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Thread: 158 grain bullet

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    158 grain bullet

    Is it safe to use data from my reloading books on a 158 grain bullet design that weighs 160-162 grains?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    If you don't go full max it will be ok. But keep a close eye on what you are doing.
    Tom
    μολὼν λαβέ


    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I think of load data as guides rather than recipes since we rarely use identical components in identical firearms under identical conditions that were present in the lab. Probably why different manuals have different results and recommended maxes.

    All that being said, the 158 gr data should be a reasonable starting place for load workups.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    Just like the Manuals say; use the starting load and work your way up.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the advice

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    The short answer is yes if you follow the above advice.

    Can you give a little more information? Which cartridge, which gun, which bullet?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Pay attention to bullet bearing surface and seating depth. If they are comparable or the same as book data you mention, you'll be fine. If not, adjust load data accordingly.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold


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    My experience comes from using 158 grain data for 165 grain lead SWC powder coated boolits in a 357. The starting loads were fine. When using powders that produce higher velocities, the brass was hard to extract at the top end. With those powders, I backed off until there were no extraction issues for my max loads.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    WHITETAIL's Avatar
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    +1 on what was said.
    You need to try different powders to find
    the one that works best in your gun.
    The guys and gals here can steer you in the
    right direction as far as powder.
    If you give us more info on the gun, cal,and what you are
    doing with it.
    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!
    Ben Franklin

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    I am shooting a 158 grain rf lee boolit,it is coming out of the mold at 160-164 grains.I am shooting it out of a 357 smith.I think pj and a few of the others have put my mind at ease that it will be safe to shoot if I start with the starting loads with 158 grain data.I am currently using a 105 grain lee section that is coming out of the mold between 105-111 and the 105 grain data is working fine on medium loads.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    My 158 boolits tend to weigh 165 just start low and take care .

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Yep, as noted above by the members, just start with starting loads. Your alloy prolly has more lead in it than the "158" weight designation with Lee's alloy (I have a nice Lee mold for 45 Colt with the advertised weight of 255 gr, but my bullets are running 264 gr. average, with my 20-1 alloy...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks again for the advice.it was very helpful!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    my most accurate loads are below max ,you might find the same . eg max load 2400 14.5gr my most accurate 13.5gr.ymmv

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    One last question....my Lyman book says c.o.a.l. For 158 grain is 1.575 and that’s what I am making it but I noticed the 160 grain right next to it is 1.590,so am I right to go at 1.575 for the overall length?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    The boolit with the 1.590 COAL is a round nose with a different nose shape than the SWC you are loading. Each boolit will have it's own COAL based on which crimp groove you are using if the boolit has more than one, and the shape of the nose.
    Your boolit has a crimp groove, yes? Just crimp the boolit in the crimp groove and go with it. You are going to work up from lower charges anyway so there will be no problems show up until you get to near max loads if any problems show up at all.

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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