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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am running into some puzzleing issues loading for a C. Sharps Hiwall

I am using Starline long brass and in measuring unprimed brass vs once fired i am finding that the once fired is shorter so my assumption is it is moving to the sides instead of growing in length.
I have tried to size the cases with a Lyman neck sizing die and find i can still finger seat the bullets without ever using an expander plug
Bullets are the 330 gr Lyman and are run through a .379 sizing die mostly to lube, when measured prior to sizing they are .378 on the bands.
When seated to the first driving band I am engraving the end of the rifling on the ogive of the bullet, but can't seat the bullet any deeper ( at least not in my mind) so i may end up trying some WW brass. My concern comes from removing an unfired case from the chamber, I have tried to use a taper crimp die to install some neck tension on the bullet and it does help some but I am still seeing bullet pull when an unfired case is removed.
Due to the length constrants of the bullet I find I must seat the top of the wad .580 below case mouth.
If my rational is correct then any powder compression is in direct relation to the amount of the charge... ie. if I were to use 45 gr. of 3F I would have less compression than if i were to use 48gr of 3F ..Correct?
I have loaded some with a roll crimp but in examining the fired case it appeared the roll was still there which in my mind means I probably shaved the bands as the bullet was fired thus reducing their diameter.
I am casting with a 20-1 mix and have yet to see any leading issues what so ever.
Overall it is shooting decent and I would not hesitate to grab it right now and go hunt with it but for silhouette I an trying to get as small a group as I am able to.
I am open to suggestions this has me puzzled as I never had half the issues with my Shiloh and like the Shiloh I am finding my groups improving with more compression on the Swiss but wonder if over time it will start to push the bullet and expand and with minimal teension on the neck it is going to cause me more issues loading an unfired case and getting the block closed with out damaging the bullet as a whole and the base in particular

Also I have used Kermits system and reduced the primer pockets to be able to use large pistol primers and it has show some increase in accuracy/consistantcytealdawg
 

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Tealdog, not sure I can address many of your questions, but I can offer some comments on some of the similar things I've experienced.

1. You're right in your observation that the cases are shrinking upon firing. Mine do too (Shiloh Sharps in 40/70 Straight). I was hoping they would grow, so I could then trim them all to the same length, but they are definitely NOT growing, so now I have a bunch of cases all at slightly different lengths. If I trim them all to the length of the shortest cases, they will be shorter than I want, but I may just have to do it.

2. If you want the bullets held tighter, you just need to get a tighter sizing die (some people like loads where they can hand-seat the bullets). I use a FL sizer, but I back it off about 5 full turns, so that it sizes only about the top 0.2" of the case. That works fine. If you do this, you will need to make a longer decapping rod. I used a length of 1/16" steel rod, cut to the proper length.

3. If your bullets are engraving when seated to their shortest overall length, then you have a problem. In my 40/70, I cannot use the RCBS 40 cal bullet, nor a bullet form a nice Paul Jones 420 gr. custom mould, because they do the same thing yours does - they hit the rifling when they are seated to the top of the top driving band. Sizing them won't help, of course, because they are hitting the rifling out on the ogive. I could seat them shorter, but they would look funny, seated with the ogive way down in the case, although it wouldn't hurt anything. Even the Lyman Snover 40 cal has to be seated all the way to the top of the top driving band, and at that length they will chamber with about 0.02" of clearance (i.e., I use an overall length of 3.14", and they will touch the rifling at 3.16").

In addition to "sticking" in the rifling, if black powder fouling builds up in the throat, then even if you have an overall length that chambers OK in a clean chamber, it might be difficult to chamber when the throat is dirty with BP fouling. It probabaly depends on your throat dimensions, and on how much foulding your load develops.

4. That's correct regarding the powder compression.

5. If you fix the neck tension situation, you won't need to worry about a highly compressed load pushing the bullet out. One thing you can try, instead of a roll crimp or taper crime, is to remove the decapping assembly from the SIZING die, and then run the loaded cartridges into that die. Sometimes that works real well in holding the bullet in the case.

If that was my gun, I would first try a different bullet, and then try sizing the cases smaller. If you did that, you could do away with the roll crimp (I crimp just enough to remove the flare from the expander die).

