Train For Heavy Recoil

Besides learning to stuff bullets into cylinders quicker, the other skill one needs to acquire is to resist the recoil of a heavy bullet in a lighter gun. I use a 158-grain LSWC (lead semi wadcutter). This load is right out of the Hodgdon 2020 Annual Reloading Manual. The 158-grain cast LSWC starting at 3.1 grains of HP-38 runs well in most snubbies.

Lightweight revolvers throwing out 158-grain bullets give the shooter stout recoil, and that’s great training. Hornady lists this load from 3.1–3.7 grains. For shooters working this load up, I’ve found accuracy is best on the lower end of this scale, from 3.1–3.3 grains. I have not had a problem with leading, provided the bullets are sized properly for the barrel.

I generally size a .38 bullet at .358 for my .38 special revolvers. I ordered some Hunters Supply cast 158-grain SWC to test. These have a Pentagon Hollow Point, which can be used for harvesting game. Not only do they work in lever guns, but my S&W Mod 38 also likes them for target shooting. Use the same loads as standard 158-SWC bullets.