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Old July 12, 2012, 07:56 AM   #1
Friar Whently
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CRAP, bullets too short

Hey guys...I'm new to reloading and I just made my second batch of 158 38 FMJ with 4.9 gr Unique. Just realized that the published OAL in my Lyman manual is 1.480 but for some reason I thought it had said 1.448. SO I ended up seating about 60 bullets between 1.455 and 1.450, and that's a difference of 0.025-0.030 from the manual's OAL. The only manual I've seen that has data for 158 FMJ/JHP 38 using Unique is the Lyman...even the powder website doesn't have 158 FMJ/JHP 38 data. I'm shooting out of a .357 revolver. The Lyman min and max charges for this are 4.7 and 5.0, with 5.2 being +P.

Guess I need to go buy a bullet puller, right?
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:13 AM   #2
Sport45
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You're okay shooting those in a .357 mag revolver. I wouldn't worry about them in a .38 either. There's a lot of extra room in a .38 case and it's a low pressure round to begin with. The same amount of setback in a 9mm or .40S&W would be a much greater concern.

Does the bullet have a cannelure? If so, put the cannelure at the case mouth and don't fret the length.
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:20 AM   #3
Friar Whently
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Originally Posted by Sport45 View Post
Does the bullet have a cannelure? If so, put the cannelure at the case mouth and don't fret the length.
That's the thing, unfortunately...these are plated bullets that don't have a cannelure, so I have to go by the OAL when seating.
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:27 AM   #4
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minor point here, but one that can cause confusion sometimes, and confusion is never good in reloading- be careful with the word "bullet" the way you used it in the title. Your cartridge is too short, not the bullet. Round works too. Better to save the "bullet" word for the way you used it in the body of your post, as in "seating the bullet".

I agree with sport45 that these are more than fine in your .357. The cartridge as it is assembled would work fine in a .38, and definitely OK in a .357 mag.

happy shooting.
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Old July 12, 2012, 10:19 AM   #5
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tkglazie is right. When I saw the title, I said to myself, "How is that possible?! No one would sell bullets that are too short."
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Old July 12, 2012, 11:49 AM   #6
Friar Whently
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tkglazie is right. When I saw the title, I said to myself, "How is that possible?! No one would sell bullets that are too short."
Unless they sent me 125 grn instead of 158 .
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Old July 12, 2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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and if thats the case you better weigh one or two to see.weighing bullets when you get them is a good thing.this allows you to be on top of things.you know people are known to make a booboo or two in a days work.
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Old July 12, 2012, 12:33 PM   #8
Edward429451
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It is seated too deep, and you started .1 below max? You may get away with shooting them, but it could be helpful to rethink your loading practices. If you had worked it up from a start load, then you would be very familiar with the load characteristics and wouldn't have needed to ask the question.

Being a newbie to reloading is not a good time to try to cut corners with load development. That is how guns get KB'd. I'm not trying to offend you, but start loads are there for a reason.

I've never been able to understand why noobs disregard start loads. Is it a macho thing? Will the people at the range laugh because some guy is shooting start loads and not max? How could they even tell?

There's a lot of noobs on this board, and few experts (I'm neither). Be careful whose advice you take since you don't know the ins and out of it yet.
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Old July 12, 2012, 12:44 PM   #9
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Is it a macho thing? Will the people at the range laugh because some guy is shooting start loads and not max?
I have a friend that thinks so, to the MAX!!!! He recently got a 44 Mag and we worked up a nice, stout (1500 fps, 200 grain) and a very accurate load but since it didn't rattle the rafters and loosen the screws in the side plate he wanted to go higher in charge weight. I refused to help so he goes to another friends house and proceeds to exceed the maximum as listed in the manual just so it "sounded" better. Of course accuracy went out the window from what he says.
When I found out what he had done (by his bragging) I told him that I won't be shooting with him any longer if he was going to over load his handloads. Long story short, he got his butt on his shoulders and we haven't spoken for over a month..... Oh well.......
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Old July 12, 2012, 01:37 PM   #10
tkglazie
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It is seated too deep, and you started .1 below max? You may get away with shooting them, but it could be helpful to rethink your loading practices. If you had worked it up from a start load, then you would be very familiar with the load characteristics and wouldn't have needed to ask the question.
oh right, I hadnt even thought of that. Very good advise here.
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Old July 12, 2012, 02:40 PM   #11
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You're okay shooting those in a .357 mag revolver. I wouldn't worry about them in a .38 either. There's a lot of extra room in a .38 case and it's a low pressure round to begin with. The same amount of setback in a 9mm or .40S&W would be a much greater concern.
I agree with this, 3 hundredths of an inch is not going to be a big deal in a 38 spl case. And given that they're going in a 357 revolver, rated for MUCH higher pressures than this 38spl load... it's fine.

