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Thread: 200 grain boolit load in 38 S&W for Webley & Scott

  1. #1
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    200 grain boolit load in 38 S&W for Webley & Scott

    I bought two Webley and Scott English top break revolvers 20 or 30 years ago, and didn't have much luck reloading Hornady 158 grain lead boolits in them. So I gave up reloading for them. Recently I came across a company named Matt's Bullets just South of me in Arkansas that was reproducing the correct 0.361" diameter, 200 grain lead boolits and decided to order some. Since they have shipped from the factory, I started looking for loading data for them. But the only thing I came across was in "Cartridges of the World", 6th Edition, by Frank C. Barnes, dated 1989. And their only load for a 200 grain lead boolit is 3.1 grains of Unique. Since that data was derived so long ago, I was wondering if anyone here has some more up-to-date powders and loads for a 200 grain boolit for a Webley. I would appreciate some suggestions.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I am not shooting a Webley, but in a Ruger. A charge of 2 grs. of Bullseye, 2.8 of W231 or 3.5 of Unique gives 630 fps in my 4" revolver, approximating the old. 380-200 load.

    I would back off these 10% to start.

  3. #3
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    Outpost75 are you lucky enough to own one of the .380 Rimmed Rugers (Speed Six) that were made for India and Northern Ireland ? If so, did you buy it when they first came out or were you able to find one when CDNN sold the surplus police trade ins ? I would love one but they are too rare and too many $$$...

    rick

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    The handloaders manual of cartridge conversions lists a load, 150gr boolit, dia .359, 4.7 grs Unique, 890fps. I know, not the british load, but, that Webley was a well built piece, and should easily stand up to that load. My old Speer Manual #8 has several loads, none for the 200gr boolit. These loads are intended for the old top breaks made in the US, which were not nearly as strong as the Webley. They list a 125gr bulletwith 5.0grs unique for 1059fps, top load. and the heaviest boolit is a 158gr swc, 2.7 grs Red Dot, for 740fps, top load. None of these are what you were looking for, but there is some variables out there if you are interested. The Speer #8 was first published around 1970. Perhaps one of the older lyman manuals would have something for you. mikey I just checked my lyman # 4 manual, and it lists a 195gr boolit with several modern powder loads in the 600fps range. If you don't have one, you should find one, either the #3 or the #4. They really are a great help.
    Last edited by mikeym1a; 02-21-2014 at 03:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumbeaux View Post
    Outpost75 are you lucky enough to own one of the .380 Rimmed Rugers (Speed Six) that were made for India and Northern Ireland ? If so, did you buy it when they first came out or were you able to find one when CDNN sold the surplus police trade ins ? I would love one but they are too rare and too many $$$...

