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Old 10-28-2020, 03:37 PM
Salmon68 Salmon68 is offline
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Default Reload does not cycle slide... seeking advice

Hi folks, I took my Model 52 to the range today and some reloads which were very accurate but would not cycle the slide and eject the spent casing. The load is 3.0 gr of HP38 with a 148 gr LHBWC bullet, minimal crimp. Est FPS = 770. Ideas? Does anyone use HP38 and if so, how much are you using? Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:39 PM
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:56 PM
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Sounds like that is a light load. It may not have the energy to cycle the slide.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:01 PM
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Two choices: change to a lighter spring or put more powder in it. You are using a minimum load, which is fine in my revolver, but in a semi-auto, you have to have enough energy to work the "machine."
I don't know how you are estimating the MV, but I load 3.0 HP38 and measure the MV from a 4" Model 66 with a chronograph, more like 690.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:37 PM
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Kind of a no brainer, you need more energy. Your current load should be enough so first, double check how you are measuring to get that 3.0. If you are confident it is correct then move up til it functions properly.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:41 PM
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Yes, bump the charge up a bit, that's all it needs.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:04 PM
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Hodgdon says 3.5-4.0 HP 38 for a 148 gr. LHBWC. Perhaps 3.0 is too light to cycle the action...
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:07 PM
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Make sure it is clean. That load should work. If the slide is nice and smooth try a lighter spring. Have you had it long? That is a top load unless the slide is heaver than factory. Bullseye powder has a little more punch. I don't think many 52 owners load that hot. It was designed for 2.7 of Bullseye. A small roll crimp or a tighter crimp will bring the pressure up a little. Try a bullet without the magazine to see if it will eject. With the right load the cases will eject 3 to 5 feet. 700x is a good powder for the 52 also. Data for a 52 is different from a revolver on powder charges.

Last edited by 4barrel; 10-28-2020 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:53 PM
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I second above. A tighter crimp would help. If you are shooting a load that is too light then that is another problem With a semi-auto you should not need a tight crimp but, couldn't hurt unless you do both.
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:06 PM
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A heavier crimp should up the fps of a load but it will also decrease the life
of the cases, over working them.

One of my manuals shows 3.0 grs of w231 at 700 fps for a starting load for the 148 lead wc bullet.
Another manual shows 725 fps as a starting fps for the M52.

Match the load to your spring, until the cases land 3 feet or more from you, for a starting load. A chrony is not needed with a factory stock spring, in a well used pistol.

w231 powder does not have as much energy as some of the other faster burning powders and usually needs a little more to get the job done, in 38 loads.

Even in my small 9mm cases, my lowest amount of w231 used is 3.5 grs of powder for a 147gr bullet.

Good loading.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 10-28-2020 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:20 PM
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3.0 gr of HP-38 is too light a charge for a Model 52. My best/most accurate load for "my" Model 52-2 is 3.6 gr of HP-38 for the 148 gr HBWC. About 870 fps. Trim the cases and load the bullet flush with the case mouth with a slight roll crimp to eliminate any feeding problems.

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Old 10-28-2020, 09:21 PM
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My 52-1 ran fine on 3.0 of HP38 and a 148 gr WC. But I bought it used and donít know if any modifications were made. Willyboy
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:08 PM
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I had the same problem with the first 9mm rounds I loaded with AA#2 not cycling my P94DC. Bumped the charge up a tenth and no more problem.
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Old 10-29-2020, 08:59 AM
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I don't have a model 52 but do have a 1911 in .38 special. My go to load is 2.8 gr Bullseye (2.7 wasn't quite enough to cycle 100% reliably). When I experimented with W231, I settled on 3.2 gr. That seemed about equivalent to 2.8 gr Bullseye.

I personally wouldn't mess with crimp. I don't crimp mine, or more specifically I have the crimp die set to take out the case flare but not apply a roll crimp. If I had a taper crimp die for .357 I would use that.
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Old 10-29-2020, 11:32 AM
Salmon68 Salmon68 is offline
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Thanks for all the advise folks. I will try 3.5 grains of HP38 after double checking the measurement of the 3.0 grains I used in the initial loads. I'll also check the crimp just to be sure everything is ok there. Have lots of yard work to do before the snow flies here in Ohio so I may not get back with results any time soon but I promise to let you know how the increased amt of powder works out. Thanks again and stay safe.
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:07 PM
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My Model 52-2 likes hollow base wadcutters seated flush, with barely a crimp and 2.7 grains of Bullseye. Any less than that it won't cycle reliably
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Old 10-30-2020, 02:27 PM
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It may just be me, but...

