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Old May 17, 2020, 01:36 PM   #1
Micro man
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38 Sp. Berry

Greetings all-while organizing my reloading bench today I noticed I had a good supply of Berry plated 148 gr. DEWC. I looked through my reloading manuals and didn’t see a recipe that fit them exactly.
I plan on using them to punch holes in paper targets and work on trigger control. I have a number of powders available including Bullseye,Unique,Accurate No7,power pistol,Hi-skor 700 x,231, andHP-38.

Any information about favorite loads for this bullet type and various powders would be appreciated.

Stay safe,
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Old May 17, 2020, 04:07 PM   #2
Nick_C_S
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I load a lot of plated DEWC's; however, I use Rainier (Rainier is out of business now, but I have well over 6000 of these - I stocked up ). I believe Berry's has a hollow base, if memory serves. If they do, then what I have and what you have are rather apples n oranges. The hollow base limits how hot you can load them, basically. The base is hollow to aid in obturation in the barrel under low pressure conditions. it's a good thing - to a point.

Of the propellants you state you have, the usual ones to use would be Bullseye, and W231/HP-38 (they are the same). I have no experience with it, but I believe your hi-skor 700 is in that burn rate too. Some would use Unique if you want a little more velocity for some reason. Your #7 and Power Pistol are not well suited for the application (I have extensive experience with both; and Power Pistol is without a doubt one of my favorite propellants - just not here.)

Using Bullseye or W231/HP-38, your charge weights will be in about the 3.2 grain neighborhood. Bullseye is a little spunkier (higher energy per grain), so it would require just a touch less - maybe 3.0 grains. The exact charge weight is up to you, but the quantities I just mentioned will put you in the 750 f/s neighborhood though a 4" barrel. And that's where you wanna be - 750 to 800 f/s.
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Old May 17, 2020, 04:32 PM   #3
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What are you shooting them in? 3.0 grains of Bullseye might be okay but sounds just a little high. 2.7 or 2.8 maybe? Because the bullet is seated so deep, you have to be careful about excessive chamber pressure from just a little extra powder or a shorter overall length. Look up in a loading manual what the charge weight is for a lead DEWC and load towards the high end of the acceptable range. BTW, hollow base or solid base doesn't really make a difference in the amount of powder you use, they both take up the same amount of volume in the case when seated to the same OAL.

231, HP38, and 700 should all be good choices too. #7 is not. I don't know about Unique or PP for this application.
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Old May 17, 2020, 05:58 PM   #4
Micro man
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Thanks for your options along with your explanation( always good to know the reasoning behind a reply). I plan on shooting them from a S&W 586 with a
6” barrel.
I am assuming that you would seat the bullet flush with the case mouth.
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Old May 17, 2020, 08:18 PM   #5
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DEWC = Double Ended Wad Cutter (both ends are the same)

HBWC = Hollow Base Wad Cutter (one end has a hollow, the other does not)

Horandy 7th edition (first one I grabbed) has 148gr DEWC ( a swaged bullet) and lists 3.0gr Bullseye as MAX.
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Old May 17, 2020, 08:53 PM   #6
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Good replies folks.

After reading them, I realized my suggested charge weights are a touch high (post #2).

The 2.7 or 2.8 grain neighborhood is more appropriate.

I forget that I also don't seat flush. I seat to an OAL of 1.210". They protrude about 55 thousandths. That buys me a little more propellant and a slightly softer burn.

Thanks for keeping me honest guys.
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Old May 18, 2020, 01:43 PM   #7
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I’m a little confused. In Speer manual #14 pg.874 it shows a 148 gr HBWC which I think is a lead bullet. Has a starting charge of 2.8 gr. Bullseye and a max of 3.1 gr. Since I’m reloading a plated bullet of the same weight wouldn’t I need to start with a higher start charge to be sure the bullet exits the barrel?
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Old May 18, 2020, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
--to be sure the bullet exits the barrel?
Disclaimer: I am not a "good" or "knowledgeable" reloader. This forum has opened my eyes to a LOT of stuff I never ever considered. My main flaw (and it IS a flaw) is that I messed around with different reloading recipes (all from reloading manuals so I CAN take credit for that at least) until I found something that worked for me and then I quit looking for anything better. I'd describe it as a bad case of "tunnel vision".

Most of my reloading "mistakes" have been making loads too light rather than too heavy. Which is probably why I (currently) still have all my fingers. The point of this post is to tell you, (if you already knew this I apologize) that from personal experience a bullet NOT exiting a revolver is a VERY obvious malfunction. The times it has happened to me the sound of the shot has been very different and all the gases that SHOULD have gone out the barrel are blocked by the bullet that is stuck in the barrel and they all come back and go out the cylinder to barrel gap and this is a VERY OBVIOUS VISUAL that things did not go well. It is so obvious that even I realized something was wrong and quit shooting. Hopefully you'll get enough good advice and be smart enough to avoid this. However please know that a bullet stuck in a barrel is not the end of the world, it's VERY noticeable and if you take care of it immediately shouldn't cause any catastrophic problems. Note: even if you DON'T take care of it...there are stories of people that keep shooting and fill up the barrel of their revolver with bullet after bullet. At least I've heard stories about that.

Good luck with your reloading.
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Old May 19, 2020, 12:22 AM   #9
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There is a place where a squib load is especially dangerous because it's not recognized. This is the action/combat shooting and practice for same.

When people focus too much on keeping shooting (a good idea when people ARE shooting at you) the general training (for semi auto shooters) that when a round doesn't go off, the immediate steps are the "tap rack bang" is a safety risk.

A squib pushing a bullet into the barrel far enough to allow another round to chamber behind it, and fire is a BAD thing.

One can, and should practice failure drills, but these should be planned events (which can be done without the shooter's awareness).

When its not a planned drill, if your gun doesn't fire, TRAINING IS OVER!!!

You have a malfunction and training & shooting should STOP. Until the malfunction is determined and cleared.

ANY unusual event, different in report, feel of recoil, anything out of the ordinary is a STOP sign that should never be ignored.

Generally speaking using published data even on the light end will shove the bullet out of the barrel, but always be aware it might not.
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