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Old 10-12-2017, 05:29 PM
Willyboy Willyboy is offline
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Default Model 52 cartridge OAL

I am planning to get a model 52 soon. What OAL are you loading to for proper function? I will be using Hornady 148gr HBWC to start, seated flush with the case mouth as others suggest.
Thanks, Willyboy
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:15 PM
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I trim to 1.145" , seat the LHBWC flush and use a light roll crimp.
My favorite is 3.1 gr W231. I have also used 2.7 gr bullseye.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willyboy View Post
I am planning to get a model 52 soon. What OAL are you loading to for proper function? I will be using Hornady 148gr HBWC to start, seated flush with the case mouth as others suggest.
Thanks, Willyboy
As such, if its within 38 spl overall brass length, I don't think you'll have any issues. You DO want to give the case a slight crimp, i.e. roll the case lip very slightly, to aid in feeding.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:32 PM
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I recently acquired my 52-2 and have been reloading for it using Hornady HBWC's. These loaded rounds when properly set and crimped work very well. I would suggest though that you load up a limited amount and make sure they feed before settling in to load up a bunch. Bullseye at 2.7-2.8 seems to do a great job, it doesn't take much to cycle the slide and you will feel the difference in 1/10 of grain in charges, you will notice where it ejects your brass too. Also for me HP38 @ 3.1-3.2gr has worked fine. I shoot indoors and the Hornady bullets with these produce little to no smoke so a nice indoor range load.

I also have shot Berrys plated DEWC's with good results flush set.
Put enough 'roll' on the crimp to eliminate a leading edge on the case that can catch when it feeds. Make sure to seat flush or just a smidge under then roll crimp.
Hope you find your 52 soon, they are addictive to shoot and have such a great feel to them, you are not pushing the gun hard to shoot it well, you can almost feel the shot leave, the slide cycle back and reset for the next deliberate shot................very unique
Karl
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:43 PM
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I have certainly read where some folks loading for the 52 have an extremely strict and detailed checklist for ammo... some will only use brass that was originally manufactured/loaded/shipped with wadcutter when it was new, some folks do NOT resize their brass, some folks trim their brass, etc etc.

My opinion? I back them a full 100% on their methods if they feel it works for them. At the same time however... I don't do all of that. And I have had great success with my ammo and hands-on, I've run my 52 ammo through six different Model 52-2 pistols and wow, across what I believe is 18 different 52 magazines.

My operation can be summed up quickly. I use R-P non-nickel brass, standard full length in a Lee carbide die, slightly larger than typical case mouth flare from Lee flare die and a swaged 148gr HBWC from either Star or Precision Delta, Win-SR primer, 2.8gr Alliant Bullseye and seated/crimped in one pass with an old Pacific seat/crimp die.

Why R-P non-nickel? I'm sure nickel would be fine (or even better!) but I chose R-P because in my experience, R-P handgun brass has thin walls, always has, across the board.

Many might ask, why a small rifle primer? Fine question-- I got a good buy on 10,000 of them and I've not yet experienced even a single FTF in any 52 with these and also, from a sandbag rest, I could discern no tangible difference in accuracy by using even a Federal small pistol primer, so I have stuck with these Win-SR.

All of the above has netted me the finest shooting I've ever pulled off with any 52.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:55 PM
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Oh, one other thing I always do with any new-to-me 52 or 52 magazine:

I go through many rotations (minimum of 5, each with 5 in it) of loaded ammo hand-jacked through the pistol with safety on and pointed in a safe direction, mimicing the feed, extraction and ejection cycle. This, accompanied with a dial caliper is my method for "interviewing" magazines I have recently acquired BEFORE driving an hour to my range.
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:05 PM
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I would guess the OAL might vary slightly from gun to gun, depending on the gun itself and the bullet used. I use an H&G #50 WC and the OAL is 1.16", but it took some trial and error work to get everything right for 100% reliable feeding.
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:32 PM
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Bottom line... if the bullet sticks out of the case ANY, they will bind up and not feed in the magazine.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:46 PM
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Default Model 52 oal

Thanks everyone for the advice. I plan to use HP38 3.0-3.2 to start, and I will manually cycle the rounds through the pistol to check the feed.

