Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Reloading For S&w 627


Jay Winfield

Recommended Posts

Gentlemen - I need your advice and help with reloading for my 357 Mag S&W 627. My brother and I both have 627's, I have the regular 5" and he has the V-Comp model. One of the reasons we got the 627's was because of the moonclips and the other was that in Canada pistols must have a barrel greater than 4" or they are classified as prohibited and thus reguire a special permit for which we do not qualify.

To get the most speed out of the moonclips we decided to try plated or jacketed bullets.

We first tried some 125 gr. Remington JHP bullets in Federal cases, CCI 500 primers and 5.3 gr. of WW231. Results were quite good with excellent groups out to 25 meters.

I wanted to use the heavier 158's, longer bearing surface, so we got some West Coast X-treme copper plated 158 gr. RNFP bullets and loaded them in 38 Spl. Federal cases with CCI 500 primers in two lots, one with 4.3 gr. for WW231(minor) and the second with 6.1 gr. of WW231 (major). Both loads produced groups of just over 8" at 10 meters with 6 for the 8 hitting the target sideways, key holeing. These West Coast bullets are extremely hard and measure just over .357", maybe .3572".

We have shot 158 gr. Federal & Remington lead factory loads withh excellent results. The problem with factory lead bullets is the lead fouling and the fact that we can only fire about 75 rds before accuracy really starts to fall off and we have to stop for a major cleaning job.

The guy we get our bulk bullets from keeps recommending 125's however from info I see on this forum most use plated 158's because they work better speed loading with moonclips.

Is it possible that 125's are more accurate than 158's? Any suggestions on a better avenue to take?

Thanks, Jay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay,

I shoot a .38 Colt Short in minor and have found both the costs and the accuracy of these cartridges outweigh the benefits of shooting major. The Starline Brass lasts 16+ reloads and there is alot less wear and tear on my 627. My load is with Montana Gold 130 grain 9mm (yes, .355) with 4.6 gr of Universal Clays and a Federal 100 primer loaded to 1.100" OAL

I developed this load in 1996 and have won 2 USPSA Nats (1998 Open & 1999 Limited) with others shooting the old RPM .38 Super 8 shots in major. The cost of good bullets far exceeds the continual search for "cheap" bullets.

"Why buy a drag car designed to run AA and only put regular gas in it?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay;

I suspect something is happening with the plating on the bullets. If you crimp to heavy you can cut through the plating. Also if you run the bullet too fast the plating could come off. Both could explain the keyholeing.

The plating on plated bullets is REAL thin and can be easily damaged by a number of things. The most common place I see this is in guys who shoot plated bullets in Open guns. The plating does not react well to being pushed close to 1500 fps.

Try some different powders as well, the gun may just not like the combination you're using.

I noticed you said that with lead bullets accuracy fell off after 75 rounds. Any idea what's causing this? There may be another problem that's affecting your accuracy. I shoot quite a bit of lead loads and accuracy keeps up for literally hundreds of rounds between cleanings.

I run 3.6 gr. of Clays with a Rainier 158 gr. plated round nose bullet. Makes around 130 pf in my gun (830 or so fps).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed you said that with lead bullets accuracy fell off after 75 rounds. Any idea what's causing this? There may be another problem that's affecting your accuracy. I shoot quite a bit of lead loads and accuracy keeps up for literally hundreds of rounds between cleanings.

Factory RNL loads use swaged bullets that are very soft and prone to leading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed you said that with lead bullets accuracy fell off after 75 rounds. Any idea what's causing this? There may be another problem that's affecting your accuracy. I shoot quite a bit of lead loads and accuracy keeps up for literally hundreds of rounds between cleanings.

Factory RNL loads use swaged bullets that are very soft and prone to leading.

I use Zero bullets which are swaged and pretty soft. I have very little leading, granted I shoot very soft PPC loads (650-700 fps). When I clean my barrels all I use is wet and dry patches. What little leading there is I leave alone and it hasn't gotten any worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like to shoot out the leading with jacketed bullets!

