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Old June 28, 2010, 04:46 PM   #1
Electric Head
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Overall Length Problem

Hi everyone!

I'm getting into reloading and bought my first book - Nick Harvey's Practical Reloading Manual (Ninth Edition) because it has ADI powders in it, which are locally produced and thus should be cheaper and support the local economy, etc. Anyway, there is no info in them on what the overall length of a completed round should be.

I've heard with wadcutters (and target loads) you should load them flush with the end of the case, but what about semi-wadcutters and others?

I will be loading 357 magnum for metallic silhouette and 38 special for paper target in the same gun at first, for a year or two at least, if that helps.

Obviously then can't be longer than the cylinder, but other than that I don't know what they should be. From reading it seems important to seat them at the right depth to not get massive pressure spikes, etc.

Any help and discussion on this is welcome!

Cheers,

Brad
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Old June 28, 2010, 05:20 PM   #2
arthurrh
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Overall length depends on the bullet you're using. Heavier bullets are longer and frequently require greater overall length. The two overriding factors are making sure the bullet is deep enough into the case to be held properly, and short enough to fit in the gun.

Most of the major bullet and powder manufacturers will list this in their reloading guides, many of which have info available online if you don't want to buy the books.

For example:
Nosler http://www.nosler.com/Reloading-Data.aspx
Accurate http://www.accuratepowder.com/reloading.htm
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Old June 28, 2010, 06:03 PM   #3
Electric Head
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Thanks for the quick reply arthurrh! The info is helpful, thank you. I went back to the ADI site and got their data, and lo and behold, no COL info DOH!

I did verify my book against them though, the book had one discrepancy I thought it had yesterday. To play it safe I'll use some that weren't conflicting - 38 special lead load and 357 load using westcastings 158GN SWC at max OAL and AP-70N powder.
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Old June 28, 2010, 06:31 PM   #4
Jim243
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Brad

I don't pour or use lead so I can't help on the OAL. But you should get on the phone and call them. They had to use someone's set of molds to pour those bullets with and that mfg should have a OAL to use with bullets made from their molds.

Best advise I can give on this post.
Sorry
Jim
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Old June 28, 2010, 06:33 PM   #5
arthurrh
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If it was me I'd rely on the bullet manufacturer rather than the powder manufacturer since bullets have different shapes and lengths. If they don't have the info on their website, you can usually call and talk to someone in the know for specifics. What bullets are you using?

Just so you don't get too paranoid - remember that revolvers are pretty forgiving. As long as you're not shooting the heaviest load possible, have the bullet deep enough to not fall out, and short enough to fit in the cylinder, you'll be fine.
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Old June 28, 2010, 07:30 PM   #6
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Bullet seating depth does affect pressure. Wadcutters are mainly seated flush to feed in semi-autos chambered for them. It also lets a light charge get up enough pressure for good consistency when you seat the bullet as deeply as a wadcutter is seated. I have, however, seated them out in revolvers without problems and been able to drive them a little faster that way.

Because the recoil of light wadcutter loads is, well, light, you'll find a taper crimp is adequate with them even in revolvers. If your gun is actually a .357, you can load them into magnum cases to have a little less jump for the bullet and avoid the gap in the chamber where carbon and lead to build up. That's one nuisance that can occur using .38 Special cases in the .357, and if it builds up enough it can interfere with chambering .357 rounds later, so you want to keep it cleaned out. It's not a big deal; just be aware of it. If you find your .357's stop falling in, don't fire them as the constriction raises pressure. Clean the chambers first. Or just don't use Special cases.

The classic wadcutter load in this country is 2.7 grains of Bullseye in a .38 Special case under a flush-seated 148 grain bullet. The closest I can come with ADI powders in QuickLOAD is 2.5 grains of AS 50N in the .38 Special case and 2.7 grains in a .357 Case.

For 158 grain jacketed bullets seated to 1.590" COL, it looks like 9 to 10 grains of ADI AP 100. produces magnum load specs. But that's just the computer program, so don't take it as gospel without finding some corresponding ADI data.
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Old June 28, 2010, 07:34 PM   #7
Electric Head
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Thanks Jim, no need to be sorry, any help is still help!

Arthurrh I will be using Westcastings Gold Match bullets 158GN SWC. Aussie brand, hardly anything on their website, I'll have to call them.

