Some help with different 38 spcl cases

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Typetwelve, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

    Mar 1, 2019
    Here's what I have:

    All of these are obviously different manufacturers, but some have a crimp ring, some two, some none. I'm currently loading deep seated 148g DEWC, and 145g LRN that aren't seated as deep. I'm not sure which type of cases to use...or if it even matters at all.

    Any help on why these are crimped and why at different places would be seriously helpful.
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    North Alabama
    In my experience it does not make much difference after they have been fired and then resized. I mix them all together and run them through the press. I have not seen any problems doing this. YMMV
  3. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    I agree with mcb... I've never noticed any difference. The interior of the case gets pretty well "ironed out" by even a modest-pressure load. Whatever role those crimps had in the first loading, they're functionally inert by the second or third time 'round.

    I suppose if I was loading with an eye toward absolute accuracy, I'd try to use only cases where a bullet would not have to "traverse" the previously-crimped area, just to eliminate the (small) chance of any scraping/gouging of the bullet if any irregularities were left inside the case. But I think there are a boatload of other variables to worry about before I got there. Might be a different matter if we were talking about loading for long range rifles, too.
    Skgreen, Walkalong and mcb like this.
  4. George P

    George P Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    Those "rings" are called cannelures and can be helpful holding bullets in specific positions inside the case, typically used for wadcutters. Just size, reload and go shoot. I have almost 4000 pieces of many types/brands; they all shoot just fine.
    FROGO207 likes this.
  5. mdi

    mdi Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    The few times I sorted my 38 Special brass turned out just a "keep busy task". The first time was in 1969 when I first started reloading, and since it was way pre-web, I didn't have dozens of opinions to "guide" me, so I separated the brass by headstamp.. Now I just quickly glance at the overall condition of the case, check for Amerc brass and very rarely go beyond that and don't really "sort" but "inspect". I have cases in all the configurations in the pic and 99% of the time they are mixed, and I don't even think about the cannelures.. Today the only time I sort by headstamp is sometimes when I'm working up a load (getting close to max.) just for "consistency" I'll stay with one headstamp. I have two Yuban coffee jugs full of plain 38 brass, and one large Beer Nut jar full of nickel plated 38 cases plus several hundred handoads stored in ammo cans, most of which are mixed brass...

    I'm just an average shooter (I was pretty good at one time, when I shot a lot) but old age is affecting my marksmanship, but I have made some excellent, pretty accurate ammo using mixed brass..
  6. loneviking

    loneviking Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Carson City, NV.
    I agree that it makes no difference at all. Just make sure your COAL is right and you’re good to go.
    Skgreen likes this.
  7. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Piedmont/Triad, NC
    To me, those rings on A, C, D, and E, may mean those cases may be wad cutter cases which are thinner further down, to accommodate the longer seating depth of wad cutter bullets, than the standard 38 special. Especially if the case head has WC stamped in it. That means Wad Cutter and those cases would be the best choices for loading DEWC bullets and seating them to full depth, than the standard cases.
  8. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    N. GA
    Unless you're going for sub-MOA groups I don't think it's going to matter a hill of beans. I've mixed'm up and shot them till they split. In my early years I use to actually keep track of the number of times a case was reloaded. Ha. That was in the days when I only had a 95 cases or so.
    Skgreen likes this.
  9. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

    Apr 25, 2018
    I have not yet encountered an issue w/straight wall pistol

    W / 9mm, I did have some 'Hmm, would you look at that' moments after stuffing some 147 Jacketed RN's into some Aguila case's that were originally factory crimped just below the OEM 124gr projectile.

    IMHO, the crimps I saw on the Aguila cases were pretty darn pronounced, even after resizing. The stuff shown in the OP's post on the 38 cases are very mild by comparison.

    The solution to my "Hmm" situation was simple: Don't stuff 147's into the Aguila cases! :D
  10. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    West Texas
    When I started shooting my S&W 52 I just used what brass was in the can which included some GI brass which was obviously thicker and harder than commercial. When I sorted these cases out, my group sizes improved. Further sorting by manufacturer improved group sizes even more. So in an accurate pistol, brass does make a difference.
  11. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    Agree with mcb. Unless you're trying to wring every bit of accuracy out of your reloads, as apparently Kp321 does, then just reload and have fun as you'll have enough accuracy.
  12. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

    May 1, 2019
    I don't yhink those rings are crimp rings, lake stated above probably ID rings for differnt loads or manufacturers.
    All of my hand loaded pistol ammo is just plinking ammo. I have three hundred cases of each caliber all mixed head stamps. When I get low on loaded ammo I wet tumble the cases and load them.
    I use mostly picked up range brass for the semi autos.

    For revolver brass I generally buy picked up range brass. I personally don't care who made it.
    When cases get worn out I they go in the scrap bucket and I grab other cases out of my staoage containers to replace them.
    Most of my cases go bad atbthe mouth of the case where it is roll crimped.

    I do occasionally come across 9mm cases with the internal step in the case. I toss them in the recycle bucket.
  13. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    I see the same mix of knurled brass as you do. I try to use the same HS for load development, and then re-check that load with mixed HS brass when in production.
    Take a look at the HS and see if any of them have +P, there are some that I have that were that way with the knurled ring.
  14. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

    Nov 14, 2008
    Cornelia, GA
    The only cases that consistently give me issues loading 148gr DEWC are the PMC brand. Apparently the internal thickening of the case wall starts too early and it bulges the case past 0.380" dia. at the base of the bullet.

    FROGO207 likes this.
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