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Thread: .38 125-grain Coated Lead Bullets for a Snubby

  1. #1
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    .38 125-grain Coated Lead Bullets for a Snubby

    I recently got an S&W 642-2 and am enjoying shooting it. I found that it shoots to POA with 125-grain bullets, so the >2k of 158-grain RNL I have loaded will remain K-frame fodder.

    Looking at different websites, it seems that there are two main flavors of 125-grain .38 bullets, an RNFP and a TC. I know there are companies that will size 9mm bullets to the proper diameter, but I want to stick with revolver bullets because I prefer to roll crimp revolver loads. I don't have a .38 lever gun so I don't need the RNFP design, but I wouldn't mind it. My instinct is to go with the TC bullet solely because it'd cut prettier holes in paper. Velocity will be about 800-850 fps from the snubby to duplicate carry ammo.

    Has anybody tried both designs and found a significant difference? Thanks!

  2. #2
    http://www.bayoubullets.net/categori...ts/38-357.html

    Bayou has a 124 grain round nose.

    edit to add: I've been shooting Bayou's 138 grain wad cutter over 3.0 grains of Bullseye. Does 750 FPS in my 4" Model 10.
    Last edited by BN; 11-01-2019 at 06:37 AM.

  3. #3
    AR-14 Enthusiast fatdog's Avatar
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    Cannot comment on the comparison, but I have loaded many thousands of the truncated cone 125gr lead flat point bullets from Missouri bullet company and been very satisfied. I started loading them for CAS competition with 3.3gr of Titegroup or Trailboss, but then increased the charge a bit to be J frame and D frame practice loads. They have worked very well and the MO bullet company product has been very consistent. I don't know if their rnfp is better or equal. I switched to the coated version for the snubby practice loads and I believe it has reduced leading slightly.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nesbitt View Post
    http://www.bayoubullets.net/categori...ts/38-357.html

    Bayou has a 124 grain round nose.

    edit to add: I've been shooting Bayou's 138 grain wad cutter over 3.0 grains of Bullseye. Does 750 FPS in my 4" Model 10.
    Their 124-grain RN is a 9mm bullet sized to .358, looking for a revolver-specific bullet; my 642 is finicky as to bullet weight and POA - there's an obvious difference between 148s and 158s, and both are above POA at five yards, the 158s more so.

  5. #5
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    Logic says that both 125 grain bullets would shoot to same point of aim. Missouri Bullets has a great reputation. I have some of theirs not yet loaded. They are filled out properly.

  6. #6
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    Just ordered 1k of the TC bullets from Missouri Bullets. I have about 900 rounds of .40 S&W 180 RNLs to load, then I'll switch the 550 over to .38 Special.

    Thanks for the replies, all!

  7. #7
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    Update: I've loaded those bullets and have gone through about 300 of them so far. I loaded the first 100 with 6.2 grains of CFE-P, Hodgdon's max standard pressure load for that powder. It wasn't a happy combination, resulting in smoked cases and okay accuracy. CFE-P works really well in .40 S&W, I guess it just needs more pressure. Then I tried 4.8 grains of HP-38, again Hodgdon's max standard pressure load, and this worked much better. It burns pretty cleanly, gives good accuracy, and chronographs right at 800 fps, which is about what the 130-grain factory hardball does. 100 rounds in a range session is no big deal. I've got most of a .30 cal ammo can of it left.

    I just got a thousand of their 125-grain RNFPs to see if they work differently. I'm going to use the same powder and charge but add some more crimp to see if I can get it to burn more cleanly. I'm going to finish that pound of HP-38 and then open the new eight-pound jug of BE-86 and see how that works out.

  8. #8
    Consider trying Reddings "Profile Crimp" die. The profile crimp is a combination of a taper crimp and a roll crimp. I use it a lot on semi-wadcutters, but haven't tried it with stubby little TCs.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck38 View Post
    Update: I've loaded those bullets and have gone through about 300 of them so far. I loaded the first 100 with 6.2 grains of CFE-P, Hodgdon's max standard pressure load for that powder. It wasn't a happy combination, resulting in smoked cases and okay accuracy. CFE-P works really well in .40 S&W, I guess it just needs more pressure. Then I tried 4.8 grains of HP-38, again Hodgdon's max standard pressure load, and this worked much better. It burns pretty cleanly, gives good accuracy, and chronographs right at 800 fps, which is about what the 130-grain factory hardball does. 100 rounds in a range session is no big deal. I've got most of a .30 cal ammo can of it left.

    I just got a thousand of their 125-grain RNFPs to see if they work differently. I'm going to use the same powder and charge but add some more crimp to see if I can get it to burn more cleanly. I'm going to finish that pound of HP-38 and then open the new eight-pound jug of BE-86 and see how that works out.
    I think you'll like the BE-86. It's a great powder. Extremely versatile.

    Quote Originally Posted by 358156hp View Post
    Consider trying Reddings "Profile Crimp" die. The profile crimp is a combination of a taper crimp and a roll crimp. I use it a lot on semi-wadcutters, but haven't tried it with stubby little TCs.
    The Redding profile crimp die is the best thing since sliced bread as long as you have a groove to crimp into.

  10. #10
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    I ordered some coated 125 from acme. I loaded them on top of 3.5 of bullseye. I like them but think I prefer the 148 DEWC over 3.0 of bullseye.

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