Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Page 2 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Go down

Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/4/2018, 7:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

I am quoting an article by Gil Hebard on page 104 of The Pistol Shooter's Treasury.


"Many reloaders do such a poor job that their bullets are actually lobbed out of the barrel, thus many print broadside-on at 25 or 50 yards!  If your bullets are doing this, you can bet your bottom dollar that your loads won't group better than perhaps 15" at 50 yards, even out of the finest gun.  In just about every instance, this is the fault of the load, not the gun."

I did not do very well at my first target session with the S&W Model 52.  I assumed all of my issues are due to my shooting, not to the gun...  ...BUT...   I am only a novice reloader.  I thought I was doing a good job, following instructions, Magnus ##514 bullets, 148 grain, .357" diameter, over 2.8 grains of Bullseye.  I showed one of my bullets to someone at the range who told me it was fine.   I just took close-up photos.  Is there anything obvious that I'm doing wrong, based on these photos?  The second photo is a comparison over Winchester Factory ammo. Maybe I just don't know enough yet to realize what I might be doing wrong.

Larry Meyer at RCBS made me a seating die to properly seat the rounds.  There is minimal crimp - maybe I need more?  At first, I was "shaving" off lead, but adjusted the dies until that no longer happened.  Based on how little I know about reloading, and how critical it apparently is for the Model 52, maybe my accuracy problem is my own fault.  The first photo is of many rounds...     I can't see anything wrong, but.....




Two of my rounds (left) compared with two Winchester 38 Special 148 grain "Super Match" factory loads:
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down


Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/6/2018, 8:26 pm

I think both....       :-)
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by jglenn21 on 4/6/2018, 8:30 pm

if you trim the case then yes most folks would use the reamer.
avatar
jglenn21

Posts : 1435
Join date : 2015-04-07
Age : 70
Location : monroe , ga

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/7/2018, 3:23 pm

I went to the range this morning with just one goal - compare the reloads I'm making with the factory ammo from Winchester.

I took two large pieces of paper, and made four large crosses in each (and a fifth on the second sheet).

Top left corner was going to be my reloads, done as per advice from Terry and in this forum.
Bottom left was going to be those same rounds, but after I added the small amount of crimp.
Top right was going to be the reloaded ammo I bought from a friend at the range.
Bottom right was going to be the Winchester factory ammo.

I would take five shots of each, at 15 yards, using a bench rest, and ignore the "worst" round from each group.

.....and for fun, on the last sheet, I wanted to use my new Salyer;



My impressions are that adding the small amount of crimp to my reloads didn't make much of a change.
The reloaded ammo I tried didn't impress me as much as my own (loaded as per these forums suggest).
The Winchester factory ammo is slightly better, but my reloads are close enough I will continue to use them.

....For the Salyer, it has a red dot sight, so I could easily put the dot where I wanted, and it stayed put.  With steel sights, I can only get it as good as I can see it, and that's tough (for me).


This would be better if I used a Ransom Rest, so nothing changed between shots.
It would be better if my eyes were sharper - or if I put a red dot on the M-52
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by davekp on 4/7/2018, 4:23 pm

15 yards won't tell you much. Test again at 50 yds.

davekp

Posts : 315
Join date : 2011-06-11

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/7/2018, 5:07 pm

OK; will try on Tuesday morning.
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by Wobbley on 4/7/2018, 5:25 pm

Before you run out to 50, spend a little time at 25. Then test at 35. Why not 50? At 50 sight alignment, aiming and trigger add to the mix unless your in a Ransom Rest. But at 35 you get about the same results at 50 from a hand held rest.

Also add a more definitive aiming mark. Like a center.
avatar
Wobbley

Posts : 1633
Join date : 2015-02-12

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by james r chapman on 4/7/2018, 5:29 pm

mikemyers wrote:While I'm at it, and to display even more of my ignorance, since the late 1970's, I've owned one of these "rocket-ships" (my term) as shown in the photo below.  I had no idea what it was for, until last night when I watched a video of it in use, cleaning the ID and OD of the end of the case, presumably to remove burrs.  Is this something the rest of you just naturally do anyway, before reloading cases for the M-52?


