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Old 03-28-2018, 07:56 PM
dogdoc dogdoc is offline
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Default Bevel base 158 grain swc loads 38 special

I am having a problem getting a good accurate load in 38 special plus p or even 357 mag with these commercial cast bevel base bullets. I am an old hand loader and can get get some good loads with my flat base and gas check hand cast bullets or jacketed bullets but I often lack time to cast hence the bevel base coated and non coated 158 grain swc .358 commercial cast bullets. By good accuracy I mean 2 inch or less benched 5 or 6 shot groups at 25 yards. I am looking for midrange loads to turn out in quantity on my Dillon reloaders for my many smith revolvers . Any suggestions, loads, or experiences would be appreciated. Any loads with those bullets that just seem to shoot well in a variety of revolvers?

Thanks
Dogdoc
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:46 PM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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I'm not sure what powder you're using but for starters, I like using Titegroup for lead cast bullets. For my 38 special I use 3.4gr, 158gr cast LSWC, and a COL of 1.445". This should give you around 770fps +/-

For 357 magnum I use 4.9gr Titegroup, 158gr cast LSWC and a COL of 1.588". Use a tapered crimp on both, but not too aggressive of a crimp, just enough to get the bevel out of the case mouth and slightly rounded in. This load should get you around 980fps +/-
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:59 PM
dogdoc dogdoc is offline
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I have used a variety of ponders: power pistol,hs6, cfe pistol,unique ,. Titegroup is one I have not. I have tons of it for other applications swo I will try your loads .
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:28 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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My favorite 357 load using a 158 gr cast bullet is 7.5 grs of WSF . If i want more power , I use 9.0 grs of HS-6 . The WSF load is my " everyday " carry load . It's a great mid range 357 load , accurate and very clean .
Regards , Paul
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:31 PM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is offline
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I always use Bullseye for powder puff loads but lately have been using a lot of Universal. Very Accurate with 130 and 158gr coated lead.
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:15 PM
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Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
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You might try the 38 spl with CFE pistol at 5.5grs.

and the 357 case with HS6 at 9.5grs for a nice target load.
per my 686 6" revolver.

Hope you find a load that works.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2018, 12:36 PM
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oneounceload oneounceload is offline
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Mine work just fine, but then I do not push them to +p or 357 level. Mid-range good old 38 Spl levels should get you excellent accuracy with any number of powders, including Unique, Universal, Bullseye and Titegroup.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:00 PM
ggibson511960 ggibson511960 is offline
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Default Other Variables

I'm gonna stick my neck out here and say that the use of BB bullets is but one of the factors to worry about. Mike Venturino in Handloader seems to worry a lot more about cylinder throat and bore diameter than bullet heel design. Yes, a skirted base can cover a lot of other problems, but then bullet hardness and velocity come into play. At the operating pressure of .38 Spcl there are any number of powders that should work.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:09 PM
Joe4d Joe4d is offline
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been messing with 158 Missouri coated hard cast in 357.. Like u was kinda surprised at the high SD as I had assumed these were the tried and true bullets for this caliber.
For me HS6 and 2400 performed poorly, however at around 1100, BE 86,, a powder made specifically for coated bullets performed well.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:18 PM
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Try 4.2-4.3 gr of unique in a 38 spl case
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  #11  
Old 03-29-2018, 06:17 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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Like RVGshooter I use Titegroup with my 158gr swc bullets. The ones I use are a bevel base from SNS sized .358. I use the exact same load of 4.9 grains of powder mostly because that's what my Lee disc pro likes to drop. All my .357's like that load ranging from a 2.5" barrel up to an 8 3/8" barrel.
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Old 03-29-2018, 06:23 PM
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daniel lawecki daniel lawecki is offline
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Cast 158 SWC and Titegroup middle of the road load 3.4 grains.
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  #13  
Old 03-30-2018, 12:54 AM
johngalt johngalt is offline
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Sounds like you have far more experience than I. I was always told by thr bullseye shooters that flat base was more accurate than bevel base. I don't know how significant though.

