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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was trying some cast lead 157gn and tried to crimp at the cannalure and the bullet was to long so I looked at my col and it should have been at 1.060. Re seated bullet and it looks like the lead was pushed up donyou think this bullet be ok to use? Here is a pic comparison left is said bullet, right is normal bullet
 

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It looks to me like you still haven't got it seated to the cannelure. Looks to me like that groove that is still visible above the brass is the cannelure. I think you may have mistakenly seated them only to the top lube groove the first time. At least that is what it looks like to me from your photo.
 

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Was trying some cast lead 157gn and tried to crimp at the cannalure and the bullet was to long so I looked at my col and it should have been at 1.060. Re seated bullet and it looks like the lead was pushed up donyou think this bullet be ok to use? Here is a pic comparison left is said bullet, right is normal bullet
I don't think you meant 1.060". 1.600" Maybe? Don't tell the MSM and the demo-commies, but the internet was really invented for hamdloaders!

And, congratulations. There probably isn't another cast bullet that would be as difficult to roll crimp. Something I do, and have done for many years is to aim for lining up the case-mouth to the middle of the crimp groove. Not always as easy as it sounds because different revolver makers use different cylinder lengths. The bullet, any type, can not be loaded any longer than what will be flush with the cylinder face. The SAAMI spec for .357 Magnum OACL is 1.590". Some revolvers allow a longer length, many do not.

Hopefully, for this next piece of advice, you have a decent bullet puller. Before making a handload it will be best if you make a "dummy" round. Try setting OACL by putting the case-mouth into the middle of the crimp groove, which you're bullet has very little of. In fact, unless you are trimming all of your cases to one exact length, I'd avoid such a bullet. Maybe think about plated that have cannelures more similar to jacketed. I'll recommend RMR plated bullets for that reason. Then, put the "dummy" in the cylinder. If it protrudes beyond flush of the cylinder face, it is too long. If it doesn't while the case-mouth is centered in the crimp groove, start applying small amounts of roll crimp to make sure the case-mouth is going into the crimp groove. If that's too tedious, and your case lengths vary and you don't want to trim them all, only apply a very light crimp and stick with lighter loads for that bullet. Might even be best to use them for .38 Special loads.;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Was trying some cast lead 157gn and tried to crimp at the cannalure and the bullet was to long so I looked at my col and it should have been at 1.060. Re seated bullet and it looks like the lead was pushed up donyou think this bullet be ok to use? Here is a pic comparison left is said bullet, right is normal bullet
I don't think you meant 1.060". 1.600" Maybe? Don't tell the MSM and the demo-commies, but the internet was really invented for hamdloaders!

And, congratulations. There probably isn't another cast bullet that would be as difficult to roll crimp. Something I do, and have done for many years is to aim for lining up the case-mouth to the middle of the crimp groove. Not always as easy as it sounds because different revolver makers use different cylinder lengths. The bullet, any type, can not be loaded any longer than what will be flush with the cylinder face. The SAAMI spec for .357 Magnum OACL is 1.590". Some revolvers allow a longer length, many do not.

Hopefully, for this next piece of advice, you have a decent bullet puller. Before making a handload it will be best if you make a "dummy" round. Try setting OACL by putting the case-mouth into the middle of the crimp groove, which you're bullet has very little of. In fact, unless you are trimming all of your cases to one exact length, I'd avoid such a bullet. Maybe think about plated that have cannelures more similar to jacketed. I'll recommend RMR plated bullets for that reason. Then, put the "dummy" in the cylinder. If it protrudes beyond flush of the cylinder face, it is too long. If it doesn't while the case-mouth is centered in the crimp groove, start applying small amounts of roll crimp to make sure the case-mouth is going into the crimp groove. If that's too tedious, and your case lengths vary and you don't want to trim them all, only apply a very light crimp and stick with lighter loads for that bullet. Might even be best to use them for .38 Special loads.<img src="http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/images/smilies/gr_wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />
Yes lol I meant 1.60 lol
Yah the manuf told me he likes to load them using .38 special cases but it should not be a issue with .357 mag cases.
I am trying a very light load of trail boss 3.3 gn and 3.5 gn using the 158gn load data in the hodgdon manual. Just want to find a good practice load but apparently there is a ton. So far 125gn cast with 4.0gn of trail boss is my go to in .38 sp and 357 mag cases.

