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Old March 16, 2001, 09:06 PM   #1
wolf 1415
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I just got a box of .38 caliber Flat Point bullets from Rainier, timed to arrive with my Dillon 550 caliber conversion for .38/.357. All set to spend the weekend loading .38 specials.Except...the .38 bullets I bought don't have the serrated groove that seems to be present in all of the bullets listed in my manuals. So...

1. Are there .38 bullets for revolvers that don't have/need this groove?

2. Did I buy .357 Sig Bullets by mistake?

3. It is my understanding that the "roll crimp" of revolver cartridges is supposed to bite into this groove in the bullet. Is that the case for all .38 Bullets?

4. Can I use these at all? (I bought 500)

Thaks in advance for all help, as usual.
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Old March 16, 2001, 09:27 PM   #2
poperszky
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1. Yes
2. Don't know - but probably not
3. Yes, No
4. Yes, but if you don't want then, ship them to me because that is what I use.

The Rainier's don't have a cannelure (sp?), but they work just fine. I bought 1000 and have shot about half or them through my .38 special snubbie. They shoot like a dream. I was at the range last Saturday and was regularly hitting a 3" gong at 10 yards. The lack of a groove may have something to do with that fact that the Rainier's are copper plated, not copper jacketed. But again, it really doesn't matter. Go forth and shoot, worrying no more.

Terry
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Old March 16, 2001, 11:52 PM   #3
wolf 1415
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Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. Sometimes I think that reloading is as much voodoo as anything else. I buy books like a fiend and have yet to find a comprehensive FAQ. Thank GOD for TFL...
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Old March 17, 2001, 12:33 AM   #4
labgrade
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Hell, if reloading was a science, we wouldn't need this forum.
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Old March 17, 2001, 02:11 AM   #5
Hal
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Wolf,
I use the same 230 gr lead .45 bullet for the .45acp and the .45 LC at times. With the right touch, you can apply a roll crimp that will bite into the lead. Just don't overdo it though, and it's a bit tougher in your case because of the plated bullet. You'll get the knack of it. It isn't as much Vodoo as it is doing this stuff over and over till you find what works. You're right. It's places like here that help cut down on the number of things you have to try yourself. I've found that usually lots of others have been down the same path I want to take, and it cuts lots of steps off my trip to just ask.
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Old March 17, 2001, 11:00 AM   #6
quadcab
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38 spcl.

Wolf 1415; I have had very good luck taper crimping 38 spcl. loads with RAINIER and other plated bullets. The 38 spcl. is not a heavy enough load to require a roll crimp like a 357 mag would. If you choose to roll crimp an electro-plated bullet, you must be careful not to apply too heavy of a crimp. Rolling the brass over into a thinly plated bullet can easliy cut through or distort the plating. My understanding is that the thickness of the plating varies between brands. I personally prefer WEST COAST Bullets because their .38 cal bullets have a cannalure. RAINIER and BERRYS do not have cannalures. Just remember that the plating on any of these is nowhere near as thick as the jacket on a traditionally jackeded bullet . QUADCAB
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Old March 18, 2001, 12:21 AM   #7
S&W Man
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As above
1. Yes
2. Not if they are a .357 diameter
3. Yes , No
4. If you want to, there is no reason why not.

The cannelure that is present in most jacketed or plated bullets is better for a roll crimp in the revolver, but there are many jacketed or plated bullets made without a cannelure. These can be loaded just fine and if you are careful not to overcrimp, you can roll cripm them. Some guys will taper crimp the smooth bullets, But over the years I have personally seen too much variance in loads for most revolver caliber that were taper crimped as compared to roll crimped, which is designed for the revolver.

Just my 2ยข's worth.


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Old March 18, 2001, 01:05 PM   #8
wolf 1415
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Thanks guys. I got them loaded up yesterday and they look good. 4.3 of Titegroup, I'll shoot 'em Monday and report back...
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Old May 6, 2001, 02:26 PM   #9
Glockzilla
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Poperszky, what kind and how much powder do you use? I'm trying to develop a load for my .38 snub (S&W 640 2"). I too am using Rainier 125gr flatpoints. My first try with Unique was disappointing (too low velocity and lots of unburned powder). Thanks.
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Old May 6, 2001, 06:54 PM   #10
Guy B. Meredith
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Ranier specifies that a taper rather than roll crimp is to be used with their bullet. West Coast has a cannelure and they say roll crimp is fine, but do it correctly being careful not to cut the copper.

I use a taper crimp on .38 spl West Coast Bullets copper plated 158 gr bullets. The reason for this is that I bought my dies before contacting West Coast Bullets and have decided that it is nice to be lazy and not worry about case length or cutting copper, having longer case life for the thousands of rounds required for revolver competition, etc.

I've done a run with roll and with taper to test for variations in speed and accuracy and have not yet noted any difference. This testing is limited both in quantity and my skills.
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