1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

.38 and .357 powder weights....

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Archangel14, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Well-Known Member

    Guys, I'm reloading some .38 and .357 and seek your opinions as to the amount of powder I should be using. I'll be using hard cast 125 gr. for both (Penn Bullets). I want to load them a bit on the strong side, but not really "hot". Kind of a "medium+" load is what I'm looking for. I have the following powders on hand:

    1. Bullseye,
    2. Alliant 2400,
    3. Hodgdon Universal Clays,
    4. IMR 4227,
    5. Winchester WST.

    Any recommendations are well appreciated!
  2. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

    I'd use the 2400 and Universal for the Magnum loads and Bullseye and Universal for the Specials. Check your manual for specific data. Lyman's 49th should have load data (every reloader should have a minimum of 2 manuals; one for the bullets used, ie.; Hornady bullets, use Hornady manual, Sierra bullets use Sierra manual, etc., and a Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook for shooting lead).
  3. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Well-Known Member

    I was thinking that Bullseye may burn too fast for hard cast. Am I incorrect?
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    You need data, which can be found in reloading manuals and online data. That will keep you safe when unknown people start suggesting unknown load data.

    We have some very experienced reloaders here who can certainly suggest some excellent loads, but how will you know the difference between a safe one and a not so safe one?

    Bullseye is fine with cast bullets, as are the others, but 4227 is a bit slow for your intentions.
  5. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Well-Known Member

    Why would anyone think for a moment that I wouldn't check the 20 different books I possess for load data? And yes, I am turning to this forum to obtain some expert opinions. To see if there is something I may learn, or if there's a bit of helpful info I may not have known. That's the purpose of this particular forum, I'd imagine.
  6. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    Bullseye, Clays & WST are fairly fast burners & should be used in conjunction with lite plinkin/target loads.

    They may burn qwik/hot enuff to promote leading (too many variables to chisel in stone)

    For magnum performace with lead boolits ya can`t beat the 2 slow burners ya got listed 2400 & IMR 4227.

    Wish I could help with loads ,but the lightest thing I shoot is the Lyman 357477 150gr. swc in plinkers to mid loadings .

    Most are 160gr. +

    But I do have exp with fast powder in the large straight walled revolver rounds . Be cautious , as higher peak pressures are achived it speeds up the pressure spike dramatically. Hope that statement made sense.

    GP:cool: Be Safe!
  7. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info....here's a newbie question: I see that Hodgdon lists load data for both "Clays" and "Universal". I have some "Universal Clays." Which is it?
  8. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    Most people most commonly refer to it simply as Universal these days. Make sure you don't confuse the data with "International" Clays. ;)
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    A 125 gr cast bullet is kind of light for heavy .38 and even middle .357.
    The alloy, lube, and diameter will have to be just right for low lead fouling and continued accuracy.
  10. Mango88

    Mango88 Well-Known Member

  11. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member


    Reloading Manuals are your best friends.
    They keep you from doing stupid stuff if you follow them religiously.

    The powder manufacturers also have data available free online.

    Asking for data at forums is not a good idea.
    Some joker may give you a load that's way too strong or way too weak.
    Then you end up with an exploded gun, or a bullet stuck in the barrel.

    Please stay safe!
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Of the powders you listed I would use Universal for medium hot .38 Special loads. You can also use universal for light magnum rounds or download 2400 or 4227 for the same effect.

    As for the Clays lime of powders, they were originally designed as shotgun powders. Clays is the fastest, International Clays (NOT recommended for handgun loads) is the next in the line and the slowest of the three is Universal Clays which was developed to mimic Unique but it meters better and it's cleaner. It is usually referred to as merely Universal.

Share This Page