Need help with 148gr .38 Special wadcutters.


March 19, 2009, 02:28 AM
I'm shooting a Dan Wesson 15-2 with a 6 inch barrel. I primarily use it to hunt paper targets so I'm only firing .38 special for now. I bought about 1k of 148gr. wadcutters and I'd like to know what's a good load to use for 700x? I'm looking for the flattest trajectory I can find. In fact if anyone could tell me what would be the best bullets and amount of 700x to use that'd be great. I'm pretty new to reloading, to give you an example I bought a Lee Auto Primer thinking an RCBS shell holder would work :banghead:. I also wound up loading my 148gr wads with 2.9gr of 700x, I ended up with a nice coating of powder on my hands and gun after shooting 50 rounds. So before I go and do something stupid that will cost me a finger or worse I'd appreciate any and all advice I can get. And I primarily use 700x but I'm up for any information on other powders as well.

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March 19, 2009, 02:33 AM
Sorry, I've never used 700X so I can't help you with that powder.

My favorite powder for .38 Special target loads is Winchester 231. It's a good clean accurate powder that is also low flash. If you can't find W231, Hodgdon HP-38 is the same exact powder.

I use a charge of 3.4gr W231 under a 148gr DEWC and 4.0gr W231 under a 158gr LSWC. I find those charges work best in my revolvers. I use CCI or Winchester Small Pistol Primers.

March 19, 2009, 09:30 AM
As an old Bullseye shooter, the most accurate target load for the 38 Special and 148 gr HBWC was 2.7 gr of bullseye with the bullet seated flush to the case mouth. This load was used in both the S&W K38 target revolver and the Model 52 target pistol for serious competition. According to the current Speer manual, your 700X load is at maximum, you should back off to the starting load of 2.6gr with that powder for cleaner and a more accurate load with that HB bullet. Another excellent target load is 3.0 gr of W-W 231 with the same bullet. 700X will work, but would not be my first choice, although others might disagree. I"M just offering you some of my 40 years of target shooting experience. :)

March 19, 2009, 09:43 AM
loadedround hit the nail on the head.:D

March 19, 2009, 09:56 AM
According to Hodgdon 2009 Reloading Manual your a little hot. 700x start point is 2.0 gr, 686 FPS, 11,600 PSI, 2.5 gr, 804 FPS 16,000 PSI
I remember recently reading something about blowing skirts off LHBWC I think pushing them over the 800 FPS threshold. No actual exp with these though. The above mentioned Hodgdon manual wasn't a bad investment for me ordered straight from Hodgdon. Have a good one.

March 19, 2009, 10:51 AM
you won't go wrong with the bullseye load mentioned above, although I had to kick up the powder charge a hair to get my 52 to cycle reliably.

March 19, 2009, 11:18 PM
Guys thank you for the suggestions and dropping experienced knowledge on me. I appreciate the help and have backed off my loads a bit, let's see if I can keep my accuracy up.

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