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Thread: Powder type and bullet weight. .38 and .357

  1. #1

    Powder type and bullet weight. .38 and .357

    Hi Guys
    Recently picked up a Marlin 38/357 under lever

    now have enough spent shells to start reloading in both calibres

    any ideas on best powder type and bullet weights for gallery and hopefully 100 yd targets

    Any help greatly appreciated

    cheers

    Phil

  2. #2
    Lee RNFP boolit with 3.4 to 3.6gr of fast pistol powder (I use Zero powder)

  3. #3
    158 grain was the usual weight fo the 38/357 back in the pistol shooting days.

  4. #4
    Why worry about both calibres? You have a .357 rifle (that can shoot .38) Just pack away the .38 cases and keep then somewhere safe until you want to enter that competition that stipulates .38 only.


    I've been using up a couple of tubs of Unique and some Blue dot that must be 20 years old.

  5. #5
    158 grain STRN led heads, 4.5gr of Unique powder in a .357 case for me in my Winchester Model 94. What works for me though does not mean it will be accurate or safe in your rifle. Have a look at the different powder manufacturers' website and find a load that is safe and accurate in your rifle.

    P.S: I am very new to this too, but this is the best piece of advise anyone gave me when I started...
    Quid enim proderit Homini si lucretur Mundum totum et detrimentum faciat Animae suae?

  6. #6
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    One point I'd make is not to go below any starting load that the manuals indicate. Lower powder amounts of fast powders can cause problems of pressure and lower powder amounts of those (and other powders) can cause stick bullets in barrels of carbines. A "party trick" for checking bore diameters of revolvers was to deliberately engineer a load that would only pass two or three inches up the barrel.

    Also, of course, don't use .357 Magnum data in .38 Special cases and if any component you have differs from those listed in the manual always work up to maximum when you get to 10% below it in smaller steps than you took to arrive at that point.

    I have spare an RCBS 162 grain SWC (Gas Check) mould. If you want it it is thirty pounds including postage.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 24-01-2016 at 00:33.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    A "party trick" for checking bore diameters of revolvers was to deliberately engineer a load that would only pass two or three inches up the barrel.
    Seriously? What idiots. Slugging the breech end of the barrel is pointless in cast bullets. Casting the chamber for throat diameter is all that matters, then slug the muzzle. If the latter is larger than the former, sell it or stick to jacketed bullets.

    I had a Remington revolver in 44-40 that had a .427" throat with a .429" groove diameter. I couldn't hit a pie plate lying between my feet with that thing. When I found the problem I spent a half-day at the lathe indicating in each chamber in turn and reaming to .431 inches. Shot wonderfully after that with .430" cast bullets.~Muir

  8. #8
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    Casting the chamber for throat diameter is all that matters, then slug the muzzle. If the latter is larger than the former, sell it or stick to jacketed bullets.
    And...how did we find that out?

    By part firing a bullet halfway up from the breech end, as per above, and then driving it back from the muzzle with a wooden dowel.

    I've never liked slugging any weapon by inserting the bullet from the muzzle end.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 24-01-2016 at 02:10.

  9. #9
    You don't drive it all the way through. Just in far enough to determine the measurements of the last inch of the bore.~Muir

    PS: You know I am talking about lead, right? Not jacketed!

  10. #10
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    Yes, lead, for sure. But I always had an aversion to slug from the muzzle out of a fear of damaging the crown.

    So the only way to slug from the breech was to fire it up in a revolver.

    Then drive it back out with a wooden dowel which would give a true indication of the barrel diameter at the breech. Which is waht we wanted. Knocking bullets down a revolver by inserting them at the muzzle just seemed risking crown damage.

    I've also always slugged Colt wedge frame revolvers from the breech, and Webley break-frame breechloaders, although as they can be taken down just by using a wooden dowel....no need to fire the bullet.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 24-01-2016 at 03:45.

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