We acquired Bang And Clang LLC over 3 years ago. In that time we've added coated bullets and shapes (Round Nous No Lube Groove) to support the modern shooting sports and some older ones as it turns out. Let me offer this blog as a refresher course for an experienced reloader switching calibers, a new reloader just getting her feet wet and anyone that is having questions or problems with reloading.
First off start with 2 (two) reloading manuals. I like Lyman's and edition is a classic and one other printed manual your choice. Why two; because I've found errors in manuals. And you don't want to start reloading with settings based on an error. Also, everything else you can find for reloading data is good to gather.
Next let's make some assumptions.
- You are reloading for accuracy.
- You are reloading to save some money and enjoy the hobby.
- You are also reloading for performance.
If you want the max power for your reloads this in probably not the best source of information. Also let's start with handgun cartridges. Old to new cartridges meant to be shot in handguns and pistol caliber carbines. Keeping things simple to start, let us choose the 38/357 cartridge as our first candidate.
The 38/357 is an old straight walled cartridge. Been around for over 100 years. If you have a 357 revolver and load 38 special ammunition it will be hard for do damage but it is still possible. There are also 38 short colt, 38 long colt and 357 maximum. All five case types vary in case length. And revolvers are designed to only fit cartridges that the gun is designed to safely shoot. 357 Mag and 357 Max won't fit into a 38 Special chamber. Cartridge capabilities are stamped on the side of the barrel.
I'll take about these cartridges in general and call them 38 to keep it simple. I am shooting a 38 short colt out of an 8 shot S&W 627 chambered for 357 Magnum. The short colt has many benefits for competition and we should expect performance and accuracy similar to a 38 Special.
The 38 case is a straight walled rimmed case that head spaces (look it up) on the case rim. The cylinder is cut for moon clips and that cut is recessed into the cylinder so as not to upset the head spacing on the case rim. The moon clip is along for the ride. All members of this 38 family use small pistol primers.
Cleaning the cases:
If the cases you are using have been fired you first step is cleaning the cases. I use a vibratory unit with crushed walnut shells and jewelers rouge. Clean with the primers in the cases. DO NOT USE POLISH WITH AMMONIA. This will destroy the brass and make it unsafe. Once cleaned wash and let dry. No sense pushing jewelers rouge down the barrel.
Inspect the cases:
You are looking for different cases the might have snuck into the dirty brass. Do this with clean hands because you will leave oil and acid that will leave marks on the brass. Also inspect your brass at this point. Look at the case mouths for cracked or bent cases that you don't want to bother reloading.
Resize and Deprime:
When fired the brass case expands to seal the chamber and then shrinks a bit to make it possible to extract the cartridge. Set up the resize / depriming die per the manufacturers directions. You only need to put this one die in your reloading press and process all your brass. If a piece of brass feels different in the press check it for problems.
I prime off-line with a hand priming tool. I can feel the primer going into the case, I can crush the primer 0.005 to 0.009 inch to take up some of the action of the primer making less work for the hammer strike. If you have a reloading machine that will prime automatically go for it. But I would only prime the brass no powder or bullets yet.
This gets us to a position of primed brass ready to reload. If I'm going to a steel match vs a plate shoot vs. and ICORE match I probably want different loads for the gun. I can do that as I prepare for the match.
Good time for a break. This should be enough to keep the new reloader busy and the old time checking his setup and material.
I use Federal primers. Regular ones for ammo I load, Match primers for ammo Bang and Clang loads for resale. These have been proven to be the easiest to set off. My trigger pulls are around 8 pounds but VERY smooth. I used to use Winchester (now brass colored). These are a bit more difficult to set off. I put in a longer strain screw for mare hammer force on the revolver.
Old saying was CCI was the hardest primer. But both Federal and CCI are owned by the same company and I bet some technology will transfer over.
As I write this primers are hard to get and prices are rising.
I answer so many questions about how to get into competitive shooting with your new revolver. Many questions are specific and the folks asking have jumped over some basic topics. So I thought I would start from the beginning and show you how I go about setting up a revolver for competition.First off let me [...]
Our goal at Revolver Supply is to build great products for the Competitive Revolver Shooter. That means listening to your input and feed back and addressing you comments. Well we had a perfect opportunity with the pocket moon clip tool (PMCT). That product was designed because the Ultimate Moon Clip Tool (UMCT) was criticized as being [...]
First off thank you for purchasing our moon clip loaders. And thank you for the feedback.Your feedback is the only way we really know how we're doing.This brings us to the 9MM x 7 Shot moon clips. Both the 7 shot revolvers are a bit odd in their dimensions and we need to look closer [...]
Moon Clip Holders:The purpose of a moon clip holder is to provide a place to store moon clips, securely retain those moon clips, and make them available as the shooter needs them. Simple enough. Most shooting organizations require that the moon clips be secured to the belt area and all reloads come from that place. [...]
This is the 4th part of a series that is about getting you started in competitive shooting. These articles are more of a walk through, as opposed to a complete discussion of the topics.Don’t be shy, ask for help getting started.You will find most revolver shooters will gladly show you the ropes.Everyone should have had a handgun safety [...]
For anyone who feeds a wheelgun with moon clips, a terrific gift is Revolver Supply Company’s Ultimate Moon Clip Loader. Forget tortured thumbs and fractured fingernails. With this tool, just select the right arbor for the gun, drop a moon clip over it, place a round in front of the pusher and squeeze the grip. [...]
In Parts 1 & 2 we looked at getting started in competitive revolver shooting and a typical course of fire. In this Part 3 (final part) let's look at everything else.These are in no particular order:Sights:Factory sights are great for casual slow fire shooting in bright daylight. When you move to rapid fire competitive shooting [...]
Consider the following as a typical course of fire.The course of fire consists of 6 close paper targets and 5 steel plates. The plates are in the middle of the paper, there is slight movement between the 3 areas and you are shooting an 8 shot revolver. You complete the course hitting all targets (2 [...]
Back to BasicsThe Revolver Supply Company started business in September 2010, 6 years ago this month; to provide supplies for the revolver shooters. Back then, there wasn't an easy way to find resources and supplies for competitive revolver shooting. We love shooting and competing with revolvers and from all the positive feedback we've received, it [...]