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Swagged Lead-Barrel Leading-HP38

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by renaissance, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. renaissance

    renaissance Well-Known Member

    Tried some "Swagged" Lead Bullets (Hornaday).
    44 Mag 240 grain SWC
    Going for accuracy at 25 Yards in a Super Redhawk.

    Using HP-38 ............7.0 grain
    (Was attempting to keep velocity "Low" to avoid "Leading" )
    Very Light to NO crimp.

    Got LOUSY Accuracy
    SEVERE Leading

    I was (by someone in the group)referred to Beartooth for advice on avoiding leading.

    Beartooth says TOO Little Velocity; leads up Barrels WORSE than TOO Much velocity.

    OK all you Bears ( Mama Papa and Baby):
    HP-38 - 44 Mag - 240gr Hornaday SWC Swagged Lead target Bullets

    Velocity & How Much Powder (HP-38) to get there?

    How much (velocity/HP-38) is Too Much
    How much (velocity/HP-38)is Too Little
    Just How much HP-38 is "JUST RIGHT" for good accuracy and Low/No leading?

    Is HP-38 No Good for what I am trying to do?
    What Powder might be better?
    How much of "IT" to achive "ideal" Velocity
    ( and What IS that Ideal Velocity)?

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Measure your chamber throats. If they are the same size or smaller than the bore there will be nothing you can do to prevent leading. You may be able to control it to a slight degree....

    Take the cylinder out, gently tap one swaged bullet through each throat with a dowel/pencil and measure them.

    HP38/W231 is not a powder I like or use, but it should be a suitable powder for what you want to do. In your specific use I like Unique, and would start around 7 grains.
  3. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    The problem is you're using "swagged" bullets. To swag means to stagger around, as if drunk. You're using drunk bullets! Give them some coffee and a couple aspirin, and they'll shoot better.

    The word is actually swaged. Sway-jhd.
  4. bakert

    bakert Well-Known Member

    Think I'd try a bit slower powder like Unique or my favorite Universal Clays although the only experience I have using swaged bullets has been in .38 Sp. Speer manual No. 13 gives data for Win 231 which is quite similar to HP38, of start 6 gr. and 6.5 max. with a swaged bullet. Whether backing off a bit would help I don't know. I personally don't like the real fast powders in big cases.
  5. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    First, some guns just lead badly. It may be no reflection on the load.

    Your load looks good. The pressure is high enough to obutrate the base of the bullet, the velocity should be 900-950fps.

    I'd measure the cylinder throats first and slug the barrel. If the cylinder throats are too small you will get crappy accuracy and horible leading. It is an easy fix and probably the best case scenario.

    Let us know what you find.

    What dies are you using?

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2006
  6. fecmech

    fecmech Well-Known Member

    In the ideal world with lead bullets you want the bullet the same size as the throat or even a little larger. The throat slightly larger than the groove diameter so that the bullet is sealing the gas behind it all the way down the barrel. If your bullet is smaller than the throat ( which I suspect in your case) the powder gases blow by the sides of the bullet gas cutting the lead and depositing the lead in the forcing cone and first inch or two of barrel. If the bullets are smaller than the throats about the only thing you can do is go to a slower powder like Blue Dot or 2400 and try for some velocities in the 1000-1100fps range. The slower powders sometimes work in this situation. I don't think there is a right amount of hp-38 in your case, but if it was the only powder I had I would try closer to the maximum load for that powder and bullet to try and bump up the base. Good luck Nick
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2006

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Universal will likely make the leading worse. I am a big fan of Universal and use it extensively, but it plain sucks in a load that leads already. Universal has a high flame temp and I believe that is the cause of the accelerated leading, the only thing worse I have found in the ballpark burning rate of Unique/Universal/231/whatever is Tite-Group.
  8. bakert

    bakert Well-Known Member

    HSSMITH, you may be right about Universal with the swaged bullets. As said my only experience in the larger calibers, .44, .45 is with hard cast bullets. I get very good results with it in loads in the 900 to a bit over 1000 ft range in both my Ruger BH and SBH. I also agree with only1asterisk that some individual guns lead worse than others. Some .357s seem to the worst about this.
  9. Travis Two

    Travis Two member

    According to SPEER No.13 You are over max by .5 grs with HP38/231 type powder. (they are the same) The Ruger is probably at .431 and the swaged bullets are at .429/.430. so you are probably getting some blowby. Try 700X as this is a single base powder and is much easier on swaged bullets due to lower flame temp. than the double base powder like HP38/231 Speer lists 5.5 to 6.0 for a velocity range of 836-871 in a 7.5" barrel. Start with a clean barrel and give it try again. another option would be to switch to a harder cast bullet sized to fit.
  10. renaissance

    renaissance Well-Known Member

    OK That's enough

    I'm switching to Jacketed !

    I've been happily using Hard Cast Lead for years (45 ACP)
    But I give up on this .44Mag and "Swaged" (is that spelt right ?)

    This Soft lead is just too much trouble
    Got me 500 MagnaTech 240 soft point Jacketed ( Semi Jacketed )

    Thought I'd try both HP38 and Titegroup
    With a Max of:
    HP-38 = 11
    TG = 10

    These have a cannelure.
    What do you all think about crimp?
    Light, Hard, or no ?

    Remember this is for accuracy @ 25 Yards.
    Just punching holes in Paper Targets.
  11. HSMITH

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Light crimp should be plenty for those load levels.
  12. happy old sailor

    happy old sailor Well-Known Member

    at one time swaged bullets were dead soft lead to accomodate good swaging process. they may still be near soft as butter.

    leading with any swaged load was the norm. i haven't shot them for decades. all my lead bullets now are Laser Cast from Oregon Trail. these are so hard they "ring" when dropped on a hard surface. some of my magnum loads really kick the bullets in the butt with very little to no leading.

    back then it was said that the soft bullet did not take the rifling and striped the outer surface of the bullet away by going straight through. from the lead in my barrels, i tended to go with that, course some guns have a rough bore and there is no help for that other than shooting a kazillion rounds through them.

    hard bullets solved my probs and i have never looked back. try some before you give up on this leading thing.

    we will all want to know how you eventually solve this prob as it can happen to anyone and we need to know what advice to pass on to others.

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