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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three pistols chambered for 38 Super - a hi-cap Caspian, a Series 70 Colt, and a pre Series 70 Colt. Factory ammunition drops easily into the chamber in all three. My reloaded rounds(Dillon 550B with Dillon dies) don't fit the chamber of the early Colt. You can't even push the round all the way into the chamber with moderate finger pressure. Does this sound like a slightly out of tolerance sizing die or a tight chamber?

For what it's worth, the Caspian has a Schumann Ultimatch barrel with an EGW comp and shoots great with an 88 grain Remington jacketed hollow points over 6.9 grains of W231. About 1550 fps and groups 1" (occasionally slightly less) at 25 yards. The combination of a light bullet and high velocity keeps the muzzle just about flat, target acquisition is very fast, and the plates fall down just fine.
 

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Sounds like a tight chamber or one that is slightly out of round. The only way to be sure is to cast it with Cerrosafe and measure. Or, just pop a current-production 38S reamer in and clean it up. (An old reamer may not be ground to cut a headspace shoulder, but anything made in the last ten years will be OK.)
Try chambering some reloads loaded on someone else's press to see if their sizer makes a smaller round. And measure the rounds produced by both to see if there is something you can pin the problem on.
 

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If the rounds are fired in the gun with the bigger chamber, the sizing die won't run all the way down and will jamb in the tight chamber. I had this problem with the 9x23 and had to ream all the chambers to the biggest one. Now what ever gun I shoot them in it doesn't matter. After reloading they fit into all the chambers.
 

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If you're using a Dillon sizing die, that's probably your problem. The mouth of that die is flared out far too much and leaves too much of the case unsized. Replace your sizing die with an EGW undersized sizing die. It's a Lee die made .001" smaller in diameter.

You might also consider ditching your Dillon crimp die and replacing it with a Lee Carbide Factory Crimp die which crimps and additionally resizes the full case length of the loaded round. Also, the Factory Crimp is much, much easier to adjust the amount crimp, too.

I just salvaged a couple hundred rounds after I foolishly loaded a batch of Super with used cases on my new and underwhelming Dillon 1050 (see the 1050 thread...). I had about 200 rounds out of 800 that wouldn't fit in my case gauge. George at EGW advised me to get the Lee Factory Crimp die. I installed it on an extra 550 toolhead and recovered all but 2 rounds. Assuming I keep the Super 1050, I'll replace the Dillon crimp die...

...and the Dillon sizing die with the EGW.
 

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I also replaced my Dillon sizing die and crimp die on my 650.I was having a few from each batch that would not gauge.(I wonder how many of us actually gauge our reloads). I size with my RCBS and crimp with the Lee Factory Crimp Die. All of my gauging problems with 38S have disappeared. I still use the Dillon sizing die on the 45 and 9mm but I have the Lee Factory Crimp die on all of my pistol setups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all. The chamber turned out to be very small on that pistol. Comments about sizing and crimping dies are very interesting, and I think I'll change both. Where do you get sizing gauges to check the dimensions of the reloaded rounds?
 

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You can get the Wilson pistol gage from Dillon, Midway, Brownells, et..

It checks cartridge overall length, bullet diameter, case body diameter and length, rim diameter & thickness for being over Maximum.

It will not indicate whether these dimensions are TOO SMALL for proper functioning.

Hope this helps.... Mike
 
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