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Old 03-29-2019, 08:32 PM
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38 Special reloading cost?



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I already load Rifle rounds (.308 Win, .223 Rem, .22-250), and I just ordered a Cimarron (Uberti) Single Action Army clone (Evil Roy model in .357 Magnum).

I was wondering what you guys who reload .38 Special, estimate approximate cost of reloading for that round? Everything from Lead wad-cutters, to JHP, probably loaded from Cowboy Action velocities, to standard Factory rounds.

Let me know a Ballpark figure for price per round.

thanx
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:45 PM
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I use Berry or Rainier plated bullets. Generally about 10 cents each shipped. Primers and powder have been on sale lately so cost is hard to pin down.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:38 PM
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I've been using Missouri Bullets 158 gr SWC coated for all 38, and 357 loads. With powder, and primer they both come in around .15 cents a round. Maybe a penny less for 38's.

Last edited by Hawkeye57; 03-30-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:01 PM
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I have been using Hornady 148 grain HBWC's. These lead bullets are currently on sale at MidwayUSA for .09 apiece. Cases last forever, at my light loads. Primers are about a penny a piece. I am getting around 2,500 reloads out of a pound of powder out of a $22 per pound bottle of Shooter's World clean shot, so call that 2 cents of powder per shot.

That makes $0.12 to 0.13 cents per shot. Pretty reasonable for centerfire pistol. Certainly less than premium .22 LR.

I should say that this is 15 yard target shooting. So all's my bullets have to do is make it through a piece of paper stapled to a back board.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:14 PM
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Thanks Guys for the replies.

Also, will better accuracy result by using .357 Magnum Brass loaded to .38 Special loads, ...or do people load .357 Mag cases at .38 Special levels, simply to prevent a Ring buildup?

I've got once shot Brass from years ago, in both .357 Mag, and .38 Special, and i'm wondering whether to use both cases, or just load the Mag cases to .38 Sp. levels?

thanx
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Old 03-30-2019, 05:03 PM
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You know, I have been wondering about that myself. Tests so far: inconclusive. My most accurate revolver is a S&W Model 14 in .38 special. My .357's (686, Model 19, have been good, but not as good as the Model 14 with the HBWC). It is probably no coincidence that the Model 14 was fitted by its prior owner with an Ultra Dot rather than open sights. I'm not much of a shot with iron sights, so what I have been trying to figure out is what's the load and what's the shooter.

I have a bunch of .357 cases loaded up with the 148 HBWC's and .38 SP loads. They do go "bang" but haven't grouped as nicely. Still, it might just be that the loads need tweaking. I found my favorite .38 Special load quite by accident. It was far from the hottest. When I saw the groups, my eyebrows just went up. "What have we here?" . . . that sort of thing.
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Old 03-30-2019, 05:27 PM
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CCI SPP's are about $0.035 a piece.

Powders' less than $0.02 ea.

I cast, and use range brass.

So a bit more than a nickle each.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flintlock28 View Post
Thanks Guys for the replies.

Also, will better accuracy result by using .357 Magnum Brass loaded to .38 Special loads, ...or do people load .357 Mag cases at .38 Special levels, simply to prevent a Ring buildup?

I've got once shot Brass from years ago, in both .357 Mag, and .38 Special, and i'm wondering whether to use both cases, or just load the Mag cases to .38 Sp. levels?

thanx
I have tried loading down 357 loads with many powders, and had no luck with it. All powders seem to have their accuracy window at the top few tenths of a grain of their range. That is also where they burn cleaner, and the cases release easy from the chamber. When loading down the cases don't extract easy, they are sooty, and accuracy takes a dive. IMO if you want to shoot lighter loads in the 357 you have to choose a powder that doesn't produce the higher velocity's at the top of their range. The same goes for 38 Special loads.
A good 38 Special load will shoot more accurate than a good 357 load, but it won't hit the steel as hard.

