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Old 11-29-2012, 10:15 AM
Grobin7569 Grobin7569 is offline
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Default Reloading data for 158g .38 spl?

Here’s my problem. I’m a noob to reloading and, taking the advice of many, I don’t want to rely on an internet recipe from someone with a handle like ‘Squibmaker’ or ‘Barrelsplitter’.

Most advice seems to indicate that a 158g bullet is good for a .38 snub, but it seems that nearly all of the data I find is for middling weight hollowpoints or wadcutters.
I was thinking of using 158g copper plated bullets like Rainier or Berry’s – either round or flat nose.
Does anyone know where I can find REAL data for charge / OAL etc. for these?
I’ve been reading a lot recently and my brains in a spin trying to get a grip on the whole reloading thing.
I’m looking to make an easy shooting round that goes bang and makes a hole in a piece of paper. After that, I think I’ll have more confidence to experiment.

If I'm missing something, please yell out! I'm eager to buy supplies and I can't seem to get this sorted!
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:00 AM
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Fyathyrio Fyathyrio is offline
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Any reliable source, such as your powder manufacturer (Many are online.) or a good reloading manual like Hornady's or Lyman's will have reloading data for both lead and jacketed. Plated are somewhat in between the two, generally higher lead based charges for the same weight and bullet profile will work well. For an easier shooting round, a lighter projectile will generally have less recoil, particularly in a snub nose. Check out the Loadbooks USA manual for a wide variety of load data all specific for the .38 Special and all from reliable sources.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:18 AM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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Just go to the Hodgdon Powder web site, get to their online load data, look up 38Spl, find the 158gr LSWC line for their Hodgdon HP38 powder and start at the start load level and work your way up stopping at or below the max load level. Done.
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Old 11-29-2012, 2:16 PM
wtkaiser wtkaiser is offline
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Well, OP, so far you show good sense. But the above stuff is good info, you can trust the sites from the powder makers themselves. They pressure-test the loads. That said, I would go for a lighter bullet, if I could arrange it. A 158 from a snub strikes me as a mild form of self-mutilation. I fired a cylinderful of full WCs out of one once, and that was bad enough. And when you get a few bucks, spring for a Lyman, Sierra or Speer manual and spend a day or two reading it. You won't be a noob for long!
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Old 11-29-2012, 2:28 PM
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First, I always use at least TWO different sources when starting load development for a new cartridge. I use my small library of manuals (30-50 of them), internet forums, magazine articles, manufacturer's websites and have called different manufacturers when necessary.

Second, "158gr" isn't enough info to find the proper load for a specific powder. Are you talking lead, copper, FMJ, WC, SWC, RN, etc?
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Old 11-29-2012, 3:31 PM
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CCrawford CCrawford is offline
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The last couple of Speer manuals specifically list special short barrel loads with their short barrel bullets (read lower velocity opening).
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