Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Thumbs up one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    Handgun: Model 36 S&W commonly called the Chief's Special, 1-7/8" barrel.

    Old lot of lead 148gr SWC that measures .356", loaded with 2.7 gr Bullseye, light crimp into lead, no canallure. Ungodly smoke.

    New lot of Xtreme .357" DEWC copper plated 148gr., Bullseye upped to 3.3 gr., bit heavier crimp into cannalure. Much cleaner burning.

    With the first load, there was even heavy deposits on the recoil shield and under the ejector star.

    The combination of undersized lead bullet, too mild a charge and crimp insufficient to allow pressure spike from more complete burn really took its toll.

    Shooting the second load, Chrono went from 460fps to 600, average of 5. (5-inch S&W model 10 registered 696 fps average of five).

    Chronographs rule!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Uniontown, Pennsylvania
    (Fayette County)
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    How old do you think that lot of lead 148gr SWC was?
    "One must be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves” ~ Machavelli

  3. #3
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    Apolacon Township, Pennsylvania
    (Susquehanna County)
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    Much of the smoke from cast lead is the lubricant burning off. That smoke is virtually eliminated with jacketed, plated or coated bullets. BTW don't push your DEWCA too hard.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Richboro, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    Quote Originally Posted by Brick View Post
    Much of the smoke from cast lead is the lubricant burning off. That smoke is virtually eliminated with jacketed, plated or coated bullets. BTW don't push your DEWCA too hard.
    This. Bullseye is one of the cleanest powders out there. The smoke if from the lube.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    The smoke is only PART of the reason I'm trying to transition from cast lead to coated!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    This box of lead SWC is marked .356 and 150gr 38SPL . I bought them new back in the 70s or 80s. It is stamped LOMAX BULLETS. There is one band midway on the bearing surface filled with blue lube. No other canalures. Seating them with shoulder just below case mouth would seem the idea, but their being .356, they fit the case too loose, so I crimped into the lead a bit below the top of the bearing surface. Idea was to shoot 'em off and get rid of them. They'd probably do better as 9mms. I have about 60 left.

    The plated DEWCs are a pleasure. I knew they would be as I shoot plated 9mm bullets, .30 Carbine, and some Colt 45s.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    Try measuring and weighing a few of those old cast lead bullets and see what you get. AFAIK 0.356" is standard dia. for 9mm cast lead bullets (jacketed is 0.355") Overall though your best bet might be to melt the bullets down and recast them as fishing sinkers!

    Sorry, but when I commented on not pushing your DEWCs too hard I had Hollow Base in mind. You can push DEWCs a fair amount faster than normal "target loads". If you have chronographed any of your plated bullets load, share the data, that would make an interesting post.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    As stated in message #1, the lead SWCs measure at .356.

    My memory finally kicked in. Back in the 1980s I acquired my first 9mm handgun, and obtained these for that gun.

    I should have realized they are not intended for .38.

    Requested data-

    Balance beam weighed 3.3 grains of Bullseye, Xtreme 148gr DEWC copper plated, crimped at top canalure, CCI 500 produced:

    1-7/8" Chiefs Special, min 578 max 648, spread 73, std dev 28.17, average velocity 602.60
    1-7/8" Chiefs Special min 583 max 622 spread 39 std dev 14.26 average velocity 604.60

    5-inch model 10 min 656 max 712 spread 56 std dev 22.22 average velocity 683.20
    5-inch model 10 min 664 max 717 spread 53 std dev 25.40 average velocity 696.00
    Last edited by Bang; November 7th, 2017 at 12:52 PM.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2006
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    Brookville, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    Low pressures will often smoke and/or not burn properly with smokeless. ...which is why a crimp of some sort is preferred - it helps to allow pressure to build up with a fuller flame propagation. Otherwise as soon as the bullet moves forward, some of your powder is blown forward as well.

    Then combine a crimp, or heavier crimp, with more powder - flame propagation is more efficient.

    The dirt on the recoil shield is proof it is too low of pressure. The case for all intents and purposes is just a gasket. It requires sufficient pressure to expand that brass to seal the chamber. Sufficient pressures can be produced by more powder, sometimes a hotter primer, and heavier crimps.


    BlueDot is another powder that does not like lower pressures or no/light crimps. While it is a medium burning powder, it prefers higher pistol pressures to burn cleanly.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: one .38 Spl load=SMOKE, other=clean burning

    The combination of undersized lead bullet, too mild a charge and crimp insufficient to allow pressure spike from more complete burn really took its toll.

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