GlockTalk.com
Home Forums Classifieds Blogs Today's Posts Search Social Groups



  
SIGN-UP
Notices

Glock Talk
Welcome To The Glock Talk Forums.

 
  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-24-2010, 21:47   #1
XDRoX
Senior Member
 
XDRoX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,960
I want to learn to reload 38 Special

I've been loading 9 and 45. Tonight my cousin came over and I showed him my 550B. He was so impressed he got online and ordered an RL 550B Deluxe Quick Change Assembly and an RL 550B Caliber Conversion Kit in 38sp. I bought some Dillon dies to top off the order.
My questions:
1. What if anything is different when loading 38sp vs 9mm?
2. Any differences between 38sp and 357? We will probably also load 357.
3. Any good loads or powders would greatly be appreciated as well. I assume we'll start with unique, but any favorites will be noted.

While waiting for responses I'll recheck my ABC's of reloading and my manuals to see if I can find anything interesting.

As always, thanks.
XDRoX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2010, 22:15   #2
LoadedTech
Senior Member
 
LoadedTech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: virginia beach
Posts: 1,058
I just started reloading for both. You would have to change your dye setting for the longer case of the 357 during flare and bullet seating/crimp. I actually bought a hand press for the limited rounds I needed for my Security six. I tried powder pistol at 8.0g with 158g plated RNFP, wasn't harder shooting then the factory 146g, but more accurate. Most research I have done for 357 Mag, shows w296 as the best powder with a Mag primer. I just picked up a 1# of unique myself to check it out. Good luck!
__________________
EDC G27 Virginia CHP holder VCDL member-Glad to have them fighting for my 2A! Nra member
LoadedTech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 05:34   #3
dudel
Senior Member
 
dudel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Georgia Mountains
Posts: 4,389
38 Spl and 357Mag/Max take a roll crimp vs a taper crimp. Hot loads prefer a heavy criimp. Since they roll crimp, get projectiles with a channelure.
dudel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 06:11   #4
mnhogrider
Senior Member
 
mnhogrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 832
Get a good light so you can see down the cases as .38 special loads don't fill the case up very much. It can be easy to double charge if you're not careful.

Get a visual of each case after the powder drop.

May as well load .357 mag. if your going to load .38 special. Same caliber conversion and the same dies. I have two die sets that are adjusted for each caliber in different tool heads so I don't have to change the adjustments.

There are many .38 special and +P reloading options using different powder, bullet weight/design, that you can taylor to whatever gun you're shooting.

Have fun and be safe!
mnhogrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 07:30   #5
Colorado4Wheel
Senior Member
 
Colorado4Wheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: CO
Posts: 14,402
The difference is in case size and the crimp. They like some different powders and have a much broader range of performance. Avoid the temptation to run 9mm type powders at higher pressure. You will find load data for TG in .357 but in my experiance you don't want to use the upper end charges in that caliber using that type or powder. Get a slower powder for those needs.
__________________
Steve
Colorado4Wheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 08:58   #6
XDRoX
Senior Member
 
XDRoX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,960
Thanks for all the info so far.
I am looking at bullets. Some have the cannelure and some don't. Why is this?
Also some say 357 diameter and some say 358 diameter. Why is this?

Assuming I go with a cannelure, does that pretty much decide my OAL? Does the case get rolled into the cannelure?

Thanks
XDRoX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 09:56   #7
GioaJack
Conifer Jack
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 10,025
Blog Entries: 3
It is perfectly acceptable to load some lead bullets without a crimping cannelure as long as the load intentions don't require a heavy crimp for either slow burning powder or bullet creep reasons.

I load Lyman 120 grain RN for my grandson's mouse flatulence loads and light crimp right into the driving band.

OAL in a revolver is not nearly as critical in a revolver as it is in a semi since the case is held by the rim, not headspacing on the case mouth. Be cognizant of not loading so long that the bullet nose protrudes beyond the cylinder face, during cylinder rotation it will jam against the forcing cone and you'll end up with a two pound paperweight.

Jacketed bullets will normally have a .357 diameter with lead being .358. If you're shooting out of a modern gun there's really no reason to bother slugging the barrel... quality guns are now all pretty much dead on. Certainly capable of more accuracy than I can hold.

