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Loading for S&W model 52

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Post by djw1cav 11/15/2022, 4:42 pm

I have been loading 148gr HBWC for the model 52 with WST for around 4 years.  I am getting ready to load another batch and was looking at some old data when a couple things that dont make sense popped out at me. 

1.  I get lower standard deviation (velocity) with lighter crimps. (.371")

2.  Most people on this forum load with 2.6 to 2.7g WST and get around 710 fps.  I load with 2.5 and get around 710fps.  (with a .367" crimp). 

I am thinking this might have something to do with how I measure crimps.  I measure at the very end of the crimp just before the caliper falls off the crimp.  I am not sure if others measure this way.  It seems to be a good way for me to compare different crimps that I make, but perhaps it is not a good way for me to compare to crimps others make

Am I doing something wrong?

Doug




my loads are:
2.5 to 2.7gn WST
.367 to .371 crimp
Star cases and Winchester cases
Rem primers and CCI primers
Zero bullets

djw1cav

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Post by bruce martindale 11/15/2022, 7:49 pm

Crimp, and even sizing die internal diameter affects velocity. Tighter crimps improves combustion efficiency; you get more pop. Factory loads added a cannelure that bites into the skirt adding more bullet pull force. Hard to do that at home.
I'm thinking a lighter faster bullet would help with the slow twist in this gun. Been a while since I played with that. It's true in the 32; the Old Hornady 90 gr hbwc was superb at 50 yards and meh for the 98

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Post by Wobbley 11/15/2022, 7:57 pm

I load for my 52 using a roll crimp.   I’ve found it extremely difficult to get a measurement with the crimp given by my dies with an external measurement.  So I “crimp” an unloaded case then I drop in a pin gage to give an idea of what the crimp is trying to form.  I have pins in .354 .352 .350 and .348.  It isn’t so much to get a real value but to set up the die to the same level between loading sessions.
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Post by djw1cav 11/15/2022, 8:31 pm

bruce martindale wrote:Crimp, and even sizing die internal diameter affects velocity.

Bruce,
I hadn't thought about the internal diameter of the case.  Maybe my case diameter is too small.
For Zero bullets I use a standard 38 special sizing die.  Then I expand the case to fit the zero bullet with a Lyman M die and a special insert for the M die to fit the zero bullet.  Perhaps my insert is too small (or worn) and dosent expand the case enough.  That would increase the pressure explaining why I only need 2.5 grains WST and everyone else uses 2.6 to 2.7 to get 710fps.
Doug

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Post by djw1cav 11/15/2022, 8:52 pm

Wobbley wrote:I load for my 52 using a roll crimp.   I’ve found it extremely difficult to get a measurement with the crimp given by my dies with an external measurement.  So I “crimp” an unloaded case then I drop in a pin gage to give an idea of what the crimp is trying to form.  I have pins in .354 .352 .350 and .348.  It isn’t so much to get a real value but to set up the die to the same level between loading sessions.

Wobbley,
I am using a profile crimp die.  Its basically a roll crimp die that also  reduces (slightly) the case OD.  To get a consistent crimp I found that I had to trim my cases to the same length.  So far I have only had to do it once, when i first obtain the brass.  I also on load only one case type at a time.  That way I (hopefully) keep the entire lot of brass the same length.  Do you trim brass too?  I am only referring to brass for the model 52.  I am not so anal about ammo for other guns.
Doug

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Post by bruce martindale 11/15/2022, 9:34 pm

Try unresized cases for fun. Use a 45 die to deprime  See what you get. The bullet should start in 1/16 " by hand. If not, you're swaging it during seating

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Post by Wobbley 11/15/2022, 11:23 pm

djw1cav wrote:
Wobbley wrote:I load for my 52 using a roll crimp.   I’ve found it extremely difficult to get a measurement with the crimp given by my dies with an external measurement.  So I “crimp” an unloaded case then I drop in a pin gage to give an idea of what the crimp is trying to form.  I have pins in .354 .352 .350 and .348.  It isn’t so much to get a real value but to set up the die to the same level between loading sessions.

Wobbley,
I am using a profile crimp die.  Its basically a roll crimp die that also  reduces (slightly) the case OD.  To get a consistent crimp I found that I had to trim my cases to the same length.  So far I have only had to do it once, when i first obtain the brass.  I also on load only one case type at a time.  That way I (hopefully) keep the entire lot of brass the same length.  Do you trim brass too?  I am only referring to brass for the model 52.  I am not so anal about ammo for other guns.
Doug
Doug:  I segregate brass by make and (roughly) by times fired.  I generally load in 1000 round batches.  So, I’ve never trimmed brass.  My 52 is accurate enough for 25 yards without that and I still have enough 38 WC from the 1980s to satisfy my 50 yard requirements.  

That said, with a profile crimp I might still use the gauge pin technique.
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Post by djw1cav 11/16/2022, 12:03 pm

bruce martindale wrote:Try unresized cases for fun. Use a 45 die to deprime  See what you get. The bullet should start in 1/16 " by hand. If not, you're swaging it during seating
Bruce,
I tried inserting a bullet in an unresized case and it did go in about 1/16". 
Doug

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Post by bruce martindale 11/16/2022, 2:59 pm

Now shoot a bunch using unresized cass

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