Went to the range this morning, and since I couldn't remember ever trying them in the mini-Sharps, I took a couple of .38 Special loads, and some 158-grain .357 loads. And got this
And the crown,
That one low hole? Knew as I finished the press that I'd pulled it, so fired one more to have five in that top hole. It's only 30 yards, but I'd not had this kind of accuracy from this load before. Of course, last time I tried this one I didn't have the scope on, so in that light that may make the difference.
On the .38s, I need to try the wadcutters again, as the one out left and the one out right may be my fault. Why didn't I try them again today? Because I'd only brought five, the last of a box. If those two are my fault, this would make a quite good load for small game: almost no recoil in a rifle, relatively quiet, and that bullet should do a good job on them. Might try the hollowpoints again as well, just to be sure.
The wadcutters and flat-nose are both X-Treme plated, by the way. Ought to try these two with cast bullets, though it'd be a semi-wadcutter instead of a flat-nose in the 158-grain.
Added: I checked back on something, and had another surprise. At the outdoor range last week, firing the Hornady FTX load in the Sharps, velocity was ~1520fps(was only able to chrono a couple of shots). Back when I fired the same load through a rifle with a 16" barrel, average velocity was 1451fps. With pistol cartridges such as .357 it seems to be the general rule that you get the max velocity with a 16" barrel; after that friction starts slowing the bullet. Well, the mini-Sharps has a 26" barrel, yet gave the same or slightly higher velocity as the 16". I'm surprised, and pleased. And I need to check into this further.