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Old October 8, 2012, 06:15 PM   #1
David Bachelder
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38 S&W Brass anyone?

I'm looking for some 38 S&W brass. Used or new, doesn't matter.

Anyone know of a source? I only need about 100. Any more than that would be a waste. Starline has it but the minimum order is way over what I need.
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:13 PM   #2
jepp2
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MidwayUSA sells Starline Brass by the 100 link
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Old October 9, 2012, 08:01 AM   #3
twobit
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also people on the auctions sites sell small quantities of Starline brass. I believe they buy in bulk from Starline and mark it up a little.
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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If you have friends that shoot 38 see if they will go together with you.
I just did that with a friend. We split 500 from Starline for 71$
https://www.starlinebrass.com/brass-...pecialP-Brass/
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:29 PM   #5
djcantr
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Ozzieman, I believe he means .38 S&W, not .38 special. In picking up quite a few thousands of cases I've found lots of .38 special, but only one .38 S&W case.
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:38 PM   #6
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David,

If you get desperate, you can buy a small tubing cutter to shorten range foundling .38 Special cases. You only need to shorten them by 0.380 inches to have .38 S&W. If you shorten them not quite enough, you can then run a Lee .38 S&W trimmer in on them afterward. It'll be a bunch of bother, but if you have more time than money on hand, it can be done.
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Old October 9, 2012, 10:15 PM   #7
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Uncle Nick, I thought .38 special cases fired in a .38 S&W chamber would split? and since were on the subject of reloading im going to start reloading for my S&W victory model, any thoughts on powder and start loads? I found some 150 GR .361 cast bullets. The only loading data I have seen was for the old "top break models", and were weak IIRC.

Last edited by oakfloor; October 9, 2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:03 AM   #8
smith627
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.38 S&W once fired

I have 50 nickel plated once fired in the original Remington box from the 1960's that my FIL gave me before he passed and I have since sold his S&W .38 Safety Hammerless.
If you are interested in these, please send me a PM and we may can work out a deal that would work for you.
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Old October 12, 2012, 04:28 PM   #9
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Oakfloor,

They can indeed split. There is about 0.007" difference in the diameters of the two rounds. However, I expect most brass (except I would avoid nickel plated) should tolerate that much expansion if the pressures are kept low and they aren't ever sized back to original diameter.

I note Hodgdon only recommends loads using 231/HP38. This is for ease of consistent metering of the very small charges (2.2 to 2.5 grains with lead 145 grain bullet). That's likely a sound recommendation.

The top break actions are not terribly strong, but the pressure limits for the round are low in general, so even a stronger design will not have been proofed very high.
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:19 PM   #10
Nosparetime
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Unclenick: If I load 38 S&W can I use 38 Special dies.

I measured some 38 S&W brass and they seem to be slightly larger. The manual's also show a bigger dia bullet. But the ones that I took down seem to have standard .357 or .358 bullets.
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Old October 22, 2012, 05:14 AM   #11
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I use S&W .38 nickel plated brass with my .357/.38 dies...I load .358" lead over 2 grains of Red Dot...Mild and accurate in my Albion Motors made Enfield...

There has been such a variance in the bores of ".38 S&W" over the years, the ammo makers of today use a small diameter hollow base bullet that 'slugs up' to the bore upon firing...At least the Winchester and Remington factory slugs I have pulled fit this description...

I have an old Ideal manual that calls for bullets from .354"-.360" depending on your individual bore...

A pulled Winchester bullet literally falls through my Albion bore...

Slug your bore before you go loading .361" bullets...
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Old October 23, 2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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Nosparetime,

I think Salmoneye gave sound advice there. Slug the bore and chamber throats so you know what you are dealing with and buy the bullet to fit best. On that's about half a thousandth under the chamber throat diameter is ideal, as long as tha's over the groove diameter of the rifling, but not by more than a couple of thousandths. I would avoid going more than two thousandths over groove just because I've seen that deteriorate accuracy. If that bullet turns out to be over .357", then the .38 Special die set will overwork the brass during resizing by making it narrower than necessary and you'll have to expand the overly narrowed brass more at the mouth to get the wider bullet started in. Both will tend to shorten brass life. If you have to use a .38 Special sizing die, I would at least get a Lyman M die in .38 S&W to do the case mouth expanding.
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