Curently have 100 125gn bullets to test with hp-38 in a few diff amounts in .38sp and .357mag cases also. Hope full can make it to the range tommorow.

Here is a picture of a unloaded bullet and suspect bullet
 

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Me personally, if I were loading those bullets and using Trail Boss, I'd expect better accuracy using .38 Special cases.;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So what is that extra ring just above the edge of the brass? What caused it?
I have to guesses , one is my crimping die may have tried to crimp the bullet and made that dent or two the case was not expanded enough when seating the bullet causing the itnto force some of the lead up
 

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If you are crimping as you seat I would not do that. Seat to the desired oal then back the seating plug out then set your crimp. Not sure what the BHN of that bullet is but I wouldn't push it hard. And remember the .357 case has more volume so a .38 load will be even less pressure. You don't want to stick a bullet in your barrel.
 
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Seat and crimp separately. Adjust the seating depth so that the edge of the case mouth is just about even with the center of the crimp groove. I like to be able to just get a thumbnail into the groove. When you crimp, the mouth will roll into the groove and pull the bullet down a a little bit.

The 1st pick shows the on on the left seated too long and the one on the right is seated too deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you are crimping as you seat I would not do that. Seat to the desired oal then back the seating plug out then set your crimp. Not sure what the BHN of that bullet is but I wouldn't push it hard. And remember the .357 case has more volume so a .38 load will be even less pressure. You don't want to stick a bullet in your barrel.
Seat and crimp separately. Adjust the seating depth so that the edge of the case mouth is just about even with the center of the crimp groove. I like to be able to just get a thumbnail into the groove. When you crimp, the mouth will roll into the groove and pull the bullet down a a little bit.


definitely had a lapse of memory of order when I was seating the bullet on the left and accidentally crimped it before measuring , The one on the right just clears the forcing cone any more and it wont close the cylinder. I think these bullets may not work with the 357 mag cases. crimped at cannelure they stick out a bunch. will try some .38 special cases.

went to the range today and shot 100 crimped like the bullet at the left with 3.3gn of trail boss and 3.5 gn of trail boss and they felt very good. did not measure the groups but the groups with the 3.5gn were tighter than the 3.3 in the 357 cases.


The 1st pick shows the on on the left seated too long and the one on the right is seated too deep.
 

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And thus, you've answered the riddle! It's not that the bullet won't work in .357 cases. It's more about the limited crimp area on the bullet. Why I mentioned earlier that trimming cases all to the same length would help, in the event that you want warmer loads.

To do that, you're better off with a slower burning propellant. But, for a medium velocity .357 magnum load or a tad faster, the powder choices kinda shrink to the size of that crimp groove. You're not gonna get 100% load density with the better selections. So, is there a powder that will reach medium velocity levels and higher at much lower case-fill?

Obviously, there is, but I'm sure by now that some are getting kinda bored with my praise of True Blue! A Magnum primer will definitely help, just not with roll crimping the case mouth into that small crimp groove. In .38 Special cases, the crimp is not as critical and pressure spec for the .38 Sp. is 17,000 PSI, but 35,000 PSI for the magnum. Lots of different considerations. In my case, I'm just stating how I would use them, even if going to full-tilt Max Charges in .357 Magnum. But, the powder has to be able to do that.

Not knocking Trail Boss or TiteGroup. I'd use either for low pressure .38! I wouldn't use either for .357 Mag. The things I state about True Blue comes from having more experience with it than anyone you're likely to come across on the web. It started around 2001, and I've been advocating for it since. Something that might help for those interested is the article I did some years back for the Western blog. You may have to go back as far as the last page of older articles. Way too much to try to cover in a post on a reloading forum.;)
 
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And thus, you've answered the riddle! It's not that the bullet won't work in .357 cases. It's more about the limited crimp area on the bullet. Why I mentioned earlier that trimming cases all to the same length would help, in the event that you want warmer loads.

