Leading problem with .38 special

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Leading problem with .38 special

Post by javaduke on Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:47 pm

I'm having some leading problem with all my .38 special guns, S&W 52s and revolvers. My load is pretty standard, 2.7 BE behind Magnus 148r HBWC and .367 crimp. Accuracy is good until lead builds up in the barrel, usually about 1/3 to 1/2 inch of rifling. I'm pretty sure it's something with my load, not the guns, but can't figure out what exactly. Any ideas?

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by AllAces on Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:45 am

2.8 gr of BE is the classic load for the M52.  I once tried 2.7 and got significant leading.

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by Wobbley on Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:46 am

Could also try different bullets.  The lube might be breaking down or they don't seal at your load.

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by 243winxb on Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:21 am

Maybe try less crimp, just taking out the bell?  If using a roll crimp, try a taper crimp, again just removing the flare/bell.  Body case diameter after sizing, should be in the .373"  area. But most dies will size more. Also check the expander diameter. For target loads i would guess an expand should measure .357"  Mine is at .356" for 357 magnum ammo. Soft lead bullets have been know to get sized by some brass. Lube is another thing to look at. Good Luck.   http://www.saami.org/specifications_and_information/index.cfm?page=CC

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by Bubba Blaster on Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:33 pm

http://www.brownells.com/gun-cleaning-chemicals/oils-lubricants/lubricant-protectant-oils/moly-bore-treatment-paste-prod988.aspx

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Not-permanent-but-good-for-200-300-rds-if-you-just-clean-the-chamber-not-the-barrel.
The-moly-is-messy-but-this-positively-works.Reuse-the-moly-patch-if-you're-smart.Use-rubber-gloves-this-stuff-stains-your-skin-but-it-does-wash-off.

Sorry-guys-my-spacer-bar-doesn't-work
Bubba


Last edited by Bubba Blaster on Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by james r chapman on Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:55 pm

also try tumble lubing with the lee alox tumble lube thinned a bit.

let them dry.

I've found the Magnus 148 gr hbwc's to be excellent accurary bullets, but, I also encounter significant leading.

that's why I use the oversize Remington 148 gr hbwc's, dirty, but, I've never encountered any leading due to their oversize nature. IMHO

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by C.Perkins on Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:38 pm

Went out to the garage to measure what I have in .38 lead heads.

148gr HBWC's
Remington = .358"
Speer yellow plastic box = .358"
Speer white paper box = .3575"
Speer brown paper box = .358"
Hornady = .358"

158gr lead
Hornady = .358"
Speer = .358"

I have not had any leading issues in my M52 using any of the above HBWC's or in various revolvers over the years.
Soft lead usually needs to be .001-.002" over bore to prevent leading.

As always, YMMV
Clarence

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by jglenn21 on Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:37 pm

bump the load up to 2.8 or even 2.9.. if you still see leading try this lube..

http://lsstuff.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=31&zenid=22dcf1f1c2af645be749a33b4c1f6a0a

it's a pre thinned version of Lee alox..    I haven't used the Magnus HBWC but this solved my issue with Zeros.

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by KenO on Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:10 pm

I have a 52, 14, and a couple other 38s with no problem of leading with HBWC.

That doesn't help you, but since you are having it with more than one 38, your guess is probably right, that its the load, not the gun.

Could you have someone you shoot with (who doesn't have that problem) load 50 for you to try?
I would be glad to help anyone that way. I use a taper crimp for all my 38s anymore, if your using a roll crimp, it might be something for you to try. I use Precision Delta's 148 HBWC, and also cast my own DEWCs, using 2.7-2.8 of either Tight Group or Bullseye.

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by noylj on Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:18 pm

Never had any leading problems in any M52. I have a LOT of problems developing accurate loads, though.


Where EXACTLY is the leading?


If leading appears near the chamber, chances are that bullet diameter or hardness are the cause. A diameter too small or an alloy too hard will allow high pressure gas to leak past the bullet, which erodes the bullet and leaves leading near the chamber.
 
