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I am reloading for my 1907 Colt in 38-40 and having a great time shooting it. I bought some “soft cast” lead .401 180g bullets with a brinnell hardness of about 9 per the manufacturer and they shoot ok, but the accuracy is not too good. My load is 5.0g of Trail Boss. But, I am looking at some other bullets that are harder cast from that have a hardness of about 12, or thrid supplier that just say “hard cast” and do not mention how hard they are. Does it matter for my revolver? I am also waiting on some bullets from the same supplier that are a bit larger sized at .403 to see if they will shoot any better for me.

I am tempted to load some black powder, but, have never loaded black into to a cartridge gun, only in cap guns like my 51 Navy. So, would also appreciate some guidance on that should I decide to undertake that loading.
Mike
 

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I am reloading for my 1907 Colt in 38-40 and having a great time shooting it. I bought some “soft cast” lead .401 180g bullets with a brinnell hardness of about 9 per the manufacturer and they shoot ok, but the accuracy is not too good. My load is 5.0g of Trail Boss. But, I am looking at some other bullets that are harder cast from that have a hardness of about 12, or thrid supplier that just say “hard cast” and do not mention how hard they are. Does it matter for my revolver? I am also waiting on some bullets from the same supplier that are a bit larger sized at .403 to see if they will shoot any better for me.

I am tempted to load some black powder, but, have never loaded black into to a cartridge gun, only in cap guns like my 51 Navy. So, would also appreciate some guidance on that should I decide to undertake that loading.
Mike
It depends on the bullet size, but your bore and chamber throats won't be under .401, so it should work fine IMHO. Make sure your forcing cone is well aligned with your chambers when locked. I'd suggest slugging your bore and chambers. The lack of accuracy might be due to a bullet that is too small. For my 1897 .38-40 I will use a .402 bullet of 20:1 alloy...

Gil

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I almost always prefer soft cast bullets, the exception are those firearms with shallow rifling.

Measure the bore for diameter, a lubed oversize pure lead round ball works well.

With black powder lube is your friend. Black Dawg two groove bullets and a wonder wad will keep things working.





Lube the cylinder pin with wonder lube or S.P.G.

A oversize bullet (within reason) is better than undersize.

Take care, Duane
 

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I cast just about everything our of straight clip-on wheelweights. Sometimes I cut it with pure lead just to save my wheelweights. Either way, the Bhn is 10-12 and works fine in all of my Colt SA 38-40's. I size my 38-40 bullets .401". I don't remember the load used to shoot the targets below, probably a middle of the road load of Unique or Herco, but it shot well out of this old Bisley, 1903 production if I remember correctly.





I've loaded and fired some BP out of my 38-40's, but I hate the mess. It's just not worth it to me.

Cholla
 

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My gun is identical to Cholla’s gun above. Using a max charge of unique gets my 1908 bisley to shoot to the sights at 25 yards with Lyman’s cast 172 grain classic bullet. I am either sizing to .401 or using as cast but I am water dropping wheel weight alloy so my hardness is probably close to 20. I may not need that much hardness though.
 

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Depending on whose reloading dies you use, you may have a problem getting the .403 bullet past the crimping ring. I have shot hard cast .401 bullets in everything I have in .38-40 and never had any accuracy problems. My favorite powder for the .38-40 is Unique.
 
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