bullet mold recommendation for distinguished revolver (38 special)?

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bullet mold recommendation for distinguished revolver (38 special)?

Post by buttstock on Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:32 pm

What would your recommendation be for a bullet mold for a 38 special, distinguished revolver match load (25 yard timed and rapid fire, 50 yard slow fire)?  Of course,  it must be 158 grain, and either round nose or semi-wad cutter design.

I'm looking to put my SW model 14 on the line.  I may wind up buying pre-lubed/cast or swaged bullets in the appropriate design, but I do enjoy casting, sizing, lubing, loading my own rounds.

Lyman/Ideal 358311? RCBS?  Accurate molds? SAECO?  Dare I write Lee Precision?

I would also be interested in your loading data (powder, charge, sizing diameter, lube and resultant accuracy at 25 and 50 yards, and which revolver), if you be willing to share the info.

Thank you in advance.


Posts : 24
Join date : 2012-02-19

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Re: bullet mold recommendation for distinguished revolver (38 special)?

Post by Bill Treanor on Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:31 am

Hi there-

I just legged out in DR this year and here's what I've learned over the past couple of years as I've chased points. After extensive Ransom testing, I found the Zero swaged SWC to be the most accurate by far at 50 yards. I never could get my cast (or commercially cast bullets) to shoot nearly as well. I used 3.3 grains of WST for the long line with this load. For the short line, I used the Lee 158 SWC bullet with tumble lube grooves. I used the 6-cavity mould to cast a BUNCH of these suckers and they shot fine at 25 yards. Plus, the moulds are priced reasonably and you can cast/tumble lube/size very quickly. This afforded me a lot of practice on the short line which was the "low-hanging" fruit for improving my scores. My load for the short line was 3.0 grains of WST.

You want to size your bullets 0.001 to 0.002 over the bore size. It's also a good idea to check your cylinder throats to make sure that their diameter is the same or slightly larger than the bore size. Otherwise, the bullets will be undersized as they enter the barrel and will be less accurate and tend to lead the barrel. I've found that 0.358 sizing works pretty well for most of my .38/.357 revolvers.

Whichever way you go, I wish you the best of luck. I had a lot of fun experimenting with different loads and shooting techniques during this whole process!


Bill Treanor

Posts : 87
Join date : 2011-06-16
Location : Nashville, TN

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Re: bullet mold recommendation for distinguished revolver (38 special)?

Post by Ghillieman on Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:55 am

Not sure my results will work in your S&W, as I'm shooting a Colt, but here it is. So far I've had best results with RCBS mold 82064 RN @ .358 with White Label Carnuba Red lube and 3.5 WST.
I'm working up a load with Unique, I think it has a better burn rate for this cartridge and bullet combo. 3.5 WST just doesn't fill enough of the case and I get an 80fps velocity spread.
Just be sure to push the bullet fast enough to stay stable through 50 yards!

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Join date : 2012-02-14
Location : TEXAS

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Re: bullet mold recommendation for distinguished revolver (38 special)?

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