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Thread: Lyman 358429 38 Special High Velocity with Unique

  1. #61
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    A bit off topic, I did a lot with the .45 Colt. In any of the heavy frame guns, such as the big frame Blackhawk, Redhawk, Super Redhawk and some of the other .45 Colt guns that are now of print, you can easily surpass the performance of the .44 magnum and do it with less pressure. Here is a link to an article by John Linebaugh, probably the best authority on the topic.

    https://www.johnlinebaughcustomsixguns.com/writings

  2. #62
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    I really don't get it. I have a friend OBSESSED with trying to get 45 Colt to become 44 Magnum. He has his Blackhawk and his Brazilian clone Win 92. So it is fine for him. But why not just get a 44 Magnum? That way when someone (maybe after you DIE) takes that 45 Colt and slips it into their weak Italian repro it doesn't blow up. That way you are assured the brass is up to the job. That way you are sure that the rifle can take that pressure. Marlins in particular have thin chamber walls at the threads to begin with (even in 44). Running a 45 at 44 pressure is NOT a good idea.

    44 Magnum is a great cartridge primarily because once you go beyond it you are going into crazy territory in terms of recoil and design. I've fired 375 Winchester, 454 Casull, and 500 Magnum handguns. 44 Mag is the tipping point for me. There is reason why Keith started with 44 Special and NOT 45 Colt when he created the big bore magnum. I find 44 full house loads unpleasant even in heavy normal handguns (like the Blackhawk I used to own). What I really needed to do instead of ditching the 44 was just load it more moderately, but I was loading 44 primarily for my Marlin. So the whole two gun thing didn't work. If I loaded it to make good use of that long barrel, it was unbearable in the Blackhawk. If I loaded it to be bearable in the Blackhawk it was too slow/low SD to shoot flat penetrate to 150 yards. The ONLY deer I ever wounded and lost was to a 44 Magnum with a too-light bullet at too long of range.

  3. #63
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    The SAMMI pressure limit for the .45Colt is 14,000# the primary reason for that is there are still some black powder 1873 Colts and other guns of that ilk, that are safe at those pressures.

    The old heavy frame Rugers, the Blackhawl and the "first generation" Vaqueros were safe and strong enough to withstand loads well up into the 30,000 range. There used to be lad data for those loadings with the appropriate caveats attached.

    When Ruger went to their new Vaquero, which are built on the .357 magnum frame, that data was dropped from the newer manuals. A point here is that both the Flattop .45 ( a short run) and the Vaquero on the same frame are/were offered in a convertible model with a .45ACP cylinder. Those guns are rated to use .45ACP +P ammunition. (SAMMI pressure 21,000) the Colt loads can approach those pressures safely and realize a significant improvement over standard pressure loadings.

    There are numerous articles about improving on the .45 Colt, appropriate load data and laboratory tested pressure ratings. We got into hand loading so we did not have to shoot factory loaded ammunition, there would be no magnum calibre fire arms with out those folks who pushed the established boundaries.

    I do not advocate "hot rodding" any calibre, and the old standard .45Colt loadings are in actuality not far below the .44 magnum in field performance. The original 1873 black powder load of 40 gr. of powder produced 1000+ fps with a 255 grn bullet in a 7.5" 1873 Colt.

    Some of us can only afford one hand gun, so knowing it's capabilities and having some "just in case" ammunition is quite practical.

    I started loading for the .45 Colt back in 1975, old age is catching up with me and shooting those 350 gr., loads is not as much fun as it used to be. These days I tend to shoot more .38s and 9mms than the heavy stuff. I still have some of the heavy loads for the .45Colt and the next time I run into a rampaging Cape Buffalo in the wilds of Oregon I am ready..

  4. #64
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    A lot of people comment on "what's going to happen if someone puts your overloaded cartridges in their prewar gun?" i use +p cases for my 38-44 loads so the I can keep track, but that's just because I have a dozen other 38s. But no one should be putting strange reloads in their guns and expecting anything besides disaster. If I buy or otherwise find reloads, I break them down for components. But I don't think I need to restrain my loads on the odd chance that someone is going to find them and use them. I have been on the range 2 or 3 times and have had other people's pistols come apart near me, or next to. THAT is an issue. If you're loading hot, make sure you're clear. It's fine if you blow your gun up, just don't hurt your neighbor. I think there is room and a place for caution, but other people shooting strange rounds is a danger in itself. I don't think I need to worry about that, but others' situations may require different precautions.
    -Mike

  5. #65
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    Mike

    Paco Kelly has an interesting story, he had been using some pretty heavy loads in a 1873 Colt, clone is the term these days. It was one of the Ubertis chambered in .45 Colt. He had some loads that produced 1200 fps, with a 250-255 gr. bullet. He had the loads tested and they were in the 20K range, quite safe in that gun which was also rated for +P .45ACP. Back in the early days of the 454 Casull the ammunition was made up in .45Colt brass. I am sure you can see where I am going with this story. Paco managed to get one of the .454 loads into his Colt copy, it blew the cylinder and removed the top strap. Not being deterred, he got a new cylinder and welded a new top strap in place and continued using the gun for several years.

