FAQ #31 ( Corrosive Primer Information )

Subject: Corrosive Primer Information

Question from WILEY JOHNSON

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 96

Mr. Smith:

This is not a reloading question, but perhaps you can provide some help or direction for information. I have several dozen rounds of military surplus (U.S.) 30-06 ammunition and I have no idea if the primer is corrosive or not. Is there any way to tell if the primer is corrosive by looking at the headstampings on the case? Any advice would be appreciated.


W. carroll johnson, III

Almost ALL US military 30-06 ammo is NON-Corrosive. I got some 25 years ago that was NON-corrosive. Very little corrosive was ever available to U.S. shooters, but I remember the discussions years ago, that even if you DID use corrosive primers, just clean your gun good after use (which is a good idea with any kind of ammo) and you would be fine. So, use your ammo. My experiences have all been good and the stuff seems to shoot just like new after all those years of storage somewhere. There are occasional tales of something having gotten wet somewhere and not shooting at all, but I have never heard directly of it.

Regards, M.D.S.

FAQ #32 ( 9mm loads & recoil )

Date: Thu, 18 Apr 96

From: Ronnie Shelor — Blacksburg, VA

From: Ronnie Shelor — Blacksburg, VA

I am having problems working up a 147 gr. load for a Ruger 9mm. The chages I have used vary greatly, but I continue to have problems getting the slide back far enough to eject the spent case and feed a new one. The hotter loads I have used almost knock the pistol out of your hands, but nothing has been able to cycle a new round. I am using a 147 gr. HP/XTP and have used both Unique and Blue Dot. Any suggestions?

Ronnie: I do believe Unique is a slow enough powder to get all the power and velocity out of the 9mm and the problem has got to be a spring that is too strong, or a mechanism that is binding. Is the gun really clean and lubricated well? If so, a weaker spring is the obvious answer.

FAQ #33 (.38 in .357 cases )

Date: Fri, 19 Apr 96 From: Tom in Stockbridge, Ga.

Subject: .38 loads in .357 cases

In your reloading sect., the FAQ about using .357 cases with .38 Spl. loads- I have been told this is OK but you should stay to the high side of the reloading tables for .38 SPL. (this from Hornady: 1-800-338-3220). The reason is for case density. This may be of some intrest To you or your page.

That’s correct on the larger cases of .357 with .38 special loads in them. The larger case causes lower pressures and velocities. I can clearly see that, when you look at the .45 caliber 230 grain RN bullet in the .45 ACP compared to the huge case of the .45 Colt….BIG difference for the same velocity loads…and I am doing a LOT of experimenting with those combinations, since one of my new handguns is a 7 1/2″ barrel Single Action with both cylinders for .45 ACP and .45 Colt . . . and I want to compare the exact same load of Unique and same bullet with different cases. Should be interesting to compare.

FAQ #34 (.22 SABOTS for 30-06)

Date: Fri, 28 Jun 96

Subject: .22 cal. sabots for .30-06

From David Quick

Hi M.D.,

I have had a question sent to my homepage, “HANDLOADING FOR HUNTING” which I need a bit of info. on myself, so I thought I would see if you have any knowledge on this one. This fellow wants some info. on loading the .22 cal. sabots made for the .30-06. I knew they were out there, but don’t know where to get them, or where to find loading information on them. I would love to try these myself.

Please let me know if you can point me to a source of info. and loading info. on these. BTW, my page is at: http://www.accs.net/users/drquick

Thanks so much, DAVE QUICK

Dave: I have seen these and they are growing in popularity. When I made a tour of ALABAMA AMMO, J.B. Brown, was loading some up and I was impressed with the idea. J.B. had bought a quantity…and he would be glad to share any info he has about them, I am sure. He is not on the net, yet, so here is the contact info.

Alabama Ammo, Inc.
19505 Alabama Highway 24
Moulton, AL 35650-7364
Voice (205) 974-3504, Fax (205) 974-3506
Order-Line 1-888-ALA-AMMO (252-2666)
I may try some soon, too. He said they were surprisingly accurate once the sabot drops away.

Because you got my interest up….I just called J.B. myself and ordered 100 sabots, .22 cal bullets and his load data sheet (sheet costs $1.00 and sabots cost $6.00 for 100). I am going to try them in my 30-06.
He said you use faster burning powders and you want a really clean barrel since there is no friction from the Teflon sabots. He said to expect +4,000 fps speeds and devasting effects on targets upon impact.
Wow! This sounds impressive, doesn’t it? By the way, I found out the correct pronounciation is SA-BO with long A and long O sounds, being French in origin.

