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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I assume .357 would be more suitable than .38 for targets at 100-150 yards. Can lead bullets be effective for this? I have a lot of Unique powder and would like some suggestions for bullet weight and brands using this powder.

Also is it even worthwhile to use .38 Special at this range?

I will be using a 1894C carbine.
 

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I'd save the lead 38's for short range plinking. If you really want a 150 yard capable 1894CS, it pretty much has to be using 357 mag loads. I have only shot a few lead 38's out of my 1894's, mostly just to shoot up an odd round or two laying around. The ballistics of the 38 are pretty poor which would make the long shots difficult. Some have also reported that shooting a lot of lead 38's leave a ring of lead in the chamber due to the bullet jump. This then may impede the loading and shooting of a full length 357 load. Loading the lead bullets in 357 cases with 38 special powder loads might be one way to get around this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jacketed or Lead

That makes sense. Is it better to use jacketed or lead bullets for this type of shooting? Are some bullet weights better than others?
 

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Hard to beat the 158gns bullets in cast or otherwise. For them distances go with a gaschecked bullet in cast. This will give you better accuracy when upping the charges to shoot 100yds and beyond. It can be done without the gaschecks no doubt, but easier with them. The jacketed would be better for these distances depending on your targets, if it's steel your looking to shoot the cast would be a better option. Just my opine.
 

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I really prefer 158 grain jacketed bullets for long range high velocity loads. Bulk Remington 158 JHP's are readily available and pretty cheap. I've shot plenty of Hornady 158 XTP's and they are really accurate but more expensive. Remington also makes a 180 JHP which it sells in bulk. These are really accurate although loose a lot of velocity at long range and have more drop.

Like Swany says, you can use your lead bullets, just watch the velocity or leading may occur which will ruin your accuracy and make clean up a pain. Use gas checks for the fast loads. Lead shoots fine with the right loads, it just has some limitations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With the barrel length of the 1894C what is the top velocity of the 158 grain cast bullet before leading is likely to occur? Is Unique powder suitable for these?
 

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Its hard to say exactly when leading will occur. It depends on velocity and the hardness of the lead bullet you are shooting. Generally, its about 1300-1500 fps or so. Gas checks would cut down on leading and let you get to a higher velocity. Switch to jacketed bullets and forget all about leading.

My Alliant powder book shows 6.8 grains of Unique with a 158 lead bullet giving a velocity of 1250 fps from a 5.5" barrel. The same load would be faster out of a rifle since the longer barrel gives more time for the pressure to act on the bullet giving more velocity.

The same Alliant book shows 6.8 grains of Unique giving 1195 with a jacketed bullet in the same 5.5" barrel. Jacketed bullets are usually slower than lead given similar powder charges.

With magnum type powders (2400, H110, Lil'gun) velocities of 1600+ can easily be reached in a rifle length barrel. This is what "flattens" out the trajectory making those long distance hits easier.

If all you have right now is Unique and lead, by all means give it a try. Experimenting is part of the fun of shooting and reloading.

Good shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How about IMR-4227? My Lyman manual lists this powder both for .357 rifle and pistol. I will be shooting at metal plates about 165 yards. Would the Remington 158 jacketed be OK? I will be placing an order with Midway soon.
 

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Yes, although I have not used it before, IMR-4227 is a frequently used magnum powder. Consult a book for the proper starting load. The Remington 158 JHP's are excellent bullets.
 

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My experience with 357 (& other pistol cartridge chambered) rifles is to use a slower burning powder and make the most of the longer barrel. I tend to use Alliant 2400.

Willy
 
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The finest load for distance in my 1894c is Hornady's XTP FP, 158 gr., over Hodgdon's recommended max load of Lil' gun--which I believe is 15 grs. What you want for distance shooting is something flat--and this load clocks an honest and very consistent 2,000 fps. The XTP FP is considerably more accurate than any other lead or jacketed bullet I've tried in my gun, and cycles smooth and fast. I've shot several groups of just over an inch at a hundred yards with this load.
 
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Sorry--I should add that, while this doesn't address your search for lead and Unique, I offer it because you won't find a load with that combination that will go near as fast, and the trajectory of any 357 bullet approaching 150 yards is getting rainbow-like. Unique and lead could produce a fun load for out to 50 yards or so, but you'd be limited both by the fast burn rate and the potential for leading (and attendant degraded accuracy).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to everyone for all of the information. I went ahead and ordered 500 Remington JHP 158 bullets and several pounds of IMR-4227. This appears to be perfect for the distance I will be shooting. I also got one of those Loadbooks for the .357 and there are a lot of recipes in it including several for the rifle version of the cartridge.
 

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Those loadbooks are pretty handy. Although I have not used 4227 before, it is a popular magnum powder. You should have a lot of fun. The 357 Model 1894's are amazingly accurate and a whole lot of fun.

Keep us posted.
 
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Lil'Gun

The Hodgdon load manual for 158grn. Hornady XTP is 18 grains,out of 10 inch pistol barrel they give velocity of 1577 fps.I load this same load using CCI small pistol magmun primer,it is very accurate load.They state cup pressure of 25,800 come paired to 39,000 to 42,000 for other powders.It is truely a well matched load for the 1894C,i've got to get more bullets to load.Hey Mike!!!!!
 

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IMR 4227 works pretty good with 158g or heavier jacketed bullets in the 357 magnum. If you use it though, be sure to get a very firm crimp on the bullet, and definately use CCI 550 primers. The 550s seem(to me anways) to be just a little hotter than the others.

I know you've already ordered the 4227, but I think you'd be very hard pressed to beat Lil" Gun, H-110, 296, or AA-9 for your purposes. 4227 tends to be very hard to get to burn efficiently, unless you're using 180g or heavier jacketed bullets. The other powders will usually give you more consistantly accurate, and uniform loads.
 
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