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  • phatcyclist

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    Welcome all, this is the reloading forum. With ammunition prices on the rise, a great deal of people have made a resurgence in the art that is reloading. I personally have been reloading for over a year now for the rifles I have. I currently reload .308 Winchester, 7.62x54R and 7.5x55 Swiss. I will give all the knowledge I have gained in this art in here. I hope that others who reload will share their experiences, and we can make a great knowledge-base of information for all members.
     

    Pappy

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    Only thing I don't reload for is .22 RF and only because I ain't figgered out how to re-prime it. Lol.

    Perhaps you could take strike-anywhere match tips, dissolve in water and paint inside the cleaned rim. Never tried it, but, seems plausible........
     

    Texas1911

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    Perhaps you could take strike-anywhere match tips, dissolve in water and paint inside the cleaned rim. Never tried it, but, seems plausible........

    I would tend to think that wouldn't work. Most primers are compression ignition and a match is lit by friction based heat.

    You could impact some sort of salt soaked in nitroglycerin? Similar to an old blasting cap for dynamite.
     

    LHB1

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    Thought I had already posted in this forum. Must be losing it. Anyway, this is one of my favorite forum topics. Reloading is as much a hobby for me as shooting. I started reloading in 1963 with a Lyman Tong Tool for pistol and upgraded to bench loading presses in 1964 for pistols, rifles, and shotgun. As Phat posted, I reload everything shot in my guns except .22 LR. Even cast my own pistol bullets when I can get old wheel weights. Sources have dried up in last couple of years and for the first time in my life, I had to actually buy bullets for reloading pistols. UGH!!! I now use two Hornady LNL progressive presses, a BAIR H style press, Jones arbor press for bench rest style loading, and Hornady 366 auto progressive press (shotgun). Have also used equipment from CH, RCBS, Lyman, and Redding.

    Good shooting and be safe.
    LB
     

    oldguy

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    I have 40+ years in reloading and still find it "calming"/relaxing and I prefer my reloads over commercial ammo because it is adjusted to each firearm, more accurate, most of my range time is with reduced loads which in my opinion will lengthen the life of the firearm while giving better accuracy.

    If you have patience not easily distracted by tv, kids, spouse I suggest reloading as a cost saving but more as a hobby it is amazing what you can learn about your firearms with reloading.
     

    Peter M. Eick

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    I agree. Reloading is calming, relaxing and not the stress of work. It is a science project and a lot of fun. I enjoy it probably far more then I should!
     

    LHB1

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    Quote: "38/44 High Speed and 38-55 Winchester. Two classics for all time. "

    Pete,
    If you shoot those two calibers, you probably have to reload them. Is factory ammo still available? A friend of mine in the hill country has an old Win lever action in 32-20. I tried to find ammo for her here in Houston and the clerk asked me: "Well, which do you want, 32 caliber or 20 caliber?"
     

    phatcyclist

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    Quote: "38/44 High Speed and 38-55 Winchester. Two classics for all time. "

    Pete,
    If you shoot those two calibers, you probably have to reload them. Is factory ammo still available? A friend of mine in the hill country has an old Win lever action in 32-20. I tried to find ammo for her here in Houston and the clerk asked me: "Well, which do you want, 32 caliber or 20 caliber?"

    Doh! This is a good reason to become educated with firearms.

    *I hit the wrong button trying to quote your post, I didn't actually change anything.*
     

    Pappy

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    Lyman tong tool

    ....I started reloading in 1963 with a Lyman Tong Tool for pistol and......

    LB

    I also started reloading about 1950 with a Lyman tong tool.

    All tho I have newer equipment now, I still prime with that tool.

    A good feeling pushing that primer home by hand.
     

    Peter M. Eick

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    I have not seen any recent 38/44 ammo, but I bought some out of the 30's to test out and shoot. Very interesting to fire. It is a lot like modern 357 magnum ammo.

    38-55's can be had now from several different ammo companies. Since I reload I don't track it, but I know I have seen it in the stores because of the cowboy shooting group.

    As to reloading, yes I do both. My favorite is the 38/44 since it is really what the 38 special should be. I find that 2400 and unique are my current favorite powders.
     

    Pappy

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    I would tend to think that wouldn't work. Most primers are compression ignition and a match is lit by friction based heat.


    As children, we used to take match tips and place them inside a nut and two bolts.
    Take a fat nut and screw a bolt about half way in.
    Place match tip into cavity and screw the other bolt in hand tight.
    Throw against the hard ground and 'BANG'. Like a cap gun.

