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Old November 18, 2010, 10:45 PM   #1
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Seeking cast load info

I have been using two cast boolits for my 38 Special, a traditional Lee 158 grain LSWC, and the tumble lube 124gr 9mm mould - it drops at .360, so i size them for .358 for the 38, and they work well.
The question has zero to do with the boolits, and everything to do with powder. See, I use Accurate Arms powders, and #2 is what I have for 38, #7 for 9mm. I have quite a bit #7, and running low on #2. Please, don't tart with the obvious one, "buy more #2", that is financially not an option right now. What I am wondering is if anyone has any starter loads for either weight slug with #7 powder?
The ONLY load I found on the 'net so far was from Accurate that gave a 110 grain bullet +P load, using 7.2 grains of AA#7. I would think I could start with 5 grains and work my way up safely with the heavier slugs, but I'd like a little feedback. I have boolits, and lead to make more, primers and brass, just not enough #2...any thoughts?
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Old November 19, 2010, 12:44 PM   #2
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Let me say first, I do not give loads on forms, others may, but a typo can give you some real problems, having said that, the link below should be able to help you, but be very careful, this guy states these are near max loads, and you should start out 10% below stated loads. Also if shooting cast bullets, I would highly recommend buying the Lyman cast bullet Book. Good information, and hundreds of load data. I have used some of these loads, but in no way is this an endorsment of them.
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Old November 20, 2010, 11:21 AM   #3
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I'm not spotting #7 loads for .38 Special in any of my manuals. The problem is that it's not designed to burn well at .38 Special pressure, which is only about half the pressure you can load your 9 mm to. Powders that are burned at pressures below their design limits are prone to erratic burning and muzzle velocity and to squibbing out (extinguishing and leaving a bullet stuck in your barrel), and that's a hazard that has ruined many guns when the next round is unknowingly fired into the stuck bullet.

QuickLOAD predicts that between the low .38 Special pressures and the low starting pressure of lead (as opposed to jacketed) bullets, as much as half the powder could go unburned in a 6" barrel using the lighter bullet. If I tweak the load pressure up in QuickLOAD, it calls for loads too heavy for me to want to mention them online because I don't trust the prediction under the circumstance of erratic ignition and burning.

Frankly, I just wouldn't use it. If you had to in some kind of end of the world scenario, I would use only the heavier bullet, as that improves the burn. I would use a chronograph to get to the velocities you had with that same bullet using a faster powder, before. You might improve ignition further by using a magnum primer, but use it with your starting load and work up to velocity with it. Don't just switch after having worked the load up with a standard primer, as that could cause a pressure jump. I would not try to use these loads for any kind of rapid fire. Always check there is a new hole in the target after each shot so you know nothing is stuck in the bore. Don't be surprised to find unburned powder that escapes the barrel/cylinder gap in a revolver winds up clogging the mechanism or at least gumming it up and requiring detail cleaning to get it working smoothly again. I got that when I tried to use 2400 in low pressure loads 30 years ago.
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Old November 20, 2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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You can sanity-check AA#7 data by comparing it to a similar load using Blue Dot. They should be about the same, with the #7 using just a little more powder.

#7 is not a very good choice for .38 Special; it works a lot better in .357 Magnum. It should be usable with the heavier bullets -- but it will take twice as much powder as something more appropriate, and you'll get lots of unburned powder.

I think you'd be a lot happier with Bullseye.
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Old November 20, 2010, 12:22 PM   #5
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I see, pretty much the same I got over at, thanks, I'll just use up the #2 I have and buy more when I can.
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Old November 21, 2010, 07:57 PM   #6
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I find #2 a bit too fast, and #7 is a good 10mm powder. I use a LOT of #5 because it works very well in a variety of calibers, and pushes 380 hollowpoints out over 1000 FPS. Check the AA booklets; you might find some data in the Hodgdon #27.
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Old November 21, 2010, 10:20 PM   #7
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Can't buy any new powders for a while, finances thing, using what I have. The #2 will still last for a while at my rate of consumption.
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Old November 25, 2010, 08:41 AM   #8
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AA-7 loads

I can only find 4 loads with AA-7 in a 38 spl and 3 of them are with bullets of 170 gr or heavier.The other is in a Speer manual for their 146 gr JHP and it is a +P load at that.AA-2 and AA-5 loads are by far much more prevalant.
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