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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Powder Room - CAS reloading (Moderator: Professor Marvel)  |  Topic: .38-40 shoulder question. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: .38-40 shoulder question.  (Read 1387 times)
Baltimore Ed
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« on: June 03, 2017, 09:04:14 pm »


I mentioned this at the tail end of my other thread but thought that I would ask this question in a new thread. My new starline .38-40 brass, crown 180 gr .401 bullets, a set of RCBS dies and a nice Colt New Service revolver have arrived. I think I've set my dies up correctly and loaded 6 rds, they chambered fine but after firing the shoulder has obviously moved forward slightly?? The mty new brass chambers fine as does my resized brass as does my reloads? My powder charge is the same that I use for my .45 lc (200-250) and .44-40 (210) loads, 5.2 grs of Clay Dot. Is .38-40 brass made with a set back shoulder to allow for the differences in rifle-pistol-manufacturers-new-antique chamber sizes? Upon firing it forms to the correct dimension? I reloaded the first 6 rds and the shoulder didn't appear to move from the fired location. This revolver is my only .38-40. Should I be worried or is this normal? Here's my new toy. I ran out of time today so I will check sights and groups tomorrow.


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August
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2017, 10:20:38 pm »

There were no SAMMI standards in 1875.  There is wide variation in the shoulder configuration of the chambers of different firearms.  In other words, the brass will have different shoulder shapes depending on which gun it was fired in.  My pistols and rifles in 38-40 leave the brass in all sorts of configurations.

But, your question is about reloading.  And, here too, the absence of SAMMI standards for 38-40 result in shoulder shapes that vary widely from one die manufacturer to another.

You don't have a problem at the present time, as your brass goes back into your one, and only firearm in 38-40.  But, that will not be the situation in the future as you add new guns in this caliber.

I have three sets of 38-40 dies.  Hornady, Redding, and RCBS.  The only one of the three that sets the shoulder back far enough to work in ALL of my guns is the Hornady.  Often people report that the RCBS dies can be made to work by taking material off of the base of the sizing die, thus affecting the position of the shoulder by being able to run the brass further into the die.  I've not done this personally, but have done it with RCBS dies in .357 sig successfully.

So, your future guns will tell you what you need to do with respect to resizing 38-40.
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2017, 12:41:02 am »

Yep, what you will find with most .38-40s is that when you fire form it in your gun it has a much more distinct shoulder than the tapered new brass.  Perfectly normal.
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Ranch 13
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2017, 07:25:29 am »

Checked your fired cases from the rifle and see if they will chamber in the Colt. Might be such a thing as you'll have to resize for the Colt to shoot in both guns.
 The 3 38-40's that live around here can all use the same reloads.
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Scattered Thumbs
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2017, 10:12:50 am »

Yep, what you will find with most .38-40s is that when you fire form it in your gun it has a much more distinct shoulder than the tapered new brass.  Perfectly normal.
Valid for .44-40 too.
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 12:10:32 am »

Yep, 44-40 is the same.  Black Hils factory ammo (and Starline Cases) are tapered and have no shoulder.  After firing in the Rossi or the two 44-40 Uberti revolvers, they have a pronounced shoulder.  When I reload with my LEE dies (including factory crimp die) they still have a shoulder.

Back in the day when I had an original 38 WCF 1873 and original 38 WCF Colt SAA, both had pronounce shoulders in their chambers.  Brass fired from either, though, would load in either.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 07:32:44 pm »

Thanks for sharing the knowledge. I've had to change my load for my 7.5 inch NS as the Clay dot loads were too hard on my arthritic knuckles. Tried out my 4.5 gr Red Dot load that I use for my.45acp/ar loads. Works great, hits at poa and very manageable recoil. Going to shoot this and my 4 inch .38 spcl NS at my WASA/CAS club's match this month. Talk about the long and short of it.
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 05:52:46 pm »

You might try Trail Boss.  You can get a good load without beating you up.  Try 6 grains...
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 08:24:07 pm »

A very hot WASA/CAS match today but we had a breeze and occasional clouds. My 7.5 bbl 38-40 New Service is a honey of a revolver and .38-40 is a honey of a cartridge. I didn't know if I would like the long bbl but I really do. Very enjoyable to shoot with the lighter load. I had no problems hitting the rifle targets DA. Only one other DA shooter with a pair of New Services used both hands and beat me. I came in second and all the other shooters were cowboys with SAs. We had a very light turnout with only 8 of us but we got through 6 stages a little faster which was a blessing with the heat being what it was.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Powder Room - CAS reloading (Moderator: Professor Marvel)  |  Topic: .38-40 shoulder question. « previous next »
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