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Old June 30, 2012, 09:28 PM   #1
Jbotto
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Unique and Lee Manual

While looking through my manuals for some .357 reloading data, I went off of Lee's data for a 158 gr cast SWC. Using Unique, the manual lists a "never exceed" load at 6.0 grs. I developed loads up to 5.7grs and they still seemed very wimpy. I mean, they didn't feel much different than a factory .38 Spl. Just wondering if Lee's data is maybe on the low side. I didn't crimp my loads so maybe it doesn't build up the pressure needed to feel any stronger than a .38. Any thoughts?
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Old June 30, 2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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Try that same recipe and firmly but not exessively crimp your loads. Revolver loads should always be crimped they say the bullets will start to come loose from the shells inside the chambers and cause the cylinder to bind up. Also try cross refferencing with lyman (which might be lower than Lees) and Hornady manuals as well.
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Old June 30, 2012, 11:02 PM   #3
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357 load data

I would be curious to know what manual that is.My Modern Reloading lists a starting load for a 158gr lead bullet at 6.2 grs of Unique for a 357 mag.6.0 is the listed max for a 200gr lead bullet by this book.
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Old June 30, 2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Try that same recipe and firmly but not exessively crimp your loads. Revolver loads should always be crimped they say the bullets will start to come loose from the shells inside the chambers and cause the cylinder to bind up. Also try cross refferencing with lyman (which might be lower than Lees) and Hornady manuals as well.
The crimping is my next step. I've seen where some people crimp, some don't. I chose not too. At each charge I tried, I loaded ten rounds and kept the same one in the cylinder and shot the other 9. None of the checked rounds experienced any bullet jump. My Lyman's 49th, does not have the 158gr lead bullet. To top the Lyman's idea off, in neither the 155gr or 160gr lead bullet, Unique is not included. I don't have any other manuals for the time being.

Quote:
357 load data
I would be curious to know what manual that is.My Modern Reloading lists a starting load for a 158gr lead bullet at 6.2 grs of Unique for a 357 mag.6.0 is the listed max for a 200gr lead bullet by this book.
My Modern Reloading Second Edition lists the 158gr Lead Bullet and Unique at a starting load of 5.3grs and a "Never Exceed" load at 6.0grs.
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Old July 1, 2012, 12:34 AM   #5
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That data comes straight from Alliant. The problem isn't pressure, it's leading. Alliant developed that load using a soft swaged Speer 158gr SWC.
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Old July 1, 2012, 12:52 AM   #6
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Thanks jimkim, I suppose that makes sense, even though I'm new to reloading cast bullets.
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Old July 7, 2012, 06:10 PM   #7
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357 load data
I would be curious to know what manual that is.My Modern Reloading lists a starting load for a 158gr lead bullet at 6.2 grs of Unique for a 357 mag.6.0 is the listed max for a 200gr lead bullet by this book.

458winshooter, what does your book state a max is? I was going off the same info the o.p. had. I am getting great groups, but out of a rifle they are only running 1247fps.
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Old July 7, 2012, 06:39 PM   #8
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Jbotto,

I think Jim covered it.

I'll note that while rifle shooters argue about whether or not to crimp, they are talking about jacketed bullets, which have a lot more friction with the case mouth than a lubricated lead bullet does. Also, they don't usually have their cartridges in a cylinder, which tends to pull the cases off the bullets in recoil because its recoil transfers to the cartridges at the rim. When you you have a force backward against the rim, but nothing pushing the bullet, that's the same situation as inside an inertial bullet puller. In a rifle magazine recoil is usually against the nose, tending, if anything, to push bullets in rather than pull them out.

