Need some advice on trimming .38 Special brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 1KPerDay, Feb 18, 2019.

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  1. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    WC loads shouldn't be so hot as to cause the bullets to pull out under recoil with a mild crimp. You should only worry about a serious roll crimp on a pretty hot load. If you set a mild crimp for your shortest brass, are the crimps excessive on the longer brass?
     
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Yes. From the 60's. Can't get them anymore. I have a few hundred left.
     
  3. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Not doing "serious roll crimp" on these but since the cases vary in length the longer ones are moving into the "serious" realm while the shorter ones are what I want. For bullets with a crimp groove I can sort of err on the long side but for WC seated flush and a light crimp at the mouth, having them all the same is preferable... since the whole point of these is accuracy. I'm not sure I can shoot the difference but I figured I'd remove the variable.

    Truthfully sorting brass by headstamp may solve the issue... almost every R-P case I have measured is 1.145" after sizing.

    We'll see.
     
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  4. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I don't think that addresses the wadcutter question.
     
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  5. George P

    George P member

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    I have been reloading WCs about as long and have been these last weeks. Grab a case and go to town with the Hornady LnL press. They come out just fine, regardless of headstamp or differences in measured in .000s....I seat them flush, no problem.
     
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  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Do you crimp at all?
     
  7. donandmax

    donandmax Member

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    I don't trim pistol brass, haven't ever.. As the man says "reload and shoot"
     
  8. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    But the question here is very specific re wadcutters. If doing more than just saving money with reloading, there should be some concern about how much 38 Special cases vary. We aren't talking about COL being the sole concern but rather crimp placement on the bullet in an exact position.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The PPU cases I have picked up at the range have been extremely consist length wise. So close to 1.140 I tossed them in with the rest of my trimmed to 1.140 brass. I did deburr and chamfer them, like I do all revolver brass.
     
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    When seating HBWC bullets flush with the case mouth I only remove the flare, when seating DEWC bullets to the crimp groove I apply a light crimps into the groove. Some loaders don't feel it's necessary to crimp the DEWC bullets but I like to because they are usually loaded to slightly high pressures.

    I usually suggest anyone who isn't sure to load with and without a crimp and see which is most accurate in your guns.
     
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  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Same here.
     
  12. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I started trimming .38 and .357 brass because it bugged the crap out of me that my crimps were not consistent. I fall under the category of shooters that isn't good enough to tell the difference though.

    One thing I can tell you is, that if you trim all of your .38 brass to the same length, it is very unlikely that you will ever have to trim it again. I know I have reloaded some of mine 4 or 5 times and they are still within a couple of thousandths of when I first sized them. It is a different story on my .357 brass with heavier loads.
     
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  13. George P

    George P member

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    Yes, it is a taper crimp because the bullet is soft with no crimp groove.
     
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  14. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Cool thanks
     
  15. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    Forget the trimming, load em and shoot em!
     
  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I trim all the cases for my competition loads to 1.140" to get uniform case mouth expansion and uniform crimp. I start with once fired W-W wadcutter cases (double cannelure) and go through 800-1k per season (loss brass matches). Yes, I can see the difference when shooting at 40+ yards...I can also see the difference between 160gr and 170gr bullets at that distance.

    Any case that isn't touched by the cutter blades get thrown into the jar for practice ammo...with plated rather than coated bullets
     
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  17. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I am having trouble with what some refer to as seating "flush" My experience with WC is that that they are beveled on both ends, so a true "flush" would leave the case mouth unsupported and in need of a slight roll crimp. Any extension beyond the bevel could be a taper crimp.
     
  18. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Hence the desire for equal length cases
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Bout sums it up for me.
     
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  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Me too
     
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  21. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I’ve had good luck leaving a slight amount of bullet (1/16”) protruding from the case mouth and a LIGHT roll crimp in a variety of revolvers. This works with the smooth-sided plated HBWC that Berrys sells, and unplated DEWC bullets with the tiny crimp grooves near the ends.

    Obviously you can’t put a Casull-quality crimp on the plated bullets or you’ll crinkle the case, but even when I’ve had to pull a HBWC from a loaded round the light crimp leaves only a slight ring around the side of the bullet just below the nose.

    I have loaded some of these .38 Spl cases 4-5 times and haven’t had to trim yet... but this result may not be typical.

    Nuthin is wrong with trimming, but in all honesty it’s not needed much with the Special.

    Stay safe!
     
  22. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I have found that sorting and loading brass by headlamp results in a more consistent OAL
     
  23. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    What firearm will these be used in?
     
  24. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Primarily a Smith model 10 snub. I know, it doesn't make any sense. But that's the .38 I have. I shoot my FIL's 6" bright stainless Python also but I don't like shooting lead through it because it shows every bit of dirt.

    And I have an old 6" Officers Target HB but it won't set off primers reliably anymore and the yoke is somewhat loose, and I don't have the money to have it repaired.
     
  25. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    'Kay I have another question for you. I have finally sorted through my .38 brass and sized/decapped/separated by headstamp. took quite a while. I set up my RCBS trim pro with the standard pilot (.35) and cutter (not the 3-way I usually use on .30 cal brass, which works great). This cutter has only been used for trimming a few .270 cases. It takes longer and I have to push on the drill harder than I think I should to get it to trim... steel cutter on brass should not get dull... pretty much ever, right? It just feels like it's not cutting as well as the 3-way does on my .30-06 brass.

    Is S&B .38 brass like, notoriously hard or something? I haven't tried another flavor yet. But at this rate it's going to take me a year to trim all these cases. With a power drill attachment.
     
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