Jack
__________________
Life is a little bit tragic but mostly magic... Learn to deal with the tragic and CHERISH THE MAGIC

A PACIFIST is someone who won't raise their hands to defend themselves...
A COWARD is someone who won't raise their hands to defend someone else.
GioaJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 10:28   #8
XDRoX
Senior Member
 
XDRoX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by GioaJack View Post
It is perfectly acceptable to load some lead bullets without a crimping cannelure as long as the load intentions don't require a heavy crimp for either slow burning powder or bullet creep reasons.

I load Lyman 120 grain RN for my grandson's mouse flatulence loads and light crimp right into the driving band.

OAL in a revolver is not nearly as critical in a revolver as it is in a semi since the case is held by the rim, not headspacing on the case mouth. Be cognizant of not loading so long that the bullet nose protrudes beyond the cylinder face, during cylinder rotation it will jam against the forcing cone and you'll end up with a two pound paperweight.

Jacketed bullets will normally have a .357 diameter with lead being .358. If you're shooting out of a modern gun there's really no reason to bother slugging the barrel... quality guns are now all pretty much dead on. Certainly capable of more accuracy than I can hold.

Jack
If I hear you correctly. I don't need to worry about 357 vs 358, right?
Also I have no idea what slugging the barrel means, but I am shooting out of modern guns, so again I'm safe, right?

Still a little confused on the crimping. If I buy plated bullets without a cannelure, do I just taper crimp them, like a 9mm or 45?

Most of the loads I'll be loading will be light to medium if this helps.

Thanks
XDRoX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 10:55   #9
GioaJack
Conifer Jack
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 10,025
Blog Entries: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by XDRoX View Post
If I hear you correctly. I don't need to worry about 357 vs 358, right?
Also I have no idea what slugging the barrel means, but I am shooting out of modern guns, so again I'm safe, right?

Still a little confused on the crimping. If I buy plated bullets without a cannelure, do I just taper crimp them, like a 9mm or 45?

Most of the loads I'll be loading will be light to medium if this helps.

Thanks

XDRoX:

I hate to admit it but I have no experience with plated bullets what-so-ever... I shoot 99.999% cast bullets and have since Fred was in short pants and before you were even a gleam in your father's eye.

If you can buy lead bullets cheaper than you can get plated I know of no reason why you wouldn't do that. Bullets designed for .38/.357 mag caliber will normally have a crimping grove, (there is a technical difference between a crimping groove and a cannelure) and just makes it a little easier for a newer loader. There are a lot of 9mm, even light .380 bullets that can be loaded in .38 but usually you'll be crimping into the driving band instead of a crimping groove.

I really don't know how plated bullets are sized... if they are considered a lead bullet then you want to go with a .358 diameter. Again, I see no benefit of plated over lead but maybe there is. There are a lot of guys on here much more knowledgeable than me who can lead you in the right direction on that.

If you have a bullet without a crimping groove take the bell out of the case, if you end up crimping it a little tight don't worry about it, you just don't want the brass rolling back over itself or in the case of plated bullets I would imagine you don't want to break through the plating. (Another reason to just go with lead.)

While you're getting comfortable with the new caliber you might want to keep your loads around mid-range until you get to know what different powders and bullet weights do. The .38 is actually one of the more enjoyable calibers to load for... the variables are almost endless and you never have to bend over to pick up your brass. (Unless you're shooting a Smith 52 or one of the few other semis chambered for it.)

Have fun, be safe and experiment a lot... the caliber is made for it.

Jack
__________________
Life is a little bit tragic but mostly magic... Learn to deal with the tragic and CHERISH THE MAGIC

A PACIFIST is someone who won't raise their hands to defend themselves...
A COWARD is someone who won't raise their hands to defend someone else.
GioaJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 17:42   #10
XDRoX
Senior Member
 
XDRoX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,960
OK, I just found some 38spl bullets in my garage. 500 lead round nose. I weighed one and it weighed 158gr. They have a small groove toward the top.
Is this to roll crimp the case into?
They also have a blue band around them just below the groove. What is this blue band?
How will I know when the roll crimp is just right? It would be nice if I could seat the bullet first but all I have is a Lee 3 die set.
XDRoX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 17:53   #11
XDRoX
Senior Member
 
XDRoX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,960
My data shows this:
1.510" OAL for 158gr LRN
Unique 4.0-4.7. So I figured 4.4gr would be safe. Has anyone tried 4.4gr of Unique under 158gr bullet?
XDRoX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 17:53   #12
GioaJack
Conifer Jack
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 10,025
Blog Entries: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by XDRoX View Post
OK, I just found some 38spl bullets in my garage. 500 lead round nose. I weighed one and it weighed 158gr. They have a small groove toward the top.
Is this to roll crimp the case into?
They also have a blue band around them just below the groove. What is this blue band?
How will I know when the roll crimp is just right? It would be nice if I could seat the bullet first but all I have is a Lee 3 die set.

