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Old December 3, 2017, 08:02 PM   #26
sourdough44
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This is why we don't like to shoot other's handloads. What happens if the loader meets his/her untimely demise & those hot loaded 38 rounds sit on the shelf? Then after a year of heavy grieving, relatives decide to liquidate some of the ammo.

Some unsuspecting chap may end up on the wrong side of a hot '38 Spcl' load. I just load cases to what the average gun in that chambering can safely support. Yes, there are a few ways to tweak around the edges. It doesn't seem that hard to use the correctly stamped cases, for MOST cartridges.
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Old December 3, 2017, 11:34 PM   #27
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Mavracer, sourdough, you have the bottom line right there, imo. Loading a standard product with potentially dangerous contents is one step away from catastrophe.

When I loaded +p ammo for my .38, I used +p brass. All of these sloppy practices that some people do, for example, storing their vicodin in an aspirin bottle or Drano in a beer bottle are dangerous.

It would be my luck to have someone steal my ammo and be blinded.
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Old December 4, 2017, 08:51 PM   #28
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As others have mentioned, there is a way to safely load to mid 357 levels using 38 brass and a projectile that can be seated long. It is every bit as viable as Ruger only 45 colt loads.

With that being said, I have toyed with it myself and decided against it because of the safety concerns raised by others. I do flirt with +p levels at certain times, for specific reasons. I have a notebook with simple instructions in layman's terms at my reloading bench. Should something happen to me, my guns are in my son's care to distribute and he knows to check "the instructions." It sounds silly but Ruger only 45 loads prompted me to do this.

My personal discomfort with 357 levels in 38 cases stems from how common both rounds are. 45 colt is much more obscure, and folks shooting this cartridge are much more likely to be aware of the stout loads. 38/357 is frequented by novices, is more common, and there is always that remote chance that your loads could end up somewhere else.

YMMV, but I wouldn't say its a strict taboo. Just make sure to adequately mark the rounds and seat long enough that they MIGHT would lock up an old, shorter 38 cylinder.
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Old December 5, 2017, 09:24 AM   #29
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There was a guy who talked about making "self destruct" loads to kill or maim anyone who acquired his property without going through proper channels. Picture a magnum rifle with bullseye and super glue.

That seemed to be really unwise.
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Old December 5, 2017, 04:38 PM   #30
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A friend did that. Left out a cheap revolver stoked with overloads. Or said he did. If so, I wonder what happened to that Iver Johnson with the compressed charges of Bullseye after he passed away.
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Old December 6, 2017, 09:22 AM   #31
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I hope that the thing wasn't loaded if it was eventually passed on. You don't usually see them available with ammo inside unless it's bought by someone who only needs six rounds anyway.
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Old December 6, 2017, 10:43 AM   #32
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Funny how TheLastGoodFight just dropped off the radar and never replied to my question:

Quote:
The reason you weren't able to reach the crimp groove of the bullet wasn't because you were putting the powder charge weight of a .357 Magnum load into a .38 Special case, was it?
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Old December 6, 2017, 11:06 AM   #33
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It happened to me.

Can't get the pic to up load.


My dad had a 3" Smith and Wesson 624, 44 special, Lew Horton. My mom and I decided to remove all ammo from the house. One year later I bought a Bulldog. ON the first outing, I was shooting his reloads. About round # 75, the gun blew into pieces. No top strap and half the cylinder left. I had found some hot reloads for the 624. I now have the 624 in beautiful shape.

Charter replaced my Bulldog free of charge even after I told them what I did.

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Old December 6, 2017, 12:36 PM   #34
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I have about a pound or so of ammo sitting in a box, waiting for a trip to the hazmat recycle place. Anything I find loose on a range comes home and goes into it. some things that I find around the house that I can't remember or identify. I once dumped a whole box of loaded ammo that I had questions about. a friend once gave me a box of ammo that came from another friend and so forth, unidentified and mixed headstamps and bullets.