FAQ #35 ( H&R Muzzleloader )

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 96

From: Pete Lester P_Lester@unhn.unh.edu

Subject: H&R Muzzleloaders


I have really enjoyed your reloading page. I could really relate to your story about losing a shot at a nice deer due to a misfire. I have been muzzleloading for deer for 20 years and that happened once to me. I started blackpowder deer hunting with an H&R Huntsman 156, a 58 Caliber muzzleloader that was based on an H&R single shot shotgun. If indeed you are using one of these make sure that you have one with a threaded breach plug. Many of the H&R’s had breach plugs that popped in and out and were held in place by a rubber o-ring. A deer hunter here in New Hampshire was killed with one of these guns about ten years ago. He had shot at a deer and the gun misfired or so he thought, he broke it open and at some point the gun discharged (a hangfire). The lead bullet was heavier than the breach plug so the breach plug became the projectile hitting him squarely between the eyes. I believe that this happened in other states as well and it led to the demise of H&R which is now known as New England Arms. I purchased a T/C Renegade to replace the H&R 19 years ago and I have never regretted the decision. Good Luck and be careful with that H&R.

That is a very interesting and good piece of info to have. I will post it on my web pages in the future under the FAQ section. I have the Screw-out plug, and recently pulled out the old H&R, which is over 25 years old, and almost could not get the breech plug out. After several days with “liquid wrench” poured into the threads, I was finally able to get it out, and thoroughly clean the plug, nipple, and bore…and leave it oiled and ready to shoot. I plan to chrono some of the loads in my pages to see what they do in the near future. Thanks for your story and the warning. Glad I have the good kind. It shot very accurately the last time I used it. Sights were dead-on target at about 75 yards. My youngest kids are interested in black-powder, so I dusted off my pistols and the rifle to start shooting again. Plus, I had never chrono’d the loads, and thought it might be a interesting thing to do. Best regards to you. M.D.

FAQ #36 ( Too Much Powder )

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 96

From:George Croft — Dallas, Texas

Mr. Smith.

Last night I set up to run 500 rounds of .45 ACP on my Dillon 550B. I choose a 230gr FMJ (well plated really) and 5.3 gr of Bullseye in all brand new Starline brass. I use the Dillon scale and check the powder measure unit often so I don’t think I ever vary even .1 gr

All was going well until I noticed I had set 5.7gr on the scale… not 5.3gr (I had set the small poise 2 clicks on the wrong side of the .5)! I loaded about 220 cartridges this way with exactly 5.7 gr of Bullseye.

In rechecking all my data, I find 5.4 the highest to appear in any of the charts. My load of 5.7, then, is 5.6% greater than a 5.4 load and 7.5% greater than a 5.3 load which so others recommend.

My guns are all new. A Colt Series 80 Commander (4.25″ barrel) and a Series 80 Officer’s (3.5″ barrel) and a Springfield Trophy Match (5″ barrel).

I am trying to decide IF it would be safe to fire these 5.7gr rounds at all… and if so… which barrel would be the safest to use (if that is a factor). I don’t fire any of the + ammo on the market although my pistol manuals say it’s okay to fire but for the added wear and tear.

What would you do under these conditions. This hasn’t happened to me before and I’d appreciate your thoughts.

first reply

The textbook advice to you is pull all the bullets out and re-load the ammo. But I, like you, would be reluctant to do that. I might opt to try it in my strongest gun, check velocity with a Chrono as an indication of what kind of load I made…and certainly check the case for ANY signs of excessive pressure, like dished primer where the firing pin struck it, or cracked/split case, etc. I CAN NOT recommend that you do this for legal purposes. Hope you can understand my position in putting anything in writing on the internet that suggest using over maximum loads. But we both know that shooters around the world do it. The PLUS P loads were designed to be the REAL absolute MAX loads used only in very strong pistols or rifles. I don’t have any PLUS P loads for the .45 ACP. But I would think it would be about 5.6 grains.

So my advice has to be, do what you think is best. If you do shoot these loads, I would very much like some feedback from you on what you find and discover.

