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Thread: Lyman 358429 38 Special High Velocity with Unique

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lyman 358429 38 Special High Velocity with Unique

    I have a Ruger 357 Blackhawk 4 5/8. Iíve been loading for years Lyman 358156 GC SWC 160 grs behind 6.0 grs Unique seated long in 38 Spl brass cases. This has proven to be a very accurate load in my 357 Magnums, more or less between a 38 Spl+P and 357 Mag loading. I have a bunch of Lyman 358429 170 grs - Iíve seen loading data using the same 6.0 grs in older Lyman manuals. Iím considering using 6.0 grs Unique for the 170 gr 358429 as well in new 38 Spl brass cases, marking primers accordingly in red, in my Ruger 357 Blackhawk for an all purpose working load out here in the high desert. Anyone use 6.0 grs Unique with the 358429 in 38 Spl cases out of either your 38-44s or 357 Magnums? I would suspect muzzle velocity approximately 1,000 FPS out of my 4 5/8 inch Ruger but chronograph will tell. Pressure I would suspect to be approx 22k-25k psi

    Please note these loads are for my Ruger 357 Mag, Iím not in anyway suggesting use of them in anyone elseís firearm (s).

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I fully understand that you will confine the cartridges to a Ruger 357 magnum revolver but I strongly urge you to NOT create over pressure loads in 38 Special casings. While the load may be perfectly safe in your gun, it may not be in other guns. Once you assemble that over pressure 38 Special round it could find its way into a 38 Special gun. You know what that round is and you know your marking system but no one else does. Even though it is your ammunition for your guns, the possibility of it ending up in another gun exists.

    With 6.0 grain of Unique in a magnum casing and a 160 grain bullet, you're probably safe in a magnum revolver. With a 38 Special casing and a 170 grain bullet, you are way over the limit. The combination of a heavy projectile and the reduced case capacity will raise pressures significantly.

    It sounds as if you have a supply of 38 Special casings that you are itching to utilize as magnum level cartridges. Don't do it ! Just get some magnum casings and assemble magnum rounds in magnum casings.

    I have engaged in the exact process you are considering and loaded magnum level loads in special casings for use only in magnum revolvers. I believe that action to be irresponsible and I no longer engage in that practice. Simply put, it is an unnecessary risk that can be easily avoided.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    WHITETAIL's Avatar
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    +1 on getting some 357 mag. brass
    and loading according to the load books.
    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!
    Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I also have been shooting +P+ loads using Unique in 38 SPL cases (+P Winchester cases) with cast bullets in 357 Magnum revolvers for years. We and some factories load other cartridges to higher pressure levels than are "recommended" because of "weaker" actions. The 45 Colt, 45-70, 7x57, 32 H&R, 38 ACP and others. For example we do no see the same "caution" in this thread; http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ly-data-sought ...... we ask ourselves "why is it acceptable to load the 45 colt above factory pressure levels for use in stronger guns but not the 38 SPL" ...... seems that has always been an unanswered question.........?

    Rather than cautioning against loading such for your own use and to those who know what they're doing I prefer to caution everyone just not to shoot reloads of unknown make up in any firearm.

    As to your loads they should be fine in your Ruger 357 revolver. However, your estimate of the psi is a bit low. I have pressure tested 6 gr of Unique in R-P cases with a WSP primer under a 150 gr 358477. The psi was 25,200. That load under your heavier 170 gr 358429 will, with little doubt, have a higher psi.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 02-11-2019 at 10:50 AM.
    Larry Gibson

    ďDeficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.Ē
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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    My problem with loading magnum level loads in 38 Special casings is that once you assemble that cartridge it becomes indistinguishable from any other 38 Special round.

    Yes, they are your rounds and Yes, you can mark them somehow - but it's a simple, and foolproof, solution to just use magnum casings to start with.

    I'm guilty of creating 38 Special rounds that were well over 38 Special specs and I used the same justification that I would only shoot them in .357 Magnum guns. I came to the conclusion that there is just no good reason to create that situation if you don't need to.

    The question is not, "can you do it"? Clearly it can be done and is perfectly safe when those rounds are confined to the suitable firearms.
    The question is, "Why do it if you don't need to" ? By using only magnum brass for magnum loads you have one less thing to worry about.

    There are enough things in life that are difficult. I like to make my life simple when I can.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I have been using that load for years never had a problem. back when police used wheel guns most had ,357 guns but the city would not let them use mag loads. we got around that by using that load in .38 cases. I loaded for three different town forces.

    I agree with larry why is it the .38 spl. gets all the warnings ? some body mite use one in a .38 but then it moves on to .45 overloads with out one word caution.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    My friend loaned me this morning copy of Handloader Oct 2016 where Brian Pearce recommends max of 5.5 grs behind 173 gr 358429. He also tested the 358429 starting at 5.8 grs to high of 6.5 grs using Power Pistol...interesting. Of course I’m not recommending these loads and anyone wishing to use them need to consult with the Handloader magazine for its instructions, terms, etc.

    I like Power Pistol in 38 Spl +P using 158 gr SWC’s...using Alliant data 6.0 grs with Speer 158 gr SWC similar to an “entry level” 38-44 loading (chronographed at approx. 975 fps in my 4 5/8 Ruger).

