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Old February 8, 1999, 12:38 PM   #1
Grayfox
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Anybody got a good target load for .38 spl with 148gr DEWC. I've got a local source where I can get them pretty cheap, but so far the loads I've tried struck out.
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Old February 9, 1999, 12:48 AM   #2
Walt Welch
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The traditional load has been 2.7gr. Bullseye, with the bullet seated flush with the cartridge case mouth. Slight taper crimp.

This could certainly be increased or decreased by 0.2 gr (i.e. 2.5 to 2.9gr), but 2.7 was what I used for a few decades for bullseye competition.

There may be better loads out there now, but I remember a recent study comparing some of the new powders W-231, Clays, etc., and none showed any advantage over Bullseye. Walt
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Old February 9, 1999, 01:00 AM   #3
Grayfox
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Walt,
I tried 2.7grs of Bullseye with no luck. But,then went off on a tangent with W231 & WST. I'll go back and try changing the charge with Bullseye.
Question: I'm using a 6 inch S&W 586. While I've never had any accuracy problems shooting 38's out of a 357 before, This is my first try at a true 38 target load. Can the longer chamber be affecting accuracy at the low target velocities?
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Old February 9, 1999, 02:49 PM   #4
Walt Welch
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GrayFox; I think something is wrong here. Actually, the gun I used for Bullseye shooting WAS a .357 S&W model 28. There is some concern about the longer bullet travel in the cylinder adversely affecting accuracy, but I never had problems with any of my .357's that I could attribute to the longer cylinder.

I suspect that there is some mechanical problem with your gun. However, I think that the first thing you should is buy some factory wadcutters, in two or three brands, and fire these. If you suddenly find great accuracy, then it is an ammo problem.

There are two things which often are culpable and adversely affect accuracy in a revolver. One is the shape of the forcing cone. S&W's are often rough, and cut at too steep an angle. A gunsmith can easily correct this. Another thing is that there is sometimes a tight spot (decreased diameter) in the bbl. where it screws into the frame. Lapping will fix this. One more thing which occurs to me is that a cylinder/bbl. misalignment can also degrade accuracy. That is why Freedom Arms bores the cylinder holes after fitting the cylinder to the gun, one reason for their incredible accuracy.

So, try different types of factory ammo. If this doesn't work, get thee to a good gunsmith. Walt
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Old February 9, 1999, 06:17 PM   #5
Steve
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Just to add to what Walt has said. Do you think the barrel is ringed? That can cause poor accuracy too. Just a thought.
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Old February 9, 1999, 11:24 PM   #6
Grayfox
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It's definatly an ammo problem. I've owned this gun for many years and accuracy with both .357 and .38 ammo has always been outstanding. That's why I'll never get rid of it. Like I said, this is the first time I've really concentrated on a pure target load in .38 spl. I'm sure I'll hit the magic recipe eventually. I'll try some factory ammo and go from there. Thanks for your input.
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Old February 11, 1999, 04:45 AM   #7
Walt Welch
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If you feel it is an ammo problem, and changing powders doesn't help, check the bullet. Weigh several of the cast bullets. If they vary more than 0.1 or 0.2 gr. either way, it could be the bullets have casting voids, and will be inaccurate no matter what. Also, load them with the sprue mark forward. The base of the bullet is far more important than the nose for accuracy.

In the long ago days of yore, some bullet moulds were made purposely so that the sprue cut off was at the nose of the bullet.
(Lewellen?). Walt
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Old February 11, 1999, 10:06 AM   #8
Daniel Watters
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Walt,

"Nose-pour" moulds are still made, but all of the interest seems to be from the Scheutzen crowd.

Given the popularity of flat-nose bullet designs in handguns, I can't understand why more "nose-pour moulds" are not produced. Perhaps there hasn't been a demand, or there is a compelling design problem. Maybe most shooters just want a pretty bullet nose?

It is worth some serious experimentation.

Best wishes,

Daniel
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Old February 11, 1999, 12:43 PM   #9
Grayfox
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Walt,
You might be on to something here. These bullets are made by a local company. I've used them for years with complete satisfaction. But, now that I think about it, I remember a batch of .45 colt bullets I bought a couple years ago just didn't come out right. Maybe I got a bad batch? I'll check into it. Thanks for the idea.
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Old February 22, 1999, 01:03 AM   #10
Ed
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Grayfox- It's also quite possible that your gun just doesn't like DEWC's. I have a model 66 that is wonderfully accurate with Star HBWC's and 2.5 gr Red Dot, or at least it is on the rare days when my eyes and hands work well together, but it can't handle the double-end bullets worth beans.

Actually, I don't bother with cast WC's anymore. The swaged HBWC's cost a little more, $34 per thou vs $22 per thou down here in my neck of the woods, but I have better results with them. BTW Walt, there still isn't a better load for target work than the one you gave, 2.7 gr Bullseye. IMHO of course.
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