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Old March 22, 2020, 04:03 PM   #1
Brutus
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New Colt Cobra target reloading problems

It appears the chambers of my new Cobra target have been bored short.
It won't chamber my favorite 158gr. semi-wadcutter load.
Reloads work fine in my 45 year old Python and my Dan Wesson.
Anyone else experiencing this problem?
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Old March 22, 2020, 04:49 PM   #2
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I assume you are aware the Colt Cobra, like the Colt Diamondback, is chambered for .38 Special, while the other two revolvers you named have the longer .357 Magnum chambers. A .357 Magnum cartridge won't fit into the Cobra. That's on purpose, as it is not proofed for the higher .357 Magnum pressures.

If this is a .38 Special load, check to see if the bullet will fall through the throat. If not, the throats are too tight and need to be reamed (let the factory do it).
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Old March 22, 2020, 05:21 PM   #3
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Not true, the Cobra target is a 357 magnum revolver.
The bullets themselves .358" slide right thru the throats.
Factory .357" work just fine along with my 124gr. XTP's reloads.
Only problem is with the semi-wadcutters.
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Old March 22, 2020, 05:46 PM   #4
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I expect what you've got is not the Cobra but the King Cobra. I don't think a target model Cobra was ever produced, though your post made me think maybe that had changed.

Are these lead SWC's? Mic them at the case mouth. An LSWC with smooth sides (no crimp groove) can be swollen by crimping. If you do have a crimp groove and are crimping hard, mic the case below the mouth to see if the case is slightly bulged outward. That can happen if the crimp is overapplied. The Redding Profile Crimp die is designed to prevent it, if you need a crimp that hard.
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Old March 22, 2020, 05:55 PM   #5
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Must be a King Cobra Target. Probably has tight chambers. The Anacondas had tight chambers and wouldn't accept longer OAL's that worked fine in several other 44 Mag revolvers.

Edit: Oops, missed the fact that the bullets will fall thru the chambers. Most likely a bulge near the end of the case as Unclenick suggested. They should mic no more than .379".

Last edited by BBarn; March 22, 2020 at 06:30 PM.
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Old March 22, 2020, 06:13 PM   #6
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Sorry I wasn't clear enough. Yes it is a King Cobra Target.
I will try the crimping solution to see if that helps, thanks for the tip.
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Old March 23, 2020, 05:42 PM   #7
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I’ve had similar problems in the past, and with 158 gr Keith type cast bullets. Some rounds were difficult to chamber, and it was due to the crimp putting a very slight wrinkle in the case. It was only a problem rarely but was frustrating. Since I had mixed brass, all I could assume was that the occasional case was a touch longer than the majority of the cases. That would cause the slight bulge/wrinkle in the case when crimped. I got a Lee Factory Crimp Die and that solved the problem.

Also worth mention is that the revolver is an old Python. Since the difficult to chamber rounds don’t have a problem chambering in my 686, I have to think that the Colt chambers are a bit tighter.
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Old March 24, 2020, 04:02 PM   #8
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Lee Factory Crimp Die

as 603country said the Lee factory crimp die will smooth out shell/case bulges caused by over crimping. Basically the die has a carbide sizing ring that irons out a bulge when it is raised after the crimp.

They certainly work, but many say it's use is likely disguising an underlying problem with your reloading/crimping process. They are not highly recommended for cast bullets as they may squeeze down the bullet to less than the optimal diameter you have chosen for your revolver's throats and/or barrel.

https://www.midwayusa.com/ltd/product?pid=1011209519
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Last edited by oley55; March 25, 2020 at 09:50 PM.
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Old March 24, 2020, 09:34 PM   #9
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It’s always interesting that when someone mentions using a Lee FCD, somebody says that the use hides an underlying problem with the reloading. It’s usually something “they heard”. I never run 38 rounds through it, but always run 357 hard cast lead rounds through it. Most of the 357 rounds just pass in and out, but I can feel the occasional round touch the die lightly. I hardly ever need the FCD for JHP rounds. That tells me that what the die is actually doing (for the most part) is making the hard cast lead bullets dimensionally the same.

On the rare occasion, a JHP round will need to go through the FCD, and that takes care of the slight bulge in the case. Now...how and why would a case ever get a bulge if the bullets and cases are all exactly the same? The die is set the same way. Nothing is different. Well, it is my firm belief that a 357 case might be just a hair longer than the rest, and when the longer case is crimped, you get that bulge. Does that sound like improper load technique?

So, buy an FCD or don’t. I don’t care. I’ll keep mine.
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Old March 25, 2020, 10:15 AM   #10
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I've also run into some foreign brass (this was in 45 Auto) that was way thicker at the neck than normal. It could not be reloaded with any normal bullet. A pulled bullet from the factory ammo was 0.449". I concluded they had rounded 11.455 mm (0.451") down to 11.40 mm (0.449"), so they had room for more neck thickness in a chamber. This was not exactly accuracy ammo.

I've not seen a taper crimp normally used in pistol cartridges cause any lifting or bulge. In these guns, it is usually the bullet (or, rarely, the thick brass I mentioned) that would cause excessive diameter.

For roll crimps, the issue is how sharply the case mouth is asked to turn the corner to roll the mouth's lip. Too much, and the brass is lifted away from the sides of the bullet below it, creating a gap that can actually weaken bullet pull at firing. The Redding Profile Die's roll crimp shoulder has a taper crimp section below it that holds the sides of the case flat while the roll crimp is formed, preventing that lifting-away.
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Old March 25, 2020, 09:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
603country: So, buy an FCD or don’t. I don’t care. I’ll keep mine.
Kinda touchy there. I was not/did not attack your post. In fact I had typed my post and didn't even see yours until after I had posted it. Then I saw your post and realized mine was nearly redundant to yours and immediately following yours. So I edited the first line of my post to acknowledge what you had posted and not look like a total idiot, (but too late).

So, my bad for having not read the entire thread before I contributed a post, but no apology for the content of what I posted.

And yes, I use them too (when needed) if after failing the plunk or gauge test. If it's often, then something is wrong and I finger it out.
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Old March 26, 2020, 08:25 AM   #12
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Oley, sorry I was a grump. It wasn’t aimed at you.
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Old March 26, 2020, 09:49 AM   #13
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603Country, we’re good. besides who wants a Texican pissed at them?
Good shooting my friend.
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Old March 26, 2020, 11:01 AM   #14
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I once had a python with tight chambers. Have a batch of Win. cases that when loaded with .358 wadcutters, would not chamber in the Python. Worked fine in my S&W guns. You may have to keep ammo within factory specs.
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