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Discussion Starter #1
So I have many manuals and I’m confused! I was told I’m ok but there are too many variances. So my load is armscore 115gr FMJ using HP38. Oal is 1.1540 and powder charge at 4.7 gr.. Now I’m going to add pics of OAL’s and powder charges for HP38 and w231 since everyone agrees they are the same. I got my measuring oal of 1.540 from factory loaded mag tech ammo and Winchester white box and picked the lesser of the believed evils. What do you guys think? I need real world answers from experienced loaders. First pic shows varies oal lengths way longer than mine and the last pic is off hogdon website with no actual listing of my round. Remember I’m FMJ and not plated.
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Try to find the profile closest to your bullets and measure those carefully. Drop the rounds into your barrel's chamber and do a plunk test.
 

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Sounds ok, I frequently use the White Box stuff to help set lengths, The danger generally comes in by setting
the length too short. I'd make a few and test them.
 

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I started out measuring WWB loads and found they weren’t consistent in length. So I made a long dummy round and tried the plunk test. Kept shortening the dummy until it plunked and seated that one about .010 shorter. That became my seating depth for that specific bullet.
Then I checked my load data sources. The seating depth for my dummy round created a round longer that those listed in all my data sources, so I knew the loads would be safe. I then started low and worked up to find a load that cycled the action, didn’t stovepipe, and gave the velocity I was looking for.
 

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Dang, need Ted here for a back up.
HP-38 4.7 grains, are you target practicing at 75 to 100 yards? 3, 5, 7and 10 yards is good for punching paper and about your length for in home shooting if need be.
Why waste powder down the barrel. Start with 3.7, 3.9, 4.0 and up. See what your gun likes. Build a ladder test to see how low you can go, you're just punching paper.
If you get a squib, stop with that load, pull bullets from the rest and start again.
We have 3 9's the same flavor, they don't like the same load.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dang, need Ted here for a back up.
HP-38 4.7 grains, are you target practicing at 75 to 100 yards? 3, 5, 7and 10 yards is good for punching paper and about your length for in home shooting if need be.
Why waste powder down the barrel. Start with 3.7, 3.9, 4.0 and up. See what your gun likes. Build a ladder test to see how low you can go, you're just punching paper.
If you get a squib, stop with that load, pull bullets from the rest and start again.
We have 3 9's the same flavor, they don't like the same load.
4.7 is the low on the bottle of powder data, and 4.5 is the low on the pic above for w231. I don’t want a squib at all. But on midway USA load map it says I’m over and start at 3.3? My oal length is up there also but that’s compared to factory load of the same. If I am good on the 4.7 then after those twenty I will drop my charge like you say. The magtech pic is my favorite FMJ ammo brand and it’s moving. I’m just trying to load factory ammo but I’ll definitely try slowing it down and see what happens. I do shoot a lot farther than most as up close is no challenge and I also take headshots on my targets and do very well most of the time @ 15 to 25 yards.
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1. You are trying to combine data from several different sources. What you don't have are the exact components each of them used (primer, powder lot, case, barrel) to arrive at their reported results. Also, the environmental factors will assuredly be different, and you have no way to accurately account for that.
2. You are trying to match the published velocity from manufactuere's data. You don't know if that will be accurate in your weapon. Besides, they are a commercial company that makes and sells a product. They probably fudge a bit on their results. That 6'5", 250 lb linebacker is really about 6'3" and 230 lbs.
3. Contact the bullet manufacturer and explain what you are doing. They should be able to provide at least a COAL for that particular projectile. Make a dummy round to that length and check ("plunk") it in your barrel. It it won't plunk, shorten it a bit (0.005) and try again. Keep at this until it plunks. You now have a COAL for that specific bullet in your weapon.
4. Start at the low end of the recommended powder charges and load a few to try in your weapon. Load a few in increments slightly above the starting load (.1 or .2 grains) up to max load. You don't have much room from starting to max load with HP-38. Fire each round, beginning with the starting loads, and work your way up checking for over-pressure signs. Measure the velocity of each round with a chronograph. When you fire each round, especially the first few, ensure a bullet exits the barrel. Check to make sure the action performs as expected.

I'm no expert, and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but this process has worked for me for awhile. YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1. You are trying to combine data from several different sources. What you don't have are the exact components each of them used (primer, powder lot, case, barrel) to arrive at their reported results. Also, the environmental factors will assuredly be different, and you have no way to accurately account for that.
2. You are trying to match the published velocity from manufactuere's data. You don't know if that will be accurate in your weapon. Besides, they are a commercial company that makes and sells a product. They probably fudge a bit on their results. That 6'5", 250 lb linebacker is really about 6'3" and 230 lbs.
3. Contact the bullet manufacturer and explain what you are doing. They should be able to provide at least a COAL for that particular projectile. Make a dummy round to that length and check ("plunk") it in your barrel. It it won't plunk, shorten it a bit (0.005) and try again. Keep at this until it plunks. You now have a COAL for that specific bullet in your weapon.
4. Start at the low end of the recommended powder charges and load a few to try in your weapon. Load a few in increments slightly above the starting load (.1 or .2 grains) up to max load. You don't have much room from starting to max load with HP-38. Fire each round, beginning with the starting loads, and work your way up checking for over-pressure signs. Measure the velocity of each round with a chronograph. When you fire each round, especially the first few, ensure a bullet exits the barrel. Check to make sure the action performs as expected.

