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New to USPSA revolver—tips and resources for a newcomer?


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17 hours ago, mchapman said:

Good luck on ordering, Bayou, and Blue bullets have a 8 to 12 week lead time. Bang and Clang 145's are in stock now.

 

Happily, I think I have enough Berry's to take me through the end of the season—I can handle a few months of waiting once October rolls around, especially depending on how long Starline's lead time is right now.

 

11 hours ago, Lesliet said:

Using the Redding neck sizer/beller and their competition bullet seater, I am able to get all the coated bullets and my own handcast ones to seat without any shaving.

 

Good tip! I wonder how much of it's the expanding die and how much is the seating die? I only have four holes on my Lee Turret. It would be easy to replace the seating die, but not so straightforward to swap the expanding die, which is also the Lee powder dispenser die.

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20 hours ago, Fishbreath said:

I kind of like Eggleston's choose-your-own-adventure colors, in that around-145gr space, but I had a hard time getting my press to seat my SNS Casting coated bullets without shaving.

For coated bullets without a crimp groove or plated without a cannelure, are you guys doing a taper crimp, or just a light roll? I have the .38 and 9mm Lee factory crimp dies, so I have options.

100% taper crimp 

for loading short colts I use all  9mm dies except for a 38 size die. there is plenty of case tension to keep the bullets from creeping during recoil. and as a added benefit taper crimping works the brass less so I get more reloads before the mouths crack. 

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20 hours ago, Fishbreath said:

I kind of like Eggleston's choose-your-own-adventure colors, in that around-145gr space, but I had a hard time getting my press to seat my SNS Casting coated bullets without shaving.

For coated bullets without a crimp groove or plated without a cannelure, are you guys doing a taper crimp, or just a light roll? I have the .38 and 9mm Lee factory crimp dies, so I have options.

100% taper crimp 

for loading short colts I use all  9mm dies except for a 38 size die. there is plenty of case tension to keep the bullets from creeping during recoil. and as a added benefit taper crimping works the brass less so I get more reloads before the mouths crack. 

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I've been shooting the same batch of 38 special cases since I started this 8 years ago. I haven't lost that many to case mouth cracks considering how many reloads I have on those 2000 or so cases.

--
Pat Jones
Firestone CO
USPSA #A79592

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4 hours ago, Fishbreath said:

I wonder how much of it's the expanding die and how much is the seating die? I only have four holes on my Lee Turret. It would be easy to replace the seating die, but not so straightforward to swap the expanding die, which is also the Lee powder dispenser die.

  I use a Hornady LnL, which has 5 stations.  That competition seating die does not crimp, so there has to be a separate crimp die.  ( I also do the taper crimp, on .45acp for revo) .  I think part of the shaving problem is due to seating dies that start crimping as they come down, I just never could get that to work right on coated lead. My solution to the limited number of stations is just to pre-process the brass; first time through is to deprime, size, expand, flare.  I wash in between the processing and the loading, and get very shiny new looking brass, which I find deeply satisfying.  Priming off press gives me good control of the seating depth. Don't mean to derail your thread with reloading stuff, but it did seem pertinent. 

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27 minutes ago, Lesliet said:

Don't mean to derail your thread with reloading stuff, but it did seem pertinent. 

 

Not at all! It's a big part of the game. I appreciate the input—your diagnosis of the seater trying to do crimping matches my findings exactly, and as far as I've seen is a known critique of the Lee seating die.

 

Maybe I'll invest in the RCBS die this offseason. Right now, I'm running Lee sizing, expanding/powder, seating, and crimping dies, so changing seating only is dead easy. If that doesn't do it, I could always swap the RCBS expander for the sizing die and do sizing in my prep turret.

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Woo!  First match with the revolver, today. Just a little outlaw steel, with some really cool stages, down in Eugene, Oregon. Had a few rough stages, and a really good last stage, beat a few of the autoloader guys on the last one. Takeaways for further work:  Keep practicing reloads under stress, and work on D/A trigger control for long range/ small targets. Overall, pretty happy. Got some discussion in with one of the "really good" guys, who also happened to be very into revolvers, who gave me some tips on polishing the channels inside the frame for smoother trigger action. Shot my first "Texas Star", as well... and didn't miss any. Was really glad to be shooting major loads at 187 pf!  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Beating semi-auto shooters is a great feeling. I'm not yet to the stage where I'm beating very many more of them than the really-super Super Seniors and children, but I'm getting there!