To do that, you're better off with a slower burning propellant. But, for a medium velocity .357 magnum load or a tad faster, the powder choices kinda shrink to the size of that crimp groove. You're not gonna get 100% load density with the better selections. So, is there a powder that will reach medium velocity levels and higher at much lower case-fill?

Obviously, there is, but I'm sure by now that some are getting kinda bored with my praise of True Blue! A Magnum primer will definitely help, just not with roll crimping the case mouth into that small crimp groove. In .38 Special cases, the crimp is not as critical and pressure spec for the .38 Sp. is 17,000 PSI, but 35,000 PSI for the magnum. Lots of different considerations. In my case, I'm just stating how I would use them, even if going to full-tilt Max Charges in .357 Magnum. But, the powder has to be able to do that.

Not knocking Trail Boss or TiteGroup. I'd use either for low pressure .38! I wouldn't use either for .357 Mag. The things I state about True Blue comes from having more experience with it than anyone you're likely to come across on the web. It started around 2001, and I've been advocating for it since. Something that might help for those interested is the article I did some years back for the Western blog. You may have to go back as far as the last page of older articles. Way too much to try to cover in a post on a reloading forum.;)
I always appreciate the input, when I place my powder order they were out of stock but I was looking for some True Blue after you recommended it going to keep a eye out for it. with the light load in the 357 mag cases they felt nice, I tried some hp-38 today in the 357 mag cases and that felt great but the flash was blinding im not sure if other people get the same thing. I was using 125gn berrys plated and 125gn cast lead. recoil was more than a light load but it was just right. with trail boss the 4gn feels almost identical in both cases almost identical pressures. just with the 157gn going to have to play with it a bit.


I always appreciate the input from everyone

Thank you all!
 

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I always appreciate the input, when I place my powder order they were out of stock but I was looking for some True Blue after you recommended it going to keep a eye out for it. with the light load in the 357 mag cases they felt nice, I tried some hp-38 today in the 357 mag cases and that felt great but the flash was blinding im not sure if other people get the same thing. I was using 125gn berrys plated and 125gn cast lead. recoil was more than a light load but it was just right. with trail boss the 4gn feels almost identical in both cases almost identical pressures. just with the 157gn going to have to play with it a bit.


I always appreciate the input from everyone

Thank you all!
Well, buddy, I think for many of us, this our contribution to pay it forward! I know that's the case for me. I was totally on my own when I started and long before Al Gore who I doubt is a reloader anyway!

I kind of rushed over some things, but as I was reading reloading articles in the gun rags, I kinda got tired of seeing the same powders mentioned over and over, and I came from a technical/engineering background that definitely helped. I got very interested in studying the various relationships of different powders and how they worked in specific cases like a single bullet in load data.

For those who follow such things, I feel more than vindicated today in regard to those past recommendations of True Blue. But first, let me mention that among powders in the same general burn rate like say, V-V N330 almost to AA #7, True Blue may be the least sensitive to powder positioning. So while a charge may only fill 50% of a case, the results can often be more uniform and I definitely recommend a magnum primer for .357 Mag loads.

Okay, here's why I feel vindicated. First, one of the ballisticians at Western mentioned early on that True Blue was first formulated for FN for their 5.7 x 28mm which can be quite finicky and requires great pressure stability. From the earliest days, Western showed data for True Blue in .454 Casull up to beyond 50,000 PSI. I figured it would be good in higher pressure auto cartridges and for just below full power magnum revolver loads. I've shot such loads with Unique. It had its day, but compare loads with those charged with True Blue for similar velocities, or higher in the case of TB, and you'll likely be persuaded.

