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So, I am value driven, to a fault. American reloading offers some great prices on components, and they usually are okay for the money. Recently I ordered 500 plated "blem" 125 gr flat nose bullets for 38/357, figuring I could use them for plinking in light loads for .38 Special and ..357 magnum. Haven't used that many plated bullets in the past, but have been using some of AR's in 9mm with complete satisfaction. I also saw this as an opportunity to test my first 50 Servicio Argentine primers that I ordered from Powder Valley for $55 per K with free hazmat (as I said I am value driven :rolleyes: ). The primers seated fine, but the bullets seated a little too easily and can be easily pushed down into the case, even after crimping. Since they are planned for plinking revolver usage, is this a big concern? Just for fun, I crimped one of the really loose ones with a 9mm Dillon profile crimp die and here is how it looks:
IMG_2007.jpeg
9mm crimped on the left, conventional RCBS roll crimp on the right. What are the potential hazards of "over crimping a plated bullet? Could it damage a barrel? Any other suggestions?
FWIW, I got these bullets for about $.06 each, so I would like to use them. I also am considering loading them in 9mm since some mike .355 or .356, while others measure .357 to .359? Maybe I should sort them by diameter and use the skinny ones in 9mm and the fatties in .38/.357? I weigh the 9mm bullets I buy and sort them by weight, so miking them would not be THAT big a deal. (There are only 450 left :cool:)
Thanks in advance for any suggestions or verbal abuse.
 
Their incorrect size could be their "blem" so if they work well for your 9mm than load away or get a crimp die for 357mag. As for the 9mm crimp die, I'd use half that and you should be fine.
 
I've been cautioned about too much a roll crimp for plated bullets as to not break through the typically thin plating. Some manufacturers advertise thicker plating in their marketing. When loading plated, I try to be sensitive for sufficient belling the case mouth and typically use a taper crimp or minimal roll crimp to mainly "unbell" the case after seating the bullet, and apply only a modest crimp as to not break through the plating. Generally they are made of pretty soft lead. My plated rounds are plinkers and not loaded very hot.

From the scenario you described, if you can push the bullet down into a sized case, especially after applying your crimp, I suspect they will be too small to work well in the 38/357 diameter bore. I'd personally try to use those bullets for loading 9mm if the profile suits your chamber in your firearm(s) for that round.
 
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What brand die set are you using?

If you have RCBS, it has an no. 2 expander die with a long sizing plug. The bottom end of the plug re-sizes the case down to just under bullet diameter. The top of the plug has the flaring shoulder. With this design, typically the no. 1 sizing die sizes smaller than the sizing plug. So, to accommodate an undersized bullet, you flare the case using a method that doesn't expand the case to do it. Like with a Lee Universal Flaring die, which allows you to simply flare the case mouth and bypass the resizing that the RCBS-type plug accomplishes.

This work-around permits you to get adequate bullet tension in .38 Spec./.357 Magnum with an undersized bullet. You may or may not have a drop off in accuracy from the undersized bullet going through the barrel. Usually, a diff. of .001 doesn't much affect handgun level accuracy, under normal shooting circumstances.

Most of the other branded die sets sold today do not use the secondary sizing plug in the expander die.

Shooting these in 125 gr. bullets in 9mm seems a good solution.

I can't speak to the crimping discussion and how plated bullets might hold up. It does stand to reason that excessive roll crimp might cut into a thin jacket material and cause separation of bullet materials.
 
If I had a bunch of undersized plated bullets, I would turn a matching nose punch and swage them to size in a push through sizing die. Once you have the nose punch it's really easy to do. DR
 
Thanks for the replies. Update: I sorted the remaining 450 bullets into .357 and up, and .356 and under. I loaded 50 rounds of .357 with a starting load of Ramshot Zip and then today loaded up 150 rounds of 9mm with 3.2 gr of Titegroup. All were primed with the Servicio primers. So cheap plated bullets with possibly sketchy Argentine primers, what could possibly go wrong? Hoping to test them tomorrow, loads should be light enough to avoid major problems.

Update: tested the loads today, had one light primer strike in the CZ P-09 9mm out of 120 rounds, my load was too light for reliable functioning, but the bullets seemed accurate enough on steel plates at 15 and 25 yards.
The .357 loads were perfect for all 50 rounds, also showed good accuracy on the steel.
So, the Servicio Aventuras primers are okay for me. Still have to try them in a striker fired 9mm to make sure of reliability.
 
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Update: tested the loads today, had one light primer strike in the CZ P-09 9mm out of 120 rounds, my load was too light for reliable functioning, but the bullets seemed accurate enough on steel plates at 15 and 25 yards.
The .357 loads were perfect for all 50 rounds, also showed good accuracy on the steel.
So, the Servicio Aventuras primers are okay for me. Still have to try them in a striker fired 9mm to make sure of reliability.
 
Tested the 9mm loads in a Glock 48 today. They functioned better than in the CZ, but the striker had 4 or 5 failures to fire the SA Argentine primers, as I suspected might be the case. So, definitely run other primers for anything for the Glock, use up the Argen imports in DA revolvers or in the hammer fired CZ's.
YMMV.
 

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