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Discussion Starter #1
i'm new to this gig so i'll tell you what i got. some of you might remember one of my earlier posts that i bought a S&W .38 model 10 with a 5 inch barrel and a reloading outfit for $160. here is a detailed list of what i got with the gun.

-pacific/standard or standard/ pacific reloader
-set of 3 S&W dies
-box of a couple hundred wad cutters
-box of 20 or so factory 38 rounds
-herters powder measure scale
-11oz can bullseye powder (maybe 6 ox left)
-100 or so .38 brass casings (tossed the steel ones out)
-just shy of 200 primers
-lee powder measure kit
-i think i got all the right manuals for the op

question #1 my lee powder measure cup 020 gives me a 3.0 grain charge in the bullseye powder. (the 020 is the smallest cup in the kit) according to my lyman handbook the suggested start charge is from 1.6 to 2.0 grain topping out at 3.0 grain max charge. these numbers were taken from the bullseye powder guide. the previous owner of the hardware has a 2.5 grain load pencilled in on the 150 grain cast bullet chart. now after all that here is my question, i dont know how many grain the wadcutters are or even the make, they are in an old shotgun shell box, what would a safe powder charge be? is the 3.0 grain charge from the 020 measure cup too much for the gun.

#2 the equipment i mentioned above, is it any good? i thought the price was right so i grabbed it without really looking into it.

this may be a really stupid question to some of you more seasoned shooters, but this is my first go at the reloading and i want a gun in my hand not a grenade. any tips or tricks you guys can pass on whould be greatly appreciated. again, if posting a reply, keep in mind that i am new to reloading and may not get everything you say. thanks boatloads guys, i've been looking forward to trying out this setup.
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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27,377 Posts
Try to always use an updated manual. The old ones are cool to look at & the loads are probably OK but technology in powders and testing is always changing

My Speer #13 gives the 158 GN SWC 3.1 ~ 3.5 max fir the .3 special

Throw the old powder away, throw the primers away. They are affordable enough, buy fresh.

Wadcutters come in 158 grain semi wad cuters, 148 grain bevel base or hollow base. There are other styles for instance 158 grain round nose, 158 grain hollow point that may or may not use the same data. Typically, jacketed projectiles are under different load data than lead, cast or swaged. Note. The Speer manual list for swaged, but Iv'e found cast works OK wit the data.

You need to know if your dies are steel or carbide. If carbide, they will have a "ring"at the entrance.


If your equipment is clean, dry, serviceable and rust free it should be OK. Iv'e seen only one set of worn out dies in my shooting life.

This just scratches the surface, you'll need more coaching as you go.
 

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"Steel cases"? If they were bright silver, you probably threw away some good nickle cases. They are still brass, just prettier - I like them for my hi-energy defense loads. Using regular brass for my practice loads.
Since gunpowder is hydroscopic (draws moisture), I'd dump the powder as already suggested.
Having the basic Lee system, I use the dipper for my regular plinking loads - I'm not so concerned with exact consistency. My defense loads are done more carefully.
A modern loading manual is a must. Powders have changed over the years. A certain brand/type today isn't necessarily the same formula as 20 years ago!
Lee tends to rate their max loads on the conservative side, but don't try to exceed this until you have more experience in loading, and know what to look for as to pressure signs. Also, an older gun might not take the increased pressure, which a newer stronger gun would.
Above all, read, study and be careful out there! If you have a buddy who reloads, have him run you through a short course of "reloading 101" - I did that, and it helped. He was able to answer my questions as they came up.
 

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Since 03-15- 2002
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Hygroscopic

Definition
A hygroscopic material (literally "water seeking") is one that readily absorbs water (usually from the atmosphere).
In most cases, the water can be removed from the material by heating (sometimes under vacuum or under a flow of dry gas such as nitrogen).


MSDS Relevance
Hygroscopic materials are fairly common. Some may absorb a finite amount of water (such as magnesium sulfate, MgSO4) while others may attract so much water that they form a puddle and dissolve (deliquesce). For example, solid sodium hydroxide (NaOH) pellets will form a small corrosive puddle in less than an hour in moist air.
Therefore, always be sure to clean up any spills of hygroscopic materials right away. Also be aware that hygroscopic materials typically release a large amount of heat when mixed with water.

Always store hygroscopic materials in well-sealed containers (or under vacuum or an inert atmosphere). Know their physical properties so that if you open a container you can tell if the material has been contaminated with water (i.e. that jar of calcium chloride, CaCl2, should be a solid, not a liquid).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Big Dog - did they not make steel cases in the 38 S&W? im curious, you sound pretty sure of yourself.
 

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troy, if the cases were shiny they were nickel plated. most steel cases are laquer coated, such as russian surplus ammo. if they look like bumper chrome they are good cases.
 

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i also have a pacific press. their built tuff! you could run em over with a tank and do nothing but scratch the paint! mines a single stage press so its a bit slow. but heck im slow too.
 

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My time is too valuable to reload. The time that I would spend reloading is more valuable than spending $12.99 for 100 rounds of Winchester 9mm Luger ammo at Walmart. I would rather spend that time shooting, its not cost/time effective for me, even for obscure cartridges like the 7.62x25 Tokarev metric ammo , I can get it for $13.99 for 50 rounds of Sellier & Bellot. Just my humble opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
remington597- a box of 50 S&W at the local S.I.R. costs $27.00 before the 14% tax. that brings it to almost $32.00 a box here. so a hundred rounds would cost me almost $64. that is a lot of money for a small caliber gun. wal mart doesnt sell any hand gun ammo around my area. i dont thing any canadian wal mart does, of that i am not sure though. at $13 per box of 100 i see your reasoning though.
 

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Thats $13 US. :p :) I see your point, some of the more obscure cartridges are more expensive, like my .32H&R Magnums for my Ruger Single Six, very expensive, about $17US for a box of 20. So I see your point.
I also don't want all that explosive powder around. I'm in Florida, its way to hot and humid here for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
when i posted this thread i was going through the stuff at the same time. so i retrieved the tossed casings and they are bright, sooooooo, thanks for the heads up on that one you guys, looks like they are nickel.
 

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Do you do alot of hunting up there in Manitoba?. We have alligators and water fowl down here, but they don't let us hunt the reptiles, just the water fowl and the varmints.
 

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reloading for me is a hobby. i enjoy it alot. the loads i work up are not any where near cost effective. actually there more expensive than some rounds. but my loads are more accurate. some pistol calibers i would not reload for though. like 9mm and smaller unless their ammo disappeared from the shelves one day that is. but reloading has become just as much fun as shooting for me.
 

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whirlwind:
I forgot to compliment you on your avatar. I am new here, but not new to firearms and military history. Your avatar reminded me of Vasilli Zhaytsev. I can only assume you've seen -ENEMY AT THE GATES- more than once, but do you have the widescreen DVD like I do? :) :) :)
We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
 

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well i bought it on vhs and watched it once then loaned it to my sister and her house burnt down that next weekend so im in the market for the dvd now hahahaha
 
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