No, not for pistol.
avatar
james r chapman
Admin

Posts : 2830
Join date : 2012-01-31
Age : 69
Location : HELL, Michigan

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/7/2018, 6:45 pm

Wobbley wrote:Before you run out to 50, spend a little time at 25.  Then test at 35......
Sure, 25 would be easy to do.  I can't do anything other than 15, 25, and 50 - that's the only places where I can set up a target.  Actually, for the original purpose, I think I have already got my answer.  Reloading carefully, following advice in this forum, is pretty close (as close?) to the results from the Winchester ammo.  I can buy those at $35 per box, or load my own, as needed, when needed.  What I'm making is not my weak point - that's shooting...    "front sight", "grip", and "trigger", in reverse order.

Thanks for all the help and advice in this thread.  I'm tempted to back off the roll crimper by a very small amount.  Other than that, and re-setting my seater position to where it was before, I think I'm done.
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by james r chapman on 4/7/2018, 8:16 pm

another option is to just load for 25 and use the few factory for 50

often done with the .45
avatar
james r chapman
Admin

Posts : 2830
Join date : 2012-01-31
Age : 69
Location : HELL, Michigan

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/10/2018, 8:28 pm

Quick question - is the reason for having the roll crimp on these reloads to keep the bullet from starting to "come out" of the case, or to keep the bullet in place long enough for the proper pressure to build up inside the case when the gun fires?

The bullets that I originally loaded with essentially no crimp (see photos above) seemed to work just as well as the ones I revised by adding more crimp before firing them.
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by Wobbley on 4/10/2018, 9:41 pm

IMO, the roll crimp is to aid feeding. Uncrimped cases may have feeding issues. Maybe not. Someone here said it was to aid PPC shooters in their reloading with speedloaders. But early ammo that predates speedloaders has a crimp. But the factories crimped for a reason and they also cannelured the bras casing into the bullet. All of this may be black art lost to the mists of time.
avatar
Wobbley

Posts : 1633
Join date : 2015-02-12

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/10/2018, 10:00 pm

Gee....    like the tools and dies to make the S&W Model 52.   Lost to the mists of time.  Good thing I bought my copy of The Pistol Shooter's Treasury before they turn into unobtanium.

I like old stuff more than new.  My car (Mazda MX-5) is the closest thing I could find to be like my old 1960 MGA.  I don't own even a single "new" gun.  Everything I like is from back when guns were hand made.

Anyway, thanks!  I'll split the difference - more crimp than my original loads, but a bit less than what I changed to.  

If I wasn't so stubborn, I'd go back to my Salyer.  That gun not only has good "history", but it's easy to shoot well.

The challenge of making things work I usually find very enjoyable, and when I get stuck, you guys always seem to point things in a better direction.  As Cunard used to say, "Getting there is half the fun!"
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by orpheoet on 4/11/2018, 2:43 am

2.7 gr WST, Starline brass, WSP, 1.155" COL, taper crimp. 100% with my 52-2. I don't trim the brass. I only shoot the 52-2 indoors....
avatar
orpheoet

Posts : 702
Join date : 2014-07-29
Age : 50
Location : Lakewood, Oh

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/12/2018, 7:49 pm

I'm going to need to buy some more small pistol primers.  For as long as I can remember, I've bought CCI.  I read something (maybe in this forum) that there are better choices.  Any advice?

While I'm asking, is there any preference for using certain cases, and not others?  I was starting to think that GFL (Fiocchi) shells were more difficult to load with CCI primers than Remington.  In searching, I found one person who said the primer pockets on the GFL brass are tight.  

I've got enough Fiocchi brass to last me a couple of centuries, but very limited Remington.  If there really is a difference, I'll get more Remington if that's what you guys feel is appropriate.


I'm only asking for the Model 52, but might use some of it for my S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman.
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by Guntrainer on 4/18/2018, 11:50 pm

Been a Bullseye shooter for many years. Had a 52 a long time ago. To load ammo as good or better than factory, load it like precision rifle. Same brass, primer, powder and a GOOD bullet. A swaged HBWC, or a plated one from Berry's works well. A cat hair under flush, a taper crimp.Make sure your recoil spring is fresh. Seems I used a 9 lb Wolff. Remember, your pistol has a light slide, and the factory wadcutters were full house for the grooved chamber.

These guns are temperamental. Even a change of primer would need a sight adjustment with my gun.

I did not weigh brass, but used the same brass. I DID trim and de-burr. If I had brass with canellures, I made sure all the brass was the same. Probably, a batch of new Starline cases might be the way to go. A Lyman type "M" expanding die will help get the most out of your pistol.

