I am working up a couple of loads for my .38 for my 6" 686.
I have BOTH lead boolits and plated bullets in 125grns and the same in 158grns.
I will be using IMR 700x.
The plated bullets are from Extreme bullets. They (Extreme bullets) will only recommend to use Speer's load info using fmj #'s. I have heard others say only use lead load #'s
So I need advice and any safe loads you all may have for these combinations PLEASE.
Next, I am using a RCBS beam scale and not sure of a good way to work up from, say 3.0grns to 3.1grns. It is very hard to tell the difference with such a small increment. Should I work up in larger increments? ex. 3.0grns to 3.3grns?
Any help with loads and scale questions would be greatly appreciated.
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December 18, 2009, 10:23 PM
Work up in 10 percent of max load increments. Like say your start load is 3.0 grains and your max load is 5.0 grains you should start at 3.0 then 3.5 then 4.0 and so on.
December 18, 2009, 10:27 PM
They recommend the Speer data because the Speer Gold Dot bullet is a plated bullet, even though the plating is a little heavier. The data will still work.
Hope this helps.
December 19, 2009, 01:01 AM
Mags has given you good advice on the incremental step. However I believe your question was "how to adjust to achieve a small change in setting", that is, what are the mechanics involved? The answer is quite simple and will allow you excellent results once you know the secret of the technique.
First off, no mechanical powder measure made dispenses the same amount of powder every time. There are always variations. Expensive measures simply have smaller variations, but none get to zero without weighing each charge. So what method is best for dialing-in your mechanical powder dispenser setting?
If you are seeking a setting of 3.1gr then simply multiply that number times 10. Then dump 10 powder loads into your scale and adjust the dispenser until your scale reaches 31.0gr. Your powder drops will still have variations (3.10, 3.11, 3.09, 3.10, 3,10) but you'll have a much closer setting than you could ever get weighing single samples. Plus, most balance scales will have an easier time weighing 31.0gr versus something light like 3.1gr. Additionally, if you are low by 0.1gr on 31.0gr (30.9gr), then your average over 10 is still 3.09gr which is still close enough to 3.1gr for me!
And if you want even greater accuracy, then multiply by a higher number, say 20.
This method will give you the greatest accuracy in dropping the intended powder charge. Hope this helps!
December 19, 2009, 09:30 AM
What a great idea on checking your average load. I think for a powder with proven drop consistency over time this is really convenient.
I think you still need to measure a number of single drops to assure you're not getting 2.7gr and 3.5gr drop spreads. I'd be especially concerned about possible bridging if I was dropping something flaky like 700X. I ran a lot of 700X at 5.0 grains through my Lee Perfect Powder Measure with good results. Going to lower weights I'd be a little more concerned about the consistency.
I used to run 3.6 grains of 700X under 158 grain LSWC bullets for a nice, accurate, soft shooting load in my 6 inch Ruger Security-Six. This is a bit heavy for a regular 38 Special load though. I dispensed this load from a 0.5cc Lee Dipper which I found very consistent and easy to assure the correct charge volume on.
All the Best,
December 19, 2009, 10:05 AM
If you are seeking a setting of 3.1gr then simply multiply that number times 10. Then dump 10 powder loads into your scale and adjust the dispenser until your scale reaches 31.0gr. Your powder drops will still have variations (3.10, 3.11, 3.09, 3.10, 3,10) but you'll have a much closer setting than you could ever get weighing single samples. Plus, most balance scales will have an easier time weighing 31.0gr versus something light like 3.1gr. Additionally, if you are low by 0.1gr on 31.0gr (30.9gr), then your average over 10 is still 3.09gr which is still close enough to 3.1gr for me!I have tried it that way, but did not care for it. I am not sold on the measure being closer that way.
