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Old April 10, 2012, 08:15 PM   #1
UncleLoodis
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Looking for a good .38 Spl. recipe

I recently bought some 158 grain round nose Berry's bullets. I plan on using Unique powder, CCI 500 primers. I plan on using the ammo as standard plinker rounds.

Anyone have any tested data re how much powder to use and C.O.A.L?

I've been to Unique's website, and Berry's...without much luck. I know Berry's says to use the same data as lead cast bullets, but I don't see where my Lyman's and Hornady books list 158 grain round nose...which, I think is kind of odd.

So I'm asking for some load data that you've actually used.

Thanks in advance.

Uncle Loodis
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Old April 11, 2012, 11:16 AM   #2
bossman
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I think Berrty's recomends low to mid Jacketed data with their plated bullet. That being said if you use lead data I'd start mid to max. Stay away from low lead loads with their plated bullets. On Berrys site look under FAQ for loading.
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Old April 11, 2012, 12:40 PM   #3
Lead Express
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You should be fine with the standard COL of "1.44-"1.45 while using a good roll crimp. I see that Alliant publishes a 158gn LSWC load with 4.7gn of Unique as a max. You should be fine using this data, and could push this a bit higher while keeping an eye on your pressure indicators. Instead of a start of 4.2, try 4.4 grains. I hope this helps at all.

Safe reloading!
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Old April 11, 2012, 12:57 PM   #4
Ralph G. Briscoe
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I load a lot of 158 gr .38's using Unique. The data for Unique is all over the map with max loads listed everywhere from 4.3 gr to well over 5...not surprising for a powder that's been around over 100 years. After much testing I settled on 4.7 gr for my normal defense load--it gives me 815 fs out of a 2" barrel, and isn't too hot to use in my older aluminum frame Cobra and Agent. You mentioned you're going to use your loads for plinking. 4.7 is comfortable in medium and heavy weight revolvers but not much fun in LW snubbies....the guns I practice with the most. For those I've had good results with 3.5 gr which gives me 600 fps and shoots close to the same point of aim. 2.7 gr Trailboss gives close to that velocity and is a bit cleaner. Enjoy.
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Old April 11, 2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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+1 to the above.
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Old April 11, 2012, 01:28 PM   #6
BigJimP
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Berry's says to use mid range jacketed ammo recipes...not lead...and to keep your velocity under 1200 fps ...which shouldn't be an issue on .38 spl...especially if you're using a 158gr bullet.

I just finished up loading 20 boxes of Berry's bullets in .38 spl - and I used Hodgdon Universal at 4.3 grains..and cci primers.. ( about 775 fps ) ---no reason not to use Unique if you like that powder...

I keep a few boxes of .38 spl around ...for the grandkids to shoot in my revolvers...vs .357 mag...( but I load the same bullet for both rounds / just speed them up in the .357 mag loads ).
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Old April 11, 2012, 11:10 PM   #7
UncleLoodis
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Thanks

Thanks to all. I appreciate the info!

U.L.
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