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38 special HBWC loads

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jjfitch
bruce martindale
ermakevin
Colt711
noylj
Eindecker
Rinspeed
tomd999
james r chapman
Jeff Porter
14S&W
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S148
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L. Boscoe
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Post by L. Boscoe 12/13/2023, 7:18 pm

Have read most of the posts on this topic, still don't have an answer to the question about bulkier
powders vs something like VV 310.
I have on hand W 231, VV 320, VV310 and a tad of Bullseye. Also have 148 gr HBWC coated bullets.
Seeing that the cartridge was developed for black powder in the old days, and reading stories about
how one should tilt the pistol up before firing, I thought it a good idea to ask the wise ones about
which of the above would be  the best for my BE shooting out of a SW52 and possibly a SW 686.

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Post by Wobbley 12/13/2023, 7:42 pm

2.7 grains of Bullseye is THE  classic load for a 38 148 WC reload.  Other powders similar in burn rate to Bullseye have similar loads; these are Accurate No 2, WST, TiteGroup, 310, and some other powders.  Ages ago, Ken Waters of Handloader magazine did a Pet Loads article on the 38 WC loads.  He found that 231, Green Dot and Unique could give good results.  I loaded 3.5 Unique in one of my first batches of WC loads because it was the powder on hand.  But I soon bought a pound of Bullseye.   NOw I load WST as often as Bullseye.  YMMV
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Post by S148 12/13/2023, 8:47 pm

L. Boscoe wrote:Also have 148 gr HBWC coated bullets.

Where did you get the coated 148 grain HBWC bullets?

S148

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Post by Wobbley 12/13/2023, 9:11 pm

S148 wrote:
L. Boscoe wrote:Also have 148 gr HBWC coated bullets.

Where did you get the coated 148 grain HBWC bullets?
Bear Creek 148;HBWC are coated with a dry film lube rather than wax.
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Post by Kp321 12/13/2023, 10:40 pm

I have had very good luck with 3.0 gr. of 231 and a Magnus HBWC bullet. Sadly I have used up my stash of Remingtons.

Kp321

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Post by 14S&W 12/14/2023, 7:38 am

Bullseye is the powder I started with back in the days of PPC.  During a shortage of Bullseye many years ago I switched to 3.1-3.2 grains of 231 and found it to be as accurate as Bullseye.  I have used Delta Precision, Zero, and Hornady HBWC’s and all shot equally well. I think it might be interesting to try some Vihtavouri powders but I have an 8# jug of 231 to work on first.

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Post by Jeff Porter 12/14/2023, 10:21 am

2.7 WST and a lead HBWC in .38 spl seated just a smidge over flush is awesome in my 6" 686.  I can't get the plated Berry's to match the groups but still inching up the velocity on those. 

I ordered a box of the Bear Creek 148 HBWC coated earlier this week and hope they show up today so I can give them a go tomorrow.

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Post by james r chapman 12/14/2023, 11:13 am

I’ve never heard,or seen, a bullseye success story using Berrys plated bullets.

Just sayin
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Post by tomd999 12/15/2023, 12:38 pm

james r chapman wrote:I’ve never heard,or seen, a bullseye success story using Berrys plated bullets.

Just sayin
Hiya,

The best story I have about Berry's plated 148 HBWC's is I once removed 9 of them from an 8-3/8" Model 27, I guess the owner figured since they normally didn't hit the target, nothing was wrong when there were no holes, until the cylinder wouldn't turn.

For the S&W 52, here's what I used to load and what I load now:

Then: Remington and Hornady 148 HBWC: Hercules era Bullseye, 2.7 or 2.8 with a light roll crimp. Results: Great at 25, most showed yaw/skidding at 50. 

Now: Saeco 148 BNFB, Short line: 2.8g WST, long line 3.0g WST, taper crimp seated so .020" of the button protrudes beyond the case. These loads run the gun well and the yaw/skidding is reduced at 50. The different velocity also reduces the drop at 50 so I can simply "think" them into the center at 50 without cranking the screw a lot.

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Post by Rinspeed 12/31/2023, 12:38 pm

14S&W wrote:Bullseye is the powder I started with back in the days of PPC.  During a shortage of Bullseye many years ago I switched to 3.1-3.2 grains of 231 and found it to be as accurate as Bullseye.  I have used Delta Precision, Zero, and Hornady HBWC’s and all shot equally well. I think it might be interesting to try some Vihtavouri powders but I have an 8# jug of 231 to work on first.





I switched to 231 as well several years ago and I'm pretty sure it's just as accurate as Bullseye.  I usually use 3.0 grains even of 231.

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Post by 14S&W 12/31/2023, 1:45 pm

I will try 3.0 next loading session and will chrono them. I am also going to finish off the meager amount of Bullseye I have since 231 has pretty much replaced it.

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Post by Rinspeed 12/31/2023, 7:44 pm

14S&W wrote:I will try 3.0 next loading session and will chrono them.  I am also going to finish off the meager amount of Bullseye I have since 231 has pretty much replaced it.





Should be right around 750 FPS, let us know how it works out.

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Post by Eindecker 12/31/2023, 10:13 pm

Rinspeed wrote:
14S&W wrote:I will try 3.0 next loading session and will chrono them.  I am also going to finish off the meager amount of Bullseye I have since 231 has pretty much replaced it.





