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  #51  
Old 04-08-2018, 08:20 AM
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Gainesville Ga or Florida??

FYI, Trail Boss is not 16 oz or 1 lb, it is 9 oz. So you get less and use more of it. It has some uses but as a general reloading powder not real economical. It smells like Cowboy farts also.

You bought new 38 special brass?? Should have said something I and others have boatloads of once fired stuff.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:50 AM
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I shoulda been more specific - Gainesville, VA - in the Manassas area. I hear you on the Trail Boss - but the new bottle I checked seemed to be full so by-volume it should load a lot of rounds. I have been looking for clean once-fired .38 brass but haven't had much luck. Summer is coming up and it's cool in my basement & too hot to go out and walk or do yardwork in the middle of the day - so lotsa time to do some loading.

Edited to add - I thought I'd better stop bumping this post with my comments! Scales are also reasonable on A-zon - I will have one after SS rolls in next week. I made up six test rounds with the new Berry's plated bullets. Tickled to find that they have a nice bevel on them and I only had to very slightly bell the cases. Load is 5.6-ish (still no scale ) of PP. Just for giggles - I double-charged a couple of the cases ... and emptied them . Even with a flashlight, there isn't an immediate and easily noticeable diff in the .38 case between a single and a double-charge. And that was one of the reasons I re-started my revolver loading with .38SC. Investigation continues (I have lotsa time on weekends) but I'm leaning toward going back to Unique because it's VMD is .1092 - but Trail Boss is .2172!! If I was made out of money I guess I'd just go buy the over-priced plinkin' ammo at Cabela's like everyone else.

Last edited by GeoJelly; 04-08-2018 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Added comments to avoid bumping post
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  #53  
Old 04-08-2018, 11:32 AM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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You might also want to keep an eye on GB for range brass. .38 special and .357 cases usually bring a premium compared to 9mm or the like but you can find some pretty good prices sometimes. Of course the best deals will come along when you're broke but that's just the way of life I suppose. When Cabela's first started carrying the Sellier & Bellot primers they had them on sale for $14.99 for a brick of 1000. Luckily for me I was there at the right time and stocked up on them. I see their prices have gone up since then almost matching the CCI primers. Try to find someone else in your area that reloads. If you place your orders together it helps to spread out the shipping and hazardous materials fees. I should have mentioned this earlier but, also keep an eye on out own Accessories and Misc section of the forum. I've scored some great prices on there before. Guys know what it's worth but often like to keep a realistic price for other members.

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  #54  
Old 04-08-2018, 11:43 AM
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Default Cheap scalels that work.....

The Lee Safety Scale you can get new or used starting around $18 for a refurbished one. New ones run a few dollars more. A little slow, but they work.

I have a Frankford Arsenal digital that runs around $30 that does a super job.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:23 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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From everything I've heard regarding the Lee Safety scale rwsmith's assessment is pretty right on. And honestly for all the talk regarding different powders and their relative safety and ability to fill the case, it's a lot like discussing which streets are safest to cross with our eyes closed. Please buy a scale. Even the little Lee scale can keep you safe and allow you to use the most efficient and cost effective powders for your task. With a new price between 25 and 30 bucks it is a bargain.

