Best .38 J Frame commercial SD round AND handload to match it?


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Citadel99
January 4, 2006, 07:46 PM
There's two questions that I hope will have some good and passionate responses. Haven't bought anything yet other than dies. I'd prefer to use W231, though. I"d like to carry a commercial load but would like to be able to practice at an affordable rate and put rounds through my 642 every time I hit the range. I'm open to HP or LSWC and various velocities.

Tell me what you like/think and why!

Mark

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Sistema1927
January 4, 2006, 08:00 PM
Speer Gold Dot 135 JHP +P is the best carry load for the J frame.

Practice with 148 gr. HBWC. 3.7 gr. of 231 is a nice, accurate load.

tbeb
January 4, 2006, 10:34 PM
The .38 special Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. JHP+P is possibly the best ammunition for self defense for a snubby, because it was developed for use in 2" barrels. I also like 125 gr. JHP+P loads such as the Remington Golden Saber, because recoil is moderate (less than the above Speer load). A standard pressure 158 gr. lead semi-wadcutter is never a bad choice because it gives good penetration and recoil is about the same as a 125 gr. JHP+P load.

A Winchester small pistol primer, and 4.3 grs. of Winchester 231 powder behind a 158 gr. lead semi-wadcutter bullet will do about 700 feet per second from a 2" barrel. I once used this load for practice. Now I use 4.0 grains of Winchester 231 powder, because this pretty much duplicates the standard pressure (non +P) 158 gr. lead semi-wadcutter factory load.

The Bushmaster
January 4, 2006, 10:50 PM
for .38 Special...My house load for home defence is 140 grain Remington SJHP over 4.8 grains of W-231. This is a maximum load according to Winchester load data. Work up to it carefully. I also use it in a mod 10 S&W 2" and 4".

My favorite load for these revolvers I can not list here as it is over maximum as listed in modern load manuals...

tbeb
January 5, 2006, 08:15 AM
I want to add that I just bought a 642. I haven't fired it yet. I have reloaded some 148 gr. hard cast lead double end wadcutters. I started with 3.2 grs. of Winchester 231 powder. I also did some with 3.4 grs. of Winchester 231 powder, and some with 3.7 grs. of Winchester 231 powder. I'll shoot them and see if I like any of them. As far as cost, it doesn't get much cheaper than this. I paid about $17 for 500 of these bullets.

gwalchmai
January 5, 2006, 08:45 AM
HERE (http://www.speer-bullets.com/pdf/ReloadingSupplementalDATA/38s135GD.pdf) is reloading data for Speer's short barrel 135gr Gold Dots. I've made some up with 6.2gr of PowerPistol to try in my Taurus 85.

tbeb
January 5, 2006, 10:08 AM
On another online gun forum, the Speer Gold Dot 135 gr. JHP+P and the Safestop 148 gr. standard pressure (non +P)were recommended for airweight revolvers. This Safestop standard pressure load uses a 148 gr. plated wadcutter type bullet. Bullet face is cupped and has a sharp edge. Velocity from a 2" barrel is about 720 feet per second. (You can do reloads to match that.) It ain't cheap. 50 rounds of loaded ammo will cost $39.95 plus shipping. 50 bullets will cost you $19.95 plus shipping. I've fired Safestop ammo and it's good stuff. Web site is www.safestop.net

mtnbkr
January 5, 2006, 10:42 AM
I'm carrying the Speer 135gr GD in my Airweight 37. I compared it to the WWB 125gr HP at the range a couple weeks ago. The Speer load was no more accurate than the WWB and recoil was about the same. However, the muzzleflash was much lower in the Speer load.

Chris

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