bullet weight preference for .38/.357


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browncoatdawn
March 14, 2012, 01:54 PM
I was wondering what everyones bullet weight preference is for their .38 or .357, but mostly .357 for general duty. I have a fondness for 140gr. bullets, and they seem to perform well. These loads aren't for SD since I use store bought ammo for that. It just seems to me that the best performance are had in the 135 to 145gr. range for both, at least as far as accuracy, and velocity and power. I just never liked 158gr pills, just as I don't like 147gr for 9mm. I dont have a carbine, yet, and these are mostly for varmints around the property, paper, and maybe hunting if i ever make it out. In Iowa, there isn't much that cant be stopped by a 38.

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rcmodel
March 14, 2012, 02:18 PM
I shoot mostly 158 cast SWC in my fixed sight .38's, as that is what they were factory sighted with.
Although I have been playing with the Speer 135 Short Barrel Gold Dot bullets & Unique powder.

I also shoot 148 HBWC in adjustable sight .38's and .357's for target fun.

My long standing .357 load for my K-Frames has been a 140 XTP or Sierra JHP over 14.5 grains 2400.
It does quite well on Kansas coyotes and is easy on the guns.

rc

XD 45acp
March 14, 2012, 03:02 PM
158gr Hornady XTP here

sidheshooter
March 14, 2012, 03:02 PM
I'm pretty die-hard in my preference for 158 grainers. 158 shoots exactly to POA in all my .38/.357 wheelies, and I've got a respectable stash of "FBI" load layed in to carry me through the zombie apocalypse, or whatever.

I do make an exception for the 145-gr Silvertip .357; it's close enough to 158 to be honorary in my book (and, heck, the FBI did allow it as a sub with permission, or so I've read).

While acknowledging the supremacy of 125 in .357 for social use, it's too hard on my beloved K frames. I figure that the 158 GDHP, Hydra-shok and 145 Winny loads are plenty easy on the guns, let alone the 158 LSWCHP+P .38.

JMHO.

skt239
March 14, 2012, 04:29 PM
I like 125gr for both.

evan price
March 14, 2012, 05:03 PM
I shoot 158-gr lead SWCs for practice in 38 or 357... In 38's I have been carrying 147-gr +P+ Hydrashoks. In 357s I carry 140-gr Hornady XTPs.

19-3Ben
March 14, 2012, 05:26 PM
I'm a fan of 158gr. for its sectional density and penetration.

Cocked & Locked
March 14, 2012, 05:42 PM
158 fan here...Hornady XTP and lead SWC

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/389935115.jpg

zxcvbob
March 14, 2012, 05:43 PM
148 DEWC's, and various types of 158 grain.

Dr_B
March 14, 2012, 05:48 PM
I like 125gr bullets for my .38 and .357 reloading.

browncoatdawn
March 14, 2012, 06:53 PM
I like what I'm getting. Cocked and Locked, what model is that in your pic? Looks hefty and being 8 shot I havent seen any of them.

CajunBass
March 14, 2012, 07:13 PM
158 gr lead. I'll shoot something else from time to time, but that's 98% or more.

What few 357's I shoot, are usually 158 JSP, but I usually shoot 38's in my magnum guns too.

jrod
March 14, 2012, 07:15 PM
158 LSWs.

sidheshooter
March 14, 2012, 07:41 PM
Looks like C&L has a pre-lock "bloodwork" UDR. Maybe he'll sell it to me...

ColtPythonElite
March 14, 2012, 07:49 PM
I shoot a pile of medium/hot 125 grainers. I have 4000k+ on my loading bench right now.

AABEN
March 14, 2012, 08:20 PM
When carrying 158 SWC that I cast with hard lead. I also like the 140==147. When burring lead 125gr will do this keeps me up on my shooting and is easy on the gun.

trex1310
March 14, 2012, 08:38 PM
I like the 158gr in both jacketed and hard cast. I also like the 170gr fmj
in my Thompson Contender.

2wheels
March 14, 2012, 08:39 PM
Another 158 grain fan here, I'm a fan of heavy bullets in most calibers anyways. The only caliber where I like a middleweight caliber is 9mm, where I prefer 124 grain rounds because they seem to feed a little better in most 9mm guns I've had experience with.

