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Thread: 358156. How do YOU load it?

  1. #1

    358156. How do YOU load it?

    Hello

    I have always loaded this bullet seated to the bottom crimp groove in 38 special brass over 3.5 grains of bullseye sans gas check. I have always had good results with it in my Marlin 1894 and in my S&W 686. It seemed my Uberti 1873 wasn't a big fan so I started playing with other bullets to try to find a good combo. Well I tried it in the 1873 again and low and behold it works beautifully. I think I wasn't being deliberate enough (babying the beautiful rifle) when cycling the action before and it caused feeding issues.
    So I spent a couple hours last week casting, lubing and sizing some of these bullets so I can give up on the other moulds I have and stick to one good bullet and load for all of my 38/357 shooting (well for 90%)
    While digging through my old data I was thinking of some of the brass and how it was a little sooty and that could be that load or some of the other test loads from other moulds that I was trying to burn though. It was probably the other random 120/130 grain bullets but I'm sure you all know how your mind can wander with all these variables at play.
    So I was wondering if I should up the crimp a bit, or maybe up the charge.
    Then I got to questioning how Lyman loads this bullet per their manual. I've been loading it for a long time without change so I can't remember all the details.
    I opened up the 49th manual and was surprised to see that the 38 special data tops off on 4.0 grains for a 38 special and 4.4 for a +P load.
    This whole time (5 years) I could have sworn that the 3.5 was considered a max load in 38 special and anything over was a +P. I was wrong but thats not a bad thing. I have more room to play with velocity wise without making a dangerous load that could sneak into a weaker framed gun.
    I compared a few loaded rounds to factory rounds and seems my crimp is pretty good. It could stand to go the tiniest bit more.... maybe? I guess I'll have to check the loads over a chrono to see how the ES and SD are to determine if my crimp is sound.

    Now he's the big part of this whole story. Lyman lists this bullet at an OAL in both the 38 and the 357 that coincide with it being crimped in the top groove in both situations.
    I was blown away. I thought it was common practice to load this bullet long in the 38 special case to achieve a number of the internet and gun book theories on better accuracy and more case capacity for making a pseudo 357.
    So Now I'm looking at my old load of 3.5 grains, with a bullet that is seated further out than suggested for that load which leads to lower pressure and velocity.
    The kicker is that the 4.0 grain load is listed as the accuracy load for that bullet.

    So I loaded 100 rounds at 4.0 grains of bullseye with the bullet seated in the bottom groove. Lets see how she shoots compared to what I was doing before.

    I believe last time I chrono'd this load it was shooting about 750 FPS from a 6" barrel and about 925 FPS (more gain that I thought I would see for such a fast burning powder) from the 16.5" barrel. Which would be in line with the 850 or so FPS that lyman shows for the 4.0 grains.

    SO now to the question....
    how do YOU load your 358156? short? long? 38? 357? GC? Bare bottom? Hot? Mild?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    To each their own, but I stop at 3.5/BE in the 38 Special case with bullets of 150 - 160 grains. I am not about to change that at this point in my life.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    The lower crimp groove is to give you 357 magnum case capacity with 38 special brass, for 38/44 load or if 357 brass is scarce. I always load in the top crimp groove in both 38 and 357 brass. No check if its 38's, and checks with 357. I've been known to run that bullet with 15.0 grains of 2400 for full power 357s, out of a blackhawk or a rifle, they offer plenty of pep. The old manuals show 16.0 grains of 2400 with that bullet as duplicating the original 357 magnums. I aint ever tried it... Cuz im skeer'd of the recoil.... and I aint got a blackhawk in 357 anymore.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    The downside to seating the bullet out is it makes the cartridge more susceptible to wide velocity swings due to shifting powder position because more space to shift exists.

