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38 special pellet ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by printcraft, Jul 24, 2008.

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  1. printcraft

    printcraft Member

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    Years ago a guy at work had ammo in his revolver that contained
    2 or more? 38 sized lead balls. Said it was a specialty ammo
    for home defense that would not be as prone to blow through someone and
    through the next wall in a house environment.
    It was not the shot shell ammo. Anybody heard of this stuff?
     
  2. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    I have heard of loading two 100gr wadcutter bullets in the 38, but nothing commercial.
     
  3. EShell

    EShell Member

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    It was a regular practice at one time to load a single 000 buckshot (.350"d) ina .38 Special as a low cost, low power, short range practice round.

    Your co-worker may have had a pair of 000 buck . . . or maybe even this gimmick:
    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=55758

    For defensive uses, I'd much prefer a full power 125 or 140 JHP.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have seen it, but do not remember who made it.

    Someone used to make a mold for a very light weight wadcutter. You could load 3 in a .38 Spl case or 4 in a .357 Mag case. Pretty neat concept. I believe I saw it in G&A years ago.
     
  5. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    Yes, I've been hand-loading it for 40 years. I called them duplex or house loads. Over the years I gave many of these rounds to friends for their house guns.

    Originally I used 3 Buckshot but now days I use two light weight bullets.

    I've never had the opportunity to test for penetration but did chronograph the load years ago. Lost the results in a fire but first time I remember, when I have the chronograph set up, I'll measure the MV from the 2-3-4 and 6 inch barrels.

    The accuracy is pretty good out to about 15 yards, especially with the two bullets.
     
  6. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

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    I'd love to hear how that turns out. I'm a total fiend for the .357 snubbies and plan on picking up a couple before the year is out and would love to know if I could fire a few wadcutters out of a single shot of .357 magnum, for up-close personal purposes when one shot might be all you get. If you could get three(maybe even four, hey I'm greedy) out of a snubby at 850fps(maybe even 950) would be just nasty <giggles>. If it's a matter of pain on the hands, so long as the gun doesn't explode or get ruined after a few shots, no pain no glory.
     
  7. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I'm sure at one time or another I loaded 357 cases with multi balls but don't remember off hand the results.
    What you have to be careful about is not getting the pressure too high with too heavy a bullet load.

    I've got some 38 Special loaded, from a few years back, and I'll try to do a little testing in the next couple days and post the results in this thread or maybe start another thread.
     
  8. strikeph

    strikeph Member

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    I have a book somewhere that showed drilling a hole in a board, then pounding buckshot into the hole to shape it to the dia, then stacked them in a Speer Shot capsule. Total weight determined the load. He also showed some special H&G moulds that had short wadcutters including a topper with a point.
     
  9. strikeph

    strikeph Member

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    Try Dean Grennell's Handgun Digest, 2nd Ed. ISBN 0-87349-113-0.
     
  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I just use a Lyman sizer/lubricator and size them to .357.
    I also put a little bullet lube between the balls to prevent barrel leading from the soft lead buckshot.

    I sometimes use the Speer capsules for shot loads but prefer using gas checks over the powder and shot. The capsules reduce the amount of shot a little.
     
  11. critter

    critter Member

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    A single 000 buckshot is almost exactly .357 and weighs about 70 grains. (2 X 70 = 140!!!! or about exactly a 'normal' .38 bullet weight.)

    Alternatley, a speer shot capsule will hold three #1 buckshot. (Don't remember the weight.)

    A light, target weight load of Bullseye and you have some neat 'playtime' loads.

    Don't ask me how I know this stuff and DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME. hehe
     
  12. HOME DEPOT GEORGE

    HOME DEPOT GEORGE Member

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    Sounds like magsafe, hollowpoints with 3 lead balls in the pointhttp://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=55751
     
  13. OFT

    OFT Member

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    Remington used to offer this load with two balls in 38 Special and three balls in 357 magnum. Accuracy was fairly good up to 25 yards.
     
