USFA 38/44 loads


March 16, 2008, 08:50 AM
I just aquired a US firearms 38 special revolver and will be reloading for it. I understand this gun is as strong or stronger than the Colt SAA and is suitable for the 38/44 level loads reccommended for use in heavy frame 38 specials. The fact that it is offered with a 357 magnum cylinder as an option would seem to confirm this.
Even if the cylinder and frame strength is adequate I understand that problems with higher pressure loads can occur in Colt type single actions because the one peice firing pin may allow primer extrusion to be a problem. Any information appreciated.

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Bad Flynch
March 16, 2008, 11:24 AM
Just because there is a .357 Magnum cylinder available, it does not necessarily follow that the metal used to make the cylinder is the same. Some other manufacturers have used different metal for these option, both in the frames and cylinders. It probably is the same, however.

USFA Single Actions are really nice guns, period. I bought a USFA SAA in .45 Colt and it is the best SAA I have ever had my hands on and I own Ubertis, Uberti/Cimarrons, and Colts.

March 16, 2008, 01:39 PM
I have no doubt your revolver is capable of handling the old .38/44 style loads. There is a lot of data floating around out there, and some of it is now 78 years old. Keep in mind that that .38 Special brass was thinner back in the day, and that primers were probably cooler. So, even if the powder has not changed in that time, the old loads rolled with today's components may be just a little too much of a good thing!:what:

Also, while you may never plan to fire such a load in anything other than a heavy frame revolver or Contender capable of handling it, others may not be as knowledgeable. Some one firing such a heavy load in, for example, a Charter Arms Undercover, with its light frame, might indeed be in for a surprise!

The .38 Special case is plenty strong, and has plenty of powder capacity to produce some fine, powerful loads in the proper platform. Unfortunately, we have raised a generation of idiots in this country who can not read, and who would ignore any warnings placed upon a box of such cartridges.

March 16, 2008, 01:53 PM
Colt type single actions because the one piece firing pin Well, they made a lot of Colt SAA's back in the day when .357 mag ammo really was Mag ammo. And they worked.

It's also worth noting that S&W used a hammer mounted firing pin in the .357, .41, and .44 Magnums up until just recently.

And they didn't change to a frame mounted firing pin due to the old style not working.
It was purely an economic move to be able to use cheaper MIM hammers.

I would have no worries loading 38-44 loads for your USFA gun.
Just mark them clearly so your heirs don't blow themselves up shooting them in a lesser .38 Special gun.


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