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Old 03-05-2014, 02:59 PM
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Default 52-2 load development testing

I didn't want to hijack the earlier thread about the 52-2 and I think some of my questions may have been answered.
If it ever warms up I plan on some testing of the best load for my, and a friends 52-2's. I want to look at:

Crimps, taper and roll
Powder type and quantity.
Bullets.
I have:
Ransom Rest, inserts and windage base.
Bullseye, 231 and VV N310 powder
Dardas Cast bullets: .356, .357, .358" DEWC.
Zero HBWC Swaged bullets
Once fired RP wadcutter brass - trimmed.
Remington Factory 148 gr Targetmaster ammo.

BTW the bore on my 52-2 is 0.3543"

Everything I have read to date indicates that the Remington factory ammo provides the best accuracy. So I thought I would give it a try. I disassembled a round and it looks like a swaged bullet and 2.8 gr of Bullseye - surprise.
With all these variables I could spend 6 months testing so I'm seeking advice about how much extrapolation I could use?
If I find a roll crimp (like the Remington factory ammo uses) is best for swaged bullets could I use that for cast?
If 2.8 gr of BE is best for one bullet could I use that for all?
How many shots of each run should I try?

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:42 PM
Moonman Moonman is offline
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Jeff423,

Basically IMHO, you're just wasting your TIME AND MONEY.

This firearm has been worked to death by CHAMPIONS OVER THE YEARS.

SWEDGED LEAD HOLLOW BASED FULL WADCUTTERS FULLY SEATED IN THE CASE. (NOT CAST, OR DEWC)

ROLL CRIMP.

2.7/2.8 Grains BULLSEYE POWDER.

Sorry, but THE WHEEL DOESN'T NEED REINVENTED.

Competitive Shooters have moved on from the MODEL 52

THAT'S WHY "MATCH" FULL WADCUTTER AMMO IS "EXPENSIVE"

AND HARD TO COME BY, Demand has went away.

This ammo used to be produced by the MILLIONS & MILLIONS OF ROUNDS, no more I'm afraid.

Good Luck with your future endeavors.

MOONMAN
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:02 PM
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MY LGS has a case of the Remington Match ammo. It's like $20 something a box of 50.

I just ordered the Hornady HB as no one else has HB in stock and was "informed" that the DEWC was not the bullet to use or I would have bough 500 from MBC for less.

As long as the bullets fit and function I do believe that most of the accuracy is in the hands of the shooter
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:14 PM
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Rule3,

YOU BETTER GO BUY IT ALL.

Lucky Gunner has at $29.75 (none in stock)
Able Ammo $24.63 (none in stock)
GooseIslandSales $26.50 (none in stock)
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:30 PM
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I've been loading and shooting DEWC's in a Model 52-2 for years. Never an issue and way more accurate than I will ever be. Over 3.0g of W231 makes for a nice accurate load. In my area swaged HBWC's are almost impossible to find.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonman View Post
Jeff423,

Basically IMHO, you're just wasting your TIME AND MONEY.

This firearm has been worked to death by CHAMPIONS OVER THE YEARS.

SWEDGED LEAD HOLLOW BASED FULL WADCUTTERS FULLY SEATED IN THE CASE. (NOT CAST, OR DEWC)

ROLL CRIMP.

2.7/2.8 Grains BULLSEYE POWDER.

Sorry, but THE WHEEL DOESN'T NEED REINVENTED.

Competitive Shooters have moved on from the MODEL 52

THAT'S WHY "MATCH" FULL WADCUTTER AMMO IS "EXPENSIVE"

AND HARD TO COME BY, Demand has went away.

This ammo used to be produced by the MILLIONS & MILLIONS OF ROUNDS, no more I'm afraid.

Good Luck with your future endeavors.

MOONMAN

THANKS MOONMAN,

Sorry for the confusion. I am looking for advice about implementing my load development plan.

Jeff

Last edited by Jeff423; 03-05-2014 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 824tsv View Post
I've been loading and shooting DEWC's in a Model 52-2 for years. Never an issue and way more accurate than I will ever be. Over 3.0g of W231 makes for a nice accurate load. In my area swaged HBWC's are almost impossible to find.
I like them myself. I was fortunate to buy 4,000 Zero brand from Rose a while ago. I've used a lot of MBC's and like them as well. I lucked into the Ransom Rest a couple of weeks ago and decided to really wring out my 52. I thought it would be interesting to see how well other bullets, powders, etc. compared when you eliminated the variables of holding the gun in your hand by clamping it to a rest that was clamped to a steel table set in concrete. There shouldn't be too much left except the components and the wind.

Jeff
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonman View Post
Rule3,

YOU BETTER GO BUY IT ALL.

Lucky Gunner has at $29.75 (none in stock)
Able Ammo $24.63 (none in stock)
GooseIslandSales $26.50 (none in stock)
Buy Factory ammo?? Are you insane

Or do you mean the Hornady Swagged HBWC??

This is what he has. Why would I buy it?? You mean I can get my I know the family discount and then double my money selling it on the interweb??

