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Old March 22, 2001, 10:00 PM   #1
Schatz
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Join Date: March 22, 2001
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 9
I am just a beginner at reloading and have a Dillon 550 on order. While at the shop, I picked up some 158 grain 38/357 plated rn bullets from Berry's (the only 38/357 bullets carried by the local merchant) and a Lymans pistol and revolver handloading guide. Upon looking in the 38 special for the reloading recipes, there is not a perfect bullet match. Therefore, I have a few questions:

1) Both a 158 gr. JHP and a 160 gr. JSP are provided within Lymans. While the powder charge range on these 2 closely matching bullets are somewhat similar, the recommended OALs seem a bit different (1.480 and 1.430, respectively). Can I use either of these 2 bullet recipes for my 158 gn plated? Is there an important difference between plated and jacketed with regard to the powder charge and OAL? While there is a 158 grn lrn shown, I assume this would not be a good match.

2) If I am going with a second best solution of trying to match the closest bullet, what characteristics are most important among (1) jacketed or plated versus lead, (2) bullet shape, and bullet weight?

3) Any other comments you believe would be valuable will be appreciated.



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Old March 23, 2001, 08:29 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
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For a given powder charge, jacketed bullets have a higher pressure than lead or plated bullets; the harder jacket doesn't deform to the rifling as readily--creates more friction/resistance to movement, and thus increases the pressure.

So, using loading data for jacketed bullets--but actually loading the softer bullets--won't hurt anything. Probably get a bit higher velocity.

The primary critical factor in OAL for a revolver is that the nose of the bullet not protrude in front of the cylinder. Other factors, such as compressing the powder charge and suchlike are less important for the .38 Special. A light crimp at the cannelure and you oughta be okay.

Check out the various ads in a Shotgun News or go to a friendly local gunshow for bulk bullets. I'd recommend using stuff around 125 grains in a semi-wadcutter, over a round-nose. Better all-around bullet for plinking or hunting.

Hope this helps, Art
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Old March 24, 2001, 01:33 AM   #3
saands
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Join Date: November 14, 1999
Posts: 1,563
To answer your question about which is most important: Weight is king! At a minimum, you should never load a heavier bullet than the load ... lighter is probably OK. Berry's makes a 125 gr (flat point or HP, your choice) in the .38/.357 ... you can order them directly from Berry's at http://www.berrysmfg.com and they are quite reasonably priced (shipping included). If you are going to be shooting near the max loads, I would recommend finding the exact bullet that is in your load book and measuring it to figure out where its base should be. Then, knowing where the base of your bullet is supposed to be, you can calculate what the min OAL for your bullet should be. There is a really good chapter in the Lee manual that was copied from a VihtaVuori Oy manual that discusses how things (pressure and velocity) change with small changes in bullet weight, powder charge, case volume, etc.

Have fun,
Saands
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Old March 25, 2001, 08:48 PM   #4
Timothy
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Join Date: November 26, 2000
Posts: 97
If you are going to go the cast bullet route check out Precision cast bullets at http://www.pcammoinc.com Good prices, great to do business with.
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