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Old June 21, 2011, 10:57 PM   #1
TennJed
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Powder Throwing question / lee classic turret / lee pro auto disk

Got a newbie question. I am using my Lee Classic turret and Lee Pro Auto Disk powder measure to load 38sp with 4.2 gr of Unique.

I am batch loading with the index removed. I just did the powder charge on my cases and I have a question.

After the cases goes all the way up it has a "hitch" or something that feels like a snag on the way down. It is not overbearing and I just apply a little more pressure and the case comes down. I was wondering if this is normal? Is that just the flaring of the case? Also the rim of the case is not as smooth after it has been run through the powder die and disk measure. It is a little "rough" around the top?

Anyway just wanted to see if anyone could shed some light on this for me?

Thanks
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Old June 22, 2011, 12:16 AM   #2
Eazmo
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yes normal, its just the expander plug releasing from the case mouth.

4.2 grs of Unique might be a little soft. what kind of bullet you loading. lead or jacketed?

you don't want to stick one in the barrel.

I started my .38spcl w/berrys plated at 4.7 gr unique and worked them up to 5.2 to get a good clean burn
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Old June 22, 2011, 12:19 AM   #3
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I wouldn't call myself a pro, but

In my experience, you will feel some resistance on the downstroke at the powder die. You are adding powder AND flairing the case mouth to allow easy bullet seating. You need to be sure you are not flairing the case TOO much. Just flair it enough to allow a easy start for the bullet, only about 1/16 inch of the top of the case.

As I said, "in my experience" YMMV.
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Old June 22, 2011, 08:10 AM   #4
BombthePeasants
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I too, have this sensation when loading, but I assume it's a feature that forces any loose powder that might be hanging on an edge to fall through the hole. And it's a consequence of flaring the case mouth...just a guess mind you.
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Old June 22, 2011, 08:15 AM   #5
TennJed
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thanks guys...i am loading a plated berrys 124gr round nose flat point....i started with 4.2 based on the lyman's starting charge of 4.0 for 124 grains jacketed and 124 lead....i laoded 50 and will prob but the next 50 up to 4.7....i hope i havent messed up
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Last edited by TennJed; June 22, 2011 at 08:23 AM.
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Old June 22, 2011, 08:33 AM   #6
l98ster
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Not that I have needed it with straight wall cases, but case lube makes a world of difference when loading 40 and 9mm.

However, what you are experiencing is normal. If you want, try some case lube. You might like it. I have a friend that uses it all the time and I never use it. It does work however. I just dont want to be bothered with the extra step when loading 38 special.

-George
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Old June 22, 2011, 10:04 PM   #7
Rifletom
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4.2?

That seems like a pretty light charge for 124gr bullet in the .38spl. In the two manuals I have in front of me, 5.1 is a starting load,5.7 in the other. Granted, these are with JACKETED bullets, not plated. But the charges just look light to me. Hmmm.
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Old June 22, 2011, 11:34 PM   #8
TennJed
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ok this may be a stupid question and a little off my original topic...but if those look like too light a loads would it be better to test them out on a 2.25" snub sp101 (less barrel to travel to get stuck) or a 6.5" blackhawk (higher FPS than the snub)?

Thanks for everything!
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Old June 23, 2011, 08:32 AM   #9
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Good question! I would say the snub-nose, but I truthfully couldn't say.
Perhaps someone else will chime in here. I'm still a little suspicious of that load. Could be wrong.
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Old June 23, 2011, 11:47 AM   #10
Howdy
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No bullet in the barrel

You won't leave a bullet in the barrel with 4.2 grains of unique. I shoot that quite often with 130 qnd 158 grain lead bullets and never stuck a bullet even in my 16 inch carbine.

However you may want to increase it in order to get a more efficient burn with unique, especially in a short barrel.

Also, I use the Lee powder measure and it does not throw unique charges as stated on the Lee chart. You could be using charges as low as 3.5 grains if you ust the chart only. (PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR THIS)

USE A SCALE TO VARIFY THE ACTUAL CHARGE THROWN WITH ANY/ALL POWDER MEASURES.

I am a big fan of Unique.
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Old June 23, 2011, 12:05 PM   #11
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My go-to load for .38 Special and a 158 grain lead semiwadcutter is 4.3 grains of Unique. That gives me 780 fps from a 4" revolver and 950 fps from my Marlin 1984. It's a fun little plinking load and accurate enough for revolver training.
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Old June 26, 2011, 01:20 PM   #12
azphx55
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From the documentation that comes with the dies:

"In use, the expander plug travels approximately 3/8" within the die and comes to an abrupt stop at extraction. This helps to shake the powder through."
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Old June 26, 2011, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
After the cases goes all the way up it has a "hitch" or something that feels like a snag on the way down. It is not overbearing and I just apply a little more pressure and the case comes down. I was wondering if this is normal? Is that just the flaring of the case? Also the rim of the case is not as smooth after it has been run through the powder die and disk measure. It is a little "rough" around the top?
It's the way Lee powder through belling dies work. My Pro 1000 behaves exactly the same way.

The Classic Turret has (IIRC) 4 stations. You might be able to substitute someone else's belling die, and a separate charging station. Or maybe Lyman's powder through expanding die might behave better. (Might not, either. It's not real expensive to try, and covers a bunch of different cartridges.)

But, IMHO, not worth worrying about.
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Old June 27, 2011, 09:14 AM   #14
willr
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The "hitch" on the way down is normal.

However, read the Lee Manual about light loads of Unique in the Lee Powder measure. I have had several squib rounds because Unique did not meter well in the measure. Caution is always called for.

Whenever I load with Unique, after expanding and metering of Unique, I check EVERY round to make sure that the charge is correct.

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