(LATER REPLY) You notice that the tables for FMJ show up to 5.4 grains which is pretty close to the 5.7 that you loaded….so you are not very far over the max…Still interested in how they perform if you decide to shoot some of them. Also, Alliant does NOT show Bullseye for that particular bullet, that’s why no FPS on it, but I did show a safe load if not exceeded. If you can shoot 5.4 with a jacketed bullet, I doubt you’d get into trouble using that same load with a lead bullet. Why not CALL Alliant and get their advice.

Feedback Reply

(George told me he talked to Mr. Pascoe at Alliant and they were willing to test fire his rounds for him and check the pressures to see if they were safe to shoot. Here is that reply:)

Harry Pascoe at Alliant responded today… He fired all five rounds of the 230 gr plated I had mistakenly loaded over 5.7 gr Bullseye. The results were (to me) surprisingly within safe ranges. All five rounds achieved 818 fps and produced 14,977 (lbs?) of pressure. SAFE TO FIRE, he says. He said the Colt .45 ACP is usually safe to 21,000 lbs pressure. Actually, the velocity was going DOWNWARDS with my increase in powder… and the pressure was on the way up. This is what happens, he says, with a lead bullet under increased loads.

He personally uses 4.5gr Bullseye over 230gr “gilded” bullets for 905 fps in 5″ barrel.

Pascoe believes that plated bullets should be treated as if they were lead. Phil Hodgdon, at Hodgdon Powders, believes plated bullets should fall under the regular FMJ category. I tend to agree with Pascoe who says that plating is too difficult to quantify… some plating is only a few molecules thick… gilding as he calls it. Other plating may be much thicker. No matter… most plating still allows whatever bullet to behave according the hardness/softness of it’s alloy.

Anyway, I’m glad this batch turned out so far to be on the safe side. Didn’t want to pull them all apart… but I would have.

Thanks for your help and input. I recommend your site to many.

FAQ #37 (Powder Case Position vs. speed )

Date: Thu, 27 Jun 96

From: Paul Fields — Lakewood, Colorado

Excellent site MDS. As some additional information for your readers, I recently documented the problem of powder location vs. speed. I have been developing loads for a T/C Contender in 7mm T.C.U. For your readers not familiar with this cartidge, it is a .223 Remington case expanded to hold a 7mm bullet. This has been a very popular cartridge with long range silhouette shooters. Back to the subject. I was using a load from the Lyman manual which was IMR4227. Even at the maximum recommended load of 20Grs. for a 130Gr. bullet,there is still some room left in the case.

I chronographed 20 cartridges alternating between lowering the barrel and raising the barrel to relocate the powder. The difference in velocities were as much as 230fps.

With respect to bottleneck cases it is always best to use a powder that nearly fills the case to eliminate this problem.

Keep up the good work!

Paul Fields

Thanks for your input and experience in “case position sensitive powder”, as it was called by Accurate. They have one brand they call a “case position insensitive” powder. AA5744 17.8 gr. 860 fps, nicely-in .45 Colt) It’s a NitroGlycerin powder that their tech man said was extremely consistent, regardless of position. I certainly plan to try it. Since I usually use between 8.5 and 9.5 grains of Unique, I suspect the 17.8 grains will also nearly fill the .45 Colt case and that would have helped under any circumstances. You might call Accurate and see if that powder is suitable for the 7mm TCU or if they have a similar powder that would work for you. It’s an interesting thing to learn in actual tests. I am looking for powders that will nearly fill the cases in the future, or finding something like AA5744 for my pistol loads. Thanks again.

Regards, MDS

FAQ #38 ( .45 ACP, cases, etc. )

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 96

From: William Burbidge (burbidge@mms.water.ci.detroit.mi.us)


I have begun reloading for the .45 ACP using the following components: Misc. brass (Federal, Win, R-P, GFI, Etc…), Bullseye powder (4.9 grains), Win Large pistol primers and a hard cast 200 gr lswc. This combination works very well except I have found that some cases will expand along the depth that the bullet is seated. This causes them to fail the case checker (Dillon) test. I am using RCBS dies which seat and taper crimp at the same time (1.25 in OAL and .469 in crimp). I have played with different flairing widths and different crimping diameters. The only constant is that the Federal, PMC cases seem to fail “the test” more consistently then R-P or WCC. Do you have any suggestions?


