38 special in 357 brass

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by billr, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. billr

    billr New Member

    Oct 15, 2004
    are there any problems loading small charges in this case 6 gr. Unique in longer 357 brass?
    can I seat the bullet any deaper than I would for a 357?
    General opinion of loading in this maner.
    gun -- 686 SW 4,inc
    thank fo helping
  2. The problem most reloaders have with small powder loads in cases, is unreliable ignition due to too much airspace in the case. Seating the bullet deeper can reduce this space, but may increase pressures because of the increased friction between the bullet and case walls.

    Your best bet would be to find a powder that has a higher loading density (it takes more powder or has larger grains) but with similar burn rate and pressures at the appropriate charge level.

  3. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Boomer is correct here, but this is not the dangerous part.

    This is the dangerous part!!! I cannot express this enough. With a large air space in the case, you can have what is called a SECONDARY explosion in the case that will blow a gun apart.

    It is not a case of MAY increase, it is a case of YOU WILL CAUSE THE PRESSURE TO SKYROCKET!! A very dangerous thing to do. I cannot stress this enough.

    Excellent advice. I would also like to stress that you can buy cast lead bullets and make low powered loads, but do it according to the reloading manual you are using. Pick a .357 Magnum load and USE THE RECOMMENDED STARTING LOAD!!! NEVER go above or below the recommended loads in your book without totally knowing what you are doing and what it causes. A 357 mag starting load should about equal to a 38 special load. This will keep the load safe to use.
  4. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2004
    I load 2.8 gr of bullseye in both 38 spl and 357. with 148 gr DEWC.
    This is a light target load and taken from the Hercules reloader book.
    The 38 Spl case is 1.155 (29.34mm), The 357 case is 1.20 (32.77mm)
    With the 357 case being only .35 longer empty space in the case is not an issue.
    The only reason the 357 case is longer is to prevent it from being fired in a 38 spl

    I have never had a FTF my load of 2.8 bullseye
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2005
  5. billr

    billr New Member

    Oct 15, 2004

    Hi WRF I don't fully understand.
    Are you saying that I can shoot the shells as i described?
    I am confused at this point, how much danger is there ?
    Better yet would you shoot them?
    I shot a few with out any problems , just started to worry about it.
    what is ftf
  6. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2004
    What I really need from you is what bullet do you what load.

    I have a Hercules Reloaders guide for Unique. But need the bullet weight
    for a safe load

    6 gr of Unique in 357 would be a good load for 148 gr lead WC 6.4gr is max.
    The bullet would need to be gas checked as you pushing the bullet @ around 1400 fps. So leading would become a problem without the gas checks.
    I try and keep my taraet loads under 950 fps so I don't have to gas check them.
    A target load for the same 148 gr WC is 3.3 gr Unique it will push the WC @ 775 fps so you got a lot to work with.

    Max Unique load for a 148 gr WC in 38 Spl is 3.3 gr

    38spl 357 Cartridges
    Top Image is 357
    Second 38 spl WC
    Bottom 38 spl RN
    These SAMMI specs give you seating depth

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2005
  7. verdejt

    verdejt New Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    I don't have much experience with gas checks. Can they be added at anytime or do they have to used when the bullets are cast? I am using about 5.6 grains of Unique and getting around 950fps or so. I do get some leading but I can add the gas checks to the cast lead that I buy that would be good.
  8. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Gas checks are added to bullets specifically cast for them. You cannot add them unless the bullet is designed for them.
  9. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Re: 22WRF

    I guess you did not read what I wrote, or do not believe me. The answer to your question about "would you shoot them?" is absolutely not. I will never shoot anybodies reloads but my own. I do not trust what other people do, no matter what they say. You just never know.

    I would also not be on the same range as you shooting your reloads!

    ftf=failure to fire or failure to feed. Depends on the context of the sentence and subject. People that experiment outside the norms of reloading WITHOUT knowing what they are doing are just plain dangerous.

    Have you chronographed these loads? Have you checked for pressure signs? Do you know how to check for pressure signs, and I do not mean just looking at the primers? If the answer to those questions are NO, then you are dangerous.
  10. verdejt

    verdejt New Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    I am currently loading .357 with 5.2 Grains of Unique using a 158 gr LSWC out of 2" barrel and they are running in low to mid 900fps range. According to WRF22 you get leading over 950fps (I think it's more like 850fps but that's not the point). If you are loading 6.0 grains of Unique and all your are doing is punching paper why load so hot. All you are doing is putting more stress on your firearm and causing yourself more work in the cleaning process to remove leading. In reloading you must ALWAYS
    reduce your load by 10%. Published loads are near the maximum and this should never be used as a starting load. Since you are a beginner in the reloading world here is some very sound advice for you and I think everyone will agree with it.

    1. get yourself a few reloading books such as Lyman's reloading handbook.

    2. You can download reloading recipe's from all the bullet manufactures and powder manufactures websites.

    3. Always reduce published loads by at least 10%

    4. Take your time reloading and be sure of every step. Try to not get distracted while reloading because you might just double charge a case and then bad things would happen.

    5.Get yourself a quality digital scale to ensure your loads are what you think they are.

    6.As always if your are unsure you can ask for advice. There are a number of forums like this one you can post to. There are many "veterens" of reloading here with infinitely more experience than myself, but combined I'm we can answer just about any question. If you know of other reloaders in your area you can ask them or even ask if you can watch them reload to ensure you are doing it correctly.

    7. Never shoot anybody elses reloaded ammunition regardless.
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