For loading on my LNL this is how I do it:
The first thing I do is run at least 10 or more charges through my measure to settle it down. I run primed sized cases through my LNL bumping the lever slightly at the bottom of every stroke. This is VERY important, especially with bulkier flake powders that settle a great deal. For non believers, test it out. Also keep the powder level above your baffle. If you don't have a baffle, get one. If you don't think a measure with 1" of powder in it doesn't throw a different weight that when it has 4" of powder in it, test this one too. ;)
Then I set my scale on whatever weight I want. Say 5.4 Grs. I continue to run cases through my LNL, but now I pick out a case as it comes around. I weigh the charge. Lets say it is 5.2. I dial out my measures setting and run 3 or 4 cases through before picking out another one. I weigh this one. It's 5.3. I dial out my measures setting again. (Lets say 28.6) I run 3 or 4 cases through before picking out a case as it comes around and weigh it. 5.4 Grs! I am close. Now I run cases through weighing the contents of each one. I find that some are 5.4, but some are a bit less. (The pointer is a little below the 0 line) I dial my measure to 28.8. Again I run 3 or 4 cases through before picking out a case as it comes around and weigh it. I weigh it. 5.4 Grs. I am close. Now I run cases through weighing the contents of each one. I find that some are 5.4, but some are a bit more. (The pointer is a little above the 0 line). OK, I dial my measure to 28.7. Again I run 3 or 4 cases through before picking out a case as it comes around and weigh it. I weigh it. 5.4 Grs. I am close. Now I run cases through weighing the contents of each one. I do at least 7 or 8. I find that some are 5.4, some are a hair more. (The pointer is slightly above the 0 line), and some are a hair less. (The pointer is slightly below the 0 line). I continue to weigh some charges. If they continue to be at or slightly off 5.4 Grs in an even manner (over and under) I have my setting for that powder and that lot #. I record all these settings so I can reuse them. All I have to do then is check a couple of charges.
Obviously some powder meter better than others. Some are closer to dead on every time, and some are erratic enough to be difficult to get the setting. Some will throw dead on for 3 charges and then be off .1. AA #2 and True Blue are boringly consistent. They will throw exactly the same, over and over, with virtually no variance.
700X will barely do plus or minus .1 Gr, but works great for some loads. I just don't push max with it because I know it varies a bit.
As you can see I throw a lot of charges, after settling down the powder in the measure, and continuing to keep it uniform with the help of a baffle and a little consistent bump on every down stroke of the press.
I also size/deprime in a previous operation so I don't have the hardest part of the loading going on while I load. That helps keep the operation of the press more consistent when loading. It is very smooth without the stress of sizing and the priming action on the upstroke.
All these things help get more consistent powder weights. When I load, the press is being bumped just the same as when I get my powder weights.
Back to the main questions at hand.
I shoot the X-Treme bullets in .38 (light to standard loads) & .357 (light to midrange loads). If you stop at 75% or so of jacketed data you will be fine. It can be pushed a bit more actually, but 75% will keep beginners out of trouble.
I would work up .1 at a time with 700 X when you get past midway from the starting data to where you think you will stop. For a fast powder it is pretty forgiving, but it is still a very fast powder.
say 3.0grns to 3.1grns. It is very hard to tell the difference with such a small increment.
Yes, it can be. I covered that a bit in my powder weighing method.
December 19, 2009, 10:15 AM
Link to plated bullet load data. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5399850&postcount=8)
December 19, 2009, 10:47 AM
Oh yea. When I say they pointer is above or below the "0" line on the scale, It is NOT as far over or under as to reach the next line ("1") 99% of the time. Some powders that measure crappy will do it on occasion.
December 20, 2009, 09:54 AM
First thanks for the help and comments as always.
So what do you think about this?
125grns lead and plated. use 3.8-3.9-4.0 grains 700x ?
158 grns lead and plated. use 3.0-3.3-3.5 grains of 700x ?
Look good for start and end loads for plinking?
December 20, 2009, 12:57 PM
Those will be nice light loads. It will take .1 or .2 Grs more powder with the plated than the lead to get the same velocity.
