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Old 10-08-2018, 08:44 AM
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Default 158g Plated bullets for 38?

Hey all, I have some 158swc from extreme that Iíve used for 357mag in the past. Been thinking about using them for 38 special now because clean up is easy and well...I already have them!

I normally shoot lead or coated lead in 38 but Iím getting low and decided to look up some loads for these. My latest Speer does not recommend 38ís of that weight that are jacketed due to sticking one in the barrel. Extremeís website says to use middle of the road JACKETED data for these.

Other manuals I have have 158 jacketed data available.

I loaded some up with a full load of power pistol (+p max), per the Lyman 49th this weekend. Shot them out of some 357 guns and had nice results. They had some thump but were pleasant in a couple gp100ís.

Now I hesitate to down load into normal levels with other powders I have like bullseye, hp38, and unique because of the warning from Speer.

My question is do plated, especially extreme, act like a jacketed as far as resistance down the barrel? Iím assuming so. Is there a real risk of sticking one in the barrel? I have about 500 left and would like to use them for 38ís if possible.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:49 AM
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Current load data in the manuals will answer your questions as they list both lead and jacketed / plated bullets for the 38 special . Use their load data and you will have no problems . I would not use the minimums posted . I like to start somewhere in the middle . Good Luck , Regards, Paul
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:51 AM
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Thanks. I was more concerned that Speer pulled their 158 jacketed data and made note of it while the other manufacturers kept theirs.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:54 AM
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Middle of the lead data for a powder generally works well with plated. I'm using 4.5 gr Unique with an OAL of 1.400 with the Berry THP and it clocks with factory.

The plated seem to be more slippery than lead,less than jacketed, but that may vary per coating thickness/alloy as well as core material.

Last edited by WR Moore; 10-08-2018 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:23 AM
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Lightbulb 158gr fmj or plated in 38 S&WSpecial

There are still quite a few fmj (or jhp, jsp, etc.) factory loads available: it is true that many manufacturers may choose to load these in a +P configuration.

But by going to the actual Freedom Munitions site (same company as Xtreme Bullets) you can find valuable info as to how they manufacture (and remanufacture) 158gr ammunition using plated bullets for 38 S&W Specials: you'll find them typically in the 835-900+ fps range.

If you crossreference this to the data on Ballistics 101for fmj, jhp, etc. ammunition you'll see this range as well.

It really doesn't matter which powders you use: the Hodgdon's pistol site has 18 or so loads using the 158gr XTP bullets: these are jacketed bullets. There's also plenty of "wiggle room" because most +P loads start off where standard pressure loads for these end. "MOST"! For example, with WIN231 (or HP38) MIN-MAX for this bullet is 3.8-4.3gr for standard pressure: +P is 4.6gr.

If there is any area where intentionally avoiding the "mouse fart" loads (that some find to be so attractive these days?) makes sense it would be in a case where you have reason to believe that a safety issue may be present.

If this is the case, just start towards the higher end of a published 158gr standard pressure load and enjoy!
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:05 PM
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Plated bullets aren't the same as jacketed bullets. I would treat plated as I would any cast bullet and use the same data. As always, however, with any bullet and load data, normal handloading precautions should be practiced.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:39 PM
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I've only tried about 1,000 plated bullets (for me not any better than my cast) and I used cast bullet data. I'd like to see/hear more about a warning to not use 158 gr bullets, cast, plated, jacketed, solid copper, or PCed, in 38 Special. I have loads many thousands of 38 Special rounds using bullets from 125 gr. to 160 gr, cast, jacketed, PCed, and plated. BTW, I would not load plated to +P levels...
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:18 PM
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I tried plated 148 grain WC bullets once in .38 Special. Could see no advantage over my own cast and conventionally lubricated bullets. Accuracy was certainly inferior.

Anyone have good experience with plated bullets in comparison with well made, fitted, cast bullets?
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
I've only tried about 1,000 plated bullets (for me not any better than my cast) and I used cast bullet data. I'd like to see/hear more about a warning to not use 158 gr bullets, cast, plated, jacketed, solid copper, or PCed, in 38 Special. I have loads many thousands of 38 Special rounds using bullets from 125 gr. to 160 gr, cast, jacketed, PCed, and plated. BTW, I would not load plated to +P levels...
Iíll try and remember to take a pic of the wording in my manual tonight. It was only specifically for jacketed and weights above 146 if I remember correctly. I believe itís speerís # 14.

As far as +p, that I donít have any fear of since x tremeís own sight says to keep them under 1500fps and anything over 1200 FPS they recommend their heavy plated bullets. I donít think any published load for 158 in 38 special would ever reach that. Iíve used these in mid range 357 with good results in the past. Kept them in the 1000fps range. I donít need that fast to just punch paper though so thatís the reasoning that I would like to shoot them at normal 38spl levels.

