Anyone loaded Berry's plated 148 grain DEWC?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by brewer12345, May 22, 2017.

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  1. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    For some reason I have a box of Berry's 148 grain DEWCs and I would like to try them in 38 special cases. The trouble is load data for plated bullets is thin and when I went a-Googling I found lots of issued people ran into (stuck bullets, etc.) when they loaded these things using lead wadcutter data. When I look at what published data I could find, I see that lead HBWC start at 3.1 g of HP38 and top out at like 3.7. In contrast, I saw a load for 146 grain jacketed bullets that start at 4 grains of HP38. I do not want to get a bullet stuck in the barrel, so I am reluctant to go too light on a powder charge. OTOH, the idea of an overpressure load isn't thrilling either, although these would be shot in a 357 mag revolver so the charge would have to be way overdone to really have a dangerous pressure situation (shearing off some of the plating or destroying accuracy potential is plenty likely, though).

    Does anyone load these bullets? Got a favorite load? More generally, what do you do with plated bullets? Berry's and Hodgdon seem to suggest using lead data, while many reloaders seem to think that somewhere between lead and jacketed loads are a better idea. Berry's says that up to 1250 FPS is fair game, assuming one can do so without getting an overpressure load. I was thinking about starting out with 3.7 or 3.8 grains of HP38 and seeing how they shoot, but if anyone cares to comment on their experience with these bullets and/or plated loading in general I am all ears.
     
  2. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member.

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    brewer12345,
    Here is a thread I started a while back showing loads for Berrys Plated DEWC:
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/38spl-roll-vs-taper-crimp.802377/#post-10253368

    QUOTE: "I see that lead HBWC start at 3.1 g of HP38 and top out at like 3.7. In contrast, I saw a load for 146 grain jacketed bullets that start at 4 grains of HP38."

    You are comparing 2 completely different bullets.

    QUOTE:I was thinking about starting out with 3.7 or 3.8 grains of HP38.

    IMHO, that would be a safe start load.

    There is much debate about where to load plated bullets, but I have found upper lead to low/mid range jacketed work for me in my S&W 686 357 mag, when using 38spl cases and data.

    Good luck!
    JD
     
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  3. Haxby

    Haxby Member

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    How long is a Berry's 148 grain DEWC?
     
  4. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member.

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    According to Berrys Bullet OAL/COL sheet the 148gr DEWC is 0.558" long, Berrys suggested COL is 1.152" long.

    My .38spl brass is all trimmed to 1.146" +/- 0.001" so that my crimp is consistent on all my brass.

    I load mine with HBWC/DEWC (lead or plated) bullets 1/16" to 1/8" above case mouth for easy loading in my revolver cylinder.

    I use just enough roll crimp or taper crimp to remove belling of case mouth.

    JD
     
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  5. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Interesting comments from one and all. I am amazed to see the diversity of loads I see used when I trawl the interwebs. On the low side, some claim to use loads meant for HBWCs, and on the high side I have seen some claim to use 4.X grains of HP38 or equivalent. I think in the future my patience for buying bullets that do not have ample published data will be slim.
     
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  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    From the Load Log:
    Berrys DEWC - May 2007
    .556 long
    .357 diameter
    .38 brass - mixed
    1.180 to 1.190 OAL
    Light taper crimp
    3.3 Grs AA #2 - Avg 696 FPS from a 4" Model 10 @ 80 degrees
    3.3 Grs Red Dot - Avg 488 FPS from a 4" Model 10 @ 80 degrees

    Berrys DEWC - Jan 2008
    1.140 to 1.145 OAL
    2.8 Grs Red Dot - Avg 656 FPS from a 4" Model 10

    Berrys DEWC - July 2008
    1.190 to 1.195 OAL
    3.3 Grs N-310 - Avg 804 FPS from a 6" Colt OMM

    Berrys DEWC - Sept 2010
    1.221 +/- .001 OAL
    3.4 Grs Competition - Avg 736 FPS from a 6" Colt OMM & 710 FPS from a 6" 14-3

    Check data before trying, I haven't looked it up Make sure all rounds exit the barrel.

    3.7 Grs Competition or 3.8 Grs WST and a Berrys HBWC is a great .38 Spl load. It will give around 725 to 750 FPS from various 4 or 6 inch barrels, will not lose a lot of velocity if the powder is away from the primer (Like some powders will), is very accurate, has light recoil, and is fun to shoot. I shoot this same bullet in .357 brass at this velocity as well.

