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Old 01-07-2017, 04:58 PM
Wacky Wacky is offline
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Noob reloading mistake. 38spl loads. Noob reloading mistake. 38spl loads. Noob reloading mistake. 38spl loads. Noob reloading mistake. 38spl loads. Noob reloading mistake. 38spl loads.  
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Default Noob reloading mistake. 38spl loads.

I am new to this site, and new to reloading.
First off, thanks for all the information available here on various topics.
I just got a reloader for Christmas and was just trying it out.
Reloaded 15 rounds for my 642 .38 spl+p. I mis-setup my seating die. My recipe is Hodgdon universal, 4.7 grains with Hornady XTP 125 gr bullet. Nestled into new starline brass. C.O.L should be 1.455. The 15 rounds I made are 1.425.
Question is, pull and reset, or not?
Wasn't sure if this is detrimental in this revolver or not.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Craig
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:02 PM
SuperMan SuperMan is offline
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The C.O.L. is only a suggestion... Your bullets should be seated into the case so that the case mouth is at the top of the groove...then firmly roll crimp...

Enjoy your new hobby...I started when I was 14....50 years ago and still love it...

Bob
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:13 PM
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For revolver bullets, I roll crimp into the grove on the bullets and do not measure col. Works for me, YMMV.
If those were mine, I would load and fire one at a time. You are well under the max load for that bullet/powder combo.
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:25 PM
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Yep, the cannelure(if the bullets have one, and 125gr XTPs do) determine the OAL in revolver ammo. If the projectiles(like most plated bullets) do not have a cannelure, then seat to OAL.
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:25 PM
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Welcome to the FORUM! I don't know what manual you are using, but there is a lot of info online. 1 I like is handloads.com. You can also figure out the price of a box of loads with your recipe/s. Just a neat tool. S&W gun data there also. Bob
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wacky View Post
I am new to this site, and new to reloading.
First off, thanks for all the information available here on various topics.
I just got a reloader for Christmas and was just trying it out.
Reloaded 15 rounds for my 642 .38 spl+p. I mis-setup my seating die. My recipe is Hodgdon universal, 4.7 grains with Hornady XTP 125 gr bullet. Nestled into new starline brass. C.O.L should be 1.455. The 15 rounds I made are 1.425.
Question is, pull and reset, or not?
Wasn't sure if this is detrimental in this revolver or not.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Craig
If you haven't done so yet please purchase at least one good manual with a full set of tutorial chapters in the front and read them. Lyman, Lee, Hornady, others...I've been reloading a long time and still find the informational part of loading manuals very helpful. Online info and how to videos are good, but the how to sections of loading manuals are written by real experts and cover the hobby well.

Make sure you are understanding what you are involving yourself in before you pull the trigger. If you don't understand something stop and ask.

That load you are working on can be a little anemic and inconsistent. Universal powder likes higher pressures in my experience. When you are testing make sure the bullet has exited the barrel before firing another shot.

Have fun but play smart.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:19 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I wouldn't worry about it and just shoot them.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:39 PM
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The Lee manual is a pretty good all around manual . Get the newest, " 2nd Edition " . It covers a lot of powders and different bullets . Has a lot of good reading . You'll be ok , shoot those -- reload them up again with a bit more powder and have some more fun .
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
For revolver bullets, I roll crimp into the grove on the bullets and do not measure col.
Yep - one of the reasons loading straight walled pistol ammo is a little easier. Just adjust to seat and crimp in the groove or cannelure and no COL length issues.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:33 AM
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The company put a "Cannelure" on its jacket bullet for "Their" idea of what the OAL should be, in their tests.

The 38 case has lots of lea way for a bullet OAL and +/- .04"
is generally no big thing, just loads do look better if on or near the "can".

As for your load, you are a LONG way from a full load with that powder. My 2" J frame got 925fps with a full load of Universal.

Just try to not let the bullet get past its cylinder or "Body" into
your case, which is too short of an OAL for any bullet.
A crimp at this setting will force the bullet farther into the case.

Have fun.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:43 AM
Beemer-mark Beemer-mark is offline
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I wouldn't start out with +P loads. Every reload and every gun is different, manuals are a guide. Thus the warning in every manual,

Start 10% below maximum and work you way up. I say pull them.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:20 AM
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Default .38 and other pistol cartridges.....

.38, .44 Special and any cartridges that were based on black powder and switched to smokeless have ample volume in their cases to the point that they are VERY flexible in COL. As long as you aren't near max load you can set the bullets anywhere from the ogive to the base of the bullet, as long as it doesn't block the cylinder from turning.

That smidge off that you have won't vary the loads one bit. And when in doubt, crimp in the cannelure. Whoever designed the bullet had all of that in mind so any commercially available bullet can be set in the cannelure.

