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Hello All

Some entry level qa's. I have most of what I need to get started. I will be hand loading 38 special (357 magnum once I get the 38 down) and 32 S&W long and eventually 327 magnum. I will be starting with 38 first. Looking at a light target load 124 grains. I was curious since 38 and 9mm are both .355 to .357 of an inch can you load 9mm in a 38 casing to shoot through a revolver? I can find FMJ bullets in 9mm all day which I prefer to shoot, however can't find them in 38 special (except for at crazy prices). I am wondering since the diameters are almost identical if the 9mm's FMJ's are "cross over" bullets you can use when hand loading 38 special

I need to get bullets next. I have been looking at different bullets: 1.Georgia Arms (124 grain) cast lead .357/125GR round nose flat point #2 Lyman alloy, brinell hardness of 18 wax lubed and sized, or 2. possibly the copper jacketed Ranier (Lead Safe) 125 grain flatnose (.357 diameter). The Georgia Arms bullets cost about half the cost of the Rainier, however both are doable for my budget. I will go with the copper coated if this is less evasive to remove as apposed to lead.

My biggest concern is the wear and tear on the revolver copper coating v.s. waxed lead? Which is harder to correct: copper fouling or leading?

What is the technique to measure the bore of a revolver? I have three different revolvers that I will be hand loading for: M617, M85, M327

Where is a good place to get calipers? I still need calipers and a scale. I am trying to stick to rudimentary equipment for right now since I am quite cash strapped. I would like basic, durable and functional.

Thank You
 

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I'm not sure where you are but Georgia Arms sets up at gunshows down here in Northern Florida and I get my bullets, powder, scales, calipers, etc from them when they come around. I'm new to reloading myself, so I'm not much help with your other questions.
 

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Usually you can load 9mm bullets into .38/.357 cases, but there's two problems. Sometimes, depending on your dies, the slightly smaller bullet may not be held firmly by the case. You need to check to be sure it's held tight by pushing on the bullet in a loaded round. Obviously it shouldn't push into the case. The second problem is accuracy. It's unlikely you'll get good accuracy with the undersized bullet.

If you use lead, stick with .358 diameter bullets. The undersized lead bullet will increase leading from gas blowing by the bullet while it's traveling down the bore.

Start with the jacketed. Leading is not a big deal, but it's more trouble then jacketed / plated bullets. Work your way up to that, unless cost is a factor.

Google "slugging a barrel", and you can get inexpensive calipers lots of places. Mine were $30 on ebay.
 

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I happen to have a .380 auto and 9mm cartridge here.
The .380 bullet measure 8.98mm dia. and the 9mm measures 9.02mm.
So a 9mm bullet should fit a .380 case, but it will be a tight fit.

I bought my steel calipers at O'Reilly's Auto, it was on sale for $16.
Try AutoZone or Advance Auto or NAPA, you should be able to find calipers at one of them.
 

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well for practice rounds I use Raniers almost exclusively and push some laodings to 1200 FPS with no fouling or problems with extra cleaning.
the one problem that i see with using a 9mm (355 projectile) in a revolver is that typically you will not have crimp groove, so the possibility of projectile setback could be a problem. additionally i find that diameter of the projectile has little to do with cost, more the weight of the projectile and so the amount of material used to make it.
wear and tear??
well i assume that your weapons have steel barrels so copper or lead is not likely to wear out your gun!
as to loading the 327 mag, well save your brass as i don't think commercially new brass is available for that caliber?
32 H & R magnum brass is.
 

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I happen to have a .380 auto and 9mm cartridge here.
The .380 bullet measure 8.98mm dia. and the 9mm measures 9.02mm.
So a 9mm bullet should fit a .380 case, but it will be a tight fit.

I bought my steel calipers at O'Reilly's Auto, it was on sale for $16.
Try AutoZone or Advance Auto or NAPA, you should be able to find calipers at one of them.
typically 380 and 9 MM projectiles are considered as fully interchangable!
both are basically .355 bores, but weapons differ in the actual bore size from maufacture to manufatcure and so thats just a close size.
the only really limiting factor in exchanging the projectiles is to much weight for the 380 ( like a 355 in 147 grain) or to short of a projectile for the 9 MM, say a short 70-80 grain projectile that would be so short in the 9 mm case as to be unstable and possibly not feed from the magazine of the 9 MM.
 