All that nonsense about "ironing the lead into the bore" is just that--nonsense! Take a gun with a leaded barrel, shoot some moderate-pressure loads with jacketed bullets through it, and bingo--the leading's gone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like to shoot out the leading with jacketed bullets!

All that nonsense about "ironing the lead into the bore" is just that--nonsense! Take a gun with a leaded barrel, shoot some moderate-pressure loads with jacketed bullets through it, and bingo--the leading's gone.

I'm with you on that one Carmoney. My buddy and I always fire "Cleaners" ( a cylinder full of jacketed magnums loads) after a long practice day of cast bullets at the range.

I mainly used the magnums on my Bianchi revolver, it helped clean out the comp!!

That gun would still shoot under 1 1/2" after 50,000 rounds, mostly 38 specials.

But that is my choice of how to remove lead from a bore. Jacketed bullets. Never saw any negative effect on any of my guns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay, a few years ago a number of us here in the NE used a few tons of Westcoast bullets,

a lot of us found the accuracy to be very, very bad. The one good to great bullet was the

147 RN sized to .357, good weight for those who like heavier bullets and a great pointy

nose for reloads. I have a friend who has been doing a bunch of load devolopment with the

158 RN Berry's and he had great luck with those, he also is having better luck with the 158 RN/FP

as of late but those are double struck.

I myself shoot a lot of lighter, 125 grn bullets but I shoot comped revo's as well as stock.

Within the last 2 years I have been shooting only jacketed bullets since they provide the best

accuracy, plated just couldn't compare (remember, this is in the light weight catagory)

Nice thing I did find was that .356 38 Super jacketed bullets work fine in the 38/357 revo's,

least for me anyway's. I use Zero bullets but Montana Gold bullets work well also.

I don't remember anyone have key-holeing issues, you may be crinping too much and messing

up the bullet, The plated bullets don't like a heavy crimp.

An issue that did come up was bullet slippage, darn things are slippery and getting the case

to hold the bullet with a light crimp was a problem for some of the 38 super guys.

Try loading a few dozen with just enough crimp to remove the belling and check those at

the range.

If you have bullet set-back or pull-out problems you might want to look into a Lee undersize

sizing die. (this is more of an issue with the lighter bullets)

Get yourself a small qty of Berry's and Rainer bullets, or Zero or MG, try 'em all and then order a

couple tons of what works.

Good luck.

I like to shoot out the leading with jacketed bullets!

All that nonsense about "ironing the lead into the bore" is just that--nonsense! Take a gun with a leaded barrel, shoot some moderate-pressure loads with jacketed bullets through it, and bingo--the leading's gone.

I'm with you on that one Carmoney. My buddy and I always fire "Cleaners" ( a cylinder full of jacketed magnums loads) after a long practice day of cast bullets at the range.

I mainly used the magnums on my Bianchi revolver, it helped clean out the comp!!

That gun would still shoot under 1 1/2" after 50,000 rounds, mostly 38 specials.

But that is my choice of how to remove lead from a bore. Jacketed bullets. Never saw any negative effect on any of my guns.

Soooo, putting a hard, jacketed bullet thru a tube of softer material .........

Isn't that sort of like driving a pointy tent stake into the ground........

Where's the dirt go when the stake goes in ??

Don't think it goes deeper in the hole to the front of the stake :P

Where's the lead go ??

Just wondering :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay, a few years ago a number of us here in the NE used a few tons of Westcoast bullets,

a lot of us found the accuracy to be very, very bad. The one good to great bullet was the

147 RN sized to .357, good weight for those who like heavier bullets and a great pointy

nose for reloads. I have a friend who has been doing a bunch of load devolopment with the

158 RN Berry's and he had great luck with those, he also is having better luck with the 158 RN/FP

as of late but those are double struck.

I myself shoot a lot of lighter, 125 grn bullets but I shoot comped revo's as well as stock.

