38 SPL and AA #5 questions


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glockster157
December 3, 2008, 06:47 PM
I traded into about 8 pounds of AA #5 and I am trying to develop a good +P load for my 357's. I tried the book loads. Started at 5.4 grains w/158 Copper coated bullet, taper crimped, WW primers. Chrono'ed the load and was only getting 700fps from my 4" GP100. My normal load is 5.2 grains of WW 231, anybodies 158 SWC, ww primers for 950fps. Been shooting that in numerous 357's for years and I wanted to match it with AA #5. #5 is a little slower than 231 so I new I would need a little more. 5.4 was'nt coming close plus it was getting a lot of blackening at the mouth of the case. I started raising the powder charge a little at a time and to make a long story short(too late, right) I am now at 7.2, finally reached 950 fps in my GP and my M19, no extraction issues, no brass shine marks, primers are still nice and rounded.....looks like I go go more, though I will not. I also tried this load with a roll crimp and got a little more velocity, I am using a taper crimp because I don't want to cut the copper coating on these bullets. I tried some lead SWC's and got close to a 1000fps, need to back off on that one to about 6.5 looks like, though it showed no signs of pressure either.

Just curious as to others experience with AA #5. I don't like to be 1.3 grains over published max, and I have never had to before with the other powders I have used like Unique, bullseye, 231, etc., but I don't want to cruise these bullets out at 750fps either.

BTW, I am a 30 year reloader-bullet caster and I understand the implications of this load. Not trying to make a magnum out of a 38 case, Ray Thompson already did that, just trying to test #5's performance limits.

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SlamFire1
December 3, 2008, 07:20 PM
In my experience, each and every lot of Accurate Arms powder is different. Also, their load data is wildly incorrect. I have AA manuals going back to the second edition. Their data varies all over the place.

In one manual, their minimum data will blow the primer out. In other manuals, the maximum charge is pathetic.

As an example, I developed 44 Spl loads with AA#5. I followed the manual's recommendations and had lots of unburnt powder and extremely low velocities, at the listed maximum.

So I had to reload again, this time using powder charges that greatly exceeded the AA manual.

I think I settled on 8.5 grs AA#5 with a 240 L.

I have one data point with AA#5, 38 Spl case and a 158.

With AA powders, just develop your own data, and consider the manual a distraction.


4" M624

240 LSWC 6.1 grs AA#5 Lot 35 590 thrown, Mixed Brass WLP 25-Feb-07 T = 62 F

Ave Vel =523.1
Std Dev =31.1
ES =121.9
Low = 585.1
High = 463.1
N =28
Accurate light recoil, lots of unburnt powder

240 LSWC 6.7 grs AA#5 Lot 35 590 Mixed Brass WLP 25-Feb-07 T = 62 F
Ave Vel =571.1
Std Dev =34.46
ES =142.6
Low = 645.4
High = 503.4
N =32
accurate, light recoil, lots of unburnt powder

240 LSWC 8.5 grs AA#5 Lot 35 590 Mixed Brass WLP 3-Mar-07
T = 64 F

Ave Vel =790.4
Std Dev =30.69
ES =134
High = 845.7
Low = 711.6
N =32
Accurate


240 LSWC 9.0 grs AA#5 Lot 35 590 Mixed Brass WLP 3-Mar-07
T = 64 F

Ave Vel =845.5
Std Dev =17.43
ES =51.74
High = 869.9
Low = 818.1
N =10
Very Accurate

240 LSWC 9.5 grs AA#5 Lot 35 590 Mixed Brass WLP 3-Mar-07
V T = 64 F

Ave Vel = 901.3
Std Dev = 13.6
ES = 41.57
High = 922.6
Low = 881
N = 8




158 gr Hornady XTP 7.4 gr AA#5 WSP W/W brass OAL 1.460 38 Spl brass
14 Oct 2008 T = 80 F

Ave Vel =842
Std Dev =125
ES = 380.7
High = 977.4
Low = 596.7
N = 13

glockster157
December 3, 2008, 10:37 PM
Thanks for the info. I was afraid that I had bought a bunch of powder that maybe was degraded, even though it was in sealed containers. I will just use a chronograph with all load development and AA #5 from now on.

ArchAngelCD
December 4, 2008, 02:00 AM
I did some work last year to replicate the Speer .38 Special +P short Barrel round and used AA#5. I found a charge of 6.8gr AA#5 under a Speer 135gr or Hornady 140gr XTP bullet will closely replicate the original in both velocity and felt recoil.

Those loads are in a .38 Special case using a standard small pistol primer. (CCI or Winchester)

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