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RCBS 38 SPL WC die set #18307

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RCBS 38 SPL WC die set #18307 Empty RCBS 38 SPL WC die set #18307

Post by jell-dog 9/5/2014, 6:57 pm

I'm getting into wadcutter reloading, 148gr hbwc, in .38spl.
Anyone using the RCBS #18307 die set?
I could use advice about using this die set, or other options for loading hbwc 38spl for S&W Model 52 pistol.
Thank you in advance for your time and interest!

Posts : 18
Join date : 2014-07-25
Location : North Central Plains States

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RCBS 38 SPL WC die set #18307 Empty Re: RCBS 38 SPL WC die set #18307

Post by noylj 9/9/2014, 3:22 am

Is this an old die set? Is it steel or carbide sizing?
I have a circa 1970 RCBS .38 special die set and an early (1974?) carbide .38 Special die set and the only die I use is the expander from the original set.

M52 reloading:
Boy, have you got a job on your hands.
I made it a goal several years ago to produce reloads that were as accurate as factory ammo. Factory ammo is very hard to beat--I wish I knew what their secret was.
Best accuracy is with unsized cases or, second best, cases that are run through the Lee .38 Spl FCD with crimp internals removed. I could not come close to factory accuracy with a sized case, even with all my other tweaks.
Best accuracy is with Remington 148gn L-HBWCs (cheap and very accurate)
Best accuracy is with a larger than normal belling of the case mouth and an expander that opens the case ID to about 0.358" for the 0.360" Remington bullets. After you seat a bullet, pull it and compare the before- and after-seating diameters. If there is any change, the bullets will not be accurate. I found that a 0.358" bullet was not that accurate in my four M-52s.
Best accuracy is using a Redding Profile Crimp Die--far better than any other roll crimp die I tried.
Bullet seating--reason for severe case mouth belling is so the bullet can be well seated, by hand, straight up. The seating stem must be flat (I prefer a hole in the center so the "nub" at the top of the bullet is not flattened) and can not really guide the bullet down--it just shoves/smashes it down, so it is best to have the bullet well started straight to begin with as that long bullet is very easy to push out of alignment. Even the Hornady seating die, with the sliding cylinder to help align the bullet, was a bust for me--the bullet simply must be started straight and about ΒΌ of the bullet must be in the case to ensure straight seating.
Do not exceed 800fps as the skirt will separate and will either leave an additional hole in the target or become a barrel obstruction.
I tried all the wadcutter bullets I could locate, and only HBWCs were really accurate and only the Rem. HBWC gave me accuracy close to factory ammo.
Playing with dies and such brought me to better-than factory accuracy.
YMMV, but those are my results.


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