On Wed, 19 Jun 1996, M.D. Smith wrote:

If you find a brand of case that works better and more consistently for you, stick with it. I have not found that all .45’s are that critical and most seem to function, even with a slight variation in length or dia. Seems that many .45 barrels have a lot of slop in them.

Thanks for sharing your load with me, I may add it to the .45 page in the near future. Any idea on the fps of that load?

Reply 2

Thanks for responding so quickly. I got that particular load from the Lyman Pistol & Revolver Handbook: 890 fps according to the book, I will chronograph them when I get the time.

Another question, how much crimp should a 10mm cast bullet receive? Also what should the overall length be set at for a 170 grn lswc with a single gas check?

reply 3

Regarding crimp: Since almost all autos, headspace on the case itself, you can’t put much crimp on the case or it will go into the chamber too far, and may even malfunction. You should just “taper crimp” (NOT roll crimp) enough to take out the belling of the mouth that the previous die did to make inserting the bullet easier.

I don’t have books available to tell you about OAL, but the Gas Check should not matter. Since SWC bullets are narrow, if they go in the magazine OK and feed OK, they will probably work just fine in the autos. OAL really matters if you are putting a bullet in a revolver chamber and it sticks out the front, or if a RN bullet is getting pressed hard into the rifling of the barrel of a pistol or rifle (but I have heard some say they get more consistent FPS by NOT seating bullets all the way in and allowing them to touch the rifling (even take them out to make sure they can see the touch marks on the bullet of the unfired round after it is chambered, but I would not do that). So, you can see there are as many opinions on OAL as there are spots on a Dalmation dog.

Now, finally, bullet seating DOES affect pressures, with a deeper seating generally creating greater pressures (and FPS), but could exceed specs if near maximum loads. Since fewer and fewer bullets have a crimp ring on them, you should pay attention to OAL (thus seating depth) as you load your ammo. there are several books and even some free pamphlets that give this data. If you use the Lyman books, I thought that info was available in it, but maybe not. Thanks for the reply info. Good loading and shooting to you. MDS

FAQ #39 (6.5*57 Problem (from France) )

Date: Thu, 9 May 96

From: Pierre DELORME (aj2u43@bat710.uni-lyon1.fr)

I’ve got some problem with my rifle His caliber is 6.5*57, with K98 Mauser mecanisme. I reloading ammos in my rock chuker with RCBS 6.5*57 dies set. The thirst die is on contact with the shell-holder (in fact I’ve got a little space, near 1/10 mm) when the press is in his end course. When I chamber a carbriges the end mouvement to close the chamber is hard.

I measure my onloaded carbrige and I see on the Palmer less than 56.7 mm (the maxi lenth) To do a experience I realise with a case treamer 5 carbriges in 56.5 I realoading theses carbriges, and I’ve got the same reasult. I do the same thing with 56.3 lenth for the same reasult. I’m affraid to shoot this cartbrige because I don’t whant visit mooon… In a second reflexion I think thats the bullet his in contact with twist…

I measue a manufactured carbrige, it’s more important extra lenth than DELORME carbriges ‘s.

Where is the problem ?

Bravo for your fantastic web site…


Bonjour and Tres Bien, mon ami! Je parle en peu Francais.

Your english is probably about the same as my French. So I am not really clear on your problem, except that the cartridge will not fit in the chamber of the rifle easily. Are you lubricating the cases first? Re-Size the case as far down as the die will go, just barely touching the shell head. Then, seat the bullet as deep as practical, or use a smaller bullet to make sure it is not hitting the chamber in the rifle. If you clean the loaded cartridge and then insert into the rifle and then take it out, you should see some scratches on the case or bullet where it is rubbing on the chamber of the rifle. That should tell you where the problem is located.

If you have trimmed the case to the proper length and resized it in the die, there is nothing more you can do that I know of. Make sure the BULLETS are not too big, and making the case too large when you seat them into the case. Check the dimensions of the case outside after it is fully loaded to see if it meets specifications.

Thanks for the comments on my pages from France. Regards, M.D.

FAQ #40 ( High Power .45 Colt loads )

Date: Tue, 14 May 1996

From: DBman1@gnn.com (David Beeman)

Was very interested in your .45 Colt loads. I own a Ruger Blackhawk, with a 4 5/8″ barrell, and i am always interested in different loads for this gun, I don’t own a chrono, so I was very curious about the velocity loss because of the shorter barrell. I live in Bear and Mountain Lion country so I tend to load heavy. The smallest bullet weight I use is the 250 JHP, either Nosler or Hornady, both are excellent when pushed past what I think is 1000fps. I also like Hard cast 300 and 315 for when I think I might cross paths with a bear, these have a gas check of course. Thanks again for the info.


