Finally! Success with Lead!
I've been wanting to fire 158 grain LSWC in my newer 38 j-frames for a while. First, I started with a big box of Rimrock cast rounds that didn't cost much, and a mid-range load of Power Pistol (around 850 fps). Tons of leading from forcing cone all the way down the 1 7/8" barrel.
Thought maybe I'm not pushing the bullet (which has a BHN of 12) hard enough. Need more Power Pistol, I thought. Now I was shooting a +p level. Same amount of leading, maybe more.
I pretty much gave up and went to jacketed bullets. But that big box of unused semi-wadcutters drove me insane.
So, I thought, one last time. This time, I decided to go with a faster powder (Bullseye), and drop down to a lower velocity (according to the manual, should be around 750 fps). Shot it at lunch and HOORAY! After 50 rounds, just a very tiny bit of leading near the forcing cone. Should come out when I clean the revolver.
The ammo was very accurate, kicked a bit less, a whole lot cheaper, and I finally can shoot lead in my j-frames.
Now, to begin work on a good mid-range lead round for my 44 mag....Gonna start with some Badman 240 grain semi-wadcutters with a sane amount of Unique. Looking for around 900 fps for a classic "Skeeter Load." So glad I didn't give up on lead.