Whisky Tahoe

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Well like the song says, One Thing Leads To Another...

To help my wife get comfortable with shooting, I picked up a Taurus 38 special revolver.
Rather than get an nicer but more expensive SW, I figured this would be a starter pistol and lead to something else.
Then I started seeing the cost of ammunition.
Alas, the cost of ammunition just triggers my frugal defense mechanisms though my wife would suggest I do make problems more complex at times.

Instead of paying $26 for 20 rounds of 38 special, I'm decided that I'm going to reload some 38 special rounds.
I'll get the defense rounds after she practices a bit.

Picked up a box of 105gr TFP coated bullets from Gallant at Sportsmans, but didn't think the load data might be scarce and well it is rather scarce.
Plated and Coated bullets tend to be best when shot at velocities for lead
because loads for jacketed can be too fast and strip the coating causing lead in the bore.

Best I could do was taking the Hodgdon data for 90gr lead and 125gr lead and averaging it. Fortunately there was a load for Titegroup for both.
This resulted in a starting load of 3.1grains of Titegroup at a pleasant velocity of ~ 800 fps maxing at a load of 3.65gr for a velocity ~ 970 fps
Sure there are a few other powders like Longshot, I stuck with what I had on hand.

While this "cowboy" load will be pleasant to shoot,
I'll have to get more suitable bullets for making better practice loads comparable to actual defense rounds.

Since then I found a few gun stores have 50 round boxes of 38 special for ~ $40 out the door which I probably could have settled for.
Reloading tends to be cheaper and cheaper is good!
 
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At $40 bucks a box it would only take 5 boxes to pay for a Lee reloading kit. after that its all savings.
For pure training I used a 105 gr bullet over .5 cc of Trail Boss powder gave a decent accurate load with almost no recoil.
Because of the shape of the powder I found a .5 cc scoop is the easiest way to measure them.
When I last bought primers I paid $30 a thousand, and that makes my reloads cost $6 a box [ of 50 ]. If you were paying $60 for primers it would only raise the price to $9 a box.
I spent a little over a year having several shoulder surgery's and had to learn to shoot one handed and with my off hand. so I developed that load to learn to shoot an airweight snub nose pistol well. After I got it down I switched to a 148 gr wad cutter at near the top end of standard pressure.
Even though I'm back to using either hand I kept the 148 gr WC load as a carry load in the snub. The little gun does not develop enough speed to open a HP bullet anyway. And the WC cuts a full caliber hole deep into what ever it hits.
The other thing I learned from that is those thick padded slings make a great place to carry a snub!
You did not say which pistol she got but the smaller ones take a little time and practice to get good with. You may be making practice ammo for a while. I still make a light training round to practice in the snubnose. I can easily shoot a hundred of those in a practice session without hurting my hands, but the carry ammo in that light of a gun becomes painful after just a couple cylinders full.
Good Luck to you both. DR
 

Whisky Tahoe

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Thanks! We got the lightweight Taurus 38 with 2in barrel and with factory loads it has a bit of a bite. Nothing like my G20 10mm but more than enough for her.

She is excited to go back out and try the practice loads I made for her. It didn't hurt to make something just for her either. I got more points than loading and unloading the dishwasher!

I'm just glad she's making the effort to stick with shooting. As a treat, I'll introduce her to my Ruger 22 target with grip laser for stacking impacts on top of each other. That is sure to get her hooked.

Cheers and thanks for the reply.

WT
 
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My wife's favorite gun is her Ruger MK1 that she has had since the late 70"s. All of our kids and most everyone we know has learned to shoot with that one.
Good Luck with the target loads. We need all the Brownie points we can build up! DR
 
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For the 105TFP, It's a Magma mold that's pretty common with cowboy shooters. You can load it up with 2.7-3.2 of W231, or equivalent of Titegroup. These charges are so low for the case volume they can be treated as equivalents. I think these loads are well below even recommended minimums, but I've loaded probably half a million rounds of .38 with that load with no complaints. Hodgdon data only lists a CEB Raptor, which is some kind of turned bullet and is wildly inappropriate data. If you want to double check, look for Lyman Data. The Lyman cast bullet handbook is a really good guide, and is totally worth the $20-30.
 

Whisky Tahoe

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For the 105TFP, It's a Magma mold that's pretty common with cowboy shooters. You can load it up with 2.7-3.2 of W231, or equivalent of Titegroup. These charges are so low for the case volume they can be treated as equivalents. I think these loads are well below even recommended minimums, but I've loaded probably half a million rounds of .38 with that load with no complaints. Hodgdon data only lists a CEB Raptor, which is some kind of turned bullet and is wildly inappropriate data. If you want to double check, look for Lyman Data. The Lyman cast bullet handbook is a really good guide, and is totally worth the $20-30.
Thanks for the reminder. I like the Lyman manuals for cast loads and for Thompson Contender loads.

I shot the 105s loaded with 3.5 grains unique and they were very pleasant to shoot even with the 2in snubby.
 

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