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matteekay

Moon clips hanging up - AKA what am I doing wrong in the loading process?

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Howdy!

 

I've been reloading and using the following load in my last few ICORE and USPSA matches (shooting a 627 with RSC moons):

 

- 160gr BBI roundnose (.358 coated lead)

- 3.7gr of HP-38

- Federal brass

 

It shoots well, but I've been having a problem with the moonclips hanging up when I reload. They will drop in all the way and then freeze a millimeter or two from the bottom. I have to push the moon with my thumb to get it seated so I can close the cylinder. Needless to say, this isn't the quickest reload, ha. It seems to get worse as the gun heats up, as well.

 

I wasn't having these issues when I was using Berry's plated 158's (sized .357) so I'm wondering if that slight tolerance change, coupled with something in my reloading process, is the culprit. Could I be flaring the case mouth too much and not removing enough when crimping? I'm using a taper crimp that's right on the edge of where I'm comfortable with coated bullets (leaves a faint ring in the coating but doesn't cut it).

 

Thanks!

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? Do they drop when your doing your ammo/ moonclip check

358work great in both of my 627's so I'm wondering were the last bullets you used at a different OAL?

Have you brushed/cleaned your cylinder since the switch of bullets, there may be a carbon ring left in the cyl. that is holding thing up, brush it out just to be sure.

 

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357 or 38 Special?

Clip thickness: .020", .022", or .025"?

Edited by Taroman

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15 minutes ago, Daniele said:

358 seems me too much and maybe too deeper in the case.

 

I think .358 is pretty standard for lead bullets in a .357 gun. 

 

2 minutes ago, jcc7x7 said:

? Do they drop when your doing your ammo/ moonclip check

358work great in both of my 627's so I'm wondering were the last bullets you used at a different OAL?

Have you brushed/cleaned your cylinder since the switch of bullets, there may be a carbon ring left in the cyl. that is holding thing up, brush it out just to be sure.

 

 

The Berry's and BBI's are pretty close. I just measured them and the BBI's are .73 and the Berry's are .69 . I've been loading them to the same OAL.

 

I've cleaned the gun several times since the transition and I always scrub the cylinders, but I guess it's possible there's still some buildup. 

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13 minutes ago, Taroman said:

357 or 38 Special?

Clip thickness: .020", .022", or .025"?

 

.38 Special, .025"

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If they drop in OK with a clean gun then your powder is the problem. Need to find a cleaner powder.

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Clean your cylinder real well.  Use your bronze brush and a good liquid.  Best to mount the brush in a drill and let it spin for a few seconds.   This will insure your carbon buildup is gone.

 

Check your crimp and make sure it hasn't changed.  Hopefully you are using a taper crimp instead of a roll crimp.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Bosshoss said:

If they drop in OK with a clean gun then your powder is the problem. Need to find a cleaner powder.

 

I actually don't know that build-up is the issue. I just dropped a bunch of moons using the same ammo and dirty gun that I was last night and they fell straight in. I hate it when there isn't a clear cause of the symptoms, lol. I'm going to de-moon and re-moon a bunch of that ammo and see if I can find one that won't drop.

 

5 minutes ago, AzShooter said:

Clean your cylinder real well.  Use your bronze brush and a good liquid.  Best to mount the brush in a drill and let it spin for a few seconds.   This will insure your carbon buildup is gone.

 

Check your crimp and make sure it hasn't changed.  Hopefully you are using a taper crimp instead of a roll crimp.

 

 

 

I'll give the cylinder a good scrubbing. Typically I use a bronze brush with Hoppes #9 Bore Scrubber and then clean it out with a Bore Snake with a bit of oil on the tail end.

 

Yeah, can't roll crimp with the coated bullets. Honestly, I wish someone made a 158 with the same profile and a cannelure. 

 

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I have experienced the best success using RP Brass with the 160gr BBI and a roll crimp.  Prior to a match I drop and spin check every moon clip, on the rare occasion when one does not fall all the way in the cause is usually a bent moon clip. I have used this  this brass exclusively for the past 15 years in my 627s, in my guns FC and Winchester brass does not consistently drop in all the way when reloading.

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Take one round and drop it into each hole one at a time to see if there is a dimensional problem. Might be just one is a tad undersized. 

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Good thought. I'm going to do some experimentation before cleaning and see if I can reproduce the problem and then test a few things with the offending rounds (trying each one in each cylinder individually, trying a different moonclip, etc).

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I had the same issue with my 929 and ended up getting a shockbottle 100 rd chamber checker and check every bullet that comes off the press.

The loaded moonclip checker is still a PIA, as if you have an issue, you need to find the one bullet that's F'ing everything up !

I also wasn't crimping my coated bullets enough and after giving them a bit more crimp, my issues have been solved.

I still check every round in the shockbottle anyway, as I use the same loads in my CZ bottom feeders.

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10 hours ago, matteekay said:

Yeah, can't roll crimp with the coated bullets. Honestly, I wish someone made a 158 with the same profile and a cannelure.

 

Eggleston lists a 148 on their website.

 

http://www.egglestonmunitions.com/shop.html#!/38-357-148gr-3-000-Count-Bulk-Pack/p/77695788/category=10873435

 

I plan to try so some later this summer when I finish up my last box of plain lead.