When Lyman got around to listing Ramshot powders in their pressure rated data, there were some really significant developments. If you have the 49th edition or the Pistol & Revolver III, check for yourself. They state that the best powder for .38 S&W was True Blue, where data did not exceed 14,000 PSI. I was already getting good results using TB for .45 ACP defense loads with JHPs. Look at data for the .45 Gap that runs 23,000 PSI Max, and the same for .45 ACP +P. They easily recommended True Blue for the .45 GAP. I was using it for 9mm defense loads along with others like Silhouette and A #7. The load I carried when I had the CZ P-01 was charged with True Blue using the old style Rem 124 gr. JHPs. Probably +P, but I doubt it was above 9mm NATO in pressure. In the Lyman data, they used the SIERRA 130 gr. Tournament Master, the most accurate powder tested for what is marketed as an accuracy bullet? You guessed it! I saw the same thing in .40 S&W with the Nosler 150 gr. JHP and the LaserCast 170 gr. SWC.

When I was testing defense loads some years back with a 2 3/4" Ruger Speed-Six, I got great accuracy and chrono stats early on with TB. Minimal blast/flash and because of its faster than magnum powder burn rate, the velocities were ideal for the performance of the JHPs I loaded. Dropping below 4" barrels, it will lose less velocity than slower burners and AA #7 is very good in that regard, but not quite the equal. 4" barrels and longer, and velocity just short of the .357 Screamers, #7 can produce exceptional accuracy even if it's overlooked by many.

Anyway, I hope this all points to pressure stability and the uniformity of True Blue. In my 33 years of handloading, I've never seen another powder quite like it. And so long as they let me hang around here, I'm prepared to help anyone trying to find a good load with it. I really believe that it's the single best handgun powder available today. Looking back over the various cartridges I've mentioned, and with the vast pressure differences from 14,000 PSI to over 53,000 PSI, that should speak for itself.

I've only written one article for Western that never saw the light of day. It was the proverbial one powder per individual scenario in anticipation of HoLarry getting elected in 2016. I think most would agree that if we load for handgun, shotgun and rifle. The choices get very limited. More than likely, most would go back to the recommendations for Unique. It certainly wouldn't be a rifle propellant. Fortunately, she lost, and since there is no shotgun or rifle data for True Blue, Rob Behr and I mutually agreed that such an article wasn't necessary, thank God. BUT, True Blue is not so different from some spherical shotgun powders of the past, and because of its pressure stability/uniformity, I know it can be used for reduced rifle loads. So, if it were to happen, my slection has already been made, and I say that with around 25 different powders on my shelves.;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I always appreciate the input, when I place my powder order they were out of stock but I was looking for some True Blue after you recommended it going to keep a eye out for it. with the light load in the 357 mag cases they felt nice, I tried some hp-38 today in the 357 mag cases and that felt great but the flash was blinding im not sure if other people get the same thing. I was using 125gn berrys plated and 125gn cast lead. recoil was more than a light load but it was just right. with trail boss the 4gn feels almost identical in both cases almost identical pressures. just with the 157gn going to have to play with it a bit.


I always appreciate the input from everyone

Thank you all!
Well, buddy, I think for many of us, this our contribution to pay it forward! I know that's the case for me. I was totally on my own when I started and long before Al Gore who I doubt is a reloader anyway!

I kind of rushed over some things, but as I was reading reloading articles in the gun rags, I kinda got tired of seeing the same powders mentioned over and over, and I came from a technical/engineering background that definitely helped. I got very interested in studying the various relationships of different powders and how they worked in specific cases like a single bullet in load data.

For those who follow such things, I feel more than vindicated today in regard to those past recommendations of True Blue. But first, let me mention that among powders in the same general burn rate like say, V-V N330 almost to AA #7, True Blue may be the least sensitive to powder positioning. So while a charge may only fill 50% of a case, the results can often be more uniform and I definitely recommend a magnum primer for .357 Mag loads.