Now with high pressure cartridges in a small case, it's a different story. In near max loads the depth is critical because deeper setting will raise the pressure quickly. This is usually a few thousandths of an inch. You can set the bullet out extra long because that lowers the pressure just as drastically.

No, you do not need to pull those bullets.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:24 AM
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Welcome to the forum Reloading offers so many options if done safely. Always make sure you zero your scale, a faulty scale left up 7.5 grains of bullseye in a 38 spl case with 158 gr semi wadcutter- fortunately they were fired in 357 mags, wondered why we went through a pound for 1000 rounds, had to pull 993 down and start over. Be Safe,
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:54 AM
Clovishound Clovishound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemer-mark View Post
I wouldn't start out with +P loads. Every reload and every gun is different, manuals are a guide. Thus the warning in every manual,

Start 10% below maximum and work you way up. I say pull them.
I believe the +P he referred to is the rating on his revolver. The load he has is the .38 spcl start load listed by Hogdgon for this bullet and powder.

I thought the same thing myself, until I reread his original post.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:18 AM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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Whoah, guys, back the train up. He's doing fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wacky
I am new to this site, and new to reloading.
First off, thanks for all the information available here on various topics.
I just got a reloader for Christmas and was just trying it out.
Reloaded 15 rounds for my 642 .38 spl+p. I mis-setup my seating die. My recipe is Hodgdon universal, 4.7 grains with Hornady XTP 125 gr bullet. Nestled into new starline brass. C.O.L should be 1.455. The 15 rounds I made are 1.425.
Question is, pull and reset, or not?
Wasn't sure if this is detrimental in this revolver or not.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Craig
Welcome, dude.

--4.7 grains of Universal is a starting load according to Hodgdon's own data (my Lee and Lyman books are all the way in the basement, on my bench, so I don't feel like getting up to triple-check)

--You seated too deeply by .03" according to the data. That's not a lot in a .38 Special.

--At that volume charge, .38 Special just isn't that sensitive to seating depth. It's a long, relatively narrow case--not a big deal. A missing .03" in depth works out to being around .012 cubic inches. If I'm remembering correctly, the case volume of a normally-loaded .38 Special is something like .6 cubic inches.

Hence, you're fine to shoot that ammo. Now for some cool stuff.

You're in a somewhat rare situation--data for the specific bullet and powder you're using exists. Most of the time, what you'll get is either data for a generic bullet ("158-gr LSWC") or a different bullet of an identical type ("125-gr XTP" when you're using a different jacketed hollowpoint bullet of the same weight). In revolvers, this just means you seat to the cannelure or crimp groove, and you're good to go. The specific pressure and velocity data will be off, and the OAL will range in usefulness from "not at all" to "marginal". The recommended starting and maximum loads still apply just fine in most cases.

In autos, you have to use your noggin a little bit. I tend to go by such things as:

--"Does it look right?" If I can see I'm seating the shoulder past the case mouth, it's pretty clear I'm doing something wrong. Ditto for if it doesn't look anything like a factory-loaded cartridge with the same bullet, but numerous times I've loaded ammunition for which I had no comparable factory ammo.

--"Am I getting any bullet setback when I smush it?" Same deal. If my expansion die is set correctly, then I should get sufficient neck tension on a rimless cartridge even before the crimp. If I don't, then I've either seated way too long (not enough bullet is contacting the case), or way too short (the case mouth is past the shoulder).

--"Is the bullet contacting the rifling?" A clear sign I need to shorten.

I usually aim to start off loading long and shortening as needed, using a combination of cartridge max dimensions, barrel "plunking", and good ol' secondhand info. Better to load too long and too light, and end up with a box of ammo that won't cycle, than it is to load too short and too heavy, and end up with a rapid disassembly. So far, I've been quite successful--I've usually no problem getting the first box of a new bullet or even cartridge to run flawlessly. Just a matter of taking my time and using a little sense.

.38 Spl isn't too sensitive in this instance. But if you were to use a charge that filled the case (Trail Boss comes to mind), then seating depth would be a lot more important. Double- or triple-charge a case (bad news), under a wadcutter, and seat just a couple thousandths of an inch too deep, and you can spike pressures in the mild .38 Special far beyond the Magnum level.

Similarly, other cartridges are less forgiving in terms of OAL. 9mm comes to mind. There's very little case volume, and charges tend to be rather case-filling. An OAL of 1.060" with a particular bullet might be fine, and 1.020" might be bad news, depending on the powder and charge selected.

