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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. Now that I have to wait for my .44 SBH to be fixed I'm wanting to make some bullets for my SP101 .357.I've been thinking about getting me a Lyman mold #358477 for my .357 loads. Have any of you used this mold and if so,do you like it? I have shot the Lyman#358429 with .38 brass and it was nice but,I was wanting to make some hollow points using a case trimer with the 358477 for the .357 brass. Is this a good mold to use?
 

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I have thee solid version of this mold. It is a good bullet in the J-frames but not quite as accurate for me in the K and N frames as the 358429.
If you find a solid version of the mold you can have it hollow pointed, and probably cheaper than paying the collector price for the Lyman hollowpoint example or you can drill them using the Forster trimmer of the Forster drill press trimmer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
William Iorg. The 358429 won't fit in my SP101 using .357 brass..Makeing hot +++p loads in .38 are nice but the brass sticks...There kind of heavy for my SW442 That's why I was wanting to drill them out with the trimmer and us the 358477 in the .357 useing WWs.Have you ever used the 358429 in the J frame ?
 

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Ive used it but I must seate them deep and crimp them over the front drive band.
For heavy bulletsI bought the 358430 from F&M and it handles my heavy bullet needs in the 38's. I'll get a cylinder length measurement for you.
Lee has a pretty good .38 caliber hollow point mold.
How fast are those +++P loads?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have been reloading for years,but I just started casting a few months ago. Got myself a .44 SBH so I started making the Lyman 429421 245grain (253-255gn.with WW) and got hooked.LOL.Work is alittle slow out her for me so I haven't got me a Chronograph yet.It is on my wish list.Them 170gn +++p loads do hall _ss but the brass sticks pretty good with the 13.5 grains of 2400. I have to run to work (the little bit that I have) and will look at the Less mold tonight. Thanks.
 

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Your 13.5 grain load of 2400 gives us 1,310 fps from the 4” barrel Colt Trooper. This is a good load in the heavy frame Colt. We seat the bullets in the crimp groove using 38Special brass.
This same load in the 4” S&W Model 19 is over maximum and locked the cylinder up. This load gave me 1,324 fps from the little S&W but I had to use a light rubber mallet to open the cylinder.
In the 21” TC Carbine this load gave me 1,692 fps and excellent accuracy. This TC barrel has been shot a lot and the throat is washed a little but it is a good cast bullet barrel. All of these loads were put up in W-W 38 Spl cases.

This is a warm load for this heavy bullet.
What energy level are you looking for? The big 190-grain bullets will nudge up against 700 fps or 200 fpme from the 3” barrel S&W J frames and that’s a real penetrator. It takes 5.8 grains of Alliant Blue Dot to get there and I am not a Blue Dot fan any more. I believe I could do a little better with Hodgdon Lil’ Gun but have not tried.
4.5 grains of Alliant Unique will reach 680 fps from the 3” barrel.
The 38 Spl will give you many years of fun experimenting. My wife and I loaded thousands of rounds of 38 special ammunition using Lee loaders and Lyman 310 tool. We lubed the bullets in pans and used cake cutters to remove them and a hand sizer. We had great fun and it cost very little.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Slim. I mainly want a good hot load for my Ruger SP101. I like that 170 grain Keith style In the .38 brass,but like I said the brass is sticking in the cylinder.A little bit on the high pressure side I guess.Have you tried lighter loads with that bullet?? I looked for the Lee hollow point but could not find it. I was wanting the hollow point mostly for the 15oz SW 442 airweight. I would like to use them in the SP 101 too..LOL.I want the best of both worlds in one bullet.. What would be your chose if you could only have one mold?? Like I said,$$$ is a little tight at the moment,but I do want to get "one" anyways. I've been using a Lee sizer for my .44 bullets. I've been dipping them in the lube (50-50 Beeswax and high pressure Molly graphite Greece, STALUBE).Then running them through the sizer. It works real well and I can make a box of 50 .44 mags for about $7.00 and that's using 22grains of 2400 with the 253-254 bullet. Sure makes it nice and alot more fun to shoot.


