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Old 04-08-2018, 07:53 PM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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Default What bullets do I have here? 38/357 cal

Was at my favorite LGS/shooting range and I asked my guy if he had any 38/357 bullets I can buy to reload. The shop has been around since the 60's out in the middle of Nowhere Texas and he comes out with a couple boxes and just hands them to me, free. "Merry Christmas". Then he hands me this large white box that looked like it was as old as the shop with barely legible writing on it that says ".357/38 cal".



These are self explanatory, but it's the next box that I want to know more about.


First box is what looks like NOS Hornady FP/XTP #35730. The box looks like what they used to sell 20 yrs ago. But they're all in there and all weight exactly 125gr. and mic out at .357".



These bullets mic at 358" and all weigh 172gr on average. They're in decent shape once you clean them up the whitish oxidation. I took a clean terry cloth and wiped a few down and to me they look like they're shootable.



Can anyone identify what bullet/manufacturer the LSWC's are? They look like old Lyman/Elmer keith style bullets. What would be a decent load for these LSWC's? 38 special or 357 mag?

Last edited by RGVshooter; 04-08-2018 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:10 PM
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Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
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You did good finding a lead 170gr bullet in .357 cal.

Most dealers stop at 158grs, in my searches.

Don't mess with them too much, to keep the lube on those bullets.

Have fun.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:31 PM
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Alk8944 Alk8944 is offline
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The first bullet, the Hornady, are the same as current production XTP-FP, just in an older style box.

The cast bullets are Lyman #358429, the Keith bullet. They could be home or commercially cast, no way to tell the difference. They just happen to be in a Hornady box.

Don't worry about trying to clean the Lead Oxide off of them. First it isn't worth the trouble, and second, it has lubricating properties of its' own! Instead just buy a bottle of Lee "Liquid Alox" and coat the bullets as-is following the instructions on the bottle.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:02 PM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
The first bullet, the Hornady, are the same as current production XTP-FP, just in an older style box.

The cast bullets are Lyman #358429, the Keith bullet. They could be home or commercially cast, no way to tell the difference. They just happen to be in a Hornady box.

Don't worry about trying to clean the Lead Oxide off of them. First it isn't worth the trouble, and second, it has lubricating properties of its' own! Instead just buy a bottle of Lee "Liquid Alox" and coat the bullets as-is following the instructions on the bottle.
I dumped them in the red Hornady box when I got home. The box they were in originally was in bad shape due to age.

The lead cast bullets are prelubed. They're old but there is a green wax in the grease ring on the bullets. The grey coloring is mostly oxidized dried wax/lube. I think they're fine to shoot as is.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:41 PM
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Warren Sear Warren Sear is offline
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There is plenty of proven load data for the 173 grain Keith SWC bullet in the Lyman cast bullet manuals, including the latest one. PM me if you want some specific data and don't have the book.

Personally, I used to use that bullet for heavy 38 Special loads, but there are well known problems (and solutions) for when used in .357 Magnum ammo. So, now I stick with 158/160 grain bullets in both cases and am happy.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:19 PM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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Originally Posted by Warren Sear View Post
There is plenty of proven load data for the 173 grain Keith SWC bullet in the Lyman cast bullet manuals, including the latest one. PM me if you want some specific data and don't have the book.

Personally, I used to use that bullet for heavy 38 Special loads, but there are well known problems (and solutions) for when used in .357 Magnum ammo. So, now I stick with 158/160 grain bullets in both cases and am happy.

The data I have here doesn't suggest using the Keith 173gr swc in 357 cases due to the long nose of the bullet protruding in the cylinder.

The only decent 38 special recipe I have is:

5.5gr.-6.0gr Longshot
173gr. Cast SWC
COL 1.522"
Est. 914-995fps
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:05 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Looks like it is Christmas in April for you.
The Hornady bullets are worth quite a few $$$ so right there,you owe the guy a large beer.
The lead bullets,I'd follow the suggestion to buy a bottle of Lee liquid Alox(well worth the investment considering the price you got the bullets for).
The cast SWC,depending on the .357 you will load them for,if too long for the cylinder can be seated deeper so as to crimp over the front band.That was a way of doing it before they (S&W)came out with a longer cylinder(mod 19).Just make sure to load below maximum since this procedure will increase pressure.Play it safe.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:07 PM
Joed49 Joed49 is offline
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The lead bullets do indeed look like they were made from the Lyman 358429. The green lube probably came from Magma Engineering. and was probably done on a Star lube sizer.

I know this because in the early 2000's I ran a casting business named Black River Bullets and produced tons of those as well as .44 and .45 Keith style bullets using Lyman and Ballisti Cast molds. I used either the green or blue Magma lube and sold them all over the US and Canada. I actually sold several orders to a few gun shops out west. The only other producer I know of was Dry Creek Bullets but they used a different lube.

The 358429 bullet is very long and has problems if used in model 27 or 28 in .357 cases. This can be avoided by crimping over the top driving band. Or load them in .38 Spl cases which will work just fine. Many of the customers I sold to used .38 Spl cases and heavy loads of 2400 with no problems in their .357 revolvers.

I used to have a lot of loading data on all the bullets I produced but no longer have it.

Do not dry lube those bullets, shoot them as is, they are lubed and ready to go.

Last edited by Joed49; 04-08-2018 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:15 AM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joed49 View Post
The lead bullets do indeed look like they were made from the Lyman 358429. The green lube probably came from Magma Engineering. and was probably done on a Star lube sizer.