Okay, here's why I feel vindicated. First, one of the ballisticians at Western mentioned early on that True Blue was first formulated for FN for their 5.7 x 28mm which can be quite finicky and requires great pressure stability. From the earliest days, Western showed data for True Blue in .454 Casull up to beyond 50,000 PSI. I figured it would be good in higher pressure auto cartridges and for just below full power magnum revolver loads. I've shot such loads with Unique. It had its day, but compare loads with those charged with True Blue for similar velocities, or higher in the case of TB, and you'll likely be persuaded.

When Lyman got around to listing Ramshot powders in their pressure rated data, there were some really significant developments. If you have the 49th edition or the Pistol & Revolver III, check for yourself. They state that the best powder for .38 S&W was True Blue, where data did not exceed 14,000 PSI. I was already getting good results using TB for .45 ACP defense loads with JHPs. Look at data for the .45 Gap that runs 23,000 PSI Max, and the same for .45 ACP +P. They easily recommended True Blue for the .45 GAP. I was using it for 9mm defense loads along with others like Silhouette and A #7. The load I carried when I had the CZ P-01 was charged with True Blue using the old style Rem 124 gr. JHPs. Probably +P, but I doubt it was above 9mm NATO in pressure. In the Lyman data, they used the SIERRA 130 gr. Tournament Master, the most accurate powder tested for what is marketed as an accuracy bullet? You guessed it! I saw the same thing in .40 S&W with the Nosler 150 gr. JHP and the LaserCast 170 gr. SWC.

When I was testing defense loads some years back with a 2 3/4" Ruger Speed-Six, I got great accuracy and chrono stats early on with TB. Minimal blast/flash and because of its faster than magnum powder burn rate, the velocities were ideal for the performance of the JHPs I loaded. Dropping below 4" barrels, it will lose less velocity than slower burners and AA #7 is very good in that regard, but not quite the equal. 4" barrels and longer, and velocity just short of the .357 Screamers, #7 can produce exceptional accuracy even if it's overlooked by many.

Anyway, I hope this all points to pressure stability and the uniformity of True Blue. In my 33 years of handloading, I've never seen another powder quite like it. And so long as they let me hang around here, I'm prepared to help anyone trying to find a good load with it. I really believe that it's the single best handgun powder available today. Looking back over the various cartridges I've mentioned, and with the vast pressure differences from 14,000 PSI to over 53,000 PSI, that should speak for itself.

I've only written one article for Western that never saw the light of day. It was the proverbial one powder per individual scenario in anticipation of HoLarry getting elected in 2016. I think most would agree that if we load for handgun, shotgun and rifle. The choices get very limited. More than likely, most would go back to the recommendations for Unique. It certainly wouldn't be a rifle propellant. Fortunately, she lost, and since there is no shotgun or rifle data for True Blue, Rob Behr and I mutually agreed that such an article wasn't necessary, thank God. BUT, True Blue is not so different from some spherical shotgun powders of the past, and because of its pressure stability/uniformity, I know it can be used for reduced rifle loads. So, if it were to happen, my slection has already been made, and I say that with around 25 different powders on my shelves.<img src="http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/images/smilies/gr_wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />
Now i have been thinking of all this info and marinating on this and I have some questions that may be simple.

Why would a light loaded .38 special case be more accurate than the same load of .357 mag? Is it due to the similar pressures of the .38 or the smaller case so more fill?

Should I use unique and hp-38 when loading .357 mag and load them mild for better results?
 

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Now i have been thinking of all this info and marinating on this and I have some questions that may be simple.

Why would a light loaded .38 special case be more accurate than the same load of .357 mag? Is it due to the similar pressures of the .38 or the smaller case so more fill?

Should I use unique and hp-38 when loading .357 mag and load them mild for better results?
First and foremost, I like good questions! Now let's get to the nut-cuttin'. Different powders load differently as far as case fill. With .38 that's been watered down to 17,000 PSI, there are many ways to skin that cat. Usually, for target loads, even for competition, there are some older loads that haven't really been surpassed. Alliant Bullseye, for example, has accounted for many. It's still, so far as I know, the oldest handgun powder available. Another thread.

