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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, so I took my first attempts at reloading 38 special. I used a Berrys 125 gr 38/357 flat nose bullet with Hornady dies. The problem that I ran into was that not all rounds are fitting into my wife's revolver. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of where I went wrong. Was it something in resizing phase, expanding, or the seating/crimp stage. The Hornady die set I bought uses a seating/crimping die. Its a little complicated to set up so Im thinking maybe this is where things went wrong. My first few rounds had noticeable too much crimp and those rounds definitely didn't fit. As I backed off the crimp I started getting more rounds fitting but still had rounds that didn't fit so that made me think it could still possibly be something else as well. Any thoughts???
 

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Your problem is probably crimp.

I would adjust die to apply a good crimp...not too much...just a good roll crimp into the crimp groove, and try it again. Have the revolver with you, adjust the crimp gradually, until they will chamber...then lock it down. I would also try it in all 5 or 6 chambers for fit...as there can be a variation in tolerance on chambers in the same cylinder. Doing this will ensure that all rounds will fit all chambers in the cylinder.

Once you get it set, just run the rounds that wouldn't fit, back through the seat/crimp die and it will put the crimp on them.

Edit:
Sorry, I have never used Berrys Bullets...did not realize they DON'T have a crimp groove. In this case, I would gradually tighten the crimp until they will chamber...and it should not take much, at all...to have them chambering.

This would be a great application for the Lee Factory Crimp die...but you can do it without that...plus, you will benefit from learning how to do it.

I have found that nearly every time that I have problems chambering revolver rounds...crimp, normally lack there of, is the culprit. At any rate, when I have problems with them, that is where I start the trouble shooting.

images.jpg
 
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Pictures would help. I back off the crimp. Seat the bullet. Then back off the seating and crimp the bullet. My first thought is that you are bulging when crimping/seating. How much bell are you putting on the case. Rainer has fairly thin plating. You could be flaking the plating off when seating the bullet. That could cause your problem.
 
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I would size some cases and then try and chamber them. If they slide right in then concentrate on the crimp/seating. You could be bulging, not crimping enough, not belling enough or crimping too much. If they don't then you need to adjust the sizing die.

Pictures of your sized brass, cartridges the would not chamber and a picture of how far they would chamber would help us help you.

Calipers are your friend.
SW
 

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AZRooster,

Here is no doubt what is happening. You are applying too much crimp, and what is happening is: As the crimp is being applied, you are continuing to seat the bullet, and when you reach a certain point in your crimp the bullet becomes harder to push further into the case and the case just below the crimp starts to buckle outward. First, you don't need much of a crimp on a .38 Special. Second, here is how to set up your crimp/seating die: First, have the bottom of the die about 1/4" above your case holder. Then, with your seater stem all the way up, gradually lower it until you have seated the bullet to it's proper OAL. Then, raise the seater stem up all the way again and gradually screw your die down closer to the case holder until you have a sufficient crimp. Then, with the ram up and the cartridge case completely in your die, screw the seater stem down until it contacts your seated bullet. You now have a properly set up seating/crimping die. Hope that helps.

Don
NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies! I went back and looked at the rounds that didn't fit and I think that the bulging is exactly what happened. Ill retry and see what happens. Thanks again!
 

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Pull a bullet. There should be no more than a very slight ring from the roll crimp and the bullet should be the same diameter as prior to seating.
Unless there is a cannelure on the bullet, you will probably do best with a taper crimp or getting REAL bullets with a cannelure.
Remove the barrel or open the cylinder and drop rounds in until you find one that won't chamber. Take that round and "paint" the bullet and case black with Magic Marker or other marker. Drop round in barrel or chamber in the cylinder and rotate it back-and-forth.
Remove and inspect the round:
1) scratches on bullet--COL is too long
2) scratches on edge of the case mouth--insufficient crimp
3) scratches just below the case mouth--too much crimp, you're crushing or bulging the case
4) scratches on case at base of bullet--bullet seated crooked due to insufficient case expansion (not case mouth flare) or improper seating stem fit
5) scratches on case just above extractor groove--case bulge not removed during sizing. May need a bulge buster.
 
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