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Old August 13, 2001, 01:25 AM   #1
Oleg Volk
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What's the lightest bullet for 38spl

I would like to make a light recoiling load for guns like the titanium snubbies. Does anyone make a light (60-70gr) hollow base wadcutters suitable for use in a .38? What kind of loads would I have to use for a 2" barrel? I imagine that he recil would be light enough to prevent crimp loosening problems.

If lead bullets aren't available, what about jacketed aluminum? I'd expect them to go fast and run out of speed pretty fast...might be good in a defensive round. Thoughts, suggestions? I can't fire regular 38 in an ultra light snubbie without too much pain and can't afford prefragmented loads (nor like the idea behind them).

I suppose I could always buy 148gr full wadcutters and split them in half lengthwise OR load 000 buck pellets but then accuracy would go all to hell.
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Old August 13, 2001, 01:43 AM   #2
Spectre
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Oleg, are you going to turn them around, and shoot them base first? I recently got a Taurus Ti snubbie, and was thinking of doing this myself (though with a 125 grain bullet). I would expect them to run out of steam PDQ, but at 7 yards, they should do a number!



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Old August 13, 2001, 11:31 AM   #3
Oleg Volk
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I was going to load them normally for better accuracy and obturation (Minie idea). AFAIK, if the bullet is light enough and the powder is fast, soft lead would deform enough on contact even without a cavity. Something like 1000fps 70gr from a 38spl would be my goal, pretty much a duplicate of 32H&R Mag ballisitcs but with larger cross-section and using a more common brass. Ideally, I'd pay someone for several thousands of such rounds and be set for a while.
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Old August 13, 2001, 01:22 PM   #4
Spectre
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You might want to talk to Jeff Mullins at Mullins Ammo. He has a polymer bullet (ESM II) that might fit your needs nicely.

You can email Jeff at mammo@bellatlantic.net . If the ESM will not work for you, he can probably suggest something that will.
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Old August 13, 2001, 03:13 PM   #5
labgrade
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What's the intended use for these, Oleg? Defense or plinking?

Have you tried standard wadcutter target rounds? They are quite low in recoil.

For defense, I don't know that there's any free lunch. Anything too light will likely not penetrate suitably & that's what it's all about.
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Old August 13, 2001, 04:00 PM   #6
Quantrill
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Light Bullets for .38spec.

Oleg,
Old Lyman catalogues list 70,75,87 and 95 grain molds for 38 caliber. Remington at one time had a jacketed hollow point with a 95 gr bullet. I do not believe any of these are still available for sale. As labgrade has mentioned, it is hard to believe that the 148gr wadcutter factory load has too severe a recoil. Lots of luck, Quantrill
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Old August 14, 2001, 06:05 PM   #7
wolfz
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I bought several boxes of 100gr wad cutters from J&G sales in Prescott, Az. Shot really nicely out of S&W mod10.
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Old August 14, 2001, 06:17 PM   #8
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Oleg, I'd try regular 110 or 125 JHP rounds... If you're shooting for defense, you're not gonna be noticing the recoil.
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Old August 14, 2001, 09:28 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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I've shot some really, really hot 110-grain loads from a .357. The noise was horrendus; the recoil was tame.

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Old August 14, 2001, 09:55 PM   #10
Oleg Volk
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I like the weight of a SW638 -- but I won't like the recoil. Five wadcutters from 342Ti PD convinced me to return that gun. Recoil during practice means lack of desire to practice. I would go with a 32H&R but that round is a pain to find and expensive and I'd rather get a batch of handloads made to mimic its ballistics but with more common components.

The main problem I anticipate is low point of impact with light bullets. What I want is something shaped like a 410 slug - a flat, light Minie with large frontal area. If light enough, it could go fast up close but lose velocity quickly. Does anyone here cast their own bullets? If so, would you take up an order for a couple thousand custom projectiles?
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Old August 15, 2001, 05:49 AM   #11
maxwayne
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Several years ago someone was selling an aluminum wad cutter for the 38. I think it was called Zap. They claimed very high velocity.
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Old August 15, 2001, 12:57 PM   #12
dntorbert
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I have bought and reloaded with 100 grain dual ended wadcutters by 3d ammo(they also sell them preloaded) but I was downloading them for shooting in derringer (was haveing reliablity trbl and wanted to shoot 100+ times in a row to chk). But if you cast your own hensley and gibs made a "asprin tablet from h***" that I think was ther mould # 333. The mold is still out on the market somewhere but I'm not sure who is producing it now .
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Old August 15, 2001, 02:33 PM   #13
labgrade
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Well hmmm ...

Certainly no offense, but, back to the "no free lunch" physics lesson. For defense, you'll either need light-weight & (at times VERY) high velocities OR low velocities & heavy(ier) weights to acheive the penetration necessary to hit a bad guy's vitals & do enough damage to stop the threat. & that with proper bullet construction to allow the penetration. Bullet placement obviously & have no doubts that Oleg's in the ball-park here.

Many ongoing discusions in general handgun forum - of which some comments actually have merit. Bad of me, I guess, but it does boil down to disabling your opponent in the quickest amount of time. Regardless of "street studies" or "shooting jell-o," you must cause enough damage to the BG to cause it (him/her) to break off the attack & go elsewhere.

There's the psychological aspect of getting shot, but that's not a sure thing. The physical aspect is either disconnecting the central nervous system or causing enough blood loss through trauma to cause an unconscience/deabilitating effect.

To do this, you gotta have certain things happening together.

Sad to say Oleg, you may be looking for what just isn't feasible or doable. Could be wrong & way off base here.

I have seen deer/elk shot through the heart and/or lungs w/.308, .30-06 (way more "energy dump" & trauma associated than with any standard defensive pistol caliber) & at that, w/in 20 yards or so .... they still have the "chutzpah" to run away (for a l-o-n-g way at times), have no associative "adreneline/hyped-up BG rush" going for 'em & could do damage, if they had a mind. Handgun calibers are really marginal for the "one-stop shopper" loading & marginalizing their "effectiveness" by a "down-loaded" round could only contribute to its realative ineffectivity.

Best I could advise would be to shoot enough different platforms that will deliver the stated goods PRIMARILY - that is, after all, the intended deciding factor. After that, look for what is comfortable for you to shoot well & decisively.

Without being able to deliver the goods, I'm thinking you're wasting your time re "free lunch" defensive loadings, as in required oomph with "zip-for-recoil." Too, without being able to practise comfortably, you will not be able to shoot accurately enough to put anything on target.

TANSTAAFL
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Old August 15, 2001, 06:03 PM   #14
zeke
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Magnus makes a 125 gn lrnfp. Unfortunately the meplat is not very wide. Would like to see a 100 or 125 gn lrnfp with larger meplat, mostly for target practice or small game hunting mind ya. The lighter faster bullets i have tried from 638, shot about a foot low at 25 yds. Would expect a lead 125 gn bullet to be close to or over 950 fps from 2 in 38 special in plus p loadings.
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Old August 16, 2001, 07:24 AM   #15
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If you like the Magnus bullet but the flat point surface isn't large enough you can file it down some. This would reduce the weight some and give you the wider head that you want. Just a thought.
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