Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ohihunter2014, May 10, 2019.
I agree, once we know what works in the OP's gun we can narrow the focus.
He's already got the bullets, and they shoot poorly in both his 642 and his full-size gun. What works for lead or wadcutters isn't material to what he needs to get his 125FPs working, or least it wasn't for me. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I've already been there with this projectile.
That's pretty bad.
For laughs and giggles, I loaded up some MBC 9mm 124 gr RN (Small Ball!) sized .356" with 3.5 gr of Promo at 1.45" OAL - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/light-loads-for-38sp-for-the-wife.581801/#post-7178310
Shot them out of snub nose 357 (I believe S&W) and produced light recoil and fairly decent accuracy (I got 3" DA shot groups at 10 yards).
As others have said, try different weight bullets. If you have access to a Ransom Rest it's an eye opener.
I'd suggest, trying some ~142gr bullets and some 158gr.
High left but all over. Some got really bad and just shotgunned all over.
Were any of them showing evidence of yaw or tumbling?
I have a newer model Detective Special and qualified with the local Sheriff's Dept. with it with no trouble out to 25 yards with DE wadcutter reloads.
I agree. Try .358” dia & 158gr SWC with Accurate #2 or Titegroup. Trim and use a roll crimp.
Slug your barrel. That is the only way to really tell what diameter of lead bullet you need to use. A couple of thousands over bore size should do it unless the barrel is so oversized the load won't chamber.
Years ago I had similar issues with 125/130 gr Lead bullets which eventually lead me to 148 DEWC under 3 gr Bullseye for plinking. Very accurate will consistently shoot to 2 inches at 15 yards. I also use a cast 158 SWC under 4.6 gr Unique for a good, accurate general purpose load.
Not that I could tell. I’m not sure if I’m not pushing them fast enough or what because my 110gr FTX +p shot almost POA.
How much powder are you using?
Agreed, lead is more forgiving than plated with light loads.
Light taper crimp = No more than .002 inward movement at the very top on the case mouth. Doesn't bother 90/95% of the bullet seated inside the case. No worries about squeezing the bullet undersized.
Berrys 148 Gr HBWC in .38 Spl. A light taper crimp.
X-Treme 158 gr SWC in .357 brass, works just as well in .38 Spl brass.
Light taper crimp on a Zero (?) 148 Gr HBWC. If this doesn't shoot in your gun, it's all you. (Or your gun's broke.)
I tried 4.8 and 5.0 of BE86 with an OAL of 1.440.
A fast powder will fair better IMHO. I have shot a bunch of the Berrys 125 Gr TrFP with Clays with very good success.
Light taper crimp on a Berrys 125 gr TrFP. Barely touches the case, removes the bell and a hair more.
I bought the X-Treme 125 Gr TrFP last time, and they also shoot well. WST, Competition, Clays, Solo 1000 wotk well. I bet Sport Pistol will.
I hear lead is a pain to clean from a revolver so I haven't tried it. I was doing some reading and saw a few post on 158gr being more recoil than 125gr. Not sure how true that is because I have never fired 158gr bullets. I will give this a shot! literally.
I was really hoping the BE86 would work because I love it for 9mm. I did have a load of I believe 4.4gr (don't quote me on that) of HP38 with Berry's 125gr and those shot well. I got the extreme for a good price so kind of stuck with them. You know in my few years of reloading I still cant figure out what you guys mean about fast powder? Should I go back to HP38 and scrap the BE86 journey?
BE86 does work very well in 38 special, but you have to load it heavier. 5.4gr. is the max for standard pressure and 6.1 for +p. In that charge weight range it works pretty darn well, but the velocity is actually less than faster powders, especially Titegroup.
By faster I refer to burn rate. BE86 is a medium-slow handgun propellant, which is why it takes more powder to reach a given pressure. HP38, AA#2, Titegroup and Sport Pistol all burn much faster and require less powder as a consequence. Usually the larger charge of a slower-burning propellant makes for higher velocities, but Titegroup makes the most in 38 special for me. The powders Walkalong is recommending are really fast. The large-case low-pressure nature of the cartridge seems to favor faster-burning propellants more than modern designs like 9mm Luger et al.
I think your powder charge is too low.
Alliant load data lists 5.4 gr as max charge for 125 gr Lead RNFP. IME, plated bullets with rounded base leak more gas and you may likely need to increase your powder charge - https://www.alliantpowder.com/reloa...wderlist.aspx&type=1&powderid=38&cartridge=26
Since you also have HP-38, I would definitely give it a try - http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/pistol
I had HP38 . Otherwise I would have just stuck with that load. I tried not taper crimping these, less flare but not upping the charge. I will do that tomorrow morning and report back.
Below is my "relative" groupings of powders derived from various published burn rate charts. As you can see, BE-86 is grouped with "moderately" slower burning powders like Unique, Power Pistol, WSF, etc. while W231/HP-38 is grouped with "moderately" faster burning powders like Zip, Sport Pistol, etc.
If I am developing lighter target loads, I found using faster burning powders from Red Dot/Promo - Clean Shot group work better than slower powders. If I am developing higher velocity/full power loads, I found using slower burning powders from Unique - Silhouette group work better than faster powders.
Faster burning pistol powders:
E3 - Competition - Nitro 100 - N310 - Norma R1
Red Dot/Promo - IMR Red - Clays - 700X - Bullseye - Vectan Ba 10 - IMR Target - TiteGroup - Vectan AS - Am. Select - Solo 1000 - WST - International - Trail Boss - N320 - Vectan Ba 9.5 - No. 2 - Clean Shot/Lovex D032.03
W231/HP-38 - Zip - Sport Pistol - Green Dot - IMR Green
Slower burning pistol powders:
Unique - Universal - W244 - IMR Unequal - Vectan Ba 9 - BE-86 - Power Pistol - N330 - Vectan A1 - Herco - Vectan A0 - WSF - N340 - 800X
No. 5 - Auto Pistol/Lovex D036-03 - True Blue - HS6 - AutoComp - Ultimate Pistol/Lovex D036-07 - CFE Pistol - Silhouette - 3N37
N350 - 3N38 - IMR Blue - W572 - Blue Dot - No. 7 - Major Pistol/Lovex D037-01 - Vectan Ba 7.5 - Pro Reach - Long Shot - 2400
Enforcer - No. 9 - Heavy Pistol/Lovex D037-02 - 4100 - Steel - Norma R123 - N110 - Lil'Gun - W296/H110 - 300-MP - 11FS - Vectan Ba 6.5 - H4227
I have some difficulty finding a very accurate load in my Ruger SP101, but I think it is mostly due to my eyes. I can't mount a scope on my Ruger SP101, so I have to rely on the open sights. On and off I have seen some good accuracy with plated 125gr FP bullets. Following are some of them and hopefully it will help, but no guarantees:
38spl, SP101, 3"
HSM, 125gr, PFN, BE86, 5.4gr, CCI500
Velocities: 751, 791, 756, 776, 764
Grouping @ 10yd: 0.52"
Test Date: 02/06/2016
38spl, SP101, 3"
HSM, 125gr, PFN, 700X, 4gr, CCI500
Velocities: 691, 698, 711, 712, 690
Grouping @ 10yd: 0.64"
Test Date: 02/06/2016
38spl, SP101, 3"
Berrys, 125gr, FP, Bullseye, 4gr, WSP
Velocities: 684, 706, 723, 725, 740
Grouping @ 7yd: 0.61"
Test Date: 10/21/2018
My 642 likes 158 grain Berry’s plated and Oregon Trail 158 lead semi wad cutters over a mid-range load of Bullseye.
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