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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like some recommendations for loads in .38 special (including +P) for use against coyotes.
 

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Here's an oddball load that actually works pretty well. I'm assuming you'll be shooting at close range, like 25 yards and under. Try a Speer swaged hollow base wadcutter with the hollow base oriented like a hollow point. Very effective on woodchucks. Probably fine for coyotes too. The Speer data is for light target loads, but you'll be able to find faster loads for 148 grain HBWCs easily.
 

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Good suggestion, Questor. The WC's are great as is, loading them backwards increases their effectiveness. I have been using 3 gr. of Trail Boss. This load seems to give a little more recoil than light target loads, but is not too bad in my light Charter Arms .38.
 

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It seems to me like just about any bullet that'd fly out the barrel of a .38 Spec. would be an anti-predator pellet. "Predator" don't seem to be particularly tough animals to kill.
 

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Coyotes, huh? Any of the 125 gr. JHP bullets, or 158gr semiwadcutters will be sufficient.

The reversed hollow base wadcutter can be effective at short ranges, probably much shorter than a 'yote is likely to approach you. BUT, and it is a big one...they tend to hit the target SIDEWAYS at distances much over 25 yards, sometimes at much shorter distances.

Remington 125 gr. Golden Saber loads are advertised at 975 fps, and the 357 mag. Golden Saber, which has a completely different bullet, is said to be loaded to 1220fps, a mid range load, but still effective. Match those figures, and you will probably have a good load.

For .38 Spl +P loads, .38 Special brass at about 5.0 gr Unique. A 125 gr. bullet will up the fps somewhat, and make life much more lively. Standard primers.

Is your pistol .38 or .357? If .357, use the magnum brass, standard primers. 5.5 gr. Unique/158 gr. SWC for a chronoed fps of 860 from a 4" barrel.
 

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Some years back we had protien feeders running year round on our lease. The biggest problem we had were the ***** which learned to climb the feeder legs and rip the motor unit off dumping the whole mess on the ground.

I used several loads in my S&W to dispatch them and sold tthe hides to a local fellow. I used the HBWC as mentioned as well as both the Rem. and Win. 110gr JHP bullets. The JHP did the best job of dropping them DRT with little pelt damage as they generally did not exit. These were loaded pretty light but very effective. I did plenty of shooting with them as they were very affordable and had little recoil. Working up the velocity some from the initial load they did a great job on yotes as well out to 50yds. The best part was they had much less report than the .357's, and as with the ***** generally did not exit, but did massive damage on the inside. Of the two, I liked the Win. over the Rem. simply due to the wider nose, but either worked for what I was using them for.

You might have to play a bit with a couple of powders to get them to shoot well in your revolver, as between the GP's and the Smith there was no common ground for loads. Once you hit something though they shoot very small groups out to pretty good distances. The biggest factor I found was the wind as they are short and it would start to do things to them out past 50yds.

Good Luck, and have fun.
 

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41mag:

You are absolutely right about instability beyond 50 yards with the HBWCs. They are a close range load only. I'd personally keep it within 25 yards or so, although they do remain stable out to 50.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, guys. I'm glad to hear success stories with the .38 spl. A lot of people seem to poo-poo the .38 these days.

I have a copy of the Lee reloading manual, 2nd ed.; any other resources you'd recommend? I thought about getting one of those single caliber books that midway sells.
 

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The loadbooks are a goodness. Pick a load, any load, set the dies to recommended OAL, crimp medium or a little better, and have at it. KAPOW! Gottim. 8)
 

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125g Remington HP's
Standard primers
5.5g of Unique

This load is borderline +P, hits game like the hammer of Thor, is very accurate, and cheap to boot. I prefer SP's as to keep pelt damage to a minimum, but if you're not concerned with that, the HP's are extremely quick killers.
 

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I'd go with 110gr or 125 gr JHP. I have used these reversed HBWC's for years in my 357 Mag for close range woodchucks & porcupines. These reversed HBWC's are very accurate but lose velocity fast and make one nasty hole.
 

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I've heard of reversed HBWCs not expanding if the cavity gets filled with a mugger's down coat or hair from a deer's winter coat. Think a coyote's coat could do the same? (Not that it's likely to matter.)
 

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I load the 105 LEE that Lloyd mentioned over 3.5 grains of Bullseye. It is an accurate load with light recoil and I'm sure it would make a yotes day turn bad quick. It also makes for a cheap plinking load too. I have about a 1000 lubed bullets, if you would like a few to try let me know.
 

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I use 5.4grs Unique under a Hornady swaged SWCHP in my S&W 640, cause it's capable of withstanding +P+ loads. Depending on your gun, it may just be the ticket, Good luck, jd45
 

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ccoker said:
what about the golddot 135g +p for short barrels ?
don't know if they sell that bullet but that should do the trick

They do sell 'em, (Midway and others) and they are not much more expen$ive than others. They should indeed do the trick, as the buzz is they are designed to replace and match the preformance of the .38 Spl. 158 gr. LSWCHP +P "law enforcement" loads that were so effective for many years. Its getting so you can't hardly find factory Lead SWCHP +P ammo any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I should just go ahead and load up some .38s. I don't have any Bullseye, but that's easily solved. I should check my load data; I only have a set of Lee dippers right now, and should see whether Unique or Bullseye would measure out better. Right now I've only got some 800X and some 2400. I've loaded some .357s with 158 gr LSWC which were great for my buddy's GP100, but they rattle my wife's 3" Taurus 66 and make the ejector rod back out after a few rounds. They shoot OK, but they sting a bit in that gun and I'm afraid of shooting the screws loose :)

I'd be interested in seeing how the little 105s shoot. Do those have to be sized, or do they come out of the mold shootable?
 
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