Llama 4" 38 special, reloading help!


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Blade&Bullet94
March 22, 2012, 04:42 AM
so, i will soon be in possesion of said revolver. im kinda an apprentice in the local gun shop, and as payment for my grunt labor my boss has given me some reloading supplies. since there isnt much for powder around here, im trying to make what i can get work. i have a usable can of herco, and a box of 158 grain JHP. what im wondering is a few things. one is this revolver strong enough to handle it, i dont know if its +P rated or not, and two, anyone know of a good load for this powder? i have a scale and everything except primers.

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tryshoot
March 22, 2012, 05:46 AM
Herco is an Alliant powder, might check thier stats.

Blade&Bullet94
March 22, 2012, 05:55 AM
i found a list the reccomends 4.1 to 6.8 for a 158 grain bullet, but that seems pretty hot... im concerned with the revolver handling it, i havent been able to find any info on wether or not the revolver is +P rated

rcmodel
March 22, 2012, 11:30 AM
According to older Alliant data when they still listed cast bullets?

4.5 Herco with a 158 LSWC is a MAX standard pressure load.
4.0 is the Starting load.

Your gun will handle it fine.

4.7 is +P MAX load.

rc

Blade&Bullet94
March 23, 2012, 01:16 AM
today i talked to the reloading expert at the local gun shop. after browsing a couple of his books, he told me 4 grains would work just fine, just as you said rcmodel :) i just now finished loading over 90 rounds, using various brass, 158 grain JHP bullets, and winchester wsp small pistol primers. now i just have to wait two weeks to finnish paying off the revolver -.-# also, i used a homemade dipper for throwing my charges, i think i kept them pretty consistant, but even on the higher end it wont go over 4.1 or 4.2. i hope. using a manuel scale, not digital.

Josh45
March 23, 2012, 06:47 PM
Using a manual beam scale is a good way to check your loads.
Also, I wouldn't load to many rounds when doing a test run. Why? Well because if you don't like the way they shoot or what ever other reason comes up, Then you have quite a bit of bullet pulling to do.

To check for consistency of your home-made dipper, Measure 10 throws on the scale and see what you get. The more you can repeat the same throw, The better off you can get it. Lee makes a dipper set for about 10-12 bucks IIRC.

Oh and when you can, Get some W-231. It works great for 125 GR bullets in .38 SPCL. Also bookmark the powder site and look it up when ever your looking for your loads. When you can get at least two manuals. Lee Second Edition is O.K. Lyman 49th is good and so is the Hornady 8th edition.

You can also look for the "One Caliber Reloading Guide" I think it is also about $10 bucks. Find them on eBay/Bass Pro/ Cabelas/Gander Mountain.

Let us know how she shoots! Oh and make sure to not mix up the Small Pistol Primers with Small Pistol Magnum Primers!

skidder
March 24, 2012, 03:46 AM
I've got one of those and it is my most accurate revolver. I paid $90 for mine 6 months ago and it was in pretty bad shape. Cleaned it up, reblued it, and put on some Hogue grips (this gun is a copy of S&W k-frame so it uses the same grips).

For the 158 gr JHP, 4.2 gr of Herco gives you about 700 fps and this is the max before stepping into +P range (this is from my 4th addition Hornady manual).
In my Llama 38 I like 125 gr HP with 4.2 of Red Dot at 900 fps. Everybody has their favorites, but this combo drives tacks in my gun.

http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc456/exlogger/Llama/Llama5.jpg

skidder
March 24, 2012, 04:33 AM
i found a list the reccomends 4.1 to 6.8 for a 158 grain bullet, but that seems pretty hot... im concerned with the revolver handling it, i havent been able to find any info on wether or not the revolver is +P rated

You are correct, 6.8 is really hot! I would not attempt such a load in this gun! Even if it is +P, that margin is far over the limit.

Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 11:08 AM
im reloading mostly just for plinking with this gun, so it wont bother me if they arnt fast loads

Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 11:13 AM
btw skidder, nice gun, do you know what "model" the llama revolver is based on? the local gun shop has several different grips available

montanaoffroader
March 24, 2012, 12:09 PM
Look for grips that fit a S&W Model 19.

skidder
March 24, 2012, 12:31 PM
double post

deleted

skidder
March 24, 2012, 12:32 PM
Look for grips that fit a S&W Model 19.

Yes, that's what I did and they fit. The Smith & Wesson k-frame grips are a close match. However, Llama did make other variations.
The Hogue grips fit mine the best.
Give it a try, you can always bring them back.

ArchAngelCD
March 24, 2012, 07:45 PM
i have a usable can of herco, and a box of 158 grain JHP. what im wondering is a few things. one is this revolver strong enough to handle it, i dont know if its +P rated or not, and two, anyone know of a good load for this powder?
A revolver in good operating condition can "handle" and published .38 Special load that complies with SAAMI pressure limits. As long as you stick with published loads from a reliable source you will be fine.

As for using Herco for standard pressure .38 Special loads, I would use something a little faster. The above suggestion of using W231/.HP-38 is a good one if you can find it around you. There are a lot of other good powders to load standard pressure .38 Specials too. If you post a list of what's available in your area we can tell you which powders to pick from.

foghornl
March 24, 2012, 07:51 PM
In .38Spl "standard pressure" load, Alliant (hercules) Bullseye 3.5Gr with a 158-Gr Lead semi wadcutter 815 FPS 3.1 Gr with 148-Gr wadcutter 800 FPS

For the "+P" load 3.9 Bullseye 158 Gr LSWC 875 FPS

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