148 gr wadcutters load, 357 Magnum, 2.7 or 2.8 gr Bullseye

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by orpington, Jul 4, 2022.

  1. orpington

    orpington Member

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    A review of the literature reveals one wants to keep this under 900 fps in .357 Magnum and this is about as classic as it gets.

    Any comments or concerns? Barrel length is 8 3/8”.

    Bullet to be loaded protruding approximately 1/8”.
     
  2. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    Use 38 special cases with that load and you probably get better results.
     
  3. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    I would grab a chronograph, pick one and see what it does. One tenth of a grain may be within the margin of error of any given throw, depending on how sensitive your powder dispenser is.
     
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  4. orpington

    orpington Member

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    I have .357 Nagnum cases plus firing .38 Special in a .357 Magnum revolver does lead to a propensity for lead buildup.
     
  5. KY DAN

    KY DAN Member

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    Just seat the wadcutters flush with NO crimp.

    Remove the belling and that is it.

    Load data is irrelevant 2.7 or 2.8 no one will ever know. You will never be able to tell the difference
     
  6. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    That's a classic .38 load, but I prefer a touch more powder in a .357 case, especially with a long barrel. For my money, 3.0 to 3.3 grains will get you the best results.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know if you'll be able to tell the difference, but I would try 2.8 with Mag cases. I shoot light loads with Mag cases all the time, they out shoot me.
     
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  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I've shot thousands of round of 2.7grs Bullseye in .38Spl cases 30 years ago in both a 6" S&W M19 and a 6" Colt Python...no extra leading noticed. You might be thinking of powder fouling in the cylinders.

    Be aware that this .38Spl wadcutter load was with hollow based wadcutters and not the double end/sided ones...and they were always loaded flush with the case mouth which was roll-crimped over the leading edge of the bullet.

    If I were loading in the longer .357Mag case, I'd definitely start with at least 2.8grs and more than likely 3.0grs to get to where the classic .38Spl load was performing
     
  9. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    If you are using 357 cases I’d bump that to 3.0 grains and you should be fine. If you can run it over a chrono even better, but I’d expect you will be fine.

    Are these home cast, what lead composition, what hardness, and what size are you working with?
     
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  10. Lafitte

    Lafitte Member

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    My feeling is that you will not be able to tell any difference between 2.7 and 2.8 gr loads.
    Lafitte
     
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  11. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    It's about case volume and seating depth. To get a 357 magnum case to work good with a wadcutter seat it flush first with that charge and move up from there. 38 special just work good for me. Loaded 69,433 of 38 special and 69,331 of 357 magnum, so I have accumulated some data. The standard deviation is mostly better with 38 special and flat nose wadcutters.

    BC617FFE-C741-426F-8A7E-DEDAA6379E61.jpeg
     
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  12. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Agreed, I go with 3.5gr. under a 148gr. Speer HBWC, seated to the last grease groove. Works much better in my Colt 3-5-7 than the lighter load seated flush. For anything .38Spl/.357Mag .38Spl cases generally work as well and if it's a correct load - crimp, charge, primer, case, neck tension, all 90+% right - leading around the mouth-to-throat gap isn't an issue.
     
  13. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    2.8 grains with a Speer HBWC works best in .38 Special cases. I shoot them in both a
    8 3/8" S&W Model 14-4 in .38 Special and in a 6 inch, 586 .357 Mag. I have shot 3.0 grains but find in serious target shooting a little lighter load goes a long way in aiming and hand control.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
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  14. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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    Never had an issue with that
     
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  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I wonder if he is talking about the "crud ring" in the chambers.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Would be my guess as well.
     
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  17. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    It's just takes a little more cleaning on the cylinder.
     
  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I’ve never had problems with carbon build up in 357 Mag chambers when shooting 38’Special ammunition.

    I now have a number of 38 Special revolvers so I save the 38 Special cases for them.

    With hollow base wadcutters in 357 Mag cases, care should be exercised driving the bullets too fast when compensating for the greater internal volume of the 357 Mag cases. One risks blowing off the skirt if the HBWC bullets are driven too fast.

    Solid base wadcutters are more flexible.

    I like shooting 158 SWC semi-wadcutters over a charge of Unique in 357 Mag cases that yields about 950 fps from a 4” revolver. A bit hotter than target wadcutter loads but pleasant to shoot in all varities of 357 Magnum revolvers.

    An aside, there is something Special about shooting 38 Special ammunition in a gun chambered for 38 Special
     
  19. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Back in my bullsye shooting days, the standard 38 Spl load was a 148gr LWC bullet over 2.7 gr Bullseye powder. 2.8 gr seemed to spread the groups a bit. Hope this info helps you.
     
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  20. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I do sympathize with folks who don't like crud rings, and in fact do load my HBWCs in .357 cases, when I intend to use them in .357 guns. It probably is just laziness...
     
  21. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    The difference between 2.7 and 2.8 will be indiscernible.
    A light TAPER crimp will make a noticeable difference in velocity spread, shot to shot.

    I use a separate Lee taper crimp die to crimp my .38’s.
    I made the jump from master class to high-master in PPC when I switched to taper crimping my hollow base wadcutters.
    Depending on the lot# of powder, my measure might throw anywhere from 2.65 to 2.9gr. My velocities ran between 685 to 720fps.
    Just depending on lot #of powder, brand of hollow base wadcutters, make of cases, and ambient temperature.

    So, 2.7 or 2.8? Yes! Load-em and choot-em!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  22. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    I use a taper crimp on all my loads; easier to get consistent crimps without having to trim brass. Only shoot heavy loads in my Encore rifle 16" 357 magnum barrel. Light loads save powder and your arm.
     
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  23. BJung

    BJung Member

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    These were shot from a distance of around 18 yards. The bullets were cast Lee 38-148WC range scrap and powder coated. My handgun is a S&W Model 66 - 6" barrel. The bullet seated to the second band in a .38 case is the same OAL as a wadcutter seated to the first band using a .357 case. You might want to try 3.1gr BE in this case. If you do a search, 3.1gr comes up as an accuracy load for some shooters.
     

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  24. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    I cast 5 different wadcutters and have another mold on the way. Hollow base are the hardest for me to cast but shoot the best.
     
  25. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    This has always been so. The design is inherently better for accuracy
     
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