Ralph G. Briscoe
March 14, 2012, 09:03 PM
Another 158 gr fan here--Speer and Hornady LSWCHP and XTP's for the really hot stuff. The overwhelming majority are either 4.7 gr Unique (my carry load), or 3.5 gr Unique or 2.7 gr Trailboss with the LSWCHP's in .38 cases--practice loads for my LW snubbies. This is in the interest of simplicity and economy. These loads shoot close to POA in all my snubbies and feed through my Marlin 94. I have a near max (over max according to some data) using the XTP, H110 and .357 cases which is reserved for a Trooper III and the 94. I have nothing against lighter bullets...the 125 gr XTP has worked well for me in the past and would be a good choice for varmints.

Waywatcher
March 14, 2012, 09:23 PM
158 LSWC-WN, hardcast of linotype by Rim Rock, over 14.0 grains of 2400 shoots really well in my 4"GP100. About 1250 fps, accurate, clean, insanely low extreme spread and standard deviation.

I like 158 LSWC-HP w/gc, soft cast of lead (BHN 5) also by Rim Rock, over 6.0 grains of Power Pistol is a great .38 +P load, rocketing out of the same revolver at 950 fps avg. Same virtues as above load.

For general purpose plinking I load Speer 158 LSWC-HP over Accurate #5, Power Pistol, or Trail Boss. Accurate #5 duplicates factory ballistics for 38+P, Power Pistol does even better with the same pressure, and the Trail Boss is light, around 700 fps, and superbly clean burning.

The common denominator is 158 lead.

Cocked & Locked
March 14, 2012, 11:11 PM
Cocked and Locked, what model is that in your pic? Looks hefty and being 8 shot I havent seen any of them.

Looks like C&L has a pre-lock "bloodwork" UDR. Maybe he'll sell it to me...

Yep...its a pre-lock 627-PC Ultimate Defense Revolver aka "Blood Work Gun".

Would I sell it? Dunno...think about sometimes. Here it is as they came from S&W with the Eagle boot grips.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/392326120.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701637.jpg

and here with Craig Spegel boot grips and a 8-round speed strip in the pouch

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/373123796.jpg

sidheshooter
March 15, 2012, 12:53 AM
If you eventually think any harder, please feel encouraged to PM me...

:)

beatledog7
March 15, 2012, 07:36 AM
Depends on the gun. I've taken to loading 125gr for my 642.

jackpinesavages
March 15, 2012, 08:32 AM
158gr SWC, but it really depends on YOUR pistol's barrel.

Zeke/PA
March 15, 2012, 11:37 AM
I like the 158 Grain Semi-Wadcutter in all of my .38's for a practice round.
The Missouri Bullet variety works great for me.

golden
March 15, 2012, 01:15 PM
I use the 110 grain jhp load in my .357 magnums. It was the load I was issued along with the much hotter, harder to shoot 125 grain jhp loads. When it came down to which one I would use, I preferred the 110 grain load.
It was easier to shoot and WINCHESTER makes a White Box load that is works well in my guns.

In my .38 Specials, it depends on the gun.
In a 5 shot, J frame size gun, I usually shoot FEDERAL NYCLAD (standard pressure) 125 grain hollow points. These mild recoiling rounds work very well in a airweight gun which can be difficult to control when using +P loads.

In medium weight revolvers, I usually shoot REMINGTON 125 sjhp +P ammo. It is sold in 100 round boxes that really cut the cost of shooting and recoils less than the 158 grain +P loads.

You may have noticed a common theme here and that is my aversion to recoil. When I was younger, I did not care about heavy recoil, but as I have aged, it has become a factor that I wish to control.

Jim

MCgunner
March 15, 2012, 02:35 PM
I handload everything, even my carry ammo. Spare me the Ayoob speeches. I load a 140 grains Speer JHP over 17 grains 2400 for carry in a 3" gun and a 165 SWC Keith style gas checked from a Lee mold for general duty and hunting. I shoot a lot of .38 for practice. I carry a 158+P JHP for carry in my .38s.

charlie echo
March 15, 2012, 07:33 PM
Yep...its a pre-lock 627-PC Ultimate Defense Revolver aka "Blood Work Gun".

Would I sell it? Dunno...think about sometimes. Here it is as they came from S&W with the Eagle boot grips.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/392326120.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701637.jpg

and here with Craig Spegel boot grips and a 8-round speed strip in the pouch

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/373123796.jpg
Now I saw it. It's too late. Can't get that out my mind now. Might be the fine urban/HD companion to my 44RM revolver, loaded with 158 grain 357 HPs or Wadcutters. Nice holster with belt. I wonder how that'll fit me, as CCW gun? I'm 220#s.

I hear that 125 grain 357 HP ammo can be good stoppers, but wouln't 158 grain 357 HP ammo penetrate more consistently? After accuracy, I want penetration more so than expansion in a HP bullet.

