Best factory .38 Spl that makes IDPA 125K power factor?


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P. Plainsman
May 16, 2005, 12:50 PM
Hello folks -- this is my first post in the Competition Shooting forum.

I'd like to try out IDPA Stock Service Revolver and see if I like it. My gun is a 4" Ruger GP100.

What is the best all-'round factory .38 or .38 +P load that makes IDPA power factor for SSR (125,000) and is not too expensive?

See, I don't reload. If I "click" with IDPA I will surely buy a progressive press and take up reloading, but we're not there yet. I want a load I can shoot for a few meets while I figure out whether I want to invest more deeply in this sport.

My standard .38 Special range plinking ammo is Federal's American Eagle 130 grain FMJ -- $9 per box of 50. It is mild, consistent, and pretty accurate for the money. The Federal box label says it gives 950 fps at the muzzle -- surprisingly high, but still just below the 125K requirement. (I also don't know what barrel length was used to produce those numbers.)

So what's a good factory load to step up to?

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Jim Watson
May 16, 2005, 01:51 PM
I doubt you will be chronographed at a typical club match, and if you are shooting factory loads other than target wadcutters, I would not expect your ammo to be questioned. Go with what you are used to and have a good time.

If you want a little more poop, get some 158 grain lead roundnose. That is what I handload for the purpose, it is hard to get a jacketed bullet up to PF 125 at .38 Special pressures. You might have to scrub your barrel a little more with those soft swaged factory bullets.

Don't buy anything with a "Cowboy" label, that stuff is really soft.

I trust you have a concealable holster, some speedloaders, and something to carry them in. It is a good idea to practice the draw from concealment and the reload in dryfire (using dummies or snapcaps, of course) at home before getting into the stress of even a local match.

P. Plainsman
May 16, 2005, 02:44 PM
I trust you have a concealable holster, some speedloaders, and something to carry them in.

Everything but the concealable holster, which is my next purchase.

My only holster for the GP is a Bianchi 5BHL OWB thumbsnap holster that I nickname my "Officer Friendly" holster. I got it for convenient open carry at the range; might also take it hunting this fall.

I haven't fully parsed the detailed holster regs in the IDPA rulebook, but the 5BHL seems a stretch.

Do you have any recommendations?

Thanks again.

Jim Watson
May 16, 2005, 03:49 PM
Problem with the 5BHL is that it exposes the trigger, not allowed by IDPA.
The Don Hume JIT is well thought of. It is a Jaqui slide type, exposing the barrel, but holds the gun well enough, and is hardly more expensive than cheap and nasty Nylon.
http://www.donhume.com/Products/ProductsPage.cfm?ProductID=53&SelectedWeapon=Ruger+GP-100&SelectedChartNumber=7

SR_
May 17, 2005, 11:19 AM
Lancer Ammo has a load that will meet the IDPA power factor. Call them - the toll free number is on the website www.lancerammo.com Lancer will make the ammo for you using either new or used brass. I have always had them use the used brass.

I understand the comment that was made above about just using factory ammo. However, where I shoot they often have a popper or two. These are set so they will go down with .38 or 9mm at the IDPA load. Sometimes the factory loaded .38s do not have enough zip to drop a popper.

With regard to your question on holsters, I would recommend that you look at blade-tech or Safariland. I use the Safariland 560 holster - see www.holsters.com

I have only used my GP 100 once in competition - will use it more often this summer. After purchasing a couple of speedloader holders I've decided that, for now, I'll just keep the speedloaders in a vest pocket. In the future I'll likely purchase the speedloader holder made by blade-tech that holds 2 speedloaders. I'll use the Safariland split-six to hold the third speedloader.

If it helps, I like the Comp III and Comp II Safariland speedloaders the best. HKS are OK but I think the Safariland speedloaders are just a bit faster. I understand there are a couple of European made speedloaders on the market but I don't know where to get them.... thus I've only tried the HKS and Safariland.

SR_
May 17, 2005, 01:02 PM
I sent a link to this thread to Lancer Ammo. They responded by offering a special promotion - see the group buy section.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=139203 :D

P. Plainsman
May 17, 2005, 02:01 PM
That's very nice. I will check out the bulk price on the 158 gr JHP when they put it up -- that'd be my choice.

lbmii
May 22, 2005, 11:54 AM
About the hottest factory 38 special ammo and about as cheap as you can get as well, is Spanish made Santa Barbara 158 grain semi jacketed soft point.

It does 876 fps from my 2 inch Rossi 357.

You can generally find it a gun shows.

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