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Which bullet?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by MikeS., Apr 13, 2013.

  1. MikeS.

    MikeS. Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    Mid-Atlantic region
    I just bought my 1st .38spl, I own several .357magnums. I always buy the MBC 357 Action bullet, a hard bullet for magnum loads.

    Would 3.3g of BE be good with this bullet in a 38? Or should I select a different bullet from MBC? Layman #49 says 3.4 g is max for a 158g SWC in .38spl.

    MBC has several different bullets to choose from so I'm unsure what to go with.

    If the .357 Action is good for the .38 it would make life simpler.

    Thanks guys.
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Senior Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    You can try the hard bullets in your .38 spl. If you are lucky you may have a match for the bullet diameter but most likely you will get leading at the forcing cone end of the barrel as the bullet is too hard to bump up and fill the bore.

    For .38's I use a softer bullet. The 158gr SWC .38 Match bullet with a 12 bnh hardness will work well in the .38's as will the 10 bnh wad cutters or any of the Cowboy bullets. Lead swaged bullets by Speer or Hornady in 158gr SWC, RN, or SWCHP's as well as their wad cutter bullets all are softer than hard cast and work well for .38 loads.
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Mentor

    Apr 28, 2005
    Oregon Coast
    If you're just looking for a plinking/informal target load, you can always go with a lighter bullet and the powder charge you have listed. I shoot bullets from 105 gr. to 125 gr. for those purposes. I took two new shooters out today and had them shoot some 105 gr. bullets with your identical load, and they really enjoyed themselves and weren't beat up from the shooting.

    There's really no need to stick with the 158 gr. bullets, since there are so many weights that will work in the venerable old .38 Special, so don't be afraid to experiment.

    Hope this helps.

  4. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Participating Member

    Jul 22, 2012
    LV county KS
    I love the .38 Match that Steve mentioned. I load them over 3.3gr of Red Dot. It's a powderpuff load and is a little dirty, but it is extremely accurate out of a Ruger GP100. At 10 yards I can make every shot touch. At 100 yards I can hit a Shoot-N-C target 75% of the time, and I'm very far from being even a pretty good shot with a pistol. If all of my loads were as good as that one I'd never be able to blame my loads for my crappy shooting :)
  5. Magnum Shooter

    Magnum Shooter Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    Just East Of Cleveland, OHIO
    I think that load is for RNFP and not SWC and that tells me it may be a cowboy load. Especially since the 160g LRN shows a max. of 3.6g and 4.1g for +P. Generally the heavier bullet should have a lighter charge not a heavier one.
    Something just seems funny here and I wish Lyman clearly ID this load.

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