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Reloading 38 WC

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Reloading 38 WC Empty Reloading 38 WC

Post by lanjo 2/5/2022, 11:03 pm

Hi All,

I am reloading 38 spcl WC ammo using a Lee Classic and Lee dies.  When seating the bullet I see very fine lead shavings on the top of the bullet. I would assume that this is from the bullet catching the case mouth when being pushed into the case shaving a fine piece of lead from the bullet and it gets deposited on the top of the bullet after bullet seating. I open the case enough to get the bullet started easily, but not too much to over work the mouth resulting in cracked cases.

Are the lead shavings a sign that the loads will not be accurate? Or do they not really matter to anything.

Best,

Joe

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Reloading 38 WC Empty Re: Reloading 38 WC

Post by mustachio 2/6/2022, 6:57 am

I use a Lee Turret press and dies with 148gr HBWC from Hornady and sometimes I get the same issue. I believe that most of what you are seeing is excess lube from the bullet itself. I have been loading for about 40 years and accuracy has never been an issue even when I get some shaving. Might I suggest that you flare your cases a bit more so when you seat the bullet it is has a better chance of being "in" the case and not leaning one way or the other.
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Post by TonyH 2/6/2022, 7:39 am

A Lyman Pistol Neck Expanding M die would probably solve your issue.....and is recommended.
https://www.lymanproducts.com/pistol-neck-expanding-m-dies
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Post by chiz1180 2/6/2022, 8:51 am

Your problem is likely one of two things, possibly both:
-Expansion: not enough (or deep enough) for the bullet. 
-Seating: Bullet is not being seated 100% straight, this is something that shows up on WC's as the bearing surface is greater than typical RN/SWC. This could be caused by either how the bullet is placed in the case, or how it is interacting with the seating stem. 

As TonyH mentioned a LymanM die (or similar) could be a benefit. 

What bullets are you loading, HBWC or DEWC?
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Post by PhotoEscape 2/6/2022, 9:14 am

lanjo wrote:I am reloading 38 spcl WC ammo using a Lee Classic and Lee dies.  When seating the bullet I see very fine lead shavings on the top of the bullet. I would assume that this is from the bullet catching the case mouth when being pushed into the case shaving a fine piece of lead from the bullet and it gets deposited on the top of the bullet after bullet seating. I open the case enough to get the bullet started easily, but not too much to over work the mouth resulting in cracked cases.

Are the lead shavings a sign that the loads will not be accurate? Or do they not really matter to anything.

Best,

Joe
You didn't mention what kind of bullets you use.  However regardless, yes, what you see is indeed lead shavings. They form from bullet catching top rim of the case. But also even if bullet enters case cleanly, shavings might form at the ridge at the bottom of flair.  Seating and crimping will squeeze shaving to the top of the round.  Yes, such shavings are indicative of loads not being accurate, especially at 50Y, as bullets aren't shaved the same over OD.  However main culprit is swaging of the bullet for the length of seating.  In order to eliminate it you should use brass that was previously used for loading WC or check your cases with 0.355"+ plug and making sure internal tapering starts at about 0.620" mark.  Cases should be expanded for the length of the bullet, so seating pretty much can be done by pushing bullet by finger to almost full seating depth.  Seating die would just finish the process by pushing bullet for the last ~1/16" to final seating depth.  Depending on OD of projectiles, there might be need to use FCD die to bring resulting round to spec.

There were several threads regarding reloading 38 WC recently here.  Bruce Martindale posted link to the article by Ed Harris on the subject.  I recommend finding and reading it.

AP
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Reloading 38 WC Empty Re: Reloading 38 WC

Post by lanjo 2/6/2022, 6:26 pm

Hi All,

I loaded 4 different bullets.  The Zero 148gr .358 WCHB, Hornady 148 gr .358 WCHB, Matts bullets 148 gr .359 WCDE Lyman mold 3589, Matts bullets 148 gr .359 WCDE tumble lube. The Hornady was the worst, followed by the Matts tumble lube.

I think that Lyman M die is the solution after doing some reading on the problem.  Thanks for that suggestion.

I will just choose the ones which were shaved the least for the ransom rest test.  Testing loads for my M52 next week.

One other question - I have a M14 that gets leaded badly.  Part of the reason I am doing this 38 load optimization is to find a load for the M14 that does not lead.  I get lead on the outside edge of the cylinder, all over the top strap and the cylinder face.  How do you get leading off of blued surfaces easily?  I have used a plastic stick to scrape it off, but that is getting old.  Don't want to use a metal brush, pick, etc...I have chemical lead remover which works great for the inside of the cylinders and the bore, but it says not to use on blued surfaces.  Any advice?