December 20, 2009, 10:14 PM
I have tried it that way, but did not care for it. I am not sold on the measure being closer that way.
Brother, Along -
We are really doing the same thing on the powder weighing, we simply doing it at different speeds. The common ground is to not trust a single drop; take multiple readings.
There are several powders that have a tendency to "stick" to the walls of the dispenser, so on my Unifow I practice the "knock method", and my Dillon has a spring fitted to give it a good jolt each time. I've also heard of people fastening all sorts of vibration sources to the side of the hopper to give the same effect. Therein lies my main complaint with plastic powder measures, the material does not readily transfer vibration. IMHO the best powder measures will always be metal simply due to the ability to easily vibrate and thereby deliver consistent drops.
Merry Christmas to all.
December 20, 2009, 11:30 PM
The best cure to powder sticking is getting rid of static. No static, no cling.
You are right, believe no one powder drop. :)
December 23, 2009, 03:03 AM
I want to thank you all for the replies. I now have a new question or problem.
I am having a problem with the 125grn r.n.f.p O.A.L. It is a cowboy bullet I think and is much shorter than all my other 125 grn bullets.
Does anybody have any actual loads that they load with IMR700x for 125grn and 158grn bullets? and what are you using for O.A.L.?
Also, does anybody shot cowboy using 125grn rnfp and what is you o.a.l. with these short heads after the crimp groove?
If not here what Cowboy sites would you recommend?
I can't believe how freaking difficult this has become trying these bullets.
Thanks a million.
December 23, 2009, 01:12 PM
The 125 gr. RNFP cast bullet is what my wife and I (and all the other cowboy shooters using .38 Spl. that I know) shoot all the time. My last purchase of these bullets was 25,000, and they're just about gone.
There are two styles of 125 gr. RNFP bullets being cast by the commercial casters. One is more like a truncated cone that has been flattened out, and the other is a true round nose that's been flattened out. I've used both, but prefer the one that looks like the flattened truncated cone.
Since These have to go through our Marlin Carbines, I load them to 1.480" over all length, and crimp heavily into the side of the bullet. This leaves the crimping groove outside the case, but since they have to function smoothly through the carbines, that's the length they need to be. Don't fret over the OAL with .38 Spl., especially if you're loading light plinking loads. If they'll fit in your cylinders, they'll fire. Somewhere around here I've got some targets that I fired from the bench with these loads and they make one ragged hole at 15 yards, and tight clusters at 25 yards.
I use Bullseye for our Cowboy loads, so I can't really help with your 700X loads, but any good manual will have Cowboy loads and you can work from those.
Hope this helps.
December 23, 2009, 01:23 PM
These are probably the more round true cowboy RNFP bullet. If I do load and crimp to the crimp grove will that raise my presure allot? This is my fear.
These will be shoot out of a 686 revolver.
December 23, 2009, 03:47 PM
For most revolvers, you'll be fine. The over all length measurement can be misleading, since what you're really concerned with is the internal volume of the case, after the bullet is seated. If you're not loading at absolute maximum, then it won't make any difference, safety wise. I load them longer to feed through my Marlins, but I also shoot these loads through my revolvers.
You're shooting them in a well made .357 Magnum revolver, and it will handle any normal pressure from a .357 Magnum cartridge, so your light .38 loads will be fine, as long as you don't double charge one with powder. Just seat them so the case mouth crimps into the crimping groove and shoot them.
Hope this helps.
December 24, 2009, 12:18 AM
You'll get there, brother!
December 24, 2009, 12:46 AM
If I seat my 125grn to the crimp groove do my numbers above look O.K.? I've looked at 6-7 diff manuals and not one addresses the 125grn lead using 700x. I'm cool on the 158grn bullets. Those are well covered.
In the years of loading I have never come up against anything like this but that is what keeps in fun. I just want to make sure I have a safe load. I'm not one to just go and blow!!
Thanks again. If I ever ride by on my horse or run into you on the road, I'll gladly lend a hand.