    Bad things can happen, and it is also possible to be struck by lightening.. Take care..John

  6. #66
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    Back in the days when I lived in the East, and there were lots of wood chucks to shoot at, I grew up on a dairy farm and one of my collateral functions was wood chuck control, lots of history hunting "chucks".. Early on I discovered that relatively pedestrian .38 spl. SWC loads were not very effective, but a good .38 wadcutter was. Woodchucks can be a little hard to anchor.

    Not having a wadcutter mold at the time, I would put a gas check in the 358156 mold at the point of the top driving band, this produced about a 105 gr. WC, made up out of soft lead, with a gas check, and a generous helping of Unique, these loads were very effective on wood chucks.

  7. #67
    This way down in the thread, but I do feel compelled to comment: A rather common theme is why not use 357 brass in the 357 and 38 brass in the 38. Nothing wrong with that. It does somewhat limit your options, but it certainly is the most proper way to do it.

    The crud ring: Not a fan of that, and it is a bit hard to clean, and it should be cleaned fairly often, corrosion tends to form under it if it's left there too long.

    One of the limits on 357 Mag brass, is that it's internal volume is large enough that reduced loads tend to have erratic ignition and accuracy issues. So, if you load with 38 Special cases, a reduced load works better, less volume, consistent ignition, more powder choices. But the 38 Special case has it limitations as well. I've tried to load Cowboy Action (low velocity, low PF) ammunition with 125 grain bullets. My results were rather ordinary at best. So I went down in size again, to 38 Long Colt brass. I can load consistent, reliable and accurate ammunition. I can load 125 gr bullets to about 700 fps with low Es/Sd.

    One of the reasons that a 38 Special with wadcutters works so well is that the WC reduces the internal volume significantly, (no lead or very little lead sticking out of the mouth). It basically converts a 38 Special to a 38 LC. When you load WC bullets in a 357 case, they get funky, a bit erratic ignition, velocity a bit high, for target work. Now a WC cast hard or heat treated, at a good velocity, becomes a stopper. Not much for target work as it is faster than +P+ 38 Special.

    Now before someone chimes in that they load 125's in their 357 to 500 fps with good performance, I'm sure it can be done, but I've not found an easy recipe. Also, I test all my revolver loads over a Chrony, five shots with the powder against the primer, and then 5 shots with the powder against the bullet. So, before you tell me to try such and such a load, please chrono it the same way, 5 powder back, five powder forward and include the results with your load recommendation.

    What brought me to this thread was the 358429. I just bought a used 358429 mold and want to try a mid power/velocity load. I prefer to crimp in the cannelure, and so, when crimped in a 38 Special case, the OAL is 1.523 for my bullet, perfect for my application. I also want to shoot it in my 1873 and the '73 works best with ammunition with a 1.5" to 1.55" OAL.

  8. #68
    Boolit Man ACC's Avatar
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    I don't know if anyone else here has ever seen a fine hand gun blow up, but in my short 65 years I have seen two fine firearms come apart at the seems just because someone wanted to make the 38 special into a .357 magnum by seating the bullet out and going beyond +P.

    One was a S&W Model 10 and a Colt Diamondback. Beautiful guns. Unfortunately they had idiots operating them and now they are junk.

    Want .357 power? Get a .357. Load it down to 1000 fps.

    ACC

  9. #69
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    The recommended seating of the 358429 in .357 brass is on the edge of the first driving band, this equates to the sane col when crimping in the crimp groove of .38 spl brass.

