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Old March 24, 2012, 11:37 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: October 18, 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 241
About the only thing I shoot in .38s is the 158gr SWC (although I did just pick up a 125gr RNFP to try out). I get great accuracy and reasonable velocity.

The biggest factor in barrel leading is fit. If you have a properly fitting bullet, you can push cast bullets to the pressure maximums and still not have any noticeable leading. The key is to get your bullets sized to .001-.0015 over groove diameter for your gun. Each gun is different and bore diameters do vary. Get a good fit and you can push a pure lead bullet to over 1000 fps without leading.

The next biggest factors are bullet hardness and bullet lube. Too soft a bullet for the pressures obtained will cause leading. Too hard a bullet can also cause leading where it doesn't allow for engraving of the rifling and just strips the lead as it goes down the barrel. I don't know much about the different lubes other than what works for me. Where I cast and size my own bullets, I tumble lube them in a lube made up of Johnsons Paste Wax / Lee Liquid Alox / Mineral Spirits in proportions of 45/45/10 respectively.

Different powders will also contribute to leading, but I find that mostly the case with shooting cast bullets in rifles.

Good luck, be safe, and happy shooting!
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