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We shoot a lot of 5.5 grains of Alliant Unique with the 358429 bullet. This is a load of good power and yet both economical load and easy to handle in the airweight revolver.
If you are scrounging your lead just use the mold you have.
If you prefer a lighter bullet Lee makes a tumble lube 158-grain SWC bullet and Midsouth has the mold for $18.00. This with some liquid alox and you are ready to go with no sizing required. As Rocky has pointed out, the Lee tumble lube bullets will surprise you with their accuracy.
If you use the Lee mold with tumble lube and Alliant Bullseye you have plenty of cheap shooting. Between 2.5 and 3.0 grains of Bullseye you will find a load of adequate power and fine accuracy. I would imagine I have spent half my shooting life shooting a 148-grain wad cutter and 2.5 to 2.7 grains of Bullseye 38 Spl revolvers. You will learn a great deal about shooting while sitting with your back to a post and shooting shotgun shells at twenty yards and five gallon cans at 100 yards. The SP101 has a lot of fun in it if you will explore a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank for your time.I just might try that Lee tumbe lube bullet (TL358-158-SWC).You said you don't have to size them?? Do you think they come out round enough?? The price is right up my alley for a quick fix. When work gets a little better i'll go for the 358429..I don't have any .357 molds at this time.
 

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No need to size them and they are round.
Lee molds are lightweight bu I hsve a number of them that are 30+ years old. I dont hit them with sticks. Cruise through the Lee web site and look for the instruction sheets to give you some ideas. Not all mail order houses stock all Leeproducts so take a look at the mold chart.
 

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I should add that a load that sticks in a cylinder needs to be backed down 5% below the level where the sticking starts to occur. It is too hot for that cylinder. They stick because the steel in the cylinder is stretching beyond the elastic limit of the brass expanding under it, so when it snaps back to shape it captures the less elastic brass. So, you are using the cylinder steel as a spring, except it doesn't have a spring temper, and working it out and in like that will fatigue and eventually weaken it, same as bending any piece of metal back and forth a lot will do. If you need a load that hot, for safety's sake and the long-term health of your weapon, get a heavier gun.

Lee mold cavities are cut by CNC lathe, rather than by closing two mold block halves simultaneously inward on a cherry cutter the way most molds are made. So the cavities are perfectly round. You may need to deburr them at the edges, but they are not oval. Most casting problems with them come from failure to clean the last traces of cutting lube off the new mold before casting.

When I switched to the Lee tumble lube 148 grain wadcutter, I did it when I found a 6-cavity mold on clearance at a gun show. I was surprised to find it cut group size out of my K-38 in half as compared to Federal match ammo and bevel base swaged and cast wadcutters I had tried. And that was while mixing the bullets from the different cavities up. I've been buying the 6-cavity molds ever since. They are excellent molds. The sprue shearing handle on these big molds starts the sprue cut and avoids banging with a stick.

If, for some reason, you found them too wide to fit your gun as-cast, the TL bullets can still be run through a Lee sizing die with the lube on them. I would stay with as-cast if you can. It keeps the bullet surface harder and produces significantly less tendency to lead in my revolvers.

Rather than buy 4 ounce bottles of Lee Liquid Alox at $4.50 a pop, you can buy a whole quart of White Label Xlox, which is the same thing, for $10.70 on line.
 

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I had a busy morning and could not get back to this thread.
I have wanted to discuss the “new” Alliant 2400 with you.
Nick has touched on the elastic strength of gun steel. He is right on the money with his recommendation that if a case sticks in the chamber you need to reduce your load. There are other reasons for a case to stick prematurely, such as the rough Ruger chambers on the .32 H&R Magnum SSX and Blackhawk Revolvers. It is good advice that if a case fails to eject freely from a revolver cylinder, something is not right and our loads need a little thinking over.

