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Boomstick Bruce

38s&w

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 Because this is a cowboy action shooting website. And we are talking pocket pistols. We need to remember that most pocket pistols are a top break action. And shooting factory 38 Smith & Wesson may be a bad option. Most of the factory 38 Smith & Wesson is too hot of a load for top break actions. That’s why it is  important to either purchase cowboy loads or reload your self. Just a word of advice. 

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For my pocket pistols I use black powder.

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For years I followed an older Speer manual as a guide for .38 S&W using .358 hollow base wad cutter bullets loaded out to regular S&W length. They worked fine. 148 HBWC  close in weight to  146 factory round nose.  The hollow base would expand like a mini ball. I really could not  much difference  in accuracy between the suggested .360 and easier to find .358 bullets no matter if it was hollow base or a regular 358 in 38 S&W. I  noticed about the same thing in .38 Special for cowboy distance between normal .358 and sometimes found .356 9 mm lead bullets. I tried  some of the King 180. 360 and the Missouri Bullet coated  .360 bullet along  with some Berry 125 gr. plated  .357  (not SASS legal) and they all shot about the same. I started loading .38 S&W with a Lee Loader and found they would sometimes not chamber in a Colt . Later I used to size them in a 38 Special die and they went in easy and never had the rash of split cases some said would happen. Funny thing is the cartridge conversion book mentions just trimming .38 Special brass to S&W length. You will find some shell holders or shell plates from different companies will or will not use the same one for both .38 special and .38 S&W.  Some tighter tolerance  .38 Special holders or plates  will not accept the S&W case. I don't a  .38 Special  Dillon SDB, but if the S&W case will fit into the shellholder, Dillon might be tell and sell you  a few extra parts to let you load S&W. I sort of remember someone talking about maybe a .38 super or 9mm seater plug and crimp die. They fixed me up with the few extra parts to load the shorter .45 S&W on a SDB set up for ..45 long Colt  Good Luck  

 

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  The Speer # 9 reloading Book from 1974 has a section of self defense loads for the 38 S&W. I would caution anyone to only use these loads in the solid frame guns after being checked by a trusted gun smith. 

In my top break S&W I have used like many others the hollow base wad cutter or the 145 semi wad cutter I use to cast using a Lyman Ideal mold 360 271 S for a factory duplicate load. Never loaded anywear close to max.

Turkey Bob 

PS if anyone is interested I’m going to sell this mold along with some others as I’m moving and will no longer have a place to cast anymore. 

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On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 3:41 PM, Tulsey, SASS#11236 said:

 Funny thing is the cartridge conversion book mentions just trimming .38 Special brass to S&W length.
 

 

For intents and purposes, that get's you .38 Short Colt.   Seems to me to be more trouble than it's worth, and the resultant trimmed cases will fit very loose in the S&W chambers.

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