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what is your favorite 38 special wadcutter load?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by horsemen61, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Well-Known Member

    what is your favorite 38 special wadcutter load? The reason I ask is because I was just gifted several and I would like a good load for them.
  2. gunlaw

    gunlaw Well-Known Member

    2.8 g of Bullseye. It's a classic load for a reason, very accurate.
  3. rehorne

    rehorne Well-Known Member

    The "standard" for many many years on the Bullseye circuit was 2.7 gr of bullseye, standard small pistol primer and a 148 gr wadcutter.
    I've proally loaded and shot a half million since I started loading and shooting in the 60's.

    Matter of fact, My Star Model B is still setup and cranks out several thousand rounds a year.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  4. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    2.9gr of AA#2. Meters better than bullseye, leaves my gun cleaner, and shoots better.
  5. Miata Mike

    Miata Mike Well-Known Member

    Red Dot works well for me, but doesn't meter as well as I would like.

    I am set up for HP38 on my Lee Pro 1000. Need some more testing before I decide on the final load.
  6. mbopp

    mbopp Well-Known Member

    My M-19 never shot light loads well. 4.3 gr of Unique worked good though.
  7. Joatmon

    Joatmon Well-Known Member

    As stated, 2.7-3 grains of BE is hard to beat for accuracy in .38 spl. Rehorn, always good to hear that reloaders are still cranking them out on a Star progressive. I have one with a 2.7 charge bar and one with a 2.8 charge bar. I have not tried AA#2, probably works well also.
  8. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    2.5 grains of International is a good load, and it meters easily. Right now my press is set up for 2.6 grains of Promo (same as Red Dot)

    I also like 4.5 grains of Promo (Red Dot) with DEWC's in .357 Magnum. Don't try this one in .38 Special.
  9. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    3.0 gr of Tite Group, 148gr LWC, 1.160 OAL.
    That tucks the entire bullet in the case & crimps over the edge
  10. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    I like a 2.8-gr charge of Bullseye, and I use Rem 1-1/2 or 6-1/2 primers for most of mine, whether HBWC or DEWC. OAL is set to 1.18" and I add just enough taper crimp to let them chamber.

    These shoot very well from my 642 and my Security Six.
  11. Starter52

    Starter52 Well-Known Member

    4.0 grains of 231 when I load plated lead DEWC bullets. 3.2 grains when I load plain lead. The plated load is necessary to keep the bullet safely above 800 fps, as recommended for plated bullets.
  12. kostner

    kostner Well-Known Member

    3 grains of Unique or Bullseye seem to work very well with my cast bullets. No leading problems in my SW442 or SW M-10.
  13. robowo

    robowo Active Member

    As mentioned by others 2.7 grains of Bullseye is my favorite load. Another nice load is 2.4 grains of Clays, also excellent accuracy.
  14. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    2.7 gr of 7625.
  15. hAkron

    hAkron Well-Known Member

    I use 4.0gr of HP-38 with 158gr lead SWC.
  16. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    There are a lot of different 38 cal WCs out there, which is yours ?
  17. kgpcr

    kgpcr Well-Known Member

    2.8 grns of Bullseye is a great load for them!
  18. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    We have no idea about the 38 cal WCs gifted, this is important.
  19. anothernewb

    anothernewb Well-Known Member

    148 HBWC over 2.3gr of Trail Boss. just as easy on the wrist as the tried and true bullseye load, but alot cleaner barrel!
  20. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention in my above post about using AA#2 about crimp. When I first started using cast lead DEWC's instead of HBWC's I just couldnt get the accuracy that I was used to with the hollow base bullets. I was seating to the crimp groove and putting a roll crimp into the groove, just like you would with any other bullet with a crimp groove. This isnt to say that they were shotgun patterns, they just werent great groups.

    On a whim one day I seated them deeper, covering about 75% of the band above the crimp groove. Then I used my crimp die to just straighten out the case. No crimp at all, just straighten it out till it was against the bullet, no air gap.

    When I tested those, it was a night and day difference, WITH THE SAME POWDER CHARGE. I haven't crimped a DEWC since and never will again.

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