You can get away with no crimp in a revolver if the load is very light or the gun is very heavy, but only up to a point. As an extreme example, a friend of mine has one of the super light titanium revolvers in .45 Colt. He is a big guy with massive hands, yet he swears he cannot load any round with a bullet heavier than 200 grains, because at 250 grains, even with jacketed bullets, no amount of crimp prevents the bullets from backing out until they protrude from the chambers and jam the cylinder.
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Last edited by Unclenick; July 7, 2012 at 08:28 PM. Reason: typo fix
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Old July 8, 2012, 08:32 PM   #9
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Thanks Unclenick for some more insight. I did keep it in mind when I tested my loads. I kept one cartridge in the cylinder while I fired 9 other rounds of the same powder charge. So in my simple research, my non-crimped load are good to go until they've been in the cylinder after 9 shots recoiling against them. It's no expert test, but I thought it satisfied me. Should I still have a worry? I noticed no bullet's jumping the seating depth. I decided to go with a middle to light load of Unique and to be honest they feel like a .38 +P when I shoot them through my 3" SP101. I talked to another reloader I know, and he doesn't crimp his revolver rounds, but then again he only shoots light .38's.
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Old July 8, 2012, 11:34 PM   #10
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If the caliper didn't show that round growing, that's a pretty good test, I think. If it grew significantly with successive rounds, even if not enough to extend beyond the cylinder, I'd be concerned about ignition irregularity. But if it's only a hundredth of an inch or so, don't worry about it.

The only potential problem that comes to mind is if you get cases that are different wall thickness mixed in. Thinner ones don't resize to as narrow a diameter inside. They also tend to spring out more after going through the sizing die, so they may not grip the bullet as firmly. I've had that issue in .45 Auto, where Remington cases in that chambering were so thin at the mouth I could seat bullets with my thumb. Winchester and Starline, among others, going through the same die didn't allow that.
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Old July 9, 2012, 01:22 PM   #11
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Thanks for the assurance Unclenick! It's much appreciated.
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Old July 9, 2012, 03:11 PM   #12
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You did not say how you are measuring your charges? Are you using uncalibraqted Lee Spoons or discs? Did you actually weigh the powder? Lee tables are normally off a few 0.1s due to each batch of powder having a different density.
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Old July 9, 2012, 05:24 PM   #13
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PA-Joe, I am measuring out each charge on my Lyman 500 beam scale. I'm doing it the slow way for awhile before I jump into anything more complex.
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Old July 9, 2012, 07:51 PM   #14
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BTW, I tested 158g SWC (15 BHN) loads from 5.0g (958fps) to 7.0g of Unique (1191fps) with no leading. YMMV of course. Oh, and I crimp bullets into the crimp groove as I do with all my cases (except .45ACP of course).
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Old September 19, 2012, 08:18 PM   #15
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158 max load

6.2 is the start at 1188 fps and 6.8 at 1295 and 33900 psi is the max listed by my book.Maybe my book is old.

Last edited by 458winshooter; September 19, 2012 at 08:20 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old September 20, 2012, 12:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
That data comes straight from Alliant. The problem isn't pressure, it's leading. Alliant developed that load using a soft swaged Speer 158gr SWC.
That's one of the reasons I try to avoid the Lee manual, unless I run out of other options.

The generic classifications like "158 gr Lead Bullet" don't really give you much to judge by.

Was it a soft swaged lead bullet, or a "hard cast" lead bullet?
Wadcutter? Semi-wadcutter? Round Nose? Truncated Cone?

Bad data source for lead loads.
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Old September 20, 2012, 09:06 AM   #17
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You still need to crimp those rounds, regardless of if you don't get any bullet jump. Crimping will hold those bullets in the case longer allowing pressure to build some before releasing the bullet. This gives you a more uniform ignition which would translate into higher velocities and lower standard deviation.
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Old September 20, 2012, 05:48 PM   #18
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not crimping is something u can get away with with a single shot rifle or pistol to some extent,but is definately something you DO want to do with revolver rounds.Use the crimp groove and roll the crimp into the groove a bit.smashing it into the groove tightly is not what you want,however.

most seating dies have a crimp ring built in,I wonder if ur crimping and just dont know it ?
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Old September 20, 2012, 07:53 PM   #19
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I began to crimp as I feel I get a better/consistent burn and with a little less smoke. Thanks guys for all the help along my way!
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