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Old 04-05-2017, 02:18 AM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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Default Bullets won't fit?

I loaded up 100 rounds of 38 Spl ammo for a friend of mine. But almost half would not chamber in his 38 Spl revolver. Also he had two that failed to fire. I shot the rest in my 686+ including the two failures. They dropped in perfectly. The two failures fired fine. They were all loaded with the same COL and with 125 grain powder coated RNFP bullets. So what gives? Is there that much difference between pistols?
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:37 AM
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Default Could be....

Focusing on the .38, which seems to have problems, is it clean? If so, does it shoot factory ammo ok?


Reloads can be a little iffy? Have you had any problems before? If not, I'd figure that the problem is the .38.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:50 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Is your friends "38", a "38 Special" (sometimes marked "38 Smith and Wesson Special") or a "38 Smith & Wesson"? Those are two completely different cartridges, and the second is much shorter and a little fatter.

Ivan
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:30 AM
MyDads38 MyDads38 is offline
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I'm with Ivan, is your friends revolver made for 38 Special? Are you loading this ammo with press/dies, or one of the Lee Classic Loader kits? The Lee Loader only neck sizes, and I had this issue when I first started reloading. If you're full length sizing your cases and they work fine in your gun, I would check his gun to see if it needs a good cleaning/scrubbing of the cylinder chambers.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:47 AM
MUSKYHUNTER MUSKYHUNTER is offline
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sometime cases not being trimmed can cause this problem also, trimming cases to same size may help, or try lee factory crimp die
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:01 AM
ontargetagain ontargetagain is offline
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Is his an older gun? It would have a different firing pin system then your newer 686+. Different strength springs can cause some differences in primer strikes between the two guns. Was he shooting DA or SA? When you fired the rounds that his gun didn't fire did you shoot them DA or SA?

I have a 686-3, at times shooting plated WC's if I don't run a crimp there are a few that don't easily drop in to my cylinder. The coated bullets are .358, plated bullets are .357 so some of the small differences and variations between the two guns can collide in results.

Also as mentioned might be some cylinder build up that isn't allowing the bullets to fully drop in. If running lighter loads they may be running a little dirty by not allowing full expansion in cylinder and getting some carbon sooting blowback in the cylinder chambers.
Karl
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Mikeinkaty wrote:
Is there that much difference between pistols?
There can be.
  • What is the make and model of the friend's revolver?
  • What is it's age and condition?
  • As others have already posted, have you verified it is 38 Special and not another similarly sounding chambering?
  • When you say the reloads "would not chamber", where were they hanging up?
  • How much of a crimp was applied to the reloads? Was it enough to fully remove the belling of the case mouth?

This is an illustration of why most reloaders do not share their product with others. Once they leave your possession, you have no control over what the other person does with them but you retain at least a portion of the liability if something goes wrong.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:02 AM
RoninPhx RoninPhx is offline
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I had a long time problem with reloads in a ladysmith 38special. just would not allow reloads to fully seat in chamber. Took it to a couple of gunsmiths, said revolver was tight chambered but no problem. Factory ammo was no problem. Problem was me. I was using cast 158grain projectiles sized to .358. I checked the problem reloads and yep they were a couple thousandths wider. I squeezed them down to .357 no more problem. it's common to size in lead one thousandth over, but it doesn't work in all guns. I would get a set of calibers and meaure the diameter of the round right at the mouth with one of those lead bullets inserted, and compare to a factory round. Odds are thats the problem.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:08 PM
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+1;

If a 38 spl...
Did you do a "Full" resize on all the cases ?

That coated bullet might be a little "Fat" for the other weapon.

Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:43 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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It is a Llama, no model number on it. It is stamped 38 Special and is around 50 years old. I think that explains the problem. Some of the bullets would only drop in half way and some 3/4rs of the way. This friend is the one I go to the range with every week. I was shooting my new Marlin Model 60 at the rifle range while he was at the pistol range about 100 yards away so I didn't observe him loading and shooting the pistol.