    Note: Now, upon further reflection, we may have used cap gun caps, can't remember.

    I now see where this becomes dangerous, esp. with a heavier charge. :eek: :eek:
     

    LHB1

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    I also started reloading about 1950 with a Lyman tong tool. All tho I have newer equipment now, I still prime with that tool.
    A good feeling pushing that primer home by hand.

    Don't remember what I did with my old Lyman tong tool. May have thrown it in the trash. I was never so glad to get rid of anything in my life. Mom said we shouldn't use the word "hate", so I will just say that I strongly disliked the Lyman tong tool. ;) I replaced it with a 3 station C-H H-type press. Could mount all three pistol dies at once, pick up an empty case, and 3 strokes of the press later have a completely loaded round. No partial lots of sized only or sized and charged only, etc. And the force/energy it required compared to Lyman tong set was like adding power steering to a truck. Sure made life (and reloading) much easier. The drudgery went out of reloading and it soon became a hobby in itself.
     

    LHB1

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    I have not seen any recent 38/44 ammo, but I bought some out of the 30's to test out and shoot. Very interesting to fire. It is a lot like modern 357 magnum ammo.

    38-55's can be had now from several different ammo companies. Since I reload I don't track it, but I know I have seen it in the stores because of the cowboy shooting group.

    As to reloading, yes I do both. My favorite is the 38/44 since it is really what the 38 special should be. I find that 2400 and unique are my current favorite powders.

    I'd like to see those guns and ammunition sometime. Don't know that I have ever seen/handled .38-55 and certainly haven't seen .38/44. Why is it that one caliber uses a dash and the other uses a slash? Just the normal no-rules for naming calibers?
     

    Peter M. Eick

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    3844_casehead.jpg


    Here is a 38/44 round. It is exactly the same size and shape as a 38 special but is loaded to 357 magnum (of 2008) ballistics. Just think, a high velocity and pressure round you could put into the same gun that could take only low velocity rounds. Liability pretty well made it go away back in the 50's and 60's.

    The guns that shoot the 38/44's are the following:

    11_3844s.jpg


    These are all 38/44's. And yes I have more that are not even photographed yet. I now have pre and post WWII 4" and 6.5" HD's that are not shown and another pre-war OD that is is not shown.

    3ods.jpg


    These are S&W 38/44 Outdoorsman's in the post war (up top) and the pre-war version.

    4_hds.jpg

    These are S&W 38/44 Heavy Duty's. Post war upper right and the rest are pre-wars.

    3_barrel_lengths.jpg


    These are the 3 "common" barrel lengths in the pre-war form. The 4" is said to have between 24 and 80 made and the 6.5" is said to be "less then 10 known". I am not sure what the exact details, but as a collector I am trying to figure it out.

    Back to reloading.

    The 38/44 "high speed" or 38/44 "super police" or a bunch of other 38/44 names all came out around April of 1930 in response to a desire to make a more powerful revolver round to compete with the 38 Super from Colt and as a target round from the stories I have read.

    In December of 1929 the original order to forge up 500 38/44 barrels was made and the first ones started rolling off the line in the first week of April 1930. I now have the lowest serial number 38/44 HD known, and 3 made in the first 3 weeks of production. I have slowly been trying to add to my collection of those original 500 but they are darn hard to find!

    The 38/44 HD was supposed to push a 158 grn lead slug go to about 1125 FPS out of a 5" HD and 1150 out of 6.5" OD. I have heard and read various takes on those velocity numbers all the way up to 1200 fps. My 1937 copy of Phil Sharpe's reloading guide lists the max velocity as 1150 with 11.0 grns of SR80 and a 158 grn slug with a breach pressure of 38,000 psi. That would be a massive overload for a 38 special today and is not recommended. I have been playing for years with 38/44 loads and right now there is a huge discussion about "The Load" with SR 4756 over at S&W forum and at pro-gun forums. Go look there for details because there is so much information out on 38/44 reloading that it is hard for me to keep up on it.

    Let me think about doing the same for the 38-55. It is basically a 30/30 round blown out to a straight case and dates back to the 1890's. It was one of the original rounds for the Win 1894 when it came out. And no the 30/30 was not original. It came out in 1895 after the 38-55 and 32-20 (?) but I am going from memory here. The 38-55 is my only interest.

    Last note, there is also a much older 38/44 round that is smaller and blackpowder era. I don't know much about it.
     
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