I'm no expert, and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but this process has worked for me for awhile. YMMV
Well said! I’m good on the plunk test but I will ask armscore
 

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So guess I won’t buy their **** anymore! You’d figure that they would at least give you some data.
Many won't give you data info. If you like the bullets don't let that get in your way.
But, they answered your question .
Reloading data is like a maze, no real answer. You have to figure it out.
Most will go low on loads. This is a fact.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Many won't give you data info. If you like the bullets don't let that get in your way.
But, they answered your question .
Reloading data is like a maze, no real answer. You have to figure it out.
Most will go low on loads. This is a fact.
Thanks I just figured they could at least gave me some more info. I pull bullets sometimes to see what the factory is using. Like I pulled a 175 grain hpbt Sierra probably gold medal match but not sure, anyway it had 43.5 gr of what I’m sure is imr4064. I also pulled a federal fusion and it looked like varget. So I guess if I really wanted to, I could buy some 9mm armscore 115 gr and measure and all but I’m just going to see how things go.
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Doesn’t mean I’d start there! I will start low on those and see how it goes. If I get to that grain weight then I can compare accuracy to the factory ammo
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I tried my loads out and everything went fine. They where soft shooting but shots where a few inches high at 7yards. So should I speed em up or slow them down? I would think hitting high would need to slow down but then again I’m not sure.
 

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Sorry, I haven't been on this tread in a while.
"4.7 is the low on the bottle of powder data, and 4.5 is the low on the pic above for w231. I don’t want a squib at all. But on midway USA load map it says I’m over and start at 3.3? My oal length is up there also but that’s compared to factory load of the same."
First you're loading with HP-38 and now you're using W-231 data. They are to far apart in burn rate, 231 will take more powder. If you're going to reload you will have to wildcat some. Sure, I can find a load that will burn my hand everytime I pull the trigger. Can you take a lady and kids to fire off 500 to a 1,000 rounds?
Every gun is different for it's sweet spot for lower loads. Squibs, stovepipes are common finding the sweet spot. Have you caught a case on the barrel after firing, now that's a sweet spot.
I cast and shoot lead and wheel weight 124 gr bullets only. HP-38 at 3.8 gr in my gun does great, lead bullets do fine. One son's gun does great with 3.9 gr HP-38 wheel weight bullets only. We haven't found that right numbers on the other son's gun yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry, I haven't been on this tread in a while.
"4.7 is the low on the bottle of powder data, and 4.5 is the low on the pic above for w231. I don’t want a squib at all. But on midway USA load map it says I’m over and start at 3.3? My oal length is up there also but that’s compared to factory load of the same."
First you're loading with HP-38 and now you're using W-231 data. They are to far apart in burn rate, 231 will take more powder. If you're going to reload you will have to wildcat some. Sure, I can find a load that will burn my hand everytime I pull the trigger. Can you take a lady and kids to fire off 500 to a 1,000 rounds?
Every gun is different for it's sweet spot for lower loads. Squibs, stovepipes are common finding the sweet spot. Have you caught a case on the barrel after firing, now that's a sweet spot.
I cast and shoot lead and wheel weight 124 gr bullets only. HP-38 at 3.8 gr in my gun does great, lead bullets do fine. One son's gun does great with 3.9 gr HP-38 wheel weight bullets only. We haven't found that right numbers on the other son's gun yet.
Your talking lead which does run slower. I’m using FMJ and everyone has agreed that hp-38 is the same powder as w231. What I found out and it could be wrong but makes sense. My oal is set long so lower pressure and I may need to either decrease my oal to increase pressure or keep same oal and add more powder. Now for the fun part I learned, I’m hearing that if I where shooting say 147gr bullets that are moving slower. The common symptom on accuracy loss would be that when the bullet is fired it will start cycling the slide just before the bullet leaves the barrel and this would make your bullet impact high on target and the solution would be to speed it up a little and then point of impact would start coming down. Now if I was shooting lead and I am going to get into that soon. I was told to make a slug and slug the barrel to get my dimensions being .355 .356 .357 and they say all guns are different. Slugging is how you reduce leading by using correct size bullet. If the bullet diameter is too small gases go around the bullet causing leading and same as if you move lead bullets too fast. ??? I’m learning hopefully lol
 
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