Yes, I would load them heavy, too. You can get away with yet more than I list in my loads, but I don’t want anyone getting into trouble. The case of the .45 colt is not nearly as strong at the .44 magnum, but some people use those loads in the .45…. Worse thing seems to be cases bulge and/or split and some powder comes out the back, but the Rugers seem to hold up. This is what I have been told. Barnes makes some SOLID bullets for game like bear that I would want if you need protection. In fact, a .44 magnum is a light gun for bear in my opinion, but any gun is better than none at all. I am doing some cowboy shooting now, and we use very light loads. The fast burning powders vary the most in velocities. I suggest you use the slow burning powders that come closer to filling up the case for those big bullets. I would be interested in the exact loads you use for the various bullets. Regards & good luck.

reply 2

Thank you for replying to my message. I pretty much use the Hodgdon edition 26 data manual for my loads, I like it because it has the silhouette load data, and the regular data. I don’t shoot everything heavy, but when I do I have found the .45 cases to last every bit as long as the .44 mag. cases. Since I discovered the round. Some of my favorites are as follows:255swc(hard cast) over 8.5 gr of Hodgdon universal clays, this is slow enough that it doesn’t lead hardly at all, Nosler 250jhp over 10.5 gr Universal(very accurate for me),Hornady 250 XTP over 9.5 gr Universal, and last but not least is the Nosler 250 sitting on top of 12.7 gr of IMR 800X, the last one is my favorite all around carry load.I don’t get into the Cowboy Action Shooting, but my Grandad does, of course he has a Vaquero chambered for .45 Colt. I spend all of my available time in the high country, not much time with three kids. Take it easy, hope to hear from you soon. Adios

FAQ #41 ( Cast .44 bullets )

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 96

From: Paul Lang (CZ75LANG@worldnet.att.net)

It looks as though you are as afflicted with the reloading bug as I am. I have been reloading since I was 20. I am now 60. Reloading has become something of a therapy for me and when I am nervous, I go cook up a 100 rounds or cast some bullets or anything else that relates. My latest testing has to do with heavy weight bullets for the 41 and 44 magnums. I am using Lead Bullet Technology moulds. For the 44 magnum the weights and types are, 265 grain wide flat nose, 310 grain long flat nose and a 350 grain long wide nose. All are gas checked. These bullets need about 1200 FPS to stabilize properly. Out of my 44 Redhawk, they are some of the most accurate loads I have ever shot. They will group with the best jacketed bullet loads and out group most of them. It has been a number of years since I have been this excited over a product new to me. I cast and quench at the same time and my formula sets up at about brinell 20 after 24 hours. I size to .411 and .430 respectively. Most lubes seem to work well and I have not experienced any leading. My powder has been almost exclusively H110. If you have any experience with heavy bullets and powders for them, I would be very interested in hearing about it. Particularly any experience you may have with N110 from Vit.

Thanks – – – PAUL LANG AKA PJ

Paul: Good to hear from you. I have not done near the casting of my own bullets as you have. I think in this area, you are far ahead of me in experience of what works best and what does not. I found it more time consuming that I wanted to do, since I was more interested in different powder, speeds and stuff like that. I DO know that GOOD cast bullets can perform exactly as you have mentioned. I have used jacketed bullets in my .44 mag, but use lead when backing off close to .44 special loads. I like Hodgdon powders and have used them. Never used VV, but I hear it burns extremely clean and leaves very little residue. I am sure I will try it some day…probably VV N350 in my new .357Sig that I will begin reloading soon. I bought some ammo from Alabama Ammo using it, and it was the most consistent speeds of any ammo I have ever shot, and that’s what he uses with a 124 grain JHP bullet. Nice to hear from you, and keep in touch. Hey, if you’d like to send me 10-20 bullets you have cast in .44, I would love to load them, chrono them and put them on the web…. and I’d give you credit for supplying them. Best regards, MDS

FAQ #42 (.44 and .45 ACP loads )

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 96

From: steve (spanzer@olympic.net)

Great site!! I really will enjoy trying out some of your loads for the 45acp and 44 mag. Good to see a shooter willing to pass on some good loads. My favorite load presently in the 44 is 7.1 grains of W231 because it burns so clean and is a very mild load in the magnum. Plus I have been getting great accuracy in my Anaconda with it. I have shot with as much as 11.2 grains using 240 grain bullets but these are real bruising loads and I save them for my macho friends(they always wonder why I shoot better).