Decades ago, they were too light for my tastes. As I near 70, the 1911 gets heavier every year.

Guntrainer

Posts : 6
Join date : 2012-12-25
Location : Nashville TN

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by Ropate on 4/19/2018, 3:55 am

I'm coming in a bit late but fwiw, I was having 38 wadcutter cycling issues on my Clark Custom which has really tight tolerances. I showed my ammo to the best shooter in the state, who happens to be a gun smith as well. He also was shooting .38 wadcutters that day. He looked at my ammo and grimaced. He said it was over crimped. I looked at his, which had the same specs as factory ammo. You could hardly see a crimp.

Just a trace of a crimp.

So I'll cut to chase. I dumped my old cases and got some new Starline cases. I mimicked the specs on the factory round and with a Zero HBWC over 2.9 BE it shot perfectly.

I also own a 52-2 and it seems to like the same bullets.

Would be very curious to find out if it's indeed an ammo issue or a mechanical problem with your gun.

Ropate

Posts : 24
Join date : 2016-11-21

Back to top Go down

My 2 cents

Post by Gary Maney on 4/19/2018, 6:56 am

Just to add my 2 cents on 52-2 ammo.  When I first started shooting the 52 Smith 41 years ago I had keyholing issues that were cured with reducing the powder charge and eliminating the heavy roll crimp I was using.  I also got keyholes when I used little or no crimp as well as poor grouping.  For the past 30 years my outdoor load has been 2.7 gr BE with a taper crimp and 2.5 gr BE for 50' indoors with a taper crimp; all with a swaged 148 gr HBWC seated slightly below flush with the case mouth.  My light taper crimp reduces the outside case diameter by 0.004" at the very end.  Case length is 1.145" +/- 0.0015".  I'm using a slightly lighter than factory spec Wolff recoil spring kit and frame mounted Aimpoint.  On the ammo side of things that effect accuracy, it's all about consistency.  I sort all of my brass by case length and manufacturer, and trim the oversized ones to a uniform length so that when I bell out the case mouth I get a uniform bell without over expanding and shortening the life of the brass.  Most of my brass is WW.  I use the other uniformly trimmed miscellaneous brands for practice.  The last thing you want to do is shave lead or lube when you seat the wadcutter bullet.  Uniform case lengths (+/- 0.0015") also keep the crimp consistent whether it's a taper crimp or roll crimp.  I have been taper crimping my 52-2 loads for the past 30 years as it doesn't seem to work harden the cases as much as roll crimping, so I get slightly better case life.  Taper crimping gives the loads consistency in pressure buildup before the bullet is released as compared to little or no crimp, and it also helps with feeding, although not as much as roll crimping.
avatar
Gary Maney

Posts : 1
Join date : 2017-01-14

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by tomd999 on 4/19/2018, 7:41 am

Hiya,

I think you should see if you can beg or borrow a Ransom rest to do your testing to really evaluate your reloads. I've had 3 different 52's over the years, every one shot better in a Ransom than I could hold it while working the trigger. (In my opinion, the 52 is a demanding pistol as it shoots a slower load and has a longer locktime than the 1911 platform so your form and follow through needs to be very consistent)

For a load I use WW brass cases, Federal SP primers, Remington or Speer swaged HBWC seated slightly below the case, taper crimped in a Dillon with Bullseye between 2.7 and 2.9 depending on temp anticipated. (I find that the pistol needs a little more when it's cooler, it will still run with the lower charge but it "feels" slow which distracts me more than it should) 

One thing I will point out with different powders, avoid powders in the 52 that leave unburnt flakes or particles behind. When it was released I tried Accurate Arms #2. It shot as good as Bullseye and metered more consistently. All was good until I went to a sectional. In the timed fire match, my trigger stopped resetting on the 8th shot. Needless to say, I didn't do well. The cause was unburnt powder wedged between the forward trigger stop that prevented the sear from resetting. Lesson learned, I went back to Bullseye.