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OK. Number 1 thing to do - get a couple of reloading manuals and read them through!!! Then start looking for equipment.

As far as the .38 Special/.357 Magnum versus the 9mm, the 38/357 shoot a 0.357 inch round and the 9's shoot a nominal 0.355 inch round. You can use the 9mm bullets but they may not shoot as accurately.

Get the manuals. Don't reload without them! :)
 
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As posted, it can, and has, been done. The only two problems you may face will be 1, not enough neck tension, and 2, leading in a revolver from bullets being undersized for the throats.

If I was going to go with one bullet for both, I would go with a .38 bullet that also works in 9MM. The Powerbond 125 Gr HP will work in 9MM. Pretty well too.

With lead your barrel will last virtually forever. With plated, it will probably still outlast you, unless you shoot a great deal, as in IDPA once a month for life.

In general, leading is harder to clean out. Copper is no big deal. A good bore cleaner and a few minutes will take care of it.

I have some nice Brown & Sharp and Mitutoyu dial calipers, but my eyes are not as good as they once were, so I bought a digital caliper from Harbor Freight here in town. They go on sale all the time and work great. Some folks were keeping them in the box they came in, but found they were getting turned on when shutting the case and killing the battery. I keep my caliper out of the case and battery life is very good.
 

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If you plan on casting, you'd probably be fine with using the same bullet in each. I cast 124gr bullets for 9mm, and they come out a bit oversize, so I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die to size them down once they're loaded up. I've recently tried them in .38 special, but since I didn't have a FCD or another kind of full-length sizer, they were a bit too big and tended to chamber a little roughly. They still went downrange just fine, though. Once I get a sizer die, I'll be in business.
 

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I got my scale and calipers off of Amazon really great price and they function fine and are accurate!
 

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Calipers? Harbor freight. Northern Tool. Ebay/Amazon ETC.....

Scale? Ebay/Amazon. Or choose from a very big list of reloading suppliers. I have one reccomendation. Do NOT get the Lee safety scale. It is very hard for someone who is new to reloading to deal with it. It's the reason I sold it.

Technique to measure the bore of the revolver? Im assuming you mean for lead. Well, Some people told me they use sinkers with a generous amount of lube or something of the sorts to push the sinker thru easier. Use a wooden dowel to push thru and measure it with calipers. I know it was something like that. Wait for someone who has been casting to tell you a better way.

Copper fouling VS Leading. Well....If you have the correct hardness and barrel to bullet fit, You probably wont get any leading if at all. If you do, You need to use a Tornado Brush/ Copper scrub or anything else made to help the process. I had to clean out the lead in my gun before. It leaded horribly at the muzzle. It took me a serious 10 minutes to get most out of it out. I used a lead cloth remover and a quite a bit of Hoppes#9 and a bit of elbow grease to get it out.

I much prefer copper to deal with.......But that is because my barrel to bullet fit was wrong. YMMV

Bullets? There is plenty of places for them! Rainers like you mentioned is one. You can also check out Berrys bullets. If you wanna try 'pulled' bullets, I suggest Rocky Mountain Reloading
Used him a few times and has always been helpful. You can also try Missouri Bullet Company for lead. Berrys is like Rainer, There both plated bullets. One thing is that Rainer says to use lead data while Berry says to use low to mid range jacketed data for their bullet.

As for the bullet thing, Neck tension would be an issue and accuracy probably would go out the window. For what you can buy your bullets sometimes, It isn't worth it. But this is reloading and it is half the fun to just expeirment and what not. Just be careful as to what you do.

Last but not least. GET A MANUAL BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING. READ IT AND UNDERSTAND IT! You be much happier if you know all the information before hand. Check your local library for some. They might have one. If not, They can always place hold on it for you.
 
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