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Thread: 358429 Cont.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    358429 Cont.

    I got a chance to test some loads today. This is continued from my last thread 358429. I tried 25 yd shooting with my 6" GP100. My loads are 3.5, 3.7, 3.9, 4.1, and 4.3 grains of TG, Federal 100 primers, and GT bullets 175 gr SWC cast at 2-2-96. [BHN 12] The bullets are loaded in 357 mag brass with an OAL of 1.635". The revolver was shot with my wrist on sandbags and no part of the gun touching anything. The 3.5 load shot a pattern not a group approx. 7-8". Next the 3.7 and 3.9 gr loads were not much better coming in about 4"-5". When I tried the 4.1 gr load it shot 1-1 1/4". The last load of 4.3 gr was again approx. 5" grouping. After those I fired my control load of 3.5 gr TG, same primer, and a Missouri Bullet 180 Pugnose powder coated with a 18 BHN. These bullets averaged 1-1 1/4". The results are strange to me. I don't understand how the groups were so bad until the 4.1 gr load and after I exceeded this load with the 4.3 gr load it was back to shooting so bad. There was no gradual curve to the test. Four of the loads shot bad and only one shot really well. The reason I shot the 180 gr bullets was to make sure it wasn't my shooting. In the past I have shot RimRock 170 Keith bullet [BHN 15] loaded at this same length with great results but, I ran them a lot faster and they shot very well. I have also loaded them with A2400 and an OAL 1.553" at 1395 fps. and they were accurate. I will try the 4.1 gr load again and also 4.5 and 4.7 gr of TG. The weather here during my shooting was 36 degrees with light rain and snow mixed. Does this small test match any other peoples?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhom View Post
    The revolver was shot with my wrist on sandbags and no part of the gun touching anything.The weather here during my shooting was 36 degrees with light rain and snow mixed. Does this small test match any other peoples?
    Not how I would test loads. Just saying.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
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    How many rounds were shot? It is possible to shoot a decent group amongst poor ones purely by chance if not many groups per load are shot.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I place no faith whatever in a single 5- or 6-shot group. If I want to see how well a revolver shoots I fire not less than ten shots in a group, 12 if it's a six shooter. There are no "lucky" ten or 12-shot groups, but if you can fire a cylinder load from a clean barrel, reload and do it again into the same group and the dispersion is circular-normal with a dense center it is a good load. If your handloads shoot to the same point of impact that factory stuff does in your fixed-sight gun, THAT is a bonus!

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 02-11-2020 at 07:26 PM.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I agree completely. I still use 5 shot groups for most of my work ups, but I don't put much faith in them until properly tested. Statistically 5 is worthless, 15 is a little better, 30 is where things start to really matter. Some people still try to pass off 3 shots as a group. That's all this is, statistics. The more data points, the better.

    Personally I chose years ago to use a standard of 5 groups of 5 shots each. I make an exception for revolvers, I always do full cylinders.

    Now to better answer your question, your loads are very slow. I wouldn't be surprised if 3.5 grains TG is doing less than 600 fps. You are shooting a long bullet that is likely not stabilizing at those velocities. As you go up, accuracy should start to get better. My guess is that your 4.1 grain load is just lucky, and maybe your 4.3 gr load is just unlucky. I'd say your results say you are going in the right direction.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    As a start I loaded 5 of each .2 gr level. The only five shots that show any promise were the 4.1 gr level. I also shot a know accurate load last just to verify my shooting that day under those conditions. My goal for this is to find an accurate target load of low to mid level pressure that's also economical to shoot. I know I can run that 170 Keith bullet hard and get great accuracy. My testing is not over it has just begun. The next range session I will load more rounds at 4.1 [probably 25] than 5 each at 4.5, 4.7, and 4.9. My best guess is that the 4.9 gr level is in the 25,000 PSI range and I will stop going higher at that point. As I have mentioned, I have high end loads with 296, IMR4227, and 2400 that shoot really well. So far it seems to me the relatively soft bullets aren't going to work well for light loads. I will post the next results as soon as I get a chance to shoot em.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by dhom View Post
    As a start I loaded 5 of each .2 gr level. The only five shots that show any promise were the 4.1 gr level. I also shot a know accurate load last just to verify my shooting that day under those conditions. My goal for this is to find an accurate target load of low to mid level pressure that's also economical to shoot. I know I can run that 170 Keith bullet hard and get great accuracy. My testing is not over it has just begun. The next range session I will load more rounds at 4.1 [probably 25] than 5 each at 4.5, 4.7, and 4.9. My best guess is that the 4.9 gr level is in the 25,000 PSI range and I will stop going higher at that point. As I have mentioned, I have high end loads with 296, IMR4227, and 2400 that shoot really well. So far it seems to me the relatively soft bullets aren't going to work well for light loads. I will post the next results as soon as I get a chance to shoot em.
    I do same. Pistol powders can change results fast.

    I have great results with Blue Dot and things tightens up as I approached max loads. My cast are 10/12 BHN. (Powder coated)

    Good luck

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have continued on loading in .2 gr increments from 3.5 gr to 4.9 gr loads with no notable accuracy nodes. At first I thought 4.1 and 4.5 gr had some promise but after shooting 20 more of the same, the results weren't very good. The best groups at 25 yds were 2.5"-3". I have no desire to push a fast powder like TiteGroup any higher. At this point I will probably save the 175 Keith bullets for full house loads. Has anyone loaded TG and the Keith bullet in 38 Special brass and obtained good accuracy? [under 1 1/2" atn 25yds.] As a side note, I have loaded TG with other cast bullets such as 158, 155, and 180 gr with very good results. The Keith bullet seems to be finicky.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Oh, this is the keith bullet? For some strange reason my brain was still on the 358627 215 grain SWC. No, the Keith bullet should do with reletively mild loads like you are using. It is not all that finicky. I never was able to get any accuracy with titegroup. You could try another fast powder like 700x or bullseye. I take it you you are trying to make get a more mild load around 800-1100 fps? Mid range powders like Unique would work. Even Bluedot at 7-8 grains will likely work well.

    Plenty of people have got great accuracy with the 358429 in 38 special, so the velocity is not the problem.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    It works well with 2400 and Unique in .38spl at the upper end of the +P pressure range.......
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    Oh, this is the keith bullet? For some strange reason my brain was still on the 358627 215 grain SWC. No, the Keith bullet should do with reletively mild loads like you are using. It is not all that finicky. I never was able to get any accuracy with titegroup. You could try another fast powder like 700x or bullseye. I take it you you are trying to make get a more mild load around 800-1100 fps? Mid range powders like Unique would work. Even Bluedot at 7-8 grains will likely work well.

    Plenty of people have got great accuracy with the 358429 in 38 special, so the velocity is not the problem.
    I think I mentioned that I stuck with one revolver for testing. Changing the revolver might make a difference because the GP100 has a 1to18 twist and a Blackhawk has 1to 16 twist. [or visa versa] I do have 38 Special cases but, I also have a 38 Special. I wanted to stick with 357 Mag cases for that reason. I don't have Blue Dot but, I have 2400 and got remarkable results with it. I also have Unique and it shot well at 6.5 gr with 358429 in one of the revolvers but not both. Would short seating this bullet be of any benefit? If so, what kind of crimp should be applied?

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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