Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

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Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jodykid on 2/20/2018, 4:40 pm

Hi, Guys. I just bought a new in box unfired M52-2. What is a good load to start development with? I have quite a few 38 Special Smittys but no experience with 38s in an auto. I know people have a hard time loading 32 longs with wadcutters in Euro International pistols. That's why I went with 32 auto in my Pardini. (can't say it's any easier to load for)

I've got Speer 148 HBWCs and lots of Starline brass. What's a good powder? Are cast bullets usable? I've got moulds for wadcutters. Roll crimp or taper?

   Joe

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jglenn21 on 2/20/2018, 4:44 pm

Most often a roll crimp but try both. My 52-1 like a a taper

BE and WST Are good starters.

Check out the article above on 38 HBWC stability for some loads.

The DEWC can be ok for 25 yds
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by james r chapman on 2/20/2018, 4:49 pm

2.7 WST.
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jodykid on 2/20/2018, 5:10 pm

I've got BE and WST so that would be easy to start with. DEWCs have always keyholed in my revos. I've tried taper and roll crimp in my M14 and got better ES and SDs from the roll crimp. I'm thinking from a better burn before the bullet moves too far.

   Joe

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by Multiracer on 2/20/2018, 5:35 pm

There is only X amount of room in a 52-2 magazine. Whatever lead you end up with do not make the bullet too proud.
2.7 WST also.

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jodykid on 2/20/2018, 5:48 pm

Yes, I understand about the need for flush seating.

   Joe

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by Wobbley on 2/21/2018, 12:03 am

2.8 BE is another good load.
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by BE Mike on 2/21/2018, 8:59 am

Most folks have the better results with HBWC over a cast lead wadcutter. Speer may be good, but if it doesn't give good results, shop around. I use Zero HBWC, but most folks rave about Remington HBWC.
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by boatbum101 on 2/21/2018, 11:39 am

Swaged HBWC's are best for accuracy . Speer & Hornady while they'll work are expensive compared to better alternatives . IMHO the Remington , Zero & Magnus are best . If you can't find dedicated wadcutter brass the Remington cases have the thinnest walls . I taper crimp , others roll crimp you'll just have to see what's best in yours . Since these are low pressure loads you don't need much crimp . For fired cases I do not FL size . Instead I take a Lee FCD , remove the internal parts & just use the die body with the carbide sizing ring at the bottom to size fired cases . I feel that it works the brass less than FL sizing & having to expand the neck to seat a HBWC bullet . Lyman M die or a " Cowboy " expander just enough to seat without shaving the bullet . Try to find a seater that only contacts the bullet shoulder . Some trim their cases to min length of 1.145" as it helps to get a consistent crimp especially if you roll crimp . If you do this you can leave a bit of bullet nose proud of the case as long as it'll feed thru magazine . Some say it helps , I just seat flush & taper crimp to .369 . 2.7grs of Bullseye is the classic 148 HBWC load if it'll function , if you have to bump it for full function do NOT exceed 3.0grs with a HBWC . Other good loads include 3.1 to 3.2 W231 , 2.7 WST , 2.8 to 3.0 VVN-320 or Acc #2 , 3.6 VVN-340 . Just about any powder between burning rates of Bullseye to N-340 should give a usable load . Only thru testing will you find the ones your gun prefers . Velocity envelope for HBWC is generally between 700 to 750fps with a do not exceed 800fps . Cast usually don't shoot as well from a 52 , if you go that route slug your bore to determine proper sizing . Some 52 barrels run as tight as .354 & most are around .356 . Hope this helps .

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by KB2MBC on 2/21/2018, 12:41 pm

I prefer Hornady, Zero and Remington
Taper crimp only.
Factory lube.
Flush maybe slightly below.
My 52-2 functions near flawlessly.
I stink though.

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by Wobbley on 2/21/2018, 1:48 pm

KB2MBC wrote:I prefer Hornady, Zero and Remington
Taper crimp only.
Factory lube.
Flush maybe slightly below.
My 52-2 functions near flawlessly.
I stink though.
Bathing regularly helps... lol!
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by cdrt on 2/21/2018, 2:58 pm

2.7 Bullseye will work with any good HBWC.  This particular pistol likes a slight roll crimp rather than the taper crimp I use for my Clark .38.
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jodykid on 2/21/2018, 4:15 pm

I have lots of Speer 148s left 'cause I used to buy them on sale years ago when they were cheap. I wasn't particularly impressed with their quality though. I once went through an entire box of 500 to pick out the ones with dinged bases or noses or other flaws like I do with my cast bullets and found two out of 500 that I would consider acceptable for NRA International Centerfire shooting.

I tried Hornady and they were plinkers too. Tried Rems and the coating was so disgusting to work with I never went back. Used to use Zero forty years ago but haven't tried them recently. I've been casting 158 SWCs and using 4.3 gr of Unique in the M14-5 and while dirty they're pretty accurate.

Boatbum, I do have a Lee FCD but it's the older one before they put the Carbide ring in it. I also have an RCBS Cowboy die set I use for Lead bullets.

We'll see what I can come up with. It'll be two weeks before I can bring the pistol home and start getting serious

    Joe

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by KB2MBC on 2/23/2018, 5:29 am

Wobbley wrote:
KB2MBC wrote:
...I stink though.
Bathing regularly helps... lol!
March is just around the corner!

