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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, let me preface this by saying I know nothing of reloads. I have a friend who has been reloading various magnum rifle rounds for decades, and he said he would give .38 special a try.

When firing, the reloads seem to have noticably less recoil than standard commercial .38 special (in this case Remington was the comparison). I noticed also that the there seems to be a quantity of unburned powder, and the when the bullet hits the target it tears the paper rather than leaving a clean hole. I don't think that's the definition of a 'keyhole' because I can see the round imprint of the lead bullet - it just tears one side on the hole. A big tear - almost an inch.

The load label says:
148 grain HBWC
5 gr. Hodgson HS-6
Reloaded: 1

What do you experts think the problem could be?
 
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Silly question...

But what gun was this reload developed for?
And what are you shooting it in...?

And by the way, Welcome to the Forum... :)

giz
 

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The Hodgdon load data calls for between 4.5 to 5.2 grains of HS-6 for a 148 HBWC. The bullet sounds like it is not stabilizing or tumbling like mentioned above. Are you getting any leading in the bore after shooting them?
 

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Again welcome to the S&W Forum! :)

HS-6 can be a great gunpowder for .38 Special, but it works best in moderate and +P loads. Extremely light target loads don't develop enough pressure for complete burn of that particular powder.

This is just my opinion, but I will not shoot someone else's handloads in any of my firearms. Unless I'm there to watch each and every step for each and every cartridge, I'm not willing to risk life, limb, or an expensive firearm to one of their booboos. I don't care how much reloading experience they have. :| I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's something you should consider...

xtm
 

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xtimberman said:
Again welcome to the S&W Forum! :)

HS-6 can be a great gunpowder for .38 Special, but it works best in moderate and +P loads. Extremely light target loads don't develop enough pressure for complete burn of that particular powder.

This is just my opinion, but I will not shoot someone else's handloads in any of my firearms. Unless I'm there to watch each and every step for each and every cartridge, I'm not willing to risk life, limb, or an expensive firearm to one of their booboos. I don't care how much reloading experience they have. :| I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's something you should consider...

xtm
Same way here. I won't shoot others reloads and I won't reload for anybody. We are all human and can make a mistake. If one of my loads ever goes thermonuclear, better with me than someone that might sue my backside off. Not that anyone here would sue over a kaboom, but just sound advise to live by.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the replies and the warm welcome.

I'm shooting the reloads in a 4" 586-4 and a GP100. Both pretty stout revolvers. Not immune to a kaboom I know, but it's not like I'm shooting them in a Taurus ;). I have not noticed any excessive leading in the barrel, although obviously more than the factory semi-jacketed stuff. I am using these as a target load at 15 yards, that is what he loaded them for. Maybe they are a bit under-loaded.

As far as reloads, these are the only ones I would shoot. I see reloads at guns shows, loose in ammo cans with various maker headstamps and wonder who would buy them, but I guess people do. I get the feeling that a lot of the brass for these is scrounged from the gun range. I haven't even tried 'factory reloads' whatever those are.

I think I may eventually get into reloading myself, or at least learn to do it on borrowed equipment. .38 special is almost non-existant in this area, and so far all I have done is supplied some used brass and primers so my cost is essentially zero.

Thanks again for the replies.

R/
Jonathan
 

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Bobw is correct about learning the basics.

A couple of observations:

If the target paper is just hanging without a backer, you will often get the tearing you mentioned. Try it with a cardboard backer.

Second, 38 special has a wide range of power level. From mouse farts to pretty stout so the differing recoil level is not really anything to be concerned with.
 

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My opinion is you really should read several books on reloading, know them in and out and reload your own. You can always ask your friend for info or maybe he can help kljng; you by your side but your own understanding about the max pressure of whatever cartridge your loading for can go a long way when it comes to being safe.

Good luck in your adventures Gunners
 

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My opinion is you really should read several books on reloading, know them in and out and reload your own. You can always ask your friend for info or maybe he can help kljng; you by your side but your own understanding about the max pressure of whatever cartridge your loading for can go a long way when it comes to being safe.

Good luck in your adventures Gunners
Please Read!!!!!!!
Lyman reloading manual Handbook 49th edition
Hornady 7th edition.
Richard Lees Reloading manual to start. They are not that inexpensive
These are some good ones to start, You will have about $75.00 or more unless you can can get them cheaper used. I would suggest until you read these and understand your loads buy store made ammunition. I would hate for you to get hurt and your buddy to feel guilty for hurting you. Once you start making loads for a 357/38 you will have a lot of fun. I have a lot of 1911 9mm 45ACP and other 9mm handguns and the one I enjoy the most is my S&W 686 357. I can shoot very fun HBWC and I can also shoot 158 grain Hornady at 1400 FPS That are a great hard hitting bullet at 75 yards using my Red Dot mounted on the Smith 357 shooting 3 inch groups
PLEASE BUY THE HAND LOAD BOOKS FIRST AND READ.
have fun and if you do it right you will.
 

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Just my humble opinion, but HS-6 is somewhat of a slower burning powder. When using 148 grain HBWC's for target a little faster burning powder may help. I know that many people use Alliant Bullseye with the HBWC's and are very happy with the results.

As always FOLLOW the reloading guides and NEVER exceed their recommended load data! Reloading can be fun and very rewarding, but I do agree with the others using someone else's reloads is not always the best idea.
 
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