    rick
    I don't own one of the contract revolvers, but bought an extra 9mm/.380Rim cylinder and crane assembly and fitted it to my "school gun" when attending the armorer's school, back in the 1980s.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeym1a View Post
    The handloaders manual of cartridge conversions lists a load, 150gr boolit, dia .359, 4.7 grs Unique, 890fps. I know, not the british load, but, that Webley was a well built piece, and should easily stand up to that load. My old Speer Manual #8 has several loads, none for the 200gr boolit. These loads are intended for the old top breaks made in the US, which were not nearly as strong as the Webley. They list a 125gr bulletwith 5.0grs unique for 1059fps, top load. and the heaviest boolit is a 158gr swc, 2.7 grs Red Dot, for 740fps, top load. None of these are what you were looking for, but there is some variables out there if you are interested. The Speer #8 was first published around 1970. Perhaps one of the older lyman manuals would have something for you. mikey I just checked my lyman # 4 manual, and it lists a 195gr boolit with several modern powder loads in the 600fps range. If you don't have one, you should find one, either the #3 or the #4. They really are a great help.
    Thanks for the help. I have a Lyman "Cast Bullet Handbook" number 3 and it only goes up to a 158 grain boolit, which I tried with the Hornady 158 grain lead boolits. Thats when I discovered that the Webleys required a larger diameter boolit of maybe 0.361" diameter, and were designed for a 200 grain boolit. The Lyman "Reloading Handbook" 46th edition also lists 158 grain boolits as the max weight. Since I retired I can't afford any new books since my wife wants me to spend all of my money on construction materials for rebuilding the house. So I was wondering if you could post the loads for the 195 grain boolits from your Lyman #4? I would appreciate it as a guide.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Funny you should mention that. I just got some of those same bullets from Matt in today's mail. I loaded them over 2.5/Unique for use in my Webley Mk. IV. My handgun is in good condition, but the Webley design just makes me a little queasy, so I am proceeding from an abundance of caution.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonMountain View Post
    Thanks for the help. I have a Lyman "Cast Bullet Handbook" number 3 and it only goes up to a 158 grain boolit, which I tried with the Hornady 158 grain lead boolits. Thats when I discovered that the Webleys required a larger diameter boolit of maybe 0.361" diameter, and were designed for a 200 grain boolit. The Lyman "Reloading Handbook" 46th edition also lists 158 grain boolits as the max weight. Since I retired I can't afford any new books since my wife wants me to spend all of my money on construction materials for rebuilding the house. So I was wondering if you could post the loads for the 195 grain boolits from your Lyman #4? I would appreciate it as a guide.
    SURE, Glad too. And this comes with the standard statement,'...use at your own risk. use only in firearms in good repair, and never exceed maximum listed loads....' etc,etc,etc. #358430 - 195gr #2Alloy
    Bullseye; starting load - 1.4gr - 451fps - 7200CUP == MAX - 1.6gr - 536 - 10500CUP
    700X starting load - 1.4gr - 482fps - 7900CUP == MAX - 1.6gr - 544 - 12200CUP
    Titegroup starting load - 1.5gr - 534fps - 9400CUP == MAX - 1.7gr - 602 - 12400CUP
    N320 starting load - 1.5gr - 520fps - 9500CUP == MAX - 1.7gr - 544 - 10900CUP
    231 starting load - 1.6gr - 489fps - 9100CUP == MAX - 1.8gr - 550 - 11200CUP
    Unique starting load - 1.7gr - 516fps - 8100CUP == Max - 1.9 gr -605 - 12800CUP
    sr-7625 starting load - 1.9gr - 493fps - 8800CUP == MAX - 2.2gr -542 - 10500CUP
    AA#5 starting load - 2.6gr - 513fps - 9200CUP == MAX - 2.8gr -581 - 11700CUP
    True Blue starting load - 2.2gr - 539fps - 8200CUP == MAX - 2.6gr -603 - 11200CUP

    These are the loads listed in the Lyman #49 reloading manual, with the boolit listed above. Not sure what I've done with my #4 cast boolit manual. Can't seem to lay my hands on it today. They weren't in the stack of materials where I usually have them. GGGGRRRRR!!!!!!! I hate getting old. CRS. Anyway, hope this helps! mikey
    Last edited by mikeym1a; 02-21-2014 at 09:33 PM. Reason: adjusting columns..........

  9. #9
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    Well, my neat columns all went to plzzzzzz. I'll edit and try to fix it.

    Well, it did not stay in columns. Must not have been holding my mouth right. mikey
    Last edited by mikeym1a; 02-21-2014 at 09:35 PM.

  10. #10
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    Lyman 49 has data for 195grain boolits.
    1.9 grains Unique for 605 fps at 12.8k CUP.
    2.6 of True Blue for 603fps and 11.2k CUP
    1.7 of Titegroup yielded 602 at 12.4k CUP

    Those are the only listed loads that made over 600fps. Looking at the data for 158 grain boolits shows that it is reduced from what was listed in Lyman 45 or Speer 11. That is probably a combo of caution for all the old .38S&W guns and actually pressure testing the loads. Still it is possible to get an authentic load at mild pressures.
    Cast is an adjective, a noun and a verb. Cast works as both imperative and past tense without any additional letters or helping verbs.

  11. #11
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    Hah! Mikey beat me to it but my post is prettier. :^)
    Cast is an adjective, a noun and a verb. Cast works as both imperative and past tense without any additional letters or helping verbs.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    Thanks Mikey and Treeman for the data. This gives me a widening area of information to load from. Unfortunately Unique is the only powder I have available to load from for this 38 S & W so far. I have probably 15 different powders that I use for loading shotgun, magnum handgun and rifle. But none besides Unique on this list so far. My shotgun powders are too fast (Red Dot, Titewad, Clays and Promo). And my handgun powders except for Unique are too slow (Blue Dot, 2400, H110, SR4759, 680). And my rifle powders are totally too slow. Guess I need to look for some more handgun/magnum shotgun powders?

