Bullet Choice for Target Shooting

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Jimbo357mag

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So for a 38/357 paper target shooting load what would be your choice for a bullet out to about 25 yards and why? We will assume a Ruger revolver of course. :D

...Jimbo
 

dougader

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I've tried the 148 HBWC bullets and they work fine for punching paper, but found your basic 158 grain hardcast SWC costs a but less and shoots almost as well. My target load was taken from a 1980's era Shooting Times magazine and is less than starting loads in the major reloading manuals.

148 HBWC/2.1 grains WW231 in 38 Special cases

158 SWC/2.4 grains WW231 in 357 magnum cases.

Never a problem with bullet stuck in bore with barrel lengths up to 6". I would NOT fire these in a carbine or rifle, though.
 

Jimbo357mag

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I like my Rainier bullets because they work ok without leading the barrel or without much thinking or experimenting on my part to find a good loading but I am a little disappointed with the accuracy. I might try the Rainier double-ended wad cutters but I don't expect any improvement in accuracy, just bigger holes.

I have some very hard SWC lead bullets that like to be driven hard and they are accurate.

I also have some soft RNFP "cowboy" bullets that are only so, so.

XTP's too expensive for target shooting.

...Jimbo
 

DGW1949

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The thing about the 38 Spl is that there are a wide range of very accurate loads for it. Personaly, I like a 158 LSWC loaded to the old service velocity (my own term). One can acheive that with any of quiet a few powders but Unique is what I settled on years ago, so that's what I still use.
If you are after maximum accuracy with minimum recoil, the old 148 HBWC/Bullseye Target load still works as good as it ever did.....and is perty-much the standard that all the others are judged by.

Both of them bullets cuts a clean hole in paper.
Hope this helps.

DGW
 

ChuckS1

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My favorite is a 158 grain bullet (SWC or RN) and 3.5 grains of Bullseye. For WC, I like 2.7 grains of Bullseye. Both in .38 Special brass.
 

Rick Courtright

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DGW1949":1qqw5nwj said:
If you are after maximum accuracy with minimum recoil, the old 148 HBWC/Bullseye Target load still works as good as it ever did.....and is perty-much the standard that all the others are judged by.

Hi,

Same experience here: though I don't load it much, I've never been able to do better than that load for paper punching w/ the .38 Spl. And since it's said BILLIONS have been loaded, I guess at least a few others share the thought!

For my general purpose .357s I generally load a 150-158 gr LSWC over a starting load of Unique and it's "accurate enough" for MY paper punching. My brother in law puts a 148 gr wadcutter on top of a starting load of Unique, and it IS a hair more accurate than my SWC loads, in his BH and both our Bisleys. We haven't tried it in his SP or my GP (both 3 inchers) yet.

Rick C
 

pps

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Jimbo, For 38 I use either hornady swaged 158gr swc or lhp with 3.4 grains of bullseye to the tune of 750fps. Or cast the lee 148gr wadcutter with scrap range lead with 2.8grains of bullseye...not sized and have had pretty much zero leading. Why? Cheap, easy, no leading.

For loads that are a little spicy, I cast a lyman 358156 that drops (water dropped to harden it up) at 164 grains (ww+1%tin) with the gas check, sized to .358 and lubed with my p cubed lube placed over 14 grains of 2400 (.357mag case) 12 grains of 2400 in a 38 case crimped on the closest crimp groove.
 

Luv2reload

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pps":2m1nfrsw said:
Jimbo, For 38 I use either hornady swaged 158gr swc or lhp with 3.4 grains of bullseye to the tune of 750fps. Or cast the lee 148gr wadcutter with scrap range lead with 2.8grains of bullseye...not sized and have had pretty much zero leading. Why? Cheap, easy, no leading.

For loads that are a little spicy, I cast a lyman 358156 that drops (water dropped to harden it up) at 164 grains (ww+1%tin) with the gas check, sized to .358 and lubed with my p cubed lube placed over 14 grains of 2400 (.357mag case) 12 grains of 2400 in a 38 case crimped on the closest crimp groove.

pps/Jimbo,

Agreed, I find that even Green Dot does well in 38 loads. I have the same Lyman mold and it does work well; exactly as mentioned in your last paragraph - we are actually shooting identical loads!

L2R
 

eric conrad

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Jimbo, on thoes hornady hbwc's I use alox.
The old star hbwc's were good bullets and cheap. The georgia arms look the same and i'll give them a try.
Eric
 

pps

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Jimbo357mag":1376zcpe said:
I like my Rainier bullets because they work ok without leading the barrel or without much thinking or experimenting on my part to find a good loading but I am a little disappointed with the accuracy. I might try the Rainier double-ended wad cutters but I don't expect any improvement in accuracy, just bigger holes.

I have some very hard SWC lead bullets that like to be driven hard and they are accurate.

I also have some soft RNFP "cowboy" bullets that are only so, so.

XTP's too expensive for target shooting.

...Jimbo

With the wadcutters try the lee 6 banger mold. They are set up to be tumble lubed. no need to size, pour em soft and drive em slow...accurate as hell with the aforementioned load data.

When you get into casting your own, that is a whole other addiction.
 

Luv2reload

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pps":3lhugncc said:
Jimbo357mag":3lhugncc said:
I like my Rainier bullets because they work ok without leading the barrel or without much thinking or experimenting on my part to find a good loading but I am a little disappointed with the accuracy. I might try the Rainier double-ended wad cutters but I don't expect any improvement in accuracy, just bigger holes.

I have some very hard SWC lead bullets that like to be driven hard and they are accurate.

I also have some soft RNFP "cowboy" bullets that are only so, so.

XTP's too expensive for target shooting.

...Jimbo

With the wadcutters try the lee 6 banger mold. They are set up to be tumble lubed. no need to size, pour em soft and drive em slow...accurate as hell with the aforementioned load data.

When you get into casting your own, that is a whole other addiction.

pps,

Ain't that the truth... and like I told my better half - I'm saving so much money in the process...

:lol:

L2R
 

Bucks Owin

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Jimbo357mag":3c6y5f6l said:
So for a 38/357 paper target shooting load what would be your choice for a bullet out to about 25 yards and why? We will assume a Ruger revolver of course. :D

...Jimbo
I expect you mean shooting a LOT out to 25 yds? Yeah, I'd go with bulk wadcutters from a number of sources. Casting hundreds of bullets for plinking is tiresome! :? JMO, Dennis (who WOULD catch most of those hundreds of WC's for future casting though! :wink: )
 

pps

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Here is the target from the last batch of the lee TL DEWC. Took an hour to pour 470 of them, even with having to fix a broken handle for the sprue plate.

Here is what the bullet looks like, it tumble lubes nicely and takes minimal work to hand load. I didn't bother with any tin for fillout on this batch. I don't throw our the wrinkled ones, nor the frosted bullets. They will get swagged down as they go down the pipe.

TLDEwadcutter.jpg


From yesterdays range session.

Here is how these bullets shoot at 25 yards off the bench with 2.8 grains of bullseye. Fixed sight ruger service six, 5 shot group. Each line is one inch (shoots a little below point of aim)

TLrugertarget.jpg


Same load, 10 shot group at 25 yards off the bench with my 5" barrel S&W 627 That one flier had to have been one of them thar wrinkled boolits...souldn't be anticipating recoil...nope...lol
TLtarget1.jpg
 
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