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180 grain XTP in 38 Special Brass?

This is a discussion on 180 grain XTP in 38 Special Brass? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Just curious...and I've been reloading for about 20 years (and have been reloading the 180 grain XTP routinely in .357 brass), but wondered if one ...


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Old March 10th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #1
 
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180 grain XTP in 38 Special Brass?

Just curious...and I've been reloading for about 20 years (and have been reloading the 180 grain XTP routinely in .357 brass), but wondered if one could use 38 special brass, crimp further back in the second groove, still have as much room for a magnum load, and have a round that would chamber in a .357 but NOT in a .38 Special gun?

Whew! That was a long-winded way to say it! Hope that made sense!

I currently load the 180's at 13.5 grains of W296 with Federal magnum primers in Winchester brass. These are my hunting rounds.

I've heard of some folks loading lead .357 power level "Keith rounds" in .38 brass crimped further back so that they could not be chambered in a .38...so, I wondered if anyone on this site has tried this with the 180 XTP's in .38 brass?

Sounds interesting to me and I'd sure like to work up some rounds...but in case someone already may have invented the wheel on this one, I figured I'd ask around first....

Any thoughts?



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Old March 10th, 2012, 04:19 PM   #2
 
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Different project, but along the similar lines. I have about 500 kind of pointy 150 grain bullets meant for a 35 Remington load but only for the contender or something that doesn't have a tubular magazine. I am tempted to cut down some 357 casings and see how well a load works up, shooting them out of my 357 Blackhawk.
Problemis, that the OAL would be too long in a 357 or even a 38 Special casing. And the shorter the case, the higher the pressures. Any thoughts out there?
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Old March 10th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #3
 
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You are talking about two different types of projectiles with the Kieith/Skelton load and the XTP. The XTP IIRC has a cannalure for crimping the case into. It is usually unsatisfactory for a number of reasons, to try and seat a jacketed bullet further out and crimp the the uncannalured case. The KSWCs used by Skelton had a grease groove below the crimping groove that was used instead of the crimping groove..
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Old March 10th, 2012, 10:01 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygun View Post
You are talking about two different types of projectiles with the Kieith/Skelton load and the XTP. The XTP IIRC has a cannalure for crimping the case into. It is usually unsatisfactory for a number of reasons, to try and seat a jacketed bullet further out and crimp the the uncannalured case. The KSWCs used by Skelton had a grease groove below the crimping groove that was used instead of the crimping groove..
Actually, I wouldn't be crimping an uncannelured case, as the 180 XTP's do indeed have two crimping grooves. Hence the premise of my inquiry.

In a standard 357 mag case the second groove on the 180 grain XTP cannot be used as it would be too long to close the cylinder on my GP100.

My thought was if in a 38 Special case, being shorter, one could seat the bullet out further and use the second crimp groove...much like the lead Keith load (170 grain, I believe), with the lube groove used as a crimp groove.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 10:13 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerhearse View Post
Actually, I wouldn't be crimping an uncannelured case, as the 180 XTP's do indeed have two crimping grooves. Hence the premise of my inquiry.

In a standard 357 mag case the second groove on the 180 grain XTP cannot be used as it would be too long to close the cylinder on my GP100.

My thought was if in a 38 Special case, being shorter, one could seat the bullet out further and use the second crimp groove...much like the lead Keith load (170 grain, I believe), with the lube groove used as a crimp groove.

Never loaded the XtPs so... Good to know. If you can load them far enough foreward to not have a problem as far as case capacity and pressure issues, (like a bullet set back might cause) then I can't see a reason not to
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Old March 10th, 2012, 10:27 PM   #6
 
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The XTP's (of all weights) are very reasonably priced and surprizingly accurate. I use them a lot and have been very satisfied.

LOL...heck, I guess I'm entering the "experimental phase" of reloading (call it a reloader's mid-life crisis)...but I like to err on the side of safety, and have never had any bad experiences...yet.

I may put together a few "safe" loads and work up...but probably with another powder besides H110...possibly 2400 or AA #7 or #9 in the near future.

Anyone else have any insights to offer?
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Old March 10th, 2012, 10:38 PM   #7
 
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I've never done it. The only problem I'D be concerned with would be using a powder charge that is too light and getting a jacketed bullet stuck in the barrel somewhere. If you plan to launch these from a 6" or longer barrel, a middlin' charge of 2400 might be what's needed. JMO.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 11:19 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RdHwk45Colt View Post
I've never done it. The only problem I'D be concerned with would be using a powder charge that is too light and getting a jacketed bullet stuck in the barrel somewhere. If you plan to launch these from a 6" or longer barrel, a middlin' charge of 2400 might be what's needed. JMO.
Actually that was exactly what I was thinking...middlin' 'n higher...but I will be careful all the way, mindful of squibs, wary of high pressure signs.