Yes, I did a full resize on the cases. The bullets were all resized to .358, after powder coating. Each was moderately crimped with the Lee factory crimp as a separate pass after the bullet seating.

Last edited by Mikeinkaty; 04-05-2017 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:54 PM
Hasbeen1945 Hasbeen1945 is offline
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COL could be a problem between a 38spec and a 357. Over all chamber is longer in the 357.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:56 PM
Hasbeen1945 Hasbeen1945 is offline
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The Lee carbide crimp die also cures a lot of loading mistakes. It's carbide sizing ring sizes everything down before you crimp the bullet.
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:24 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasbeen1945 View Post
COL could be a problem between a 38spec and a 357. Over all chamber is longer in the 357.
Well, yeah, the 38 Spl is about 1/8" shorter than 357. I used the recommend COL for 38 Spl.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:36 PM
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A friend recently had a raft of trouble chambering 38 Special reloads in his old M10 S&W revolver.

After eliminating all other potential issues, we discovered the spec COL coupled with the fatter 158 RNL he wanted to use, were just a few 1000ths 'too long' despite being as printed in the manual. The ogive of the RNL didn't quite have clearance on a couple of his cylinders. Changed the boolit shape, they worked fine.

These rounds chambered & shot well in all our other 38 specials.
To test further, we loaded up a few in 158 SWC in otherwise same conditions. They fit fine.

Easy fix in that case. Good luck.
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Last edited by m657; 04-05-2017 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 04-06-2017, 01:45 AM
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Is your crimp causing a bulge in the case just below the crimp?
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:21 AM
Thomasino Thomasino is offline
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I'm thinking his 38 has dirty cylinder chambers.

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Old 04-06-2017, 01:30 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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[QUOTE=Dennis;139543476]Is your crimp causing a bulge in the case just below the crimp?[/QUOT

No. The carbide Lee factory crimp resizes during the crimp operation. The crimp was in the canelure. I do not crimp during the bullet seating operation. The kit came with 3 dies then I ordered the factory crimp die later.

Mike
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Old 04-06-2017, 01:33 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomasino View Post
I'm thinking his 38 has dirty cylinder chambers.

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
Not this guy. He never puts up a gun without cleaning it. He always cleans the same day that he shoots.
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Old 04-06-2017, 02:14 PM
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Not all chambers are perfectly , exactly the same.
This goes for handguns , rifles , throats , barrels and anything else machined . They vary .
I have 4 different 9 mm's , all four require different sized bullets and different seating depths .
You must test your ammo in the gun it will be shot in, a test in a case guage does not insure a fit either . Hand loads are not always interchangable.
Gary
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Old 04-06-2017, 02:16 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m657 View Post
A friend recently had a raft of trouble chambering 38 Special reloads in his old M10 S&W revolver.

After eliminating all other potential issues, we discovered the spec COL coupled with the fatter 158 RNL he wanted to use, were just a few 1000ths 'too long' despite being as printed in the manual. The ogive of the RNL didn't quite have clearance on a couple of his cylinders. Changed the boolit shape, they worked fine.

These rounds chambered & shot well in all our other 38 specials.
To test further, we loaded up a few in 158 SWC in otherwise same conditions. They fit fine.

Easy fix in that case. Good luck.
These were 125 grain RNFP powder coated then resized to .358"

I just measured with a micrometer some of my 38 and 357 reloads. Just below the crimp I get .377 to .3775. Factory rounds I measure .376 and .3765". In my friends Llama some of my rounds only drop in halfway. So his revolver has smaller cylinder throats. In my 686+ they drop in with no resistance.

Mike

Last edited by Mikeinkaty; 04-06-2017 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 04-06-2017, 04:54 PM
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Any time there is a fit problem, measure! Measure the OD in a few places along the case. When you find out where the cartridge is too big, you can determine when it is happening. Measure the case after each operation/step. I'd suggest you find out what is causing the cartridge to be too big and fix it rather than covering it up with a Lee FCD or a sizing die...
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:09 PM
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Years ago, I went to sell my .38 super. What to do with 250 rnds of my reloads...so I checked fit in my .38/.357's. They chambered in a little less than half of my S&W's.