Thanks for the anti-paranoia support, I'm thinking that the COL for light 38 special paper loads isn't going to make much difference KB-wise, and max COL with 357 magnum is going to be the safest for the higher powered round.
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Old June 28, 2010, 08:49 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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I can't find a picture of that bullet.

But if it is a proper revolver bullet, it will have a crimp groove.
(Do not mistake the broad lube groove, unfilled on these coated bullets with the typical narrow, beveled crimp groove.)
Roll crimp in the crimp groove and take the OAL as it comes, assuming it fits the cylinder... which it will if it is a proper revolver bullet.
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Old June 28, 2010, 09:10 PM   #9
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I suspect the Westcasting 158 gr SWC is a Lyman #358156 (one of the most popular bullet molds ever made) or a wanna be. Lyman shows a OAL of 1.460 with the .38 spcl case and 1.590 in .357 mag. Try the appropriate length and see if it doesn't put your case mouth right at the crimping groove.
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Old June 28, 2010, 10:19 PM   #10
mehavey
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This is what passes for the
Westcast 158 SWC on the web:



If so, it appears not to have the separate crimping groove that most
Keith-type SWC designs have in addition to the lower grease groove:



That being the case, seat the bullet just past/cover up the (single) grease
groove in the Westcast design and crimp about midway into the remaining
lead of the top driving band. At cast bullet loads/pressures that will be just fine.

(But if you can, find a Keith-type design if at all available from this point forward.)
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Old June 28, 2010, 11:02 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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Agreed.
If they lack a crimp groove like the first bullet mehavey shows, seat it as he says. I would apply only a light taper crimp to keep from cutting through the coating that Westcast advertises.
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Old June 29, 2010, 07:05 AM   #12
mehavey
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If the entire bullet is perma-lube coated as is advertised, it may be that what I considered to the be the [empty] grease groove serves as the crimping groove. What the heck.... crimp into that goove and if it shoots well it shoots well.

Cast Lead ain't rocket science.
It's an artform.
Very few hard/ sharp edges in how things go together.
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Old June 30, 2010, 06:33 PM   #13
Electric Head
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Thanks guys! Westcastings do make a "keith type" version of some of their rounds, I'll have to see what I can get!

I was under the impression it was more critical (for safety mainly) to make them to a specific COL, but it sounds like as long as I'm consistent in a load, and not too overzealous with going too long or short then that is more important.

I thought the same thing as mehavey - Westcastings are totally coated so why would they have a grease groove - thus maybe it IS the crimp groove. I should get my press and most of the goodies today or tomorrow, can't wait to set it all up.
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Old June 30, 2010, 09:38 PM   #14
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Ok I found confirmation that a lot of Hodgdon powders are just ADI powders rebranded, here is the list:

To: SKULLANDCROSSBONES65



Thankyou for your recent enquiry with regard to reloading using ADI Sporting powders.

Some ADI propellants are sold in the US by the Hodgdon Powder Company, including

AR2208 which is sold as Varget. It is the same powder.

Attached is a listed of other powders sold in the US under the Hodgdon brand.

Extreme caution should be taken and loads should be worked up accordingly. Refer to

our website at www.adi-limited.com/handloaders-guide or our hand-loaders’ guide for

more information, warnings and reloading safety.

We thank you for using ADI Sporting Powders.









Yours Sincerely

ADI Technical Centre


ADI / Hodgdon Propellants

ADI Powder/Hodgdon naming
AS30N.................Clays
Trail Boss.............Trial Boss
AS50N.................International
AP70N.................Universal
AR2205...............H4227
AR2207...............H4198
AR2219...............H322
BM2....................Benchmark
AR2206H.............H4895
AR2208...............Varget
AR2209...............H4350
AR2213SC...........H4831 / H4831SC
AR2217...............H1000
AR2225...............Retumbo
AR2218...............H50BMG

As such, I found the Hodgdon loading data has COL, so I'll use that.
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Old July 5, 2010, 05:08 PM   #15
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Ok I got my press and gear and have loaded up 20 38 special target loads - 4.3 grains ADI AP70N with 138 grain SWC.

Now, the data i found for 140 grain says COL of 25.957mm but I loaded these to the crimp groove, which made them 23mm.

I found a picture of what they look like, they are exactly the same as the centre SWC of the attached pic, but without the grease.

