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Old February 18, 2013, 03:17 PM   #1
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Looking for help with Hornady .38 spl data.

I normally load in .357 brass, but this week I'm loading .38 specials with the Hornady 140 LFP 'cowboy' bullet. I have Hornady 140 LFP .357 data and plenty of other .38 special data, but nothing specific for the Hornady 140 LFP in .38 special brass.
I'm pretty sure I'm going with 4.0 grains of HP-38, Win brass and Tula SPP's, but I would like to know what OAL Hornady recommends with that bullet and the range of HP-38 (W231) charges for it.
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Old February 18, 2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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Your idea of a powder charge sounds reasonable to me -- does the bullet have any manner of a crimp groove? I should think that it would. I'd simply aim for that crimp groove.

Given that you are talking about a lead bullet that is slightly under-weight for the caliber, and you are talking about .38 Special launched from a .357 Magnum revolver, I can't see you getting yourself in any kind of trouble.

Wish I had some genuine help for you.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:32 PM   #3
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Hammerhead,,, Hornady shows an OAL for that bullet in .38 special as 1.450

Start load for Win 231 ( HP 38 ) is 3.5 grs @ 700 FPS, Max is 5.3 grs @ 950

This is per the Hornady excerpt from my Complete Manual for the .38 Special

Hope this helps,

10 Spot
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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Those Hornady lead bullets don't have any crimp groove. For cowboy level loads, a taper crimp should work fine, just like with their wadcutters.

But, if accuracy is of any importance, I would load them long enough that the full-diameter body of the bullet gets slightly into the chamber throat to improve initial alignment and reduce bulle deformation. That is what I do with their wadcutters, and I can see a differetnce on paper targets. Doing that puts them at a COL more like the .357 Magnum cartridge.

The Hornady manual lists only a few powders for that bullet in the .357 Magnum cartridge, and 231 is not included. QuickLOAD indicates that the difference in powder space volumes between the Hornady COLs in the Special and Magnum cases is about 8.4%, so I would just multiply the 231 charge weights by 1.084 or even 1.09 to compensate for the increase in case volume. (When seating-out this way, it really doesn't matter if you are using Special or Magnum brass.)

As Sevens wrote, these will be pretty mild loads for a .357 Magnum handgun. Your real safety concern will be to make sure that you don't load so low that you leave a bullet stuck in the barrel and fire another round into it. The result of that would not be mild! This is one of those few situations where it is safer to start at the top of the (adjusted .38 Special) data and load down, instead of the usual practice of starting low and working-up.

One more note of caution. These bullets are really soft lead. They may very well leave some lead deposits in the fronts of your chambers if you shoot them from .38 Special cases. So, make sure that you have cleaned-out any such deposits before shooting full-power .357 Magnum loads later on. If you don't, it is possible that the lead rings around the front of the Magnum cases will hinder the release of the bullets from the magnum loads and substantially increase pressure. That is why I use Magnum cases for even light loads. But, if rapid ejection is one of your criteria for picking .38 Special cases, then go with them and just pay attention to the possibility of chamber deposits.

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Old February 19, 2013, 03:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for the data 10 spot.

Sevens, they have a knurled surface, so you can crimp anywhere you want. I use a profile crimp set light, which is basically a taper crimp.

I'll be firing these loads in my friend's S&W .38 spl. I think it's a K frame from his description, his elderly father just gave it to him. He has very little experience, so I want a nice, light load.
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