Tom

tomd999

Posts : 7
Join date : 2017-02-26

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/19/2018, 8:39 am

Guntrainer wrote:.......Decades ago, they were too light for my tastes. As I near 70, the 1911 gets heavier every year.
I added the "barrel weight" to my 52-2, as I thought it would stabilize the front of the gun a little.  It did seem to improve my shooting.  At the end of the session, I picked up my Salyer 1911 (with Aimpoint sight).  Astonishing - the Salyer felt like I was picking up a piece of plastic!  I'm 74 now, and every year the weight of my guns seems to keep going up.

For powder, I'm still using Bullseye, and will probably continue with that, even though there are other good choices.

For bullets, I bought 500 more rounds from Terry (Magnus Bullets).  Bullets are #514 148 grain .357" diameter.  It's nice that if I ever have questions, I can talk to Terry directly.  Since he does what we all do, if there was a way to make the bullets better, he's already done so.

For cases, I have probably 75 Winchester, and enough GFL to last me for many lifetimes.  Most is shot once, but some have been shot maybe four times.  I've never cut them to length.  If I wanted to do that, I have an old manually operated Lyman machine from many years ago, and I've looked at the expensive RCBS machine that does this very quickly.  I'm not sure if I should bother to worry about any of this until I improve my own ability.

Great idea about the Ransom Rest - my club has one, but I'll need to find out how I can get it to try, and have someone help me who knows how to use it.  In my very unscientific comparison test, Some of my few remaining factory rounds of Winchester seemed "slightly" better than my rounds, and both were better than a box of reloads I was given.  

As to the weakest link in my chain, me - well, I keep improving, but I'm nothing like what I think I should be doing.  When all goes well, my groups at 25 yards are now 4", and when I score the B-8 target I'm usually somewhere between 90 and 97.  People tell me a 4" grouping is good, but I have no reference as to how good or bad this is.  If I keep dry-firing, and keep practicing, I expect this will improve, but I don't know how much better I'll be able to do my part.  I'll post a photo below, so you can judge for yourself.  

(By the way, the Salyer 1911 is SO much easier to shoot!  When anything goes slightly wrong shooting the Salyer, the group opens up a little.  When I do anything wrong on the Model 52, the holes may end up in the 8-ring or worse!)

avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/19/2018, 10:07 am

Ropate wrote:..... I showed my ammo to the best shooter in the state, who happens to be a gun smith as well. He also was shooting .38 wadcutters that day. He looked at my ammo and grimaced. He said it was over crimped. I looked at his, which had the same specs as factory ammo. You could hardly see a crimp.......Would be very curious to find out if it's indeed an ammo issue or a mechanical problem with your gun.
I think the weak point is me, not the gun.  I shoot similar groups with both the M-52 and the Salyer.  I hope to improve.

I'll take a new close-up photo of one of my finished rounds, and post it here.  I think it's pretty much the same as the factory Winchester ammo I used for reference, but maybe I'm still wrong.  I'll get to that later today.
avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Deburring tool

Post by Al on 4/19/2018, 12:13 pm

mikemyers wrote:While I'm at it, and to display even more of my ignorance, since the late 1970's, I've owned one of these "rocket-ships" (my term) as shown in the photo below.  I had no idea what it was for, until last night when I watched a video of it in use, cleaning the ID and OD of the end of the case, presumably to remove burrs.  Is this something the rest of you just naturally do anyway, before reloading cases for the M-52?

Mine gets used on every piece of brass that gets trimmed, every one. Just a light touch around the inside and the outside. You're not trying for a knife edge, just uniforming enough to take off any burrs. Doesn't matter if it's my 40 year old Forster, Wilson or WFT.

Al

Posts : 363
Join date : 2011-06-10
Age : 63
Location : Bismarck, ND

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/19/2018, 2:20 pm

I haven't yet trimmed any brass.  I've had this Lyman tool for maybe 10 or 15 years, maybe more - is it appropriate?

Need to clean and lubricate it.  I assume the black housing at the left end holds the shell, and you move the lever enough to tighten it on the case, so the case won't move.  I have six "collets".  There's a set screw to lock the collet in place.  There are two knurled locking rings at the right - The larger one must lock down on the shaft, so you don't push it in too far, making the shell too short.  The other smaller one - I have no idea why that would be there.   ...I 

Like I said, I've never trimmed a shell.  Is this something I should start doing, based on my level of ability?  If so, has the Bullseye world identified an appropriate length for an M-52 shell, and is that a universal length for all powders, etc?  

avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by ruzneb on 4/19/2018, 3:31 pm