In the 45 I shoot a ton of Bullseye and W231,,,,,, both are very economical in shooting. I use 4.0 – 4.3 grains for the paper punching I do at the local club here in Poulsbo, Washington. In passing I recently picked up a Remington 700 VSSF in 22-250 and I have yet to duplicate the fantastic accuracy of the Federal Premiums(less than an inch at 200yds). So far the closest I have come is using H380 at anywhere from 38 to 39.5 grains with Noslers both in 50 and 55 grains. The rifle does not seem to like any other powders and also seems to shoot better the hotter the load,,,,,, any hints on a super accurate load would be appreciated. I have already done all the things you would expect to the brass(neck sizing/weighing/uniforming/deburring.etc,,,,,)

Have a great day and thanks for the loads.

FAQ #43 ( Case life )

Date: Wed, 1 May 96

From: mark.lucas@cas.honeywell.com

Congratulations on a very informative page(s)! I didn’t see anything regarding case life in your FAQ, so here it goes…

How many times can brass (or nickle) cases be reloaded? What indications are there on a used case that it should be discarded?

More specific to my situation, I reload LOTS of .45 ACP using 200gr. SWC, behind 5.0 gr. of Bullseye, OAL 1.24 -1.25, WLP primers. According to Hercules testing, this load produces 849 FPS and 12,587 PSI. I have probably reloaded some brass and nickle cases 10 times. The head stamps are getting faint, and sometimes I split a case when resizing.

Am I crazy?

I sure you get alot of email, but any comments or a reference would be very much appreciated!

I have read quite a bit and no one ventures to put a given “life” on any kind of case that I can see. Cases shot at lower pressures and powder loads generally last longer than the opposite. How long? No answer. Cases that are roll crimped heavily don’t last nearly as long as those that are not crimped at all, or just slightly taper crimped (as in the .45 ACP). Straight cases usually last longer than taper cases like the 30-06. Any case showing a crack of any kind should be discarded. Showing a heavy wear line near the base is a cause for concern too, even if not cracked. BUT…as long as the case is carefully inspected…checked for OAL (overall length and trimmed back if out of specs), you can re-load them an unspecificied number of times. It might be interesting to see who holds the record for the greatest number of re-loads from cases. I would suspect, if you were reloading exactly the same 50 case box, time after time…once you started seeing more than a 10%-20% case split or other poblems, it would be time to toss the entire group. However, if it is not damaged there is no reason NOT to reload a case. I have never reloaded my cases more than 10 times, which I think would be a reasonable limit.

Thanks for the comments.

FAQ #44 ( Hodgdon Universal and .45 ACP )

Date: Mon, 6 May 96

From: Doug McIntyre (updmst@gibbs.oit.unc.edu)

What is your source of the 4.8 grains of Universal Clay for 230 grain 45 ACP lead bullet load?

Below is an email I received from Hodgon.

The maximum load of Universal Clays with a 230gr. lead bullet in the 45ACP is 6.0gr. Velocity from a 5″ barrel is expected to be approx. 880 fps. I hope that this information helps. Mike Daly

The source is the 1996 Hodgdon free handloading booklet I got from a local gunshop. I have called them about some other descreps…and they simply said: “Some of those loads are very old and conservative. Any NEW data (like some in the new Cowboy Action Data pamphlet which shows a lower load and higher speeds for the .45 long colt) is some that we have recently checked (IN a TEST barrel) and have published.”

I found that answer not very satisfactory, but that’s what I got from one of their tech reps. However, the 4.8 grains at 782 may still be comparable to the 6.0 grains at 880 fps. I would be interested to see what Hodgdon says about that. You should also notice that they DO show 6.0 grains for the 230 grain JACKETED bullet and 853 fps in the table just below the one you mentioned.

I have usually used UNIQUE which is similar in performance to Universal, and I started with 5.5 grains and worked up to 6.1 which I found best in my autos. I would certainly think 6.0 of Uinversal would work, but I don’t want to publish something beyond what is in the manuals for these powder companies, unless it is carefully highlighted as MY OWN personal load and specific cautions are mentioned.