There's nothing wrong with Hornady XTPs, but they're a little pricey. If you need a plated or jacketed round (or desire them), check out Xtreme Bullets--they perform well and don't cost very much more than lead. 125-grain plated costs about $0.08/ea, compared to $0.18 for XTPs on Midway.

If you don't need or want a copper-encapsulated round--and I will admit, they're very nice to look at (no sarcasm), and pleasing to load with--you can try out lead. Missouri Bullets sells very nice lead bullets, at a price of $0.06/each. Even a 158-grain LSWC--a superb match/target bullet--costs just $0.07/ea, or $35/500. A lead 158-gr will handle any velocity .38 Spl can produce.

But hey--don't stress, and enjoy the XTPs.

Universal is also not the greatest powder for .38 Spl, but it's not the worst, and it's certainly not a bad powder to have on-hand. It's one of those medium burn-rate powders you can use to load just about anything, even if there are usually better, more specialized choices. When you go to get your next pound, consider giving Bullseye, HP-38 or Winchester 231 (they're virtually the same powder), or Winchester SuperTarget a shot. All three are much finer and flow more freely than Universal, and are great for low-recoil target loads. If you want more velocity, I like Titegroup a lot, although I've never bothered to try it in .38 Spl (it's performed well in .45 ACP, which operates at similar pressures, and in .44 Special +P-type loads).

In any case, it's never a bad move to be cautious. But you're off to a great start.

Last edited by Wise_A; 01-08-2017 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:57 PM
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Welcome to the forum. As you can see you really didn't make a mistake as long as your crimp is into the crimp groove supplied by the bullet manufacturer. That is the correct bullet depth for that bullet.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:12 PM
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"..Universal is also not the greatest powder for .38 Spl, but it's not the worst..." quote per #15

Actually Universal is very close to Alliant's Unique powder if you
are loading medium to heavy 12 Ga. shotgun loads or pistol loads.

True you will need more powder, since it is a slower burning powder
but it will do well in medium loads or heavier, if needed.

Go shoot those loads , so you can come back and load, more................
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:31 PM
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I'm actually a big fan of Universal.

I get better accuracy from it than the venerable HP38 in .357 using plated. I works very well for me in .38, using coated bullets, so I use it for both.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:22 PM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
"..Universal is also not the greatest powder for .38 Spl, but it's not the worst..." quote per #15

Actually Universal is very close to Alliant's Unique powder if you
are loading medium to heavy 12 Ga. shotgun loads or pistol loads.

True you will need more powder, since it is a slower burning powder
but it will do well in medium loads or heavier, if needed.

Go shoot those loads , so you can come back and load, more................
I also think that Unique is a smidge slow, and both aren't the cleanest-burning powders at lower pressures.

CFE and Titegroup both perform much better.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:44 PM
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Congrats on the great present. I started loading in the mid-90s mainly to control my load for Bullseye competition, with a Dillon Square Deal. IIRC, it cost $172.50 set up for 38/357. I shot pins and jugs with some H110 compressed loads in my 357. I've mostly shot 38 DEWC, starting with Red Dot. It was dirty and someone said, try 700x, it's cleaner. 700x was dirty and someone said try Bullseye, it's cleaner. Bullseye was dirty and someone said try WST, it's cleaner. They're all dirty. Maybe it's the wax. I'm still using WST.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:45 PM
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Heh, out of that bunch, I'd only describe WST as "clean". But Universal frequently doesn't burn completely at .38 pressures.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:36 PM
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Welcome! It's good that you asked about something that is bothering you! That's the way we learn!
The American Rifleman did a series of tests years ago, to determine how deep seating bullets affected pressure. They had to go really deep, and measured 70,000 psi, (IIRC) when they stopped. The gun manufacturers go to great lengths to save us from ourselves!
The small amount your rounds are deep seated probably won't make a hill of beans in the real world. Shoot them and enjoy!
Do yourself a favor, and invest in good-quality impact resistant shooting glasses...either the kind you can wear over your bifocals, or regular ones, if your eyesight is good.

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Old 01-09-2017, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wise_A View Post
Heh, out of that bunch, I'd only describe WST as "clean". But Universal frequently doesn't burn completely at .38 pressures.
Yes it was downright erratic in my 66 at the starting load when I tried it in .38, however, since then I've used it in .357 and .40S&W with good results.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:52 PM
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I'm about to give it a roll in 9mm. I figure that with a bottomfeeder, even if the higher pressures don't help it burn, I won't notice as much!
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wise_A View Post
I'm about to give it a roll in 9mm. I figure that with a bottomfeeder, even if the higher pressures don't help it burn, I won't notice as much!
Yes I'm liking it so far in my Shield 40. 5 grains with a 180 plated rnfp is a nice shooting load. When the weather clears I'll have to run some over the chrony.
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