Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

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Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby cj8281 » 03 Jan 2018 00

I just purchased some 125 grain RNFPBB lead bullets from Bumble Bee bullets. In my first batch I used Alliant's BE-86 as it had a listing for a 125 grain lead bullet. Now I want to load some with Unique and probably some Bullseye but were to start and more importantly were to stop. I know that you can far exceed a 38 special's limit of 17,000 psi before seeing any kind of over pressure signs. There is a possibility that I may acquire an Armscor 38 special. I know my 357s will handle them just fine but I want to limit them as close as I can to what is "legal". My first thought was to not exceed the load listing for a 125 jacketed round. I have also thought about just using the load listing for a heavier bullet like the 158 grain and then adding 10% as a max. Any thoughts on the matter?? What would you do??
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby jdl447 » 03 Jan 2018 08

image.jpeg
I use this.
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby cj8281 » 03 Jan 2018 22

Which book is that??
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby jdl447 » 03 Jan 2018 23

Lyman Cast #4
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby daboone » 04 Jan 2018 07

I've posted this before. Another ornery old friend wrote it. It's been very helpful for this ornery old grump. ;)


"After reading the umpteenth question about finding a load for a bullet that isn't listed in a loading manual, I thought I might write down my thoughts on the matter, and the methods I use to find a safe, useful load.

Please note, I'm not slamming those who can't find data. One of the first bits of advice we get/got as beginning handloaders is to FOLLOW THE MANUAL. They have tested, safe loads, and needed advice on how not to blow yourself or your gun into small pieces.

If you have a cast bullet for a handgun that you can't find data for , you can safely use the data for the next heavier bullet listed. It likely won't be the best load, but will be a starting point you can work from. If you have a 150 grain cast bullet, and the manuals list data for 100, 125, 140, and 158 grain bullets, use the 158 grain start data, and you will be in the ball park.

You can also use jacketed START data for cast bullets, assuming the bullet profiles are similar, and bearing surface isn't radically different. Cast bullets typically will give somewhat less pressure than jacketed bullets.

The solid bullets of copper/bronze alloys are a different animal, and I wouldn't extrapolate data for them. Harder than lead alloy, different friction co-efficient. Also behave differently that jacketed bullets, because of the lack of a lead/lead alloy core.

OAL is important, but not the overwhelming issue some make it to be. Using START data, seat to the longest practical length you can (less than cylinder length for revolvers, less than magazine/chamber length with autopistols). If the round chambers properly, without needing an extra "bump" to close the slide, (evidence you might have a bullet contacting the rifling), you will be fine.

You must research YOUR gun, and YOUR load. Don't blindly follow any data, from manuals (they get corrections at times, wrong information sometimes makes it to the printers!), or internet information from various sources, including Handloadersbench. Filter what you find. If you are inexperienced, ALWAYS USE THE STARTING DATA, and work up from there.

One more thought...a Handloader is someone who can interpret load information, determine if it is suitable for his firearm, and work up a load that will work for his purposes...plinking, hunting, self defense, target work, etc. He makes it work, because he tailors it to his gun, and purposes.
A reloader is basically a handle pulling monkey, who cranks out a load using information he found somewhere. It is pretty much the same as shooting factory, except the machinery is different.
Be a handloader..."
An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out.

When setting a job up for myself it must be Idiot Proof as well, as I am a bigger idiot than most people I know, and I prove it to myself everyday.
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby mikld » 04 Jan 2018 17

I have that Lee mold (125 RNFP) and have found loads for that bullet in a few on my manuals. Why would you want to load your 125 gr. lead bullet with 158 gr bullet data under any circumstances? I found 17 loads with different powders for a 125 gr LRNFP here; http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/pistol

A hint; find a load with bullets, powder, and primers, in your manual(s) before you buy an components. Much less confusion, delay and questions... ;)
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby cj8281 » 05 Jan 2018 00

Thank you jdl447 for that book listing, I have the 47th edition of Lyman's Reloading but they only list Ideal and Lyman molds. I haven't seen a book that listed molds other than the ones that they were trying to sell. I shall have to find a copy of that.

Thanks for that daboone, it was so interesting that I read it all the way through....twice. What I am particularly looking for is the stopping point as the rounds might not all be shot in a 357. Generally my starting point in 38s with Unique is 3 grains, depending on bullet weight of course.

mikld, yes, I have that site bookmarked and use it quite a bit but unfortunately, they don't list loads for any of the Alliant powders like Bullseye and Unique.
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 05 Jan 2018 14

The Alliant guide on line lists 2 loads for 125 gr LRNFP bullets one with BE-86 and the other with Sport Pistol.

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Curt.......makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time +guns +guns
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby jdl447 » 05 Jan 2018 20

It has only one Lee mold for 357 mag. The 105 grain?
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Re: Max load for 38 spl w/125gr Lead bullet

Postby cj8281 » 06 Jan 2018 21

O3W, I used the listing for BE-86 on my first loading span. I then wanted to use Unique as I have an 8 pound jug of it and bullseye as I recently "found" a bag from Sportsman's Warehouse that had 2 pounds of Bullseye in it, among other things that I remembered buying but couldn't find later. Funny how that happens sometimes.
I have never seen Sport Pistol in real life.

jdl447 The 105 grain? Wow. That is a fun little bullet for the 380, 9mm and lite loads in the 38. I found that book on Amazon, I think it will soon join my bookshelf.
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