Shot my first hand loads today...


August 28, 2011, 06:58 PM
So I shot my first hand loads today. Mainly what I loaded was Speer 158gr SWC with 3 grains of Trail Boss. Shot in my S&W 642. These consistently hit high of POA.

I was shooting at a Shoot n See 2x2 target. Four, 4-inch diameter targets arranged in a square, about 2 inches between each target.

Aiming directly at the lower left target, these consistently put 5 holes in and around the bulls eye... I was very impressed with the accuracy (and my shooting with the 642, which is getting much better). However, the problem is that I was blowing out the bulls eye of the UPPER left target :uhoh: I got these results consistently with this load.

I have not had this problem particularly with the different kinds of factory ammo I have been shooting in the past.

This is perplexing because the whole reason I decided on the 158 grain bullets is because Teh Interwebz says these are SUPPOSED to hit POA in a snub nosed revolver. Has anyone else had similar results?

I guess step one is to find some factory 158 grain rounds and try those. I will not be back to the range for probably 2 weeks though. So in the mean time, I will try to load up some more with 4 grains of Trail Boss and hope for the best.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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chris in va
August 28, 2011, 07:43 PM
Muzzle rise. I suspect the barrel is flipping up before the bullet can get out. Try the 4.0gr and see if that lowers POI. IMR lists 4.2 as max out of a 7.7" barrel.

August 28, 2011, 08:09 PM
you are shooting a 38 spec snubnose? what is your distance to target? how close to POA was POI with your factory loads? I can tell you this you will find that differant recipies will give you differant POI but I dought mussle flip is your problem. Use your data and work some loads within safe range up and down a few grains in .5 grain steps to find one that works best in your gun.

Hondo 60
August 28, 2011, 09:56 PM
Every gun is different!

But my S&W 10-5s (a 4" & a 2") love The Hunting Shack's 125gr plated with about 4.3 grains of Tite Group.
POI is very very close to POA.
Here's a recipe to think on.

Just my 2

August 28, 2011, 10:31 PM
Chris told you right. Speed up the bullet to hit lower, or adjust the sights for the slower load.

August 28, 2011, 11:02 PM
Chris in VA,

Thanks, that makes sense. For Trail Boss with a 158 gr SWC 3 grains is on the very low end; min 2.7 max 4.2

I will also try seating the bullet further out. In this batch, I was seating the bullets at about 1.445" COAL which showed only a tiny bit of crimp groove. I will try 1.475" COAL (which is also recommended from another data source) showing more of the groove for the next batch. Any chance that this will have an effect?

THR members are awesome, I hope some day I will have an amount of expertise that I will be able to give some advice instead of just asking for it :o

August 29, 2011, 02:02 AM
Pulling the bullet out further will slow the bullet even more. I'm guessing you're not even getting 600 fps from your 3.0gr load with a 158gr bullet. Be careful with loads that slow, you don't want to stick a bullet in the barrel. The sticking part isn't bad but if you don't notice it and fire another round, things will get very interesting very fast.

I agree with the above suggestion of upping the charge to at least 4.0gr on the next go-around. Congratulations of firing your first ammo, well done!

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