Couple of 38spl questions


January 2, 2009, 09:07 PM
Received some new bullets from snscasting. I have loaded a 38spl with 4.0 grains Unique and Win small pistol primer using a Lee turret with factory crimp die. Using the 158gr SWC the length is 1.435. I've seen a few listed shorter and longer. I really can go too much longer than this. Does this look and sound about right?

Any comments? I'm going to load a few more tomorrow to test them out.

Also, what the OAL for 158gr LRNFP? I usually load Berry's bullets RN at 1.5.


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January 2, 2009, 09:18 PM
looks good to me, I imagine that you crimped right into the canelure? As for the rnfp, same OAL as the SWC would be fine.

January 2, 2009, 09:31 PM
Looks great, have fun.

Ky Larry
January 2, 2009, 09:34 PM
I load 158gr LRNFP to the crimp groove and crimp them. O.A.L. should be between 1.45-1.5, depending on the bullet.
My Speer #12 manual lists O.A.L. for a .38 spl 158 LSWC at 1.440.
Your loaded round looks fine. However their listed load for this bullet weight is 4.3-4.8 gr Unique. Did your reloading data come from a published source?

January 2, 2009, 10:29 PM
I used the Lyman manual and cross checked with a few others. Starting is 4.0 up to 4.5 max. Alliant says 4.7, I would imagine that would be max.. These are only target loads.

January 2, 2009, 11:01 PM
That round looks good to go, however a light charge of Unique may not burn well. I prefer faster powders for target loads such as Bullseye or W-231, if you prefer the bulkiness of Unique but want a quicker burn try IMR 700X, Red Dot or Clays.

Dean Williams
January 3, 2009, 12:20 AM
It looks good, and the components are fine. My Lyman cast bullet book shows a starting load for Unique at 3.4 gr and max varies between manuals.
Max cartridge length from Speer #12 is 1.550", so you're good. In a revolver, you can use any length shorter than that that suits the crimping groove in the bullet.
If you're shooting a revolver with fixed sights, this should put you pretty close to point of aim, though it should be fairly mild, so maybe a little low.
Faster burning powders usually work a bit better in the .38 case, but see how you do with the Unique. It may do well for you.

January 3, 2009, 12:00 PM
Looks good to me.
My Fav. "Plinker" load is 3.8gr of Unique under a 158gr Lead Bullet.
My Load,My Gun (Mod. 10) runs 710 fps avg over my Chrono and shoots POA at 25yards.


January 3, 2009, 12:01 PM
Besides......SWC's are just Sexy.


January 3, 2009, 04:18 PM
Proportionally that looks like a 357 more than a 38 in the pic. Doesn't it?

The load should be GTG though.

January 3, 2009, 10:01 PM

January 4, 2009, 12:32 AM
Sounds about right. I like red dot more in 38's personally. My RD 38 load is 3 grains with a 158. I don't worry about oal with 38's I just take them to the crimp groove and call it good.
January 4, 2009, 01:02 AM
I put a little more crimp in my 38 spls.

January 6, 2009, 04:50 AM
That round looks good but you should add just a little more crimp like easy said. also, like said above you will probably get better results in a light load using W231. I charge 4.0gr or 4.1gr W231 under a 158gr LSWC bullet and crimp in the crimp groove.

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