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Old 04-08-2018, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoJelly View Post
This continues to be a great read - Thanks Gents! I made it out to Cabela's in Gainesville yesterday. They had a surprisingly large selection of powders - although some cans were empty and marked 'Display'. Trail Boss was the cheapest at $17, 800x, Universal and HS-6 were around $22. None of the Dots or 2400. I almost bought the Trail Boss ... until I saw that I could get a hundred SIG .38 cases for the same price. And, I found Berry's plated 125-g's there for the same price as Midway without paying prolly $6 or $7 for shipping. I still had to pay just shy of $60 to get out of there so the powder will have to wait until next month ... . Unsolicited advice for anyone thinking about retiring - don't! I'm poor as a church mouse ... lotsa time on my hands to reload but the components are killing me. Last but not leasty, I've had a (used) 3-in .38 GP-100 for a couple of years that I've never fired. I'm going to run the 6.9-g PP loads thru it this week. The 686P is much easier to clean, since I can pull the cylinder, but there's no sense in letting the Ruger sit unfired all by itself.
Iím 60 and will probably be working until Iím in the dirt. Bullseye and 231 are my most used powders for 38 special. Some will say Bullseye is too dirty but itís gunpowder. I just keep a rag damp with Ballistol and give my revolvers a wipe down after a hundred or so rounds. 231 is a bit cleaner but Bullseye is still the most accurate with 148 lead wadcutters out of my 14-3.
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  #57  
Old 04-08-2018, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrier View Post
Iím 60 and will probably be working until Iím in the dirt. Bullseye and 231 are my most used powders for 38 special. Some will say Bullseye is too dirty but itís gunpowder. I just keep a rag damp with Ballistol and give my revolvers a wipe down after a hundred or so rounds. 231 is a bit cleaner but Bullseye is still the most accurate with 148 lead wadcutters out of my 14-3.
Yeah, they all go 'bang' and push a dense pellet out of the muzzle. Wipe off 'dirt' is not any kind of big deal. Using 2400 my gun turns a golden yellow like pollen, but it wipes right off. Hardly a consideration compared to good shooting.
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  #58  
Old 04-08-2018, 11:29 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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1sailor:SB primers vary quite a bit dimension wise.If used in a Dillon Square Deal B,this might cause some problems;at least the LPP.I've experienced it and one of my friends also did for the same reason.If used in a ss press then no problem.But don't be surprised if you feel the seating pressure is not the same from one another.
Rule 3:about Trail Boss,I like your appreciation about its smell(old cowboy's fart).On an earlier post I wrote it smells like''chicken manure''.While I'm not game at scientifically measuring the difference between your and my description,I guess our opinion about its smell pretty well matches!
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  #59  
Old 04-09-2018, 12:22 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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It might be that the issue with S&B primers is confined to progressive presses. I have fewer than 3000 of their primers left. That means I've loaded over 7000 of them. Other than a single failure to fire I haven't seen any other problems. I have had a lot of problems with Winchester primers though. I often had issues with them not seating properly without some real force. I never buy Winchester anymore. I have some left but would only use them is nothing else were available to me. Not fond of their brass in .357 either.
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  #60  
Old 04-10-2018, 11:08 PM
GavinLee GavinLee is offline
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I got in a habit 40 years ago of never putting powder in a case without turning it upside down first. I actually keep my primed cases in my loading block upside down and only turn them over when they are charged. That being said I still look in the loading block of charged cases with a flash light before seating the bullets. Don't like to take chances!
Lots of good advice here on this thread.
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  #61  
Old 05-24-2018, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogdoc View Post
Do load any more until you get a scale to verify charge. Very bad to rely only on volume as that can vary lot to lot. All charges based on weight. Even with Lee dipper I verify with a good scale. You can get one now for less than 50 buck that will work fine
There is nothing to screw up or malfunction with a Lee dipper.
Itís a fixed volume in solid plastic.
Iíd trust a Lee dipper more than any scale or throw measure.
Some of my best loads are prepared with nothing but Lee dipper set.
Not a scale or measure in the room.
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  #62  
Old 05-24-2018, 11:22 AM
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I just think that 2400 powder or slower is not a good chice for the 38 Special case.

In my J frame snub nose, Blue Dot gave me the highest fps with a lead 158gr bullet.
HS-6 had high fps but the recoil to me was a lot harder.
Unique also had high numbers plus a heavy recoil.

I agree whit the others to pick up some Trail Boss for light target use.
A starting load will fill the short 38 case almost 50% and a full
load will be close to the base of a seated bullet.
If you can find it.
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  #63  
Old 05-27-2018, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
I guess, bottom line, if you trust your machine and powder measure, and the reloading gods, reloading on a progressive could be considered 100% safe (?), but if I couldn't verify the presence of a powder charge or a double charge, I'd suffer from the "tedium" and "too much work" of looking in each case. Maybe because in over 30 years of reloading I had only one squib, and no Kabooms...

