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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I have a supply of the relatively newish Federal 130 gr. HP HST bullets they load in their .38 +P defense loads. 890 fps from a 4" barrel.... Basically, it is a jacketed full wadcutter, with a deeeeep hollow point. According to Lucky Gunner tests, they expand very well from a 2" barrel at 825 fps, and about the same from a 4" barrel at 850 fps, giving about an inch more penetration.

THAT'S why we Reload, and discuss stuff on the fora. We ALL want just a little"gooder"!
And...we want it SAFE! Sooo...please use anything I post with judicious care, as you alone will be responsible for any damage or injury that results from use or misuse of the information.

When I measured, I found the OAL of the Federal 130 gr Micros is not all that different than 158 gr. Cast SWCs or 160 gr. cast RNFP boolits.
The difference is the cartridge overall length. There are two options when seating the the cannelure, which is long...where you may adjust the COAL to 1.580-1.590"...357 Magnum length if you wish, and .38 Special +P loads can be used. Federal loads with about .0085 peeking out of the case, giving a COAL(cartridge overall length) of ~1.350. That's using the TLAR (That Looks About Right) method, and reduced loads similar to .38 standard pressure may be required.

At any rate, overdriving the bullets beyond factory designed parameters is counterproductive, which is why I will be aiming for a top velocity of ~ 900 fps. out of my .357 Magnum!
In the instance of short rounds, considering DEWC loads is a good place to start, IMO.
It is the inner dimension that needs watching! My Federal reloads, at 1.350" OAL have .550" of bullet inside the case, reducing powder capacity radically. the next longest bullet in my inventory is a 148 gr. DEWC, crimped in the top groove, with ~.475" measured from crimping groove to the base inside the case. Keeping in mind the NRA and others' pressure studies from deep-seating bullets, a SAFE starting load should be found somewhere in .38 Spl. data, using Unique, AA#5, Love Potion #9, Universal, and maybe Trail Boss. I haven't used Boolseye for Decades, but IMR 800X or Hodgdon's HP-38 seem interesting.

Anyhoo, that's where I am today. Proceeding carefully into Terra Incognita...
Suggestions and corrections are welcome!
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