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Old 02-05-2020, 09:39 AM
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I'm looking for your choice of loading safe indoor garage/basement practice loads in 38/357. I am trying to choose between the X-ring rubber bullets and the Speer Plastic ones. Will anyone that compared the two please share your findings? Is it necessary to use the plastic cases with the Speer bullets? Winter is too long for me.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:50 PM
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The speer plastic are ok but you will need larger primers for their pastic cases.
They are not a toy, so take care and use safety and a good back ground, recovery system.

You might also look into wax bullets?

Good luck.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:17 PM
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around 35 years ago I tried them both. X-Ring are easier, but some targets are too robust for them to puncture! If you get good enough you can hunt flies in the house with them. WARNING: Any female residents may forbid this in any dwelling they reside in, so you see there are pros and cons!

Speer is a more accurate system, and cuts cleaner holes in every target I tried. I preferred them.

Experiment: take sized and primed case, push into the slab of Gulf Wax paraffine. Makes a pretty good short range wadcutter. ANOTHER WARNING: Said females will expect you to clean all misses up right away, cause if you don't, there is a nasty mess. Cleanup may involve use of an electric iron to lift wax from the texture in the paint! (whatever you do, DO NOT USE SAID FEMALE'S CLOTHES IRON!!!

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Old 02-05-2020, 02:29 PM
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So if you will be shooting these inside please give yourself good ventilation. Priming compound is lead styphnate which releases vaporous lead upon detonation that is very easily breathed in. Most shooters don't realize their number one risk of lead exposure in shooting is actually from the priming compound, not the bullets.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:54 PM
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The Speer plastic bullets need the Speer plastic cases (except in 45ACP)

The X-ring are ok

Wax is my favorite of the three. The great thing is they NEVER wear out. Just pick them up, melt them again and you are ready to go with your next batch.

Any cartridge case that you use will require that you enlarge the flash hole. otherwise you will get primer setback. You must NEVER use these cases for regular hand loads after opening up the flash hole


After fiddling with all three of those systems over the decades, I just built a 22 suppressor instead and use old Novels that I buy for $1 when the Library is selling off books




My buddy fires his suppressed 22 into a gallon paint bucket that has been filled with
Plumber's putty.

Not sure what State you are in, but as long as they are legal there, it is another way to enjoy the rights that the 2nd Amendment reaffirms
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:41 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AManWearingAHat View Post
Priming compound is lead styphnate which releases vaporous lead upon detonation that is very easily breathed in.
Very good point! Federal removed the lead from their primers in 1998 (This was to comply with other nation's lead laws. -Lapua uses Federal primers!) So federal primers are far less harmful, but still do snort them!

Ivan
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:28 PM
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Hint about wax bullets. First, use fired and un-resized brass. Second, drill out the flash hole larger. I have used a 3/32 drill. Otherwise some primers may back out upon firing and jam the cylinder.
Third, don't use those cases for reloading conventional ammo.
Fourth, when you punch bullets out of a block of canning paraffin wax, do it with unprimed cases. Prime after the wax bullet has been seated.
Fifth, wax should be a little warmer than room temperature but not much. It can be too warm or too cold. Too warm, it won't stay in the case. Too cold and it is almost impossible to punch.
Sixth, standard primers work better than magnum primers.
Seventh, do not be tempted to shoot at the dog or cat. Even with just the primer, they may break the skin.

When I lived in Cleveland, I passed many a cold winter night shooting targets in my basement with those loads. With the right setup, you can recover the fired wax bullets and re-melt them.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
Very good point! Federal removed the lead from their primers in 1998 (This was to comply with other nation's lead laws. -Lapua uses Federal primers!) So federal primers are far less harmful, but still do snort them!

Ivan
I don't think this is correct. Where did you get the information that Federal primers have been lead-free since 1998? I just checked a box of 1000 Federal #100 small pistol primers and there is a lead warning on the box.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:37 AM
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Default Speer bullet do great.....

I heard they were used in some military training. The bullets can be re-used if you can trap them and the cases last a long time. They will not recycle a semi auto.

They used to make them in .38 and .45 size. I don't know if they offer any more sizes now.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:56 AM
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FWIW, I picked up a few thousand red wax bullets cheap at a gunshow a couple of years ago.

I used a 6mm drill to redrill the primer pocket/flash hole through the bottom of some 357 cases, and then countersunk the holes slightly so that standard 209 shotgun primers would fit into the modified cases.

