A lot of the commercial defensive loads for the .28 Special use 110gr or 125gr JHPs, in part because the lighter projectile results in lower recoil, compared to the old standard 158gr LRN or SWC. I have a few boxes of these Speer 125gr JHPs on hand- I found a good deal on them last year- and decided to see if I could find a good load for my LCRx. I decided to start with Bullseye powder, as it's the fastest burning powder I have on hand. A fast powder means more complete combustion in a short barrel, and that means better efficiency.
The Lee manual suggests 4.5-4.8gr of Bullseye behind this bullet for a +P load. Alliant's own data gives 4.5gr for the standard .38 Special load, and 4.8gr for the +P load. I decided to start at the low end. The Lee .49cc disk delivers a measured 4.5-4.6gr, according to my Hornady digital scale, so I decided to go with that. I used my 4-die Lee set, with the Factory Crimp die adjusted for a medium crimp- it's important to get a secure crimp with lightweight gun that will recoil a lot. I made up 50 loads using an assortment of cases and headed to my club.
My first test was at 20 feet, and everything was on target and centered. I backed up to the 50 foot line, and produced the followed pattern shooting double action:
Not too shabby. There was a bit of flash, but it wasn't too bad. Recoil was snappy- this isn't a gun I'd want to put a few hundred rounds through. But I wasn't working on a plinking load. reloaded and continued firing:
That's actually 9 shots, by the way. You can see one pair of overlapping holes just above the 9, but the hole below and to the left is also a double. Looking at this target I decided to stop right there- I think I have my load.