Remember that revolver cartridge and case design resulted from loads that originally used Black Powder, and they req'd greater space in the case than the smokeless powders that replaced them. The .38 Special came from previous .38 cartridges like the .38 Long Colt that showed so poorly in the Phillipine/American war that the US Army re-issued Colt Peacemaker's in .45 Colt. It may have been one of the greatest influences on what became the 1911 and .45 ACP.

Fast forward to prohibition and gangster wars and we find that the .38 Sp. underperformed. And while the first .357 Magnum was introduced in 1935, the world was about to catch fire and the .357 Mgnum went largely ignored until after WW II.

Okay, enough history. There are several things that come into play. Powders that provided the best accuracy only filled a small portion of the .38 Special case. Same with the .44 Sp., but Elmer Keith wrote gobs of articles on that. Thing is, with a very light charge dropped vertically into a case, the round will be horizontal when fired, in most cases. That can do some strange things to cartridge pressure, including something that's not much discussed these days: a phenomenon known as detonation. Not simply brought about by the firing pin striking a primer, but so much unused air space in a cartridge that it can make some powders very unpredictable; doubling or even tripling the pressure. Many of those powders have long since been discontinued. But some examples continue to exist for magnum revolver cartridges charged with W296/H110 and why load data usually warns to only reduce the Max Charge by 3%.

And, the powder-makers seem to be able to do most anything today, when they put their minds to it. One reason TiteGroup is well suited to .38 target loads is because it's not powder position sensitive. Since it's a dense spherical powder, load density will be less than flake powders like Bullseye that aren't very dense and give greater case-fill. So, if you use a spherical that doesn't need much chargeweight, and one that's capable of very good or excellent accuracy, you want one that isn't powder position sensitive. Myself, I've been looking at A #2 a lot recently, and there's more to follow later.

What many are unaware of is that when the .357 Magnum was developed, the additional case-length was solely for one purpose. I mentioned the .38s pressure Max of 17,000 PSI, and 20,000 PSI is the Max for .38 +P. The .357 Mag. Max Pressure today, is 35,000 PSI and 46,000 CUP previously. The .357 Magnum case was lengthened by around 1/10th inch so that the round could not be fired in .38 revolvers designed for much lower pressure. I do have some experience, which I can't much get into involving .357 loads in shortened .357 Magnum cases. And for those at home who may be watching, DO NOT ATTEMPT IT! But in short, a .357 Magnum load at 35,000 PSI does not require additional case length. What it requires is a revolver designed for the pressure of 35,000 PSI.

As far as using faster burning powders for .357 Magnum loads, the powder should definitely be insensitive to powder positioning. For Magnum loads, to reach the .357s Max Velocity Potential, the charge-weights are great enough to provide a high amount of case-fill. In my lexicon, magnum powders begin at A #9 and only get slower. Some might view A #9 as a kind of tweener today, but that was not the case when it was introduced. Today we see some of the best loads in .357 SIG and 10mm charged with #9.

Maybe yet another thread, but it might help some understand that double-based flake powders are a bit more challenged in doing this. Blue Dot for example.

Generally, we want to use the powders we have. In the example of W231 vs Unique, look at Hodgdon's current burn rate chart. There's not a lot of gap between W231/HP38 and Unique. If it were me, I'd use W231 for .38 over Unique unless you have Skeeter Skelton data you want to try. Some of those loads, however, would be +P+. Unique will give greater case-fill, but like W231, it ain't gonna give 100% load density, and there are more interesting things there that, again, would require it's own thread. The one thing I can recommend is that if you load W231 in .38 or .357 Magnum, use a Small Magnum Pistol primer. I have a great .38 Defense load around here somewhere for W231 and I believe a 158 gr. JHP. I used a magnum primer, and as I mentioned somewhere here, I would do the same with the even denser True Blue. As far as which .38 load will be best? that's gonna depend on several factors like bullet type and desired velocity.;)
 
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First and foremost, I like good questions! Now let's get to the nut-cuttin'. Different powders load differently as far as case fill. With .38 that's been watered down to 17,000 PSI, there are many ways to skin that cat. Usually, for target loads, even for competition, there are some older loads that haven't really been surpassed. Alliant Bullseye, for example, has accounted for many. It's still, so far as I know, the oldest handgun powder available. Another thread.

