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. Wanna kill these ads? We can help!