There are "powder check" dies for progressive presses. I have two and there may be others. The RCBS fits most progressive presses and will easily detect no powder or a double charge and will lock the press. The Dillon is a little more precise and will "alarm" at smaller variations. I don't know if it fits other presses.
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  #64  
Old 05-30-2018, 05:22 PM
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I use a Lee turret and Hornady makes a short very bright LED light strip that sticks to the press and lets you see inside the case. It's pretty cheap and works good. I put some electrical tape on the edge that faces me to shade me from glare. With a .38 and a light load of W231 I use a dental mirror to see down in the case, but everything else I load it's easy to check each one before the bullet is seated.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:41 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patjmc View Post
I use a Lee turret and Hornady makes a short very bright LED light strip that sticks to the press and lets you see inside the case. It's pretty cheap and works good. I put some electrical tape on the edge that faces me to shade me from glare. With a .38 and a light load of W231 I use a dental mirror to see down in the case, but everything else I load it's easy to check each one before the bullet is seated.
Wow - now that's attention to detail!! But, I don't blame you - it only takes one double-charged case to turn that prized Model 15 (or 10, or 36 ...) into a paperweight! I wound up going with Universal Clays - it still doesn't fill the case as much as I would like ... but I don't use a progressive anyway.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:39 PM
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Kind of an old thread, but I've had good results with Universal, which is red colored and which I can see when I look down into the shell while it's still in my Hornady LnL.

That said, I do like Trail Boss. It gets used up fast, but it's pretty much idiot proof. Even a minimum load will fill the case plenty to see. I load it to the recommended max in .38/.357/.44 mag.

The only powder I've had a truly bad experience with is 700x, which meters like a loaf of bread in my Lock and Load powder drop.

You might look into a mid-range powder like Longshot, CFE Pistol, or SR 4756. Because they are slower (but not as slow as 2400), you can use a larger charge that should make them more visible. 800x is another possibility but meters legendarily poorly (I haven't tried it). Also, using lighter bullets allows for a larger powder charge which might get you into you comfort zone.

Something to bear in mind, though, is to get most of these powders up to where they fill the cartridge, you'll be using max loads. So they will be hot!
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  #67  
Old 06-19-2018, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddshooter View Post
Trail Boss 4.9g gives me 910fps in a .5" group at 25 yards with 6" 357 mag. benchrested.

You can not add any more than 4.9g into the case without compressing.
Trail Boss is never to be compressed !!!

Your load seem a bit warm for Trail Boss.The Hodgdon website says 4.2 gr of TB is a max. load for 357 Magnum.
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  #68  
Old 06-19-2018, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper View Post
Your load seem a bit warm for Trail Boss.The Hodgdon website says 4.2 gr of TB is a max. load for 357 Magnum.
5.3gr is the published max for 125gr cast lead bullets.

That said, the original instructions for Trail Boss were that the "max load" was as much powder as you could fit in the shell without compression regardless of bullet weight. Hodgdon's current Trail Boss max numbers stem from their desire to keep lead bullets well under 1000 fps.

Any Hodgdon recipe for a lead bullet has to be taken with a grain of salt, as the actual max is likely much higher than what they publish. Drives me crazy.
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  #69  
Old 06-19-2018, 06:36 PM
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Trail Boss for $17 = a yes but you're only getting 9oz of powder.

Trail Boss is the only powder I use in 44spl where I'm dropping 4.0gr or more in my Lee Classic Turret Press with Lee Auto Disk Pro.

Dropping smaller amounts of TB in 38spl cases is not good with the Auto Disk.Very inconsistent powder drops and sometimes no powder dropped.

If you use a dipper TB may work OK but IMO Bulleseye is still the best powder for 38spl target loads,,,,,5.0gr of Unique for 38spl+P
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:45 PM
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Sniper post #67;
Your load seem a bit warm for Trail Boss.The Hodgdon website says 4.2 gr of TB is a max. load for 357 Magnum.

I load a 38 special case in my 686 with 4.2grs for 770fps.

In a 357 case I load 4.7grs for 788fps for a maximum loading.
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