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I use a .357 mag and shoot .38 loads in my club matches.  We shoot at 25 and 50 yards.  At 25 yards I use 148 gr DEWC with 3.0 gr of bullseye and it's very accurate.  It will not perform at 50 yards.  I was told I need a more aerodynamic bullet so I went with the 158 gr. SWC and have tried all kinds of powder and all sorts of powder loads but cant seem to get one that works well.  I test them off a bench with my revolver in a rest.  I know this is not an easy questions, but has anyone out there found something I don't know about?
 

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I don't think I have tried anything you haven't, but here's my faves;
158 SWC/.38 Special cases/6.0 grs AA#5/Winchester small pistol primers, or;
same components, except 7.0 grs. AA#5, .357 Mag cases.
This is not a light target load, but a +P .38 load.
 

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Larry:

I agree with Chuck's take on this: for longer ranges, you need to go more to a +P loading to get good accuracy.

I like a 158 gr SWC,  loaded over 4.5 gr of Bullseye in a 38 Special case with a CCI Small Pistol primer. In 357 Mag cases, I switch to the Small Pistol Magnum primer and this seems to give virtually identical ballistics.

Not all 158 gr cast SWC's are alike, I've found. The most accurate bullets I have were cast by a local commercial  caster who's out of business now. I hate to start trying to cast my own in this caliber (too many projects already going....) but I shoot this load a LOT.

Doc
 

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I shoot 5.0 grains of Unique behind a 158 SWC as well as the Lyman 358429 I cast.  Good enough load to kill little bunnies and vermin out past 50 yards.  I use whatever cases I have available (mostly R-P) and the Winchester WSP primers.
 

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A couple of questions. What type of case are you using 38 Spec. or 357 Mag?
Have you lapped out the forcing cone of your barrel?
Do you know the size of the 158 grain SWCs that you tried?
I use 4 grains of Bullseye or 231 behind a 135 - 140 grain SWC, sized 359 or 360, made by Saeco, in a 357 case. It does very well for me.
I don't think Saeco makes this mold any more, which is unfortunate.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Jim...

I use .38 Spec cases.  No I have not lapped the forcing cone.  How is this done?  The SWC I use is made by Valiant in Bynum, Alabama it is 158 gr. sized .357.  Where can I get the 135-140 SWC you mentioned sized at .359-.360, without casting myself.  I would like to try it with the .357 cases.  If I can't find the 135-140 SWC, would the 158 SWC do better sized at .359-.360 and if so where can I find this bullet?

Thanks, Larry
 

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I cast all my own bullets so I'm unsure where a bullet of this weight and size is available.
I'd check some of the cast bullet people and see if they have a 9mm in that weight and then see if they can size it that diameter. The average size for 9mm is .355 and they may very well come out of their molds at .358 or .359.
I lapped all of my revolvers using the instructions as provided with the lapping kit sold through LBT. This is  hand lapping as opposed to fire lapping. You can find instructions on how to fire lap at this site or you can get a kit to make fire lapping loads from Midway.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Jim...

I'll check out that site.  I have fire lapped my Ar1-5 and M1A rifles with David Tubbs Final Finish and it works great.  I have heard that a 148 gr HBWC works good at 50 yards.  I may try that in a .357 case.  Thanks for all the help.
 

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  Hi gang... new to the handgun forum, Mostly a rifle shooter.   Any of you pro's out there recommend a good load for the S&W mod.52.   Picked up a real fine one, but sure is finiky with what it will cycle.  I'm loading 148gr. 38sp. in front of 2.7 gr of clays... I've found it's a fine accurate load for my mod.14(k38) but won't cycle the action of the 52 correctly.  Federal's 148gr. "nyclads"  cycle fine.  Any help would be appreciated.
       thanx,
 M141a
 

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A good target load for the 357mag pistol is a 158gr SWC with 5.6 grains of Unique in the mag cases.
The same powder charge and the Speer 160 gr 3/4 jacket SWC is superb also in the mag case. I used this load for Police matches.
 

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Hi, Larry:
 LBT is or was Lead Bullet Technology, owned by Veral Smith. He designed bullets and made moulds until he had a tax problem. His best known designs are the WFN (wide flat nose) and the LFN (long flat nose). Most Beartooth Bullets are LBT types and you can see them by clicking on the Bullet Selection bar in the top left corner. The .44s have the biggest selection.

Bye
Jack
 
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