    This may or may not matter depending upon what you use it in and how the firearm is handled before it is shot.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    The fun part about that data is with the other 158-160 boolits listed in that manual the max is 3.5 or slightly less. The data for the 358156 was for the boolit seated long.
    That boolit has a reputation for performing better with faster loads. I don't use it in my 38 specials. I do use it in my 357mag, gas checked and running about 1200fps. It works great there.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    MJS -

    Howdy!

    For me, the 358156 and .357Mag are like cornflakes & milk.

    I myself have cast/ shot a whole bunch of these over 14.5gr WW296, and SP Mag primers.

    My application has been in “N” frames of 4, 5; and 6” length. My carry gun for 40+yr has been a .357Mag “N”;
    Mostly using custom heavy 4” barrels on a fixed-sight frame.

    My point:

    You have to seat the boolets in deeper when shooting them in an “N” frame, compared to say a “K” or “L” frame gun. From memory... I seated them in the top groove.

    When shooting a Heavier Lyman’s 170SWC, I was crimping on the upper most drive band.

    I DK is that helped, any?!


    With regards,
    357Mag

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I may be wrong but I figure if im gonna have to buy a gas check im gonna get all i can out of it I load that bullet with pretty hefty dose of alliant mp 300 seated in the bottom crimp groove in starline 357 magnum cases with a cci 500 in a blackhawk and it loves’em! I have shot them other ways but that is the one that sticks out in my mind and I dont have my data book in the house. I just about guarantee its all you can get out of a 357 magnum with that weight of bullet.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    It's extremely common for reloaders to read/use "generic data" and apply it to specific bullets.

    Alliant uses 3.6gr of bullseye for "their" 158gr lswc data
    Alliant also uses 2.8gr of bullsyeye for "their" lwc data

    Lyman
    311156 ='s 4.0gr bullseye
    358091 ='s 3.5gr bullseye

    HUGE differences in loads!!! Why???

    Because alliant uses speer (same corp owns both companies) swaged lead bullets
    lyman uses the bullets the sell molds for

    An excellent example:
    Alliant listed a 148gr lwc in their 2005 catalog with 2.8gr bullseye. By 2012 they listed a speer 148gr hbwc 3.1gr. Back in the day alliant put this out, there were too many kabooms with 38spl/wc's/bullseye.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Note that the 2.7gr load of bullseye is only 8,700psi with a cast wc. But yet their 2005 manual lists the 2.7gr load/148gr lwc as 14,600psi.
    Page #42
    http://castpics.net/LoadData/Freebie...liant_2005.pdf

    What's all of this have to do with the 358156 bullet?
    The design of that bullet.

    Every bullet I've ever used in the 38spl that had multiple lube grooves/multiple small drive bands always used more powder than their large drive banded counterparts/large bearing surfaced bullets. The 3 lube grooved button nosed wc is a classic example of this. Don't think so??? Take a cast 148gr button nosed wc and do the standard 3.5gr /bulleye load crimped in the crimp groove. Then take some speer 148gr hbwc's & turn them around (hb out like a hp). use that same 3.5gr load and seat them to deep enough to get the same case capacity as the cast wc's. Same bullet weight, same case capacity, same load, real eye opener.

    Older bullet designs used the multiple lube grooves/small drive bands. The lube wasn't the greatest & the trade off was bullet performance. The bullets do as they are supposed to do, compress pushing the lube outward & forward. The more the bullet collapses/compresses, the more energy (pressure from the load) it absorbs. Of these 8 bullets pictured, the bullet (bottom center) has the worst performance. It was designed in the 40's, called the cramer "hunter" bullet designed for the 357. The small drive bands and multiple lube grooves are the cause. Even though the same powder charges were used & the "hunter" bullet used more case capacity than some of those other bullets (less case capacity ='s more pressure), it had the poorest performance.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Swaged bullet data shouldn't even be in the same universe as cast bullet data. But yet that's what reloaders keep parroting/using. The 358156 bullet design is what allows it to use more powder safely.

    I like to use the 358156 bullets in short bbl'd revolvers with the traditional/lyman recommended 1.460" oal/crimped in the top lube groove. These bullets seal quickly giving good performance the short bbl's (2"/3") 38spl's.