    I do not own any 38 Spl only revolvers and do not “stock pile” 38-44s preferring to load these only 25 rds at a time and the balance (25 rds) 38 Spl +P for a range visit. I rarely shoot 357 Factory loads, preferring my 158 gr SWC 357 Mag mid range loadings with Unique at approx 1,100 FPS in six inch barrel tests (basically duplicates the later 38-44 loads from the 1960s).

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Note - that the Handloader 358429 loads mentioned are 38-44 level loads...again, please refer to Handloader for details. I’m purchasing some back issues of Handloader magazines - great publication

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I too wonder why you just use 38 Special brass, not a lot though because I too have loaded some +P+ loads in my 38 brass. I am the only one that shoots my handloads, and I do not allow anyone else to shoot them, ever. Maybe just a quirk of mine, but I shoot alone, no interference or distractions. I label every batch I load, right after I finish boxing or bagging them as part of my reloading system. I make a label at the start of the session. Haven't mixed up any loads in 30+ years of reloading.

    I don't agree with the "what if someone got your loads and shot them in their gun?". There are 2 ways to get some of my ammo; they can steal it then if their gun blows up, too bad. And if I die, I already have my reloading buddies lined up to scavenge my reloads (with the instructions to break down my handloads for the components). So, no need for me to worry about "what might happen if...".
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Individuals can do whatever they please but I see no reason to make my life more complicated when there is a very simple solution available. Use 38 Special brass for 38 Special loads and use 357 magnum brass for magnum loads. See how simple that is.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    357 brass can be hard to find while 38S brass is pretty common so I dont blame people for using what they have. My 38S load is Lee 130gr RN under 5gr of HP38/W231 and thats only used in my Ruger GP100 MC so no issues there. I use that because I find it to be the most accurate load and its not that hot its maybe +P but that would probably depend on which manual you look at. Many people load hot ammo here and there just make sure you keep track of it and stay safe.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    If you're so short of funds that you can't obtain some 357 mag brass I don't know how you could afford powder & primers.

    If the OP is that hard up for 357 casings I'll send him some.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 02-11-2019 at 06:20 PM.

  13. #13
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    that's one reason I powder coat. I designate a certain color for hot loads.

    I agree with Larry, tear down any hand loads you get unless you know the reloader and trust him with your life because that's what your doing.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I think the gist of this thread was a question about a load for a specific bullet, not if the OP could afford 357 brass. I haven't used the bullet quoted with +P+ loads, but I have loaded a 160 gr Lachmiller SWC over some pretty hefty loads in 38 Special brass. I can afford 357 brass, and have a few hundred, but I chose my load, partly as an experiment and got some fairly good results. I have a Taurus 4" 357 Magnum that just eats them up...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I agree, The gist of this thread is not about what the OP can or cannot afford. I was simply responding to the comment made by marek313 in post #11:

    marek313 wrote, "......357 brass can be hard to find while 38S brass is pretty common so I don't blame people for using what they have.....".

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I take a nostalgic look into my shooting and reloading...I like duplicating the rounds of old as the 38-44. They are fun to shoot and I find these loads in 38 Spl cases to be very accurate at the levels I load. Yes, nothing to do with 357 Mag brass, I have enough and appreciate those offering to send me some, no thanks.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    The 358429 in .38 spl brass over 6 gr. of Unique is a very efficient load, they are the equivalent of the now out of print .38/44 loadings that pre dated the .357.

    John Goins did some very extensive testing loading various bullets and powders his goal was an accurate load that would produce around 1000 fps. The loads were intended for heavy frame guns or those originally chambered in .357 magnum. He found that the 358429 over 6 grains of Unique was very accurate and produced around 1050 fps. He also found that the best result was with bullets sized .3586.

    I have also attached some load data for the .38-44
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks for this thread. I recently bought a like new S&W 19 with a 2 1/2" barrel. The ejector rod is short and 38 Special brass ejects more surely. I am looking for 38-44 level loads for carry loads.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    wgg

    The mod 19 is a fine carry gun, back when I started off as a state trooper in Alaska that was our issue weapon. I carried that gun all of the time and even used it for hunting, my load of choice was a 158 grn SWC in .357 cases over 7 grn. of Unique. The 6 grn., load with the 358429 bullet will do anything you want from a handgun, and extend the life of your mod 19. When I retired I got a commemorative "19", and all I use in it is the .38/44 level loads. The .38/44 loads were very popular with handgun hunters before the .357 came on the scene, the early factory loadings produced around 1100 fps with the 158 grn. bullet, later they were reduced to around 1050 fps.

    There are a number of iterations of the .358429, I have a very old Ideal mold, with the "square" grease ring, that drops a 173 grn bullet in hard alloy, my newer 4 cavity Lyman mold gives me 168 grn., in the same alloy. I do not think you can go wrong with that bullet and the 6 grn., of Unique load. A good choice and good shooting to you..j

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub xrider472's Avatar
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    Here's a great article by John Taffin with load data at the bottom that may help. I've been using the exact load you're asking about for years in my GP100. Great load.

    http://www.sixguns.com/tests/tt38spcl.htm

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