  14. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    that might be interesting to dutch load
     
  15. printcraft

    printcraft Member

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    yeah house load

    The guy called them house loads too. I did not see or I don't remember the
    head stamp to see who might have made them.
    On the sportsman guide site, same concept but not with the plastic cap.
    Bare lead on the ones I saw.

    What would be the advantage of 2 lighter chunks flying at close distance?
    Would they have any spread at house range or would they just stack back to back at impact? I suppose a snub would spread before a 6".
     
  16. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    the lighter projectiles would have less penetration than one heavier thus limiting the chance of going through a wall and hitting an innocent
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Remington's old load used round balls.
    Winchester made a multi-bullet load for .38 Special about the same time. Maybe .357 too, but I don't remember.

    They had three? I think, short pointed wadcutters nested one on top of the next one.
    Like little cones, with wadcutter shoulders!

    They actually did work, and would cluster the three bullets in a nice group at 7 yards, but the individual bullets were too light to offer much penetration.

    I still have a few of them around here somewhere.

    rcmodel
     
  18. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    What OFT said, except that I believe that both had only two 000 buckshot.

    I still have a couple or three of the 20-rd. boxes in .357 from a while back.

    They're labeled:

    357 Magnum
    Multiball Load
    Two 70 gr. 000 Buckshot
    (140 gr. Payload) R357MB

    It's been awhile since I fired any, but IIRC they'd keep both balls in the torso A-zone of a silhouette out to about 10 yds pretty well. Past that the spread opened up dramatically. My guess is that those balls are just enough undersized that they don't get 'spun' well enough to stablize.

    I used to keep them in an old 2" M-19 I had in my nightstand back when i lived in apartments.

    IIRC, there were some other 'multi-projectile' loads offered commercially back in the day that featured two or more lead slugs "nested" to form a kind of WC shape and seated the same way in the case. Somewhat 'massier' than the buckshot, but they still spread out quickly and the resulting impact patterns weren't very predictable once the range got much over the length of a hallway.
     
  19. big_bang

    big_bang Member

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  20. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I did a little checking this morning.

    I have three different loads made up.
    All are two ball/bullets.
    1st Two 36 cal lead balls, sized to .357.
    2nd A lead Makarov bullet and a 36 cal ball, both sized to .357.
    3rd A Hornady JHP Makarov bullet and 36 cal lead ball, both sized to .357.

    I remembered why I stopped using three balls. If I used a 36 cal black powder ball sized down to .357 the balls were still too big to stack 3 in a 38 case and the total weight was also too great. I believe I did successfully use this load in .357 cases.
    If I used three smaller balls on the 38 I still couldn't load to standard muzzle velocity and the accuracy suffered.

    So in order to get max velocity and accuracy (but with a little spread I went to bullets like the 95 grain 9x18 (Makarov) LRN and JHP, paired with a single ball or short lead SWC bullet.
    This way the individual bullets were still fairly heavy and accurate, while keeping the operating pressure in limits.

    The velocities are as high or higher than most 38 loads from a 2 inch barrel and the bullets are up to 95 grains in weight, so the load should be effective.
    10 centered holes from a 5 shot gun isn't bad.:)

    Here's a couple targets I shot this morning.
    I only shot close up, 7 yards, since I think the load's primary use is for shooting across the living room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  21. OFT

    OFT Member

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    Mainmech48, you may be right. I've been asleep a few times since then.
     
  22. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Member

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    I have some Remington MultiBall loads in the original box.
     
  23. strikeph

    strikeph Member

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  24. strikeph

    strikeph Member

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    And if you're reading this and are into .44's on the same site, under .429, see 429-80 stack. Same thing, built to stack. and you can get it in a multi cavity mold so it doesn't take weeks to cast enough. I have a Lee 358-77-SWC single cavity and it's mind numbing trying to cast enough to load just one box worth.
     
  25. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    M2Carbine,
    We appreciate the time, trouble, pics, and info on your above thread.

    You mentioning the 9x18.........I feel that cartridge (with a single bullet, that is) is inherently accurate. I wish somebody would make a target/bullseye grade gun, revolver perhaps, for that cartridge.
     
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