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Captain Bill Burt

38 special ammo question

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I'm in the process of swapping out my unmatched pair of Vaquero's in 45 for a matched pair in 357/38. Then I have a Taylors Uberti in 357/38 with an 18 inch barrel lined up. Any thoughts or suggestions on what type of 38 ammo will function best?

 

Thanks

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I'm in the process of swapping out my unmatched pair of Vaquero's in 45 for a matched pair in 357/38. Then I have a Taylors Uberti in 357/38 with an 18 inch barrel lined up. Any thoughts or suggestions on what type of 38 ammo will function best?

 

Thanks

 

Good move, Cap'n. While I have kept my .45s, .38 ammo is a lot cheaper. Less recoil makes for faster sight re-acquisition, I am currently using a load recommended by one of the faster local shooters, one that is not widely available (but popular on the Georgia CAS circuit). It uses a 125 grain bullet as I recall - unfortunately I am currently in Fort Worth, TX and can't lay hands on my ammo box or I would tell you where to get it...

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I prefer the 125 TC loaded long by AmmoDirect. They are currently not operating due to a fire. Pretty much any TC or rounded bullet will work if it's around 1.45" long in the rifle. Pistols don't care what you feed 'em. Happy shooting, Baddog N.

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Ammo Direct loaded their rifle round 125gr at 1.52 and Georgia Arms load their 125gr at 1.43 . My rifle wont shoot the 1.43s fast they hang up. I shoot a 92.

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Our leverguns are much like semi-auto pistols. There's just some ammo they won't work well. So, buy or load for your Rifle first.

 

The 1860, the 66 and the 73 have a built in ammo OAL gage. Open the action, turn the gun over and lay a round in the window where the carrier rides. If it doesn't fit, it's too long. It should be about 1/16 but not more than 1/8th inch short of not fitting tight. This length works best because the 73, 66, and 60 does not have a mag cartridge stop. The front edge of the loading gate, there just behind the carrier, is the only stop. While the carrier is in the up position it's the stop. The carrier has to bring a round up to chamber while preventing the next round in the mag from coming on to the carrier. If the ammo is too short the carrier has to push the next round back into the tube as it comes up. Make your ammo long enough so that it's a shearing action as the carrier comes up.

Also because we don't need extremely accurate ammo just ammo that cycles well through the gun it is perfectly legal and practical to load 38 spec brass with a bullet set out in the case to a longer than normal OAL, even past the bullets crimp groove. We use lead bullets so just crimp into the side of the lead to get the OAL you need.

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My Uberti 73' likes a bullet with an overall length of 1.54 inches.

It likes a conical head or round nose flat point. 125 gr., up to 160 gr.

it likes em all. Hint, make sure you crimp the bullets good, if not crimped

enough they can slip back into the case which makes them way to short

to cycle, I know it happened to me. The first round of course penility of

50 seconds wakes you up in a hurry....hope this help a little pard.

QDG :FlagAm:

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I've been using the 125 gr. TC bullets. I just measured a round it came out to 1.44". They feed well in my 73. I put a good crimp on them right in the crimp groove. I don't want any collapsing bullets in the magazine tube. That's just a bunch of misses waiting to happen.

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I use a 122 or 125 gr TC in my 66 and in my marlin. I just measured them at 1.444 crimped into the groove. To answer Bob's question about wadcutters, I don't think they will feed in a lever action rifle.

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I use a 158 gr RNFP bullet with a tight crimp, that way the o.a.l. will fall where I need it, at 1.5".

works real well in my uberti'73 , or my marlin cowboy.

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Yep, as I expected even more good information. I figured that I would need to make sure the rifle would feed and not worry to much about the revolvers. Keep it coming.

 

Thanks pardners!

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Can't you just shoot wad cutter target loads?

 

 

Bob

Wadcutters can hang up in a rifle because the shape of the bullet can catch on parts of your gun.

They are fine in pistols,but may cause problems in rifles.

Most people shoot a round nose or truncated cone bullet in the rifles

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Capt B,

 

River Rat Randy shoots in the Carolinas and sometimes GA for the bigger matches. He sells the 105 & 125 Truncated Cone bullets that work like a charm and his prices are the best I have seen. He brings em' to the match or you may be able to find a mule to bring em' to ya' if you want to avoid shipping. He comes to Greenville often.

 

http://www.clarksbullets.com/

 

I shot the 105's in everything....they take the knockdowns down and get down range fast if you use enough powder.

 

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Capt Bill- I'm also looking for a good .38 load right now. I've got plenty of .38 special brass and I just picked up 2 lbs of Clays at the gun show this weekend. I haven't decided on the bullet yet. I want to use one load for rifles and pistols for convenience. I can get 122 gr TC locally, but I'm currently leaning towards the 147 gr TC from Moulton Lead. These are made long, so the OAL ends up being close to a .357 for easy feeding in a rifle.