They should be ok right?

The 150 grain ones I have are similar to the pic mehavey posted, a little longer looking, but only one grease groove and no crimp groove. They say up to 1700fps is ok with these as they are hard alloy + the hard lube coating. I want to use these in 357 Magnum as metallic silhouette loads - I should be able to get proper OAL with them.

Does anyone see any problem with that?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Wadcutters.jpg (35.0 KB, 43 views)

Last edited by Electric Head; July 5, 2010 at 06:51 PM.
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Old July 5, 2010, 07:12 PM   #16
mehavey
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I also looked up ADI AP70N here:
http://accurateshooter.wordpress.com...r-equivalents/

From that if I use ADI AP70N = Hodgdon Universal (not Clays)

...and go to my Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook (3rd Ed) to use Lyman's 141gr #358495 LWC
as the closest appoximation for your pictured 138gr LWC. Lyman does list wadcutter flush seating
OAL = 1.310" = 33.25mm which is ~ what yours measure.

BUT...

Quickload with that bullet/OAL/4.3gr Universal/5" barrel shows 974fps (max for a wadcutter) and right at
16,850psi (SAAMI max for 38 Special is 17,000). But it's under the 18,500psi SAAMI max for 38+P.

If you are shooting this out of your .357Mag (35,000psi rated) it's no problem.
But you probably need to drop the ADI AP70N down to ~3.6gr to get "normal" wadcutter
velocities of approx 850fps for any accuracy.


(I just happened to look here:
http://www.reloadammo.com/38loads.htm
Take a gander at the 146-148 wadcutter loads using Universal)

Last edited by mehavey; July 5, 2010 at 07:28 PM.
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Old July 6, 2010, 12:25 AM   #17
trublu
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G'day mate always good to see another Aussie here. I have "Nick Harvey's Practical Reloading Manual" 7th Edition which I find very useful. However, I also use "Modern Reloading" br R. Lee 2nd edition and of course use this excellent resource here online.

Im a little confused as to what projectile you loaded.....You mentioned 158gr SWC, 138 gr SWC and 150gr....but the picture looks like a double ended wadcutter....

Often it is obvious where you should crimp. But one thing I like about "Modern Reloading" is that it lists a minimum overall length for loads with various projectiles along with the maximum OAL for that cartridge. I take it as an approximation since bullets will be different. But if my finished ammunition measures between the minimum and the maximum then I am happy im not going into dangerous territory.

API handbook lists a starting load of 4.1gr of AP70N up to max of 4.8 for a 135gr Lead projectile so 4.3 with a 138gr SWC seems ok but did you try some at 4.1 ? ..and this wouldn't apply to a DEWC (double ended wadcutter)

Modern Reloading lists loads of 4.1 up to 4.6 of Universal (which as you already point out is what AP70N is called in the USA) with a 135 gr lead projectile with a minimum overall length of 1.418 inches (36mm). (pg 563) and of course the maximum overall length is 1.550 inches(39.4mm). This is much longer than what you have posted...

I found a 148gr wadcutter load in "Modern Reloading" pg 565 which is 2.9 gr of Universal up to a max of 3.8 gr. This quotes a minimum OAL of 1.16 inches (29.5 mm). A .38 special case is 29mm long so it is really just loaded slightly past flush with the end.

However, I really don't understand you saying "Now, the data i found for 140 grain says COL of 25.957mm but I loaded these to the crimp groove, which made them 23mm."

I would recheck the measurements and also clarify what projectile you are using...you loaded 4.3 gr which seems to me to be much more than maximum for a .38 wadcutter...
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Old July 6, 2010, 06:57 AM   #18
mehavey
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The OAL confusion here comes from the fact that Semi Wadcutters (SWC) have a
normal conical bullet shape and are loaded like normal bullets (i.e., 50% or more projecting well above the casing).



Plain old (i.e., "full") Wadcutters, on the other hand have no conical shape at all.
They look like 55-gallon drums and are loaded almost completely within the
case -- flush with its mouth.


This drastically reduces internal powder volume and raises pressures for
whatever amount of powder is loaded.

Do not use loading manual data for semi wadcutters when loading for flush-seated full wadcutters.... even if the projectile weight is the same.