I was going also quote flangster, but don't have a multi quote icon no more.
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:46 PM
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Best accuracy will usually be with cast bullets that just barely slide through the cylinder mouths, as long as that dia. is at least the barrel groove dia. Hollow base wadcutters will fill that dia. out but still are best if the proper cyl. dia.
Fill the chamber proper with all the brass it can take to minimize the bullet jump from the case mouth to the cyl. mouth. Blow-by is your enemy.
Target wadcutter velo's are a joy to shoot and are called 'target' for a reason.
Loading up to have more thwack will be harder to shoot well, though may be still good enough for your purposes. Imo, dont try to duplicate 357Mag jacketed loads with cast bullets; no need and you will learn about removing leading the hard way.
My favorite way to achieve more thwack is to use a bigger caliber (my biggie is a 577 Snider ).
Btw, for light/target loads do not resize cases, the typical resize die is made to resize for the jacketed bullet dia.s for a caliber and undersize them for the proper (usually larger dia.) cast lead bullet. I use as large a dia. cast bullet as comfortably fits into a fully fire formed case mouth and will still chamber up/extract cleanly. For handguns I use a smidge of crimp. After firing I roll back any residual crimp, de-prime, re-prime, throw powder and seat a new bullet. No Re-sizing, Easy Peasy.
I use a relatively fast powder so not much per cartridge.
Oh, and this will be the cheapest reloading even if you have to buy the cast bullets. Finding out the dia. will be your challenge. Ime, .358 is min., .359-.360 better and I had one that wanted .361".

Last edited by gcrank1; 03-30-2019 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcrank1 View Post
Best accuracy will usually be with cast bullets that just barely slide through the cylinder mouths, as long as that dia. is at least the barrel groove dia. Hollow base wadcutters will fill that dia. out but still are best if the proper cyl. dia.
Fill the chamber proper with all the brass it can take to minimize the bullet jump from the case mouth to the cyl. mouth. Blow-by is your enemy.
Target wadcutter velo's are a joy to shoot and are called 'target' for a reason.
Loading up to have more thwack will be harder to shoot well, though may be still good enough for your purposes. Imo, dont try to duplicate 357Mag jacketed loads with cast bullets; no need and you will learn about removing leading the hard way.
My favorite way to achieve more thwack is to use a bigger caliber (my biggie is a 577 Snider ).
Btw, for light/target loads do not resize cases, the typical resize die is made to resize for the jacketed bullet dia.s for a caliber and undersize them for the proper (usually larger dia.) cast lead bullet. I use as large a dia. cast bullet as comfortably fits into a fully fire formed case mouth and will still chamber up/extract cleanly. For handguns I use a smidge of crimp. After firing I roll back any residual crimp, de-prime, re-prime, throw powder and seat a new bullet. No Re-sizing, Easy Peasy.
I use a relatively fast powder so not much per cartridge.
Oh, and this will be the cheapest reloading even if you have to buy the cast bullets. Finding out the dia. will be your challenge. Ime, .358 is min., .359-.360 better and I had one that wanted .361".
How do you roll back any residual crimp?

thanx
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2019, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcrank1 View Post
Best accuracy will usually be with cast bullets that just barely slide through the cylinder mouths, as long as that dia. is at least the barrel groove dia. Hollow base wadcutters will fill that dia. out but still are best if the proper cyl. dia.
Fill the chamber proper with all the brass it can take to minimize the bullet jump from the case mouth to the cyl. mouth. Blow-by is your enemy.
Target wadcutter velo's are a joy to shoot and are called 'target' for a reason.
Loading up to have more thwack will be harder to shoot well, though may be still good enough for your purposes. Imo, dont try to duplicate 357Mag jacketed loads with cast bullets; no need and you will learn about removing leading the hard way.
My favorite way to achieve more thwack is to use a bigger caliber (my biggie is a 577 Snider ).
Btw, for light/target loads do not resize cases, the typical resize die is made to resize for the jacketed bullet dia.s for a caliber and undersize them for the proper (usually larger dia.) cast lead bullet. I use as large a dia. cast bullet as comfortably fits into a fully fire formed case mouth and will still chamber up/extract cleanly. For handguns I use a smidge of crimp. After firing I roll back any residual crimp, de-prime, re-prime, throw powder and seat a new bullet. No Re-sizing, Easy Peasy.
I use a relatively fast powder so not much per cartridge.
Oh, and this will be the cheapest reloading even if you have to buy the cast bullets. Finding out the dia. will be your challenge. Ime, .358 is min., .359-.360 better and I had one that wanted .361".
One other question...

