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Powder Test Results - Advice?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by doc540, Dec 2, 2012.

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  1. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    recap: trying to find a heavier bullet for metal silhouettes that's as accurate as the Rem factory .38 +P 125gr SJC HP's.

    Even factoring in my limited shooting skills and a low-budget rest, it doesn't appear to me that either of these two powders will work well with 158gr SWC's. :(

    Back to the drawing board, I guess.

    PowderTest1.gif

    PowderTest2.gif

    Setup
    TestSetup.gif

    I'm open to any and all feedback.
     
  2. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    Considering the group 4.3 gr. W231 looks a lot like the Rem group below it and that the 4.5 gr. charge opened way up, consider dropping the 4.3 charge a 1/10th or two and see what happens.

    Also, you are soon the get tons of "Try this powder" advice. Before I would even say go out and buy... I'll ask do you have other powders besides Unique and W231 present to work with? If so what?

    Next question; what 158 gr SWC's are you using? Are they Hard Cast or Swaged lead ( Hornady / Speer/ etc)? It does make a difference.
     
  3. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    Thanks

    Missouri Bullet LSWC 158 gr
    Brinell 12

    Only have those two powders to work with now.

    I can back the Win231 down, but I lose velocity and knock down power.

    Remember, I'm trying to find a bullet that will shoot as accurately as the 125 factory ammo and put a whipping on the steel plates.
     
  4. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    If you intend to stay with 38 special cases, go to swaged lead or plated bullets. The swaged will generally perform better at the lower pressures of a 38 as they are less sensitive to differences in the cylinder throat / forcing cone size differences as they will obturate more easily than cast. OTOH, a good plated will behave a bit more like a jacketed bullet in that obturation isn't as essential.

    Your other option is to load in 357 brass and turn up the throttle a bit. As much as I hate Unique, it will probably work better with the hard cast especially if you go about 1/2 way between the 38+P data and 357 starting. In the 357 brass, 5.4 gr. of W231 will likely get you closer to where you want to be. It's a good all around charge for me with 158 gr. plated and cast in all three of my 357's.
     
  5. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    thanks for the info

    Loaded some Speer 158 grain, JSP's tonight using Win231.

    Hope to test them tomorrow.

    And today a good friend gave me 150 rounds of .357 brass.

    A mild .357 load using the Speer jacketed bullets might just be the ticket.
     
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