I just stumbled across this post and I hope you've solved your problems. If you haven't, I'd like to offer the following. First, I don't own a 52 but I wish I did. I do own a Colt .38 Special Mid Range National Match, the "other" .38 Spec. auto. For about 20 years I called it my "single shot auto". It was very accurate but simply would not feed.  The feed issues caused me to begin reloading. For about 6 months I experimented with many different bullets, dies and powders. No amount of fiddling solved the problem. I suspected the problem lay in the crimp. But one day I found a magazine on the internet. I bought it and like magic my feed problems were solved. But during all my experimentation with reloading, I'd learned quite a bit about bullet seating and crimp. I reload .45 auto and .38 Special on a Hornady progressive. I also use Starline brass exclusively. With the .38, I started out with Lee dies but had problems with lead and brass buildup in the seating/crimp die, which appeared as very fine strands the size of a human hair. After about 50-75 rounds, I had to stop and disassemble the die and clean it. I did a bit of research and bought a Redding die to provide a crimp which is very nicely rolled--no abrupt tapering. Now, the Lee die is used only for seating.This eliminated the fouling problem. I seat my Hornady 148 gr. bullet slightly below the rim of the cartridge.

The roll crimp is slight; it does not touch the bullet. As far as I know, the only reason for the roll crimp it to prevent jamming on the feed ramp. I doubt that adjusting the crimp will affect velocity. Currently, my load is 2.7 gr of Accurate #2 with Federal primers. It seems to work very well at 25 and 50 yds. 

In your post, you said you had problems shooting the gun but you didn't mention exactly what kind of problem you had. Were the bullets keyholing the target, and if so, at what range? Or were you simply shooting all over the paper without keyholing? If you believe you are having problems with your load, try shooting it in a revolver or in another 52. Also, any accuracy tests are pointless unless you are shooting from a sandbag or a rest, preferably a Ransom rest.

ruzneb

Posts : 6
Join date : 2015-01-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by mikemyers on 4/19/2018, 3:47 pm

ruzneb wrote:........In your post, you said you had problems shooting the gun but you didn't mention exactly what kind of problem you had. Were the bullets keyholing the target, and if so, at what range? Or were you simply shooting all over the paper without keyholing? If you believe you are having problems with your load, try shooting it in a revolver or in another 52. Also, any accuracy tests are pointless unless you are shooting from a sandbag or a rest, preferably a Ransom rest.
Thanks!    Yep, I had accuracy problems (due to me), for so many reasons, and the holes were splattered all over the paper.  Between this forum, and the S&W forum, I've gotten a LOT of great feedback, all of which I've tried to apply to my shooting.  The following is the only target I shot with the M-52 this morning.  I spent much of the morning trying to shoot at 50 yards, with my Salyer 1911.

Not sure what "key holing" actually looks like, but none of these 10 holes look like they're out of shape - all from 25 yards.

Every time I post a target, people give me feedback, and the target next time is almost always an improvement.  It's like having the world's best shooting coach!!!!   :-). 


(...and I did try to buy another M-52 a week ago, but was only a few hours too late.  I think buying a second M-52 would be a great idea!  If anyone reading this has one they no longer use, I'm interested...)

avatar
mikemyers

Posts : 1275
Join date : 2016-07-26
Age : 74
Location : South Florida, and India

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by tomd999 on 4/19/2018, 5:31 pm

Mike,

You're correct, the 52 is a cruel mistress, do everything correctly and she rewards you with X's, fail to give her your undivided attention each and every shot, she gives you an 8.  Wink 

This is why I have had 3 of them, I get one because I know it'll clean targets, then after a while I get frustrated with the "X-8 gun" and sell it to someone then, I fall in love with another one and the cycle repeats. The one I have now I've owned for about 20 years, I've learned to live with it and its demanding ways. 

You have to be very consistent when shooting the 52, stance, grip and not fall into the trap of what I call "lookaway", the habit of slightly looking away from the front sight just as the shot breaks. (That is what I have found causes the 8's with the 52 more than anything else because of the long lock time) If your aware of lookaway, those 8's won't surprise you as often because you'll be able to call them better. I'm not saying you still won't get an 8 now and then, but focus and be consistent you'll see fewer of them.

tomd999

Posts : 7
Join date : 2017-02-26

Back to top Go down

Re: Attempting to load for the S&W Model 52

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 2 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum