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125gr or 158gr for light 38sp

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gahunter12, Feb 17, 2012.

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  1. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    I am getting ready to order 1k 38 SP plated bullets for my wife's revolver. She has a Tarus 605 2" bbl. I'm trying to decide between 125gr or 158gr plated bullets. I plan on using W231/ HP38 to push them. I'm looking for a nice low recoil load that would be great for target practice. We shoot indoors for the most part until spring/summer. That's the reason for wanting to stick with plated. I will also make note of other powders that would work. She loves shooting, so I want to give her a low recoil load that she can enjoy while still being accurate. Thanks!!:D
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If you have a fixed sight revolver you might want to use a 158gr bullet because it will shoot more to POA than a 125gr bullet will. However a 125gr bullet will produce less felt recoil because it's lighter.

    I would suggest you buy a small box of each and see which you and your wife like better and also see which shoot better in your revolver. (they usually come in boxes of 100)

    As for powders, I use almost nothing other than W231 for my .38 Special ammo and exclusively for .38 Special target ammo. I see no reason to look further although Bullseye, AA#2, Clays and a bunch of others will also do a good job.
     
  3. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    The 125s will, in all likelihood, shoot low. If you shoot at 10 yards and under, it will hardly be noticeable. Take it out to 25 yards, and you could easily print 4+inches low. It's honestly a tough call.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    They can both be loaded light successfully, but, as posted, the 158 is more likely to shoot to point of aim, although it is not a done deal that the 125 will not shoot close enough to be satisfactory. Another option is the 140 or 148. My light plinker is a 158 these days. At that very light level in .38 or .357 cases, I like WST, but W-231 is a great powder as well, and can be used for more robust loads in .38 Spl.
     
  5. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I get argued with everytime I post this. A heavier bullet will burn the powder faster inside of the barrel. You need less powder to complete the burn. A heavy bullet with a fast powder will give you less recoil.
     
  6. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

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    How light of a load can ya'll do with a plated bullet? I'm shooting light lead loads but have been thinking of trying some 158 gr 38 spl plated bullets.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    38 Special

    It may be possible to stick a 158gr "Jacketed" bullet in the barrel with light loads??? Plated may be different?? :confused:
     
  8. sellersm

    sellersm Member

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    I'm with kingmt on this one: all things being equal, the heavier bullet usually feels like softer recoil, more of a 'push' than a 'snap' of the lighter weight bullet that's going faster.

    This caliber was designed for 158gr projectiles, that's what I'd recommend.

    I'm not sure what velocity it would take (or not) to stick a bullet in only a 2" barrel, though. Plated will offer more friction, but a good mid-level load for lead should be a good starting place.

    I tend to like W231 for plated, Bullseye for lead.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    3.7/3.8 Grs of WST in a .38 Spl case (3.8/3.9 in .357 cases) with an X-Treme 158 Gr plated SWC loaded to 1.440 with a WSP primer will give around 725 to 775 FPS in typical 4" to 6" revolvers. It will get the bullet out of the barrel every time regardless of powder position, although velocity will drop with the powder against the bullet. I have not tried it in a 2" to 3" barrel, but am sure it would be fine.

    It is light and very accurate in everything I have tried it in. It shoots very close to point of aim in my 4" Model 10-6 heavy barrel. My 4" 586-3 loves it in .357 brass. My 6" Colt OMM loves it as well.

    You can get a lighter load with a 125 simply because it is lighter, has less friction, and it takes less powder to get it out of the barrel.


    Start low, work up, and watch carefully for stuck bullets at lower charges.

    My comfort factor velocity with a 158 Gr plated bullet is 600 FPS from a 4" tube. I have seen velocities in the three hundreds leave the barrel, but don't like to play that close to sticking one, except for testing of course. Yep, I have a brass rod in the range bag, and yes, I have stuck bullets testing light loads powder forward.
     
