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Old 02-20-2015, 04:55 AM   #1
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I'm just about to start reloading for the first time but have not purchased components yet. I need to know, when a recipe in the Lee handbook calls for .38 special in a 158gr lead bullet, would a 158gr lead semi-wadcutter also be the same? Would it have the same minimum/maximum overall length as a round nose, or would I have to have a longer minimum OAL due to the tip being flat and presumably a shorter OAL? Or is that already the same length as a round nose and just weighted differently to compensate? Thanks.

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Old 02-20-2015, 12:36 PM   #2
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Bullets of different profile most likely will have a different length.

Bullets of same profile from different manufacturers may also have different lengths.

OAL is always bullet and firearm specific, never manual specific.

Find the OAL that works best in your pistol, start low and work up.

If you are going to be loading a lot of cast bullets, I suggest you get this,

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/867465/lyman-cast-bullet-handbook-4th-edition-book?cm_vc=ProductFinding

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Old 02-20-2015, 02:47 PM   #3
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After I posted this I looked up a recipe on the site for bullseye powder(I think that was the brand) and it listed a minimum OAL as 1.440" on a 158gr LSWC, which so happens to be the same OAL in Lee's book for what is just listed for "158gr lead" bullet, so I think I should be alright. Thanks for the reply, also what about maximum OAL? I'm going to be firing these through a .357 magnum, would a round that is somehow screwed up and too long be an issue in a gun like that? I'm gonna use a sp101 with the 2.25" barrel to start out, thinking that even an overcharged or totally screwed up .38 round wont kill me because it's in a .357, and being a 2" barrel I also don't have to worry about squibs if I undercharge one. Not that I plan on being careless.

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Old 02-20-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatoth View Post
I'm just about to start reloading for the first time but have not purchased components yet. I need to know, when a recipe in the Lee handbook calls for .38 special in a 158gr lead bullet, would a 158gr lead semi-wadcutter also be the same? Would it have the same minimum/maximum overall length as a round nose, or would I have to have a longer minimum OAL due to the tip being flat and presumably a shorter OAL? Or is that already the same length as a round nose and just weighted differently to compensate? Thanks.
In a revolver what you have to worry about is to long, here are some of my .38 special wad cutters, short is NOT an issue in a revolver !................
File Type: jpg 38-special-wadcutters.jpg (30.6 KB, 65 views)
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatoth View Post
After I posted this I looked up a recipe on the site for bullseye powder(I think that was the brand) and it listed a minimum OAL as 1.440" on a 158gr LSWC, which so happens to be the same OAL in Lee's book for what is just listed for "158gr lead" bullet, so I think I should be alright. Thanks for the reply, also what about maximum OAL? I'm going to be firing these through a .357 magnum, would a round that is somehow screwed up and too long be an issue in a gun like that? I'm gonna use a .357 sp101 with the 2.25" barrel to start out, thinking that even an overcharged or totally screwed up .38 round wont kill me being in a .357, and being a 2" barrel I also don't have to worry about squibs if I undercharge one. Not that I plan on being careless.
You will be OK !.................
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatoth View Post
After I posted this I looked up a recipe on the site for bullseye powder(I think that was the brand) and it listed a minimum OAL as 1.440" on a 158gr LSWC, which so happens to be the same OAL in Lee's book for what is just listed for "158gr lead" bullet, so I think I should be alright. Thanks for the reply, also what about maximum OAL? I'm going to be firing these through a .357 magnum, would a round that is somehow screwed up and too long be an issue in a gun like that? I'm gonna use a .357 sp101 with the 2.25" barrel to start out, thinking that even an overcharged or totally screwed up .38 round wont kill me being in a .357, and being a 2" barrel I also don't have to worry about squibs if I undercharge one. Not that I plan on being careless.
There is a reason for this.

Lee does NOT test or publish their own load data.

All of their data come directly from the Powder manufacturers/distributors.

They simply copy the "Free" data, put into a book and sell it.

It stands to reason that the Lee Data will match the Powder guys data as that is where they got it from.

Get a different manual and look up the powder guys data for free on line.

Also Lee data is old, on-line data is up-to-date.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:57 PM   #7
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Sometimes OAL has to be changed do to where the crimp groove in the bullet is also. In a revolver OAL is seldom an issue unless it gets too long for the cylinder to turn.

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Old 02-20-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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i'm also tempted by the whole Lee dipper thing, i'm not sure if it's a good idea to start out just buying powders that are calibrated for the lee dipper to get used to this whole reloading thing, or start out doing the powder the "right" way always using a scale. All I plan on getting to start out with is the Lee anniversary kit, a set of carbide dies, and a caliper, and components. I have almost 1,000 once fired(by me) empties as well. I hope I do alright.

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Old 02-20-2015, 03:36 PM   #9
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i'm also tempted by the whole Lee dipper thing, i'm not sure if it's a good idea to start out just buying powders that are calibrated for the lee dipper to get used to this whole reloading thing, or start out doing the powder the "right" way always using a scale. All I plan on getting to start out with is the Lee anniversary kit, a set of carbide dies, and a caliper, and components. I have almost 1,000 once fired(by me) empties as well. I hope I do alright.
Using the Lee dipper does not eliminate the need for a scale.

Always verify what Lee predicts a dipper will dip with an actual scale.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:31 PM   #10
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Dippers are an excellent choice. they are a volume measure just like all powder measures. Like any powder measure I would weigh all max loads but somewhat reduced loads like normally shot a dipper works fine.

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