Crazy question RE: 38 Special Snubs


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Onward Allusion
April 2, 2011, 12:45 PM
With regard to ultra lightweight 5 shot snubs chambered in 38 special (i.e. Ruger LCR), has anyone loaded .38 Long Colt in them? The reason I bring this up is that some people who are recoil adverse and end up carrying a 22LR instead of a "real" gun.

Otherwise, would they be better off with a snub chambered in .327 Fed Mag that provides them the option of .327 Fed Mag, 32 H&R Mag, 32S&W Long, or even 32S&W?

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rcmodel
April 2, 2011, 12:54 PM
Light loaded 125 grain .38 Spl Cowboy action loads are available.
As are 148 grain mid-range match ammo.

Both offer very low recoil, and are much more widely available and probably cheaper then .38 Long Colt ammo.

rc

Manco
April 2, 2011, 01:19 PM
The reason I bring this up is that some people who are recoil adverse and end up carrying a 22LR instead of a "real" gun.

You have to keep in mind that for a given level of recoil smaller calibers will penetrate more deeply--I'd sooner trust them for that reason than excessively light loads in larger calibers.

Otherwise, would they be better off with a snub chambered in .327 Fed Mag that provides them the option of .327 Fed Mag, 32 H&R Mag, 32S&W Long, or even 32S&W?

That's a valid suggestion, although .22 LR also has the advantage of 8-10 round capacities in revolvers, for those who prefer it (in addition to things like ammo availability and cost).

MtnSpur
April 2, 2011, 01:45 PM
With regard to ultra lightweight 5 shot snubs chambered in 38 special (i.e. Ruger LCR), has anyone loaded .38 Long Colt in them? The reason I bring this up is that some people who are recoil adverse and end up carrying a 22LR instead of a "real" gun.

Otherwise, would they be better off with a snub chambered in .327 Fed Mag that provides them the option of .327 Fed Mag, 32 H&R Mag, 32S&W Long, or even 32S&W?

I have a S&W Airweight (Model 637-2) that I load with Federal Premium 110gr Hydra-Shok JHP Low Recoil loads. The recoil is quite manageable.

Cosmoline
April 2, 2011, 02:00 PM
.38 Special wadcutters have very little recoil.

oldfool
April 2, 2011, 02:26 PM
I go with Cosmo
if 38 sp is a bit much, just go with wadcutters
Grizz killers they are not, but not to be laughed at either

you could go to the 32 family, but that's a pretty long jump for a std 32 S&W in a 327 chamber, druther use a 38 wadcutter in a std 38 sp chamber, if it were me

Ala Dan
April 2, 2011, 03:39 PM
If you handload for the .38 Special, you could always reverse load a Speer
[or other brand] 148 grain HBWC (hollow base wad-cutter). Mid range type
velocity, often expands to almost .60 caliber when fired from a 2" snub~! ;)

Vern Humphrey
April 2, 2011, 03:55 PM
Good luck in finding .38 Long Colt cartridges on the shelves at Wal-Mart!

There are plenty of good, manageable self-defense loads in .38 Special these days.

Ratshooter
April 2, 2011, 04:08 PM
What would be the point? 38 colts were loaded to around 750fps just about the same as midrange wadcutters. Like Vern said good luck finding the 38 colts. Heck even WCs are getting hard to find. Plus those were the loads that started all the debate between a 38 and the 45 colt and 45 acp. They were total failures when used in the Phillippines.

As for loading the hollow base WC bullets backwards test them first. I have and IF they land straight on a jug of water they do mushroom nicely. But if they are the slightest bit off they just mash the base flat. Out of 5 shots I will get 3 that didn't mushroom. A lightly loaded lead HPSWC is a better choice. The Speers seem to be softer lead than the Hornady version. Remingtons are the best but so far as I know aren't offered as a componant bullet.

Onward Allusion
April 2, 2011, 05:45 PM
The reason I brought this up is that my wife prefers revolvers for SD/HD. Her house gun is a .38 spl w/4" barrel but she hates the .38 spl snubs - even with WWB target/range loads or semi-wadcutters. Although we haven't tried wadcutters. Good to know about cowboy loads. I didn't think of that.

TMann
April 2, 2011, 06:21 PM
What sort of bullets are in most "cowboy load" .38 specials? Indoor ranges in Washington won't allow solid lead bullets (like most wadcutters) because of the negative health effects; they have to be FMJ's or something similar.

I carry stout Buffalo Bore ammo in my 442, but would be nice to find some light loads for practice.

TMann

Japle
April 3, 2011, 07:37 PM
I use .38 Short Colt handloads in my PC327 for Steel Challenge.

125 gr Berry's plated HP / 3.6 gr TiteGroup = 775 fps.

That's a nice, soft, accurate load. It's a long way from my choice for SD in that gun, but I rather have that pussycat load than factory 148 gr wadcutter target ammo.

oldfool
April 3, 2011, 07:43 PM
Most factory cowboy loads are round nose lead RNL, last time I bothered to look (but don't know that is always so). CAS/SASS folks tend to do their thing outdoors.

Indoors, any wadcutter target loads I can remember of are lead as well, not jacketed or coated, so might likewise not be an option for indoor ranges these days
too many years since I shot target wadcutters; they got scarcer and pricier over time as bullseye took a back seat to other flavors of competition

MrBorland
April 3, 2011, 08:25 PM
I handload 124gr LRN in .38 Long Colt brass over 2.4gr Clay's to shoot out of my Model 36 Chief's Special. A good soft-recoiling round for volume practice with this snubby. Easy on the gun, and easy on the shooter. I shot a local Pocket Carry match with this combo recently, and it performed flawlessly.

Manco
April 3, 2011, 08:33 PM
The reason I brought this up is that my wife prefers revolvers for SD/HD. Her house gun is a .38 spl w/4" barrel but she hates the .38 spl snubs - even with WWB target/range loads or semi-wadcutters.

Has she tried out heavier snubs such as the all-steel S&W J-frames or Ruger SP101, and would their weight make them too cumbersome for her to carry? Just wondering.

sixgunner455
April 3, 2011, 11:35 PM
CAS loads are all 100% lead. Partly due to the Cowboy nature of things - that's all the cowboys had - and partly due to the close range plates. Don't want bits of copper jackets flying back and hurting people on the line. Lead tends to just splat out where it impacts the steel.

snooperman
April 4, 2011, 04:37 PM
in Pennsylvania they are made for women . It shoots like a 32 S&W 98gr long at about 650 ft/sec. My wife shoots them all the time in her S&W 642 and loves them. When I want to wimp out I use them too in my Colt 15 oz Agent. Let her try them and for practice, she will like them.

Deaf Smith
April 4, 2011, 07:48 PM
You know, you guys just gave me an idea.

I’m sure everyone here knows well how snub .38s have very short ejector rods and many a time the .38 Spl. empties do not eject fully. So… how about .38 Short Colts loaded up to .38 Spl. just for snubs!


That way they will eject fully yet be powerful enough for self defense.

Yes I now it would be a danger for any old .38 Short Colt revovler, but in reality, how may .38 Short Colt revovers have you seen lately? So it would not be all that dangerous as for making such ammo.

Deaf

Vern Humphrey
April 4, 2011, 07:52 PM
Just follow the proper manual of arms -- point the gun up when punching the ejector rod. As soon as the cases break free, they fall away.

Jim K
April 4, 2011, 08:01 PM
Not a crazy idea at all. When .38 LC was readily available, it was a common choice for female police officers armed with .38 Special revolvers because of the lighter recoil. (In general, police are prohibited from using handloads, so that option was not open.)

Jim

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