Question for you with more knowledge... I'm about to load some 200 gr. Cast bullets in 38 special.. my manual calls for a starting load of 2 grs. Of unique powder. .4.3 max. Does this sound right to guy guys. Just seem odd to me.... appreciate your thoughts..john
43rd Lyman manual question
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My Lyman 45th shows 3.0 - 4.1 for a 195 grn lead. Accuracy load is 3.6 and factory dup is 3.8. I am seeing 3.4-3.6 on Load Data. And Venturino, in HL #284, lists a 202 gr at 3.8.
My guess is that when #43 was written there were still folks that had gallery ranges in their basements. A low charge just has to move the bullet out the barrel plus a little bit for a very short range 15-20 feet target. A 200 grain bullet though doesn't make sense to me, a 158 gr. would make more sense. Like I say this is a guess. I'll look and see if I have any older manuals than #43. I think I declined adopting them from my dad's estate....
SAAMI pressures are still like 17,500 PSI/15,000 CUP. It doesn't take much powder to hit that level with a 200 gr bullet.
Ed Harris has done a lot with the .38/200 load.
38/200 load data (castbulletassoc.org)
Cheers from New Zealand
I have been using 5 gr. of unique pushing a 200 gr. powder coated bullet , using 38 special case in a 357 mag pistol the loaded rounds are too long for a 38 special pistol , but they shot great and no signs of pressure in my pistols which are ruger gp-100 and S&W 686-6 but that not to say about your I would sure start low and work up as always.
I also looked at 38-44 data, but didn't see anything for 200 gr.
Lee manual shows start grains: 3.4gr and max 3.6 for Unique.
38 Spl +P start granis: 3.5 gr and max 3.7gr for Unique.
Niether my old Lyman manual nor the new Lyman manual reference a 200gr bullet
A bit of an editorial: The .38 Special 200-Grain 'Police Load' - Shooting Times
WOW! 43! and I thought my old dog-eared 45 was old! For what its worth, It doesn't have a 200 in it either. Heaviest is 195
Just checked my RCBS Cast Bullet Manual, no help there either
The cover is no longer on mine, but I think it's #46; probably bought it in the '70s. It has 200 grain data, but it seems some of the powders are obsolete. I think #44 and #45 have such data also but I'd have to check to be sure. These old manuals may not be too hard to find.
I have the Lyman 45th Edition. Some of the loads in it are too hot! I may use it if I can confirm it in other places.
The article by Ed Harris above is for the .38 S&W, not the Special. However, that data should be okay for post WWII .38 special revolvers.
When I am unsure of data, I use Trail Boss since the maximum load for it is always 100%, and starting loads are 75%.
Dale M. Lock
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