43rd Lyman manual question

  • Last Post 23 May 2023
  • Topic Is Solved
2frogs posted this 01 January 2023

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

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oscarflytyer posted this 01 January 2023

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.

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MarkinEllensburg posted this 01 January 2023

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....

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358156hp posted this 01 January 2023

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.

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JeffinNZ posted this 01 January 2023

Ed Harris has done a lot with the .38/200 load.


38/200 load data (castbulletassoc.org)


Cheers from New Zealand

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Fitzpatrick posted this 02 January 2023

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.

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358156hp posted this 02 January 2023

I also looked at 38-44 data, but didn't see anything for 200 gr.

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Bill2728 posted this 21 January 2023

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

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lotech posted this 21 January 2023

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. 

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Clod Hopper posted this 23 May 2023

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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