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Thread: Show Me Your .38 S&Ws (NOT Specials)

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    Outpost 75:

    I just wandered out to my shop and found a baggie with a few rounds of factory R-P .38 S&W rounds in it. Why I have them I don't recall. Any how, the rounds don't quite fully chamber and the cylinder won't close. I imagine with whatever boolit you're casting that isn't a problem. GF

  2. #42
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Fox View Post
    Outpost 75:

    I just wandered out to my shop and found a baggie with a few rounds of factory R-P .38 S&W rounds in it. Why I have them I don't recall. Any how, the rounds don't quite fully chamber and the cylinder won't close. I imagine with whatever boolit you're casting that isn't a problem. GF
    The bullets I use in .38 S&W are all Accurate designs, most having a short base to crimp length so that seating depth in the case does not exceed factory 146-grain LRN ammo. For the Colt, Ruger and S&W 940 revolvers having smaller cylinder ball seats with .359" major diameter (the 36-142H being especially for the S&W 940 whose throats taper quickly from .359" major diameter with an 11 degree transition to .356" cylindrical) the fore-part north of the crimp groove is specified for the max. diameter being the same as the revolver cylinder throat, specifying Nose Tolerance Negative, as in these following examples:

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    Optionally, for the older S&W and Webley revolvers having larger diameter .360-.362" cylinder throats is to specify desired the desired minimum dimension of front band, allowing for the normal + tolerance to fit properly, as shown below in 36-159H, and to adjust alloy to change diameter or size minimally for the Colts and Ruger.
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    Last edited by Outpost75; 05-19-2018 at 03:12 PM.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  3. #43
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    The NEI #169A bullet that mimics the Mk I-series 200 grain RN bullet has a L-O-N-G sloping nose that is significantly longer than the bullet base portion meant to occupy the case mouth when seated. That portion is about .330" long, bullet overall length is .810". Yes--longer than the case it occupies. That sub-caliber nose portion "saves the day" when being seated in the RCBS Cowboy seating die--no full-caliber portion of the bullet sees the centering sleeve, so the bullet doesn't hang up and seating & roll crimping can be done in one die step. Accurate #36-176P is very close to the weight of the 178 grain Mk-II bullet used during WWII. The flat nose on 176P is a far better form for whacking varmints with, which is the venue my 38 S&Ws spend a lot of their time within. A range site I frequented in Ridgecrest had a variety of iron targets at 25 and 50 yards in the pistol bay, and the impact/clang that 200 grain bullets at 650 FPS made was a lot more vigorous than the effect of the 150 grainers at 700 FPS. The 38/200 cartridge is a significant uptick from the usual 38 S&W loadings, if differential effects on iron targets between the two loadings account for anything.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    This belonged to someone in my extended family who died in the 1950's. Like many of that time, there was a bedroom gun that was passed to my father, who passed it on to me when I got old enough. As near as I can tell, it is a third model S&W 1883 DA. I have shot less than a box through it, but it has functioned perfectly. It still locks up tight.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9.3X62AL View Post

    4) Webley-Enfield DAO service revolver, likely WWII mfg. 4-1/2" barrel, throats .362"-.363". Shoots NEI #169A roughly to the sights at 25yards, 3.0 x Unique or 3.3 x Herco for 625-650 FPS.

    5) S&W M&P "Lend-Lease" 38/200, 5" barrel, .363" throats. Shoots #169A into groups half the size of those produced at 25 yards by the W-E, 650-675 FPS.
    Excellent information! This caused me to dig stuff out of storage:

    -S & W Victory (Lend/Lease): 5 cylinder throats @ .362", one at .361"...
    -Webley Mark IV: .361".
    -Early Enfield (1932) No 2 Mk 1: .360" throats.

    Now I'm going to have to clear the schedule and start casting 200 grain bullets...

  6. #46
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Herman View Post
    Excellent information! This caused me to dig stuff out of storage:

    -S & W Victory (Lend/Lease): 5 cylinder throats @ .362", one at .361"...
    -Webley Mark IV: .361".
    -Early Enfield (1932) No 2 Mk 1: .360" throats.

    Now I'm going to have to clear the schedule and start casting 200 grain bullets...
    I got started in the 38/200 business by "Beagling" my Lyman #358430/195 grain RN mould. This tool is among the first moulds I bought when I started casting in 1981, and it drops 92/6/2 alloy at .360" in its unaltered condition. Add a few bits of aluminum HVAC tape to the block faces, and bullets "cheat" out to .363".

    Nice enough, as far as it went. The #358430 castings with those nice .363" drive bands refused to fit into the RCBS Cowboy Die Set's seating sleeve. I monkeyed around with the 9mm Makarov dies to get the bullets seated and a taper crimp on the case mouths, but this made for a lot of extra work. After several months of these work-around gymnastics I ordered the NEI #169A mould, and was thereafter able to reload ammo for the 38 S&W and the 38/200 in the conventional manner (with fewer die steps).

    The Lyman #358477 design and an NOE clone of that design do great service in the 38 S&W. The NOE tool drops its castings at .360" in 30/1 lead/tin, and almost .361" in 92/6/2. This sort of alloy strength is not needed for the low-pressure 38 S&W, but it is nice having the castings fit in the throats of my two "jewels"--the Colt PP and the S&W RegPol 4"ers. The little Colt has accounted for its share of jackrabbits and one badger that was acting the fool one day out east of Goffs.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check