Help me out with a .38 special load


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Arkansas Paul
April 22, 2013, 05:52 PM
Hey all.
I got a Lyman .38 caliber wadcutter mold in a trade and am looking for info on it and having a hard time finding any.

It's the Lyman Ideal 358432 and drops a boolit at right at 160 grains. I've found plenty of data for 148 grain wadcutters. Would it be safe to use that data?

I've tried 3 grains of Red Dot and it wasn't very accurate. Has anyone else tried this boolit? Any suggestions would be appreciated as far as loads.

As far as powder for the .38, I have 700x, Bullseye, Unique, Red Dot and Trail Boss on hand.

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germ
April 22, 2013, 06:04 PM
My wife shoots NOE 155 WC with 3.1gr TG (2nd choice is 3.0 BE). This is seated to the top crimp groove. I don't recall exactly, but I'm pretty sure the max is about 3.3 of either TG or BE. Start around 2.7 and work up.

Try here: Handloads.com (http://handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=38%20Special&Weight=158&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=)

ljnowell
April 22, 2013, 06:05 PM
If I were to run any of those powders it would be bullseye. If its dropping at 160, I would start at about 2.5 and work my way up. The gold standard is 2.7-2.8(depending on who you ask, lol).

700x wouldnt be too bad of apowder to use, but you are looking at hand weighing every charge with those big ol' cornflakes at that low of a charge weight.

Personally, I only use on powder for wadcutters, and I load at LEAST 8k of them a year(during bullseye season I shoot roughly 6500 of them in 20 weeks!) and its AA#2. 2.9gr under a Missouri Bullet 148gr DEWC, in Winchester cases with Federal primers has done me well.

jstein650
April 22, 2013, 06:15 PM
Most data on 148gr wadcutters will be referring to swaged hollow base wadcutters, (HBWC) which are dead soft. It looks like that is a button nose wadcutter, which will likely do better with loads hotter than those for HBWC's. Am curious as to your alloy, at 160gr. That mold is supposed to throw cast at closer to 148. I may be wrong, but could you post a pic of the mold or cast bullet?

nix4me
April 22, 2013, 07:08 PM
Lots of data available for Bullseye. I use 3.5 of bullseye for 158gr lead SWC. Check the powder websites and all books, they all have huge amount of recipes for 158gr lead bullets in 38 Special. Since its not exact to a 158 SWC, i would probably start a load at 3.1 Bullseye and work from there.

Arkansas Paul
April 22, 2013, 07:21 PM
Here's the box and scale. As you can see, it's just a shade under 159 grains. However, I just realized that that is the lubed weight, so it's prolly dropping at around 156-157.

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac223/prgann/IMG_4957_zpsfdbd7aad.jpg (http://s902.photobucket.com/user/prgann/media/IMG_4957_zpsfdbd7aad.jpg.html)

Am curious as to your alloy, at 160gr. That mold is supposed to throw cast at closer to 148.

My alloy for .38 Spcl is generally 50/50 clip on to stick on wheel weights. It doesn't have to be very hard for what I do with it.

700x wouldnt be too bad of apowder to use, but you are looking at hand weighing every charge with those big ol' cornflakes at that low of a charge weight.

Yeah, 700x sucks. It performs well enough, but meters terribly. I only bought it because I was getting a little low and it was during the panic. That's all there was at the time.
I'm gonna try some AA#2. You're not the first person I've heard speak well of it. From what I've researched the applications are similar to Bullseye. Does it meter as well?

Arkansas Paul
April 22, 2013, 07:23 PM
I use 3.5 of bullseye for 158gr lead SWC. Check the powder websites and all books, they all have huge amount of recipes for 158gr lead bullets in 38 Special. Since its not exact to a 158 SWC, i would probably start a load at 3.1 Bullseye and work from there.

Thanks, but it's not a SWC, it's a wadcutter. I'm worried about using other 158 grain data on account of how deep those darn things are seated to.

jstein650
April 22, 2013, 07:29 PM
Is that a crimp groove, about a good 1/8" down off the shoulder of the bullet?

ljnowell
April 22, 2013, 08:09 PM
Yeah, 700x sucks. It performs well enough, but meters terribly. I only bought it because I was getting a little low and it was during the panic. That's all there was at the time.
I'm gonna try some AA#2. You're not the first person I've heard speak well of it. From what I've researched the applications are similar to Bullseye. Does it meter as well?

Tell ya what Paul, I will go out on the limb and say that as far as metering, it blows Bullseye away. I never had a problem with bullseye, but +/- .1 was the norm out of my powder measure. AA2 is such a fine ball powder, that I generally get dead on drops out of it. It truly has made my most accurate wadcutter ammo to date. I used to say that 700x made my most accurate 45 acp load, but not anymore. It makes great ammo, but AA2 has surpassed it for me also.

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