38 special data help


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fisherdee
September 14, 2009, 12:23 AM
I got some lead cast .358 125gr RNFP bullets to load in my J Frame just for practice rounds instead of burning up the gold dots. I got a couple of data books but having a hard time finding loads for this round. My gun will handle +P but wanting something a little softer for practice shooting. Lots of data available for the jacketed bullets with that weight. Can I use the same data? Powder I have available to me is Unique, Power Pistol, Red Dot, ACC #5

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zxcvbob
September 14, 2009, 12:30 AM
4.0 grains of Red Dot is about perfect.

arizona98tj
September 14, 2009, 12:37 AM
FWIW, I recently ran some .38 SPL, 4.0 gr Red Dot, 125 gr plated HP bullet, through my J frame.

They clocked 564 FPS on my chronograph. That is pretty slow, but does make for a very low recoil round in a J frame.

In contrast, WWB, 130 gr FMJ, averages 792 FPS out of the same gun.
The same WWB out of my 4" Ruger does 848 FPS.

As you can see, the 4.0 gr Red Dot loads are quite light.

zxcvbob
September 14, 2009, 01:00 AM
That's the same bullet I used for my initial testing and they were incredibly accurate; and the recoil and noise was enough from a 4" K-frame that I assumed they were closer to 900+ fps (that's what QuickLoad calculates and Alliant used to publish when they had a printed load book.) I was actually using Promo instead of Red Dot, but it's equivalent.

Not disputing what your chronograph said, I'm just surprised.

RoostRider
September 14, 2009, 01:03 AM
Lots of data available for the jacketed bullets with that weight. Can I use the same data?

Yes, and no....

When I don't have the exact data available, but a close comparison, I start with the data I have starting on the low end and work up from there if needed.

Much like you, I load 'practice' rounds light with RNL... I then also load a similar quantity in HP's in my preferred SD load, for 'reality training' and carry (some advise against the practice of loading your own SD rounds)...

I shoot approximately the same amount in each- first the light loads to get a good share of practice in, then the HP's loaded in my carry preference so I know I'm 'on' with the real thing (I think this trumps the reasons not to carry your own reloads)... I rotate out my carry ammo every time I shoot...

I do believe you can find load data on the manufacturers websites... but when your shooting something not 'ordinary' that can be dicey as well....

ArchAngelCD
September 14, 2009, 05:05 AM
Usually the charge used in a lead load is lighter than that used with a jacketed bullet of the same weight in a .38 Special.

Of the 4 powders you have on hand Red Dot is the fastest and will probably be best for light practice loads. Unique can also be used but you will find it to be very dirty when loaded to low pressures. Power Pistol and AA#5 will produce "hotter" ammo and probably not what your looking for in a practice round although AA#5 will probably do a better job than Power Pistol. AA#5 is clean and accurate.

Walkalong
September 14, 2009, 09:08 AM
3.0 Grs of Red Dot and a Berrys 125 Gr TrFP gave me 613 FPS from a 4" Model 10 HB, and 655 FPS from a 6" Colt OMM.

3.0 Grs of Red Dot and an X-Treme 158 Gr SWC gave me 631 FPS from a 4" Model 10 HB.

ArchAngelCD is right. Of the powders you have, Red Dot is your best bet for target loads in .38 Spl.

fisherdee
September 14, 2009, 09:26 AM
Thank you. Your answers are reassuring and helpful. We'll load up this morning and give them a try.

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