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few hints for 38/357

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Old 02-23-2013, 10:05 AM   #11
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I shoot an awful lot of home-cast wadcutters at velocities that my K38 likes.Shooting into shop-made bullet traps,so lead can be reclaimed.

Ammo recipes depend on the criteria that you have.For me,its cheapest possible Dbl action practice.......accuracy is real important.But recoil is right there too.Also,how well the bullets fit/obturate and its effect on cleaning(fancy way of sayin,minimising cleaning).....and on and on.

So,you need to really buckle down and decide what areas you want to focus on.And its not an easy decision sometimes.....because of all the good choices,in your case,38/357.

Try breaking down bullet weights into categories.Lite..medium...heavy's.Obviously heavy's(over 160)are gonna have more recoil than lites'.So what are heavy's used for......why can't you shoot silhouette's(steel) with 125's?Break it down in a logical way that you understand.

You can also categorise bullet material,lead vs jacketed vs composite.Then sub that with bullet style....wadcutter,semi-wc,HP's etc.Powders are a little different,so pick one or two and stick with them.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:35 PM   #12
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I too am looking for the right load. If I had wanted a 38 Special, I would have bought one, so stepping down from 357 is not on the table.

Ruger SP101 (3+" barrel) is a lightweight frame with 5 rounds, so heavier loads are pretty punishing. First time out with Federal 158 Gr 357 gave me a really sore knuckle behind the trigger guard. Number one, I will change grip accordingly but have ordered the Hogue rubber grip. I believe I need a milder round but based upon a different weight bullet. I bought 5-6 different weights of 38 cal XTP, but the testimony about use of 125 grain matches my intuition.

I also bought H110, IMR4227, and 2400 as powder choices that I believe will allow good volume within the case, consistent detonation, and fast enough burning to preclude excessive flash and suboptimal velocity.

This is just background, not a statement of position, because I would welcome advice or affirmation regarding my choice of direction here.

p.s. I don't have any small magnum primers and cannot find any, so assume small pistol primers here. My supply is all CCI.

Last edited by at_liberty; 02-23-2013 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:30 PM   #13
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Unfortunately, there is no full power .357 load that will not be "brutal" in a SP101.

Since this is a defensive type weapon, I would focus on 125 grain loads. 158 are better suited for hunting.

H110 for loading is a good powder. I use it for all of my .357 and .44 magnum loads regardless of bullet weight.

The mods have asked that I do not post my primer choice so I'll leave that to others.
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