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Discussion Starter #1
Lets say you've got a 357 magnum, which we all know can also shoot 38 Special.
And you want a round in the 1000fps range.
Does it make a difference if you push the 38 Special as opposed to loading the 357 light?

Would that .135~ before the bullet hits the forcing cone give you anything as far as velocity?
Or would it take away from accuracy?
Or are any pluses or minuses too negligible to care about?

I imagine if using lead bullets that the 357 would be easier to clean, especially the cylinder chambers.

Is there anything to be gained or lost loading one over another if you have the choice? Moreso concerning revolvers. I've read that the longer cases can feed better in some lever actions.
44 magnum/special reloaders feel free to chime in :smile:
 

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If I am loading for a magnum revolver or a lever action rifle, I load light in the magnum case. I would rather deal with one case length for all of my loads.

I don't think that there is much difference, except in my case, I prefer the convenience of dealing with only the one case for one gun.

The only thing that I shoot 38spec cases in, is .38spec revolvers. I don't like having to adjust the dies between mag and spec, when there is absolutely no benefit for doing it.

Personally, I don't shoot 44 Special in my 44 magnum revolvers as I have 44 Special revolvers to shoot the Specials in. But, if I did not have the Special revolvers and wanted to shoot specials in my magnum revolver, they would be loaded in magnum case.

I have .357mag and 44mag lever guns and the only cases that ever go in either one, is the magnum case as they both cycle the magnum case length better.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
If I am loading for a magnum revolver or a lever action rifle, I load light in the magnum case. I would rather deal with one case length for all of my loads.

I don't think that there is much difference, except in my case, I prefer the convenience of dealing with only the one case for one gun.

The only thing that I shoot 38spec in, is .38spec revolvers.
That's a good point.
I am already set up for 38 Special, so perhaps pushing their thresh hold might be simpler than switching to 357.
I did have some shims made to make things easier. And I'd most likely still have to adjust the seating and crimping dies anyway for a different bullet.
 

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I personally don't load Mag levels into special cases. It keeps my kids from picking up the wrong ammo for a spl gun. I don't have a problem down loading lighter loads into mag cases. If someone got the wrong ammo the worst that would happen is that they would be disappointed in the performance! I do have carbine only loads that I make for my 45 Colt carbines. To keep them out of any of my old pistols I seat the bullets out far enough to lock up any revolver. The extra length in the carbines don't seem to matter.

If you are shooting Bull's eye Competition the case length may make some difference But in normal shooting or even Cowboy Action Shooting I never noticed the difference. I also did not notice any difference at cleaning time.

For me its just about keeping track of whats loaded. DR
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I recall shooting a bunch of 38 Special out of one of my 357's and the next time I went to load 357 into it they did not drop right into the chamber. A quick Google confirmed that the shorter Special rounds can give your chamber a "ring". Nothing that can't be cleaned out, but it does affect loading longer cased ammo.

BTW, if loading the 38 Specials warm they could also be used in 38 Special only revolvers if desired. That would be a plus.
I've read that TiteGroup does well with light loads because it ignites well. It's not position sensitive.
 

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Just for one example, I've approached 1000 ft/sec with a 158 lead SWC in .38 Special - 940 out of a 6" Ruger Security Six (.357) and 905 from a 4" M64. That was with a modest load of Unique, and I know I had plenty of "headroom" to take those higher if I wanted to. Recoil was less snappy than with the 130 gr FMJs I occasionally use for practice. If there was any loss of accuracy due to the longer bullet jump in my .357, it didn't reveal itself.

I haven't loaded .357 yet, so I can't speak to the reverse case - loading a .357 down. I suspect it's not a big problem as there are plenty of .357s being loaded down for cowboy action shooting.
 

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I recall shooting a bunch of 38 Special out of one of my 357's and the next time I went to load 357 into it they did not drop right into the chamber. A quick Google confirmed that the shorter Special rounds can give your chamber a "ring". Nothing that can't be cleaned out, but it does affect loading longer cased ammo.