1) I have about 500 once fired cases, from a Different Revolver, in .38 Special, and 100 once fired empty cases of .357 magnum.

2) I will be receiving my new revolver (Cimarron (Uberti) 5.5" barrel .357 Evil Roy model this week, so I don't know what the cylinder holes will measure.

Should I go ahead and de-prime these cases, and clean them, full length re-size them, or wait till the new revolver arrives so that I can know what size the cylinder holes are, and simply do them the way you suggested? I understand what you are saying about full length re-sizing will cause the case mouths to be under-sized, thus shaving off some of the diameter of the bullets, which will decrease accuracy. Let me know your thoughts.

thanx
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Flintlock28 View Post
One other question...

1) I have about 500 once fired cases, from a Different Revolver, in .38 Special, and 100 once fired empty cases of .357 magnum.

2) I will be receiving my new revolver (Cimarron (Uberti) 5.5" barrel .357 Evil Roy model this week, so I don't know what the cylinder holes will measure.

Should I go ahead and de-prime these cases, and clean them, full length re-size them, or wait till the new revolver arrives so that I can know what size the cylinder holes are, and simply do them the way you suggested? I understand what you are saying about full length re-sizing will cause the case mouths to be under-sized, thus shaving off some of the diameter of the bullets, which will decrease accuracy. Let me know your thoughts.
thanx
I resize all of mine using the Lyman M die. It is a two step die that can be adjusted to put a slight outward flare on the end of the case mouth, and won't shave lead.
https://www.lymanproducts.com/brands...panding-m-dies If you want to shoot cast, and find that you have to shoot over sized ( over ,358 ) , and do have shaving then try not sizing.

Edit- I would only do the not resizing with light loads. If your brass was not fired from your gun I would resize before using.

Last edited by Hawkeye57; 03-31-2019 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye57 View Post
I resize all of mine using the Lyman M die. It is a two step die that can be adjusted to put a slight outward flare on the end of the case mouth, and won't shave lead.
https://www.lymanproducts.com/brands...panding-m-dies If you want to shoot cast, and find that you have to shoot over sized ( over ,358 ) , and do have shaving then try not sizing.

Edit- I would only do the not resizing with light loads. If your brass was not fired from your gun I would resize before using.
Thanks for the info, I will look into that resizing die(s).

The cases were all shot a few years ago out of My Dan Wesson 715 .357 Mag. I am not up to speed with re-loading Pistol rounds, since I only do Rifle rounds. I think you might be right about Full re-sizing these cases since they're from a different Gun, and later I could let the new Pistol do the Fire-forming for me, and than go to not having to re-size.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:19 PM
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I suggest waiting until you have the revolver in hand and checking each previously fired case on chamber before re-sizing. Why resize if you dont have to?
But first things first, find out what size those cylinder mouths are; pin gauges are best if your 'smith has 'em. Otherwise use some various dia. cast bullets to test fit.
Shy that, if the fired cases fit (roll back any residual crimp with a die, or my fav for trials is a short, round-backed needle nose pliers inserted and rotated) and find out how big a dia. bullet comfortably fits. Every time I do it this way they, regardless of caliber, have shot well.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gcrank1 View Post
I suggest waiting until you have the revolver in hand and checking each previously fired case on chamber before re-sizing. Why resize if you dont have to?
But first things first, find out what size those cylinder mouths are; pin gauges are best if your 'smith has 'em. Otherwise use some various dia. cast bullets to test fit.
Shy that, if the fired cases fit (roll back any residual crimp with a die, or my fav for trials is a short, round-backed needle nose pliers inserted and rotated) and find out how big a dia. bullet comfortably fits. Every time I do it this way they, regardless of caliber, have shot well.
That makes sense.......

Is a Dial Caliper accurate enough to measure? or is it simply not a good way of measuring? I'm guessing a Micrometer is the way to go, but I don't have one.
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