Nahh, I'm not so poor that I am willing to pick up a round of 9mm off of the ground and load it into my gun and fire it. there isn't any reason to assume that any random piece of ammo provided from an unknown source will be safe to use in any given firearm.

As I have said before, how many of you would take a drink out of that half empty bottle of tequila that you found at the bus stop? I don't think that it's all that much different from picking up a half empty box of shotshells.

A person I worked with once found a perfectly good cooler on a sidewalk near a park. "hot dog!" he shouted, and picked it up. Coolers used to cost a whole lot more than they do know.

Oh, boy, he said, something in it rolled around and thumped when he picked it up. "BEER!" he said to himself. when he opened it, there was a head in it. A big ugly dog's head. Somebody had dumped a rotting dog's head in the cooler and set it out to be found. Must have been really entertaining to watch it as it happened.
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Old December 6, 2017, 02:02 PM   #35
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Quote:
I have about a pound or so of ammo sitting in a box, waiting for a trip to the hazmat recycle place. Anything I find loose on a range comes home and goes into it. some things that I find around the house that I can't remember or identify. I once dumped a whole box of loaded ammo that I had questions about. a friend once gave me a box of ammo that came from another friend and so forth, unidentified and mixed headstamps and bullets.
Jeez, briandg, they do have this new fangled contraption called a bullet puller.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/21...-bullet-puller
You end up dumping the powder (makes great lawn fertilizer), but saving the case, primer and bullet.

Don
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Old December 6, 2017, 03:16 PM   #36
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Why? It's not like I am so poor that I have to salvage the lead and brass, and getting out a kinetic puller and aggravating my shoulder isn't worth a box of brass or lead. If I had 100 rounds of .44 magnum, that would by worth it. I stripped a couple pounds of shot from a bag of mixed shells that a relative dumped on me. Just last month a couple rounds of .308 were lying under the bench where I go. It's privately owned, very few members. I usually clean up when I'm through. Pull old targets, collect trash, collect empty hulls, there are always live rounds somewhere. Pulling these things isn't worth the time just to get a few grains of melting lead and a random piece of brass from God knows where.

The time I dumped a bunch of 9mm handloaded I had a good reason. They were at least twenty years old, lead, wouldn't feed properly in my glock, and were military brass. I didn't want to shoot them, I didn't want the brass, and a pound of lead wasn't worth a half hour of work. I didn't even think that it was a good idea to salvage the primed brass for scrap.

I'm just different. I found a twelve pack of beer of unidentified age and unidentified source in a cooler a few years ago, I didnt remember buying it. I'd like to say that I left it on the street corner for the local booze hounds, but I popped the tops and put it into the recycle bin. If I had set it on the corner it would have been gone before morning.
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Old December 7, 2017, 12:59 PM   #37
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Not a good idea to load 38s to Magnum levels. What if someone put one in a 38 spl gun? C'mon get the right casings for your application.
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Old December 7, 2017, 03:00 PM   #38
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If you are loading 38 special cases to use in your 357 and you are certain that they won't inadvertently get used in a 38 (you don't own a 38 and don't let others use your loads) then there is no reason you cannot load 38 cases to pressures that approach 357 loads.
This is not the same as using a 357 load in the smaller 38 case as doing so will produce pressures well above 357 pressures. I have loaded a 38 case with a 115 grain bullet and 14 grains of H110 powder, This load produces pressures slightly below maximum 357 levels in the 38 case. The load is accurate from my Ruger 357 and the performance is very close to 357 level loads. At that pressure level it is possible for the rounds to ring the chamber at the case length in the cylinder if used often. Since the rounds I made are special purpose rounds they rarely get used so I have no problem with their occasional use.