How to tell which-is-which for 38 Special:
Semi-wadcutter OALs are generally 1.55" (~ 40mm).

Full wadcutter OALs are much shorter:
- (1) totally even with the case mouth at 1.14" (29mm), or
- (2) just slightly above it in a crimping groove, 1.15" - 1.3" (30-33mm), ...
and are listed with much lower powder charges.

Last edited by mehavey; July 6, 2010 at 09:04 AM.
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Old July 6, 2010, 07:25 PM   #19
Electric Head
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Ok so the bullets I have loaded (for testing or disassembly) are, from the pic in my last post, the centre one, which I now realise is a button FULL wadcutter, not a semi. They are in to the crimp groove.

They are 138 grain. The SWC that I also have are 150 grain and are very similar to mehavey's first post with pics.

Next stuffup I made: The COL of what I have loaded are 33mm (1.299") (NOT 13 that I said initially and edited to 23)

NEXT stuffup I made: I used the wrong data from the book, should have used data (closest available) that is:

146-148GN WC starting 2.9GN AP70N COL 29.464mm (1.160") (just reread some of your post trublu and it matches what you found!)

It's a good thing I haven't got my gun yet, might have gone out and tested these. So that bullet puller I was planning on buying I WILL buy now lol.

Thanks for the replies and direction! I was going to recheck the book at some point as it's going to be a few weeks until I get the gun, so there was no rush, but all the help I can get is surely welcome. I was actually thinking at the time that 4.3GN starting sounded high, I thought it was less than 3 when I last read it, but ASSUMED it was another powder or bullet weight.

Man what a disastrous start to reloading. I assure you I am not as clumsy / error prone as it seems from this thread, but it's all part of learning.
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Old July 6, 2010, 07:35 PM   #20
Electric Head
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Mehavey, from reading what you posted - these, what I have loaded, (assuming you got the right info from me, and no responsibility to you, of course) should be the equivalent of shooting some +P wadcutters from my 357. Is that a correct statement?

Would you advise just shooting these off or pulling them and resizing (without decapping pin) and reloading with less powder?

All responsibility is on me, as it is my decision as to what I do with any advice. I say this so you can tell me what you might do, rather than just going with the absolute safest option of just pulling them.

Cheers to all for helping!

EDIT: Anyone can answer this too, I'm not just picking on mehavey.

Last edited by Electric Head; July 6, 2010 at 07:49 PM.
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Old July 6, 2010, 07:58 PM   #21
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EH - so there is no confusion, please summarize what you just said. What is the bottom line of what you loaded?

bullet weight/type; powder name/weight; primer; OAL


If you loaded what I think you loaded, you should be good to go in a handgun chambered for .357 Magnum.
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Old July 6, 2010, 08:40 PM   #22
Electric Head
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Mal H - I loaded:

138GN BNWC to 33mm COL (1.299") in Remington 38 special cases with 4.3GN ADI AP70N (Hodgdon Universal) and Remington small pistol primers.
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Old July 6, 2010, 09:24 PM   #23
mehavey
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138 LWC
38 Special Case
Hodgdon Universal/4.3gr
OAL = 1.3" = 33mm

That calculates out to
16,500 psi
980 ft/sec

Guns designed for:
- 38 Special+P max out at 18,500 psi
- 357 Magnum max out at 35,000 psi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The lawyers will tell us all not to say anything/do anything; that powder lots vary by as much as 10%; and that Las Vegas oddsmakers will take bets on the Sun coming up/not coming up tomorrow, ....but the numbers speak for themselves.

Anyone care to chime in yea or nay?
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Old July 6, 2010, 11:03 PM   #24
Electric Head
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That's pretty much how I was thinking. You don't need a degree in maths (although I have one just in case) to tell you that all the numbers say everything is (theoretically) ok.

You have all been very helpful, and mehavey has been outstandingly so! Thank you! I understand more things now, and know the many places I was getting confused.

Now is just a big wait to get the 686. They should be landed any day and cleared through customs in X weeks... Then there's the permit to acquire, which hopefully doesn't take the 28 days that it could.
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Old July 6, 2010, 11:25 PM   #25
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I say you can fire those in your future 686 all day with no problems or fear of anything except missing the bullseye. Personally, I would disassemble them in an extremely rapid manner - by firing them.

I would bet on them being quite accurate if you do your part.
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