    An interesting test:
    Load test loads using p+ 38spl data and the lyman 358156 bullet. Load 20 rounds using gc's on the bullet & 20 rounds without the gc. Run them over a chronograph in a snub nosed revolver (+/- 2").

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Rodfac's Avatar
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    I never had great accuracy (less than 2" gps at 25 yds from a seated, rested position with issue sights), until I pushed that 358256GC boolit a bit. I've had great success with 2400 however in mid-level loads....~13.5 gr of 2400 in magnum brass with the boolit seated in the top groove and with a healthy crimp. That's a 1150+fps load from my 4" Smith M-19 or Ruger 4-5/8" bbl'd FT Blackhawk. As always, and with any loads listed here, check a manual, do the math and consider all pressure implications if you're interested in trying them.

    Sizing is everything, and it's the throat match that matters most in my estimation...In my use, I size all my .357/.38 Spl boolits as close to 0.360" as the mold will allow. That sizing also works extremely well with my Marlin 1894S carbine. With that gun, and with a 2.5x scope mounted low on the receiver, I've had lots of 1-1/4" gps at 100 yds. It's a hellofa deer load as well as a target queen. For the most part, I'm a WW+1% tin guy and lube with 50/50...but have found that LLA works almost as well at target velocities.

    GC's work well with that 13.5 gr of 2400 load, but one of my molds for it has an over sized base band that requires flaring the check before seating. Without the flare, accuracy suffers and it's a PITA to do. My best accuracy with the carbine, however is with that mold and a flared check.

    Mihec's copy of 358156 is a good one...and the penta hp's are as accurate as the solid ones. For the HP's, I alloy them 1/3, Pb to WW and get good expansion in water...but haven't had an opportunity to try them on the local woodchuck population.

    In a cpl of 38 Special Chief's Special Smiths with 1-7/8" bbls, 358156 w/o GC works well with 231 and gives good defensive accuracy out to 10 yds...~1"+ gps from a Weaver stance are the norm. From a 3" target sighted Smith M60, the 13.5 gr load of 2400 is a handful, but gives superb accuracy and makes up into a nice woods loafing light weight combination on the belt. That stout load is not, however an all day at the range proposition unless you have gorilla mitts and a high pain tolerance.

    Lastly, I've never run short of Magnum brass so have never tried the lower crimping groove with 38 Spl. brass, though Skelton wrote long ago that it was equal to his Magnum loads with the same charge weights of 2400.

    HTH's Rod
    Last edited by Rodfac; 06-03-2018 at 10:46 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    The downside to seating the bullet out is it makes the cartridge more susceptible to wide velocity swings due to shifting powder position because more space to shift exists.

    This may or may not matter depending upon what you use it in and how the firearm is handled before it is shot.
    Interesting point. I’ll have to compare the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    The fun part about that data is with the other 158-160 boolits listed in that manual the max is 3.5 or slightly less. The data for the 358156 was for the boolit seated long.
    That boolit has a reputation for performing better with faster loads. I don't use it in my 38 specials. I do use it in my 357mag, gas checked and running about 1200fps. It works great there.
    Actually that Lyman data is not for that bullet seated long. It’s for that bullet seated to the top crimp groove. Which is why I thought it was weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
    It's extremely common for reloaders to read/use "generic data" and apply it to specific bullets.

    Alliant uses 3.6gr of bullseye for "their" 158gr lswc data
    Alliant also uses 2.8gr of bullsyeye for "their" lwc data

    Lyman
    311156 ='s 4.0gr bullseye
    358091 ='s 3.5gr bullseye

    HUGE differences in loads!!! Why???