It seems to me this would be the cheapest way to go.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
couple things I have found /thought about
I had gone to Starline because of longer/ original diamension brass, WW brass is shorter and seating to driving band as I have been would in turn reduce OAL and "may" stop the bullet engraveing
I have not confirmed it but I think somewhere I had read that the WW brass was heavier wall thickness so sizing outside same as current would result in possibley more neck tension
I always knock out my primers before I wash the cases and do not try to size untill after theey are tumbled so the decapper shouldn't be an issue
currently I am using a .060 wad..if I go to a shorter case and a .030 wad it may not have a great effect on charge/ compression
typically I swab between shots so I may not have a great deal of fouling issue but will have to wait and see
all I can say is this has been the most labor intensive caliber / gun combination I have dealt with
 

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The 38-55 is the most bastardized cartridge I've seen.I think the problem started when the 375 win came out a .376 bore so when some dummy put a 375 win round in a older 38-55 rifle the smaller Dia. bullet would hold the pressures down and most true 38-55 bores are .380+ yours being a C Sharps chamber is probably cut at .400 and a .380 bore. Star line and WIN brass both have 11-12 thousands thickness.
The web is thinner in length in Win than Starline or Rem so that's why you have more powder volume.
This is what I've done a few times,take a case and drill out the base with biggest bit you can so you can slide a dowel in the case then you can put a bullet case mouth,put it in chamber push the bullet up into the throat the dowel then mark the dowel,pull it out and line the mark up and put the bullet in the case and this will give you a close OAL.
When taper crimping or just rolling the bell back always in grease grove with the mouth of the case
Concentrically or run out on straight or taper cases is tuff to get sometimes When neck size them I will run the case up and run it the die to were it just starts sizing 1/4" then lower spin the case 180,size lower spin,size. This seems to give better run out. Taper crimping I do the same. Compressing the powder I spin the case too. Seating bullets in sized case just start the bullet then spin the case a little more ,spin again I spin the case a few times before the bullet is completly seated. When slip fitting bullets after compressing the powder with the card in I have dowel rods fitted tight to case size to make sure the cards don't have a pucker on the edge because the comp die dosen't get that tight to edge. The seater plug needs to fit bullet nose.
I say all this because sometimes bullet run out is crap and what seems like is chamber throating issue is just a un-squared rounds. Even when you see rifleing marks.
I have 3 -38-55 rifles and they where a challenge because reloading dies, compontes , chamber to bore size
 

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Boomer, you really hit the nail on the head. Winchester screwed everything up with the .375 then taking shortcuts with brass to meet the growing demand for 38-55. But by that time the reloading companies were making molds and bullets from those molds that are inappropriate for a SAAMI spec 38-55 chamber.

Thank God Starline came back out with the correct brass but because of all this bastardization I have a lyman mold that won't throw a bullet bigger than .375 and a bunch of other worthless brass .
 

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Dawg, I read you initial post 4 times and have a real hard time understanding what your definitive problem is with the C Sharps and the Lyman 378674 bullets.

I have absolutely no issues or poor accuracy with any of these 38-55 bullets:
* Lyman 378674
* Saeco 571
* Lyman re-make of the Ideal 375166
* Ideal 375300 (bullet designed by Doc Hudson)
I have shot all the bullets using Starline 1.20's and the 1.25's, plus in W-W cases. Initial reloads were new cases and not fireformed. I do not anneal 38-55's. Have never had a fireformed case get longer either

Unless I change rifles for the cases previously shot in a different rifle, I never do a full resize. All cases are mouth chamfered with a 22 1/2 degree reamer. For the different bullets that have a greater base diameter, I either resize the bullet or use an expander plug to expand the case mouth with no belling.
All bullets are finger seated in the cases with 0.001 to 0.002 neck tension. Depending on the powder charge used 42gr FFg to 50gr FFg, the bullets are all seated long so the driving band is engraved in the leade by the leading land cuts. The 375300 was designed to be a breach seating bullet so in a fixed cartridge, the 4th GG band is engraved

All of the bullets reloaded have been sighted for 200 - 500 meters and yards. All the bullets shoot well to these distances with the 375166 and 375300 bullets producing the best groups.

Internet words can be 'exaggerated' so I save my targets. Here's the 1st range test with the 375166:
http://www.shilohrifle.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13911

As for your desire for the smallest groups on the steels, desire is one thing but substantial range time - reload testing - understanding Ma Nature and a good set of eyes is the equation for small groups
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
JB since the first post I have switched to a bushing neck sizing die and issues with 'loose' bullets have been resolved, as far as bullets i prefer something other than a flat nose for the distance, when i was using the Lyman 335gr I was engraving on the ogive not even getting to the driving bands. Since then i talked to Dave at BACO and drew up a bullet and he made a mould for my design and it has improved considerably. I agree with your last statement, only problem is I have spent a lot of time working with this gun, maybe I am spoiled with my shiloh and the minute of angle 10 shot groups i get from it. Things are continueing to improve but I still haven't gotten to where I want to be yet
 
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