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    I have used 3.0 grains of Unique and 3.3 grains of Herco in 38 S&W loads for the Webley-Enfield and S&W M&P revolvers and the NEI #169A bullet, which duplicates the British WWII service bullet at 202 grains. These run about 650-675 FPS in both revolvers, and strike right where the sights look at 25 yards. Sizing matches the throats @ .363".
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

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    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I made it out to the range today with the Webley and loads in post #7 above. A couple of my pals, had never shot a Webley before and they wanted to give it a try. They had a blast and both tried to buy it from me on the spot. It is a sweet shooting mild load that shoots to the sights and give a very satisfying "whack" when it hits whatever. The pistol and load shoot as good as I can hold, so that makes me good to go.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    Well, I decided to try a couple of loads using the suggested 3.0 grains of Unique under the 200 grain Matt's Boolits boolit. I am not sure what happen, but the boolits are so long when I seated it deep enough to crimp it over the front edge of the first ridge on the leading end of the boolit, the powder was really crushed in the small space under it, but there was about 3/16" of space left over in the cylinder. So I have decided to not seat it so deeply and to just turn the crimp down tight on the full diameter of the boolit so I can slide the cartridge into the cylinder, with maybe 1/16" of clear space in the cylinder. When I fired the longer two test cartridges at 25 yards, they hit about 1" apart and 3" above point of aim on the target, right in the center. But there appeared a slight crack in the new brass 1/4 of the way around the brass right where the bottom of the boolit had been. So, my next couple of test reloads are going to be, seating the boolit to clear the end of the cylinder by 1/16", load 2.5 grains of Unique and just closing the belled end of the casing tight to the surface of the boolit. Anybody have any more suggestions?

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    The bullet in question has a crimp groove provided that when used gives a loaded round of correct length. Load 2.5 grains of unique and set the crimp at the top of the tapered crimp groove. It works great. The rounds in pic 7 above are loaded with Matt's bullet.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    The NEI #169A bullet has a L-O-N-G nose and short rear drive-band section with one lube groove centered between the bands. When crimped into the provided groove, the cartridge is JUST short enough to fit in the Webley's charge holes and clear the barrel's forcing cone. The bullet is in fact longer than the case it is seated into--.810" vs. .775".

    There are all sorts of quirks the reloader needs to be ready for in dealing with the 38 S&W. The case walls are relatively thick, and vary between makes. This can cause gymnastics events when trying to fit fatter or slimmer bullets into cases of varying makes for revolvers of varying dimensions. The RCBS seating die for its Cowboy Die Set will not accept a drive band shank that mikes at or larger than .362"--nicely enough, the NEI bullet's shank never enters the bullet alignment sleeve of this die--only its undersized nose. I have also had to resort to using the slightly wider 9mm Makarov tungsten sizer die with the thickest brass makes (W-W nickel-plated), otherwise the brass gets over worked. The Makarov's .361" expander spud is just the thing for prepping cases for the .363" bullets, too.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Here is a pic of the .361 Webley bullet that Matt sells. IIRC it comes from a group buy mold we did a few years back. Sorry for the fuzzy pic, but it is a severe crop. I am using W-W cases and an older set of Lyman dies. The expander plug is the traditional .356 which is to small. I open up the cases with a .3585 RCBS wadcutter expanding plug and the use the Lyman to put a slight bell on the case to accept the bullet base without shaving lead. This makes for a two step expanding and belling, but such is the way of dealing with odd ball rounds like this. The seating die in the Lyman set works just fine with this bullet.

    I think the use of a Makarov expander is a good idea, but I just use what I have.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    The Matt's Bullets that I received measure 0.825" long, 0.361" in diameter, have two lube grooves, and a slightly reduced diameter nose section with a hemispherical front tip. The picture appears to have a slight taper to it and mine is not that way. Maybe I ordered the wrong one from Matt? And mine doesn't have the crimping groove. And weighs 206 grains. My 38 S & W die set from Hornady expanded the casings and belled the mouth for easy insertion of these boolits. How long is your loaded round?

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I wish I could post a pic of the NEI bullet like Char-Gar did. To compare, my bullet's bands are shorter and the lube groove a mite narrower than Matt's bullet in the pic. FWIW.

    I have also "fattened" Lyman #358430 to about .361" via Beagling prior to obtaining the NEI mould. These shot OK in the Webley-Enfield, no leading resulted. These 200 grain bullets do give a healthy WHANG to iron plates at 25 yards, even at their modest velocities. Lotta fun to be had with these old revolvers.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

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