I quit buying commercial cast bullets though. Every one I tried was far too hard and had poor accuracy. I much prefer swaged bullets. I do mostly target shooting, so I'm not loading them hot.
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:02 AM
sheppard sheppard is offline
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I have been loading .38 special for years and long ago found that swaged lead bullets such as the Remington 158 grain semi-wadcutter over 4.3 grains of Winchester 231 gives me an accurate load that does not lead my barrel.
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2018, 09:15 AM
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Unique 6.0 grains under Badman 158 grain LRNFP (beveled wadcutter). Crimped into groove.
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  #16  
Old 03-30-2018, 09:31 AM
Hasbeen1945 Hasbeen1945 is offline
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Tried a lot of different powders with the different 158’s. Pretty much settled on Accurate # 5.
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2018, 06:47 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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I used to have a negative opinion about BB bullets..but have changed it since I have a few moulds on my Master Caster that deliver them.They are as accurate as flat base and I say this based on more than one caliber and more than one configuration.
This being said,bullet hardness is being given way too much importance in the fact that a bullet will or won't lead.Diameter of bullet vs diameter of chambers is far more important;but that has been said before and will again be written about.

What works for me and in many .38Spl or .357 Mag is as follows:
target load:148 WC BB H&G 50 on top of 2.6gr 700X(or 2.8 Bullseye or 2.7 Red Dot,Promo).
Soft Load:Lee Mould 125gr(comes out at 132gr)on top of 3.5gr Promo(804fps chronoed in a 6''bbl).
regular .38Spl:154gr SWC(NEI mould)propelled by 3.8gr Titegroup(899 fps chronoed from a 6'' bbl)
38 +P:same 154 Swc with 6.0 gr PowerPistol.Didn't chrono it yet but heads turn toward me on the firing line when I shoot these.PowerPistol is known to be noisy.I shoot these from a 4'' model 13.
All these loads will perform well;I shoot them handheld no rest and all will stay in 4'' at 25 when I'm having a good day(which is not often enough for my taste!).
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2018, 07:12 PM
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5.2 grains of Unique has worked well for me in .38 Special. For a mid range .357 load, 6.5 grains Unique and for a full house load, 14.2 grains 2400. All deliver accuracy within your desired parameters.
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  #19  
Old 03-31-2018, 10:04 AM
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I tend to not get too creative with my .38 Special, 158 lead loads, 4.7 grains of Unique has been getting it done (for decades) as a target load. It is a standard velocity load, as I see no need for speed for this purpose. Yeah, Unique doesn't measure as well as some, but the accuracy is there.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:59 PM
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Will try 3.8 grains titegroup tommorow with 158 grain bevev base swc coated. I mounted a scope on one of my 686s 6 inch Smith’s to take away the affects of my poor 50 something eyes. I will bench them at 25 yards and see what I get. I will also try some of the other suggestions as time allows and see.
thanks
Dogdoc
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  #21  
Old 03-31-2018, 10:06 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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5.0 grs of Unique has been a std 38spl load using 158 gr cast bullets for decades . Skeeter Skelton referred to it as " the everyday working mans load " . I have gone up to 5.7 grs of Unique in 38spl case and the accuracy was phenomenal . These were shot out of a 357 pistol as I have no 38spl's.
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  #22  
Old 04-06-2018, 01:44 PM
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Tried 3.8 it tight group and got 2/inch or a little better with mixed brass. Got great accuracy with several loads in magnum brass all star line brass. I think mixed brass may be inhibiting my groups with 38 special.
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  #23  
Old 04-06-2018, 06:15 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Dogdoc,after re-reading your OP,one thing popped up in my mind;are the bullets you are using .357 or .358''?Have you measured them to see if they are as advertised??If they are .357 try to find some that are at .358 or,if you want to go the whole 9 yards,measure the chamber mouths of your cylinder.If the dimensions of the bullet is too small for the chambermouth,the accuracy will go out the window...and might collect some leading as an unwanted bonus.
Good luck!
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