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Old March 14, 2012, 02:54 PM   #1
browncoatdawn
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bullet weight preference for .38/.357

I was wondering what everyones bullet weight preference is for their .38 or .357, but mostly .357 for general duty. I have a fondness for 140gr. bullets, and they seem to perform well. These loads aren't for SD since I use store bought ammo for that. It just seems to me that the best performance are had in the 135 to 145gr. range for both, at least as far as accuracy, and velocity and power. I just never liked 158gr pills, just as I don't like 147gr for 9mm. I dont have a carbine, yet, and these are mostly for varmints around the property, paper, and maybe hunting if i ever make it out. In Iowa, there isn't much that cant be stopped by a 38.
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Old March 14, 2012, 03:18 PM   #2
rcmodel
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I shoot mostly 158 cast SWC in my fixed sight .38's, as that is what they were factory sighted with.
Although I have been playing with the Speer 135 Short Barrel Gold Dot bullets & Unique powder.

I also shoot 148 HBWC in adjustable sight .38's and .357's for target fun.

My long standing .357 load for my K-Frames has been a 140 XTP or Sierra JHP over 14.5 grains 2400.
It does quite well on Kansas coyotes and is easy on the guns.

rc
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Old March 14, 2012, 04:02 PM   #3
XD 45acp
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158gr Hornady XTP here
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Old March 14, 2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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I'm pretty die-hard in my preference for 158 grainers. 158 shoots exactly to POA in all my .38/.357 wheelies, and I've got a respectable stash of "FBI" load layed in to carry me through the zombie apocalypse, or whatever.

I do make an exception for the 145-gr Silvertip .357; it's close enough to 158 to be honorary in my book (and, heck, the FBI did allow it as a sub with permission, or so I've read).

While acknowledging the supremacy of 125 in .357 for social use, it's too hard on my beloved K frames. I figure that the 158 GDHP, Hydra-shok and 145 Winny loads are plenty easy on the guns, let alone the 158 LSWCHP+P .38.

JMHO.
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Old March 14, 2012, 05:29 PM   #5
skt239
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I like 125gr for both.
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Old March 14, 2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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I shoot 158-gr lead SWCs for practice in 38 or 357... In 38's I have been carrying 147-gr +P+ Hydrashoks. In 357s I carry 140-gr Hornady XTPs.
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Old March 14, 2012, 06:26 PM   #7
19-3Ben
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I'm a fan of 158gr. for its sectional density and penetration.
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Old March 14, 2012, 06:42 PM   #8
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158 fan here...Hornady XTP and lead SWC

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Old March 14, 2012, 06:43 PM   #9
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148 DEWC's, and various types of 158 grain.
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Old March 14, 2012, 06:48 PM   #10
Dr_B
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I like 125gr bullets for my .38 and .357 reloading.
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Old March 14, 2012, 07:53 PM   #11
browncoatdawn
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Interesting info so far

I like what I'm getting. Cocked and Locked, what model is that in your pic? Looks hefty and being 8 shot I havent seen any of them.
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Old March 14, 2012, 08:13 PM   #12
CajunBass
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158 gr lead. I'll shoot something else from time to time, but that's 98% or more.

What few 357's I shoot, are usually 158 JSP, but I usually shoot 38's in my magnum guns too.
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Old March 14, 2012, 08:15 PM   #13
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158 LSWs.
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Old March 14, 2012, 08:41 PM   #14
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Looks like C&L has a pre-lock "bloodwork" UDR. Maybe he'll sell it to me...
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Old March 14, 2012, 08:49 PM   #15
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I shoot a pile of medium/hot 125 grainers. I have 4000k+ on my loading bench right now.
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Old March 14, 2012, 09:20 PM   #16
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When carrying 158 SWC that I cast with hard lead. I also like the 140==147. When burring lead 125gr will do this keeps me up on my shooting and is easy on the gun.
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Old March 14, 2012, 09:38 PM   #17
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I like the 158gr in both jacketed and hard cast. I also like the 170gr fmj
in my Thompson Contender.
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Old March 14, 2012, 09:39 PM   #18
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Another 158 grain fan here, I'm a fan of heavy bullets in most calibers anyways. The only caliber where I like a middleweight caliber is 9mm, where I prefer 124 grain rounds because they seem to feed a little better in most 9mm guns I've had experience with.
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Old March 14, 2012, 10:03 PM   #19
Ralph G. Briscoe
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Another 158 gr fan here--Speer and Hornady LSWCHP and XTP's for the really hot stuff. The overwhelming majority are either 4.7 gr Unique (my carry load), or 3.5 gr Unique or 2.7 gr Trailboss with the LSWCHP's in .38 cases--practice loads for my LW snubbies. This is in the interest of simplicity and economy. These loads shoot close to POA in all my snubbies and feed through my Marlin 94. I have a near max (over max according to some data) using the XTP, H110 and .357 cases which is reserved for a Trooper III and the 94. I have nothing against lighter bullets...the 125 gr XTP has worked well for me in the past and would be a good choice for varmints.
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Old March 14, 2012, 10:23 PM   #20
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158 LSWC-WN, hardcast of linotype by Rim Rock, over 14.0 grains of 2400 shoots really well in my 4"GP100. About 1250 fps, accurate, clean, insanely low extreme spread and standard deviation.

I like 158 LSWC-HP w/gc, soft cast of lead (BHN 5) also by Rim Rock, over 6.0 grains of Power Pistol is a great .38 +P load, rocketing out of the same revolver at 950 fps avg. Same virtues as above load.

For general purpose plinking I load Speer 158 LSWC-HP over Accurate #5, Power Pistol, or Trail Boss. Accurate #5 duplicates factory ballistics for 38+P, Power Pistol does even better with the same pressure, and the Trail Boss is light, around 700 fps, and superbly clean burning.

The common denominator is 158 lead.
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Old March 15, 2012, 12:11 AM   #21
Cocked & Locked
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Quote:
Cocked and Locked, what model is that in your pic? Looks hefty and being 8 shot I havent seen any of them.
Quote:
Looks like C&L has a pre-lock "bloodwork" UDR. Maybe he'll sell it to me...
Yep...its a pre-lock 627-PC Ultimate Defense Revolver aka "Blood Work Gun".

Would I sell it? Dunno...think about sometimes. Here it is as they came from S&W with the Eagle boot grips.





and here with Craig Spegel boot grips and a 8-round speed strip in the pouch

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Old March 15, 2012, 01:53 AM   #22
sidheshooter
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If you eventually think any harder, please feel encouraged to PM me...

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Old March 15, 2012, 08:36 AM   #23
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Depends on the gun. I've taken to loading 125gr for my 642.
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Old March 15, 2012, 09:32 AM   #24
jackpinesavages
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158gr SWC, but it really depends on YOUR pistol's barrel.
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Old March 15, 2012, 12:37 PM   #25
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I like the 158 Grain Semi-Wadcutter in all of my .38's for a practice round.
The Missouri Bullet variety works great for me.
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