  10. #70
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Van Gelder View Post
    The recommended seating of the 358429 in .357 brass is on the edge of the first driving band, this equates to the sane col when crimping in the crimp groove of .38 spl brass.
    Simply no need to do that, unless you have one of the model 27's or 28's with the short cylinder. As far as I know, almost all recently made .357's have cylinders long enough to crimp the 358429 in the crimp groove. That's how I do it.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by tucumcari_kid View Post
    A lot of people comment on "what's going to happen if someone puts your overloaded cartridges in their prewar gun?" i use +p cases for my 38-44 loads so the I can keep track, but that's just because I have a dozen other 38s. But no one should be putting strange reloads in their guns and expecting anything besides disaster. If I buy or otherwise find reloads, I break them down for components. But I don't think I need to restrain my loads on the odd chance that someone is going to find them and use them. I have been on the range 2 or 3 times and have had other people's pistols come apart near me, or next to. THAT is an issue. If you're loading hot, make sure you're clear. It's fine if you blow your gun up, just don't hurt your neighbor. I think there is room and a place for caution, but other people shooting strange rounds is a danger in itself. I don't think I need to worry about that, but others' situations may require different precautions.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  12. #72
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    Cool

    John:
    Sorry I missed this, I have been checked out with real life. I totally get that this happens, but I bet Paco takes responsibility for his mistakes and that is an excellent point where there WERE no options case wise. Elmer Keith did the same thing with his 38 Colt New Army revolvers and DuPont #80 powder. Keith thought him and the boys were loading them pretty hot and sent some samples to Sharpe who tested them and they came up in excess of (I don't remember exactly) but something in the range of 40,000 PSI - DuPont #80 had a tendency to have sharp (no pun) spikes when overloaded.

    I don't think we are talking about that for the most part because those are on "us" experimenters. But the day to day, if you're a reloader, you need to have caution about what you are doing. If you're loading 357 Mag loads in 38 special cases, you already know there is a potential for problems and must be careful. If you are naturally not careful you probably shouldn't be reloading or shooting near others, I guess. And if you find cartridges in gran pappy's drawer, don't be surprised if they perform differently than you expect.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Van Gelder View Post
    Mike

    Paco Kelly has an interesting story, he had been using some pretty heavy loads in a 1873 Colt, clone is the term these days. It was one of the Ubertis chambered in .45 Colt. He had some loads that produced 1200 fps, with a 250-255 gr. bullet. He had the loads tested and they were in the 20K range, quite safe in that gun which was also rated for +P .45ACP. Back in the early days of the 454 Casull the ammunition was made up in .45Colt brass. I am sure you can see where I am going with this story. Paco managed to get one of the .454 loads into his Colt copy, it blew the cylinder and removed the top strap. Not being deterred, he got a new cylinder and welded a new top strap in place and continued using the gun for several years.

    Bad things can happen, and it is also possible to be struck by lightening.. Take care..John
    -Mike

  13. #73
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    On second or third thought, I think I want a do-over on this thread. I think there is too much going on in the shooting world to expect that you can just put a round in any gun based on what's marked on the case. I have an EMF 357, a EAA Bounty Hunter 357, a 357 Blackhawn, and a Model 28 S&W. You can bet that I would make ammo that I would put in the Smith that should get no where near the EMF. Likewise, 45 colt in a Ruger plus Kirst conversions. Probably need to keep those straight. There just aren't safe bets anymore. The lovely ammo manufaturers used to load to the lowest pressure ceilings so people were "safe" regardless of what they were shooting. That would be a legally insane claim these days, but, more importantly, we have ammo manufacturers that sell to the shooting world equivalent of top fuel dragsters. You simply can't make assumptions that ammo you didn't load or buy yourself, consciously, is safe to shoot in any gun marked with that caliber. Therefore, the OP's point of using 38 Spec brass in 357 rounds is really limited to the discussion of the effectiveness of using the shorter brass and all the technical part of that, and avoiding the issue of "what ifs" because NO ONE should be putting unknown rounds in their guns and pulling the trigger unless they are prepared to dig small pieces of metal out of their face and hands -- far from innocent bystanders. How you mark and store your own special ammo is up to you, certainly be careful, but I can't keep others safe, nor can the ammo manufacturers or other reloaders...
    -Mike

  14. #74
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by USSR View Post
    Simply no need to do that, unless you have one of the model 27's or 28's with the short cylinder. As far as I know, almost all recently made .357's have cylinders long enough to crimp the 358429 in the crimp groove. That's how I do it.

    Don
    I normally use the 358429 in two Blackhawk convertibles and a Marlin M1894 .357 carbine. In my Marlin, the 358429 seated in the crimp groove is too long to feed reliably in the Marlin. So, since I use the ammunition interchangeably, I seat on the forward edge on the driving band. This makes all participants happy.

    I hear all the arguments on this thread about .38s and .357 loads. Some good and some bad and of no concern.

