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Old July 18, 2010, 09:56 PM   #1
Styles90
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38 special bullet spin.

I just loaded my first batch of 38's and am a little worried, about 35 out of the 50 rounds spin in the case now that the bullet is seated and crimped. Is this normal? I loaded a couple hundred 357 before them and none have spun like them. I tried to put a harder crimp on one and all it did was damage the case and the bullet still spun. They are all the right size length wise and have the min powder charge allowed per my manual. so I don't understand if somethings wrong or are the Ok to shoot? Thank you for your time.
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Old July 18, 2010, 10:06 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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They will be safe to shoot but may not be very accurate. The bullets should be snug in the brass, the crimp is just an add-on.

Either your sizing die is too big or your expander is too big, or your bullets are too small, or your brass is too thin.

Are all your cases the same headstamp?
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Old July 18, 2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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yes there all the same head stamp.Thank you for the quick response. Maybe i Did to much when i expanded the necks, thought it looked fine but am new to reloading. the bullet is also a 125 grain did not seem like a whole lot of it went into the shell to meet the length requirement.
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Old July 18, 2010, 10:28 PM   #4
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What Jim said! I'm guessing too much belling of the case mouth after proper sizing. A jacketed bullet generally has a beveled base and needs very little flaring. Wouldn't hurt to utilize a caliper after sizing to be sure. An inside diameter over about .355 won't give you the tension you need for these bullets.
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Old July 18, 2010, 10:33 PM   #5
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What kind of dies are you using? (Especially the crimp die.) Are these lead bullets or jacketed?
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Old July 18, 2010, 10:44 PM   #6
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Get a Lee carbide factory crimp die for you 38. It has a carbine ring at the bottom of the die that resizes the whole case when you pull the round out of the die. It should keep you bullet from "spinning" inside the case, plus it makes for smooth consistent reloads that slide easily into the cylinder/chamber.
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Old July 18, 2010, 10:50 PM   #7
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"Factory Crimp" die might help a little, only if the problem is caused by the seater/crimp die. But it's just as likely to actually make the problem worse.
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Old July 19, 2010, 01:26 AM   #8
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With loose bullets in your .38 cases you're going to get very erratic velocity and sooner or later a squib load with a bullet stuck in your barrel. The primer will start the bullet out of the case before good powder ignition. The larger volume created by the bullet moving forward will cause very low pressure and a bullet can stick in the barrel. Since the .38 SPL case wall is thinner than .357 Magnum case walls, some 38/357 Mag sizing dies will not squeeze the thinner .38 cases down enough to hold bullets tight enough. My .38/357 sizing die won't size some .38 SPL cases enough. If your expander die offers almost no resistance when expanding your die may not size enough either. It could be your expander plug is too big, bullets undersize, or your sizing die. Either a sizing die made for thinner .38 cases or you can use a 9MM carbide sizing die. Size normally with a .38/357 sizer, then run all case into the 9MM sizing die down to just where the bullet would stop when seated. Then run all the .38 cases thru the expander die. The smaller 9MM die will reduce the thin .38 cases and your expander will expand them back to where the bullets will be held tightly. I've found that I don't like combination die sets. I've also had trouble with a 40/10MM die set not sizing .40SW cases enough.
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Old July 19, 2010, 06:01 AM   #9
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As stated try a bullet in the case before seatin & crimpin , it should`nt slide in with finger pressure.

Also after seatin if ya over crimp it`ll cause the case to bulge a little rite where the grip needs to be the titest.

If ya shoot these just pay attention to the muzzle report ,as rg1 said it`s possible to get a squib .
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Old July 19, 2010, 06:15 AM   #10
Styles90
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Lee Carbide 3-Die Set 38 Special, 357 Magnum. brand new from midway is what i used for the loads i been working. no factory crimp die. I was told by a relative that reloads it was not a necessity since i was starting out so I used the money to by a better scale.

I was all ready to go fire the rounds off but now am very nervous hearing that theres a good chance for a round to stay in the barrel? I understand how disastrous this would be........
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Old July 19, 2010, 07:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
As stated try a bullet in the case before seatin & crimpin , it should`nt slide in with finger pressure.
you should be able to start the bullet, but not feel like it is going to fall into the case.

I had some old nickle plated brass that had been reloaded so many times, the bullet would just slide to the bottom of the case. Obviously, it was time to retire those cases and get new ones.