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by boatbum101 on 2/24/2018, 2:57 pm

Don't know if the older FCD would work , but take the guts out & just use the die body & see . The new Remington HBWC's no longer have that black nasty lube , but by all reports shoot just as good . Many of use consider them the best BTW . The Zero's also shoot well but are .357 diameter not a problem in a 52 or a Colt . They have a small lube groove with what is about the consistency of # 2 grease . The PD's I haven't bought in years as they sold me a ton of undersized ones which I wound up remelting & cast other bullets with . Irked me enough where they'll never get my money again . I use the R-P brass in the 52 & Fed in my revolvers . Cases last forever with these type loads . I toss them when they split or caseheads get dinged up too much . Have a bushell basket full of each , more than enough to last my lifetime . The 52's are a work of art , but very difficult to shoot to their potential . Parts have about dried up , factory refuses to touch one . If you get a squib , immediately put the gun down & make sure bullet isn't stuck in the barrel or that skirt blew off . Failure to do so insures a bulged barrel . Chances of finding a new unfitted barrel are pretty close to impossible . If you can find a spare extractor buy it . Wolff still makes all the springs for one . Hope you enjoy it . They're a dream to shoot & will let you know immediately if your technique is less than perfect . A 1911 in 38 special is more forgiving . If I were looking for a dedicated CF gun I'd consider 38 Super as they are able to shoot lead well & can be loaded much softer than 9mm without sacrificing accuracy .

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Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by patnemes on 2/24/2018, 5:24 pm

I shot a 52-2 for many years. My everyday load was 2.7 Gr Bullseye behind a 148 swaged HBWC with standard pistol primers, CCI, Rem, etc. It was very accurate

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jodykid on 2/26/2018, 3:06 pm

I thought Remington had discontinued their 148 wads. Where are they available? Tell me more about 38 Super 1911 target guns. I'm building two 1911s from 80% frames and one was going to be a 9mm. I haven't got the barrel yet so could still make it a Super. For dedicated CF guns I have a Pardini HP 32 Auto and a SIG P 210-5. The Smith 52 would just be a fun gun unless I could shoot it better than the Pardini or SIG. The 9mm 1911 would also be a fun gun but a Super intrigues me. What kind of loads? Powder? Bullets? Lemme know.

   Joe

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by dronning on 2/26/2018, 4:31 pm

jodykid wrote:... but a Super intrigues me. What kind of loads? Powder? Bullets? Lemme know.

   Joe
KC built a 38 Super for me.  It is a very soft shooting and accurate gun, it's a complete joy to shoot.  My load currently is a 147gr round nose flat point bevel base cast bullet from Dardas or Magnus 2.8gr of WST and WSP primers (I have a frame mount optic) so far I have only shot it at 25yd indoor matches (MN).  When the weather gets warm again I'll be doing some more Ransom Rest testing @ 50yd.  I did get some RR testing done before winter and shot a couple of targets with 1 1/2" groups with this bullet and I know the gun can do better.  I may have to speed it up a little for 50yds and I may even try a JHP for the long line.  Another load I have tested and has a lot of promise is a Dardus 126gr SWC, loaded with 3.4gr of WST & WSP primers.  All brass is Starline 38 Super Comp

- Dave
Here is where I got my direction from:
http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t6987-38-super-pet-loads
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jodykid on 2/26/2018, 4:50 pm

Hi, Dave. Thanks for the info. It would be for International so 25 Yds and iron sights and lead bullets. Recoil isn't an issue due to International Rapid Fire but lower is always appreciated.

   Joe

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jglenn21 on 2/26/2018, 4:57 pm

We have five of us that shoot the super for center fire. All of us shoot the Dardus 126 SEC with 3.6-3.8 BE.

Very soft. My cases just lay on the table

Kart, KIM and Colt barrels all in 1-16 twist..
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jglenn21 on 2/26/2018, 4:59 pm

We have five of us that shoot the super for center fire. All of us shoot the Dardus 126 SWC with 3.6-3.8 BE.

Very soft. My cases just lay on the table

Kart, KIM and Colt barrels all in 1-16 twist..
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by bruce martindale on 2/26/2018, 10:05 pm

Jerry Keefer wrote a ton about the 52 he redid for his lady shooter. Search for it. I like slower loads...2.4 700x with 148 hbwc. No +p brass allowed or the case may bulge down low or the bullet gets tapered at the base.  Cast are ok but don't like the size difference to the groove. Hbwc can take the swaging better. Correctly sized cast bullets 355 are problematic. Good luck

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jodykid on 2/27/2018, 3:03 pm

Hi, jglenn. I'm partial to Kart Barrels. Does their Super headspace off the mouth or the rim? I'm still trying to figure how a Super with all that case volume can be better than a Luger at small powder charges.

   Joe

I wonder if I should start a 38 Super thread?

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by lyman1903 on 2/27/2018, 4:59 pm

Wobbley wrote:
KB2MBC wrote:I prefer Hornady, Zero and Remington
Taper crimp only.
Factory lube.
Flush maybe slightly below.
My 52-2 functions near flawlessly.
I stink though.
Bathing regularly helps... lol!

does every Saturday count??

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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

Post by jglenn21 on 2/27/2018, 5:06 pm

It headspaces off the case mouth..most all do these days.  Do a search on the super.  We've had several good threads on it
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Re: Another Smith M52-2 ammo question.

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