Quote:
It is seated too deep, and you started .1 below max? You may get away with shooting them, but it could be helpful to rethink your loading practices. If you had worked it up from a start load, then you would be very familiar with the load characteristics and wouldn't have needed to ask the question.
Well, he said it's his second batch of this load... so not sure why we are jumping to conclusions about where he started. Regardless, a range of 0.3gr (4.7-5.0) doesn't lend itself to a real large workup. 0.1gr "under max" is the same as 0.2gr over min in this case. Starting at 4.9 isn't really all that unreasonable, and especially shooting out of a 357 revolver.
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Old July 12, 2012, 03:20 PM   #12
Friar Whently
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward429451 View Post
It is seated too deep, and you started .1 below max? You may get away with shooting them, but it could be helpful to rethink your loading practices. If you had worked it up from a start load, then you would be very familiar with the load characteristics and wouldn't have needed to ask the question.

Being a newbie to reloading is not a good time to try to cut corners with load development. That is how guns get KB'd. I'm not trying to offend you, but start loads are there for a reason.

I've never been able to understand why noobs disregard start loads. Is it a macho thing? Will the people at the range laugh because some guy is shooting start loads and not max? How could they even tell?

There's a lot of noobs on this board, and few experts (I'm neither). Be careful whose advice you take since you don't know the ins and out of it yet.
This is my second batch of reloads, and I made 2 small batches my first go-around...one at the minimum charge (4.7) and one at 4.9. I decided I liked the 4.9 more and actually seemed to have better groups between the two loads. SO I made this batch consisting of all 4.9.

Since now that I have a charge I like, I made this (larger) batch with the goal of not only further evaluating the 4.9 charge, but also toying with different levels of crimp. It just so happens I misread the manual for this batch and seated the bullets a little too deep and was thus seeking advice on the situation.

Is this approach unreasonable (beyond the obvious of screwing up the OAL of this most recent batch)? Any other tips on how to go about working up a load would be welcomed.
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Old July 12, 2012, 06:08 PM   #13
Friar Whently
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Ok, so I went out and bought a kinetic bullet puller. I ultimately decided to go about it this way because regardless of safety, if I were to just go shoot all I have of a load I'm trying to work up, I'd essentially be wasting time at the range and money in the form of components by playing with a round that's "out of spec" with what I'm ultimately trying to make. I plan to follow the manuals for my reloads and it serves no purpose to shoot a reload I know I'll never make again.

On the upside, with just a few light taps of the bullet puller I can get the bullet to come out just a bit but still stay in the brass, so I can just seat to the proper OAL without having to harvest the de-loaded powder and recharge everything.
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Old July 12, 2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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I'll probably get jumped for this but..................

If you like the load and the gun likes the load and there appears to be no high pressure signs, it is in spec for your gun.

If it shot well, I'd load as is and not worry about what a book says.
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:15 PM   #15
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I don't think you'll see any difference on the target with that seating depth difference. In fact, pulling and reseating plated bullets may be worse than just shooting them as-is. The bullet doesn't have a cannelure so there is some deformation at the crimp. Re-using the bullets at a different seating depth leaves deformation in two places on the bullet.

But I've been wrong before...
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:19 PM   #16
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Friar W, this is the best possible outcome. You own a bullet puller now, and you developed some technique with it that got you out of your (slight) mess without having to completely pull apart your cartridges. You would have been fine, but your reasoning about wasting time with "out-of-spec" rounds is sound. Happy shooting and reloading.

-cls
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Old July 13, 2012, 03:23 PM   #17
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Yes bullet puller. Tap couple times , then reseat. Most would say to shoot them but I'd reseat them and that's a good lesson for later. Good catch.
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Old July 13, 2012, 04:04 PM   #18
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And, to pick nits a little bit..

Out of curiosity, what kind of crimp did you put on the cartridge? Was it a roll crimp, using the seating die, or was it a taper crimp, using a separate die?

The reason I ask is that if you roll crimp, then partially pull the bullets, then reseat, you could have a problem with the crimp shaving lead off the side of the bullet.

No biggie, as you've apparently already successfully done it... simply an observation.

I'm glad you got it worked out.
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Old July 13, 2012, 04:48 PM   #19
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On the upside, with just a few light taps of the bullet puller I can get the bullet to come out just a bit but still stay in the brass, so I can just seat to the proper OAL without having to harvest the de-loaded powder and recharge everything.
I'm wondering if you could see a mark on the bullet plating from the first crimp. I suspect the plating deformed if the first crimp was heavy. Just check to make sure the plating wasn't "cut through" to the lead. I don't think the plating would peal away with the lower velocity .38, but strange things do happen....
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Old July 13, 2012, 06:30 PM   #20
Friar Whently
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So the crimp I put on these was a light taper crimp, as I didn't want to break through the plating with a roll crimp. I used the Lee factory crimp die to do it. I did buy the Lee taper crimp die specifically for the plated bullets, but it seems to shave off a little bit of brass from the edge of the casing so I don't use it...seems like doing that would prematurely weaken the case mouth and decrease the life expectancy of my brass. And yes, you can see an indentation around the bullet, but there's no breakage of the plating. I have no idea how two circumferential grooves will affect the bullet's flight though. Good thing my crimp experiments for this batch is either "crimp" or "no crimp", so at least half of this batch is unmarred by re-seating.
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