Reloading Stuff - Dream come true...

Photos of guns, gear, ranges, etc.
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juniustaylor
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Re: Dream come true...

Post by juniustaylor » May 31st, 2010, 12:15 am

Well, I got to shoot some .38 Special and .357 Magnum reloaded ammo from my wife's Ruger Vaquero .357. This was at 25 yards. I didn't count shots, just shot as many as I felt like shooting.

.38 Special (21-shot 7.25" group)
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.357 Magnum
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I also loaded up some .38 S&W ammo as well. History of this particular revolver is that it was my grandpa's. I believe he got it when he served on the police force in San Francisco many, many years ago. Anyway, the cylinder in it was reamed out to accept .38 Special. However, the pressure levels are unsafe and the cases get ruined because the chambers are larger in diameter because the .38 S&W is a fatter, shorter round. Anyway, I got a replacement cylinder from Numrich and it's good to go now. I can't wait to shoot it. These should go about 630 fps. They have 3 grains of Unique with a MO Bullet 145gr LRN bullet.

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Comparison between .38 S&W and .38 Special
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And last but not least, the gun that will be firing these.
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All of these were loaded using the Lee Hand Press.
Last edited by juniustaylor on June 5th, 2010, 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dream come true...

Post by hvacken » May 31st, 2010, 12:50 pm

Nice work. I'm going to order one of these after seeing your results!

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Re: Dream come true...

Post by juniustaylor » June 4th, 2010, 3:18 am

I ended up buying this SmartReloader Omega 800 press. It cost $33 from Graf's - I got the last one. I had a hard time finding any reviews about it other than ones on castboolits website. There was only 1 real review of someone that had a negative experience, the other worthless posts were folks that just jumped on the negative bandwagon without trying it themselves. The guy said it had a lot of slop between the ram and the bore, a difference of .014". He equated it to a .41 cal bullet bouncing down a .44 cal barrel. Anyway, I haven't got to use it extensively. It does have a small amount of slop, but I don't think it's excessive, what do you expect from a $30 press? I only ran a couple of .38 S&W rounds through it to expand the mouth and to seat/crimp. It seemed to do just fine; the match loader or long distance shooter may think it's crap but I think it is just fine for someone on a budget. My ammunition never hits dead-on COL for a particular caliber with any press due to variances in bullets, it always hits between the minimum and maximum range. This press will certainly do that. It is made in China for SmartReloader (Italian company). It has a cast steel frame. When I get to use it further, I'll write more about it. For now it looks promising.
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/63929-1.html

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Re: Dream come true...

Post by juniustaylor » June 4th, 2010, 8:29 pm

Well, I have further used that press, the Omega 800. It works good for me. I belled and seated some .38 S&W ammo and sized some .243 Win and .30-30 Win cases. Even if the ram is a bit "wobbly" it doesn't much matter once the case gets up into the die, it is centered then. So, for the guy on castboolit (I hate typing boolit it looks ignorant), he must be either a whiner, picky, or actually had a defective press. However, I'd guess mine probably has the same .014" difference between the ram and bore which means he's a whiner. This does not harm functionality at all. So, for those that want a budget bench press, this one here should surely fit the bill at around $30.

Here is a picture of a target I shot at. I did 6 shots with my .38 S&W revolver. The loads were loaded using my Lee hand press. 2.5" 6-shot group at 10 yards. 10 yards certainly isn't that far, so that's probably not an impressive number, but I think it's A-OK. Chrony showed the average speed was 732 fps.
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Re: Reloading Stuff - Dream come true...

Post by juniustaylor » June 6th, 2010, 2:14 pm

I used the SmartReloader press to load up 30 rounds of .38 S&W and 100 rounds of .38 Special. It works very well and I was able to do those relatively quickly. I really like the Lee Powder-Thru Expander dies. It definitely simplifies having to do the expanding and powder insertion in two different steps. The press really doesn't take up that much room. I have a desk that I do all of my leather work on and that's where the press is. I mounted the press to a piece of plywood. The plywood then gets C-clamped to the desk. So, if I decide I want to remove the press when I do leatherworking, I remove the 2 clamps and there are no holes on my desk top. :)

50 rounds of .38 Special
Berry's 125gr FP Plated Bullet
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Re: Reloading Stuff - Dream come true...

Post by juniustaylor » June 7th, 2010, 12:06 am

I suppose the 2.5" group at 10 yards is not too bad. A while back mellisallen had a playing card shootoff using the P-64. Best 6 shot group is what he was looking for at 7 yards. A playing card is 2.5" wide so I could have easily put all 6 of my shots on that card at a 9' further distance. This is coming from a revolver made in the late 1930's. :)

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Re: Reloading Stuff - Dream come true...

Post by mikana » June 18th, 2010, 3:01 pm

I use a Lee Hand Press too.

Here's a vid of my set up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du7hwWzmFYg

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Re: Reloading Stuff - Dream come true...

Post by juniustaylor » June 18th, 2010, 4:03 pm

Interesting mikana. When I first received my Lee Hand Press, I did think it would be beneficial if Lee made an adapter so you could use it as a bench mount press. It would be a nice accessory for someone that already has the Hand Press and doesn't want to fork out more money just to buy a bench mount type. I didn't study it extensively to figure out a way to mount it but it seems you've found a pretty decent way. I've heard of folks using the little electric screwdrivers as the means of case trimming... I think they're a bit slow, but if you're doing regular trimming it shouldn't matter. However, if you're trimming a .357 Mag down to a .38 Spl, then it's a different story (just an example). Thanks for sharing!!!

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Re: Reloading Stuff - Dream come true...

Post by juniustaylor » July 1st, 2010, 10:45 pm

I loaded up some cast lead rounds for .30-30. These are 135gr MO Bullet. I'm using 11 grains of Unique so they should go around 1600-1700 fps. Guess I won't know until I shoot them through the chronograph.

Photos. The first is one of the cast rounds. The second is kind of a "progression" in ammunition. Starting with lead bullets, jacketed, and finally up to the LeveRevolution ammo.

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