    Because alliant uses speer (same corp owns both companies) swaged lead bullets
    lyman uses the bullets the sell molds for

    An excellent example:
    Alliant listed a 148gr lwc in their 2005 catalog with 2.8gr bullseye. By 2012 they listed a speer 148gr hbwc 3.1gr. Back in the day alliant put this out, there were too many kabooms with 38spl/wc's/bullseye.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Note that the 2.7gr load of bullseye is only 8,700psi with a cast wc. But yet their 2005 manual lists the 2.7gr load/148gr lwc as 14,600psi.
    Page #42
    http://castpics.net/LoadData/Freebie...liant_2005.pdf

    What's all of this have to do with the 358156 bullet?
    The design of that bullet.

    Every bullet I've ever used in the 38spl that had multiple lube grooves/multiple small drive bands always used more powder than their large drive banded counterparts/large bearing surfaced bullets. The 3 lube grooved button nosed wc is a classic example of this. Don't think so??? Take a cast 148gr button nosed wc and do the standard 3.5gr /bulleye load crimped in the crimp groove. Then take some speer 148gr hbwc's & turn them around (hb out like a hp). use that same 3.5gr load and seat them to deep enough to get the same case capacity as the cast wc's. Same bullet weight, same case capacity, same load, real eye opener.

    Older bullet designs used the multiple lube grooves/small drive bands. The lube wasn't the greatest & the trade off was bullet performance. The bullets do as they are supposed to do, compress pushing the lube outward & forward. The more the bullet collapses/compresses, the more energy (pressure from the load) it absorbs. Of these 8 bullets pictured, the bullet (bottom center) has the worst performance. It was designed in the 40's, called the cramer "hunter" bullet designed for the 357. The small drive bands and multiple lube grooves are the cause. Even though the same powder charges were used & the "hunter" bullet used more case capacity than some of those other bullets (less case capacity ='s more pressure), it had the poorest performance.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Swaged bullet data shouldn't even be in the same universe as cast bullet data. But yet that's what reloaders keep parroting/using. The 358156 bullet design is what allows it to use more powder safely.

    I like to use the 358156 bullets in short bbl'd revolvers with the traditional/lyman recommended 1.460" oal/crimped in the top lube groove. These bullets seal quickly giving good performance the short bbl's (2"/3") 38spl's.

    An interesting test:
    Load test loads using p+ 38spl data and the lyman 358156 bullet. Load 20 rounds using gc's on the bullet & 20 rounds without the gc. Run them over a chronograph in a snub nosed revolver (+/- 2").

    Good point. I am very big on comparing bearing surface length when working up loads and cross referencing data with similar bullet designs. I’m glad you posted that wadcutter picture because it’s one of my favorites and I reference it all the time.
    In this case I was referencing the data for that exact bullet from the manual. I was just surprised at how they loaded it.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    When comparing the difference, test with powder deliberately shifted to the base of the bullet before the shot, and deliberately shifted toward the primer. Possible variation will not be known unless you induce said positioning.

    Or in other words, if ya wanna know, you gotta make it happen.

    For an inverted HB wadcutter to occupy the same case volume as a cast wadcutter, of similar weight and configuration (except it does not have the hollow cavity but rather is solid based) the inverted HB wadcutter will have to be seated out of the case a bit more as it is longer for the same weight.

    This is different than when loaded conventionally.
    Last edited by 35remington; 06-02-2018 at 11:00 AM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I load mine EXACTLY like Rodfac: "I never had great accuracy (less than 2" gps at 25 yds from a seated, rested position with issue sights), until I pushed that 358156GC boolit a bit. I've had great success with 2400 however in mid-level loads....~13.5 gr of 2400 in magnum brass with the boolit seated in the top groove and with a healthy crimp."

    I only use the 358156 in .357 Magnum revolvers and only with close to full power loads and gas-checks. I have gone higher than 13.5gr of 2400, but that load works the best for me and in my guns.

    For .38 Special loads I use mostly the 358477, but the 357446 and 358429 (all plain-base) also do well. Except for when I use hollow-base target wadcutters, I only use full power to +P .38 Special loads with the ones listed above.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check