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Old 01-30-2010, 09:14 AM
alphabrace alphabrace is offline
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Default 38 spl and w231

Hello,
I have some 125 hard cast lead bullets that I want to load with w231. This is my first time hand loading and I was going to start with 4.8 grains. I'm shooting a model 19, 4" barrel. Any thoughts? I also was wondering if a bullet is hard cast vs soft does the number of grains change? Thanks for your input!
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:30 AM
danski danski is offline
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I hope you have a good scale to check your loads and that you are religious about checking them.

WW 231 is an excellent powder for the .38 Special.

I suggest you lower your load from 4.8 to start with and see how things work out. With a 125 grain bullet, less powder is needed to achieve
a decent velocity, than with a heavier bullet.

Hard cast bullets do offer a bit more resistance, hence a need for more powder, than a swaged soft formed bullet. But still, I'd recommend you start at 4.0 grains.

I'm sure you have good loading manual, such as Speers, but if not run don't walk to getting one.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:48 AM
alphabrace alphabrace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danski View Post
I hope you have a good scale to check your loads and that you are religious about checking them.

WW 231 is an excellent powder for the .38 Special.

I suggest you lower your load from 4.8 to start with and see how things work out. With a 125 grain bullet, less powder is needed to achieve
a decent velocity, than with a heavier bullet.

Hard cast bullets do offer a bit more resistance, hence a need for more powder, than a swaged soft formed bullet. But still, I'd recommend you start at 4.0 grains.

I'm sure you have good loading manual, such as Speers, but if not run don't walk to getting one.
I do have a speers manual but they did not list w231 for 125 gram bullets. I have a $35 electronic scale to weight the powder etc. I was thinking also about getting the lee reloading manual since my equipment is lee stuff. Thanks for your input! BTW I will be loading 9 and hopefully 40 also.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:25 AM
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FrankD45 FrankD45 is offline
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I would take the advice offered by danski quite seriously. The loads listed in the Lyman 49th for a 125 grain jacket or lead bullet, top out at 5.1 grains of W-231 and they recommend a starting load of 3.9 grains. It is wise to start at 4.0 and slowly work up the load.

As far as loading manuals are concerned, if you are loading primarily cast lead the Lyman manual is about the most complete. Also, the Hodgdon online manual is an excellent source that includes IMR and Winchester powders in addition to the original Hodgdon brand. Here is a link. http://www.hodgdon.com/

I hope that helps,

Frank
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Last edited by FrankD45; 01-30-2010 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:47 AM
alphabrace alphabrace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankD45 View Post
I would take the advice offered by danski quite seriously. The loads listed in the Lyman 49th for a 125 grain jacket or lead bullet, top out at 5.1 grains of W-231 and they recommend a starting load of 3.9 grains. It is wise to start at 4.0 and slowly work up the load.

As far as loading manuals are concerned, if you are loading primarily cast lead the Lyman manual is about the most complete. Also, the Hodgdon online manual is an excellent source that includes IMR and Winchester powders in addition to the original Hodgdon brand. Here is a link. Hodgdon - The Gun Powder People

I hope that helps,

Frank
No problem starting at 4 grains, I prefer erroring on the side of caution! Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:01 AM
Wee Hooker Wee Hooker is offline
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I'd forget the Lee Load manual too. I've got one and it's pretty limited in it's listings for 38 spl IMHO. ( 45acp and 9mm too!) I'd go for a more comprehensive manual and /or the online manuals right from Winchester.

Since this is your first time loading I would suggest you load 12 ea with 4.0, 4.3 and 4.6 gr. ( Steer clear of anything near max load for now.)Then go the the range and shoot them groups of 6 on clean targets. Shoot one load at a time, off the bench so you can better gauge accuracy, recoil etc. One of those offerings should stand clear above the rest once you compare them.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:53 AM
alphabrace alphabrace is offline
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Thanks Wee and company...
Hopefully I can get to it today, its already 12 degrees outside!
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:56 AM
danski danski is offline
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12 degrees, huh!

I've found a lot of powders to be temperature sensitive, WW231 included.
The colder the ammo gets, the lower the pressure; conversely the hotter the weather, the higher the pressure. Most reloading manuals take this into consideration and woe to the poor chap who goes beyond a manual's upper limit (THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE OF RIFLE ROUNDS) in the winter and then takes the same ammo out into the sun during August.

What I'm trying to warn you about is that if you take your handloads out into the cold and they sit out for awhile, you might think that the loads are way under.

I love to watch shotgunners in zero weather or below freezing weather; even their factory loads sound more like POOF than BANG.

Just a quick story from years ago: Our Olympic team was wondering why their .22s were erratic until some kindly Europeans issued them the .22 stuff that is especially made for use in the winter Alpine mountains.
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