Willyboy
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:28 PM
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COL for a cartridge where the bullet is seated just below flush with case mouth.
Load a couple of inert dummy rounds for function testing and NOT live rounds.
1) I tried trimming cases and that did NOT improve accuracy. All you want for a roll crimp is to have the mouth turned in just enough that it won't catch on the feed ramp. Again, trimming does nothing positive.
2) I prefer R.P. cases as they are thinner and won't swage the bullet down.
3) I prefer the Remington 148gn wadcutters for accuracy. They may no longer be made, so I would go to Zero or Magnus. Hornady and Speer are a waste of money in my M52s.
4) Best accuracy is shooting unsized cases. Next best is cases that have been sized in a Lee .38 FCD with the crimp guts removed.
5) The best roll crimp is a Redding Profile Crimp die--by about 0.2" at 50 yards. Next best is the Lee FCD with the carbide ring removed.
6) Do NOT use any load that hits 800fps. A hollow-base wadcutter will separate the skirt from the rest of the bullet at velocities much over 800fps and you either get two holes in the target or a barrel obstruction. Stay around 650-725fps.
The most critical issue is NOT to swage the bullets smaller in diameter. They really should be 0.360".
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:36 PM
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I love the small groups on paper and I also enjoy when the relevant load data is included -- but something is REALLY missing when the distance is not noted.
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:09 PM
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I just got a 52-2. Loaded up some fresh (never fired) Starline brass. 2.7 gr of Bullseye, 148 gr Hornady HBWC, flush seat, slight crimp and blazed away, zero issues. When I was out of those, I shot a bunch of mixed case, wonky brass and all of those ran perfectly too. 100% reliable. What a sweet pistol.
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:41 AM
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>but something is REALLY missing when the distance is not noted.

25 yards, 5-shot groups.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noylj View Post
COL for a cartridge where the bullet is seated just below flush with case mouth.
Load a couple of inert dummy rounds for function testing and NOT live rounds.
1) I tried trimming cases and that did NOT improve accuracy. All you want for a roll crimp is to have the mouth turned in just enough that it won't catch on the feed ramp. Again, trimming does nothing positive.
2) I prefer R.P. cases as they are thinner and won't swage the bullet down.
3) I prefer the Remington 148gn wadcutters for accuracy. They may no longer be made, so I would go to Zero or Magnus. Hornady and Speer are a waste of money in my M52s.
4) Best accuracy is shooting unsized cases. Next best is cases that have been sized in a Lee .38 FCD with the crimp guts removed.
5) The best roll crimp is a Redding Profile Crimp die--by about 0.2" at 50 yards. Next best is the Lee FCD with the carbide ring removed.
6) Do NOT use any load that hits 800fps. A hollow-base wadcutter will separate the skirt from the rest of the bullet at velocities much over 800fps and you either get two holes in the target or a barrel obstruction. Stay around 650-725fps.
The most critical issue is NOT to swage the bullets smaller in diameter. They really should be 0.360".
That is some serious refinement to get to your load and the results proof it is a performer!
Question, .360 bullet diameter?
Karl
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:24 AM
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I load the button nosed wadcutters to1.185 inches

I load the double ended wadcutters to 1.155 inches. I taper crimp these about 1/64 inch behind the front end of the bullet. FWIW in my magazines 1.177 is the max length that will feed through the magazine without jamming in the magazine.

Loads are within 0.2 grains of 3.0 grains of WW231/HP38 for either bullet.
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Old 10-15-2017, 02:03 AM
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>Question, .360 bullet diameter?

Remington bullet is 0.360".
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
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>Question, .360 bullet diameter?

Remington bullet is 0.360".
Average bullet diameter is about .360". Just got 2,000 of the Remington HBWC's. Stripped the black lube off and measured the 4 bands. Bottom band is .361", 2nd band is .361", 3rd band is .361", and top band is .356". In all cases the top band was significantly smaller than the rest of the bullet. The large bullet size and smaller driving band may be just why they shoot so well.

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Old 10-15-2017, 07:31 AM
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FWIW, Penn Bullets makes a 148 grain double end bullet you can get sized in .356 -7 -8 or 9. To my knowledge, Penn and Matt's bullets are the only companies who offer a bullet sized to .359, and since Remington no longer makes the .360 HBWC, would be your only choice in that size.

While double end wad cutters may work well in revolvers, I'm not convinced they will work well in the Model 52. The hollow base bullet offers better expansion to seal in gases whereas the double end, depending on hardness may require more pressure than the 52 was designed to operate under. Most double end bullets are rated to 900 fps, give or take, so they may fail to obturate properly when fired at 650 to 750fps.

