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Old 02-17-2012, 16:33   #1
minkis18
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loading my first batch, want it double checked

Hey guys,

I just got my press set up (Thanks to Uncle Sam for giving me the money) and as a b-day gift my brother bought me 158gr 38's and TiteGroup powder. Referencing the data from my chart from the Lee auto disk, I threw a load and scale reads 3.3gr. Lee says TiteGroup should be 3.2-3.9 and TiteGroup's bottle says max 3.8gr.

Will this load be OK? both my revolvers are 357's so they could take a bit of pressure.

also what's the best way to test a scale's accuracy? The test weight it came with measures .02g light, could I pull a factory load and weigh that round? Main thing that got me wondering is the rounds my brother bought are 158's but they weigh 155gr according to the scale.
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Old 02-17-2012, 16:43   #2
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Uncle Sam gave you money for a press? Sweet.

Get some check weights to test the scale.

It might be prudent to start with a slower burning powder. Titegroup is super fast and not very forgiving on the top end. Once you get some time and experience on your setup, you might revisit that pound of TG.


ETA: what kind of 158 grain bullets? Jacketed, plated or straight lead?

Last edited by Zombie Steve; 02-17-2012 at 16:45..
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Old 02-17-2012, 16:49   #3
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Is the weight that came with the scale a calibration weight or a check weight? If it is a check weight I would be looking for a different scale.
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Old 02-17-2012, 17:01   #4
minkis18
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Is the weight that came with the scale a calibration weight or a check weight? If it is a check weight I would be looking for a different scale.

directions????? humbug! it's a calibration weight, I calibrated it according to that weight and now bullets weigh 157gr and powder throws are still weighing 3.3gr

Scale is from MTM. The rounds are flat nose jacketed

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Old 02-17-2012, 17:21   #5
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I would buy the Hodgdon 2012 Annual Manual:
http://www.hodgdon.com/store/

The Basic Reloaders Manual might also be helpful.

Richard
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Old 02-17-2012, 18:22   #6
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OP good luck and congrats with your first loads.

But I have to ask GTR in general. What is the fascination with TG?

Is it because since you use so little of it that it must be 'cheaper' to reload with?

I just don't get it .
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Old 02-17-2012, 18:33   #7
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You run a serious risk of getting a bullet stuck in your barrel with a charge that light and a jacketed 158. You are below Hodgdon's start data and that bullet could be going so slow it will stop in your barrel. This is a common problem with jacketed 158's and 38 Spl. Most ammo companies don't make jacketed 158 loads in 38spl any more and most manuals don't list data for jacketed 158's in 38 either.

I would load those at the top end of the 38 data.

What gun are you going to shoot them in?
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Old 02-17-2012, 19:05   #8
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Cheap dig scales are just that, cheap. IMO, they can be all over the place. Only a suitable check wt or something weighed on another scale varified w/ a check wt will do.
I agree w/ WiskyT, recheck your data. A jacketed bullet going too slow is a bad thing.
IMO, put the TG down, step away, now go buy some Unique & load that for 1400rds. I don't want to read about your KB from the dbl charged you missed. Let me guess, a gunshop guy recommended it as your first powder huh? Someone pass the pizza & beer.
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Old 02-17-2012, 19:11   #9
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Originally Posted by WiskyT View Post
You run a serious risk of getting a bullet stuck in your barrel with a charge that light and a jacketed 158. You are below Hodgdon's start data and that bullet could be going so slow it will stop in your barrel. This is a common problem with jacketed 158's and 38 Spl. Most ammo companies don't make jacketed 158 loads in 38spl any more and most manuals don't list data for jacketed 158's in 38 either.

I would load those at the top end of the 38 data.

What gun are you going to shoot them in?
I was most likely going to be using my 2" taurus 606.

I changed the measure disk to the next hole and now charges are weighing 3.6gr. If you think this is a safer start point I'll use that-- having never loaded I wasn't aware lead rounds required less pressure.

also as far as powder, is there a more preferred powder for 38's? seems there's more than enough room in there for a double charge.
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Old 02-17-2012, 19:17   #10
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IMO, put the TG down, step away, now go buy some Unique & load that for 1400rds. I don't want to read about your KB from the dbl charged you missed. Let me guess, a gunshop guy recommended it as your first powder huh? Someone pass the pizza & beer.
read the post, brother bought the powder. snide comment aside, thanks for the powder recommendation. and the assumption that I can't weigh the finished loads.
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Old 02-17-2012, 19:40   #11
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Old 02-17-2012, 19:47   #12
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Originally Posted by minkis18 View Post
I was most likely going to be using my 2" taurus 606.

I changed the measure disk to the next hole and now charges are weighing 3.6gr. If you think this is a safer start point I'll use that-- having never loaded I wasn't aware lead rounds required less pressure.

also as far as powder, is there a more preferred powder for 38's? seems there's more than enough room in there for a double charge.
I think that's a better charge. Verify the weight on a scale because the Lee discs throw light as a safety margin. Don't just rely on the data sheet that came with the discs. I think you did verify, but I just wanted to underline that point.

