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Old September 18, 2018, 08:31 AM   #26
USSR
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I believe the Brits used 200 grain bullets in .38 S&W cartridge during the war in their Webley and Enfield revolvers.
They liked the idea of the too heavy for twist/velocity bullet tumbling upon impact.

Don
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Old September 18, 2018, 08:39 AM   #27
Mike Irwin
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"I believe the Brits used 200 grain bullets in .38 S&W cartridge during the war in their Webley and Enfield revolvers. Don't know if they copied us or we copied them."

Yes and no.

The British apparently were the first ones to develop the 200-gr. bullet in the .380-200, which used the standard .38 S&W case.

That was adopted in the 1920s to replace the .455 Webley.

However, in the 1930s the British began to become concerned that the 200-gr. lead bullet (the .380 Mk I) could be seen to be a violation of the Hague Accords, so they introduced the jacketed Mk 2 bullet, which reduced the bullet's weight to about 170-gr. It was to replace the 200-gr. load entirely.

But, given the exceptionally low priority that the British put on handguns, and armament in general in the lead up to WW II, by the time war broke out many British who were issued handguns went to France with the older 200-gr. lead bullet loads.

During the war American companies, first under Cash & Carry then Lend/Lease, provided .38 S&W ammunition to the British. Apparently it was a mix between classic 146-gr. and 200-gr. loads.
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Old September 18, 2018, 08:43 AM   #28
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So, for the OP, the two bullets I'd look at are the Lyman #358477 (150 gr.) and #358156 (158 gr.)
Elmer Keith told me personally that if I just must load .357s, the 150 gr SWC was OK. He said and wrote that he still preferred the 173, either in Special brass or crimped over the shoulder in Magnum cases.
The M19, M686, and Rugers have longer cylinders than the M27 and bullet choice is wider.
Elmer didn't like gas checks but Skeeter Skelton did.

Phil Sharpe made a lot of distinction between the Sharpe SWC and the Keith SWC and how his design could be shot at higher velocity. Although the 158 was standardized, he really seemed to like a 146.

M. Ayoob touted the 125 gr JHP .357 as the ultimate anti-personnel revolver until people got to thinking it was "standard."

The British managed to convince themselves that the .38 S&W Super Police 200 grain was as good as the 265 grain .455. They listened to German whining about the Hague and went to a 178 grain FMJ by WWII.
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Old September 18, 2018, 01:30 PM   #29
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This has been a most interesting thread veer. I still prefer 158 grain RNFP or WFN (wide flat nose) cast bullets in both .357 and .38. 148 grain DEWC's are nice too.

I bought a Lee .358 bullet mold (don't remember which one) and it dropped bullets way out of spec -- they were about .363". I kick myself now for sending it back; I should have kept it for .38 S&W bullets. And if they were light enough maybe 9mm Mak.
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Old September 18, 2018, 05:44 PM   #30
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I like a mold that casts to .360"-.361" and size them to .359". Works just fine in My .38 Spl. and .357 Mag. guns. My preferred weight is 158 gr. Personally, I've never really seen the need for a jacketed bullet in my handguns, Revolver or semi-auto. Works for me. YMMV.
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Old September 19, 2018, 11:26 AM   #31
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"This has been a most interesting thread veer."

I've been reading through a number of old ammunition catalogs I've downloaded in the past couple of days and holy crap have I found some really interesting stuff...
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM   #32
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My information was from a gunsmith/forum owner that I misquoted. The 140 gr. bullet is the "optimum weight" for the 357 Magnum, as per Remington's testing to "re-engineer" 357 ammo. Given the +/- 15% "rule" for optimum bullet performance and the availability (and the bullet's designer) 158 bullets were used/loaded in the beginning. Given the popularity of a 158 gr. bullet for 38 Special, and the progression to 38/44 to 357 Mag, the 158 gr bullet was retained. This is just gleaned from my research and I admit to not being a "357 Magnum" historian...
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Old Yesterday, 07:32 PM   #33
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Great post and pics too, USSR. I'd add the following...

For the past 60 years I've used a pair of Lyman 358156 GC bullet molds and straight wheel weight alloy and had great results in both Ruger and S&W revolvers. With or without the GC, velocities up to 1000 fps have given me sub-2" groups in all my .38's and .357's providing I sized them correctly (they must fill the cylinder throats, which, ideally are 0.001" larger than the groove diameter of the barrel).

If you do that, and the gun's not a complete mess, you'll have accuracy and no leading. The GC will allow you to push the bullet >1200 fps with no real need to harden the melt with tin or antimony. Done this way, you get shooting that's cheaper than a .22 LR, and with all the accuracy you could hope for. Best Regards, and good luck. Rod
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