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I just checked and I definitely have less of a crimp/taper on the lead than I do on the plated. I didn't have the calipers handy but my thumb could feel a difference in the profile. Just for kicks, I put some of the offending rounds into a Comp III speedloader and tried to insert them into my 14-3 (which has no chamfer on the charge holes). It was like ramming them into a wall until I wiggled them into *just* the right spot.

 

Could that be it, then? These are a little less crimped/tapered and they're binding on carbon buildup (or something else) deeper into the cylinder? They drop in with little resistance individually but maybe clipping them together causes a snowball effect that's hanging up the moon.

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39 minutes ago, PatJones said:

 

Eggleston lists a 148 on their website.

 

http://www.egglestonmunitions.com/shop.html#!/38-357-148gr-3-000-Count-Bulk-Pack/p/77695788/category=10873435

 

I plan to try so some later this summer when I finish up my last box of plain lead.

 

 

Hey Pat! You still in Production mode or are you coming back to the wheelgun side soon?

 

Missouri Bullet Co sells that same profile. I wasn't sure if that lip in front of the cannelure would be problematic but at least it's more rounded than the case mouth is.

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On the 627? Yes. Again, they drop in fine all the down until the last few millimeters. 

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I have found that mine start to do that after I have shot them in practice awhile and (the point being) they are a tiny bit bent. They bend from loading/unloading, dropping on the ground, etc. If I straighten them a little they go back to dropping fine. If I don't and they bend further, I start to see an occasional misfire. Might be carbon buildup and bent moons combined. Sounds like some little thing. Hope you find it soon. Good shooting...

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I found even in my bottom feeders this would happen.  I presently use an EGW U-die and don't have this problem any longer.  If I do I take one round at a time off untill it drops in.  That round usually was buldges more towards base

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Great advice guys, thanks! The most frustrating thing has been my inability to reproduce the problem. During the match, almost half the moons had this problem. After, I couldn't get a single one to do it, and I was attempting it with the same moons and ammo from the same batch. I didn't even clean the gun, and tried heating the cylinder with a heat gun before loading to see if that factored in. No dice. 

 

I'll have to see if it happens at ICORE next weekend and try to retain the offending moonclip if it does.

 

I'm very interested in that U-Die. I'll have to look into ti.

Edited by matteekay

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Something other than load/crimp/moons to check - technique.  I noticed a had to push/jiggle in a couple reloads at a match.  I happened to have my brother there who videotaped that stage.  When I watched the video, I noticed on those reloads I didn't have the gun near as vertical as I thought it was when I was dropping the moon.  So the moons would hang up just a bit.  That crazy timer beep at the match explains the rushing and not getting the cylinder in the right position for the drop.  And it also explains your indication of the same loads/moons dropping in the same dirty gun after the match.  Answer - it's the beep's fault.  But dry firing and being mindful of this under match pressure can help too.

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Hey Pat! You still in Production mode or are you coming back to the wheelgun side soon?


I'll be at the ICORE Rocky Mountain regional. Other than that, I'll be in production mode thru iron sight nationals. Probably back to Revo after that.

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1 hour ago, one-gun said:

Something other than load/crimp/moons to check - technique.  I noticed a had to push/jiggle in a couple reloads at a match.  I happened to have my brother there who videotaped that stage.  When I watched the video, I noticed on those reloads I didn't have the gun near as vertical as I thought it was when I was dropping the moon.  So the moons would hang up just a bit.  That crazy timer beep at the match explains the rushing and not getting the cylinder in the right position for the drop.  And it also explains your indication of the same loads/moons dropping in the same dirty gun after the match.  Answer - it's the beep's fault.  But dry firing and being mindful of this under match pressure can help too.

 

VERY good point, I always shoot video so I'll play that back. The only thing that makes me think it wasn't just me is that I had to push the clips in against stiff resistance. I don't think I could have borked the reloads that badly on my own, ha!

 

28 minutes ago, PatJones said:

 


I'll be at the ICORE Rocky Mountain regional. Other than that, I'll be in production mode thru iron sight nationals. Probably back to Revo after that.

 

 

Awesome, I'll see you at regionals. Good luck with the bottom feeder!

Edited by matteekay

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SOLVED! BossHoss gets a cookie. Or points. Or however we score this, lol.

 

I went back and watched the videos from the match. I'd remembered the chambering problems starting on the first COF but they didn't (beyond one clip needing a tiny push, which happens sometimes regardless). I didn't have real issues until COF #3, when the gun was toasty and apparently very dirty. So, I looked the gun over, and found what looks to me like an excessive amount of powder all over everything:

 

IMG_20170522_2145442_zpsezqxw5kd.jpg

 

IMG_20170522_2145528_zps7cmvz4kr.jpg

 

IMG_20170522_2146204_zpsrva7nlnp.jpg

 

The gun was cleaned before the match and I shot less than 100 rounds. This is also a week later and I've handled it a bunch since then, so it was probably even worse the night of..

 

Then the last piece clicked into place - I changed powders at the same time I changed bullets, going from 700-X to HP-38. I didn't think that HP-38 is a dirty powder, and I'm at max load with it for this bullet, but clearly something is off. Should I try upping the charge? I've also been toying with switching to Solo 1000.

Edited by matteekay

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