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Reloading 38 WC Empty Re: Reloading 38 WC

Post by Dcforman 2/6/2022, 6:45 pm

AP is a little too modest. I suggest ordering his product instead. He is a sponsor of the website...

https://www.photoescapeinc.com/products/powder-funnel-wadcutter38.html

I don't have suggestions other than elbow grease for removing lead. Hopefully you get your load figured out!

Dave

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Post by PhotoEscape 2/6/2022, 7:07 pm

Dcforman wrote:AP is a little too modest. I suggest ordering his product instead. He is a sponsor of the website...

https://www.photoescapeinc.com/products/powder-funnel-wadcutter38.html

I don't have suggestions other than elbow grease for removing lead. Hopefully you get your load figured out!

Dave
Thank you Dave.

Joe is loading using Lee Classic single stage (I believe).  So ordering just PTU (leaving aside that he would need both versions because of ODs of the bullets he uses) would not work.  He also would need Single Stage Die Kit to adopt PTUs to his press.

However Lyman M-Die also will not work.  It is not designed for 38WC but rather for 38 SPL.  It doesn't expand case to the proper for WC depth.  The only another option would be to try Noe Expander plugs in combination with Lee Universal Case Expander Die.  It is not optimal as well as length of Noe Expanders is 0.356".  So there will be swaging at the lower half of the bullets.  However it is very inexpensive to try, before spending money on my parts.  Here are the links:

https://noebulletmolds.com/site/shop/expanders/expander-plug-pistol/360-x-356-p-ap-exp-plug/

https://noebulletmolds.com/site/product-category/expanders/expander-plug-pistol/

AP
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Post by Allgoodhits 2/6/2022, 7:53 pm

Dcforman wrote:AP is a little too modest. I suggest ordering his product instead. He is a sponsor of the website...

https://www.photoescapeinc.com/products/powder-funnel-wadcutter38.html

I don't have suggestions other than elbow grease for removing lead. Hopefully you get your load figured out!

Dave
A little Acetone on a patch, will clean the lead fouling off of the front of the cylinder, bottom of top strap and flutes of cylinder. Lightly oil afterwards, as it will remove all oil too.
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Post by Schaumannk 2/6/2022, 7:54 pm

I second the advice on the Lyman M die.  I use it and am loading very accurate DR ammo.  IMHO the bullets should be .358  I don’t see what difference the nose shape makes, whether wadcutter, or Keith nose.  Your resizing die can make a difference as well.  Add a bit more case mouth expansion until you are not shaving lead anymore. I personalizing prefer Redding resizing dies for competition ammo.  The specs are just better.

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Post by fc60 2/7/2022, 10:45 am

Greetings,

Try sizing your cases with a 38 Super Carbide die.

This works well for me with 0.358"+ lead bullets.

Cheers,

Dave
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Reloading 38 WC Empty Re: Reloading 38 WC

Post by Schaumannk 2/7/2022, 11:05 am

“One other question - I have a M14 that gets leaded badly.  Part of the reason I am doing this 38 load optimization is to find a load for the M14 that does not lead.  I get lead on the outside edge of the cylinder, all over the top strap and the cylinder face.” 


Try powder coated bullets.  Should not lead the barrel. 


Last edited by Schaumannk on 2/7/2022, 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarity)

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Reloading 38 WC Empty Re: Reloading 38 WC

Post by Allgoodhits 2/7/2022, 3:00 pm

lanjo wrote:Hi All,

I loaded 4 different bullets.  The Zero 148gr .358 WCHB, Hornady 148 gr .358 WCHB, Matts bullets 148 gr .359 WCDE Lyman mold 3589, Matts bullets 148 gr .359 WCDE tumble lube. The Hornady was the worst, followed by the Matts tumble lube.

I think that Lyman M die is the solution after doing some reading on the problem.  Thanks for that suggestion.

I will just choose the ones which were shaved the least for the ransom rest test.  Testing loads for my M52 next week.

One other question - I have a M14 that gets leaded badly.  Part of the reason I am doing this 38 load optimization is to find a load for the M14 that does not lead.  I get lead on the outside edge of the cylinder, all over the top strap and the cylinder face.  How do you get leading off of blued surfaces easily?  I have used a plastic stick to scrape it off, but that is getting old.  Don't want to use a metal brush, pick, etc...I have chemical lead remover which works great for the inside of the cylinders and the bore, but it says not to use on blued surfaces.  Any advice?
"One other question- ...". 

Acetone
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