TG is a fast powder that uses small charges. A small error on a small charge can make a big difference, and a big error can make a catastrophic difference. That said, I use fast powders all the time. You just have to ensure everything is done properly. This is true of any powder BTW. Personally, I would have had you get Unique, but you are okay with the TG. Just watch out for uncharged or double charged cases since TG takes up so little room in the tall 38 case that it would be easy to overlook a double charged case. 38 will always have that problem and so will all of the older revolver rounds, big case, small charge. This is true even of slower powders like Unique. You can easily it a double charge of Unique in a 38 case, but you are more likely to see it with your eyes.

I also would have had you get unjacketed cast 158's for 38 loads. Cast bullets won't get stuck in the bore at the low velocities of a 38 and they travel faster than jacketed bullets to boot. Compare max data for both bullet types and typically you will see a slightly smaller powder charge and a higher velocity with a cast bullet. Since your gun is a 357 magnum, you could save those jacketed 158's for magnum loads that you will eventually be loading. You can also shoot 38+P loads in that gun and Hodgdon lists a 38+P load for TG with a jacketed 158. Everything is the same, but the powder charge is higher. I would consider using the max 38 load, or the starting 38+P load with the jacketed 158's as you will still be well below the pressure levels of the 357Mag that your gun was designed for.

A 2" barrel is less likely to stick a bullet in it and with your now higher charge, or going a little higher than that, you should be okay with the bullets you have. If you want some light plinkers (that also are traditional target loads), get some lead bullets and use published data for them.
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Old 02-17-2012, 19:50   #13
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Originally Posted by minkis18 View Post
read the post, brother bought the powder. snide comment aside, thanks for the powder recommendation. and the assumption that I can't weigh the finished loads.
Fred isn't the kind of guy to necessarily give you a hug and a cup of hot chocolate (Jack is), but he is a good source of info and is always willing to help out.

Send him a gift card for Forever 21 to get on his good side. It will come in handy when you hunt Pronghorn with a wildcat cartridge as he knows that kind of stuff real well.
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Old 02-17-2012, 20:24   #14
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Fred isn't the kind of guy to necessarily give you a hug and a cup of hot chocolate (Jack is), ....


Well done Sir.
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Old 02-17-2012, 21:55   #15
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Here is a link to a burn rate chart:
http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html

Most folks around here would rather see new reloaders use powders down around the burn rate of Unique and they will certainly suggest staying away from fast powders like Bullseye and Titegroup.

HP-38, as the name would imply, was developed for target loads in .38. It won't necessarily make fire breathing loads.
http://www.hodgdon.com/shotpist.html

Which scale are you using? What is the weight in grains of the calibration weight? For example, if you are measuring powder, a check weight of 100 grams is pretty useless.

FWIW, RCBS makes a checkweight kit.

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Old 02-17-2012, 22:20   #16
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Originally Posted by minkis18 View Post
read the post, brother bought the powder. snide comment aside, thanks for the powder recommendation. and the assumption that I can't weigh the finished loads.
Weighing your finished Loads will tell you nothing about your powder charge.
They will all vary, there could be several grains varience in your bullets also that much varience in your cases.

So trying to determine your correct load after the round is loaded especially with a light powder charge won't do you any good.

You have to make sure your load is right when you load the round.
Starting off with a slower and more forgiving powder like Unique is a very prudent idea.

Also you should get at least 2 good reloading manuals, 3 is better to cross check your loads.

Good Luck

Last edited by ColoCG; 02-17-2012 at 22:20..
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Old 02-17-2012, 23:05   #17
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read the post, brother bought the powder. snide comment aside, thanks for the powder recommendation. and the assumption that I can't weigh the finished loads.
It's not an assumption, you CAN NOT weigh finished rds & find less than 5gr variation. You think that was snide? Really, come back when you have a little more experience so your opinion carries weight. I don't mind noobs, really, here to help, but show a little respect for those that know more than you do.
Regardless of who bought the powder, it was in ill informed choice. A savey reloader would guide you onto something more suitable for a beginner. You can barely see a 3.5gr charge of TG in a 38sp case, you can NOT see a dbl unless you look really close.
AS to getting on my good side, takes very little, be polite. My comment was about all the dregs working in gunshops that give bad advice to noobs about almsot everything gun related. I don't expect you, being a noob, to know anything about powder selection. The advice is free, take it or leave, I don't really care. Now you think I am snide, read some fo C4W posts.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:09   #18
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Now you think I am snide, read some fo C4W posts.
C4W is as gentle as a lamb now that the Judge gave him his testicles back.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:34   #19
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read the post, brother bought the powder. snide comment aside, thanks for the powder recommendation. and the assumption that I can't weigh the finished loads.
OP: much to learn about keeping it safe. I've only been rollin my own for 2 yrs but fred was trying to save you from some bad stuff. I once thought I could check loaded rounds to find if I missed a powder drop. Seem to recall pulling 150 rounds that "seemed" suspicious by their weights - all were fine! The variances in bullet and case weight can be much more that you'd expect. Just put the TG on the shelf for now until you are more familiar with loading.

I take this hobby very seriously and intentionally look into every case, or at least I think I do; use check weights to verify my scale and still check the drop here and there during a session. I've still had two squibs! Clients call or my wife needs me & before you know it your concentration is blown.

Enjoy and be safe!
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:48   #20
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I think TG is much safer in revolvers than pistols as there is no risk of setback. If a person uses the correct powder charge, OAL, and appropriate components, there should be no significant risk added as compared to a slower powder. That's especially true if you stay off the red line. I do sort of see the safety argument when it comes to a person new to loading for autos.

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