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After a 15 yr. hiatus I want to start reloading for my J frame model 38-2 Airweight Bodyguard. I have lots of leftover 90 gr lrn. cast bullets from my .380 Lyman mold that I want to use until I relearn the business. They have been Sized & Lubed & measure . 356. I understand that my 38 spl needs .358 cast bullets but I am only shooting at 4 yds & don't care about accuracy at this point. I have tried Bullseye loads from 2.3, 2.5 & 2.7 gr. & all seemed to function from this Non +P gun, however they all leave an unbelievably dirty gun. After much searching on the net of the new powders now available to me I've settled on Trail Boss due to its reputed cleanliness, no chance of double charging & I can get it locally. I have not been able to find any load data for this combination so any & all suggestion & comments are welcome. Please help and Old Timer get back into the GAME.
I have a pretty complete set up, RCBS press, separate primer loader, powder measure, & a beam scale. However I have no chronograph to check results (and none in my near future)
Thanks,
Walvdon
 

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Welcome to the forum Walvdon.

Sounds like we can't talk you out of using that undersized bullet but I'm going to try anyway. The biggest problem you will have, I think, is excessive leading. If the bullet is undersized and not soft enough to obdurate, the burning gasses will get around the base and to the sides, which will deposit lead in the barrel. So my warning to you is to check for leading signs after each cylinder to make sure it is not an issue.

Here is a link to IMR's (Winchester and Hodgdon as well) load data website. Work through the options and they have lots of data available. I even found one bit using you're combination:
OAL Min Max
90 GR. CAST LRNFP IMR Trail Boss .359" 1.325" 3.0 740 7,800 PSI 5.0 904 8,100 PSI

Trailboss is a great powder for just the reasons you talked about. One warning though, do not compress this powder. It does not like to be compressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Forester...Thanks for your Immediate & very helpful info. ( Guess Ya don't sleep a lot also) I will check those links that you suggested. I have been very mindful of the leading problem and have found none with the Bullseye loads, just dirt...dirt...and more dirt. I will be careful with my seating depth.
Walvdon
 

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Those charges of Bullseye should work well - and burn completely with that light bullet. Do they fit snugly in the case, and are they crimped firmly? If not, you should try to form a more robust crimp for better burn....even if you switch to Trailboss. No smokeless powder will get optimum burn with a poor crimp.

xtm
 
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