FAQ #45 ( 9mm bullets in .38 guns? )

Date: Tue, 21 May 96

From: Kevin K Borgerdings

Greetings, I stumbled upon your web site, and I must say it’s got alot of interesting data in it. I have a question for you: I have 2000 125gr. LRN .356 bullets at my bench that were purchased for my 9mm. I’ve decided that I do not wish to load the lead bullets for the 9mm. I’d like to use them in my .38spl if I can. Since the .38 bullets that I’ve been using are .357 and the 9mm bullets are .356, I figured I might be able to get away with this. Is there any reason why I should not do this? I’ve loaded an empty .38 case with one of the .356/125gr. bullets, and it seemed to fit into the case mouth quite well, just like a normal .357 SWC. My normal load for 158gr.SWC in .38spl is 4.1gr. of Unique. I’m thinking that this will also work with the lighter bullet. I’ve been reloading for about 5 years now with hand-loaders and single-stage presses, as well as the last year with a Lee Loadmaster full progressive machine. (I’ve probably turned out about 5,000 rounds with the Loadmaster so far). I appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks,



Kevin: Direct answer to your question of 9mm in .38 cases…It’s not a good idea. BUT…it will work. The bullet will not seat as tight and velocities will be more erratic (and therefore accuracy) and you would not want to use either a maximum or a minimum load. Crimp the bullet firmly to help the powder burn completely. I don’t believe you will have any serious problems, but again, I have never done it myself. I have only read on the subject and my comments are a result of that reading. For just plinking and fun shooting, I think I would be inclined to use up the bullets…better yet, find a supplier of cast lead bullets you can swap with for .358 lead bullets. Hope this helps. I was on-line when your message came. That is why the quick response from me. Regards and thanks for nice comments. M.D.

Reply from kevin later


Thanks for your reply. I did try the load of 4.1gr. Unique with the 125gr. bullet. I found that the inconsistency from shot to shot was nothing short of horrible. The recoil and report changes with every round fired. I believe I can attribute that to the fact that my bullets are not being crimped as tightly as they should be, and are therefore moving in the case as they wait in the cylinder of the revolver, while preceding shots are being fired. I just don’t have a “good” feeling about continuing with this load, therefore I won’t. Thanks again for your time, and keep shootin’ straight!



FAQ #46 ( 9mm and Bullseye powder )

Date: Wed, 22 May 96

From: Michael L.” (MNTNGOAT@cris.com)

My name is MIchael and enjoy your informative reloading page but was wondering where you got your load data for the 9mm. I have yet to see any data for 147 grain bullets using bullseye powder, not that I don’t belive it I just wanted to know what the starting load charge was and velocity.

All data about Bullseye for 9mm came either from Alliant or the Bullet Manufacturers. they are near Maximum loads and you should start at least 10% lower in charge. You can use Bullseye in anything you want to use it in, but it is well suited for small cases and spaces. It is most universally found in the .38 special loads but even the larger .45 ACP. It certainly is suitable for the small case of the 9mm, short barrel and burning time. Accurate’s No. 2 is very similar to Bullseye, and you see they recommend 4.0 grains in the 147 jacketed bullet. So the 4.2 of Bullseye is very similar.

FAQ #47 ( .357 SIG Brass & loads )

Date: Wed, 22 May 96

From: Steve Thomason

(This is my response to Steve about cases he has found that are too short for the .357 Sig.)

That info on the .357 Sig is quite interesting. The facts you discovered on the necked down .40 case is what I had heard from other sources… That is was too short to hold bullet properly. I am surprised about factory brass being that short…but you were talking about MAX case length, and what shows for an average length may be in that range.

I know that seems like a LOT (8.0 gr. of bullseye, but two factors, it’s a light bullet 115 gr. JHP) and I found from talking to the manufacturers, that the loads and pressures don’t track in a linear way. There are cases with some loads where the amount of Unique ( a much slower powder) equals the amount of bullseye for nearly identical velocities. I had the people at Alliant explain that to me, but didn’t make much sense, so they just said trust them. They say every case has different properties, and to assume a given amount of Bullseye in a standard .357 mag case would act anywhere close to the same in a .357 Sig case is wrong.

