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38 special WC change

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BullRunBear, Jul 7, 2014.

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  1. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    For years I used the standard 2.8 grs Bullseye for 38 special WC reloads. Averaged about 4" groups at 25 yards with forearms braced and figured that was OK considering my alleged marksmanship.

    I knew the revolvers were capable of better accuracy. After trying different charges I settled on 3.4 grs Bullseye. That's .1 grs below maximum according to the Lyman Cast Bullet tables. To my surprise, the groups were cut at least in half. I used a K-38 and a 357 mag Redhawk to test the new load. Have to see if the other 38/357 guns like it. BTW, there was no leading.

    I assume the faster velocity stabilizes the bullets better. In any case, I'm pleased with the improvement. Now to see if I can make loads with 158 gr bullets more accurate.

    Jeff
     
  2. nix4me

    nix4me Member

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    I run 3.5gr Bullseye on 158gr lead SWC. Tack driver in my 4inch revolver.
     
  3. il.bill
    • Contributing Member

    il.bill Member

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    Same here. No reason to even try anything different - as long as Bullseye is still on hand.
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have a 158gr LSWC load that's very accurate in every revolver I shoot it from. I'm using W231 and the charge is 4.0gr. (w/CCI-500 primer)
     
  5. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    My two favorite 38 loads are both loads I use for bullseye practice. The first is a 148gr DEWC(Missouri bullet) over 2.9gr of AA#2. The second is 158gr LSWC(I use the harder 357Action bullet from Misdouri bullet) over 3.5gr of AA#2. These both shoot to the same POA/POI.

    I use the bhn18 bullet in these light loads because they don't lead at all in my S&W bullseye guns and I can use the same bullet for light loads and magnum loads with 2400.
     
  6. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    With 148 wad cutters I load 3.0 to 3.4gr of Bullseye. Yes, to me it does shoot better in revolvers. I found this out years ago.

    3.7 of American Select is sweet too.
     
  7. moxie

    moxie Member

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    A few tenths can indeed make a big difference. So it makes sense to "work up" a load that shoots best out of the min/max range available. And if you switch to a different manufacturer's bullet, even though the same specs, you need to "work up" the loads all over again. Or so it's been in my experience.
     
  8. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    In 38 Spl from "my experience" if you're going from the old standard of 2.7 of Bullseye and want to try 3.4 gr with a 148gr wadcutter bullet then simply do it. "Work up" is in no way necessary unless you want to work up for accuracy's sake.
     
  9. moxie

    moxie Member

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    I thought it rather obvious that the "work up" was for accuracy's sake. That's what the OP was talking about. What other reason could there be for changing the load from 2.7gr to 3.4 or anywhere in between? Certainly not velocity as there's only about 100fps difference from min to max. "Shoots best" in this context="most accurate."
     
  10. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Folks,

    Thanks for the confirmation of my results and suggestions for other loads. Turns out I have almost a pound of Accurate #2 on the shelf. Not sure how old it is but the price tag made me weep when I think of powder costs today. :eek: Time to experiment.

    Jeff
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    AA#2 has a similar burn rate as Bullseye and it makes a fine .38 Special powder. It will not produce the high velocities associated with slower powders (like A#5) but since you are using Bullseye now I'm sure that's not what you're looking for anyway. AA#2 is a very clean powder in the .38 Special too.
    There is plenty of data available for all Western Powders (Accurate and Ramshot) on their sites.
    http://alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx (same data on the Ramshot site)
     
  12. SlayerOfBunnies

    SlayerOfBunnies Member

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    Yep - same here with my 6.5" Blackhawk.
     
  13. murf

    murf Member

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    brb,

    what primer are you using?

    murf
     
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