 

The crimp groove thing has me confused. I've always crimped copper plated bullets (no groove) using the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I guess using the crimp groove, the OAL is fixed. It sounds like some people just crimp outside of the groove though if a longer OAL is needed, so maybe it isn't a big deal.

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Capt B,

 

River Rat Randy shoots in the Carolinas and sometimes GA for the bigger matches. He sells the 105 & 125 Truncated Cone bullets that work like a charm and his prices are the best I have seen. He brings em' to the match or you may be able to find a mule to bring em' to ya' if you want to avoid shipping. He comes to Greenville often.

 

http://www.clarksbullets.com/

+1 for what Cowboy Junky said. Randy's bullets are very good quality and you won't beat his prices. I use 105gr for pistol and 125gr for my 73. Never had any problems with his bullets...

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Can't you just shoot wad cutter target loads?

 

 

The answer to this is yes AND no.

 

In Cowboy competition, the lead of your bullet MUST be seated longer than the case.

 

So ifn you reload, just make sure you have some of your bullet seated out alittle from the case mouth.

 

I have seen some factory 148 HBWC that are flush (edit: 'recessed') with the case mouth and would not be legal in our game.

 

I use alot of WC in my practice and seat them out about 1/8" of the case mouth. They also meet SASS power factors and ifn I'm ever in a tight spot for ammo, I can always use my practice stuff and still be legal.

PLUS, they work as well in the Widdermatic as anything else.

 

My favorite match bullet, rifle and pistol, is a 110 grain Truncate by Deuce.

 

 

..........Widder

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I use 130 gr RNFP, I buy them from a local supplier and save the shipping costs.

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Capt Bill- I'm also looking for a good .38 load right now. I've got plenty of .38 special brass and I just picked up 2 lbs of Clays at the gun show this weekend. I haven't decided on the bullet yet. I want to use one load for rifles and pistols for convenience. I can get 122 gr TC locally, but I'm currently leaning towards the 147 gr TC from Moulton Lead. These are made long, so the OAL ends up being close to a .357 for easy feeding in a rifle.

 

The crimp groove thing has me confused. I've always crimped copper plated bullets (no groove) using the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I guess using the crimp groove, the OAL is fixed. It sounds like some people just crimp outside of the groove though if a longer OAL is needed, so maybe it isn't a big deal.

 

What rifle are you shooting? If it's a 73 or a 66, you're probably overthinking the situation. If it's a 92, maybe not. I can't remember if I've responded on this particular thread, but I shoot a 125 truncated bullet and have done so for more than five years. Never a single problem with my 73 being length sensitive with this round.

 

Cowboy Junky listed a link to River Rat Randy's web site and I'm going to use particular bullets there to make my point.

 

Here is a bullet basically identical to the bullet I use. 125 Grain Truncated flat point. Note the length of the bullet above the crimp groove.

 

Here is the bullet that Cowboy Junky uses. 105 Truncated flat point. Note that the length above the crimp groove appears to be the same as my 125 grain bullet....which means the overall length remains the same and it works in his rifle as well as the 125's work in mine.

 

I did encouter some 125 bullets that do not work (at all) in my rifle. They were round nose flat points, but most of the lead was below the crimp groove. They looked similar to this .45 round. Note how little of the bullet is above the crimp groove, but more specifically, due to the shape, the finished round is too short to work properly in many rifles including my 73. I use the "shorty" .38's in my pistols.

 

All I'm trying to say is don't assume that you must go to a heavier bullet in order to get the length. Beyond the RNFP that I encountered with the short, stubby top, every other 125 gain RNFP I have ever seen....worked just fine. If you prefer a 158 grain bullet, then use them and I'll smile with you, but don't think you have to.

 

Happy trails!

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I started asking reloading questions on 45 LC, then found a matched set of NMV in 357/38, which is what prompted me to start this particular thread. As I've said before the wealth of knowledge presented here is truly impressive. Now I have to decide between the Buck load and the Cowboy Junky load. Perhaps I'll buy a few hundred rounds of each and shoot them a bit....

 

 

Thanks all!!

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:ph34r:

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O i know; ##### trail boss ##### TC bullets

Oh, just wish you knew to follow the forum's requirements of "no load recipes posted here."

 

Good luck, GJ

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Ole man Clark makes a good bullet, tha 125 TC crimped in tha groove for rifle a 105 TC crimped in tha groove fer pistol. My rifle runs out at aroun 1335fps an tha pistols at aroun 850fps. All loaded with Red Dot. Your probably close enough ta get bullets by cowboy mail. Good luck buddy.

 

 

RRR

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Captain

 

In my Uberti 73 with a 20" bbl and 5.5" Vaqueros, I shoot the 125 grain conical, with a OAL of 1.455 or so. I adjust the charges as between rifle and pistols. The rifle handles these well and I never have any knockdown issues with any of the guns. As the replies make clear, there are lots of options and trial and error with your own guns is the only way to find what works for you.

 

Cassalong Hopidy

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