140 grain 38 caliber loads do they have a place?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AJC1, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Turning to strike a ballance in my reloads between having good sectional density and good energy numbers. Do any of you reload or prefer the 140 in 38/357 or is it an answer to a question never asked.... my curiosity was to stay away from loads that eat top straps....
     
  2. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Just curious, for target or defense and hunting?
     
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  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Well, I know a cop who shot a felon with a 140 gr .357.
    And Phil Sharpe was partial to a 146 gr LHP.
    I think you will be OK, that a 140 is above the barrel burner category of the 125.
     
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  4. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    I've never loaded lighter than 158gr for my 686 because I also use it in my lever action, so for me it simplifies matters. I would tend to think that maybe a 125 would be a better balance than the 140 grain. Ballistically speaking the numbers I ran the 125 also sneaks ahead by a small margin. You can compare both rounds here.
    http://gundata.org/ballistic-calculator/
     
  5. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    I use the lee 358-140-SWC. It's accurate out of my GP100 in 38special and 357.

    The 357 magnum load I worked up was 18 grain w296. I don't recall the accuracy just that it was decent.

    The 38 I loaded 4 and 5 grains unique but was getting some leading. Nevertheless I was getting 1.5" groups at 25 yards.

    I paused tinkering with it when I got the rcbs 38-150-SWC. Then, I got a new gun, a new mould and I been busy.
     
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  6. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I load a 133 grain cast RNFP specifically for a lever. Nothing special about ballistics, it is just stupidly accurate.
     
  7. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    More just a curiosity. If loading a 125 I dont see any advantage over a 9mm and muzzle blast as a major detractor. The 140 would pick up where the 9 leaves off.
     
  8. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    If your worried about top straps. Run powder that is faster than Blue Dot.
    In hand guns I look for least powder to get the velocity I want.
    I use different bullet weights to find a load that is timed for my fixed sight revolvers.
     
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  9. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I shot some 140gr Speers in my Security 6 for a couple of years. I went to heavier bullets after taking one deer with it. I didn't get the penetration that i wanted. Now I shoot a GP100 with 180gr XTP's over a stiff load of H110. Seven dead deer later and I have no reason to change.
     
  10. kcofohio
    • Contributing Member

    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    I've wondered too, whether the 140 gr. serves any advantage. Back in '13-14, when ammo was hard to come by, I found a box of Hornady's 140 gr. FTX. Had plans of getting a lever rifle, but went the bolt, 77/357. So the box sits. But it got me interested in that weight, I did buy 140s in XTPs and coated cast from MBC. I have shot plenty at the range, and they did well. But I can't say they do any better at the range then 158 gr.
     
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  11. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I have yet to start testing my 180s but I have a lot cast and ready. I have one box of 140 xtps and if they were super good at something I would stash them away. If nothing special I'll just load them up and send down range. The lyman 50th shows the 125 and 140 both max velosity with n110 and going 1506fps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
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  12. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I have had very good results with the Penn 140gr LFPRN and the Rainier 140 plated RNFP of old. A favorite of mine is the 140gr Hornady XTP, for 38spl and short barreled .357 magnum the 140gr bullet is also a good choice for a .38 cal. carbine.
    The .357 cal 140gr is getting rare, and I'm not sure why?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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  13. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Curious if they move a lot more 125s with people buying them and loading in 9mm. I cant immagine people doing that with the 140s. Also it competes with their ftx which is also 140 but I have zero desire to use those based on brass trim requirements
     
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  14. PhatForrest

    PhatForrest Member

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    I use a MP hollow point mold that drops bullets at 142. They function great in a lever gun and expand well with wheel weight alloy.
     
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  15. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Old 1980's Lee 140 SWC here. 5g of 231 in 38sp has been a solid squirrel and Coke can load. Is scary accurate out of a cpl 38's here. I started using it as a go between, from a full on WC to the more traditional Keith style 160g.
     
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  16. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

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    For me as a long time reloader, 140gr and 158gr is it nothing else. 140 because I feel it strikes the perfect balance for any barrel length under 4inches.
    140 gr for 2, 3, 4inch barrels it's my specialized short barrel load borrowed from Speer :)
    158gr goes in 5, 6, 8 and 16inch barrels.
     
  17. johnjohn

    johnjohn Member

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    I have a Lee SWC mold in 140 gr. Works good. I like the way they shoot.
     
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  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with @Mr.Revolverguy,140s and 150s for .357 Mag
     
  19. e rex

    e rex Member

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    I load the 150 gr. 358477 in my 686. To me it seems a bit more accurate than the 173 gr. 358429 out of my revolver. I load the 150 with 6 grains Unique in a .38 Special case and 7 grains Unique in a 357 mag case. The 358156 GC gets 14 grains 2400. They shoot as well as an old man can hold them.
     
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  20. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I feel powdercoat has eliminated the need for gas checks in pistol, but I could be wrong.
     
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  21. e rex

    e rex Member

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    AJC1, I've never tried powder coat, still use Carnauba Red and my mould is a 358156 made for a gas check. You may be completely right on the powder coating.
     
  22. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    Not everyone PCs. I don't, though I'm going to try it. It does have it's place but, I think so does lubed and checked bullets.
     
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  23. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    My issue currently is finding checks. There sold out everywhere. My 358-180-sil takes them and getting more has been problematic. I only have one mold that uses them and if the mold is made for them I dont think PC fixes that. Tight fitting plane base bullets are a different story.
     
  24. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    You try sages outdoors for checks?

    What kind of mould is the 358-180-sil? Got a thread on it or pics of it? I'm interested in a 180grainish mould for 38/357.
     
  25. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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