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Does anyone load any low-noise, low power loads in .38spl for plinking in areas where ricochets might be a problem? I was thinking of a .22 revolver for goofing off on my 4 acres, since I can use Colibris for shooting cans and not worry too much about them going very far. I'm wondering if a light load with a small bullet in a .38 could give me a rough equivalent. If so, I'd still have a gun that would be useful for home defense or concealed carry.
 

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It pretty hard to beat a 148gr LHBWC. They are very soft and are only driven at 700 fps. A super great target load ... probably the most accurate load you will ever find. As for ricochets, a decent backstop (like a mound of dirt) will take care of that.
 

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With a .38 Spl handgun available to you, I wouldn't recommend turning it into an .22LR-equivalent for home defense. HD is a different application from plinking in the backyard.

Sorry, I don't have any .38 Spl target loads that would lend themselves to your low-noise plinking idea.
 

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I've used the 95gr Remington JHP and what Iwoegan said about the hollow base wadcutters. Turn the hollow base out and you have a pretty good defense load as well. There is no load that is safe if there is nothing to stop the bullet.
 

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Iowegan, is right on with the .38 wadcutter it can be loaded very lightly,(below 600fps) & is still very accurate & fun to shoot. Frank
 

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I like to reload Berry's plated 148gr DEWC's for lite plinking. Almost no recoil (3" barrel) and accurate, also makes neat round holes just like they were stamped out.
 

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Backwards-seated 148 gr LHBWC's keyhole at 20-25 ft out of my 4" GP100 - not that it really matters as it's not intended to be accurate, and I guess if that bullet hits sideways it'll smack the target pretty good.
 

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PC4, you just reminded me ... 25 years ago, the hollow-based wadcutter loaded backwards was an "in" thing. I loaded up six .38 Spl test rounds, loaded my 6-inch Dan Wesson revolver, and stood 20 feet from a 2-ft diameter tree.

It was one of my most surprising moments ... the wadcutter bounced off the tree and in an eight-ft high parabolic curve returned to hit my left shoulder. I could see it coming but couldn't react fast enough.

Fortunately, there was no damage done ... no pain, no bruise, no wound; shirts weren't even holed. But it scared the living bejezzus out of me, nonetheless. Fired the remaining five rounds into a dirt berm; lost interest in that load.

Of course, picking an oak tree as the initial target might have been a poor choice in itself!
 

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Capn, the rounds that I fired through my GP100 were 15-20 years old. I remember them being "in" too.

Ouch! Glad it didn't come straight back! If the hollow base had struck first I doubt it would have done that. Did you recover the bullet?
 

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They make a really nice, pure lead, hollow point bullet....:cool:

...especially if you gas-check them and load them up to +P levels....:D

I still have some I loaded in the late 60's.
 

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I forgot to say that we did a little testing with the HBWC seated backwards:

- When fired as a normal wadcutter at a 55 gal drum, the bullet flattened out and bounced off --- but if fired with the "hollow point" forward, they went through the metal drum (it seemed the hollow point collapsed inward and penetrated metal better)

- When fired into wet newspapers, the normal wadcutter did not expand, but with the "hollow point" forward, it grew to the size of a nickle.

Now I am in no way recommending this (I would bet it is now against some law), but you know how it is with kids (and I was a kid in the 60's), but these bullets are beautiful at night if you drill out the hollow point just a bit and glue a .22 blank cartridge into the nose.... They make a nice, bright flash when they hit --- along with a "bang.":D
 

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JSX, This is one of those "Bubba did it" things. Loading a HBWC backwards creates a huge hollow point. Seems some people thought it would open up and do more damage. The fact is, the bullet is very unstable because the hind end is much heavier than the front end so it starts to tumble soon after it exits the muzzle. Besides exhibiting very poor accuracy, reverse loaded HBWCs just don't work well for terminal damage. A HBWC that is loaded right will be very accurate, in fact the most accurate of any bullet style. It's flat nose cuts a very nasty wound channel and is devastating despite it's low muzzle velocity.

Factory 38 Special 148 gr HBWCs are rated at 720 fps from a 4" barrel. If you run them too hot, they will foul the bore really bad and could even blow the skirt off and leave it in the bore. An obstructed bore is not cool. 2.8 to 3 gr of Bullseye under a 148gr HBWC makes an awesome target and home defense load.
 

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If you have a 38 bullet mold, try hot melt glue in the cavities. Load the bulets in an unprimed case and then seat the primer. Great indoor fun too. They're just like the commercial rubber bullets, only in as many calibers as you have molds for.
 

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I've been thinking about this lately. I'd like as light as load as I can get when my gf goes shooting with me the first time, so it doesn't scare her away. I don't handload, so something commercial in 38 spl. The range and store recommended a 130 grain target load, which is what I've been shooting anyway. Does that sound right?
 

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Look on line for 148 grain HBWC. I haven't seen it in any store or range for many years.
You might want to learn to reload, it is almost half the fun of the shooting sport.
 

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Look on line for 148 grain HBWC. I haven't seen it in any store or range for many years.
You might want to learn to reload, it is almost half the fun of the shooting sport.
I don't reload yet, and if you don't, be sure not to order the "lead bullets" (for reloaders)...order the LOADED .38Sp. 148 gr. HBWC ammunition. It cost me a pretty penny to return the "lead bullets" back to Gamaliel Shooting Supply.
 

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I don't reload yet, and if you don't, be sure not to order the "lead bullets" (for reloaders)...order the LOADED .38Sp. 148 gr. HBWC ammunition. It cost me a pretty penny to return the "lead bullets" back to Gamaliel Shooting Supply.
That sounds like a good excuse as any to order a press and a set of dies!:D
 
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