Need some help reloading

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Harleyrider, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Harleyrider

    Harleyrider New Member

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    Hi all I'm new to the forum. There's a lot good informatin here but yet to find the information I need. I'm new to reloading and my set up is Lee dies for 38sp/357, Lee press, Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure and a Hornady GS-1500 Electronic Powder Scale. I'm shooting a 38/357 out of my SW 686 357. I'm using Unique powder because I've heard good reveiws on here about it. I have the Lee "Modern Reloading 2nd Edition, Revised" Reloading Manual.
    My question is I can not find the right powder load in my relaoding manual for Unique powder and lead flat nose bullets. The bullets are Hunters Supply Hard Cast Bullets 38 Caliber (357 Diameter) 125 Grain Lead Flat Nose bullets. I just target practice throught paper targets. I would like to load some 38 sp and 357 mag loads.
  2. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    If you have jacketed data for the same bullet weight you can start there. The thing to do is drop back on your powder charge (2 grains?) when starting with a new gun/load combination. Load a few and try 'em to see how they shoot, and you can bump it up or down from there. Unique is a great all-around powder in the revolver; you can load it down or up depending.
  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum, Harleyrider.

    I have looked in three manuals and cannot find anything specifically for a lead 125 grain bullet. I did find some loads for 120 grain lead and several loads for 125 grain jacketed bullets.

    You can use the loads for the 125 grain jacketed bullets in your manual. I don't think I would drop it a complete 2 grains, though. My Lyman #49 shows a 4 grain starting load for 125 grain in .38 special, dropping it to 2 grains probably wouldn't give you very good results. I personally would start with the starting load and work up!!
  4. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    My Lyman's 49th does not show that exact bullet either -- but for 120gr lead they show 4.0-5.7gr of Unique in .38 Special (1.450 OAL) and 7.2 - 9.4gr of Unique in .357 Magnum (1.590 OAL)

    Jacketed HP bullet loads were similar.

    Do NOT take my word for it of course, please get some backup confirmation.
  5. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    This type of information is expressly why reloading data should NEVER be trusted from internet sources with the exception of actual manufacturers Websights. Reducing a load in this manner with most powders used for loading 38 will result in a bullet stuck in your barrel or worse! The only load data for 125 I have is published in the Speer #14 manual, but it is jacketed data and it specifically states "Do Not Reduce". I would recommend a second and third source for reloading data, it will help you to find a Correct load in a safe manner. The best advice I can offer for a new reloader is to call the bullet MFR and ask them to recommend a start charge.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  6. Harleyrider

    Harleyrider New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'm having the same problem trying to find more then one source of info for 125gr lead bullet and powder load. That is why I posted here to see what some of the more experance reloaders suggest and may have tried. It sounds like other loading manuals do not have an recommendations for 125gr lead bullets for Unique powder. A 125 gr lead and 125 gr jacketed bullets would weight the same right, it just the structure of the bullet would make the differance in power load or would the jacketed bullet load work ok for lead bullet. Here is a picture of my bullet.

    Attached Files:

  7. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't drop the charge weight by 2 grains. Maybe by 10% at most. I checked my Lyman books, the cast bullet handbook and the pistol and revolver handbook and the only 125 grain lead bullet was a pointed gas checked for the 357 and that shows 6 grains to start for the 357. The closet I've found for the 38 is a 120 grain cast bullet and that started at 4 grains. Whatever you do, DO IT SAFELY!
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Put 6.5gr Unique under them and shoot happily.
  9. RockinRiley

    RockinRiley New Member

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    Just finished reading the lee manual front to back, the reason you must find lead data, is the density of the bullet may not accept the pressure you apply to it, ESPECIALLY a magnum load (causes deformation). You really must find your data from a reliable source. Also, please listen to the above as too little load will have you trying to get your stuck round out of the barrel.
  10. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    Perhaps this will be a lesson in buying components. Look in your manual and find a combimation of bullet, powder and primer, first, then purchase components. Then you won't have to search for a load and will be able use safe published loads. I have a Lee Modern Reloading in front of me now and I find the load data section lacking. I would suggest The ABCs of Reloading as a text and Lyman's 49th Edition Reloading Handbook for a good "how to" section and load data. For lead bullets try Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook...
  11. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Josh, for the .357, right.

    4.5 grains for the .38.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  12. American Leader

    American Leader Active Member

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    Welcome aboard Harleyrider from the GREAT STATE OF IOWA! I fully agree with mikld, read your reloading manuals completely a couple of times and apply what they teach you. I usually give an entire speech about staying safe and applying common sense but I'm getting old and tired of repeating myself. When you read through your manuals you will notice Winchester 231 mentioned alot. If you are trying to minimize the number of powders you keep on hand for handguns, that would be a good one because even though it may not always be optimum, it's pretty consistent and covers a broad range. Really cheap to load and shoot too. Now that I have said that don't do it until you read and comprehend what you read. Then YOU make the decision on what you need to do the job YOU want to accomplish! This is a great and relaxing sport, but can be very dangerous. Good luck and stay safe.
  13. Harleyrider

    Harleyrider New Member

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    mikld, Some of my reloading equipment were gifts, so I couldn't look in a reloading manual to know what I needed. Lesson learned is to keep gift receipts, so I have to use up what I have. I think the only thing that is messing me up is the 125 grain lead bullet and Unique powder. I'll have to invest in more then one relaoding manual or maybe some different powder that works with my bullets.
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Ah youre right George. I saw S&W 686 and assumed .357 mag. Didnt even see where the OP said he would load .38 too.

    4.5 and 6.5 respectively for the .38 spec and the .357 mags.
  15. American Leader

    American Leader Active Member

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    HR, go to the Hodgdon website and then enter their loading data center. They have 125grain lead listed there. I use their site alot. Keep reading!:D
  16. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Sorry; I meant to say 2 grains under book maximum.
  17. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Harleyrider,

    Again notice the mishmosh of minor errors in the load data provided? Both guys are respectful handloaders but sometimes its the meaning that gets lost in computer translation that steer you away from a safe load. Published data is always number one, but I would trust the info provided by JLA's follow up post.
  18. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco New Member

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    Use the Unique for other applications and buy a new powder that is recommended for the 125 gr lead. Problem solved!
  19. Harleyrider

    Harleyrider New Member

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    Being new to reloading I'll go by the book. I'll use a different powder for my 125 gr lead and I'll use my Unique powder for a different grain bullet. It looks like most shooters use 158 grain for 38/357 rounds. Thanks all for all your comments.
  20. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

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    Some where on the net i saw a math formula for figuring out the weight of bullet, and useing the powder burn chart to use diffrent powders, but i dont remember where at. Like a dummy i did not bookmark it:rolleyes:
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