The shotgun primers seem to have about twice the power of standard pistol primers. They pop about like a 22 short and have a LOT more zip than regular pistol primer loads. Lots of fun
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:24 AM
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What a trove of good information, I'm glad I asked! The combined knowledge and experience on this forum is impressive. Only one more question comes to mind: has anyone tried to use the X-ring bullets in the Speer plastic cases?
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:15 AM
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I have been using the Speer plastic bullets with the Speer plastic cases for years . Cardboard box filled with old newspaper is my trap .
It's the least hassle...I first tried wax and brass cases with the flash holes drilled out but find Speer's plastic ammo so much easier to assemble . I have bought extra bullets, shoot until I run out/low then empty the box and start over .
Very clean . Don't shoot any person or animal with one they will break the skin and you can put an eye out with the thing .
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC38 View Post
.

I used a 6mm drill to redrill the primer pocket/flash hole through the bottom of some 357 cases, and then countersunk the holes slightly so that standard 209 shotgun primers would fit into the modified cases.

The shotgun primers seem to have about twice the power of standard pistol primers. They pop about like a 22 short and have a LOT more zip than regular pistol primer loads. Lots of fun
This suggestion really gives me a good idea. I have quite a few of the old No 57/157 size primers in the stash around here. Not much use these days...butM can use these just as stated above drilling the pockets smaller than for 209s. I fired up the lathe and made a breech plug for a shotgun primer fired muzzleloader using the 57 primers...but will take forever to shoot that many 57s in a muzzle loader. Wax bullet loads are much better...Plus I see 57 primers at gun shows all the time for5 dollars a thousand or so...yippee....Thanks for the suggestion BC38
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:14 PM
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This suggestion really gives me a good idea. I have quite a few of the old No 57/157 size primers in the stash around here. Not much use these days...butM can use these just as stated above drilling the pockets smaller than for 209s. I fired up the lathe and made a breech plug for a shotgun primer fired muzzleloader using the 57 primers...but will take forever to shoot that many 57s in a muzzle loader. Wax bullet loads are much better...Plus I see 57 primers at gun shows all the time for5 dollars a thousand or so...yippee....Thanks for the suggestion BC38
Cool, glad the idea was helpful. FWIW I don't know the diameter on the 57 primers, but the standard 209 primer is something like .239"- .242" diameter and a 6mm drill is .236"
That .003"-.006" undersized drill makes for a nice snug fit to keep them from backing out. So make sure you get a drill that is a couple of thousandths undersized.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:43 PM
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BTW I have a bunch of the Speer plastic cases and bullets I've never used in 38...but many 44s. Used the heck outta them. Surprisingly accurate at short distance. Somebody also gave me a bunch of 45 Colt cases with drilled out flash holes for shooting wax bullets
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:58 PM
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Poor Folks use to push a primed case into a piece of wax (or hand soap) for indoor practice.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:18 PM
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As a similar test, I loaded 38SPL cases with primer only and a foam ear plug.

Shot through my SW Model 14-3. Worked well and would punch a hole in cardboard at 20ft. Not very accurate, 6 inch groups.

Primer only was still very loud.

I tried some primer/ear plugs in various 9mm pistols. Would not cycle the gun, but worked well as a single shot.

Very loud in a garage.

I pulled the bullets in 22LR (CCI standards) and cut foam ear plugs to fit. Not to loud, but less accurate.

Try at your own risk, your mileage may vary.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:30 PM
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I became aware of the wax bullets and Speer plastic case/bullets in the late 1960s. At that time you could be “Red Jet” brand wax bullets in 38 and 45 calibers. I believe the 38s came 500 to a box. You could also get a tong tool sort of thing that would punch out the fired primers and seat a new primer. The tool was capable of working with 38 and 45 Colt (and possibly 44 Mag/Spl) cases by means of an insert. The tool is marked “SAMPSON MACH. WKS. COSTA MESA, CALIF. Pat. Pending”. We used plain brass cases with the flash hole drilled large and the wax bullets were seated with your thumb.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post

Experiment: take sized and primed case, push into the slab of Gulf Wax paraffine. Makes a pretty good short range wadcutter. ANOTHER WARNING: Said females will expect you to clean all misses up right away, cause if you don't, there is a nasty mess. Cleanup may involve use of an electric iron to lift wax from the texture in the paint! (whatever you do, DO NOT USE SAID FEMALE'S CLOTHES IRON!!!

Ivan
These seem to be words from a past occurence.Am I right?If so,thanks for the warning.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:44 PM
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The criteria for when we built our condo was a space in the basement where I could set up a 10 meter air gun range. I have one permanently set up so I can just walk up and shoot. (Other than the cost of the gun, it's really cheap).
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyj View Post
Poor Folks use to push a primed case into a piece of wax (or hand soap) for indoor practice.
My friend Kip was shooting his Ruger Vaquero .44 Mag. indoors, and he would push a primed case onto a 3/8" slab of cork. It worked really well.
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