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Old May 7, 2013, 11:12 AM   #1
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Downloaded for new shooters? (Revolvers)

I was talking with a friend who reloads, and I had mentioned that I'd like to get a girl I know into shooting more. She's got some experience shooting .22 LR revolvers and rifles (A ruger 10/22 if I recall) but doesn't own anything other than a small snub nosed revolver in .38 spc

She's a little intimidated by it, and from personal experience, the snubbys can be a little snappy?

My friend suggested that I should perhaps look into what are called "Gallary" loads? If I understand correctly, they're rounds loaded slightly under what they normally are loaded so that they recoil softer? This of course could cause issues in semi auto's but in a revolver I think they should be fine or am I wrong?

I personally don't reload, but my friend does, and has offered to load some rounds as long as I provide or pay for the materials to have them made.

Seeing as I'm very noobish in my knowledge of reloading, is this safe? Wouldn't downloading a round risk the chance of the round not having enough energy behind it to push the round out of the barrel? I just don't want to end up blowing up both my friends hands (or mine) and the gun by doing something like this.
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:33 AM   #2
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A very light load of a fast burning powder (Bullseye or W231) propelling a double ended wadcutter would be as light as I would go (a hollow based wadcutter will be recommended, I'm sure, but I prefer double ended or solid base). Entirely safe unless the load is too low to get the bullet out of the barrel (squib), but that load would have to be extremely low or non-existent to go less than 2". Personally I don't care fore ultra light for caliber bullets (90-110 gr. .38s), and I started my wife and daughter shooting with 2.7 gr, Bullseye under a 148 gr. wadcutter. Easy shooting, very accurate, and cuts nice round holes in the paper.

BTW my house gun is a 2" .38 Special loaded with 150 gr. wadcutters over stiff loads of W231. Large flat nose/meplat for tissue destruction and little over penetration...
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:44 AM   #3
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snubs are notorious for muzzle blast.

if you can find a longer 38 / 357 have her try that.

the thing that frightens most is the blast / recoil, both will be larger in a snub due to barrel length / gun weight. longer barrer / bigger gun will help... especially with softer loads.

something to try is the old 148gr wadcutter, they are relatively mild when loaded to most manual specs.

remember higher bullet weights will generally produce more felt recoil, and lighter bullets will generally produce more muzzle blast / flash
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:48 AM   #4
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Downloading for a revolver is perfectly safe if done right.
I like the wadcutter idea, but any lead bullet should do.
My favorite is a 140 LFP over a light charge of Trail Boss.

Generally you don't want to go real light with a jacketed bullet. There's a possibility of the bullet or even just the bullet's jacket getting stuck in the barrel.
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Old May 7, 2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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Use listed loads for full wad cutters. Recoil with them is mild.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old May 7, 2013, 04:34 PM   #6
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Thank you for the replies everyone, I'll be sure to ask my friend to load some rounds to those specs. Don't think he owns many revolvers, may ask to borrow on if he has one with a longer barrel in .38 spc
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Old May 7, 2013, 05:48 PM   #7
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I've had real good luck with Berry's 125 grain plated bullets in .38 special pushed by 3.3 grains of Titegroup. Very soft shooting, even from a snubby. My wife's favorite centerfire load. Softer shooting than commercial wadcutters.
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Old May 7, 2013, 09:57 PM   #8
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Don't shoot anything in lead that exits the muzzle slower than 650 feet per second nor anything under 750 feet per second in plated or jacketed is my advice. I pulled those velocities out of thin air, but am comfortable with them in my own guns - if I were to go lower, I would perform extensive testing. If your friend goes lower than that, have him test a statistically significant sample in your lady shooter's gun to ensure velocities do not get erratic at lower velocities. That is where you can get a bullet stuck in the bore (barrel obstruction) and have the next round do spectacular damage.

If he doesn't have a chronograph, I would (carefully) leap to the conclusion that his reloads might be more risky than my tolerance level would permit.

If your shooter uses a shooting glove (any reasonably firm glove with the trigger finger opened up would do - I have used a knit glove with the breathable plastic/rubber coating with great success shooting my friend's 500 S&W and my 454 Casulls) her comfort level with the "palm sting" should permit comfortable shooting. Doubling up on hearing protection (ear plugs under ear muffs) further insulates the shooter from recoil and blast (blast has been mentioned by Dondor as the most intimidating feature, and I can attest that attentuating the noise of the muzzle blast helps a LOT).

So, a padded-palm glove (bicycling glove, gardening, golfing what have you) and doubling up on hearing protection is my advice.

You could also have your friend make up some primer-only wax bullets (or if he casts, some hot-glue bullets - google the term "gluelits") are a heck of a lot of fun. But treat them as if they were equally dangerous as real ammunition or airgun pellets - they are. Can go through wallboard or glass and dent steel doors.

Good luck.

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