Since I donít cast my own (and no plans to start, too many other projects), might as well use these up!
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:54 PM
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Here are the pages. First 2 are regular pressure 38 special and the 3rd is +p. They even go as far as saying +p pressures arenít a sure enough thing to make sure anything jacketed heavier than 146 grain will exit the barrel.
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158g Plated bullets for 38?-6510c84b-4db6-4644-bdd6-eeef08ed2658-jpg   158g Plated bullets for 38?-f4108135-1b76-4581-8f08-21ddce1bf685-jpg   158g Plated bullets for 38?-e0e858b4-a89f-43c7-9f2d-d3b2d052ad88-jpg  
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:57 PM
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The Xtreme's are not jacketed, they are plated. I used a ton of these in my 6" 686-3 and mostly at lower levels with no issues.
HP38 3.5gr was an accurate load for me, Hodgdon was 3.1-3.8gr recommended cast 158 LSWC.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:16 PM
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IMHO plated bullets are the "sticky-est" the only squib loads I ever created used
low velocity and plated bullets. Plated is it's own animal, not cast, not jacketed.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:27 PM
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There's load data out there for 158 grain jacketed bullets. Plated bullets will have less resistance than jacketed. If you're worried about sticking a bullet in the barrel just make sure to pay attention to your target and make sure your bullets are accounted for.
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:51 PM
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I loaded several hundred of the 38 SPL xtreme 158gr plated, but due to the warnings you mention and others I loaded most of them close to max for standard pressure jacketed loads. I had one squib in a 4" M10, which was when I was experimenting with a light-to mid-load of 700x (I'd have to dig out my records to remember for sure).

After that, I stuck to heavier loads and slower powders with plated bullets. I also loaded up some mid power 357s with those plated bullets and had no problems.

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Old 10-08-2018, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
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There's load data out there for 158 grain jacketed bullets. Plated bullets will have less resistance than jacketed. If you're worried about sticking a bullet in the barrel just make sure to pay attention to your target and make sure your bullets are accounted for.
JMO jacketed bullets are more uniform and of consistent diameter compared to plated. Cast lead is somewhat self lubricating and generally more malleable than either plated or jacketed. I find cast to be most accurate, plated least (but small sample size with plated). Good jacketed (ie Hornady) have given me great results, about as good as good cast (ie Badman), but I have found plated to be least consistant (velocity, accuracy, felt recoil).
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
...I would not load plated to +P levels...
.

38 Spcl.(+P) loads max. at 20K PSI. That's not even a good starting load for a 357 Magnum of which many are loaded to higher levels with plated bullets. Just adhere to the manufacturers speed limit for each variation (1250fps, 1500fps, etc.)

.
.

Quote:
Plated bullets... I would treat plated as I would any cast bullet and use the same data.
Quote:
Plated bullets will have less resistance than jacketed.
.

There have been several tests (**) done that show plated bullets are the slowest of the bullet types (jacketed, cast lead, coated lead, plated) when comparing the same weight & using the same powder charge. More resistance = slower MV.

Speer pistol bullets are premium plated (chemical electro-plating) bullets.

.

(**)- The referenced website doesn't exist any longer but here's a page with the key data on it that I had saved.

.



.
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:40 AM
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BlueDot37

This has been my anecdotal experience. Thanks for the empirical evidence.
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:37 AM
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I have never gotten any decent groups out of Berry's or Ranier plated bullets in a revolver. Different calibers and bullet weights all proved rather dismal compared to excellent groups with cast, polymer coated, and jacketed in the same guns. Never tried Extreme brand.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:35 PM
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I read the warning and am sure the warning was about light loads and slow powders. Yes, too light a load and there is a possibility of a stuck bullet, but that's with any weight or construction bullet. I have been reloading 38 since '69 (off and on) and using starting loads outta my manual(s) and I have had only one squib, and that was my fault, not the load...
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:44 PM
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I believe the specific danger is jacket separation, where the lead core continues downrange, impacting the target, but the jacket remains stuck in the barrel.
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:58 PM
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Boogsawaste, do you use any Western Powders (Accurate, Ramshot)? If so, their online data has 158 grain plated load data for 38 Special and 38 Special +P. Powders they show 158 grain plated bullet data on are Accurate #2, Ramshot Silhouette, Ramshot True Blue and Accurate #5.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
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I believe the specific danger is jacket separation, where the lead core continues downrange, impacting the target, but the jacket remains stuck in the barrel.
I've never heard/read about jacket separation from light loads or slow powders...
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:46 PM
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Jacket stuck in barrel - General Gunsmithing - Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

And it's not from a slow powder, it's that the slow powder exacerbates the light load.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:59 PM
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Anecdotal evidence from myself and another revolver shooter in my league:
Iíve stuck 158 gr plated bullets in my barrel using lead data. No such issues using jacketed bullet data. Velocity lags behind published data for jacketed bullets of the same weight. My friend prefers 125 grain bullets in his 6Ē 686 and has found that weight more forgiving with low charge weights. Not rigorous data I know but based on some2000 rounds worth of observation.