With this thought in mind I wanted to mention the “new” 2400 is in fact, considerably hotter than the older lots of 2400.
Beartooth forum member Ed Harris has written of this several times and his warning bears repeating. Ed has written he reduces all pre-1990 Hercules 2400 reloading data by 15% for the current Alliant 2400.

We are able to site many examples of reloading data being reduced over the years and there are a variety of reasons for this reduction. For the most part it is due to the improvement of pressure recording devices. Rock Raab has written a few words on this subject.
Unfortunately it is difficult to make apples to apples comparisons over the long term but if we take some rough examples for comparison we will see that Alliant 2400 is a bit hotter than Hercules 2400.
The Speer No. 3 manual lists a load for the 6 ½” barrel 44 Magnum using a 250-grain cast bullet and a maximum of 23.0 grains of Hercules 2400 which chronographed 1,349 fps.

The Speer No. 14 manual lists a load for their 250-grain example of the Keith bullet using a maximum of 20.0 grains of Alliant 2400 for 1,390 fps from a 7 ½” barrel revolver.

Elmer Keith wrote several times he believed 1,200 fps was the ideal velocity for maximum power with his 250-grain bullet in the 44 Magnum cartridge. Keith also found that increasing the charge of Hercules 2400 in the 44 Special case caused velocity to drop when the loads were chronographed. Keith and J. B. Smith, the famous commercial handloader had several discussions about this until Smith shot the bullets into his pendulum and found Keith was right.

For the 357 Magnum it is a bit more difficult to site specific differences using similar bullets over a long calendar interval. The Speer No. 3 manual lists a 160-grain lead bullet ahead of 14.0 grains of Hercules 2400 as chronographing 1,265 fps from a 6 ½” barrel.

The Lyman 43rd Edition manual lists a maximum load for the Keith 358429 160-grain bullet as 14.0 grains of Hercules 2400 for 1,400 fps from an unspecified barrel length.

The Lyman 48th edition manual lists the same 160-grain bullet ahead of 13.5 grains of Alliant 2400 for 1,242 fps from a 4” pressure barrel at 41,100 CUP – this is a hot load and I don’t care to run this heavy bullet load through my K-frame revolvers, fine for the N frame. Data written for the 357 magnum is difficult to decipher as there is such a variety of strength levels in various firearms. What works well in an N frame S&W or Ruger Blackhawk is a hot load for S&W K frame and over maximum in the J frame S&W. So while 13.5 grain load of 2400 is a “recommended" load it is a hot load for the light frame guns, even when they are as strong as the SP101.
You may find you receive better accuracy in your 44 Magnum loads with the same or higher velocity from a lighter load of Alliant 2400. John Taffin and Brian Pearce, along with others, have written quite a bit about the reduction of Elmer Keith’s load data due to the change from balloon head to solid head 44 Special cases. The same has been written about the pre-WWII and post-WWII 22 Hornet case. Any way you look at it, it pays to look closely at modern load data for Alliant 2400 and ensure the type of firearm the load is intended for – especially when the manual does not specifically state the firearm.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Slim.I must say it's nice to know there's a lot to learn and people like you are out there willing to share your knowledge with use.Hope your having a good weekend.
 

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Making hollowpoints by drilling the bullet seems to be a good idea but I could never get the drill bit to center properly. There are companies that can make your mould into a hollowpoint design and thats the way I would go. Also somebody makes 158 gr 38 bullets out of dead soft lead with a gascheck. If you dont need too many then it would be easier to buy some. Do a net search and they will pop up. Just my .02.
 

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Hi Billy
I shoot Lyman's 358477 bullet and I'm also into swaging, so this is what I came up with for making cast/swaged hollowpoints. Bullet on the left is 358477 and the right is 359495. They were cast in Lyman #2 alloy (WW+5% tin), lubed with Thompson's Blue Angel, then swaged with CH hollowpoint dies. You can find the dies at www.ch4d.com
 

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You don't have any trouble swaging an alloy that hard? What press do you use?
 
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