Should be right around 750 FPS, let us know how it works out.


considering that the hodgdon minimum for 148 HBWC and 231/hp-38 is 3.5 grains,  its gong to be very MILD

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Post by james r chapman 1/1/2024, 8:43 am

Eindecker wrote:
Rinspeed wrote:
14S&W wrote:I will try 3.0 next loading session and will chrono them.  I am also going to finish off the meager amount of Bullseye I have since 231 has pretty much replaced it.





Should be right around 750 FPS, let us know how it works out.


considering that the hodgdon minimum for 148 HBWC and 231/hp-38 is 3.5 grains,  its gong to be very MILD
Not many bullseye shooters writing reloading manuals.

Probably why so many written mistakes in them.

Much more empirical data supports bullseye shooters use.

We’re not working at max volume/max velocity like rifle.
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Post by Rinspeed 1/1/2024, 9:27 am

Eindecker wrote:
Rinspeed wrote:
14S&W wrote:I will try 3.0 next loading session and will chrono them.  I am also going to finish off the meager amount of Bullseye I have since 231 has pretty much replaced it.





Should be right around 750 FPS, let us know how it works out.


considering that the hodgdon minimum for 148 HBWC and 231/hp-38 is 3.5 grains,  its gong to be very MILD








I've loaded and shot over 10K of them and yes they are mild, also VERY accurate.

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Post by noylj 1/1/2024, 9:32 am

M52
Had no real success with Hornady, Speer, or other major bullet maker until Remington, then every group, with every powder, at every every powder load under 750 fps was golden.
Now, will have to try Zero.
For my four M52s, coated bullets, cast bullets, and plated bullets were all a disaster until I tried Remington.
I would order Zero bullets or even a small batch of Precision Delta and start with THE Bullseye load.
I find Bullseye, Red Dot, 231, and AA2 to be the best bets. 
For the M52, seat bullet very slightly below case mouth edge and apply very light roll crimp with Redding Profile Crimp die. This is the only time I found one make of die to make a big difference. You want only brass to touch feed ramp--no exterior lead.
Often, 500-600 fps is the sweet spot.

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Post by Rinspeed 1/1/2024, 10:23 am

Zero has them in stock now.  The only ones I've used are Zero and Precision Delta and can't tell much of a difference in quality or accuracy.

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Post by Colt711 1/2/2024, 8:33 pm

Just a bit off the subject, BUT, w/ the current primer situation I will soon be down to 1,000 of CCI small pistol Magnum primers. I am shooting, BE, WST, or Clays in a converted Colt and 9mm 115 grn and of course have the same pdrs available 

Can these primers be used and if so what kind of adjustments should be made?

Thanks for any help you guys can give!

Ron Habegger

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Post by 14S&W 1/2/2024, 10:21 pm

I tried some Federal SP Magnum with a midrange load of N320 in 9mm with a 147 gr TFP. I didn’t chrono it but accuracy improved about 1/2” at 20 yards. I was almost out of standard primers at the time and tried these to see how they would work.

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Post by Rinspeed 1/3/2024, 5:17 am

Colt711 wrote:Just a bit off the subject, BUT, w/ the current primer situation I will soon be down to 1,000 of CCI small pistol Magnum primers. I am shooting, BE, WST, or Clays in a converted Colt and 9mm 115 grn and of course have the same pdrs available 

Can these primers be used and if so what kind of adjustments should be made?

Thanks for any help you guys can give!

Ron Habegger





I've interchanged them a bunch of times and not much of a difference, maybe 15-20 fps.  For midrange loads I wouldn't worry about it, for upper range loads I would probably reduce the load a couple tenths just to be safe.

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Post by ermakevin 1/3/2024, 8:46 am

in addition to BE, I also use 3.0 of Titegroup with 148 Zero heads in my 52.  works good for me. just to add to the discussion.
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Post by bruce martindale 1/3/2024, 9:18 am

Anyone know the true upper limit for speed/ pressure for HBWC heads? Anyone using 3.0 WST with them (800 fps)

Looking at better 50 yard performance in a 52 where the twist is too slow. Ed Hall had an adventure at Perry one year with multiple hits per shot but l don’t recall that being an overload but actually brittle heads

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Post by jjfitch 1/3/2024, 2:46 pm

Colt711 wrote:Just a bit off the subject, BUT, w/ the current primer situation I will soon be down to 1,000 of CCI small pistol Magnum primers. I am shooting, BE, WST, or Clays in a converted Colt and 9mm 115 grn and of course have the same pdrs available 

Can these primers be used and if so what kind of adjustments should be made?

Thanks for any help you guys can give!

Ron Habegger

I've done some testing with Std vs. Mag primers. in 9mm, 135 Grn RNFP at around 1050 fps. My crono showed only around 25 FPS increase on that day. Others have seen similar experience. A google search has loads of data to refer to. Smile
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Post by Cmysix 1/4/2024, 5:34 am

james r chapman wrote:I’ve never heard,or seen, a bullseye success story using Berrys plated bullets.

Just sayin


 Don't ask me where I just ran across it, But I saw a note from Berry themselves that said they wanted their wad cutters{DEWC} at 800 FPS or better
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Post by Jeff Porter 1/4/2024, 11:38 am

I upped my WST charge to get 810 fps and the groups at 25 did tighten up significantly. That and doing a gross sorting by weight to get the worst offenders out of the box.  Luckily my time is not that expensive because I never had to do that with the old star lead wadcutters to get tight groups.

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