My take home: use jacketed data for plated bullets. Even then they have been inferior to cast in both accuracy and velocity in my testing.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:56 PM
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It's just a matter of not enough chamber pressure to push the bullet out of the barrel. Whether it's from too light loads, too light loads of slower powder, more/less friction from bullet construction, or whatever, it's not a reloading oddity or advanced theory, plain and simple, you need a certain amount of pressure to push the bullet all the way out of the barrel...

For 35+ years I have used an "appropriate" powder, with appropriate loads, for the type of bullets used and have never had a bullet stuck in any gun...

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Old 10-11-2018, 01:08 PM
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Boogsawaste, do you use any Western Powders (Accurate, Ramshot)? If so, their online data has 158 grain plated load data for 38 Special and 38 Special +P. Powders they show 158 grain plated bullet data on are Accurate #2, Ramshot Silhouette, Ramshot True Blue and Accurate #5.
None of those. Been wanting to try a few though!
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
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I read the warning and am sure the warning was about light loads and slow powders. Yes, too light a load and there is a possibility of a stuck bullet, but that's with any weight or construction bullet. I have been reloading 38 since '69 (off and on) and using starting loads outta my manual(s) and I have had only one squib, and that was my fault, not the load...
I thought the same thing but wondered why they didnít just use ďdo not reduceĒ data for 158ís. And even saying they are using 158 cast for their +p data because of low velocity with jacketed caused me to raise an eyebrow. Although possibly they are saying +p 158 jacketed are too slow to expand? I have no idea.

About the jacket separation with light charge, I believe that comes from the 146 and the heavier (I forget the weight, 160?), half jacket rounds. I think there are warnings about that in some manuals.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:04 PM
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None of those. Been wanting to try a few though!
If you are in a buying mood then, Powder Valley just sent me an email today about free Hazmat when ordering $99 or more of Accurate, Ramshot or Norma powders. For 38 Special, Accurate #2 works very well for lighter loads (used basically like 231/HP38). Accurate #5 would correspond more to a slower powder more suited to top end 38 Special loads).
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:35 PM
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If you are in a buying mood then, Powder Valley just sent me an email today about free Hazmat when ordering $99 or more of Accurate, Ramshot or Norma powders. For 38 Special, Accurate #2 works very well for lighter loads (used basically like 231/HP38). Accurate #5 would correspond more to a slower powder more suited to top end 38 Special loads).
Thanks! Iíll head on over there.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:19 PM
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Technical Writers are "special" people (not bad, just a little different). A tech writer specializes in taking what a technician/engineer tell him and writing it sown so everybody can understand. Kind like the difference between a Chilton manual that everybody can use vs. a full Shop Manual that trained/experienced mechanics use. Perhaps the warning was written to take in the most readers vs. experienced reloaders...

I've only dealt with Tech. Writers a couple times. Both taking technical info and kinda interpreting it for the writer so he can write it correctly for all readers...
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:40 PM
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I go with the data for Jacked data but.............
do not exceed the fps for the company's bullet data.

That being said......
I have used a very slow "Unlisted" powder on a plated 115gr ball type bullet
and it was accurate but only did 701fps and had two stove pipes !!
I also pushed a 1200fps rated plated bullet to 1376fps, without it flying apart.
there were no fragments on the target, this time!

Since plated bullets are usually for target use, they will be shot in the "Middle" fps range
and should never present a problem for the shooter.

Well, at least that is my two cents worth.
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Old 10-13-2018, 02:12 PM
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Default If you are going to shoot .38 with 158 gr bullets.....

....throw out that Speer manual and get an older one where they have the loads that you need. Or consult another manufacturers book.


PS That's bloody ridiculous. As far back as Speer #9 they have been discouraging using 158 gr bullets in .38. At first I didn't mind too much because they just said the bullets might not stablize through short barrels. I never had any problem with them. OK, so you keyhole a perp with a 158 gr. bullet. It's still going to hurt. A lot. And I"ve never come close to sticking a 158 gr jacketed bullet in the barrel. Not in 40 years.
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:05 PM
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kennethdlarson kennethdlarson is offline
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158g Plated bullets for 38? 158g Plated bullets for 38? 158g Plated bullets for 38? 158g Plated bullets for 38? 158g Plated bullets for 38?  
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic USA!
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FWIW....I shoot Extreme plated 158 gr bullets in my 38s and 357s with Hodgdon's data for Winchester 572 in both standard and +P loads. No issues with stuck bullets.
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