USC Co. 38 Spl Draw Set

Several years ago on the way to SLICS I picked up this USC Co. 38 Spl draw set at an antique store. It came in an USC 32 Long Colt box. (After Winchester acquired USC it was not uncommon to see older USC boxes used to store draw sets and partial draw sets of cartridges and bullets and other small parts and pieces,).

The side of the box is marked 38 S&W Special .045 Stock 7-10-24. I assume the “.045 stock” refers to the thickness of the brass sheet used to make the 38 Spl case. Was 0.045 inch stock the standard thickness for starting this draw process or was this some type of experimental draw?
The draw set itself contains duplicate pieces as well as several pieces that had been sectioned. The last draw piece was headstamped but didn’t have a flash hole in the primer pocket. Several of these last draws were headstamped “U.S,C.Co 38 S&W. SP’L.” and others were headstamped "U.S.C.Co.38 COLT. SP’L.USC%2038%20S%25W%20Spl%20HS USC%2036%20Copt%20Spl%20HS

Also in the box was a Tool/Gauge? It is a thin “C” shaped piece of steel with an inside measurement of 1.2075".

Whether intended or not it is the exact length of the second to last draw piece (the one before the rim and headstamp.
Why would a gauge be made for this piece in the draw process?



Just a guess, but the stage in the guage looks like it has been trimmed and headed, so the guage likely is to confirm it is the correct length for the next stage, which I would guess is bunting the rim before trimming the head.



That sounds logical if that was the final neck trim.



It may have been the final neck trim, and I guess a measure of the items in the set would tell that. But,
it may have only been an interim neck trim so the partially finished case moved smoothly through the machinery and the final neck trim would be after the case is headed and the head is trimmed. My memory (which is not great these days) is that on bottle neck cases the final case neck trim is done after the head is completed. This may not be the what happens on straight cases, but it seems logical that something as critical as case length would be part of a final trim when the rest of the case is complete.

Again, just speculation!

A very nice set-congratulations.



I did even think of measuring the last draw piece! It’s 1.154" so that must have been the final case trim.

I’m still curios about the 0.045" starting stock. I guess I never thought about how slight variations in the thickness of the brass sheet could affect the draws and the final product.

Thanks for your help.