38 ammo full load


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BOOM-BOOM
January 29, 2010, 07:50 PM
I understand that the 38 started with black powder, which the casing was fuller. but now that we don't use black powder we have more room in the casing.

My question, Instead of creating a new Bullit (357mag) why couldn't the 38casing be filled to the max and shoot it from a heavier revolver like the 327?

Now I know your going to say because some nuckle head would blow his hand off using the more powerful load in an old light frame 38.

But really what is the differance in using +P+ ammo in guns that there not made for???

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Landric
January 29, 2010, 09:01 PM
The short answer is that it could. Look up the .38-44, it is basically just that. I've done some toying around with it myself, getting up to 1205 fps average with a 173 grain LSWC out of a 4" barrel.

A heavy charge of 2400 basically fills the .38 Special case to capacity, leaving just enough room to seat the bullet on top. However, if you don't know what you are doing, DO NOT attempt to create such ammunition yourself!

Jesse Heywood
January 29, 2010, 09:13 PM
That is how the 357 mag was developed. They started by loading the 38 special hot before going to the longer case. This longer case was used so it wouldn't fit the 38 special guns.

The plus P rounds were developed for stronger guns. When first out, word was it was okay to shoot the plus P round in the lighter guns, but not very often. Many police officers practiced with low power wadcutters, and stuffed the cylinder with plus P for carry.

Steve C
January 30, 2010, 04:02 AM
But really what is the differance in using +P+ ammo in guns that there not made for?

If a gun is too light for +P which is approximately 9% higher pressure than standard it will get its frame stretched or be shaken loose quickly ruining the gun but not the shooter.

Shoot a magnum pressure load that's over 100% (2X) the pressure of the standard load a gun is designed for and there is a possibility that you can have a catastrophic failure (KaBoom), blown cylinder with all the harmful to lethal effect of exploded metal pieces.

cyclopsshooter
January 30, 2010, 04:11 AM
357 cases are thicker, might try trimming those down for a hot 38

ArchAngelCD
January 30, 2010, 05:21 AM
Current pressure limits for the .38 Special are 17,000 PSI. The pressure generated by black powder was probably less than that. The .357 Magnum used to be loaded to 40,000 PSI but has been downloaded by SAAMI to 35,000 PSI. Can you imagine what might happen to a .38 Special revolver made somewhere around 1910 designed for black powder pressures if you fired a round in excess of 40,000 PSI? I don't think the results would be favorable. A post-war all Steel revolver would have a better chance of surviving but those older non-heat treated Carbon Steel revolvers, not so much...

Racinbob
January 30, 2010, 07:49 AM
I could be wrong but I would think a given charge for a .357 loaded in a .38 case would cause excessive pressure due to the shorter OAL. Seating a bullet to deep in the .357 case would do the same thing. Just sounds like a very bad idea.

showmebob
January 30, 2010, 04:05 PM
quote[But really what is the differance in using +P+ ammo in guns that there not made for??? ]

+P+ is what pressure? I've not seen any spec for it. I would not use it in any 38 special gun. Seems it would be flirting with danger. IMHO.

Walkalong
January 30, 2010, 04:17 PM
Now I know your going to say because some nuckle head would blow his hand off using the more powerful load in an old light frame 38.
Bingo.


The problem is if those over pressure .38's end up in a .38 instead of a .357.

I only load for .357 in .357 brass, even my light .38 type loads.

Millions of people shoot .38 loads in .38 brass in .357's with complete success. Nothing wrong with that.

I just don't believe in loading .38 brass over .38 pressure levels for safety reasons.

moxie
January 30, 2010, 04:24 PM
What?

zxcvbob
January 30, 2010, 04:42 PM
I do load some .38-44 loads for my Marlin carbine because I have way more .38 Special brass than I do .357, and I can fit an extra round in the magazine. I mark the case heads red with a Magic Marker and the box is labeled "DANGER: FOR RIFLE ONLY." Even with those precautions I'm taking a chance that some knucklehead will find them after I die and shoot them in an old POS revolver. (they'd probably quickly ruin a post-war S&W or Colt, but I doubt they would dramatically disassemble it. An RG on the other hand...)

There's a reason you can't buy factory .38-44 cartridges anymore.

Edit: BTW, some of the .38 Special brass that I overloaded was apparently weaker than .357 brass because I got case head separations when the loads were test-fired in a revolver that has nice tight chambers and not excessive headspace. Now I only use Winchester brass and I keep the pressures down below 36000 psi (the failures were loaded to right about 40000). I really should use new Starline brass, but I have lots of Winchester and it hasn't given me any problems.

Steve C
January 30, 2010, 06:40 PM
+P+ is what pressure? I've not seen any spec for it.

Google SAAMI Pressure Spec and you will find it.

Kernel
January 30, 2010, 07:00 PM
Could be wrong, but I don’t believe SAAMI ever legitimized the “+P+” designation with an official pressure spec.

hamourkiller
January 30, 2010, 09:00 PM
Loading .38 specials up with a hefty dose of 2400 is no more dangerous than loading .45 Colt loads with a hefty dose of 2400. (Ruger and TC loads only section of various loading books)

Load what is safe in YOUR gun, mark them and enjoy shooting them.

PS: The Marlin Carbines work much smoother with .38 brass than .357 mag brass, especialy with the 177gr Keith classic SWC.

evan price
January 30, 2010, 09:06 PM
SAAMI does not recognize +P+ at all! +P+ may be loaded to ANY pressure in excess of recognized +P, any pressure at all. IT might be 1000 psi over +P, it might be 10,000 psi over +P.

.357 Magnum in old manuals used to list pressures up around 47,000 PSI for the old Keith loads.

bds
January 30, 2010, 09:20 PM
357 cases are thicker, might try trimming those down for a hot 38

Seem to have worked for trimming 10mm case down to 40S&W.

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