First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

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First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:11 pm

First topic message reminder :

This question is for my brother, but I will need to be doing the same thing in a couple of weeks on my own press, a RCBS Pro-2000.


My brother has a S&W Model 52, and he bought a Dillon 550 reloading press.  All I knew about Dillon was how to spell the name.  I helped him set the press up, and we first tried to make some standard 38 Special loads for his Ruger.  Everything eventually worked nicely, by the time we learned how the Dillon works.  We still haven't gotten the primer tube working - for now, he's doing that manually with a RCBS hand primer.

I will be with him this coming weekend, and I'd like to ask a few questions.

First, from what i've read about the Model 52, I know that the bullets can't protrude beyond the shell case.  What I didn't know until recently was that the case has to be trimmed to a specific length.  What case length should we use for the Model 52?

Second, I don't remember which bullets he purchased (will find out), but once I know, I'll be asking for suggestions for the powder load.  I think he bought the same bullets that others use for this gun.  From what I've read here, apparently Bullseye, Winchester 231, and HP38 are the appropriate choices for powder.  He already has Unique powder, but apparently it doesn't load accurately because it's "flakes".  If we need to get different bullets, the local source near him is Bass Pro Shops.

Third, something I puzzled over the last time I was with him, was how much to crimp the bullets.  My first attempt wasn't too good, as the bullet fell out of the shell case.  I then set things to where it's barely possible to feel the crimp, but it is noticeable.  Are there any guidelines for how much crimp to use?

Final question - I think I'm learning that for Bullseye shooting, people use less powder than the minimum listed on the reloading tables.  Is there a thread here about what might be a good load to start with, for shooting paper targets?  



When I get home, I'll need to do the same thing for myself, but I'll have all the time in the world to get things set up.  With my brother, I have about one day.  That's why I'm trying to find some suggestions ahead of time.

mikemyers

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by SW-52 on Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:42 am

OldMaster66 wrote:To answer SW-52's questions. I use a Magnus #514 swaged 148gr HBWC. http://saas.shopsite.com/magnusbullets/store/page11.html These are new Starline cases that the bullet is seated with a tiny bit of lead past the case. C.O.L. is 1.163. This length works great in all 5 of my magazines. I use a rather heavy roll crimp to give the case mouth a nice rounded shoulder to aid in feeding. The "tiny" bit of lead past the case is to insure that the roll crimp is touching the bullet and not just crimping air. I load this case with 2.8 gr of Bullseye powder.

Len
thank you master.

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Roll or Taper Crimp

Post by mikemyers on Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:40 pm

OldMaster66 wrote:I also have an extra die to do the roll crimp separately. I forgot to mention I use a swaged bullet also. I had to make a seating die by modifying a smaller caliber round nose insert into my 38 special die. I made it flat and capable of fitting inside case mouth without touching case. ..........This is what my loads look like finished.

The die set I alredy ordered (for my revolver) was S&W P/N 18212.  There is also a #18215 available.  The difference: #18212 is "roll crimp" and #18215 is "taper crimp".  I plan to use these dies for the ammo for my M-52.

This is on an RCBS Pro-2000.  I see some people are recommending roll crimp, and others taper crimp.  For ammo to be used on the M-52, does one have an advantage over the other?  (I like your photo - unless there's a good reason to do otherwise, I will try to replicate what you have done.)

Also, I see that you are seating the bullet in one station, and doing the crimping in the next station?  I'm guessing that is so that the bullet is fully seated to the correct depth, before you "roll the brass over" to crimp it.  If I do things the normal way, I get to use my "lockout die".  If I want to separate seating from crimping, then I need to skip the lockout die.  

I already have the #18212 (roll crimp) dies.  If it's recommended, I'll order the other die for taper crimping.

mikemyers

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by Wobbley on Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:57 pm

Most people use a roll for loading wadcutters.  Couple of reasons.  One is that is what the pistol was designed for.  And a roll crimp distorts the bullets less. 

