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Old May 11, 2012, 05:36 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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What bullet weight should I choose for my .44 and .38?

My range are about to place an order for bullets. They get a significant discount if the order 30K or more. They need 20K and ask customers if they need anything to make up the shortfall.

I am considering taking the plunge, but orders are 1000 minimum.

To make the order as cheap as possible, and given that I would be using these at the range pretty much exclusively, the range instructor suggested getting 200gr bullets for the .44: lighter on unit cost, shipping, powder and the palm. And 125gr for the .38.

They are FMJ SWC profiles. Not as heavy as rounds I would load for any carry purposes but still: so much cheaper.

I am aware of that trade-off.

Other than that is there any other reason I have overlooked as to why this would not be a suitable choice?

Here is the webpage for the distributor:
My choice is fourth down .429, 200gr.
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Old May 11, 2012, 08:56 AM   #2
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James -

I think those are reasonable choices for inexpensive bullets, although I can't comment on the quality of the manufacturer. Keep in mind that light lead bullets will likely go faster and may have a greater tendency to leave lead in the barrel (over 900 fps). There are other variables, but in light relatively fast bullets for .38 spc and 9mm I try to use those with copper plating (or jacketed of course).

One of my favorite loads to shoot is a .38 special round using 125 gr. plated bullets with a light powder load behind it (don't have the exact specs with me so I won't estimate here). Not much knock-down power but a lot of fun (and easy to shoot for my wife and daughter too).
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Old May 11, 2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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James....Are those plated bullets or FMJ? If they are a FMJ, I wonder why they don't have a cannelure for crimping.


As for the OP.....all of my handgun ammo(.38 special, .357 mag, .44 special, .44 mag, .45ACP, and .460 mag) COULD easily be loaded with just two powders. H110/W296 and Unique. I said COULD. That don't mean they are. What fun would that be?
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Old May 11, 2012, 02:55 PM   #4
Pond, James Pond
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Thanks for the replies!!

As you can see the posts have been made into their own thread: I'd tried to start a thread and ended up posting this unrelated question on the powder thread!!

So far my choices seem to have support and I'll probably go with those: I have the weekend as they want to place their order by Wednesday.

In answer to the question:

Quote:
Are those plated bullets or FMJ?
Don't know for sure.
FMJ, I think. I will check with the range guys. However, I've read further and it doesn't have a crimp groove...

I honestly don't know if I can load a bullet without crimping, but the site says it is a bullet for handgun reloading. The second bullet has a crimp groove but is .428 and my aim is already bad enough without adding undersized bullets to mix!!
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Old May 11, 2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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I still say if you are going with one powder 158 gr 38 and 200 gr 44. That's a lot of first try order of bullets but I don't see why they would work for you.
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Old May 11, 2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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I still say if you are going with one powder 158 gr 38 and 200 gr 44. That's a lot of first try order of bullets but I don't see why they would work for you
Actually, the .38 will be a 124gr.

All the samethe same money, I can get 500 .44 bullets from other sources, so these are half the price.

Being lighter, closer to the .38 in weight (65gr difference as opposed to 115 gr), I should be more able to find a single powder that can comfortably work on both, and having shot .44 Spl, I know that lighter loads out of that Ruger are a breeze.

And, being new to shooting, reloading and the rest I won't know any different if I've loaded a horrible cartridge!! Ignorance can be bliss...
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Old May 12, 2012, 04:04 AM   #7
458winshooter
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bullet options

I started casting my own and the weights you have mentioned are two of the first molds that I bought.I recently went to the range and found a load for my 7.5" Super Blackhawk driving a 200gr from a Lee mold that I am spellbound by its accuracy.
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Old May 12, 2012, 04:33 AM   #8
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
I am spellbound by its accuracy.
That!! Right there!! SOLD!!
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Old May 12, 2012, 04:50 AM   #9
Shootest
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Quote:
Actually, the .38 will be a 124gr.
Usually the 124g are for 9mm and 0.355 in diameter. The 125g are for 38/357 and are 0.357 in diameter.
The standard factory bullet weight for 38 is 158g and for 44 is 240g. Lately more and more lighter bullets are being loaded. So your choice of 125g for 38 and 200g for 44 is following the trends.
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Old May 12, 2012, 08:36 AM   #10
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I have shot many thousands of rounds of hard cast SWCs in 215 gr. from my Ruger Redhawk .44 mag. Good bullet, easier on recoil than heavier and accurate. I also have used thousands of 245 gr. Keith type SWCs. See no advantage, from an accuracy standpoint in one over the other but the lighter is less tiring when shooting all day.
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Old May 12, 2012, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootest
Usually the 124g are for 9mm and 0.355 in diameter. The 125g are for 38/357 and are 0.357 in diameter.
+1 Make sure about that 124 gr bullet diameter.
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Old May 12, 2012, 10:15 AM   #12
Pond, James Pond
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+1 Make sure about that 124 gr bullet diameter.
Checked. Definitely .357 diameter.
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