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Rex
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Posted: July 15 2018 at 2:23pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

This old saying seems true to me and doubly true when applied to .38 Special loads.
Sitting around with too much time to kill today I got to thinking that I need a really lite load to shoot out of the pickup window at the occasional pesky rattle snake in the middle of the county road. I find those snakes every so often around here in the summer.
Now I have an old single cavity mould #358477 that drops a 150 grain bullet so I stuck one of those over 3.0 grains Bullseye and went out to my shooting hill. By golly I shot the first round and it was a hair high and a bit left at 25 yards. Close enough for a window to road snake load. The second shot rocked the plate a bit but I couldn't see the hit. It had covered the first shot. This is much like shooting a .22LR when shot from my 4" 686 Smith. I know this load has been used a million times by twice that many people but it was a first for me and I liked it.
Now I only have a small dab of Bullseye left but do have a supply of HP38 and by looking at the Hornady book I should be able to go right to 3.0 grains of that powder for the same load.
This is fun on a hot summer day.
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LAH
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Posted: July 15 2018 at 7:51pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Rex I purchased a bunch of 158 RNFP bullets from fellow
caster not far from here. I loaded them with 3.0 grains of
Bullseye. Shot a ton of them in my K-38. BTW they will
take a snake out.

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REM1875
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Posted: July 16 2018 at 6:45am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

There was years ago a rash of bad outcomes with bullseye
and 38 spl but I haven't heard much about it since and I
heard Hercules did extensive research on it ..... and could
not duplicate it.
Rumor has it as double loads in old progressive presses....
Whatever it was it seems to have gone away.
But back then I went with Unique for all my 38 SPL because
of this and have stayed with it.
Millions of rounds safely fired may make me try this again
so thanks for the report.
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: July 16 2018 at 8:57am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I never tried much of 231/HP-38 in .38 Spec. for light loads, but the heavier loads I did not have much luck. Accuracy just was not as good as Bullseye or Unique.

I imagine a whole lot of the problems with Bullseye and other very fast powders was likely from double charges vs powder position in the case, etc. as the investigations tried to prove. In the larger capacity handgun cases maybe powder position could actually build up enough pressure in the front of the case to slam back to the case head and be a problem, but I just do not see that being as likely the culprit as reloaders just simply double charging by mistake.

A buddy of mine was showing another guy how to load for his 1911 .45 acp using Bullseye. They worked up a decently accurate load of 4.8 gr. of Bullseye with a 230 gr. round nose fmj. Well the new loader wrote the load down and went home to his brand new loading shack and cranked out a few rounds. He either transposed the numbers or he was dyslexic because he loaded the rounds with 8.4 gr. Bullseye. He was fairly new to shooting and managed to fire two rounds before deciding that the full sized 1911 should not be jumping out of his hand.

Actually not a full double charge, but very close. Luckily the 1911 is a strong weapon and handled the overload okay and we could find no damage to it.

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Paul B.
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Posted: July 16 2018 at 11:40am | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

Many years ago I had an S&W .38 Spl. Outdoorsman with IIRC 6" barrel.
Might have en 6.5". One favorite load was 2.7 gr. Bullseye and the
Lyman #358495 wadcutter bullet. These days I prefer that same bullet
over 3.1 gr. of W231. it's more accurate than the 2.7 gr. Bullseye load
and even outshoots that expensive Winchester .38 Spl. factory
wadcutter target load by a noticible margin.
I have the Lyman #358477 mold and it shoots quite well from my 6" M28
as does the #358165. I use 14.0 gr. of 2400 with both bullets. Good
accuracy from them in the M28.
Paul B.
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turbo1889
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Posted: July 16 2018 at 2:49pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

For loading light loads anymore I mainly
use Trail Boss poewder because it is much
more difficult to do a double charge with.
Still possible if your stupid but the
difference in how much it fills up the
case is extremely noticeable compared to
other options.

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REM1875
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Posted: July 16 2018 at 3:20pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Holding out for awhile on trying trail boss again as I had
several 32-20s stick in the barrel of a rifle and verified
the load .....
Not ready to see rifle made in 1889 come to pieces with
multiple loads in the barrel....
I haven't got around to trying it in much else .....
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John P.
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Posted: July 16 2018 at 7:23pm | IP Logged Quote John P.

I occasionally cast the 358477. I use 3.7 grains of HP38/W231 or 5
Unique with good results. For HP38 I think 3.1 grains is the starting
load, but the 3 grains should probably work, but is on the light side.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: July 24 2018 at 6:39am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I have a number of old molds that are now out of print, the 358345 a 115 grn SWC, and the 358425 a 115 grn wadcutter, both of those over 3 grn of BE are good varmint loads.

The old stand by 148 grn WC over 2.7 grn of BE.
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