I know this because in the early 2000's I ran a casting business named Black River Bullets and produced tons of those as well as .44 and .45 Keith style bullets using Lyman and Ballisti Cast molds. I used either the green or blue Magma lube and sold them all over the US and Canada. I actually sold several orders to a few gun shops out west. The only other producer I know of was Dry Creek Bullets but they used a different lube.

The 358429 bullet is very long and has problems if used in model 27 or 28 in .357 cases. This can be avoided by crimping over the top driving band. Or load them in .38 Spl cases which will work just fine. Many of the customers I sold to used .38 Spl cases and heavy loads of 2400 with no problems in their .357 revolvers.

I used to have a lot of loading data on all the bullets I produced but no longer have it.

Do not dry lube those bullets, shoot them as is, they are lubed and ready to go.

Yeah the lube that's in the grease ring is green. The original box they were in was a plain white box that had flaps on both ends that were taped. The bullets were loose in the box if that's any indication of who may have packaged them like that back then. Looks like the caliber and possibly a part number hand written on the end flap but it was too faded to read.

I intended to load them up using 38 special brass. The revolvers I'll be shooting these thru will be mostly out of my 4" 686-6 and a 4" 10-8 heavy barrel 38 special. Mostly for plinking steel plates & bowling pins outdoors up to 50 yards.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:27 AM
reddog81 reddog81 is offline
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Who made them is irrelevant and a large white box with hand written 38/357 only means it probably wasn't a large manufacturer. They could have been made by anyone who casts bullets. Just use the appropriate lead load data and you'll be good to go. Just be careful of that lead oxide. The dust from lead oxide easily transfers onto you hands or anything else. Not a big deal as long as you are careful and wash your hands after handling them.
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:51 AM
Joed49 Joed49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGVshooter View Post
Yeah the lube that's in the grease ring is green. The original box they were in was a plain white box that had flaps on both ends that were taped. The bullets were loose in the box if that's any indication of who may have packaged them like that back then. Looks like the caliber and possibly a part number hand written on the end flap but it was too faded to read.

I intended to load them up using 38 special brass. The revolvers I'll be shooting these thru will be mostly out of my 4" 686-6 and a 4" 10-8 heavy barrel 38 special. Mostly for plinking steel plates & bowling pins outdoors up to 50 yards.
You should have no problems loading them in the 686 in mag cases as the cylinder length is longer for that model. To avoid any problems crimp over the front driving band using mag cases.

The bullet was designed for use in 38/44 loads before the .357 showed up on the scene. I remember a lot of people I sold them to used .38 Spl cases with a load of 2400 to about 13.0 gr for use in .357. A .38 Spl case in not weak. Myself I never loaded them that hot in a Spl case as I had the fear that someone would try to fire them in a .38 Spl so I stayed with mag cases and just crimped over the driving band.

It's a great bullet and they were very popular. If you have a Lyman loading manual there are quite a few loads for these bullets in it.

The bullets you have could have been cast by anyone owning that mold. There were quite a few people selling them but many have retired now and few commercial casters produce them mostly because with all the grooves in the bullet they don't just fall out of the mold and which slows production in a casting machine. They are at there best when done by hand.

You will probably find they are very accurate. I still shoot them out of my guns because they work so well.

As said by others after handling or shooting lead wash your hands.

I'd also like to hear a report of how they did for you.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:33 AM
Joed49 Joed49 is offline
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If you don't have a Lyman manual I can give you data. Most common loads are Unique and 2400.

Let me know and I can get you data.

Last edited by Joed49; 04-09-2018 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:31 AM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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If you don't have a Lyman manual I can give you data. Most common loads are Unique and 2400.

Let me know and I can get you data.
If you don't mind, please share some loads you have. Remember, the bullets I have weigh between 172.2-172.9grs. The powder that I have here at home is Power Pistol, TiteGroup, H110 and Blue Dot. If I have to go out & buy new power for these bullets then I will. I have probably at least 300+ of them in that box.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:10 AM
Joed49 Joed49 is offline
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Originally Posted by RGVshooter View Post
If you don't mind, please share some loads you have. Remember, the bullets I have weigh between 172.2-172.9grs. The powder that I have here at home is Power Pistol, TiteGroup, H110 and Blue Dot. If I have to go out & buy new power for these bullets then I will. I have probably at least 300+ of them in that box.
PM sent. Most likely any of those powders will work with the bullets but everyone seems to use Unique and 2400. I gave up H110 18 years ago in favor of 2400, it's a much more forgiving powder.

If you do an internet search for that bullet you can find all kinds of data.
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:10 PM
Joe4d Joe4d is offline
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What is the purpose of the loads and barrel length ? Dont think you answered , tons of data with the powders you have you just need to provide more info..
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:17 PM
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The lead bullets look good. If they were mine I would boil them in water and resize & lube to .357.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:42 PM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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What is the purpose of the loads and barrel length ? Don't think you answered , tons of data with the powders you have you just need to provide more info..
I'm going to load these up for bowling pins. The revolver used is going to be a 4" 686 but I'm loading these for 38 special. For a starting load, I loaded up 50 rounds this morning using 3.2gr TiteGroup and a COL of 1.537". I'm heading out to the range tomorrow to test them.


@4barrel.... I've used Hornady lead bullets before and were very happy with them, they all mic out at .358 dia. These bullets, although they're not Hornady also mic out at .358". What looks like grey crusty bullets is actually a oxidized wax/lube. The bullets seated no problem in my Hornady LNL press and I just wiped them off with a terry cloth rag and they cleaned up real nice. They should shoot well although I'm expected some smoke from the waxy lube... They're fine the way they are... I'm just gonna load up & choot 'em.
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