So the only hollow based wad cutters I'm aware of are the Hornady and Speed offerings in lead (.358), and Berry's plated (.357), unless of course you want to have molds made and pour your own.
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:36 AM
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I have never casted any bullets so I am no authority but I don't think you can cast a .38cal HBWC. Needs to be a swaged bullet. And a fine commercial offering in HBWC is the bullet from Precision Delta.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:38 AM
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Hollow base and hollow point bullets can both be cast.
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Old 10-15-2017, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
I have never casted any bullets so I am no authority but I don't think you can cast a .38cal HBWC. Needs to be a swaged bullet. And a fine commercial offering in HBWC is the bullet from Precision Delta.
Here's my .38 HBWC mould. Made of brass and a work of art.
Model 52 cartridge OAL-mp-molds-359-395hbwc_1-jpg

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Old 10-17-2017, 02:58 PM
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That's excellent!

Now is the cast lead good and soft so that the hollow base expands in similar fashion to a swaged lead slug?
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
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That's excellent!

Now is the cast lead good and soft so that the hollow base expands in similar fashion to a swaged lead slug?
That's the beauty of casting your own - you determine how soft or hard your bullets are by the alloy you use. Eliminate a lot of antimony in your alloy and you can easily duplicate the softness of swaged bullets.

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Old 10-18-2017, 03:03 AM
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Tired of always hearing that swaged bullets were almost pure lead, I decided to contact the bullet companies I know that made swaged lead bullets.
Note: all my casting was with 10-13 BHN for everything, including hot .44 Rem Mag. When I started shooting rifles at over 1800 fps, I just used a gas check and didn’t change alloy.

Magnus uses 97/3 alloy, for BHN 11.

Precision Bullets uses 92/6/2 and reports the bore-riding surfaces are 13-14 BHN. They also restrike after the coating process.

Hornady reports 95/5, for 13 BHN.

Zero uses 97/3, also, for BHN of 11

Speer reports it is proprietary, and they “have a max velocity of 1100 fps.”
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noylj View Post
Tired of always hearing that swaged bullets were almost pure lead, I decided to contact the bullet companies I know that made swaged lead bullets.
Note: all my casting was with 10-13 BHN for everything, including hot .44 Rem Mag. When I started shooting rifles at over 1800 fps, I just used a gas check and didn’t change alloy.

Magnus uses 97/3 alloy, for BHN 11.

Precision Bullets uses 92/6/2 and reports the bore-riding surfaces are 13-14 BHN. They also restrike after the coating process.

Hornady reports 95/5, for 13 BHN.

Zero uses 97/3, also, for BHN of 11

Speer reports it is proprietary, and they “have a max velocity of 1100 fps.”
Just may be the reason that Remington HBWC's, which ARE nearly pure lead, are the HBWC's that the guys in the know shoot.

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Old 10-19-2017, 01:25 AM
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Do you have proof of that? Mine seem to be about 10-12 based on crude nail scratch, but Remington has not been answering questions, including if they will EVER make them again.
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:59 PM
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Been a while since this thread was posted but,
Just my 2 cents worth= was told by a bullet mfgr/supplier that, other than the real hard cast bullets, the hardness 7-10ish, of swaged wadcutters and semi-wadcutters was so they could withstand "the shipping". Thought it made sense

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Old 05-31-2018, 04:10 PM
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Just got a Model 52-2 and am waiting on ammo to arrive so I can shoot it. All of my .38 WCs to date have been DEWCs crimped in the first groove for my and my wife's revolvers, of course, not usable in the 52.

I also have a couple of types of HBWCs coming so I can reload specifically for this gun. Any tips on on how to flush seat or slightly below the case mouth would be appreciated, so I can roll crimp over the bullet shoulder. I am planning on 2.7 gr. of Bullseye to start, based on really good results using 3.0 gr in the revolver loads and numerous posts here and other places.

Does anybody have anything to say about DEWCs for the 52, assuming they are seated correctly? The bevel on these bullets should allow a nice-feeding crimp for the 52, I would guess.

I load everything on a single stage press and weigh charges individually "just because".

Thanks,
Scott

ps. I am a newb on the forum so I could post, but have been a big fan for years, and gotten lots of good info here.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:33 PM
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I never encountered any OAL problems with my 52. Seated the factory Remington hollow base wadcutters flush, 2.7 gr. Bullsye and applied a light crimp. Never had a malfunction.
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Old 06-27-2018, 01:52 PM
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Have had problems with very slight case bulge.
Caused by random brass .01" too long.
Crimp die created very slight bulge.
Slide falls just short of completely closed.
Loaded round stuck pretty hard in chamber. (same thing in mid-range 1911)
Tossed out all random range brass. Use only Starline.
3.6 231, 148 DEWC Berry's
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