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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  STORM (Moderator: Major 2)  |  Topic: 38 hollow base bullets ... to cast or buy 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 38 hollow base bullets ... to cast or buy  (Read 3149 times)
Dakota Widowmaker
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« on: October 20, 2008, 07:26:58 pm »


I was wondering if folks know of a source for already case hollow base bullets.

I am going to take the plunge and get a conversion for my Pietta 1851.

I thought about getting a sleaved barrel, but, that is extra cost and hassle I do not need.

Do most folks here shoot 38 long colt or 38 special cases in their conversions?

I think I read a while ago that the hollow base bullets drop just a bit long for using in a 38special case.
(which is why I will likely go with some 38lc cases instead)

I figure on loading up 300-500 of these with 15gr of FFFg GOEX Express after having been pan lubed.
(Winchester small magnum pistol primers)

Comments? Suggestions? Recommendations?
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 08:36:46 pm »

I just use the Speer, Hornady, or Remington swaged hollow based wadcutters.  They are soft lead and bump up to bore diameter OK.  Use .38 Special brass and seat them at what ever length you want.  When I use these, I use Pinnacle, APP, or 777 so the type of lube isn't a problem.
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Dakota Widowmaker
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 09:21:29 pm »

Whats the accuracy like with HBWC 38s in your barrels???
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2008, 11:48:42 pm »

They shoot fine as long as the charge is strong enough to expand the skirt.  Here is one source for hollow base bullets.  http://www.riverjunction.com/catalog/guns/ammunition.html  Only problem with trying to find conical hollow base bullets is that they are usually hand cast from a single cavity mold and are, thus, fairly expensive.  The factory bullets are swaged on commercial machines and are a little cheaper.
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Dakota Widowmaker
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2008, 12:03:26 am »

What OAL should a cartridge be in order to work with either the R&D or the Kirst setups???
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 12:22:42 am »

Packed and ready to head out for a couple of big shoots and a road trip, so I can't remember off hand.  Real easy to determine.  The cylinders are bored straight through.  So, as long as the rounds aren't longer than the cylinder they will work fine.  That's why they are advertised as .38 Long Colt cylinders.  Some .38 Special ammo is to long for the cylinder because they are shorter than a regular .38 Special cylinder because of the backing plate.  However, with the wadcutters there is no nose on the bullet, so getting an acceptable OAL with .38 Special brass is easy.
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Flint
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 01:01:24 am »

I use Remington 148gr. HBWC, as the lube, dirty as it appears to be, shoots cleaner, but gums up the seating die a bit.  The Speer are better in my guns than the Hornady, the Hornady lead the most, I think it's the knurled surface, lets too much raw lead touch the bore.

They shoot very well, even though they are long for the slow roundball twist in the bore, I think the hollow base makes the nose heavy like an arrowhead, and helps stability.

I seat them about 1/16 inch out of the case mouth, both for SASS legality, and to see more quickly that it is a loaded round, not empty.  The Kirst or the R&D cylinder will chamber a 38Special with a wadcutter, but not a round nose bullet.  The 38LC will accept a hollowbase roundnose and fit within the length of the cylinder.  They are available from River Junction Trade Co., as are the Kirst Converters..

One advantage of the swaged HBWC, Speer, REM or Hornady is they are swaged from pure lead, so they expand well to fill the bore.
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The man who beats his sword into a plowshare shall farm for the man who did not.

SASS 976, NRA Life
Los Vaqueros and Tombstone Ghost Riders, Tucson/Tombstone, AZ.
Alumnus of Hole in the Wall Gang, Piru, CA, Panorama Sportsman's Club, Sylmar, CA, Ojai Desperados, Ojai, CA, SWPL, Los Angeles, CA
Rusty Spurr
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 01:05:57 pm »

What OAL should a cartridge be in order to work with either the R&D or the Kirst setups???

If you are using blackpowder, shouldn't you seat the bullet so you are slightly compressing the powder?
To avoid air gaps just like when you are using loose powder and ball in a C&B pistol?

I used smokless with the hollow base bullets from river junction and HBWC's from Speer.
The River Junction Bullets have a rim that you seat flush with the top of the case.

But I had the most accurate HBWC's when they were just below the end of the cylinder.  Just like when I used cap and ball I guess.  Which means they stick out pretty far from the top of the case and with minimum crimp.
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will52100
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 01:33:51 am »

The best accuracy I've found with mine is the 158 grain RNFP cast from a Rapine mould.  I load with swiss 3f black powder and lube the bullets with my home version of SPG.  Works great, only problem is that the mould is a single cavity, read takes a while to cast enough up.  Oh, I use 38 long colt brass and the bullet is a hollow base.  Haven't tried everything out there, but don't like ordering bullets, like to cast up a supply and when I run low cast some more.
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Patrick Henry Brown
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2008, 10:15:12 am »

If you are using blackpowder, shouldn't you seat the bullet so you are slightly compressing the powder?
To avoid air gaps just like when you are using loose powder and ball in a C&B pistol?

I used smokless with the hollow base bullets from river junction and HBWC's from Speer.
The River Junction Bullets have a rim that you seat flush with the top of the case.

But I had the most accurate HBWC's when they were just below the end of the cylinder.  Just like when I used cap and ball I guess.  Which means they stick out pretty far from the top of the case and with minimum crimp.

I agree with Rusty here. I actually seat my Speer HBWC to the same depth that I do with the 158 gr fp and 125 gr. TC rounds that I use in my RM and 1866. That being said, I have an Uberti 1858 in 36 cal with Kirst and a Pietta 1862 Army Police with the Kirst, and both shoot very well at SASS distances with the same 38 loads and bullets that I use in the Uberti RM and 1866. No leading and no real problems.
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Dakota Widowmaker
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2008, 10:53:42 pm »

I just checked my bullets I ordered from RiverJunction...

Guess what, they are 38cal all right. .385" on the driving bands!!! They are .358" on the lube groves!!!

There is no way I can get these to fit into a 38lc case.

DARN IT!!! Gonna have to send them back.

EDIT: I just talked to them and they had some 41LC mixed in the same order from their caster. They are re-shipping me some 38 bullets.

River Junction to the rescue!!!
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