Point is, even for same mfg, chamber sizes vary;and sometimes, not just a little.

No, never had to use the supers in my 38/357's. A short time after selling my EAA Tanfolio, a deal I couldn't refuse for a .38super 1911 came my way.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:21 PM
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Have your friend over and test fit the ammo in his gun that you're assembling before you go into production.

As mikld mentions, measuring tells all!
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:39 PM
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Default Boy did I have the same trouble....

Quote:
Originally Posted by m657 View Post
A friend recently had a raft of trouble chambering 38 Special reloads in his old M10 S&W revolver.

After eliminating all other potential issues, we discovered the spec COL coupled with the fatter 158 RNL he wanted to use, were just a few 1000ths 'too long' despite being as printed in the manual. The ogive of the RNL didn't quite have clearance on a couple of his cylinders. Changed the boolit shape, they worked fine.

These rounds chambered & shot well in all our other 38 specials.
To test further, we loaded up a few in 158 SWC in otherwise same conditions. They fit fine.

Easy fix in that case. Good luck.
Boy did I have trouble with a coated lead RN I was using for 9mm, except the bullet got stuck on the lands. Took months to figure out. I made them shorter and shorter. Didn't help. Finally realized that the profile of the bullet (I think 'small ball') would only work LESS than 1.06" and even the not well. They would stay out of battery just enough to keep the gun from iiring, then you had to pry the gun open. The coating on the bullet was really rough and that didn't help. No more of those.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:49 PM
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Default Measure???

I really measure. A lot. But I seem to find situations that defy solving. I measured everything on my 30-06 cases that could be measured before I finally realized that in seating the bullet I was changing the angle of the shoulder slightly on some cases. Even my Wilson gauge couldn't get to the bottom of that. After about a year I thought, 'What could be changing that I'm NOT measuring."
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
Boy did I have trouble with a coated lead RN I was using for 9mm, except the bullet got stuck on the lands. Took months to figure out. I made them shorter and shorter. Didn't help. Finally realized that the profile of the bullet (I think 'small ball') would only work LESS than 1.06" and even the not well. They would stay out of battery just enough to keep the gun from iiring, then you had to pry the gun open. The coating on the bullet was really rough and that didn't help. No more of those.
RW, whose small ball was that you had problems with, if you don't mind me asking? I just loaded up some MBC 124 grain small ball right before leaving to go back to work in Texas but didn't have a chance to try them out in my 92 and P4X subcompact at the range. They did pass the plunk test though.

EDIT: Mike, have you tried putting some of the resized cases into the chambers of your buddies Llama before loading them to see if they give problems? If so, maybe it would be time to go to a gunsmith and get them to run a finish reamer in the chambers if they are too tight.

Last edited by muddocktor; 04-06-2017 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:17 AM
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I have found that .357 brass headstamped AP seems to be thicker than other brands, causing failure to fully insert in most of my revolvers.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:40 AM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddocktor View Post
RW, whose small ball was that you had problems with, if you don't mind me asking? I just loaded up some MBC 124 grain small ball right before leaving to go back to work in Texas but didn't have a chance to try them out in my 92 and P4X subcompact at the range. They did pass the plunk test though.

EDIT: Mike, have you tried putting some of the resized cases into the chambers of your buddies Llama before loading them to see if they give problems? If so, maybe it would be time to go to a gunsmith and get them to run a finish reamer in the chambers if they are too tight.
No, this was his dads pistol and is over 50 years old. He would not do anything to it. It chambers his factory loads fine. I suspect mine would have fit fine had I sized them to .357. He also has a S&W 38 Spl. revolver. I may load up some more and see they will chamber in it. Over 3000+ rounds in my 686+ and they have all chambered fine.
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