If the leading first appears on the leading edge of the rifling (if you imagine the bullet being pushed through the barrel, you will note that one edge of the rifling does most of the work of imparting a spin to the bullet—this is the edge you see when you look through the barrel from the breech end), the bullet might be too soft or the velocity too high.
 
If the leading appears in the second (front) half of the barrel, the bullet is running out of lube. 
 
I find that the Rem. 148gn L-HBWC is most accurate.


After seating a measured bullet, pull the round apart and remeasure the bullet—any change in dimensions can cause leading.


I do NOT size my cases and use an oversize expander and a LOT of bell, so the Rem. bullets (that are 0.360" at the skirt for the lot I have), are still at least 0.359". The over-belling is so the bullet is seated in the case about 1/3 of the way in the case. I find the full wadcutters really want to seat crooked and I need all the help I can get.


I also got a "custom" seating stem that only contacts the "shoulder" of the bullets and has a hole in the center so about 1/2 of the bullet diameter is not touched.


I also found that a Redding Profile Crimp die produced the most accurate rounds.

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by javaduke on Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:05 am

Thanks, everyone! I'll try the taper crimp, then lube, then bump the powder charge a bit.
Also, I found these bullets on Grafs: http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/23286 - does anyone know if they are any good?

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by jglenn21 on Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:33 am

haven't used those but I've never found any plated bullet to be overly accurate.. at least to our standards.

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by Jon Eulette on Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:10 pm

Years ago I had some 148 gr Zero bullets that leaded my Clark longslide .38 no matter what I tried. I used liquid alox and loads varying between 2.7 & 3.0 gr BE. That pistol never leaded before or after? I just wonder if some alloys aren't what they're supposed be.
Jon

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by Jerry Keefer on Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:57 pm

Jon Eulette wrote: I just wonder if some alloys aren't what they're supposed be.
Jon

Yep... I am sure of it.. Alloy is expensive. There is also the myth that 38 needs to be soft lead...No
I like Zero.. A story.. Back in the very late 80s early 90s, I won a case of Zero 158 gr.  I used it for Distinguished Matches.
That stuff leaded terribly, but was super accurate in my early 586. I went PPC Distinguished shooting that ammo, but was cleaning on the line with a Lewis Lead Remover between stages.. My final leg was a 594..Smile

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by desben on Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:28 am

Jerry Keefer wrote:There is also the myth that 38 needs to be soft lead...No

Most 38 special target loads will run between say 8,000 psi and 16,000 psi (depending on velocity and powder). According to my Lee reloading book, best accuracy is attained when the pressure is just below the Ultimate Compressive Strength of a bullet. For 16,000 psi, that's a hardness BHN of 12.5. Reduce the pressure to 10,000 psi (target load), and you only need BHN of 8.0. Was Richard Lee wrong? His experiments were done with rifle loads, but I think the same should apply to pistols... If I misunderstood him (entirely possible, I'm new to this!), I'm sure someone here will let me know.

The thread below on the Ruger has other interesting information on pressure, BHN, leading, etc. as it relates to 38 special. The Remington 148gr HBWC would be a BHN of 6 !
http://rugerforum.net/reloading/47117-remington-358-hbwc-bhn.html#post551177


Last edited by desben on Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:11 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : link to ruger forum)

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

Post by Kermit Workman on Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:09 pm

You did not elaborate on your reloading equipment. One thing I would check is the bullet diameter after the bullet is seated and crimped. Pull a couple of bullets and measure their diameter after seated.
Reloading dies are manufactured with jacketed bullets in mind. The neck expander/belling stem is probably around .353-.354. This means a jacketed bullet has about .003 to .004" as neck tension. This neck tension does not distort a jacketed .357 bullet BUT seat a soft lead bullet,(which is .358 instead of a jacketed .357) and you could be "squeezing" your lead bullets to .356-.357". This smaller diameter could be causing your problem until the bullet obulates from pressure.
Dillon powder funnels known to be too small for lead bullets.

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Re: Leading problem with .38 special

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