring to was that neck tension is applied by the case, below the "flare".
     
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  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    It is very likely that you are "over flaring/belling" the case...expanding so deeply that you've reduced all the neck tension. This isn't uncommon when using the Hornady PTX. I used one for a short while when I first go my Bullet Feeding die. Setting the PTX up to correctly bell and case while also maintaining full travel of the powder measure insert can be an exercise in frustration.

    I found the going with a separate expanding die utilized the Lyman M-profile worked very well in combination with my Redding Dual Ring Sizer and Competition Seating die
     
  3. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    Always roll crimp it hard. The grove doesn't matter.
     
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  4. mdi

    mdi Member

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    K.I.S.S.; from your post about test, just reduce the crimp to a minor "deflaring" no "crimp"...
     
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  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, skip the PTX and flare slightly with your expander, or re-adjust the PTX so it doesn't cause an issue, if it can be, and do just enough taper crimp to remove and flare and a hair more. It doesn't need much.

    Sounds like you have a handle on it either way.
     
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  6. cardinalorange

    cardinalorange Member

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    Answer to some questions:
    No I don't trim pistol brass
    Wet tumbled with SS pins in a fart
    Bullets are from RMR (but I assume are actually armscor they're reselling)

    I just ran 300 more through, and I saw the issue some more (though far less, so it's likely a combination of thin brass, slightly larger sizing die, overbelling and overcrimping). Since I want these to be super solid (I'm giving to a buddy, not shooting them myself) I'll probably switch to a different bullet with a cannelure so I can roll crimp, especially since that seems to be the suggested way to load them anyway.

    WRT @Bcwitt roll crimping FMJs with no cannelure- Is this a thing? I thought you can get serious overpressure issues if the crimp cuts into the jacket?

    Now to find FMJs or plated with cannelure for less than 20 cents a round...
     
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  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't do it. IE, a hard roll crimp on non canellured bullets, especially plated.

    I think you have the right idea about getting a different projectile with a cannelure or crimp groove so you can be more confident about what you are giving your friend. Do make sure you have good neck tension to go with it.
     
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  8. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    Great idea. With your PTX, do you use the PTX stop?
    PTX POWDER MEASURE STOP
    Item #290049
    And, hopefully, you have the correct PTX expander insert? It could be that’s a bit too large for the expanding part or perhaps it’s set too low. At any rate, knowing it’s the issue can help solve the problem. With jacketed bullets there’s no need to flare too much. Good luck.
     
  9. NMexJim

    NMexJim Member

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    While I don’t disagree at all that the PTX is a PITA, I will add that in order to control the amount of flair, you really need the PTX Powder Measure Stop.

    https://www.hornady.com/reloading/presses/lock-n-load-accessories/case-activated-powder-drop-powder-accessories#!/


    If you have one and it’s well set-up, you shouldn’t be over flaring. If you’re trying to do without and want the PTX, I recommend you get one. There are a number of threads on this topic.
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I have one, came with the Bullet Feeder die. I didn't care for the way the instructions were written and wasn't thrilled by how it affected my previously smoothly running powder drop.

    What tipped the scales to putting it away was discovering the M-profile Expansion die. Since this profile wasn't offered on the PTX , it was a easy choice to just get a separate die.

    I am using a powder through expanding insert, made by DAA, in the powder measure on the Dillon 750...and it works very well.
     
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  11. cardinalorange

    cardinalorange Member

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    Yea, I have one as well and 100% on the instructions. Add in the fact I tend to crush case mouths with an alarmingly regularity (like 1-3 per 100) with the PTX on 9mil and I might retire both as well. The powder drop is fantastic though.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I also use the expanders that came with the die sets, or M-Die type replacements, and not a PTX etc on my LNL to expand/flare when loading.
     
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  13. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    Make sure there is no bullet lube or residue built up on the sizing expander ball. This lessen bullet pull. Crimping is not a substitute for poor neck tension.
     
