CAS TOPICS > The Darksider's Den

Looking for .360 BP bullets

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Alright folks, step right up! I am hunting for some bullets for a 1888 S&W in .38 S&W cartridge. I am gonna ONLY use Black Powder in this because of it's year and need some bullets in the proper diameter and with a groove for a proper BP lube. Pre lubed are fine too. Anybody got a supplier? Thanks

Do you know the chamber diameter or the diameter on the throat where the bullet exits the Cylinder?

I ask because I believe the early .38 S&Ws had a slightly larger case diameter and bullet diameter.  Plus I've read where the official default bullet weight was 158gr but sometimes I have read the standard originally was less.

And, yes there are molds available you just need to decide what diameter and bullet weight you want.  If you can use it there is a pretty nice one at 140gr and you can specify the diameter you need. 

And there are more.

The throat diameter (measure it) where the bullet exits the cylinder will give us a starting place to determine your needed diameter, a true major rifle bore diameter would be even better.  You may need Ø.358 or you may need Ø.361  or sum'thin else.  However you may get a slight "swell" with a  Ø.361 bullet (probably not noticeable) but you have to use a different expander to open it up enough o accept it instead of standard .38 caliber bullet.

Measure the chamber from the rear too, it will be another clue, if it is in the Ø.379 range it will probably be a Ø.358 diameter bullet.  If the chamber is Ø.385 plus then your billet will probably be Ø.361 pus. I also believe some people shoot modern .38 S&W cases in the older larger chamber and use hollow base Ø.358 bullets to assure sealing as it travels down the barrel.


Thanks Mako, I will break out a mic tomorrow and measure the cylinder. Would be nice if it will run with a .358 bullet.


Professor Marvel:
Based on the year and the fact that it is a .38 S&W cartiridge, 5e original load used a .361 lead bullet, thus I would opine that a mold of .361 or  somewhat larger might be more desirable

Lee custom “used to “ put out such a creature…. But it seems “unavailable

As Mako is pointing out, accurate may be the onliest way to go

Professor Marvel:
I just found these

Which one could try out first….

And then if one is as cheap as i am, one could “beagle” their .38 mold .. . See this discussion

Prof mumbles


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