Smith357
March 15, 2012, 08:35 PM
Target work 148 WCs
Social work 158s
Hunting 180s

I leave the little 125 grain bullets for the wundernines

hariph creek
March 15, 2012, 09:14 PM
Practice/plinking= 158gr LSWC .38special from Bear Creek Supply (moly-coated) over Trail Boss.

Social work= 158gr Buffalo Bore LSWCHP .38special non+p

Hunting/woods= 180gr Hard cast over Blue Dot. .357mag (not currently loading for this)

158's are what my Dective Special likes. The moly bullets are cheap, need no lube and don't foul the bore. I like them alot.

With fixed sights you've got to shoot what your gun likes.

wanderinwalker
March 15, 2012, 09:39 PM
158s in both my .38 and .357 loads. For the Specials, it's a cast lead SWC and a charge of 231. For the Magnums, it's 158gr JHPs (either Noslers or Hornadys, both shoot well IME) and a stiff-but-not-max dose of Alliant 2400.

Runner up would the 140gr Hornady XTP. That bullet will SHOOT if you and your revolvers are up to it. It doesn't seem to be too particular about what I drive it with, either 296 or 2400 in the .357 has worked well for me. I'd try it with something like HS-6 or Power Pistol in a +P .38 Special loading, but I doubt it would even come close to expanding. Should shoot little knots though.

Cocked & Locked
March 15, 2012, 10:28 PM
Charlie Echo said...
Now I saw it. It's too late. Can't get that out my mind now. Might be the fine urban/HD companion to my 44RM revolver, loaded with 158 grain 357 HPs or Wadcutters. Nice holster with belt. I wonder how that'll fit me, as CCW gun? I'm 220#s.

It would fit you just fine. Problem is my little fixed sight 629 .44 magnum snub would miss it's 627 pal.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/390177500.jpg
http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/390177498.jpg

charlie echo
March 16, 2012, 12:04 AM
Charlie Echo said...


It would fit you just fine. Problem is my little fixed sight 629 .44 magnum snub would miss it's 627 pal.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/390177500.jpg
http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/390177498.jpg
That's sweet lookin'. Now, i want to get wood grip for my 4" blued 44M.

gunnutery
March 16, 2012, 12:14 AM
I'll use any weight grain for my .357's, but for SD, I prefer to stick with 125 gr. I guess I just want a little more velocity. Not that heavier bullets wouldn't hurt too though :).

ArchAngelCD
March 16, 2012, 12:29 AM
My favorite bullet weight in the 38/357 is 158gr, a 158gr LSWC to be exact.
I just never liked 158gr pills, just as I don't like 147gr for 9mm.
Problem there is, the .38 Special was developed with the 158gr bullet whereas the 9mm was developed with a 125gr bullet, not a 147gr bullet. The 158gr bullet in the 38/357 is not considered heavy for caliber whereas the 147gr bullet in the 9mm is. IMO that's not a good comparison.

sirsloop
March 16, 2012, 01:06 AM
My loads are....

357Mag - 158gr Berry FMJ 16.8gr H110 Federal Match Magnum SP primers. Ya they are hot, and awesomeeeeee!

.38spl 110GR Hornady XTP 4.1gr Bullseye Federal Match Magnum SP Primers.

Brian Williams
March 16, 2012, 05:53 AM
I really like a 180 gr LRNGC over 15 gr of Lil'gun. It works in all my revolvers and really well in my 1894C

hariph creek
March 16, 2012, 10:46 AM
wanderinwalker... I, also, like 2400 for .357mag.

ArchAngelCD... Well said.

DocRx
March 16, 2012, 12:10 PM
I carry a Ruger KLCR 357/38 daily. In it for PD, is the famous/infamous Federal 125gr. 357Mag. JHP, the best BG stopper available at the rate of 96%. The Feds have a good "kick" to them, but are controllable with the Hogue Tamer Grips (standard fair for the Ruger KLCR). As backup, if ever needed, is a HKR Speedloader with Speer Gold Dot 125gr. 38spl.+P JHP. I also have for use Hornady's 110gr. 38spl.+P JHP PD, and Cor-Bon 110gr.+P JHP PD. Any suggestions, Gentlemen, please advise. Thanks, be safe.

CSA 357
March 16, 2012, 09:24 PM
158s for me cast or jsp/jhp

zxcvbob
March 16, 2012, 09:28 PM
Anybody load 125 grain half-jacket HP's in .38 special +P? I've got a big box of Remington bullets and I'm not sure what to do with them. (no, they're not for sale)

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