Author Topic: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question  (Read 216 times)

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« on: November 03, 2019, 09:39:59 pm »
next year I am doing some work with Walt Kirst and his .38 Colt Konverters in an 1851 and 1861 revolvers.  We may be having barrels line .357 in the end, but I also want to explore the use of heeled and hollow base bullets.

I've studied Hoof Hearted's great post, and will probably get a OWBM .38 crimper and 6 cavity LEE mold.  The heeled approach is straight forward.  I also know from his post and another shooter in our club, that standard HB wadcutters are too hard to obdurate enough.

Does anyone know a source for pure lead wadcutters and 150 round nose?  I thought I had found them, as well as HB all lead 150s, but can not re-find them.  I'd probably have to load Bullseye or Unique, as I doubt Trail Boss would have enough kick to obdurate even pure lead.  A par has a .41 Colt that works great with the.386" inside lubed hollow base lead.

Thanks in advance.
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Online Baltimore Ed

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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2019, 10:31:29 pm »
I bought one of these moulds for my old .375 heel based colts. It makes pretty bullets. After seating I turn the loaded round upside down and run the loads through my lubrisizer to tighten the case to the bullet.
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Offline Major 2

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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2019, 05:28:16 am »
Try Mark Whyte @ Whyte Leather Works  I believe he casts a suitable bullet
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2019, 11:54:45 am »
Just read an interesting article by Duke Venturino in Guns magazine.  He has had amazing luck with Speer 148 HBWC from his .375" bore 1861 conversion (modern Italian).  He uses TiteGroup and got 1.75" at 25 yards!  My buddies 1877 .41 Colt shoots great with the HB .386" bullets....

I may just go the hollow base 148 WCs route with smokeless for match use.  I can get cast soft lead ones from Buffalo Arms (for the conversions) for about $50/500.  That's what I pay for my .44s right now. Bear creek has them for less than $40/500.  I think for BP, though, I'll go with heeled and a OWBM crimper die.

Now the only problem is my long time prejudice against the .38 as a CAS load.  The only thing that makes it palatable to me is doing it with a.375" bore .38 Long Colt which is more historically correct than .429" bore .44 Colts! LOL

Oh well, its at least 5-6 months off.  I will have plenty of time to work on it.  Right now I am loving my .44 Colt OT and RM.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 12:00:25 pm by Tuolumne Lawman »
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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2019, 12:20:34 pm »
My '61 Kirst/Strite conversion with unlined barrel has yet to miss with standard 125gr TC bullets in .38 Special.  That's at 4 different CAS clubs.  I don't foresee trying for small 25 yard groups.  :)
Now, if you are shooting at an "old school" club with further/smaller targets, might be different.

Offline Drydock

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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2019, 02:35:08 pm »
I have a number of oddball calibers using Heel Base bullets, and have had such good results with them in both smokeless and BP that I don't bother with hollow base bullets any more.  The right bullets with the right dies make all the difference.
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2019, 03:59:47 pm »
Knowing me, down the road if I totally switch calibers to .38 Colt from .44 Colt (and I don't get them lined .357), I would definitely switch to heeled bullets if that is my only caliber.  Initially though, I will try the hollow base.
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2019, 07:35:11 pm »
Interesting development.  I've been talking today with Jeff Hoffman at Black Hills.  I have him exploring the possibility of  changing the 150 grain RNL .38 Colt into a soft lead 150 grain RNL Hollow Base like the old Winchester and Remington loads that work in either bore.  He is also exploring offering their 148 grain HBWC in a .38 Colt loading.  This would really boost .38 Colt Conversion Cylinders sales from both Howell and Kirst.
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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2019, 12:59:13 am »
Interesting development.  I've been talking today with Jeff Hoffman at Black Hills.  I have him exploring the possibility of  changing the 150 grain RNL .38 Colt into a soft lead 150 grain RNL Hollow Base like the old Winchester and Remington loads that work in either bore.  He is also exploring offering their 148 grain HBWC in a .38 Colt loading.  This would really boost .38 Colt Conversion Cylinders sales from both Howell and Kirst.

My Good Tuolumne

If you can convince him  I would buy them, and I don?t @buy@ any ammunition I can even remotely load myself! Please let him know there?s a lot of us wanting that.

If its soft lead I?ll take it in a heartbeat.

The only thing better would be RNFP in 150 grain HB.
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Offline Major 2

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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2019, 06:30:42 am »
While you have his ear...please see if  he will reconsider continuing 45 Colt, and 38 Colt (short )
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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2019, 08:43:34 am »

PLUS ONE to Abilene.  I have two, 1851 and 1861, both are Bobbed .36 Pietta guns.  I shoot both with an R & D conversion cylinder.  Neither has failed to give a swell "Bang - Klang."  I use 125Gr Truncated Cone bullets over APP.  While not Tack Drivers, they are both "Minute of Saucer" at CAS distance or close self defense (card table).  Not even tempted to have them lined. 

I also shot the guns with 148Gr Hollow Base Wadcutters, same propellant charge, same results.  Bang-Klang reliably.  More than sufficient.  I like the 125Gr load better.  Also, tried 105Gr with good results as well but I ran out of 105s and had several thousand 125s.

Offline River City John

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Re: Heeled/hollow base .38 Colt question
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2019, 09:45:59 am »
I recently ordered the HB wadcutters from Buffalo Arms to use in 38. Long Colt cases in my 1851 and Leech & Rigdon, both with R&D cylinders. I loaded an initial 50 using Trail Boss to test.
Probably load a test group of 25 using Unique for comparison.

Trip7 in FFg is my preferred powder when loading loose powder and ball, and Trail Boss for all cartridge loading.

I've shot plain flat based bullets through my .36 Remington in a conversion cylinder at our range with no problems, too. As mentioned, CAS distances are somewhat forgiving. Although I would describe our club's philosophy as "old school" as far as pistol target placement. Stage depth limits our rifle target placement but I'm sure we'd like to set them out farther if we could.
I'm hoping the wadcutters will work with the Trail Boss, though, as I have quite a bit of it.
All this because I plan to play with a '62 Police as my second sidearm come next season to compliment the '51 in a 3-gun category. (With '66 carbine.)
RCJ
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 09:51:36 am by River City John »
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