Not to say that a taper crimp won't work.

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:02 pm

Thanks; that's what I already have, which is good.  

I'll be up with my brother this weekend (what this thread was posted for), and I'll be back home, setting up my own reloading setup on the Pro2000 next week.

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by SW-52 on Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:18 pm

what are the best dies for reload perfect .38 wadcutters??? i heard about the redding profile crimp die is the perfect crimp for the 52 pistol,and the others,what are correct dies???

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by LenV on Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:04 pm

SW-52 wrote:what are the best dies for reload perfect .38 wadcutters??? i heard about the redding profile crimp die is the perfect crimp for the 52 pistol,and the others,what are correct dies???
Is this a trick question? I will answer to the best of my findings. I should warn you that every single re-loader may have a different answer. Die #1 Dillon size and de-prime. Die #2 Lee flow thru powder and expander die. Die # 3 RCBS Bullet seat and crimp die (not used to crimp) Die #4 RCBS roll crimp die.



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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:17 pm

Following the advice up above for the most part, and also the Hornady reloading book, I got his Dillon working - made up and tested a whole 4 rounds, before I had to head back to Miami.

Last time, using Unique powder, and the lowest powder loading from the Hornady book, the gun didn't cycle.  This time, with Hornady 38 CAL 148 grain HBWC bullets, #10208, and 2.5 grains of Bullseye powder, the bullets went together nicely, looked like the ones up above in the photos (but no roll crimp), his gun cycled properly, and the gun was very easy to shoot.    He's on his own now, other than phone calls, but he's thrilled that it actually worked out.   :-)  

If I would have started with a "middle" load, rather than the lowest in the book, maybe it would have worked perfectly last time.  I thought I was supposed to start with the minimum, and work up.  Back then, I didn't have the benefit of being in touch with all you guys though, for a good starting point.

I guess that's the end of my questions here - I need to start reloading my own bullets next, using my RCBS Pro-2000 press.

mikemyers

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by SW-52 on Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:30 am

OldMaster66 wrote:
SW-52 wrote:what are the best dies for reload perfect .38 wadcutters??? i heard about the redding profile crimp die is the perfect crimp for the 52 pistol,and the others,what are correct dies???
Is this a trick question? I will answer to the best of my findings. I should warn you that every single re-loader may have a different answer. Die #1 Dillon size and de-prime. Die #2 Lee flow thru powder and expander die. Die # 3 RCBS Bullet seat and crimp die (not used to crimp) Die #4 RCBS roll crimp die.


thank you master for the recommendation!

SW-52

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by LenV on Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:41 pm

I forgot to mention something about die #4. This die is set up to load 158gr RN bullets. By skipping #3 and doing the RN with one die (seat and crimp) then I never have to change dies in the turret. Works great. Yep, I'm lazy.

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by mikemyers on Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:51 pm

Wobbley wrote:Most people use a roll for loading wadcutters.  Couple of reasons.  One is that is what the pistol was designed for.  And a roll crimp distorts the bullets less....

Maybe I'm missing something.  If the bullet is seated until it is flush with the end of the shell case, why would a roll crimp distort the bullet less than a taper crimp?  

If either crimp is adjusted so that it just puts a minimal amount of pressure on the bullet, wouldn't they both distort the bullet pretty much the same?  

Are you saying that only the very end of the bullet is touched by a roll crimp?  That would make sense, but since the taper crimp touches more of the bullet, wouldn't the roll crimp need to be greater, to get the same "grip" on the bullet?


I might have this wrong, but I thought the only reason to use a roll crimp, was because the case is seated  on the rim, not the end of the case, there was no reason not to use a roll crimp....    I thought roll crimping was mostly for bullets that had a groove around the bullet that the crimp could go into, a "cannelure" I think.

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

Post by jglenn21 on Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:37 pm

a roll crimp has aided with feeding on some folks 52.. mine likes a light taper crimp..

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Re: First time loading ammo for S&W Model 52 on Dillon 550

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