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Unique, lead bullets and cowboys??????

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Bren, Apr 9, 2014.


  1. Bren

    Bren
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    I was getting ready to load up some .38 spl. cowboy action shooting loads (super light loads for shooting about 15-20 yards, maybe) for our .357 Vaqueros.

    My turret press was already set up for .38's, so I checked my powder and I was set for 4.5 grains of Unique. I had been loading 158 gr. plated round nose bullets, last time I loaded for revolver. I have never loaded lead bullets before - always jacketed or plated - so I went to the manuals to see what they had to say.

    For Unique:

    Lee says, for 158 gr. lead bullet - starting charge is 4.0 gr., "never exceed" 4.3 gr.

    Then Speer's manual gives me a starting load of 2.8 gr. and a maximum charge of 3.1 gr. So Lee is starting almost a grain above Speer's max load.

    Then Alliant powder says, for a 158 gr Speer LSWC, "charge weight 4.7 gr." - it doesn't give a max and min, so I'm guessing that is a starting weight and it's higher than the max charge from Lee or Speer. To make it even better, in their cowboy loading section, Alliant gives a "max" charge of 4.5 gr. of Unique for 158 gr. lead round nose in a .357. So, the .38 special load is higher than the max load for a .357.

    Can anybody explain this crap? I'm no expert on reloading, but I have never seen load data that conflicted that much.
     

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    #1 Bren, Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  2. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
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    Alliant list MAX. You reduce by 10% for starting. It's right in the manual and on the website when you hit the "I accept" button.

    You need to list the complete load data and not just look at the charge. Bullet type, OAL etc. COMPLETE data. It's useless to compare it otherwise. But I am sure many people will try anyway :whistling:
     

  3. Bren

    Bren
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    Never mind. Turns out I looked at the .38 S&W data for the super-low charges from the Speer manual. 4.0 - 4.7 in the .38 spl. page, matches up with the Alliant 4.23 - 4.7 gr. charge.

    I'll probably go with some 4.0 gr. loads to see how it works.
     
  4. fredj338

    fredj338
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    Yeah, when I first read the charge rates, I started reaching for my Speer, I know Unique is GTG well beyond 4.5gr in the 38sp w/ 158grLSWC. My working load is 5gr, but shot in 357mags, yes it should be considered +p.
     
    #4 fredj338, Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  5. tx gunrunner

    tx gunrunner
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    I this load in my pistols and rifle

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. papershoot

    papershoot
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    For 158 grain lead 38 special loaded with unique:
    Hornady lists 3.3 to 4.2
    Lyman 49th lists 4.0 to 4.5
     
  7. tx gunrunner

    tx gunrunner
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    I like to keep my paper or SASS load around 750 to 800 fps . So 4.0 to 4.5 of Unique /158 should be the magic number .
     
  8. Derek45

    Derek45
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    UNIQUE burns dirty, but it's my favorite mid-range .44magnum powder
    CLAYS ( if you can find it ) or Win-231/HP-38 make great mild 38/357 loads
     
  9. tx gunrunner

    tx gunrunner
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    I shot 400 rds in this barrel without cleaning it . How much cleaner do you want it .:shower:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Derek45

    Derek45
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    UNIQUE burns dirty, but I love it.
    :cheers:

    [​IMG]
     
    #10 Derek45, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  11. tx gunrunner

    tx gunrunner
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    Woo that is dirty outside .....:agree: I was think you were talking about the bore ...90% of my wheelgun are stainless and I don't remember them getting that dirty outside but I shoot a lot of Cowboy Action stuff which is not loaded hot either . My hunting or hot stuff I load with IMR4227 . My 686 and 642 S&W is not in pic and I shoot mouser load in then also . .

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/QUOTE]