Remember that revolver cartridge and case design resulted from loads that originally used Black Powder, and they req'd greater space in the case than the smokeless powders that replaced them. The .38 Special came from previous .38 cartridges like the .38 Long Colt that showed so poorly in the Phillipine/American war that the US Army re-issued Colt Peacemaker's in .45 Colt. It may have been one of the greatest influences on what became the 1911 and .45 ACP.

Fast forward to prohibition and gangster wars and we find that the .38 Sp. underperformed. And while the first .357 Magnum was introduced in 1935, the world was about to catch fire and the .357 Mgnum went largely ignored until after WW II.

Okay, enough history. There are several things that come into play. Powders that provided the best accuracy only filled a small portion of the .38 Special case. Same with the .44 Sp., but Elmer Keith wrote gobs of articles on that. Thing is, with a very light charge dropped vertically into a case, the round will be horizontal when fired, in most cases. That can do some strange things to cartridge pressure, including something that's not much discussed these days: a phenomenon known as detonation. Not simply brought about by the firing pin striking a primer, but so much unused air space in a cartridge that it can make some powders very unpredictable; doubling or even tripling the pressure. Many of those powders have long since been discontinued. But some examples continue to exist for magnum revolver cartridges charged with W296/H110 and why load data usually warns to only reduce the Max Charge by 3%.

And, the powder-makers seem to be able to do most anything today, when they put their minds to it. One reason TiteGroup is well suited to .38 target loads is because it's not powder position sensitive. Since it's a dense spherical powder, load density will be less than flake powders like Bullseye that aren't very dense and give greater case-fill. So, if you use a spherical that doesn't need much chargeweight, and one that's capable of very good or excellent accuracy, you want one that isn't powder position sensitive. Myself, I've been looking at A #2 a lot recently, and there's more to follow later.

What many are unaware of is that when the .357 Magnum was developed, the additional case-length was solely for one purpose. I mentioned the .38s pressure Max of 17,000 PSI, and 20,000 PSI is the Max for .38 +P. The .357 Mag. Max Pressure today, is 35,000 PSI and 46,000 CUP previously. The .357 Magnum case was lengthened by around 1/10th inch so that the round could not be fired in .38 revolvers designed for much lower pressure. I do have some experience, which I can't much get into involving .357 loads in shortened .357 Magnum cases. And for those at home who may be watching, DO NOT ATTEMPT IT! But in short, a .357 Magnum load at 35,000 PSI does not require additional case length. What it requires is a revolver designed for the pressure of 35,000 PSI.

As far as using faster burning powders for .357 Magnum loads, the powder should definitely be insensitive to powder positioning. For Magnum loads, to reach the .357s Max Velocity Potential, the charge-weights are great enough to provide a high amount of case-fill. In my lexicon, magnum powders begin at A #9 and only get slower. Some might view A #9 as a kind of tweener today, but that was not the case when it was introduced. Today we see some of the best loads in .357 SIG and 10mm charged with #9.

Maybe yet another thread, but it might help some understand that double-based flake powders are a bit more challenged in doing this. Blue Dot for example.