Remington Target Ammo 38 Special 148 Grain Target Master Wadcutter Box
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:26 PM
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Jeff,
I don't know if this will help you, but my load works great in my 52-2:
147 gr. DEWC bullet (sized .356"), over 2.8 grains of BE. NO CRIMP! Seat the bullet flush and remove the bell from the case mouth. The casing should be stove pipe-straight from the web to the mouth. -- It feeds flawlessly and is more accurate than I can shoot at 50 ft!

Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:39 PM
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Rule3,

If your LGS has a case of loaded REMINGTON 148 gr MATCH ammo
for $20 per 50 Round Box,

You should buy it all, Foxy Florida Gun Totin' Target Shootin' Hot Mamas
would be on your body LIKE WHITE ON RICE trying to make love to you,

JUST FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE SOME AT AN OUTRAGEOUS MARKUP.

Whew! That was long winded.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:44 PM
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Taper crimp & no crimp will work. Everyone that wins at a meet roll crimps.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:00 PM
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Jeff, without throwing water on your fire, I'd suggest that an awful lot has been written about loading for the 52. You might find reading it very interesting, if you haven't, and help you with your development. You're going to have to look back a ways. Ed Harris, I believe, wrote an interesting article about loading .38 wadcutters. It was in The American Rifleman years ago. He did more testing with a revolver than a 52, but a lot of his observations apply across the board. That's just one I happen to recall among dozens.

A lot of us did spend some time doing what you are planning to do. To be honest, in my case, it didn't accomplish much. I never got any of my handloads to shoot with Remingtons and I don't think anyone else has, either. Don't recall anyone saying they have.

IMHO I don't believe you can generalize "in much detail" about bullets, powder charges, crimps, etc. You might say swaged almost always outshoots cast and be reasonably safe, but beyond something like that, there are just too many variables - and those variables themselves change from lot to lot. If you have full control of all the components used, like a manufacturer does, that is one thing, but for a handloader who just uses what he can get his hands on at any given time...

52s were/are difficult guns to shoot well. I don't think they are shot much beyond club level these days but that does not mean they are not fun to monkey with for us casual shooters. I enjoyed shooting mine, but truthfully, Moonman is right. If you are a competent, competitive shooter the enterprise is sending good money after bad. If you just want to have some of the same fun others have had 30-years or more previously, have at it. My .02, FWIW.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:00 PM
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My favorite for the Model 52 is 3.2 grain of WW 231 and Berry's plated DEWC bullet, roll crimped. This load works flawlessly for me.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:47 PM
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If you shoot competition then I understand your quest . As a 2700 / Bullseye / NRA Outdoor Conventional shooter I want the best groups @ 50yds I can get . If you only shoot 25yds or 50ft then you're going thru a lot of time , effort & $'s . If you'll take time to search my past posts you will find a bunch of info on 38 special HBWC loads ,tests & 52 load proceedure I use . IMHO if looking for best accuracy I'd start with a quality 148 swaged HBWC . I've tried cast , even cast HBWC's , but swaged is the way to go . Keep in mind the gun is designed for factory HBWC mid range loads in the 9-10,000 psi range . With cast to shoot well @ 50yds you've got to exceed that . I taper crimp for any semi auto period & roll crimp for revolvers . Granted for low pressure one doesn't need much crimp . Also remember to match your recoil spring to the loads you shoot ie the heaviest spring that'll still allow gun to function with the load you're shooting . For 38 special accuracy start with W231 or WST powder . N 310 is too fast for these loads , N320 thru N 340 will serve you much better @ lower pressures . IMHO N 310 works best in 32 S&W Long & 45acp target loads . The 2.7 Bullseye load has been around forever , but not all guns shoot it well . Attached pic of my 52 & 50yd offhand targets .
Attached Images
File Type: jpg S&W52-2.jpgr.jpg (108.5 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg scan0001.jpg (87.5 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg scan0002.jpg (85.9 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg scan0003.jpg (190.7 KB, 5 views)

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Old 03-05-2014, 10:45 PM
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50 yards is the "yardstick." 50 feet is nothing in terms of accuracy testing.
A very slight roll crimp improves feeding. Use of Remington L-HBWCs will bring out the best in the gun. Use of Bullseye, Red Dot, Solo 1000, AA2, and 231/HP38 will produce small groups, though, in my four M52s (M52/M52-1/M52-2/M52-2), AA2 has been the best. N310 has not been good. Am. Select has not been good. Zip and Competition have not been good. AA5 has been OK, but not worth it when there are several better powders.
Trimming does not effect group size, but if it makes one feel better...
I found that NOT sizing the cases and using a Redding Profile Crimp die produced the best accuracy--this, again, works best with 0.360" Remington bullets.
Despite everything, it is really hard to beat factory ammunition.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithboomer View Post
My favorite for the Model 52 is 3.2 grain of WW 231 and Berry's plated DEWC bullet, roll crimped. This load works flawlessly for me.
This load with a Remington HBWC outshoots any other load I can find in mine.
Mike
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