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Old October 27, 2013, 01:23 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Nice day for shooting

Went out to Suffolk to burn up some ammunition.

Took along two Uberti .357s Cattlemen to try an experiment on the .38 Long Colts I loaded over the week.

These are full loads with Triple 7 and a 130 grain RNFP in lead.

I am using standard small pistol primers. I loaded half of the rounds with a card behind the bullet and the other half without.

I had been reading about using a card to protect the base of the bullet.

One of the Ubertis is 7.5 inches and the other is 5.5. Between the carded and uncarded bullets I got consistent speeds right at 780 fps. SD on the rounds was consistently under 20 FPS. And no far outliers. I am getting better at casting bullets. Also I am using that new Hornady Lock n Load measure and consistency on that thing is PDG. It was a good investment.

I think I noticed slightly better accuracy with the cards than with no card. I am going to have to shoot more to make that decision.

Pretty interesting that I got almost identical speeds regardless of the revolver I used. Remember, one has two inches more barrel than the other.

I think that means that the .38LC round is best for a shorter barrel. I can't stuff any more powder in the case so I am guessing the 5.5 inch barrel is enough length to burn all of the powder. Indeed, I might even back off to a lighter charge to see if the speed scuffs off any.

When I get a .357 revolver with a shorter barrel, I will call it my .38 Long Colt revolver.

I had a bunch of .45 LC rounds loaded to check performance with and without the card on those rounds too. But if you read my "mistake" post, you know why I did not take them along.

I also took along my Sharps with some .45-70 handloads. I love shooting that Sharps but I am not very good with it. I don't like the rear sight. Maybe I should invest in a tang sight for it.

Anybody have one that is up for sale?

All in all a great day. Weather was perfect. Nobody around to bother me. I even found a couple of my .45 ACP cases from last week. Also someone was out shooting 9 MM and they don't police up their brass so I picked up some of that.
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Old October 28, 2013, 09:00 PM   #2
BirchOrr
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Sounds like fun!



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Old October 28, 2013, 10:13 PM   #3
Bill Akins
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Where's the pics Doc?

Doc, can you use .357 cases and trim them to .38 colt long lengths? Or is the base area of the .357 case thicker because of the more pressure in the .357 and thus would cause a volume difference in powder capacity between the two cases? Same question for trimming .38 special cases to .38 Colt long lengths.



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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; October 28, 2013 at 10:47 PM.
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Old October 29, 2013, 03:26 AM   #4
Doc Hoy
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Bill,

If you are speaking of that .38LC revolver from Belgium...

Problem is not the length.

Problem is the diameter of the cases.

The chambers of the revolver are substantially larger than would be right to accommodate present day .38 LC cases.

Today's dimensions of the .38LC, .38 SC, .38 SP and .357 Magnum are all the same in all respects apart from length. That was apparently not true when and where this revolver was made.

I check the fired brass from the .38 S&W rounds that I ran through this revolver and even those are slightly enlarged about a third of the way up the case.

I thought about trying to find a necked case that was the right dimensions and then just cut off about a hundred rounds, but then I would be faced with the challenge of finding dies.

I am afraid this is just a good looking, accurate, fairly good condition wall hanger.

The "up side" of this experience is that I found that I like the .38LC round when fired from the 5.5 inch Uberti Smokewagon.
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Old October 29, 2013, 05:27 AM   #5
Bill Akins
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No Doc, wasn't talking about your Belgium revolver. I was talking about you trimming .357 or .38 special to .38 long lengths and using them in your Uberti's that you were talking about in this thread. Was wondering if there is any difference in the internal thickness of the head of the .357 and or .38 special, that would be thicker than the old .38 long, towards causing any powder volume difference between the .357 and .38 special that would be different from the .38 long if they were both trimmed to the exact same length as the .38 long. Was wondering if you knew if the case head was thicker on the .357 and .38 special any more so than in the .38 long.
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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old October 29, 2013, 07:27 AM   #6
Doc Hoy
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Now I got it......

I'll prolly just shoot .357s in the longer revolvers and .38LC in the shorter ones.

In answer, (and if I understand the question correctly) as I look inside the .38LC cases and compare them internally with the .357s my naked eye can not detect much in the way of a difference.
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Old October 30, 2013, 04:53 AM   #7
Bill Akins
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Yep, you grasped it correctly what I was asking Doc. I know on some cartridge cases that can be trimmed to replicate the shorter length of other cases, and have the same exterior dimensions as those shorter cases (except for length), that sometimes the interior thickness of the head of the case that is trimmed down shorter, is thicker than the original shorter case's head that it was trimmed to work as. And that would cause a volume difference in powder between the two cases, even though they appeared exactly the same externally after trimming the longer one down. I can't remember exactly which ones, but I've run into this case head different internal thickness thing years ago when trimming down rifle cartridges to work (and sometimes fireform) in handguns. Been years since I messed around with that, but do remember there being differences in the case head thicknesses.

I've seen this exemplified in photos of cases that were section cut to show the differing thickness of the internal head area of one case, while the same section cut of another similar case had a different internal head thickness. I was wondering if since the .38 special and .357 have higher pressures than the .38 long, if perhaps the head area of the .38 special and .357 had been made thicker than the internal head thickness of the old .38 long.

Might be hard to eyeball it just looking down into the cases to tell if there is any difference. Only way to know for sure would be to section cut all three cases lengthwise and compare/measure the thickness of all three's internal case head area.


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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; October 30, 2013 at 04:59 AM.
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Old October 30, 2013, 02:45 PM   #8
Doc Hoy
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Bill,

I wonder if there would be enough of a difference in volume between a .357 cut down to .38LC length and just a regular .38LC case.

Especially shooting black powder where half a grain more or less would not affect performance that much.

I do see what you mean.

If the case wall thickens on its way down to the base, (Which I think is almost always the case) then the case wall thickness at the rim would be greater in a cut off .357 than a .38LC case. I would think this would affect performance because of the crimp.
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Old October 30, 2013, 05:58 PM   #9
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
I wonder if there would be enough of a difference in volume between a .357 cut down to .38LC length and just a regular .38LC case.
I wouldn't think it would be enough to notice.
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Old October 31, 2013, 04:13 AM   #10
Bill Akins
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Quote:
Doc Hoy wrote:
If the case wall thickens on its way down to the base, (Which I think is almost always the case) then the case wall thickness at the rim would be greater in a cut off .357 than a .38LC case. I would think this would affect performance because of the crimp.
That makes logical sense to me Doc. The question is, at what point does the case wall start to thicken? Does it do it starting from the very top immediately as it goes downward towards the base/head? Or does it only start to thicken after a certain distance going down the case? And if the latter is true, at what distance does it start to thicken? I have no idea. Even if the powder volume isn't affected that much in spite of any differences in wall thickness there might be, it's still an academic question I was curious about.


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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old October 31, 2013, 04:28 AM   #11
Doc Hoy
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Bill...

Yes....It is an interesting question.

Might be a way to strengthen the case for .38LC to shoot in that Belgian revolver I can't find ammunition for.

Prolly better to just significantly light load a .38LC case....


Or just hang it on the wall where it is right now.
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Old October 31, 2013, 03:08 PM   #12
Bill Akins
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I like that old Belgium revolver of yours. Like to see you get it shootin.



.
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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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