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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear fellow member,

I was out at our range late last year, on what would turn out to be the last trip before winter set in. Once again, I forgot my zip lock bags for my brass. I went over to the trash can to see if there was an empty ammo box I could use, and that's when i found the little gift you left me.

I did not expect to lift up the torn paper targets and see a plastic ammo tray with 50 rounds of .357 brass. Wait a minute. Those primers are still live! Ammo fairy!

I pulled one cartridge from the tray and a quick inspection revealed why you tossed them. Looks like you took up reloading and still need to work on your technique. First let me say that throwing live ammo in the trash isn't really cool dude. Maybe you noticed the barrel is half full of ash? That's right, they burn those barrels. Now the guy who volunteers to do that is used to an occasional "dud" going off, but a whole box of 50? It's a bit much don't you think? Plus he's like 100 years old so cut the guy some slack...anyways...

It was apparent you failed to crimp your rounds. I won't rag on you for seating them so deep as I've played around with that myself just out of curiosity (FYI it didn't improve anything for me). What with that big funnel left on the case mouth I imagine they wouldn't chamber in your revolver. All you had to do was take them home and crimp them a bit and they would have worked. I would have done that on what you left me here except, given you've already made some questionable decisions in this endeavour, I wasn't going to chance it. Really not sure about your powder selection and charge. I figured I take them home and use the old whack-a-mole bullet puller and hey, I got free .357 brass!

So as I pulled them all I got to thinking it would be such a waste to de-prime cases with good primers. So I just removed the decapping pin from my dies when I resized them, so I saved your primers too. I dug out an old set of steel .38 dies so I wouldn't have to disturb my Dillon setup. I'm only loading one box. I set the dies up in my little single stage press.

I was going to toss the bullets into my "melt this crap" bucket, but after saving the primers I started to think about maybe just reloading the pulled bullets. They really weren't beat up except for a little mark on the nose on a few of them. If all I had to supply was the powder it would be an almost free box of ammo!

In keeping with this trying to keep this simple, I decided I'd just scoop the powder with my Lee powder scooper. I have some 800X I've been wanting to try and I found a combination that worked well with the dipper. People dismiss dippers, but it's just a volume measure like a powder measure, and with proper technique just as accurate.

So what we have here is how your recycled rejects shot, after I disassembled and reassembled with a new powder charge. Worked out pretty well I think. The square target was the first five rounds. I guessed at the sight adjustment and hit it pretty close. Then I shot the rest up at the two circle targets. I was shooting offhand, at the ten yard range because it was the driest. You know how muddy it gets out there. Anyway I just wanted to show you how things can be undone, so don't be so fast to throw things in the trash.


Thanks again,
Glenwolde
 

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Nice shootin' oh and a nice read also:)
 
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Excellent! My unknown powders go in the garden, for the wife's tomatoes.
 

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But, but, but how did that happen? Reloading is so easy, there is nothing to it, just buy the equipment and go at it. It must have been because of faulty equipment, yah, that's the ticket.
 
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Sounds like someone new to reloading needs a mentor.

I knew an older gentleman years ago in Dayton Ohio that offered to help me get set up in reloading.

I should have made the time and started reloading then as I do not know anyone in my area now that reloads well enough to get an offer like that again.
 
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Nothings better than to take advantage when opportunity happens, Thanks for the sweet story Glen. I'm guessing the guy who did the loading job was using a die that seated the bullet and crimped it simultaneously. He got 50% right... and 100% wrong.
 

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Nice find, I recycle all the live ammo I find at the range. Most of it appears to be factory rounds that hit the ground and were never picked up. I pull them all dump the powder in my mixed powder container resize and reload. I save the misc bullets and use them to make snap caps. Now if I had 50 bullets all the same, I would reload those and shoot them.
 
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I always have a pair of gloves along just for digging in the trash at the range. Why not? lots of people throw perfectly good brass away once fired. So many people don't dispose of it in the "Brass Bucket" that the club recycles so I can have anything in the trash. I take it home and polish it and bag it in calibers, use the ones I use and trade the others. I'm just being eco-friendly.
 

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Good job Glen! I would have done exactly the same thing you did. No only just for the free ammo value, but just cause I like taking a little project like that and making things right. Excellent read.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sounds like someone new to reloading needs a mentor.

I knew an older gentleman years ago in Dayton Ohio that offered to help me get set up in reloading.

I should have made the time and started reloading then as I do not know anyone in my area now that reloads well enough to get an offer like that again.
I encourage you to give it a go on your own. All of the required information is readily available. I learned on my own and it wasn't a big deal. I made one mistake on my first box. I was using steel dies and lubing the cases. I failed to clean the oil out of the sizing die before I started and the first case I ran in it squeegeed all the oil into the case....squib! pfffft!

The .38/.357 is an especially forgiving cartridge. In all the many combinations of bullets and powders that I've tried over the decades I can't recall one that I would call horrible. The most common error new reloaders make with it is to over-crimp, which bulges the case and makes it difficult or impossible to chamber.

Whoever tossed this ammo didn't try very hard. There's only a gazillion articles / posts / videos on how to load the .38/.357 with a 158 gr SWC. Even though it's not as popular as it once was, I bet it's still one of the most reloaded rounds.

What galled me was he quit.
 

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I love it when a plan comes together...yours..not theirs.

You took the elderly trash burners lemons and made lemonade!
 
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