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Old 08-29-2015, 11:43 PM
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Default 38 plated bullets load data

I'm looking for info on plated bullets, specifically from xtreme bullets. I am looking at their 158 Grain SWC or 158 Grain FP bullets. They recommend using mid range jacketed load data or top end lead data, as long as it stays under 1200fps. My question is would I be safe to use 158 Grain LEAD data from my Hornady book, or mid level load data from the Hornady book even though the only 158 Grain it shows is for a XTP hollow point? In other words, can I substitute a matching weight bullet even if the bullet is of a different type? I have the Lyman book and a Hornady book, but of course neither cover every bullet type and style available. Where does everyone come up with a safe accurate data? I will be using Bullseye, 38 cases, CCI small primers, and my new Hornady Lock N Load press. Thanks for any help.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:02 AM
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Even with a 1200 fps average you may have a high of 1249 or more fps. no big thing.

my highest 38 case averaged 1024 fps.......

my highest CFE powder "target load" was around 1173 fps with a 357 case...... and best accuracy was a 1108 fps loading.

You can push the plated bullets to their max but you should get a accurate target load way before that and save powder, also.

If you want 1200 fps loads go to the quality "Real" jacket bullets or get the Xtreme double dipped bullets for 1250 fps plus.

Really no need to push the standard plated to the 1200 fps mark when it was made for low end target speeds.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:30 AM
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I reload with Xtreme 158gr plated SWC projectiles and use low-end to mid range 158gr FMJ loading data. If you compare lead data to FMJ data you'll find that the charges for lead are higher because the copper has more friction than lead.

Since lead has less friction it starts moving down the barrel more easily so it takes a little faster "push" from the powder charge (and therefore a little more powder) to get the same velocity.

Conversely since the copper has more friction and starts moving more slowly, the powder charge has more time to build the necessary pressure to achieve the desired velocity. So it takes a little less powder.

Seems kind of counter-intuitive, but that's the way I understand it to work.

All that to say, if you use copper plated bullets you're better off to load them to jacketed specs, so you'll be erring on the side of caution - as opposed to loading to lead specs which may be too hot.

I figure I can always increase powder in future rounds if they are too slow, but if I damage my guy by loading them to hot to start with, adjusting the charge down on future loads won't undo the damage.

Last edited by BC38; 08-30-2015 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:31 AM
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You don't say what gun you're loading for but I'm guessing (hoping) that you're planning on shooting these 38 Special cases, loaded to 1200fps, in a 357 Magnum, right?

You're not going to find any manufacturer's manual with load data that hot in a 38 Special case. That's 357 Mag territory.

I'd suggest switching to 357 cases. They're stronger (some 38 Special cases were made for light wadcutter loads) & you don't want a hot 38 Spcl getting accidently shot in a weak 38 Spcl. revolver. Plus, no residue rings.

Use jacketed data for the plated bullets. It actually takes MORE powder to drive a jacketed bullet the same speed as a lead bullet, because of the extra friction, NOT less.

I've used Xtreme's 158gr plated SWC bullets with Bullseye, but in 357 Mag cases, ranging from 5.1gr (~900fps) to 6.0gr (~1050fps), & found the latter most accurate. Sierra #5 lists a max of 7.2gr/Bullseye @ 1150fps from a 6" bbl.

I like Xtreme's bullets. The plating seems very tuff, witness my smash & split test below. I think their standard (single) plated are more than adequate for target range speeds.

.



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Old 08-30-2015, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
...Use jacketed data for the plated bullets. It actually takes MORE powder to drive a jacketed bullet the same speed as a lead bullet, because of the extra friction, NOT less...
Unless I'm reading it wrong the latest Western Powders manual 38 specials data for 158gr bullets shows using the same or more powder for lead than for plated or jacketed.

Interestingly enough, for some of the lighter bullets - like 147gr - its just the opposite. The specs show more powder for the plateds and jacketeds than for lead.

So it looks to me like there's no absolute either way, and it depends on exactly what components you're using.
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:51 AM
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If you are using Bullseye you don't need to worry about exceeding that 1200 fps limit, it just won't happen in a handgun at safe charge levels. If you are using 38 special load data I rather doubt you would be able to get over 850 fps even with an 8 3/8 inch revolver.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:26 AM
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There are 2 things to seriously avoid using plated bullets:
1. Light lead load data, which can stick a plated bullet in the bore.
2. Maximum load data from any source, because small differences in bullets become critical working at the edge of pressure limits.

My regular .38 range loads are 158gr plated over HP38, and anything from 4 to 5 grains works great.
As scooter said, with bullseye, you are going to hit pressure limits way before the 1200 fps bullet limit.
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Last edited by OKFC05; 08-30-2015 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for the responses. I should have stated in my original post that I'm not necessarily looking for the 1200fps load. I'm expecting around 800fps out of my 4" 686SSR. I will use 38 cases. So I'm good to use the jacketed load data for a 158 Grain XTP Hollow Point out of my Hornady book? I would think a 158 Grain FMJ load data would be more of an equivalent, but I can't find anything except hollow points.