Within the last 2 years I have been shooting only jacketed bullets since they provide the best

accuracy, plated just couldn't compare (remember, this is in the light weight catagory)

Nice thing I did find was that .356 38 Super jacketed bullets work fine in the 38/357 revo's,

least for me anyway's. I use Zero bullets but Montana Gold bullets work well also.

I don't remember anyone have key-holeing issues, you may be crinping too much and messing

up the bullet, The plated bullets don't like a heavy crimp.

An issue that did come up was bullet slippage, darn things are slippery and getting the case

to hold the bullet with a light crimp was a problem for some of the 38 super guys.

Try loading a few dozen with just enough crimp to remove the belling and check those at

the range.

If you have bullet set-back or pull-out problems you might want to look into a Lee undersize

sizing die. (this is more of an issue with the lighter bullets)

Get yourself a small qty of Berry's and Rainer bullets, or Zero or MG, try 'em all and then order a

couple tons of what works.

Good luck.

I like to shoot out the leading with jacketed bullets!

All that nonsense about "ironing the lead into the bore" is just that--nonsense! Take a gun with a leaded barrel, shoot some moderate-pressure loads with jacketed bullets through it, and bingo--the leading's gone.

I'm with you on that one Carmoney. My buddy and I always fire "Cleaners" ( a cylinder full of jacketed magnums loads) after a long practice day of cast bullets at the range.

I mainly used the magnums on my Bianchi revolver, it helped clean out the comp!!

That gun would still shoot under 1 1/2" after 50,000 rounds, mostly 38 specials.

But that is my choice of how to remove lead from a bore. Jacketed bullets. Never saw any negative effect on any of my guns.

Soooo, putting a hard, jacketed bullet thru a tube of softer material .........

Isn't that sort of like driving a pointy tent stake into the ground........

Where's the dirt go when the stake goes in ??

Don't think it goes deeper in the hole to the front of the stake :P

Where's the lead go ??

Just wondering :lol:

Out the end of the barrel just like the lead on the front of a jacketed soft point!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Gentlemen for your advise.

The first thing I did was to look at the crimp. I am using a set of Redding Pro Series 38 Spec./357 Mag dies that I had set up for 158 gr. lead bullets with a healthy crimp. This set up was crimping the peanuts out of the plated bullets so I backed off .035" which put on just a slight crimp.

My brother and I went back out to the range armed with a our two 627's and this new lot of ammo ( 158 West Coast plated bullets / 4.9 gr. WW231 / Federal cases / WSP primers). The results were basically the same, at 25m we were not able to keep four out of the eight shots on the 5' x 4' target board.

I also loaded up some 125 gr. Remington SPHP bullets with 4.9 gr. WW231 and WSP's and got much better groups, 6" @ 25m.

I am going to get some factory ammo, 148 gr. WC's 38 Spl., 158 gr. lead RN 38 Spl. and 125 gr Leadless 38 Spl. to try and come up with a basis to work from.

My brothers out of the box S&W 1911 45 ACP will shoot 3" @ 25m with 200 gr. lead SWC's / 4.9 gr. WW231 / WLP's and mixed brass. So the S&W 627's should be able to do as well if not better???

Thanks, Jay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay - Sorry to chime in late here.

I've had some success with plated bullets and roll crimping in .38 Special. What I did, using Berry's 158 grain RN plated bullets, was seat the bullet in the case deeply enough that the start of the ogive is below the case mouth. This lets you roll crimp without the problem of cutting into the plating. FWIW, 4.7 grains of 231 gave me ~830 fps from a 4" barrel.

If you don't feel comfortable doing that, seat them to your favorite length and taper crimp them to about .380".

I've used thousands of the same Zero swaged bullets that Rob V. uses. I've never had a problem with leading, shooting them from a .38 Special. They were my favorite bullet for IDPA, and I ran them at 825-850 fps from a 4" barrel. I went through 750 in a single day of shooting and the barrel was free from leading at the end. The only time I had leading problems with them was shooting the .38 loads from a .357, and even then it was pretty minor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...