You want to bell (or flare) the case mouth just enough to open it so a new bullet will start into it with-out shaving any of the lead/copper off when you seat it.

Also, a heavier projectile will have more of the bullet inside the case and therefore give you more resistance.
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Old July 19, 2010, 07:42 AM   #12
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to fix your current rounds... with what you already have, try removing the primer decapping rod from your sizing die, & run your loaded rounds through your sizing die... that should press the case back tight, if the case was expanded too much... if this fixes the problem... try not expanding so much next time...
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Old July 19, 2010, 08:12 AM   #13
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Dies are out of adjustment, go back use a couple dummy rounds(no primer/powder) and practice to check fit and OAL. I find the 38 special slightly more difficult to load then some rounds due to weak case. I prefer to seat and crimp in separate operations so I'm a big believer in the Lee Factory Crimp die.

I always suggest new loaders to go slow, load only 10 rounds at a time and go to range,if you load too many at first mistakes will be made.

I just loaded some 38 yesterday, personally I avoid the nickle cases they simply don't feel right in my press and I've learned over the years to notice a change in handle pressure.

Check your dies per instructions again once you get some good rounds purchase a FCD die and seat and crimp in different operations, think you will be happier with the product.

Also purchase a good bullet puller for times such as you just experienced, if the loads dont look or feel right "don't use them".
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Old July 19, 2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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I sent these rounds down range today they all went off without a hitch. Next time will be more careful how a expand my necks. Thank you all for the suggestions.
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Old July 19, 2010, 10:18 PM   #15
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Over-crimping can also cause this. If the crimp radius is too sharp the brass just below it lifts away from the sides of the bullet. The Redding Profile Crimp die addresses that and the belling if you actually need that heavy crimp? The Lee FCD is likely to fix it, too. The sizing die will, but it will also press the bullet to narrower diameter and that can lead to leading. The profile crimp die's larger diameter carbide ring is really better suited to the task.
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Old July 23, 2010, 06:48 AM   #16
Styles90
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Reloaded this brass yesterday and the bullets all seated nice and tight.Did not expand my shell necks at all this time and it made a great difference, although it was tough to keep the bullet seated straight up and down on the up stroke.

How does the factory crimp die work? Do you have to adjust it or is it like the resizing die just run the whole case through and your done? Beside my mistake expanding the necks to much all my ammo already looks like factory crimped put side by side with a out of the box case so I don't see the benefit, But am sure there is one.
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Old July 23, 2010, 07:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
How does the factory crimp die work? Do you have to adjust it or is it like the resizing die just run the whole case through and your done? Beside my mistake expanding the necks to much all my ammo already looks like factory crimped put side by side with a out of the box case so I don't see the benefit, But am sure there is one.
The FCD will have to be adjusted and all it does is crimp. Your seating die also crimps the case. On Lee's web site they have video clips that explain why and how to and adjusting of the dies. I personally use the FCD on all my revolver and semi-auto re-loads.
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Old July 23, 2010, 08:06 AM   #18
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I was unaware of the videos on the lee site. will have to give them a watch after work thanks for the info.
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Old July 23, 2010, 08:43 AM   #19
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Sigh....

1) Size one of your cases. Compare it to the diameter of your bullet. The casing should have been reduced to the point where a bullet will not enter. Has the case been reduced in diameter smaller than an as fired case? If yes, then it is not a sizer problem.

2) Expand/bell a case. Compare it to your bullets. Is the bullet tight in the case despite the belling? If yes, then it is not the fault of the belling step. If the case diameter is large enough to allow the bullet to spin, the belling is being over-done.

3) Seat a bullet into the case and crimp it. If the bullet is loose enough in the case to turn by hand, it is the fault of over-crimping.

4) At his point, you should have determined what step in the process has caused the problem.

Last edited by dahermit; July 23, 2010 at 10:15 AM.
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Old July 23, 2010, 06:48 PM   #20
Styles90
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No need to "sigh" , as posted above I figured out I was over expanding my cases. Thank you for trying to help though.
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Old July 24, 2010, 07:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
No need to "sigh" , as posted above I figured out I was over expanding my cases. Thank you for trying to help though.
The "sigh" was for all the complicated "solutions", to a problem that could be solved simply and without buying anything.
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