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Zero reloads

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BE Mike
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Post by Gary Collette 12/9/2020, 7:57 am

I have been offered a quantity of reloads done by zero.
Back in the day this person had access to range brass from Dan Wesson
and would send said brass to Zero and get back reloads as payment.
These are older reloads and I'm not sure of their overall quality
as well as velocity.
In todays world I know I should indeed purchase these as well as 
the 1000 brass the same person has offered but thought I would ask 
the members for their opinion of the Zero reloads.
Lemme know, G
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Post by james r chapman 12/9/2020, 8:07 am

They’ve been around a long time.
If the price is right.
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Post by BE Mike 12/9/2020, 8:35 am

Zero ammo is top notch.
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Post by SteveT 12/9/2020, 12:13 pm

Zero loaded ammo (and reloaded) is not quite up to the same standards as Atlanta or really good handloads IMO, but it's not far off. You probably need to be a HM to see the difference. I used to use them as a reference load when I was using a Ranson Rest. FWIW my experience with them is about 10 years old. I don't think anything has changed, but I haven't needed them lately.

Their loads are generally hotter than target loads, but not full power self defense loads. I suspect they need to be sure to make Major Power Factor for practical shooters.
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Post by Olde Pilot 12/9/2020, 12:55 pm

Somewhat hotter than my usual 200g cast lead SWC with 3.6 BE. But, more than acceptable ammo.

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Post by brassmaster 12/9/2020, 2:29 pm

Olde Pilot wrote:Somewhat hotter than my usual 200g cast lead SWC with 3.6 BE. But, more than acceptable ammo.
Recently, when I posted questions about Zero Ammunition---new & reloaded, I was informed by an admin. member that Zero uses 700X Powder for all of their loading. Having used Federal Match .38 Special 148 gr. wadcutters in every Model 52 that I've owned, comparing as to accuracy at 50 yards and noticeably more recoil the Zeros are more accurate and hotter than factory Federal, IMO. However, in my .45acp wad gun, with Zero 185gr. JHP bullets, they seem lighter than my personal reloads using the same bullet, with 4.0 gr. Bullseye, but no appreciable loss in accuracy at 50yds. Again, IMO.
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Post by Gary Collette 12/9/2020, 6:03 pm

Brassmaster,
Thanks for your observations.
I should have been more specific
The zero reloads offered are 600 38 Cal wad cutter that i intend to 
use in a S&W 52.
Thanks to all for the opinions on Zero quality.
I should take delivery in the next few days of a EGW base to mount 
a Vortex Venom in place of the rear sight. This will allow removal 
of the slide from the frame.
The bridge mount that came with the pistol does not and the mount 
must be removed from the frame each time the pistol is cleaned requiring a re- zeroing
and that is a PITA.
Thanks again all, G
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Post by Wobbley 12/9/2020, 6:32 pm

I had one box of Zero 38 Special 148 HBWC reloads bought at a gun show.  I shot them in my 52.  They functioned fine and shot OK.  Not the best and certainly not the worst.  Great for training and practice.  The best shooting reload I’ve found so far is 2.7 Bullseye (though 2.6 and 2.8 work as well) Bullseye with the Speer 148 HBWC. Zero reloads 2b4fd210
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Post by brassmaster 12/9/2020, 8:51 pm

Gary Collette wrote:Brassmaster,
Thanks for your observations.
I should have been more specific
The zero reloads offered are 600 38 Cal wad cutter that i intend to 
use in a S&W 52.
Thanks to all for the opinions on Zero quality.
I should take delivery in the next few days of a EGW base to mount 
a Vortex Venom in place of the rear sight. This will allow removal 
of the slide from the frame.
The bridge mount that came with the pistol does not and the mount 
must be removed from the frame each time the pistol is cleaned requiring a re- zeroing
and that is a PITA.
Thanks again all, G
Not disputing anything that Wobbley just said, but conversely I got great results with Zero 148 gr. HBWC reloads. However, it has been my experience that Model 52's are no different than any other match pistol and it should come as no surprise that each 52 may like a specific brand of commercial ammunition or a specific powder/bullet/primer/crimp/velocity combination that is critical to the best accuracy at 50yds. Until several years ago, one could buy Remington Targetmaster, Winchester Match & Federal Gold Medal Match and all three with 148 HBWC could deliver excellent accuracy results at 50 yds., depending on the gun. Similarly, due to a lack of demand for Model 52s and these factory brands of 148 gr. HBWC ammunition have gone the way of the buffalo and only rarely does one see a posting offering to sell a limited quantity of either brands of them. In it's heyday, a S&W 52, firing factory Remington Targetmaster, Winchester Match or Federal Gold Medal Match 148 gr HBWC could make the shooter a serious contender in a Center Fire Match. In 1963, the 52 as the new X-ring match pistol on the Bullseye Scene, Gil Hebard performed exhaustive testing on the 52 and an article reprinted from Gun Digest in 1983 documents his test fire findings. The test report also contains a section on reloading the 52 by Kent Bellah. In April 1962 Hebard accomplished a 1.03" 10 shot group at 50 yds with a test 52, using factory Remington 148 gr. HBWC. To the best of my recollection Gil Hebard said that the Model 52 was the most difficult pistol he had ever tried to produce accurate handloads for. I have a copy of the Gun Digest test article in PDF format consisting of seven(7) pages and would be happy to email a copy to you Gary and Wobbley. if interested, PM me an email address. It should be required reading for all lovers & owners of a S&W Model 52.
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Post by Wobbley 12/9/2020, 10:50 pm

Thanks.  I have the 1971 edition of Tge Pistol Shooters Treasury and the article is in there.  

The big drop off in 38 Wadcutter production was, I think, as a result of the drop in PPC by police departments.  But yeah, it affects us too.  I still have about 1000 of the (combined) old-school ammo makers left.  I don’t want o shoot it in practice though.
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Post by Gary Collette 12/10/2020, 9:17 am

Brassmaster
PM sent
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Post by Gary Collette 12/10/2020, 9:20 am

Wobbly,
I have been loading 2.8 BE and Remington HBWC with good 
results other than some larding in front of the chamber.
Removing the Ultra Dot on a bridge mount and going to a Vortex Venom this week.
Love the 52 so far!

G
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Post by brassmaster 12/11/2020, 10:40 am

Gary Collette wrote:Brassmaster
PM sent
Copy of the test report sent.
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