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Discussion Starter #1
Probably silly question of the month, but here goes: What is the downside of using 9mm/38Super plated/jacketed bullets (.356" diameter) in 38Special/357Magnum cartridges(normal .357" diameter)? I realize that the bullet is smaller but having read that barrel diameters cal vary more than the difference between the two bullets I'm wondering if it would really make that much difference?

The question came to mind when I was looking for sources of jacketed .357" bullets. The selection of reasonably priced bullets in .357" is pretty limited but there are a lot of choices in .356". Since I reload 9mm and 38 Special, it would be even handier to be able to use the same bullets.

The lack of a cannelure in most of the .356" bullets might be a problem in .35 Magnum loads but I would think a taper crimp would be sufficient to prevent bulet creep with .38 Special target loads.

I'm curious what everyone thinks about this crazy idea before I give it a try.
 

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yep! I would guess accuracy as well.
Now of course in reloading for range rounds I buy bulk, and use plated projectiles.
there really is no diference in price between .355 and .357 projectiles of the same weight, mostly I imagine becuse the same weight takes about the same amount of material to make, shipping is the same way weight determines how much, and of course where its going.
so once that you get a box of .355 and a box of .357 then the cost is the same whether you are replacing 355 or 357 projectiles.
I reload the 380, 9MM, 38 Super, 38 Spl and 357 as well.
I have 100 grainers for 380, 115 & 124 for the 9MM & 38 Super, and then 125 and 158 for the 38 & 357.
I guess if you just want to throw lead down range and don't care about accuracy then you could use a single round for each caliber?
 

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I use some bullets I got a while ago for my .357 with out a cannelure and I usually just crimp enough to remove the flare and add just enough crimp to hold onto it without to much roll crimping as I do not own a taper crimp die for this cartridge.

Also, Finding .357 type bullets is really not that hard.

Rocky Mountain Reloading
TJCONEVERA.COM
www.berrysmfgr.com

Look at the plated bullets known as X-Treme on TJ Conevera website. They do free shipping if your order is more than $45
RMRBullets include shipping in all their bullets. It changes sometimes often sometimes not, So you have to keep looking at them.
Berrys again is plated bullets. They shoot just fine.

Make sure to google each site as I am not sure about the way I spelled them here. The next thing you can do is try to find lead rounds but if you want to use jacketed, I would recommend looking thru each site. Also, Midsouth/Wideners/Midway/ and so on....Heck, Check Dillions website. They might have something.

As for using these rounds in .38/,357 well I am not to sure and I would assume accuracy would suffer as well.
May not hold the bullet correctly and cause them to walk unless you did in fact taper crimp well on to them. But no point in that when you can buy the right size bullet!
Check them out and see what they got.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback. I was as much interested in whether some of the bullet weights/shapes available for 9mm/38Super could be used in a .38 Special load.

I'm primarily just a target shooting plinker, and I've pretty much settled on the 124 gr FMJ/JHP from Delta Precision for 9mm (same price as Berry, but I'll probably try the Berry 124 gr HBRN just because I can) and the Berry's 148 gr HBWC for .38 Special (I don't really enjoy shooting .357 Magnum loads).

I'm also settling on HP-38 as my powder for both, having tried 700-X and Sihouette. I'll keep Trail Boss around for loading a few cast bullets for .38 Special but my Model 65 leads quite a bit with cast bullets (oversized throats) and while it isn't that hard to clean, I really like the plated wadcutters.
 

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Another thing. Whether you like or hate Lee reloading dies, their "Factory Crimp" dies, no matter what caliber, WILL do a proper crimp on even jacketed bullets that don't have the cannelure. Also, they are designed such that if you set them up properly (follow the directions) you will not be able to over-crimp the cartridge.

I know a lot of reloaders that swear at rather than swear by Lee reloading dies, but have a Factory Crimp die for each caliber they reload. The other nice thing is they are usually pretty inexpensive, depending on where you get them. Something to consider, anyway.

I've been teaching reloading for a number of years, and always suggest my students get 'em as they are usually easier to set up correctly than using the crimper built into most bullet seating dies and the learning curve is smaller (read: less destroyed reloads while learning to set it up).
 

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I haven't had any problems using .355/6 for my 38 special rounds.
Didn't seem to impact accuracy..

I haven't purchased bullets a while but I remember it was easier to find and buy 124 gr 9mm than 125 gr 357 bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jim, I am a great supporter of Lee equipment. I use and love my Deluxe Turret Press and always use the FCD (3000 rounds and counting). I even bought an extra 9mm FCD insert, since it is a taper crimp, and shortened it so I can use it on .38 Special reloads with plated bullets and shotshell cartridges. I know it is possible to set the roll crimp of the .38 Special FCD insert to not damage the plating or the shotshell, but it is easier (fewer destroyed reloads) with a taper crimp, particularly since I don't trim brass.

I also bought an extra insert for the bullet seating die and ground it flat to use with HBWC bullets and with Speer shotshell cartridges. The inserts are cheap and readily available direct from Lee or from what was Lee Factory Sales (can't remember their new name).

melloyello - thanks for sharing your experience.
 

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I'll probably try the Berry 124 gr HBRN
It is a great bullet. As long as you get adequate neck tension, it will be fine. I use a taper crimp on plated bullets in .38 Spl and .357 Mag. I have some of the Berrys 124 Gr HBRN, so I could try it. I bet you can get adequate neck tension for light loads. I am like you, I do not care to shoot much full power .357 Mag. I do load up some 85 to 90% stuff to shoot on occasion, but the vast majority of my .357 shooting is light .38 Spl power. A light charge of WST, Clays, or Solo 1000 and a Berrys 125 Gr TrFP, or WST and an X-Treme 158 Gr SWC.

If you try it, let us know how it works. I am not a fan of the FCD, and when we are worried about neck tension, the last thing I would want to do is jeopardize it by squeezing the round. Brass springs back more than lead.
 
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