Reloading pistol rounds

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Scottielp503, Jan 18, 2013.

Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:

  1. Scottielp503

    Scottielp503 Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    I am about to start reloading my .38 super and I was curious if you had to have different dies for fmj and hp bullets or if you can use the same die. Also what are some good loads for that round. Thanks for the help.
  2. tinkerer

    tinkerer Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    Everything I know about pistol reloading:

    A. For semi-autos, they don't like roll crimp, they like "squeeze" (wrong term) crimp.

    B. AFAIK, one seating die, properly adjusted, will work for "most" rounds.

    C. Invest in carbide dies, they work better.

    D. Check each and every cartridge for proper powder throw, no double or light charges. Both are bad.

    My sum total knowledge I bequeath to you, grasshopper.

  3. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2012
    +1 on Larry's comments

    A taper crimp is the only way to go for a semi, but I'm not sure if your 38 super dies will have the roll or taper crimp die. If they are new they will be a taper, but if they are older/used the die MAY be a roll crimp.

    The reason, the 38 super at one time was assumed( and made to) to headspace on the pathetic semi-rim it has. Newer pistols have better chamber tolerances and will headspace on the case mouth; hence why the crimp style has changed for this caliber. Better accuracy with more positive headspace with the taper crimp assuming a good snug chamber.
    Make sure you are a couple of thou. under flush with your seated primers also as you COULD slam fire the pistol otherwise.
    I've never loaded the 38 super but have played with the 9mm luger a good bit many moons ago.

    As far as seating plugs for different bullets; same as for rifles; usually one will do all, but occasionally you'll need a different one. I have both rn and fp punches in my 44 mag dies.
  4. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2012
    the reason theres differnt seating plugs for differnt bullet designs is that with a 3 die set you seat your bullet and crimp in the same operation so the plug is pushing on the bullet while the crimp is trying to stop it and this can deform some bullet noses. For the most part if you go to a 4 die set with a seperate crimp die and seat and crimp in seperate operations its not a problem. If you dont want to buy a 4 die set or a crimp die for your set you can seat your bullets without crimping and take your seating die and take the seating plug out of it and ajust it just to crimp.
  5. Zep

    Zep Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2011
    Really good advice so far.

    I don't think I would want to "start" reloading for 38 Super or any other auto cartridge for that matter. If you have a good revolver I would start there.

    You might want to look at Redding dies. They offer quite a selection and the roll/taper considerations are available from Redding. Sinclair sells Redding and both companies have telephone techs that can answer your questions. I have called both quite a few times and will continue to do so, also Sierra.

    Some books I would suggest you start with. The ABCs of reloading, Lymans manual, Sierra's manual. Midway has a lot of good books. Read, read, read and try to find a mentor. Frankly, unless I had good mentors I would not get involved in reloading.
  6. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2012
    Yep, if it isn't a pretty healthy bullet design like an xtp or a fmj it is best to seat and crimp in two operations.
    If you set up your seat/crimp die correctly separate seating/crimping may be easily accomplished simply by using a washer, similar to the spacer washers they sell to go from 44 special to 44 mag. Just make sure to back off or remove the seater plug before you finally crimp. The washer gets the die backed off to the point that the crimp won't contact while seating bullets.

    The crimp should iron out the top lip of the brass and remove any belling from your expander plug. It should NOT bury the casing into the bullet though; you aren't roll crimping but getting the bullet pull up enough that your bullet won't move as the action cycles.