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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks!

How many of you that own revolvers chambered for .38 Special cartridges, have found your way, more than once, towards loading your revolver with semiwadcutters? I would like to use semiwadcutters. I hope that your posted answers will provide me with more insight, to cement my decision.

Were these semiwadcutters a commecial loading, or one that you put together, according to published reloading manuals?

If 'by-the-book', which grainage bullet did you find most to your particular needs?
Is there any particular 'book', that you find having the most comprehensive information for this caliber?
Have you found 'dirty' gunpowders work better, than those touted as 'cleaner' powders?
Do you load for a 'service-size' revolver, or for a 'snubnose' revolver?

Being dissatisfied with the broadcasted testing outcomes of many different commercial hollow point loadings for the .38 Special, I am looking towards loadings of solid semiwadcutters for my .38 Special revolvers, of both sizes.

BTW, I am NOT asking about either the Buffalo Bore, Federal, Georgia Arms, Remington, or Winchester 158 grain Lead SemiWadcutter Hollow Points in Plus P loadings, also known as "The FBI Load". I had read more gunboards than dress shirts have buttons, where someone else has asked about solid semiwadcutter loadings for the .38 Special, and it breaks down to a rolling advertisement about one or more of the above LSWCHP's, when it was NOT the 'HP's' being asked about. There are YouTube videos showing where one or more of the above mentioned loadings, do NOT 'work as advertised'.

Thank you for any answers.
 

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I don't use LSWCHP's at all, I like the DEWC, 158gr. I mostly use AA #2 for these loads.
 

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I shoot a lot.

I can buy or pour my own LSWC ammo for not a lot of $$.

I use 158 gr LSWC in .38 and .357 along with WW 231 powder.
 

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I've been loading lead 158 grain SWCs for more than 30 years. 5 grains of Unique. Use 'em in everything from a 2" J frame Smith to a 6" Python to a 20" Rossi lever-gun. Accuracy is fine. While that is a "max load" for regular 38s, they are not +P. I've had no problem with them in any gun.

Solid bullets, not hollow point.
 

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I am right there with shooter 45 and alpo. Cast my own and run Unique powder and CCI primers. I use the Lee 158gr SWC microgrove molds, and use the Lee Alox. The S&W K38 loves them.
 

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Been loading then for years 38 Spl and 357. Pet load is is 3.5 gr of Bullseye in Both. Keeping the Fps under 1000. You can even load them backwards to get clean paper hole.
 

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22WRF, I had something like that once. Waaaaaaaaay back when I got my first pistol, I was buying 38 reloads at a local pawn shop. Came 50 rounds in a paper lunch bag (anybody else old enough to remember paper lunch bags?). "Target Wadcutters".
Weren't very accurate.

I shot some in the dirt, at my feet, just to see what kind of penetration they had. Wow. They were 158 RN, loaded backwards. That round base mighta had something to do with the lousy accuracy.
 

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I found the 158 gr Semi WC backwards to be nearly as accurate as the 148 gr DEWC
 

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I'm getting back into casting again, so I will be casting SWC instead of DEWC, because that is the mold I have at this time. If I find a bullet mold that will cast the DEWC I will be casting them.
 

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I load 158gr cast SWC with 4.2gr of WW231. The bullet brand varies but the charge stays the same...Oregon Trail or Meister as of late since that's what the local stores carry.
Gives me right around 800fps out of a 4" barrel and about 40-50fps faster from a ported 6" barrel.

That is my go-to .38Spcl load. Works great for plinking, small-game or pests, steel poppers & plates, and is what's usually in the cylinder when I'm working around the farm.
I've fiddled with a few other powders like Unique and AA#2 but WW231/HP38 just works so I've stuck with it.
 

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Me...
Berry's HBWC 148gr with w231 3.7gr
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, folks!! I think that I'm learning something here!
Please keep 'em coming?!

(Sidebar question. Would a Lee Hand Loader work, with the 'correct book'? Most of dwelling is carpeted, worried about static.)


Thank you, again.
 

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Wow, folks!! I think that I'm learning something here!
Please keep 'em coming?!

(Sidebar question. Would a Lee Hand Loader work, with the 'correct book'? Most of dwelling is carpeted, worried about static.)


Thank you, again.
Yes it will work, that was my first press. Don't worry about static, I've reloaded over carpet a bunch, and please get your self a new edition Hornady manual. I use three, or four different reloading manual, and you will also wind up with just as many, and maybe more.
 

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I load a speer 158gr swc for 38 and 357 mag also - 3.8gr of tight group for a general range plinking. 836fps out of a DW 357 4" in 38sp cases. .
 

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I use Alpo's load of 5.0 grains Unique with my Lyman WC bullets. Don't know much about 'dirty powder', but I use Unique because nearlly every pistol I load for loves the stuff. (Keeps me from needing 20 different powders)
 

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Yup, Alpo, I used to buy them the same way (reloads in paper sacks or the fancy plastic sandwich bags) at an indoor shooting range. They sold both .38 Specials and 9mm Luger reloads that way in batches of 50 for about $2.

That was back when Army Navy stores sold bulk ammo from wooden barrels at a penny each for .303, '06, 7X57 and 8mm Mauser. For a couple of dollars you could shoot all day long. Of course surplus Mausers and Enfields ran under $20, while the more expensive Springfields fetched a little over $50 to $75.
 

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Yup, Alpo, I used to buy them the same way (reloads in paper sacks or the fancy plastic sandwich bags) at an indoor shooting range. They sold both .38 Specials and 9mm Luger reloads that way in batches of 50 for about $2.

That was back when Army Navy stores sold bulk ammo from wooden barrels at a penny each for .303, '06, 7X57 and 8mm Mauser. For a couple of dollars you could shoot all day long. Of course surplus Mausers and Enfields ran under $20, while the more expensive Springfields fetched a little over $50 to $75.
Had some friends over last weekend shooting in the yard. They laughed at me for having my reloads in plastic sandwich baggies! I do remember those days.
 

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Don't know of any factory loaded LSWC although Winchester used to make them back in the mid 80's I think. My load used to be a 158 or so LSWC both home cast and bought from the store behind 5 grains of Unique. Why Unique? Was only powder we could get from out Oversea's Rod and Gun Club that worked in both 45 and 38s. As for using a lee loader, I've used both the loader and the hand press as well as a Lyman Nutcracker tool. They're not as fast as a turret press, but they do produce accurate loads for a person on a budget
 

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Don't know of any factory loaded LSWC although Winchester used to make them back in the mid 80's I think.
Magtech was making all sorts of lead cast ammo. Its been about 10 years sence i bought any of it. It was good ammo,and cheep at the time.
 
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