  10. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Although many .38 spl snubs have there sights regulated for 158gr bullets and 125gr bullets shoot noticeably low, your 605 snub has it's sights regulated for a .357 mag load. So as recommended in post #2 it is worth it to try different bullet weights for .38spl in the 605 and see what it likes.
    I tried 300 Fiocchi lead free primers in 38spl a few years ago, they worked well with Bullseye, W231 and AA#5 these primers did not perform any differently than other standard small pistol primers.
     
  11. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Member

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    I had a 605 and shot berry's 125gr plated with AA2 out of it and they where very accurate. I enjoyed shooting skoal cans all the way down the range. Very mild load and you will want a fast powder with the snubby.
     
  12. Peter_S

    Peter_S Member

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    I have just got through some testing of 125 grain JSP in my snub, just for practice and found 4.7 HP-38 to be quite accurate for me.

    I played around with a bunch of different loads for the 158 gr SWC, repeating some that looked good a few times and came up with 4.1 grains HP-38 to be good, also just for practice.

    I think I'll drop the JSP's when they are finished and just use the SWC's.
     
  13. Stormin.40

    Stormin.40 Member

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    Yep, this was my experience when loading light 125gr lead FN vs 158gr lead SWC, even at 7 yards the 125s were low!

    When I stepped up the charge and used plated 125 grain bullets they were closer to the POA.
     
  14. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I think I will stick with the 158gr. My wife handles the 158gr WWB target loads fine. I have just been thinking if I could lighten the recoil up a little for her she may thank me. She has enjoyed shooting with me over the last year and I don't want to change that by loading a wrist breaker that she hates shooting. That being said she carries 357 gold dots and runs 1-2 cylinders of 357 target rounds just to keep in touch with what the 357 feels like. I also don't care to lower her POI. She has proven extremly accurate with her 605. Enough so that other shooters have taken notice. I am so dang proud of her!!
     
  15. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I would not ask for any more.
     
  16. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Try Red Dot or Bullseye to lighten recoil.
     
  17. 4895

    4895 Member

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    I recently loaded some .38 special round nose plated Berry's for my S&W 642 airweight 1 7/8" barrel with 3.5 grains of 231. It is a very, very mild recoil load and pleasant to shoot. No dirty residue, no lead, excellent accuracy. I highly recommend the 158 grain bullets, but they tend to shoot high in my 38. If I loaded some 140 grain xtp's or something, I might find the magic. Take care.
     
  18. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I have had great results with Rainier 140gr plated FP for 38 spl and light loaded .357 mag. They shoot well in a S&W 36 w/a 1 7/8" barrel.
     
  19. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    I bought my wife a Pink Lady and handload 158 cast bullets to around 750 - 800 fps. With a pistol that light (12 oz.), the point of impact is WAY high unlkess you hold it with a death grip. I don't know how light a Taurus 605 is, but if it's an alloy frame model, you probably should stick with light bullets.

    35W
     
  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Could be offset by slow loaded speed though.. the slower it goes, the higher.

    As said above, try a few of each for regulation and see how it goes with your chosen loads.
     
  21. theicemanmpls

    theicemanmpls Member

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    In my 442, 158g hurt. I use 110 wadcutter to practice, and carry 125hp.

    Regarding point of impact, your Taurus is a SD weapon. Use the light loads at SD ranges for practice. At 21 feet or less, it won't matter.

    It's your wifes gun? Lower the recoil and she will like.
     
  22. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    The 605 is fairly heavy. Its a lot heavier than the air weights. I have not weighed it yet, but with 158gr factory loads its a sweet shooting gun. My wife wants a set of pink grips for her 605. She found a place that will dip Glocks/XD's and now wants a 9mm dipped pink. I guess I know what she will be getting for Christmas this year.
     
  23. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    Yes its her carry gun. Thats the reason I want a light load that she will be pleased with. She has made it a weekly date to go to the range for "Date Night". Our local range allows couples to shoot for the price of one. She has been shooting 100-200 factory rnds per week. I have been saving the brass to reload. Its about to break the bank buying factory loads. I dont complain though. She loves it and I love spending time with her shooting. She has even showed interest in helping me with my reloading when the kids go to bed. Life is good!
     
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