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Old July 24, 2010, 01:06 PM   #1
shafter
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Roger's better bullets

I've got some .38's from Roger's and I'm wondering if I can use them to load some 357magnum loads. I've used them to load 38 special and haven't had any problems. Will they lead my barrel at magnum velocities?
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Old July 24, 2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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The velocities shouldn't be a problem unless they are very soft. If you want magnum velocities, take a powder like 2400 that you can work up with from lower loads.

It's usually the gun's condition that matters most to leading. Chambers need to be at least half a thousandth bigger than the groove diameter of the bore. There must be no constrictions anywhere in the bore, except a slight tightening at the muzzle is OK. A rough bore is no help. Firelapping a revolver is a common thing to do and it does reduce leading.

Start the bullets at .38 load levels and work up. The most common issue with lead and pressure in a revolver is the lead can upset to fill out into the forcing cone of the revolver, which makes the pressure rise to higher levels than the same load gives with jacketed bullets. You usually get sticky ejection or extraction from the chambers as a first sign that is happening, and it means you need to back down 5% right away, whether your velocities are what you hoped for or not.
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Old July 24, 2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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I'm going to semi disagree with UncleNick (yeah, I know, blasphemy). You can't shoot these lead bullets at peak 357 mag velocities and not have leading problems. If you shot a lead bullet weighing 125 grs, you can easily hit 1800'ps with max loads. I can assure you you're going to have leading issues. While you didn't say what weight bullets you have, I'd keep the speeds down to around 1200'ps so leading is not an issue.
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Old July 24, 2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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Well, I'd be careful to never say never. Rogers bullets are BHN 21, just one point south of linotype. That's the same hardness as Beartooth bullets, which are driven to 1800 fps in .45-70's routinely (though Beartooth gets to their hardness by heat treating rather than by alloying). By comparison, Elmer Keith developed the .44 Mag with 16:1 lead:tin (BHN 11; he actually started with 20:1, which is BHN 10). If the lube is good and the gun is smooth inside, it might surprise you how fast those can go.

At the same time, you bring up a good warning to watch for lead building up as the load is developed. Like pressure, it would be another warning sign that you need to back down. Lead can accumulate until pressures are unacceptable if you run a load that leads heavily. Not to mention losing accuracy as the lead layer grows.
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Last edited by Unclenick; July 25, 2010 at 11:55 AM.
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Old July 24, 2010, 06:30 PM   #5
shafter
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I should have been more clear. I've got 158gr semi wadcutters. I use Unique for my 38 specials an dplan to use it for the magnums as well. The pistol is a Ruger Blackhawk.
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Old July 24, 2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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I know nothing about Rogers Better Bullets and almost as much about lead bullets (strickly a JHP person). But you may want to check if you can use a "gas check" with the bullets you are talking about.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=134373


They will have to come from a mold that has the gas check built into the bullet design.


Jim

Last edited by Jim243; July 24, 2010 at 06:50 PM.
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Old July 24, 2010, 07:17 PM   #7
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the gun your shooting may also contribute to how much lead it will accumulate. I shoot ALOT of bullets that I cast myself I use wheelweights and a touch of monotype to make the bullets a little harder. the 255 grain Lyman SWC going 1100 fps shot in my 454 casull SRH does'nt lead the barrel that bad cause the barrel is very smooth and polished. I firelapped the barrel but it wasnt nessicary. Now, I shoot the same bullet at the same velocity out of a Ruger Blackhawk, and it leads the poo out of the barrel. why? the barrel is not as polished and has sharp rifling edges. I tried firelappin the barrel it helped a little but not much.
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Old July 24, 2010, 08:07 PM   #8
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Did you slug the bore to be sure the firelapping left no constrictions? Did you slug your cylinder to make sure the chamber throats are over bore groove diameter?
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Last edited by Unclenick; July 25, 2010 at 11:56 AM.
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Old July 24, 2010, 08:41 PM   #9
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Leading is about more than velocity and bullet hardness. It's about chamber and bore diameter, as Unclenick points out, bullet diameter vs bore diameter and bullet lube. Oops, he said that too. Point is, you don't have to shoot hard bullets to go fast, they may not even work as well as a softer bullet with proper fit and a good lube.
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Old July 24, 2010, 08:43 PM   #10
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well, the blackhawks cylenders are .454 and I did slug the barrell it was .451

it did have a pinch right where the barrel screws into the frame that measured .450, This is with a fresh barrel, I sent it back to Ruger cause it had a really tight pinch

after hours of handlapping I did get the pinch gone so the barrel measures a consistant .451. what I should have done was sent it to a gunsmith and had them recut the forcing cone and get rid of the pinch.

it still gets alot of leading in the forcing cone without gas checked bullets. so I just use lymans 250 GC bullet with the blackhawk. it groups good Im happy with it.
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Old July 25, 2010, 12:08 PM   #11
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One problem peculiar to the .45 Colt is that change to .451 from .454 around the end of WWII. Many guns are made to accommodate the old, larger bullet and just shoot it down into the smaller bore. The problem with this arrangement is what you have discovered, that a .452 bullet in a throat that big allows gas cutting. Often you cannot get them to shoot their best without gas checks except with very light loads using very soft bullets that bump up to fill the chamber throats, or with oversize cast bullets that fit the chamber throats more snugly.

If I owned such a gun myself, I think I would be tempted to try to lap the bore up to .452" and shoot .454" bullets in it. Some outfits will supply them, but I'd expect to be casting my own. That would make the bullet 0.002" oversize, which often turns out to be a bit more accurate in revolvers and lever guns than 0.001" oversize, anyway.
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