To find the load I used a mid power load for the 357 and reduced it by the difference in internal volume of the two cases. There were certain assumptions made in my process. The volume considered was the volume of the case taken up by the bullet assuming that the bottom part of the two cases were close to identical. That left the additional length of the 357 case was used as the height for the volume and the area of the bullet (inside area of the case) times the height was the volume difference in powder charges I then used data for the bullet weight rounded UP to the closest bullet weight compared to the 115 grain bullet, a 125 grain bullet. Since the bullet that I had modified started out as a 125 grain bullet it would take up the same amount of space in the case when seated to the crimp groove. The two dangers I had to avoid were a charge of H110 that was too light and would cause squib loads and a charge that was too heavy and would cause over pressure. I got the 14 grains purely from the math and it turned out to be a safe load in my gun. After testing the load I kept the remaining rounds to use when they were needed. The rounds are in a special marked box and kept with my other 357 loads but separated by distinct labeling and warning label. I will say that H110 is a very good powder to use for this kind of experiment because it comes very close to filling the case with a "proper" load. Too much powder would likely cause a compressed charge which would be a signal that something was very wrong without having to fire the round. Too light a charge would also be a flag that would warn of a possible squib load. When doing this kind of "comparative" load workup you must be middle of the road conservative both in the numbers you use and your expectations of the end result. You will never get the same velocity at the same pressure with a smaller case. It doesn't hold the same amount of powder to get the same pressure/time curve required to get the same velocity.

There are many reasons not to take on this kind of loading and very few good reasons to do it. In the end it is your gun, your ammunition and your RISK. Whatever you decide do your best to use safe practices which might include tying the gun to a tree and pulling the trigger with a string from a safe distance for the first few rounds.
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Old December 8, 2017, 09:42 AM   #39
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Quote:
Not a good idea to load 38s to Magnum levels. What if someone put one in a 38 spl gun? C'mon get the right casings for your application.
Yes, it does defeat the whole purpose of putting hotter loads (38 Spl vs 357 Mag) in longer cases, so Bubba cannot shoot rounds that are more than the gun design can handle.
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Old December 8, 2017, 12:13 PM   #40
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Well, before I got on the web, I safely used 38 Special brass for light to medium 357 level loads, over +P 38 Special (I rarely have loads near max. If I need more power than my 357 loads, I'll go to my 44 Magnums). Yes, if you are using a bulky slow powder in the smaller case you may encounter compressed loads and higher velocities and pressures, and I don't think I'd try max. 357 loads in 38 brass' smaller capacity. I was aware of that so never went near Magnum charges in Special brass. Now since I've been on line in forums, I learned I can't do that...
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Old December 8, 2017, 02:58 PM   #41
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One of the biggest problems in the entire world is that cant is all to often mistaken for shouldn't

Nobody wants to hear me say that you can't run your car for 15,000 miles between service, because obviously, you can, but they may accept that you shouldn't. even then, they would prefer to hear the term "i would not advise that you go so long between checking your oil". "don't" and "can't" are very unpopular words.
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Old December 8, 2017, 04:07 PM   #42
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I have Lyman mould # 358156 , as soon as it stops snowing ( a rare occurrence in Baton Rouge, La. ) I'm going to cast a few, seat them in the lower crimp groove, in 38 special cases and see if they will chamber in a 38 special. All the years I loaded and shot rounds like this out of a Ruger Blackhawk 357 , I didn't have a 38 special revolver to check and see if they would chamber. Now I have two 38 specials a K frame model 64 and a J frame .
There may be a chance loading this bullet in 38 special cases in the lower crimp groove may keep them from chambering in 38 special guns.....will check and report back.

The electricity went off at 5 a.m. came back on at noon... the heater has it up to almost 64 degrees now....tomorrow may be less cold...I hope !