    I have two Blackhawk convertibles, a 4" Python and the Marlin that live in the house along with my wife's Model 15 Smith. I shoot my own ammo and don't sell or give it away. Any of these guns will take the load in question but I try and stick to lighter loads in the Model 15 due to wear and tear.

    All my testing on the old High Speed .38 Loads articled was done with 200 rounds of Winchester, straight case, unplated cases (no cannelure). I encountered one 1/8" neck split in the whole process and that was probably due to brass fatigue from crimping.

    I did a lot of research on that article and my main purpose was to see how good the old .38-44 load really was and to try and duplicate velocities with vintage design bullets.

    Research showed me that .38 Special cases and .357 Magnum cases are all made to the same specs except as to length. The +P is added to Plus P loads to identify the hotter loads.

    If you read that article, you'll see that I stated that I would use them only in .357 Magnum chambered guns. This in itself induces a safety factor into the equation as you have a 1/8" freebore built into the .357 chamber so it's a perfectly safe practice. I wouldn't want to shoot a lot of these in old Model 10 M & Ps or early WWII Colts but for modern guns, a few should be all right and you owe it to yourself not to go crazy in loading hot loads in .38 cases. But, the .38-44 loads at around a 1,000 FPS seem to do all right in modern .357 chambered guns and definitely expand the usage of the .38 Special to a good small game load. Why? I got plenty of .357 cases but I also have a "tater sack" full of .38 Special cases./beagle
    diplomacy is being able to say, "nice doggie" until you find a big rock.....

  15. #75
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by beagle View Post
    I normally use the 358429 in two Blackhawk convertibles and a Marlin M1894 .357 carbine. In my Marlin, the 358429 seated in the crimp groove is too long to feed reliably in the Marlin. So, since I use the ammunition interchangeably, I seat on the forward edge on the driving band.
    A good reason to do that. I only question seating over the driving band and not in the crimp groove when it is not necessary for your particular firearm.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  16. #76
    Boolit Master


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    I enjoyed reading the different opinions about loading .38 Spl cases to levels that are dangerous in the .38.

    I have never done that, though have considered it...but I do not own anything that cannot take .357 pressure loads.

    So why did I even consider it? About 5000 .38 cases I will never use up is one reason. The other reason is I have an 1894 chambered in .38 Spl that would be safe with higher pressure loads.

    Maybe I will load to +P+ levels. They would be safe in all my guns and not blow up a .38 chambered gun if my reloads are ever fired in another gun when I pass on.

    I agree with the comment that people should not use unknown reloads...but I know it happens...and that concerns me.
    Don Verna

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  17. #77
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    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.
    I had not considered the aspect of 38-44 rounds and 38 Special rounds being of identical appearance, but they certainly are! As I do load for both my S&W Heavy Duty (38-44) and also for regular 38 Specials, I can see where it is a good idea to somehow definitely mark the containers of the heavier loads as NOT FOR STANDARD .38 SPECIAL REVOLVERS. Thanks for pointing this out.

  18. #78
    Boolit Master
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    It also feels sort of stupid to have a Model 28 around when you have 358429 / 357 Mag ammo, loaded normally to the crimp groove.



    I just got this mold,I will load it for standard pressure 38 Special only, for my Model 14 which I don't even have yet, paperwork pending.

    I don't have to shoot this bullet in a 586 or 28 at all. Those decisions keep my life relaxed.

  19. #79
    Boolit Master
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    Nice pic Petander. Definitely makes cylinder rotation a bit of a problem.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  20. #80
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    The lyman load data for the 358429 in .357 cases indicates a crimp at the front of the top driving band, just because the original guns were the short cylinder N frame S&W. I colour code my loads, by painting the tips of the bullets. The 358429 was designed for the .38 spl. Elmer Keith loaded that bullet over 13.5 gr. of 2400 and shot them in N frame .38 spls. S&W along with Keith introduced the .38-44 Outdoorsman, which was the precursor of the .357 Magnum. The old Keith load produced some place in the vicinity of 1200 fps., while the factory .38-44 loads were closer to 1100 fps with a 158 gr, lead SWC. Those loadings were offered by Winchester up until about the mid sixties. By then the factory loadings were listed at 1050 fps. The .38-44 did not have a very big following, since the .357 was introduced a few years later.

    The 358429 in .38 spl brass over 6 gr. of Unique is a pretty useful load, and will do pretty much anything you need a hand gun for. I have an old mod 19 with the cut out on the forcing cone, that is all I shoot in that gun.

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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