All you need is a 3 die set... time for you to learn to load the right way.

Crimp into the top groove, that's the crimping groove. Just roll your crimp into it... doesn't have to be real pronounced, just so it rolls over the edge of the crimping groove.

The 'blue band' is the lube... if you don't like the color scrape it all out and send it to me... I'll color it RED...

Just load 'em and shoot 'em... nothing to it.

Jack
__________________
Life is a little bit tragic but mostly magic... Learn to deal with the tragic and CHERISH THE MAGIC

A PACIFIST is someone who won't raise their hands to defend themselves...
A COWARD is someone who won't raise their hands to defend someone else.
GioaJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 17:57   #13
GioaJack
Conifer Jack
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 10,025
Blog Entries: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by XDRoX View Post
My data shows this:
1.510" OAL for 158gr LRN
Unique 4.0-4.7. So I figured 4.4gr would be safe. Has anyone tried 4.4gr of Unique under 158gr bullet?

Don't worry about your OAL, just crimp into the crimping groove and make sure the rounds don't extend past the cylinder face.

Make sure your Unique loading is mid-range somewhere otherwise you'll get a lot of unburned powder.

Jack
__________________
Life is a little bit tragic but mostly magic... Learn to deal with the tragic and CHERISH THE MAGIC

A PACIFIST is someone who won't raise their hands to defend themselves...
A COWARD is someone who won't raise their hands to defend someone else.
GioaJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 18:03   #14
XDRoX
Senior Member
 
XDRoX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,960
I'm still confused on how to set the die. I've done this with 9 and 45, but this seems more complicated.
Should I first seat the bullet and then back the seater all the way out and then crimp? An then readjust the seat?
XDRoX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 18:52   #15
GioaJack
Conifer Jack
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 10,025
Blog Entries: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by XDRoX View Post
I'm still confused on how to set the die. I've done this with 9 and 45, but this seems more complicated.
Should I first seat the bullet and then back the seater all the way out and then crimp? An then readjust the seat?

See how easy that was? Now you're playin' with the big boys. Do exactly as you described... seat until the top of the case mouth is about midway in the crimping groove... back out the seating stem, raise your ram and screw the die down until you feel it touch the case mouth... lower the ram a bit, screw the die down about 1/16 to 1/8th of a turn... check the crimp and just repeat until you have the amount of crimp you want.

I know it sounds a little foreign to you but it's the way it's been done for the last 120 years or so... ask Fred... he invented the system.

Jack
__________________
Life is a little bit tragic but mostly magic... Learn to deal with the tragic and CHERISH THE MAGIC

A PACIFIST is someone who won't raise their hands to defend themselves...
A COWARD is someone who won't raise their hands to defend someone else.
GioaJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 19:18   #16
Colorado4Wheel
Senior Member
 
Colorado4Wheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: CO
Posts: 14,402
If you have a progressive you might as well use a 4 die set. You don't need it but it makes the setup similiar to your other dies.
__________________
Steve
Colorado4Wheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 21:01   #17
XDRoX
Senior Member
 
XDRoX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
If you have a progressive you might as well use a 4 die set. You don't need it but it makes the setup similiar to your other dies.
Ya, I hear you. I just ordered some 38spl Dillon dies (4 die set) last night. While I'm waiting for them to come I thought I try to load some rounds on my single stage Lyman. I feel like setting up my 550B was so much easier because I learned on a single stage. So I figured if I experimented with the 38spl on my single stage then I'd feel more confident when I get my Dillon quick change assembly.
XDRoX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2010, 21:02   #18
just for fun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: south Ga.
Posts: 1,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by dudel View Post
38 Spl and 357Mag/Max take a roll crimp vs a taper crimp. Hot loads prefer a heavy criimp. Since they roll crimp, get projectiles with a channelure.
interesting! You roll crimp WC's?
just for fun is offline   Reply With Quote

 
  
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:51.




Homepage
FAQ
Forums
Calendar
Advertise
Gallery
GT Wiki
GT Blogs
Social Groups
Classifieds


Users Currently Online: 670
182 Members
488 Guests

Most users ever online: 2,672
Aug 11, 2014 at 2:31