BTW, if loading the 38 Specials warm they could also be used in 38 Special only revolvers if desired. That would be a plus.
I've read that TiteGroup does well with light loads because it ignites well. It's not position sensitive.
Yep, you have to clean then once in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Can you clean a gun while you are shooting it?
Sure, if you want to.
When I was collecting milsurps I would often hit the range with a bottle of Hoppes and a brass brush. Cleaning a dirty barrel when it's warm works well. Shoot a few, scrub, shoot a few, scrub.
I would just as soon not have to do if I have ammo sticking through something I am doing, but it could be done.
 

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It has been easier for me to get low velocity from a magnum than high velocity from a special. I assume you are talking 38/357 with 158g bullets. When I approach 1000 fps with a 158g bullet in 38, I get bullet jump. Not enough to lock up the gun, but it's there.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
It has been easier for me to get low velocity from a magnum than high velocity from a special. I assume you are talking 38/357 with 158g bullets. When I approach 1000 fps with a 158g bullet in 38, I get bullet jump. Not enough to lock up the gun, but it's there.
Excellent points.
 

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It has been easier for me to get low velocity from a magnum than high velocity from a special. I assume you are talking 38/357 with 158g bullets. When I approach 1000 fps with a 158g bullet in 38, I get bullet jump. Not enough to lock up the gun, but it's there.
How do you perceive bullet jump?
 

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Ah - I had something quite different in mind. Got it, and a valid concern.
 

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Fire the revolver and then check the cartridges remaining in the cylinder to see if any of the bullets have jumped the crimp.
Thats a simple crimp issue
 

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The early departed greats of our time, Keith, Skelton and the old "44 Associates", figured this out a long time ago, so I can only elaborate on their findings, and my own experience.

Downloading a magnum reduces case capacity, and causes more variances in the way the powder will lay in the case prior to detonation, creating more propensity for irregular powder burn, which effects pressure.
In short it creates more variables that can have an impact on accuracy.

Using the parent cartridge , which for our purposes here would be the special, loaded to a higher level, will produce a more complete burn, and better consistency, than the downloading of a magnum to reach an " in between" velocity level.

However, when shooting specials loaded as such from a magnum, it can be a role of the dice where the accuracy one may desire is worth the trade off, because 1) the extra cylinder jump, and, 2) every gun is a law unto itself.
You just have to try and see.

That is why, I prefer a dedicated " special " length cylinder for shooting a special cartridge.

I have used 2400 to produce 38-44 loads shot out of my k frames 38 spl revolvers throwing a 158 weight bullet at 1100-1200 fps...well in to magnum territory, with superb velocity.
Although it is not recommended by the experts, my guns have suffered no ill effects, although they are only used for those loads in limited application.
 

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The early departed greats of our time, Keith, Skelton and the old "44 Associates", figured this out a long time ago, so I can only elaborate on their findings, and my own experience.

Downloading a magnum reduces case capacity, and causes more variances in the way the powder will lay in the case prior to detonation, creating more propensity for irregular powder burn, which effects pressure.
In short it creates more variables that can have an impact on accuracy.

Using the parent cartridge , which for our purposes here would be the special, loaded to a higher level, will produce a more complete burn, and better consistency, than the downloading of a magnum to reach an " in between" velocity level.

However, when shooting specials loaded as such from a magnum, it can be a role of the dice where the accuracy one may desire is worth the trade off, because 1) the extra cylinder jump, and, 2) every gun is a law unto itself.
You just have to try and see.

That is why, I prefer a dedicated " special " length cylinder for shooting a special cartridge.

I have used 2400 to produce 38-44 loads shot out of my k frames 38 spl revolvers throwing a 158 weight bullet at 1100-1200 fps...well in to magnum territory, with superb velocity.
Although it is not recommended by the experts, my guns have suffered no ill effects, although they are only used for those loads in limited application.
While most of this is true...for most people and most applications, this is a case of "6 of one /half a dozen of the other...essentially, no meaningful difference between the 2 ways of doing it.
 
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