Gary
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Old December 9, 2017, 12:14 PM   #43
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Update :
Lyman #358156 when seated in the lower crimp groove in a 38 special case , which gives a similar powder capacity as the 357 magnum, and allows for heavier 38 special/light 357 magnum loads to be loaded in 38 special cases....some loads would not be prudent to be fired in J frames...
When this bullet is so loaded the round will in fact chamber in a 38 special , I tried both my J and K framed S&W's . It also chambered in a 1908 Colt Police Positive Special with ease.
I was hoping the rounds would not chamber but there is no safety net here.
I started using this bullet back in 1967 , I picked up buckets of 38 special brass back then. Few reloaded , but picked up hardly any 357 magnum brass, few shot it. The rounds are visually different and noticeable if you know what to look for...If you don't , you have no idea what this bullet and load is about.
I had a Ruger Blackhawk 357 (my only revolver) and used this bullet , so seated in 38 special cases , over 6.5 grains of Unique for my everyday , general purpose , do all load . Read about this in Guns and Ammo , Skeeter Skelton article.

As this load is above +P 38 special, I would not want it to get into a 38 special revolver.
If you do this, be careful....now that new brass is so readily available it might be smart to just use 357 brass.

My Blackhawk was stolen in 1995 and recovered at a pawn shop in Arizona in 2015 and returned to me...after 20 years ! I now have three 38 special revolvers and one 357 magnum revolver .
The very first thing I did was buy 100 brand new Starline 357 magnum cases (the first new brass I ever bought). I load in those now but I sure do miss how easy the 38 special cases eject...
The longer 357's don't like to come clear easily...if you don't give the ejector a full length stroke .
Oh Well , that's life !
Gary

Last edited by gwpercle; December 9, 2017 at 08:03 PM.
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Old December 9, 2017, 12:32 PM   #44
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Quote:
RCBS dies will not crimp a .38 casing in spite of the claim that they can. The casings are simply too short to reach the crimp groove no matter what adjustments I make.
RCBS made 4 different die sets for the 38 Special and 357 Magnum, the first set was the 38 Special die set. A few reloaders in the old days adjusted their dies because the die and press had threads, when the 357 Magnum was invented RCBS made another set of dies for the 357 Magnum for reloaders that die not adjust their dies, 'WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?' It was never necessary to purchases a separate set of dies for the 357 Magnum; the 38 Special die set could load both.

And then: RCBS added a shim for the seating die for crimping and to avoid aggravating the reloaders, so what was the difference between the old 'first' set and the last? The shim.

I have always loaded with feeler gages, it was not until the Internet I became aware reloaders had so many problems with dies. And then there was the other mistake, they did not place threads in the top of the sizing die meaning it was not possible to screw a primer punch into the sizing die and it was not possible to place the expander die in the second position because RCBS had a primer punch on the bottom of the case expander. If you find an aluminum expander die without a primer punch you found an attempt RCBS by RCBS to correct the problem.

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Old December 9, 2017, 12:38 PM   #45
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The Government had contractors that loaded 38 Special ammo, and then one day they had a big recall. Seems they loaded the 38 Special to higher pressures than some though a few old pistols could stand. I still have a few unfired rounds, I shot a lot of it and never though it was near Magnum. that was before +P.

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Old December 9, 2017, 08:15 PM   #46
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When buying dies for my 357 magnum Blackhawk , I grabbed a set of RCBS marked 357 magnum....the gunshop owner told me to put them back and get the dies marked 38 special , then explained and showed me how to adjust them to load both 38 special and 357 magnum....I'm still using them to load both rounds after 50 years.
I did go a hardware store and find some washers of the correct thickness to use as my home made shims. This was long before the factory sold them...Bubba strikes again!
Gary
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Old December 11, 2017, 08:01 AM   #47
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TheLastGoodFight,
The load you are recreating is called the .38-44HV. Data is available on this ancestor to the .357 Magnum. Beartooth makes a bullet, the 180gr WLN+P-GC, specifically for use with .38 Special cases. It's short seating depth allows you to use Magnum charges.
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Old December 13, 2017, 10:09 PM   #48
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Stuff em with powder and shoot em. If youre saving yhem for a rainy day just put a piece of tape on the box and write the load on it. I shoot .38 spcl reloads out of my blackhawk and they shoot just as well as .357 with same head but slightly more powder
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Old December 14, 2017, 08:36 AM   #49
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+ P loads are what is suggested for 38 special brass. 357 Mag loadings are never suggested.
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