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Old July 22, 2011, 01:27 PM   #1
Marrrko
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.38 Special 148gr Meister WC

Hello Fellow Reloaders,

I have a reloading question. To the point. I need help/recommendation with the following:

Gun: 38./.357 6" Colt Python (yes, it is nickel plated. yes, I know how much I can get for it with the original factory case, etc. if I wanted to sell it. But it's mine and I love it!)

Use: Bullseye Competition Only (Standard 25 yrd slow and rapid fire, etc. rules)

Reloading Specs: Meister .38 CAL. 148GR .357 WC (not hollow based)
Product Code on Meister Site: MB-38-WC (Picture included with this post)
Bullseye Powder, Starline Nickel +P cases, CCI Standard Small Primers

Question #1: I have searched the internet for a "specific recipe" using the above Meister bullet heads. I cannot seem to find any suggested "sweet loads" using these specs and shooting from a 6" barrel. I do know about the recipe in Lyman's 49th Ed. pg. 354 using the 150gr Linotype along with many other suggested recipes and manufacturer's sites using brand named bullets. However, it's not exactly what I have. I've acquired several thousand bullets in unopened boxes as well as Meister .45 SWC (another thread later) from an estate sale and I would like to use them. Any thoughts? Please ask your questions if any detail has been omitted or is unclear.

Question #2: Oh, and since these heads have a taper crimp area about 1/3 of the way down, would there be any thoughts with suggested OAL. Or, taper crimp versus non-taper crimp?

Question #3: Any thoughts for making some mellow .357 "plinking loads" using the same bullets?

Thanks!
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Old July 22, 2011, 01:59 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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1. Good luck in your Internet Recipe Hunt. I have not shot any Meister wadcutters and cannot give you one. The Lyman data is a bit heavy for target shooting. You would not go far wrong with 2.7 gr Bullseye or 3.2 gr Win 231 which is what I have used for years, although with other brands of wadcutter.

2. The illustrated bullet has three lube grooves, only one filled for the low velocity typical of wadcutters, and a crimp groove right behind the "button nose." I would seat to and lightly roll crimp into that crimp groove and take the OAL as it came.

3. I do not know what you mean by "mellow .357". How many fps is that?
Would your regular target load, whatever that turns out to be not be suitable for plinking? I doubt you could push this bullet very much faster than .38 Special Midrange levels without leading; it only has one of the three lube grooves filled. Old, old NRA testing showed improved accuracy with enough but no extra bullet lube, right down to one groove lubed in the H&G No 50 bullet, which the Meister closely resembles; which may be where this comes from.
I'd get some semiwadcutters for mellow .357. I would be extremely careful loading them. The only gun ever blown up on our range was a .357 loaded with near maximum charges of Bullseye; almost certainly doubled, 18 grains when 9 was wanted.
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Old July 22, 2011, 02:45 PM   #3
Quantrill
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In an older NRA "Handloader" book, they had a selection of target bullets and loads used by the top "Bullseye" Camp Perry shooters. The overwhelming favorite was the 2.7gr of bullseye in a Colt Officer's Match (an ancestor of the Python). This was prior to many current powders such as 231 and 700X. I have always used 2.6gr of 700X with either the H&G #50 or Lyman 35891. However I was using a S&W #52. I always thought it would be neat to shoot "bullseye" matches, limiting it to revolvers.
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Old July 22, 2011, 02:49 PM   #4
Marrrko
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To Jim Watson

Thank you Jim for your thoughts. I do see my statement about "mellow" .357 loads was confusing when I re-read it. What I truly mean are loads that don't rattle your teeth or blow hot air back in your face when fired. And YES - I am very very careful with loading .357 loads. I too have heard the stories of an overcharged case. And, I normally do use a heavier SWC with the .357 reloading. When you think about it, even factory loads are pretty hefty. I want to keep the old Colt Python in good shape without weakening the structural integrity of the gun itself.

Thanks,

Marc
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Old July 22, 2011, 03:04 PM   #5
Marrrko
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To Quantrill

Thanks for your opinion. The general consensus for what I've been reading is that 2.7gr Bullseye "is" the sweet load. I have been using Fiocchi .38 148 gr LWC GZG. What a GREAT factory round! I've been achieving consistent 280+ scores using this round! However, after dismantling one of the rounds, it does not look anything like the Meister bullet head and I'm not sure of the powder brand. Fiocchi also levels the head with the case with a slight crimp. The head they use does not have crimp grooves like the Meister. Thanks again.

Marc
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Old July 22, 2011, 08:36 PM   #6
zippy13
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I, too, am a fan of 2.7 gr of Bullseye under 148-gr lead WCs. For a magnum revolver, I use .357 Mag brass and bump the load to 2.8 gr of Bullseye.
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Old July 22, 2011, 09:06 PM   #7
Hog Buster
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I too have shot many pounds of Bullseye, 2.7 grains at a time with 148 grain wad cutters. I seat them almost flush with the case and taper crimp them.
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Old July 22, 2011, 09:50 PM   #8
longranger
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4.0gr Bullseye in .357 case and never deal with a crud ring in the cylinder.It is as accurate as the 2.7-8gr. of Bullseye in a .38 Special case.
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Old July 23, 2011, 08:49 PM   #9
fredneck
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What LongRanger said...4 grains of Bullseye in 357 case. Seat to just barely above flush with case mouth. LIGHTLY crimp. The cast wadcutters do fine in 38 with about 2.8-3 grains of BE just a bit above the hollow base wadcutter lead bullet standard of 2.7
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