    I just tested 25 rounds of 3.7 Grs of a new four pound jug (New lot #) of Competition in .357 brass with an X-Treme 158 Gr SWC Sunday. 700ish FPS and shot great. Gonna bump it up to 3.8 Grs. (You can substitute WST, and if I could have found it at the time, would have likely bought it, but it's a wash.)

    Be careful using any of this data. :)
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    You can indeed run the DEWC at full power, but I would keep the HBWC, even though it is plated and much stronger than the soft thin lead HBWCs, at leisurely velocities.
     
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  8. dwstone1227

    dwstone1227 Member

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    This Berry bullet, DEWC, 148 grain, loaded with Bullseye powder is my absolute favorite load. These rounds are incredible consistent. I shoot them out of my S&W Model 66 (357) and my S&W Texas Ranger. Once you get the load right, you are going to be one happy camper. I've got 1,000 rounds of this loaded and waiting for me. My limiting factor right now is finding more Bullseye powder nearby.
     
  9. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I had some that I loaded up for my model 52 years ago. I think somewhere around 3 g. of Bullseye. I never found a load that worked better than lead so gave up the experiment.
     
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  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    No, they won't outshoot the lead HBWC if you are good enough, but most of us are not. The OP wants help with this bullet, so that is what we should be focused on.
     
  11. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    While I am happy to hear more on what to do with the plated wadcutter, I am also just starting as a metallic reloader so others tuff is interesting, too.

    Maybe a stupid question, but it is it completely a stupid idea to shoot wadcutters out of a lever rifle?
     
  12. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Another vote for Bullseye and Red Dot
     
  13. dwstone1227

    dwstone1227 Member

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    Give this bullet another try. I use just a bit more than 3.0 grains. Give it another try going above 3.0 grains. You might be the happiest reloaded on Thehighroad.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    No, just make sure the load isn't too light to get it out of the longer barrel.
     
  15. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    So I got to the range today and tried out a couple of loads based on the plated DEWC from Berry's, 38 special cases, and HP38. With 3.8 grains of powder the results were nothing special. 4.0 grains was the bees' knees, however. With the first cylinder of shells I shot the center out of the target at 12.5 yards using a 357 with a 4 inch barrel. Very mild recoil, too. I will be buying and loading more of these bullets. I seated the bullet maybe 1/8 inch out of case mouth, will post the measurements when I have a few minutes to get the calipers out. Frankly, this stuff shot so very well that I probably will not bother working up a load with straight lead wadcutters.

    The 158 grain plated RNFP with 4 grains of HP38 were poor, OTOH, out of both the revolver and the rifle. I will try again with an upped powder charge, as these hit low on the target compared to lead and the commercially reloaded plated RNFPs I have been shooting.
     
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  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Something like this? Although this one is the 148 Gr HBWC. 1.240 OAL.
    [​IMG]

    3.6 Grs of Competition or 3.7 Grs of WST also shoot great.

    Use at your own risk, I have no data to back these loads up.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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  17. Rogerl830

    Rogerl830 Member

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    4.0 gr of 231/Hp-38 is what i use also.
     
  18. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    Lean towards the zippy side with this bullet, they group better being shot with a stouter load anyway.
     
  19. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    My digital caliper says 1.277" OAL, so very, very close. I suspect I could load an even heavier charge and do fine, but with accuracy like this and soft shooting I have no reason to do so. I won't be bothering to put any of these in the rifle since it really, really likes 158 gr lead RNFP with 3.8 grains of HP38.
     
  20. Matthew Langone

    Matthew Langone Member

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    Do you use the same COAL?
     
  21. Matthew Langone

    Matthew Langone Member

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    Did you ever test these loads? How did you make out?
     
  22. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Which loads? 4 grains of hp38 with the plated wadcutters is great. So is 3.8 grains under my home cast dewc and a158 grain rnfp.
     
  23. Matthew Langone

    Matthew Langone Member

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    I was referring to the plated DEWC, I just received 1000 of them. They did well with 4.0 grains of Titegroup at 1.240” in .38 cases and did pretty good with 4.9 grains of Titegroup in .357 cases, I believe the COAL on those were 1.350”. I just picked up some HP-38 and was going to try your load data, just wasn’t sure about COAL. Thanks!
     
  24. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Ah. 1.27 coal or a touch more is what I use. I am out of these bullets and am having a tough time justifying ten cents a pop for them when I have a pile of cast done for less than than three cents a pop.
     
  25. Matthew Langone

    Matthew Langone Member

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    Thanks for the reply! And I hear that man, especially since the cast stuff shoots so great. I may not purchase them again, but it’ll take me some time to get through 1,000 anyway. Let me know if you need a few, I’ll send em your way.
     
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