38 Special loads

This past Christmas I was given a box of 38 Special 148 grain plated double ended wadcutters. These were re-packaged Midway bullets, so I’m not exactly sure who the original manufacturer of the bullets were.

I didn’t have any powder suitable for 38 Special, so the guy at the store suggested Alliant Bullseye.

According to the Lee “Modern Reloading Second Edition” manual , it calls for 2.6-2.8 grains of Bullseye seated to a minimum of 1.180″ OAL.

My load was 2.7 grains of Bullseye, seated to 1.250, using Winchester Small Pistol primers.

How’d they do?

From a recoil perspective, these are nice shooting load, something I think my wife would like. Out of my S&W 638, the recoil fell somewhere in between a .22 and my 9mm, certainly no where near that of the 158 grain S&B’s I normally shoot out of it.

As far as accuracy goes, I’m not sure I’m digging this load. In the picture, you can see that they were shooting high and right at 7 yards.


I suppose this could have been the shooter more than anything else, but when shooting Sellier & Bellot 158 grain FMJ bullets, the gun was right on from the same distance:


It could be that this gun likes a different load better. I’m not giving up on the wadcutters yet, I’ve got 50 more of these to load up, an then maybe I’ll try some lead hollow base wadcutters. It certainly would be an economical load to shoot, as I can get almost 2600 rounds out of a pound of powder, and at 6 cents a bullet, I don’t think you can beat that…..


Oh yeah, and one more thing.  Don’t be a idiot and take my word for the recipe for this load.  You are responsible for double checking your load recipe against the manufacturers data for the bullet and powder that you are using.  If you don’t, you’re a dumbass and deserve any damage that happens to you or your gun.

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