This ought to be a fun venture, the more I think of it!
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Old March 11th, 2012, 05:51 AM   #9
 
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My question would be about if the .38 special brass is strong enough to take a .357 powder charge. I don't know if the manufacturers use different grades of material in the two types of case.The Lyman 45th edition, yes I know it's old, says it is not a safe idea, that the shorter case will increas the pressure. In the end, the overall length might be what dicides the issue for you.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnD13 View Post
My question would be about if the .38 special brass is strong enough to take a .357 powder charge. I don't know if the manufacturers use different grades of material in the two types of case.The Lyman 45th edition, yes I know it's old, says it is not a safe idea, that the shorter case will increas the pressure. In the end, the overall length might be what dicides the issue for you.
I'm taking an educated guess that the bullet seated further out would increase the case capacity and help with the pressure concerns.

I would never seat it at the first crimp, using 38 brass, as I already do in full house 357 loads (in 357 brass). I think the shorter case would increase the pressure if the bullet is seated deeper, or seated as one would in the 357 brass. I'm thinking from base of bullet to bottom of inside of shell being near equivalent by crimping in second groove may alay some of those concerns.

But I will proceed with excrutiating caution nonetheless. I am only in the "mulling it over" stage and in no rush to do this.

Any one else lurkin' on this post with any thoughts or ideas?

Last edited by deerhearse; March 11th, 2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerhearse View Post
Just curious...and I've been reloading for about 20 years (and have been reloading the 180 grain XTP routinely in .357 brass), but wondered if one could use 38 special brass, crimp further back in the second groove, still have as much room for a magnum load, and have a round that would chamber in a .357 but NOT in a .38 Special gun?


Any thoughts?
Is there a reason as to why you want to do this or is it just because you can? I can't see a legitimate reason for using a shorter case then seating the bullet shallower so you end up with the same case capacity other than you have a bunch of .38 cases layin' around with nuttin' else to do with them. Many folks recommend against cutting .357 cases down to .38 special length because the thicker web of the .357 case gives less case capacity than a similar length .38 case. This may also mean that the thinner web of the .38 cases may not hold up to .357 pressures. Me, if it ain't broke, I don't try to fix a problem that ain't there. I know some folks use the shallower crimp groove when loading the 180 XTPs in .38 cases for use in lever carbines as they feed better that way. But those are folks shooting low recoil ammo and not high pressure magnum loads.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 02:58 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR View Post
Is there a reason as to why you want to do this or is it just because you can? I can't see a legitimate reason for using a shorter case then seating the bullet shallower so you end up with the same case capacity other than you have a bunch of .38 cases layin' around with nuttin' else to do with them. Many folks recommend against cutting .357 cases down to .38 special length because the thicker web of the .357 case gives less case capacity than a similar length .38 case. This may also mean that the thinner web of the .38 cases may not hold up to .357 pressures. Me, if it ain't broke, I don't try to fix a problem that ain't there. I know some folks use the shallower crimp groove when loading the 180 XTPs in .38 cases for use in lever carbines as they feed better that way. But those are folks shooting low recoil ammo and not high pressure magnum loads.
Once fired 38's are a dime a dozen, and I have a lot of them.

Plus loading them to the second crimp groove would prevent unintended useage in .38 Special guns.

Plus, I wondered if anyone has tried this, and am curious about working up some loads like this.

Of course I'd probably use a separate .38 crimp die.

But mainly for the sake of expermenting a bit...as safely as possible of course.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 09:54 PM   #13
 
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My 2 cents worth.... I'm far from my mid-life crisis yet but every now and then i like to come up with new loads just for the joy of doing something new to say i can do it, and always to save money or use what i have so i see this as a kindred sprit project... And yes i know guys like Keith blew up guns so we don't have to but i think you can approach this one cautiously and see if it can work on paper first.
.38 spl +P =20,000psi, lowered to 18,500psi
.357 mag, 35,000 psi
Big difference in the potential brass thicknesses.
An internet search revealed more interest in this than i had intially thought, turns out there are applications in leverguns that might choke on a .357 with a 180, but run well with a .38 cased 180 because of the shorter OAL.
I turned up several loads for Bulleseye that generated around 700fps-ish but more to the point of what you were angling towards was a .38 +P load listed at 20,000psi and 895 fps load of 7.5 gr of 2400. No information was given on OAL or seating depth, YMMV, i only present the data as i found on the web, NOT personal experience with this load.
My personal feelings might be to try and make it happen witha powder besides H110, the resistance to downloading as well as the huge amount of friction a 180gr slug will give might lead to a squib.
I hope some of this makes sense and you are met with success in your endeavor!
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Old March 19th, 2012, 09:59 PM   #14
 
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I don't see how you could make it NOT fit in a 38 spl gun.

If the OAL is too long to fit in a 38 spl, it wouldn't fit in a 357 either as both cylinders are the same length.

The only difference between the 2 is, the throats which deal with the length of the brass, not the bullet itself.

So even crimping in a 2nd groove wouldn't make it NOT fit in a 38 spl gun.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #15
 
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I have loaded 357 loads in a 38 case before.As long as the overall length of the round is the same as a 357 load it can be done.Thats how the 357 was developed.Unless you have a truckload of 38 brass and cannot find 357 brass I guess it would be a useful idea.There is a downfall though.Like Yurko said.I have seen some 38's that would chamber a such a round .Better off to keep those loaded in the proper case in my opinion.
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