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Thread: 38 spec length

  1. #1
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    Default 38 spec length

    Have an old model 64 I am reloading for.Problem is length.Book calls for max at 1.445 with lrnfp.If I want to be able to close the cylinder I have to push them down below 1.41.I am thinking this isn't too short to have problems with a starting charge of 5.2 gr of CFE pistol.Thoughts on this?

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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    How about giving us little more info. Like the bullet you're using.According to my info (Speer # 14) Max COAL is 1.550". The shortest COAL I find is 1.435" for the 125 gr. Speer UCSP. I think I'd be inclined to check the length of my sized cases and try to chamber factory cartridges of a similar bullet profile. Set your bullet seating and crimp to match the factory stuff and see if it works.

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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    Are you saying the bullet is out the end of the cylinder at 1.445?
    Took a quick look at a couple Lyman "Cast Handbooks", and even though their info is for their molds they cover quite a few bullet configurations. Lengths run from 1.310 for wadcutters to 1.550 for SWC's.
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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    Are you sure your looking at 38 Special and not 38 S&W ?
    www.Steelvalleycasting.com is your new home for coated bullets and custom ammo.

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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    Bullet noses vary so OAL of a loaded rounds a worthless number as long as it fits in the chamber and magazine. If you are loading THE EXACT bullet listed in the manual it is a good guide........But if you hear 1.xxxx inches for a 158 gr lead bullet WTF does that mean? RN, FP, WC, HP? They are all different. And how would they know how long the lead is in your rifling or cylinder chamber?

    For pistols the more important measurement is the amount of bullet sticking IN the case. With the small case volumes with if you seat a bullet too deeply pressures can start to increase.

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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    Quote Originally Posted by cephas View Post
    Are you saying the bullet is out the end of the cylinder at 1.445?
    Took a quick look at a couple Lyman "Cast Handbooks", and even though their info is for their molds they cover quite a few bullet configurations. Lengths run from 1.310 for wadcutters to 1.550 for SWC's.
    Would it be possible to post a picture of the gun? Something does not sound right. (don't use postimage)
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    Dam,forgot to mention it was a 125 gr lead round nose flat point.OAL is listed on Hodgdon site at 1.445.Tried it in the pistol and can't close the wheel and turn it freely unless they are OAL less than 1.41.It's an old stainless smith,but the wheel don't wiggle and it will shoot pretty good once you figure out the frame rear sight. Photo on 4-11-18 at 11.26 PM.jpg
    Last edited by M77MKII; April 11th, 2018 at 11:38 PM.

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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    Thanks for the picture. Is the hangup the front or the rear of the cylinder? Is the inside of each cylinder bore clean and shiny? Does factory ammo of the same length (1.445) or longer work OK?

    Kind of a brain dump there, as the next step us to measure your ammo versus factory if it works all right, to see if your loads are out of spec. Wondering if you need to readjust the bullet seating/crimping die?
    Illegitimus non carborundum est

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    just measured some factory soft points and they are 1.44.But that got me looking at the profile.I believe the lead bullet is a much shorter bullet.It's shape seems to be dictating the shorter OAL to accommodate depth of seating because it is wider for a shorter length.Dam I hope I explained that right

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 38 spec length

    hangup was on the rear,cases were rubbing on the hammer side

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