  14. whughett

    whughett Member

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    First off any bullet loaded tip to base in a tube magazine should use a bullet designed to have a rollcrimp. Sure as a hand loader you can use a none roll crimp bullet but in my opinion your setting up a potentially dangerous situations. Every shot is trying to push that bullet deeper into the case and by the last one up it could be back enough to create serious pressure problems, especially if the loads are near max to start.
    Overstated perhaps for a pipsqueak like the 38 special in a lever gun, serious issue in higher pressure cartridges.
     
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  15. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I cannot seat 38 special without a flare station.
    Because of this. I would check your sizing die's dimensions like others suggested.
    Does the ptx die expand the neck as well as flare?
    If it does. Then it's not going to work well with .357 bullets.
     
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  16. mdi

    mdi Member

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    FWIW and just an old guy's experience; I have been reloading 38 Special since 1969. I have used every manufacture's brass available in the US. I have reloaded cast, jacketed and a few ARX style bullets. I have used a Lee Loader, Lee dies (90%) and an old cobbled together set of RCBS/Pacific dies. I have used once fired brass to brass reloaded 15 times, even some nickel brass reloaded so many times the brass showed through the nickel plating. I have flared case mouths with Lee powder through expander dies, an M die and a tapered brass rod and mallet. I I have never experienced loose bullets from bad dies. The only time I found "loose" bullets was when I roll crimped way too heavy or was trying a taper crimp die and crimped too much.

    In all my reloading (6 revolver cartridges, 4 semi-auto cartridges, one shotgun gauge, 4 rifle cartridges) I have never had a "bad" sizing die (Lee, RCBS, Hornady, Pacific, Herters,). I have screwed up numerous times but I can never blame a die for any bad handloads.
     
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  17. NMexJim

    NMexJim Member

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    I put aside my PTX, case feeds, bullet drops, and associated paraphernalia. They aren't needed with a little planning - just extra crap to get fouled up.

    As far as the Lyman M-die, I have one and just don't see the need for it. My standard flaring dies do everything that I need, and that includes .38/.357 out to .358 lead bullets. . A lot of folks sure like them though. Here's hoping your problems go away.
     
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  18. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    Get the Lee universal expanding die. OR...sand down your expander mandfrel on your powder thru. You can go pretty hard at it...just dont remove anything at the top. You want it to enter and barely expand...then the neck will be flared.
     
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  19. mdi

    mdi Member

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    (??) None of my 38 Special dies have an expander mandrel. Most have some sort of flaring die/tool, but no expanders...
     
  20. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    Lee Powder thru is hard to beat for that task. I will look and see if I have an extra.
     
  21. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Learned an old proverb early in life “A poor craftsman always blames his tools”. Or a bad workman can never find good tools.
    Probably not applicable here as dies are pretty simple pieces of equipment. Not much to go wrong. But they do need proper setting and an understanding of their function. A bad press on the other hand can cause much misery.
     
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  22. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I have loaded 9mm (.355") JHP in .357Magnum and .38Spl and use a roll crimp on them. Work fine. The roll crimp will indent the jacket material just slightly and hold the bullet just as if it had a canelure.

    I have done this successfully with Remington 124gr. Golden Saber BJHP nominal diameter .355" and Federal 105gr. EFMJ. It's not hard but you have to run the crimping die tight and go slowly so you don't buckle the case. I use a Lee FCD which puts the crimp on with the case fully supported.
     
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  23. bluejay75

    bluejay75 Member

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    If using undersized Bullets I suggest getting the Lee Undersized Sizing die for 357. Won’t hurt to keep that in the box.
     
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  24. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    I have done it many times w no issues. You are more likely to get a bullet stuck in a bore from too little crimp than the other way around. A bullet jacket is mostly copper. If has never caused an issue in my testing. Having too little crimp has.
     
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  25. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    A groove would be better, but a good firm crimp one a non grooved bullet has never caused an issue for me. I use 115fmj intended for a 9mm. It works fine. Not having enough crimp is a great way to get a bullet stuck in the bore, especially if you are using a powder on the slow side.
     
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