 

I had a few questions on .38 Short Colt reloading over in the reloading forum, and figured I'd link them here for added visibility.

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Leaning pretty hard toward a Ruger super gp100 in 9mm, as an 8 shot gun for steels and USPSA. I really like the idea of the 627, but I think that will have to wait a bit, as all the additional costs for tooling up to do .38 S&W/.357/.38 Short Colt will need a bit more saving up for. Of the problems with the 929 and the super gp, I think I'd rather work on the Ruger... Seems like with some trigger work, and opening up/chamfering the cylinder a bit, it could be a winner. 

  Until then, I'll do my best with this 625, seems like this gun has a lot to teach me.  :) 

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Why shoot the Ruger and have to find accessories that don't exist yet, like an extended cylinder release and decent springs?  I love the 929.  Easy to find add-ons and the trigger on the Smith can be brought down to around 4 pounds after using an Apex firing pin.  Not much different but 6.5 is the lightest I've heard of getting the Ruger.  YMMV.

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For me? Hipsterism, for one. I don't want to be shooting the same thing everyone else is. I find it boring.

 

For another, reliability—for every revolver shooter I've met who loves their 929, I've heard from another one who found it persnickety and ultimately deeply frustrating.

 

Parts availability is still a bit of a bummer, but with the Hogue extended cylinder release coming, there won't be anything I think is desperately needed. (If Hogue is slow in getting it done, I may 3D-print a prototype and have Shapeways make me one...) Springs aren't hard to find, either.

 

10 hours ago, Lesliet said:

the additional costs for tooling up to do .38 S&W/.357/.38 Short Colt

 

If it's just for competition, you don't need to worry about tooling for much more than Short Colt. Now that I'm in the middle of making the switch, I realize I probably should have done so sooner.

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Probably the biggest expense I see with the Short Colt is brass.   Short Colt isn't something I've ever seen just laying around on the range, and the Starline stuff runs about 160-170 per thou. Not the end of the world, certainly, but I've already got mad quantities of 9mm luger, and I don't feel I'm at a level yet that justifies a need for new matching headstamp 9mm brass. Strangely enough, on the .45 ACP for my 625, The brass that makes the best rounds for throwing into the gun in moons is the Blazer small primer stuff.  Loads real easy on the press, too, I expect the walls are substantially thinner than the Federal Match brass of which I have large quantities. Second best has been all the range pickup that we're told never to use. ( mostly a mix of Blazer and Winchester.)  I haven't even chamfered the cylinder, yet.  (Tools are on the way.)  Pretty sure I'll get a 627 at some point, there's always a "next gun" on the horizon, but for now, it's the Ruger. Hoping it will be as strong as it's reputed to be, so I don't wear it out too fast.  :)  

 

   I'm thinking if there's not an extended cylinder release available when I get the Super GP, I will probably fabricate one using a replacement stock release, and TIG welding an extension on, followed by a bit of shaping. @Fishbreath, if you end up getting one made, might as well make a few, and sell the extras, eh?  I'd be interested....

 

  Looks like the local ICORE match is on for this Saturday! Wasn't sure, what with the brief range closure for fire related reasons, so I'm pretty stoked about that. 

  

   

 

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1 minute ago, Lesliet said:

Hoping it will be as strong as it's reputed to be, so I don't wear it out too fast.  :)  

 

I have zero concern about that with my .357 Super GP—the thing's built like a tank.

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In other news, my BMT mooner came in this week.  Man, that tool is a thing of beauty, and it's a lot easier on the hands than the other style of tools.  I've got 175 moons, so far, so it was taking a bit of time and effort to load/unload as needed.  The new tool makes it super easy both loading and unloading, less wear and tear on my perpetually sore weak side thumb.   At some point, I'll probably want something fancier than the Ranch moons, but these seem ok for now. Hoping the plated 230 grain rn bullets will be back in stock, soon!

 

  Been practicing reloads. ( 6 shots in dryfire, eject an expended moon, reload dummy rounds with no primers and fire 6 more times)I saw a video recommending  letting the moon have some air between where you let go, and where it flies into the chamber seems to work well. 

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