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Thread: Skeeter’s 357 magnum load 358156 w/2400 in 38 SPL Cases

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    With magnum level loads in DA revolvers I wear a PAST shooting glove......yeah, I'm getting soft in my old age....or perhaps, wiser....
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    I have a S&W M13 that mostly sees mild 38 SP rounds. The last time I shot it, I used 357 loads, Lee C358-158 HP (bought back when they still made HP molds) and the Lee 358-158 RF. I ran both of those at around 1250 fps. Sure, I could push them harder, but I always figured if I needed more 'oomph' I could just shoot the S&W M57 8 3/8". Not shy of recoil I still put Hogue Monogrips (rubber) on both the M13 and the M57. Loads that hurt with factory grips were nicely tamed according to my Dad. Granted, his M57 is only 4", but we did swap grips on our guns so he could see.

    Grips can make a big difference. Heck, I even offered to get Mike Hogue to make monogrips out of whatever wood Dad wanted but Dad declined. The standard grips on my M13 were only used on it's first range day, and were swapped out at the range. I already had them from a previous .357 I had owned.

    Main thing is, I have shot the Skeeter loads, just not my gun (I didn't have one at the time) but a friend wanted me to try his Skeeter loads, listed loads at the time. He also had some smoking Blue Dot loads, but they were for a TC Contender. Alliant does not recommend use of Blue Dot 357 loads now after it was re-formulated some time back. Too many K frames suffered extensive flame cutting on the top strap with the 357 125 grain JHP load. The factory rep said the 158 load was okay, just that the 'hot 125s' his words had a different pressure pulse or spike according to their tests.

    Nowadays, I just load a lot of 125 RN loads over 5 gr of Unique as it is a great 'new shooter' load. That and I like them, they kill tin cans.
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  3. #23
    Boolit Master

    ddixie884's Avatar
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    More good data, Larry. Thanx for your labor, efforts and the trouble of writing it up to share with us. You are still da man............
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    gary@2texastrucks.com
    Gary D. Peek

  4. #24
    Boolit Man
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    I have a question ? Larry mentioned on the " ladder " load data of crimping in the " 2nd " crimp groove . I am assuming he meant the upper most crimp groove by the OAL measurement he listed . Skeeter Skeltons load , if I have read his articles correctly in the past used the lower crimp groove , allowing more case capacity using 38 special cases , allowing approximately the same case capacity as if loaded in a 357 magnum case . I have shot a boat load of the Lyman 358156 loaded on top of 13.5 grs of 2400 powder using the lower crimp groove in 38 special cases . I never felt the recoil severe nor that it was a high pressure round . It was though --- very accurate . For years I shot them out of my 4 " K-frame 19 . A very sweet combo . Regards Paul

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    FYI, the second crimp groove is the lower crimp groove. The data listed with the 358156 seated in the 38 SPL cases were seated to AD crimped in the second/lower crimp groove as shown in the photo.......the middle cartridge.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 01-13-2021 at 01:33 PM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  6. #26
    Boolit Master


    Walks's Avatar
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    Thank You, Love the Past Shooting Glove. Hear they are discontinued.

    I shot many of the 11grs - 2400 with the #358156 seated in the 2nd crimping groove in My Dad's late 1950's Colt OP.
    And many more of the 13.5 load in a S&W M19.
    Those were "Younger" days.
    Don't shoot any Warm loads in any .38Spl chambered revolver these days.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  7. #27
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    SSGOldfart's Avatar
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    Thanks well done again.

    Airborne
    I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
    Paralyzed Veterans of America

    Looking for a Hensly &Gibbs #258 any thing from a two cavity to a 10cavity

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you for doing that research. It is way beyond my ken to accumulate but I can learn from hour reports.

    I loaded many thousand of the Skeeter load and shot them in numerous Magnum revolvers, mostly through my old Model 27-4. About 4 decades ago, I started to switch to the 45 ACP cartridge in my N frames and stopped using the load. But, I pre-inherited a S&W 38/44 Heavy Duty and wanted to shoot it with full power loads. Found some of my old Skeeter Loads! What a hoot!

    I while keep several hundred on hand for this 1950 revolver!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I need new photos, I have replaced the non original stocks with elk magnas and a grip adapter.

    Kevin
    Knowledge I take to my grave is wasted.

    I prefer to use cartridges born before I was.

    Success doesn't make me happy, being happy is what allows me to be successful.

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy
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    Mr. Gibson- Your load of 12.5 gr. of 2400 sure seems "hot" enough for anybody, and shows a lot less pressure variation than the other loads tested. The 13.5 gr. load has been extolled in print for accuracy but your 12.5 gr. one suggests maybe MORE accuracy potential; could you please comment on whether you find one to shoot straighter than the other? Thank you for your very helpful work on these measurements! Bob

  10. #30
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    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Back in the late '60s through mid '70s when I shot a lot of the 358156s loaded over 2400 in 38 SPL cases I shot them in 2 Ruger BHs (4 5/8 & 6"), a Colt Trooper 4", couple 4" S&W 28s and a 6" Hawes Western Marshal. I could also shoot a lot better back then with steadier hands and sharper eyes. I always found the 12.5 gr load to be more accurate than Skeeter's 13.5 gr load. In this last test (50 yards) the test Contender barrel had the 4X scope and the Ruger Security Six had factory iron sights. Both loads were pretty close to the same on target with both loads (sorry, didn't measure the target groups) out of the Contender test barrel.......probably around 2" for the 10 shots. Still the 12.5 gr load shots from the Ruger held 10 ring on the 50 yard NRA pistol bullseye which, again, is about as good as I do these days.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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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