Hey Dan, Glad you're back!
With light loads like you are describing the crimp will be optional. You won't have the problem of bullets trying to work their way out of the cases as you would with heavy loads. A crimp may or may not affect velocity variations in your load.
I've shot lots of light 240 gr loads in my 44 with no crimp. I'm using AA#2 for practice loads at about 800fps with very tight velocity spreads and good accuracy. I think a little of your renowned experimentation is in order, but I would say that for functional purposes the crimp is not necessary. IDShooter
From time to time I use wad cutters in my 357, a 170 gr cast wad cutter, 148 grain store bought, 140 grain swaged home made, and 140 grain swaged home made with base gard.
Then I use use cast wadcutters in my 44 Spec, they are 200 grains very accurate.
I'll shoot 220 or 200 grain home made swaged full wad cutters with gas checks or base gard, or plan base out of my 45 Auto Rim
And I have a 250 grain full wad cutter for the 45 Colt.
In all cases I've found that I get a more accurate cartridge using a tight crimp, roll or taper.
Appreciate the help, and for the next newbie question: I assume you load a wadcutter flush with the brass? If so, would I apply a roll crimp with the bullet flush or with part of it above the brass. I assume the taper crimp would be with the bullet flush with the brass.
Seat the bullets flush with the case mouth for either style crimp, then just turn the case mouth back in a touch.
Wadcutters are normally very soft and you can squish the case mouth into them a little with no ill effect. Some wadcutters, especially the commercial cast ones, have just a bit of radius at the top of the bullet and this gives a place for the crimp to go.
Thanks, I think you've got it covered for me -- certainly saved me a lot of time (and error). It appears I've got a steeper learning curve than I anticipated. I just got on line to order my Starline .38 brass and found eight options!
38 Super, 38 Super+P, 38 Super Comp, 38 Short Colt, 38 Long Colt, 38 S&W, 38 Special, and 38 Special+P. Don't have a clue about the "+P" stuff and not sure about any but the 38 Special, so I did what any risk taker would do, I order 357mag.
I just came accross a question (magazine Q&A session) about unburnt powder in the 38/357 and the recommended corrective action was the use of a crimp. Sounds like the crimp option, while not mandatory, has advantages of accuracy and performance. And the seating depth will require some experimentation also. I look forward to a test session to see what my new revolver prefers and do thank you for the help.
You will find that, generally speaking, no or little crimping is necessary for small charges of faster burning powder (such as your mentioned load of 3.2 grs of bullseye). Heavy charges of slow burning powder such as 2400, 296, H110, 4227 etc, benefit greatly from a heavy roll crimp. They depend upon preasure to burn properly completely and the crimp helps delay the bullets departure and thereby raising preasure. "+P" usualy refers to loaded ammunition and is ammunition the is loaded to a little higher velocity and preasure. It should be used in guns that are +P rated. I too, would buy the 357 brass and load the 38 special loads in it. Some say there is better accuracy potential in using 38 special brass for light load because the air space between the powder and the bullet is less. I used to shoot both and was never able to see the difference.
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