Seems that we have to take less and less for granted and rely more on the test loads and pressures that the manufacturers brew and tell us about.

I know I would not start at 8.0 grains of Bullseye, but might work up to it carefully. However, I never have liked maximum loads for any reason. I think some shooters just want to brag that their .357 sig matches a .357 mag load is the issue. I never even load my Ruger .44 magnum near the factory magnum loads. I keep a few JHP factory loads for hunting and that’s the only time I want to shoot them, except when getting ready to hunt and want to put a few max. loads thru the gun. Else, I just want a nice mild recoil target load that I can group close together…. or hit a can every time I shoot at it.


Date: Sun, 12 May 1996


I saw your posting of your favorite loads for various hand guns. I was particularly interested in the .38 Special, .45 ACP, .357 Mag. and the .44 Mag.

I have been shooting light target loads in my .38, .357, and .45.

The loads I most commonly use are:

.357 152 grain Lead SWC (RCBS Mold) with 4.3 grains of Bullseye

.38 148 grain Lead HBWC (SPEER) with 3.0 grains of bullseye

.45 200 grain Lead SWC (AMERICAN) with 4.3 grains of Bullseye

I have a Smith & Wesson .44 Mag. Model 626 with an 8 3/8″ barrel that I have never reloaded for. I would like a light target load with Bullseye powder, if possible. I also would like to use a lead SWC (without having to use a Gas Check). I have seen 190, 215 and 240 Grain SWC’s advertised from “BULL-X” Inc. and would like to try one of those.

The only info I have seen in the SPEER manual was for a Lead 240 Gr. SWC and 5.5 Gr. of Bullseye.

Below are the loads for .44 SPECIAL. Use something between the .44 Mag and THESE for the 240 grain lead bullet.

240-250 grain Lead SWC or RN + Gas Check (GC)
Bullseye 4.5 gr. 765 FPS
Unique 6.0 gr. 800
2400 11.3 gr. 805
HP38 4.9 gr. 775
No. 2 4.7 gr. 819
No. 5 6.8 gr. 860
231 5.4 gr. 795
240-250 grain JHP
HP38 4.9 gr. 775 FPS
No. 2 4.5 gr. 604
No. 5 6.5 gr. 730

FAQ #49 ( Comments:loads for .44 Mag and .45 ACP )

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996

From:steve (spanzer@olympic.net)

Great site!! I really will enjoy trying out some of your loads for the 45acp and 44 mag. Good to see a shooter willing to pass on some good loads. My favorite load presently in the 44 is 7.1 grains of W231 because it burns so clean and is a very mild load in the magnum. Plus I have been getting great accuracy in my Anaconda with it. I have shot with as much as 11.2 grains using 240 grain bullets but these are real bruising loads and I save them for my macho friends(they always wonder why I shoot better). In the 45 I shoot a ton of Bullseye and W231…… both are very economical in shooting. I use 4.0 – 4.3 grains for the paper punching I do at the local club here in Poulsbo, Washington.

In passing I recently picked up a Remington 700 VSSF in 22-250 and I have yet to duplicate the fantastic accuracy of the Federal Premiums(less than an inch at 200yds). So far the closest I have come is using H380 at anywhere from 38 to 39.5 grains with Noslers both in 50 and 55 grains. The rifle does not seem to like any other powders and also seems to shoot better the hotter the load….. any hints on a super accurate load would be appreciated. I have already done all the things you would expect to the brass(neck sizing/weighing/uniforming/deburring, etc.)

Have a great day and thanks for the loads.

HEY, thanks for the info on the loads. Will file it away for future. To improve accuracy, you might VERY carefully weigh powder and bullets and make them as uniform as you can. Also different powders do better in certain calibers and guns. Just keep experimenting. Slower powders that fill the cases CAN be more consistent (therefore accurate) too.

FAQ #50 ( Calculate Muzzle Energy )

From: Steve Thomason (stthomas@Interpath.com)

Hi MD:

Came across this formula to calculate muzzle energy for any load. It was in the new VihtaVuori Oy Jan. l996 reloading guide. velocity (fps) x velocity (fps) x bullet weight in grains divided by 450436 = Muzzle Energy.

Thought if you did not already have this, you might want to pass it along to your readers.

Have a good day! Steve Thomason

Thank you very much for the gem, Steve. I will certainly use in on the pages in the future.

Regards, MDS