Generally, we want to use the powders we have. In the example of W231 vs Unique, look at Hodgdon's current burn rate chart. There's not a lot of gap between W231/HP38 and Unique. If it were me, I'd use W231 for .38 over Unique unless you have Skeeter Skelton data you want to try. Some of those loads, however, would be +P+. Unique will give greater case-fill, but like W231, it ain't gonna give 100% load density, and there are more interesting things there that, again, would require it's own thread. The one thing I can recommend is that if you load W231 in .38 or .357 Magnum, use a Small Magnum Pistol primer. I have a great .38 Defense load around here somewhere for W231 and I believe a 158 gr. JHP. I used a magnum primer, and as I mentioned somewhere here, I would do the same with the even denser True Blue. As far as which .38 load will be best? that's gonna depend on several factors like bullet type and desired velocity.;)

Is there a kind of chart or way to determine what powders are postion sensitivw? Or just manually look up each powder on google?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Read on it a little more and apparently using a 125g bullet with a light load leaves more case space which can cause the powder to flop around which I did not even consider. Should I be loading the 157gn bullet vs the 125gn bullet with lighter loads?
 

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Most modern powders are not that sensitive to powder placement in the case, as long as the primer is hot enough to light the powder charge off the powder position in the case unless extremely small won't have much effect.
now you can get to light wiht any powder of course.
someone else can betetr address your question i am sure as i do not load powder puff loads nor use lead projectiles myself.
I would be more concerned with leading and accuracy using the 125 grainers myself.
 

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Read on it a little more and apparently using a 125g bullet with a light load leaves more case space which can cause the powder to flop around which I did not even consider. Should I be loading the 157gn bullet vs the 125gn bullet with lighter loads?
Usually, you'll find a statement about powder position insensitivity in the suppliers catalog/data manual or on their website. I believe Accurate addresses it on the label for A #2.

Many of the powders that were problematic are no longer with us, but still, some are better than others. With powders like A #2 or TiteGroup that have proven to not be powder position sensitive, I would not be concerned. In the case of TiteGroup, it does best in low pressure cartridges like the .38 Sp. or .45 ACP. As pressure goes up, however, so does its burn temperature. For the rounds that operate with a 35,000 PSI pressure limit, TiteGroup is one of the hottest burning propellants you can use. It can melt lead, poly-coating or fiber optic front sights. I would reserve its use to the lower pressure rounds, if I used it.

As far as comparisons, chrono the loads. Just one more reason that every handloader needs a chronograph. With small charges, if you get large velocity spreads between rounds, it is likely an indicator that it is a bit more effected by powder positioning. You can even check that with the old method of raising the muzzle between rounds, before firing each shot. If the numbers improve to a noticeable level, it could be the result of better powder positioning.

Using a light charge of fast burning powder, in general, I would expect better accuracy with the 157. There is less dead air space, but again, that likely depends on the powder being used. A chrono will really help in deciding on a powder to use. And in some data you'll notice that with dense spherical powders that Magnum Primers are recommended. W231 and HS6 are a couple of examples. Flake powders rarely, if ever, need a magnum primer. I'd have to search to find the bulk density of W231 and HS6, but powders like A #5, True Blue and A #7 are very dense and over 950 grams/liter. A #2 and WST are a couple of sphericals that are the least dense with A #2 only being around 600 grams/liter. A good term to describe such sphericals is, "lofty" while they're still denser than many flake powders, they give higher load density than the very dense sphericals. In-between you have powders like Silhouette at 800 grams/liter.

On the subject of #2, for the loads I've made recently, the .38s have been very accurate while producing very good uniformity stats. As far as .38 & .357 for light loads, I typically just load .38s. With the loads under development at the moment, I did consider using A #2 in .357 cases, but being mostly an article on .357 magnum and the velocity loss going from a 4.2" GP100 down to a 2 1/2" M66 Smith with True Blue being the fastest powder I used, and then progressing down in burn rate to A #7, A #9, Ramshot Enforcer and A 11FS. But for competition use I will add an A #2 load in .38 Sp. aiming for around 130 PF. That will be with the RMR 158 gr. Plated Hollow-Point.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sounds good 57K . Im defintly going to play more with the 157gn bullet to see if I get a Load that feels good, with a full lb of titegroup, unique and hp-38 I have some time lol.I need to find a range down here that will let me chrono so I can get one. On my next powder order defintly looking for some true blue unless I find it in person first!
 
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