Saturday, June 08, 2024

Some Reloading and Casting Today

Today I spent some time out in my shop doing some reloading and bullet casting.

First, I loaded 100 rounds of .38 Special consisting of:

  • Lee TL358-158 SWC
  • 3.8 grains of HP-38
  • Mixed brass
  • Servicios Aventuras small pistol primer 
This is a nice, mild shooting load for informal target shooting or plinking.

This is my first time using the SA primers, which I bought from Norma USA a couple months ago. They are made in Argentina. I used my Frankford Arsenal hand primer and they all seated easily in my brass, which has been loaded several times. I've read elsewhere that they may be a little harder to seat if your brass has tight primer pockets. I'll post a follow up after I shoot them, and assuming they work without issues, I'll probably use up the 3K that I bought before dipping any further into my supply of Aguila, CCI, Federal, and Winchester small pistol primers.

After loading the .38s I broken in the Lee Pro 4 20lb. casting pot I picked up last month using MidwayUSA's birthday pricing. I cast up a couple hundred of the aforementioned Lee SWCs, this time using 1:16 tin:lead alloy from Rotometals. Compared with the softer alloy I've used with this mold previously, I should be able to drive these bullets a little faster without leading.

I was pleased with the Lee pot. Unlike their smaller 10 lb. pot the valve didn't clog. However, the handle gets much warmer. The next time I use it I'll probably raise it on a couple of 4x4s, so I don't need to bend over as much to see underneath.

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