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357/38 bullet difference

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by remmag, Jan 30, 2010.

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  1. remmag

    remmag Member

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    is there any difference between a 357 lswc and a 38 lswc bullet, i bought some for my 357 today and once i got home looking at the box it said 38 on it
    they are zero brand and the only thing i am a little unsure about is they do not have a cannalure in them ,
    if there is a difference what is it
    thanks
     
  2. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    If they are the same weight, then no; nothing distinguishes a .38 lswc from a .357 lswc.

    EXCEPT: The alloy and/or casting process used to make the bullet may make it better suited to higher or lower velocity. You mentioned Zero brand bullets, right? Those are swaged lead, not suitable for any load over about 900 fps. Push them faster than that and, soft as they are, they will smear your barrel with nasty streaks of left-behind lead and be inaccurate to boot. However, at normal .38 velocities (whether they are loaded in a .38 or .357 case makes no difference--the velocity you push them at is what matters) the swaged lswc you have will prove excellent bullets.

    If you want to load lead bullets at magnum velocities they need to be hard cast, and you may find there are other tricks to employ (precise sizing of your barrel and throats) to make them work without leading. Or, they could have a gas check (a shallow copper cup on the base of the bullet) which prevents hot gasses from chewing up the bullet's hind end.
     
  3. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

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    158gr.-.358 diameter-SWC, is the popular load for .38+.357Mags. Do you have .358" diameter 158gr. bullets? All of the lead swc that I have seen have a crimp groove above the lube groove. I did buy a couple of boxes of Remington 125gr .38 bullets, that were actually for .38Super. They were .355" FMJ and were used by me in 9MM loads instead. Mic your bullets, and see if they are .355" or .358", and go from there.
     
  4. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    Having used a number of Zero bullets I think I remember there's just a kind of 'crease' where you might look for a crimp groove on a hardcast bullet, or a cannelure on a jacketed bullet. The lead's so soft you just roll-crimp into it a little bit.
     
  5. remmag

    remmag Member

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    ok
    i was concerned because as i have read the 357 bullets need to be crimped so i expected a canalure in them to crimp to,
    i may have a problem though because the minimum load in my manual with unique powder is at 1188 fps
    i am just getting started and only have unique powder as of yet
    thanks
     
  6. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    You can load .38-level loads in .357 cases. Use .38 loads and increase the charge by 10% to compensate for the extra case volume. I've used those exact components in similar loads with fine results.

    Keep them at around 800 fps and you'll be in good shape. Should be very accurate and pleasant to shoot.
     
  7. remmag

    remmag Member

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    thanks,
    after closer inspection there is what i would call a line above the lube groove,but i would say it is faint. the ones i have oaded i put a crimp on and they seem to be correct
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
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