Cowboy Bullets Two And
Other Stuff I Tried.

OK, Cowboy! Maybe you decide to switch to .38 specials. The .38 special cartridge with a 125 gr. bullet is a bit heavy and depending on powder charge hotter than needed for cowboy shooting, The common 125 gr. .38 special cartridge load was worked up for a different purpose. Think about which .38 bullet and powder charge is best for you. Bullet components can be found in a wide range of weights at the local gun shops. I have heard of 90 gr. and 105 gr. 38s. Always check the load you come up with using a good loading manual. Try different loads until you get one you find best and have fun doing it. Talk to the gun shop folks. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

I shoot Ruger Vaqueros, full of cartridges loaded up to deliver a medium cowboy ft. per second. With lighter loads I have found that the front sights are a bit inadequate. If I use a lighter load I aim for the top edge of the target and the bullets land close to where I hoped they would. Whether using a lighter or heavier bullet with the same powder charge and primer, I found they delivered about the same performance, but, bigger cost more. Remember we are talking targets that are 25 feet away. Rifle targets are further away and the drop will be greater.

I use the same cowboy load for pistols and rifles. The bullet component regardless of weight is always RNLFP (round nose lead flat point). A Safety Note: Standard round nose acp. type bullets if used in a lever guns could discharge inside the magazine tube. For me, spending a lot of time loading different weight bullets is non-productive and cuts into shooting time. This applies for .38s or .45s. All and all, I found them equal except for cost. What type of bullets do I use? I have tried a variety. From Laser-Cast to you name-it. None were more consistent shooting than the other. One brand I tried did gum up my loading dies. Presently, I use locally produced 200 gr. .45 Colt bullets and, if I can find a reliable source, .160 gr. is next. I found that light bullets delivered as good or better ballistics with less powder, besides being loading press friendly and a more palatable cost per 1000.

Some enjoy getting all deep and wound right-up about cartridge loading. For-instance, tweezing each grain of powder on to a digital scale. Then weighing each bullet followed by each cartridge before topping the process off by measuring each cartridge using manual or electronic digital calipers. If that's your thing, good, enjoy. For me, there's no perceptible advantage in going that far for what is essentially, organized plinking, Cowboy Plinking. I love it! I try to keep it simple and safe. I use a beam scale because, you can use it for more than just checking the weight of powder loads. Try bullet weights, case weights and loaded cartridge weights. These are all factors that should be checked every so-many cartridges. Not each one! Concentrate on SAFE LOADING PRACTICES OUTLINED IN ANY GOOD LOADING MANUAL and put that extra cost into another gun. BUY MORE GUNS, HAVE MORE FUN... What do you think? Contact me.

Yours, Jeffrey

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