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.38 special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by edwin41, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    little update , finally got my bulletmould .
    its a lyman 150 gr wadcutter bevelbase , couldnt wait to try it !
    i melted some scraplead and mixed it with some tin in a 40 to 1 mix.
    i scraped down a candle for fluxing the melt , parrafine does a great job , but beware of the flames that rise up.
    (and yes , i have a good ventilation that i also use for weldingjobs )
    the bullets came out looking sharp , no problems here !
    next step was to put them trough a lubrisizer and sized them up to .357.
    bulletlube i used was called "super moly", and yes again from lyman.
    got the cci 500 primers in the .38 case and put 2.9 grain of bullseye in them.
    i use a single stage press , you guessed it .... lyman.
    set the bullets at correct depth , crimp groove, and gave it a touch of crimp.
    shot 50 of these bullets today... it was super !
    maby a little shaving of the recipes in the next months but i am very pleased with this load !
    little time consuming to do this like so , but i enjoyed every minute of it.
    so ... a little update that maby is a little helpfull for others?
    greetings from holland.
  2. Smokin357

    Smokin357 Member

    Congratulations, edwin. It is great to hear from gun enthusiast, particularly a reloader, from Holland. Sounds like you have gotten the bug for meltin' n pourin'. Thanks for sharing.
  3. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    Great felling casting loading and shooting your own!
    Hello to y'all from southern Indiana.

    Try out the Castboolits web site there is a wealth of information there too.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  4. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Congrats! Sounds like a great time!
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    On the Alliant site they have a 147gr bullet from the RCBS mold #82077 in their Cowboy Action section. With that bullet their Max charge is 3.5gr Bullseye. The starting load is 10% lower which would be 3.1gr so your charge of 2.5gr is probably as low as I would go. If they are shooting well I would leave the charge where it is. As you probably know too low a charge is not good.

    I'm glad your first bullets worked out so well. It's good to hear casting and loading is alive and well in Holland!
  6. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    thanks for the reactions..
    archangel , im gonna give it a go with a charge of 3.1 gr of bulleye ,
    just a you suggested and the alliant site.
    i will load a set of 50 bullets and see wat happens.
    i will post my findings here , maby helpfull to others.
  7. Hoppe

    Hoppe Active Member

    Gotta love then wadcutters I like the 148gr HB myself. If you got a cheap supply of castting metal really helps with this hobby.
  8. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    3.1gr of Bullseye should be a great load with 150gr lead wadcutters. Have fun!
  9. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    so far so good

    by now ive shot another series of 50 bullets , with 3.1 gr bullseye
    as suggested in this thread.
    the same cast bullet , 150 gr wadcutter , the same hardness , 1 to 40 lead/tin
    aircooled, the same primer , cci 500 and a little rollcrimp , .38 spec shells.
    this load shot better than the 2.9 gr load ive tried earlier.
    i have noticed that the leading kind of shifted from the barrel to the cillinders.
    i mean that the lead disposed is now more concentrated in the cillinders.
    i still use the lyman bulletlube.
    for me its a very fine load... actually very accurate.
    im gonna keep this load for a while and chance another factor to see if i can get the leading down somewhat.
    my thinking would be to cast another badge of 50 or so , but now i will drop the casts in a bucket of water to harden them somewhat and see what happens.
    one factor at a time is what i learned from this great forum..!
    anyway.. still finetuning of my bullets as you see , and still lovin it !
    to be continued..........:D
  10. Cherokee

    Cherokee Well-Known Member

    Edwin - Congratulations on your progress. Its great fun. Waterdropping your bullets with that tin/lead alloy will not increase the hardness, you need some antimony in the alloy for waterdropping to have an effect.

    The cylinder leading is probably caused by the bullet being shaved slightly as it enters the throat of the cylinder, I would think it was doing that with the lighter loads as well. A WC bullet does not have any bullet in the throat and the case is not perfectly centered in the cylinder (its laying at the bottom of the cylinder), so the bullet has to get over the hump into the throat - thus possible shaving. But someone else with more experience with WC's than I have may have a better idea on this.
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    +1 "you need some antimony (2% or more) in the alloy for waterdropping to have an effect."
  12. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Well-Known Member

    Congrats on the success Ed. sort of makes you wonder why anyone would bother with the expense of jacketed bullets, doesn't it?
    If I may make one suggestion: try sizing your bullets .358". A little over size never hurts and often helps especially if you are experiencing leading.
    Good luck!
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    At the low velocities you are generating hardening the bullets will probably cause more leading, not less. At target velocities with soft bullets leading is usually caused by incorrect or not enough lube. Try using a different lube and see if the leading goes away.
  14. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    Well, you're where I was at in 1981! Same mould, same bullet weight, same lube, same powder! And yes, I started with 3.0gr but prefer 3.2. With similar bullet and same powder, I shot a U.S. NRA National record that still stands, since 1998.
    Some things just can't be improved on.
    Welcome to the fraternity.......

    Ditto on the .358", and in your case, softer is better. And, for reduced cost, try using Lee Tumble Lube. But, for higher velocities, I like SPG and for over 1,500fps, I prefer a gaschecked bullet and 50/50 alox-bee's wax lube. But, SPG is good for this too.
  15. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member


    thanks for the reactions , it is much appreciated !
    it gave me a lot to think about and i will try to get my hands on a slightly bigger
    sizer , but what cherokee mentioned also makes a lot of sense !
    the bullet indeed isn t supported by the throats , so they are a little of center.
    the leading is most at the throats and not so much in the bore , so indeed
    i best not try to harden the casts to prevent shifting of the leading.

    maby the cases .357 magnum would make a difference, as they are slightly longer , thus bringing the bullet closer to the throat , thus reducing the jump.

    hmmm... gonna have to let all of these info sink in for a while...:D
    to be continued...
  16. edwin41

    edwin41 Well-Known Member

    now some 150 reloads later i settled for this load ...
    cases are .38 special with the cci 500 primer
    powder is set at 3.1 gr alliant bullseye , and a cast bullet wadcutter style 150 grain.
    i cast them with 40 parts lead 1 part tin and let them cool naturaly.
    i use a light rollcrimp , the bullets have a cannelure for it.
    the lube i use is lyman super moly , the sizer is set at .357.
    its a very accurate load .. ive tried some .357 magnum brass with the same powder and
    ammount , but i like the .38 more... its a classic aint it?
    leading i experience is concentrated in the cillinder throats mostly , i remove it every 50 rounds i fired... even enjoy cleaning my gun..!
    i also noticed that this load performs better than the factory loads i used previosly.
    never had any misfires and it just feels better , maby its my own inexperience , but im very pleased.
    have a good day.. !
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Are you sure what you are seeing is lead? Can it possible be Carbon build up? Most times the front of the cylinders will build up a Carbon ring especially when using .38 Special brass. If it is Carbon there is no need to remove it every 50 rounds, you can clean it after your range trip. (unless you want to fire .357 Magnum ammo after you fire .38 Special ammo) The Carbon build up is normal.

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