Last edited by 158Grain; 08-30-2015 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:28 PM
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My 686 6" is not to different from your 4"........

I have used ;

bullseye
reddot
w231
unique
e3
hs6
sr4759
bluedot
universal
trail boss
sr4756
cfe pistol
greendot
800-x
and 2400 with 158gr bullets.

If you use any of these I can give you an idea of where to start, if needed, with a 38 case.
Both the FN and WC bullets will make nice big holes in your targets that will be easy to see........
just that I did get a little better accuracy and groups with the SWC design.
Have fun.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:21 PM
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I like to shoot plated indoors using 38 spcl cases in my 357 magnum revolver. I have found that I need to get above 38 spcl pressure to get best results.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by scooter_m View Post
I like to shoot plated indoors using 38 spcl cases in my 357 magnum revolver. I have found that I need to get above 38 spcl pressure to get best results.
Just curious. If your gun is chambered for 357, and you need to load rounds to higher pressures than 38 special load data, why use 38 special cases? Why not use 357 cases?

I also hope that if you're going above 38 special P+ specs you don't have any guns chambered in 38 special that you might accidentally end up shooting one of these higher pressure rounds through.
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:53 AM
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There is also a 38 special +P loading.....................
that is a little higher in pressure than the 38 special loading.

Safe in most 38 revolvers and also accurate in the 357 weapon.
Some of my 357 magnums also need a little more than a standard 38 load to get better accuracy.

A 38 110gr special loading at 936fps in my 686 6" is fair but move it up to 1060fps and it shoots groups half the size at 25 yards.

A 125gr 38 special at 945 is accurate but kick it up to 990fps and it shots at POA.
I call "MY" 6" 125gr at 1099fps a K frame load and a load at 990 a steel J frame loading.

All depends on what weapon you are shooting.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 08-31-2015 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:19 PM
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I think you're falling into a trap that a lot of reloaders fall into, looking for an exact match in the manuals for what they are going to shoot. People often ask how come one manual lists different data than another for the exact same load. Ever see data for 231 and HP38 match even though they are the same? The manuals are guides for us to use. Bullet design doesn't mean much to me, weight and material are what you need to focus on. Bullet design may make a difference in your particular gun as far as accuracy or feeding is concerned but not as it relates to safety. You're in that area that to me is a lot of the fun in reloading, finding what works best for you. I don't think you are going to blow up your gun because you used data for a 158 LRN on a LSWC round.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
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I think you're falling into a trap that a lot of reloaders fall into, looking for an exact match in the manuals for what they are going to shoot. People often ask how come one manual lists different data than another for the exact same load. Ever see data for 231 and HP38 match even though they are the same? The manuals are guides for us to use. Bullet design doesn't mean much to me, weight and material are what you need to focus on. Bullet design may make a difference in your particular gun as far as accuracy or feeding is concerned but not as it relates to safety. You're in that area that to me is a lot of the fun in reloading, finding what works best for you. I don't think you are going to blow up your gun because you used data for a 158 LRN on a LSWC round.
No sir .... a full wadcutter versus a SWC of the same weight are two totally different loads because of the design differences.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:35 PM
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Maybe my statement is too generalized, you can always find some exception. That being said, looking at my Lee manual and sticking with 38 special.

158 grn lead bullets-all the same, no subdivisions, it just says lead bullets. There is separate data for wadcutters, they are 148 grn.

In my Speer manual-LSWC, LSWC HP, LRN all use the same data. Again WC is on a different page and is 148 grn.

That's the basis of my statement.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:21 PM
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Wad he just say.................?

Wait ma minute, I think is time to get my hip boots on.?
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:30 PM
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Really, that's your reply? No load data for a 158 grn wadcutter? Can you even tell me where you can buy 158 grn wadcutters?
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:50 PM
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Really, that's your reply? No load data for a 158 grn wadcutter? Can you even tell me where you can buy 158 grn wadcutters?
Different guy man. Not trying to be a wise guy, but venomballisitcs was the one disputing your info - not Nevada Ed. Ed just made a joke about wads.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:38 PM
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BC38, didn't notice that, you're right. My bad. Glad I didn't say what I was really thinking.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:30 AM
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Really, that's your reply? No load data for a 158 grn wadcutter? Can you even tell me where you can buy 158 grn wadcutters?
Would you like me to bore a 158 wadcutter mold for you?

Really though, I tend to look at the probable level of experience of the person asking the question as well as the question.
The new breed of handloaders seems to include some that would rather have things handed to them rather than be taught to stop and think.

Your first reply came from your common sense department.
Many of the newcomers lack this resource and will gleefully proceed with less than sensible combinations we'd automatically flag.

The way I see it, if I can provoke some thought, that might be the best lesson I could probably give
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