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Old 03-26-2020, 11:13 AM
typetwelve typetwelve is offline
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Some help with different 38 spcl cases Some help with different 38 spcl cases Some help with different 38 spcl cases Some help with different 38 spcl cases Some help with different 38 spcl cases  
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Default Some help with different 38 spcl cases

Here's what I have:


All of these are obviously different manufacturers, but some have a crimp ring, some two, some none. I'm currently loading deep seated 148g DEWC, and 145g LRN that aren't seated as deep. I'm not sure which type of cases to use...or if it even matters at all.

Any help on why these are crimped and why at different places would be seriously helpful.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:23 AM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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Unless you are doing some major league bullseye shooting it doesn't not matter as bit. As far as the position of the cannelure, I am confident the manufacturer had some good reason for putting it where they did when they made the case, but I do not have enough knowledge of commercial ammo manufacturing to give any better reason than that.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:25 AM
Bob L Bob L is offline
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I reload a lot of different 38 case and the on it thing that I pay attention to is if they have the extractor groove for moon clips. Like you show lack of with cartridge 3 above.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:39 AM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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Don't worry about the case cannelure or lack of it, but if you want best results, consider loading and shooting one headstamp at a time. When you mix up the brass, you'll find (by feel on the press handle) some cases are thicker than others. This will often affect seating depth to the point that it won't be uniform on a mixed batch. Also, again with regard to brass thickness, some cast bullets may be swaged smaller during the seating process because of thick brass.

All this depends on your accuracy requirements. If that's not a big factor, mixed brass won't hurt anything. However, it will never shoot better than segregated brass.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:42 AM
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At one time, the position and number of the cannelures was intended to identify the type/weight of the bullet, but I doubt that today. They really serve no other purpose on the .38 Special case.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:20 PM
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"A" could be a R-P for a 148gr HBWC bullet
"B" could be for a 110 or 125gr JHP bullet
C-D look like my cases that were loaded with 158gr bullets
F looks like some unmarked w-w brass that I have.

The only cases that I save and keep separate from all the others, is the R-P 148gr cases, since the factory box is shorter than the other companies.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:31 PM
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I believe both RP and Winchester/Western used A as their target wadcutter brass. I understand it was somewhat thinner to the first cannelure to assist seating and prevent deforming. Most older target shooters preferred this as Bullseye brass. IME, it might only last 19 firings instead of 20 so no real life difference.
C or D might be Federal's wadcutter brass, no difference from RP/WW other than a single cannelure.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:21 AM
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Default Wadcutter brass with double cannelures

The cases with cannelures may not be something "to worry about" but they can have/had a specific purpose in life & needs to be taken into consideration if used for another purpose.

.

As mentioned, wadcutter brass can be distinguished from regular brass by the double crimp/cannelure, as seen in cartridge #1 in your photo.

This brass is especially desirable if you use double end wadcutters (DEWC).

Wadcutter brass has a longer straight untapered inner case wall than the standard case.

This allows the deep seated wadcutter bullet to not hit the thicker wall of the case, toward the case head, which can cause the loaded case to bulge and/or the bullet to be damaged/deformed.

This also allows for even case tension on the entire length of the bullets.

Don't use wadcutter brass for higher pressure loads.

I previously did a quick check comparing the 38 Spcl wadcutter double cannelure brass walls to a 38 Spcl (+P)'s brass walls:

Using a .350" plug gage (the biggest that would pass by the inside ridges caused by the double cannelures), it would extend ~.725" into the wadcutter double cannelure case but only ~.460" into the (+P) case, a difference of ~.260".

That shows that the wadcutter has straighter walls & the (+P)'s thicker more tapered lower walls.

The wadcutter's walls only start getting thick just below it's lower cannelure while the (+P)'s starts getting thicker higher, where the upper cannelure would be on it, if it had one.

.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:54 AM
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I still have some Dominion brass from the 1970s that lacks an extractor groove like C.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:20 AM
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The different crimp locations are there for the factory loadings.
Some ammo makers use different locations , some are for different bullet weights .
To the reloader , and for 38 special reloading ,you can just ignore them.
I used to separate them until I discovered at handgun ranges , it really doesn't make much difference to the average shooter. If you shoot in competition , for money ... then it might . By and large you can put them all into one box and reload them .
I have heard that +P have thicker walls but also heard +P is the same case as regular 38 special .
I save my +P cases for my +P loads just because the cases are already marked and no other reason !
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:39 AM
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All info very interesting. I load 38, and I use a plated bullet. Mostly 158g.
About the brass, I do separate them by Manuf, because they do not weigh the same. As a quick check of the finished cartridge, I weigh each one.
If they are not the same, or very very close, something is wrong. During this process, I noted that all empty cases do not weigh the same, hence I keep them separate by Manuf. So it goes. R
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:11 AM
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In the mid-1980's I shot in a weekly pistol league with a M52 38 wadcutter target pistol. Commercial brass lasted about 4 reloads with small charges (~2.6 gr of Bullseye) and a cast 148 gr wadcutter bullet.

Military 38 Spl brass was available at Minneapolis gun shows at low prices. I could get 15+ reloading's from military brass that had a high cannelure. After the 5th or 6th reloading, the cannelure disappeared.

I had 2 brass containers: commercial and military. Same load for both cases, but only military brass in the S&W M52. Revolvers didn't make a difference.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:06 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Cop View Post
I still have some Dominion brass from the 1970s that lacks an extractor groove like C.
I too have Dominion brass;these were made in Qc,Canada and are made with a higher % of cupper,which gives them a more red color as opposed to others which are more golden/yellow.They are generally thicker than others(Winchester,RP,Federal,etc)and will last and last and last....Very uniform too.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:14 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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A .38spl hull gets thicker towards the base.When you seat a hbwc,which is much longer than a swc or rn,the thicker brass tends to push inwards the thin fragile skirts of the hbwc as the bullet gets seated deep inside.
The lower canelure tends to relieve some angle of the brass between the 2 cannelures so that the thicker brass will not deform the skirt of the bullet while being seated in.
As far as I know,tests have never been ran so as to proof the validity of such.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:04 PM
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I seem to remember reading a test where a shooter using 148 grain HBWC's got better results with brass like picture A. If your a high master bulleye shooter or shooting at 50 yards from a rest you might benefit but for most of us mere mortals I don't think it will matter that much. Also for the Remington brass like picture A the factory 148 grain wadcutters are on the fat side, closer to .360 so thinner brass helps for them.
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