I would think using enough powder to insure the slide always cycles reliably would be almost as important in a firearm designed to shoot (for the most part) a single design of a bullet (wadcutter) @ a medium velocity, primarilly in a target environment, as it would be in a more general usage, i.e., plinking, carry, home defense, small game, etc?

That said, has anyone had any experience in using the Federal 130gr JHPWC Micro HST +P in either the factory loading or reloaded (as per quite a few threads on this forum) in their Model 52?

Cheers!
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:36 PM
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The 52 runs at 700- 780 fps. Wad cutters is all they will shoot.

Last edited by 4barrel; 10-30-2020 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:06 PM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is online now
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Exclamation Uh, that bullet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4barrel View Post
The 52 runs at 700- 780 fps. Wad cutters is all they will shoot.
That bullet is a wadcutter: I was not aware that there was a fps limit on the Model 52. Thought that HST might be a pretty good SD or HD choice for it...?

Are the medium to MAX loads for the18 powders listed in Hodgdons all too hot for a Model 52?

Cheers!

P.S. 3.0 grains of Bullseye might be a "top load" for a148gr lead wadcutter but it is not for the HP-38 (WIN231?) load the O/P initially inquired about.
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:42 PM
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I use 3.1 to 3.2 HP38 depending on powder lot burning rate . Remington or Zero 148 HBWC , Fed 100 primer , seated flush with case mouth & taper crimped to .369 .
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:42 PM
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How does one determine powder lot burning rates: is it a spec that can be accessed or is it something that must be measured/developed for each lot of the same powder through testing various lots?

Is it typically a varience with statistical significance or is it an outlier? Does it ever move a powder one level (spot?) on the burn chart?
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Old 10-31-2020, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STORMINORMAN View Post
That bullet is a wadcutter: I was not aware that there was a fps limit on the Model 52. Thought that HST might be a pretty good SD or HD choice for it...?

Are the medium to MAX loads for the18 powders listed in Hodgdons all too hot for a Model 52?

Cheers!

P.S. 3.0 grains of Bullseye might be a "top load" for a148gr lead wadcutter but it is not for the HP-38 (WIN231?) load the O/P initially inquired about.

I have loaded more than 3.0 grs of Bullseye with a 148 BBwc in my J frame snub nose and a lot more than 3.5 grs of w231, when testing out the BBwc vs the HBwc bullets in my little J frame 2" revolver.
You will know in the little J frame when you get close to 800 fps.............by the recoil.

750 fps is a nice full .38 special load for 50 rounds in this light weapon.
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Old 11-02-2020, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STORMINORMAN View Post
That bullet is a wadcutter: I was not aware that there was a fps limit on the Model 52. Thought that HST might be a pretty good SD or HD choice for it...?

Are the medium to MAX loads for the18 powders listed in Hodgdons all too hot for a Model 52?

Cheers!

P.S. 3.0 grains of Bullseye might be a "top load" for a148gr lead wadcutter but it is not for the HP-38 (WIN231?) load the O/P initially inquired about.
From what I read HP 38 and 231 are the same powder. Here is an old wad cutter chart for target shooting I have shown before and at the top is W231 and the bottom is HP38. The Colt NM and the 52 shoot the same bullet. I run my long slides a little hotter than this but the slide is heavier. When working a load I use barely enough powder to lock the slide back and then add 1 tenth of a grain to it. You can shoot the Federal 130 wc in a 52 but it is designed to shoot lead.
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Old 11-02-2020, 11:32 PM
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Thumbs up Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4barrel View Post
From what I read HP 38 and 231 are the same powder. Here is an old wad cutter chart for target shooting I have shown before and at the top is W231 and the bottom is HP38. The Colt NM and the 52 shoot the same bullet. I run my long slides a little hotter than this but the slide is heavier. When working a load I use barely enough powder to lock the slide back and then add 1 tenth of a grain to it. You can shoot the Federal 130 wc in a 52 but it is designed to shoot lead.
Thanks! As I said, I thought that HST bullet might present a good SD/HD option for what is primarilly thought of as a target pistol. Nowdays one can use every option possible.

Now that Colt Gold Cup National Match .38 Special Mid-Range Mk III is a much more expen$ive way to go target shooting... If you can ever find one?

Cheers!
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Old 11-02-2020, 11:44 PM
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I do. Tuned by Fred Kart in 1962. Colt didn't stamp Gold Cup on it though. Just National Match.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:24 AM
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3.2 OR 3.3 GR OFHP38/WW231 HAS BEEN A STANDARD LOAD FOR THE THE .38 CAL 148GR HBWC FOR DECADES. EITHER IN THE MODEL 52 OR PPC REVOLVERS. YOUR 3.0GR IS TOO LIGHT. JP
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