Clays Powder/38Spl


July 5, 2011, 01:32 AM
This is the first time loading with "Clays Powder" Using 158gr Berries RN Plated bullets-------Mixed 38 Spl Casings. Loaded 2.8gr of Clays Powder, Tested (Weak) loaded 3.0-----3.2------and 3.4 of Clays Powder. The 3.4 was the right recipe for a good round. I looked at the load data on the powder container and Hodgdens load data shows the Max powder load for this round is 3.1 of Clays Powder. My question is: Is this the best powder for this round, many reloaders love it, it seemed to me the cup pressure was a little high, just not sure...Help!

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July 5, 2011, 01:47 AM
I would be very careful overloading Clays. It's a very fast powder and can cause pressure spikes when you go above published load limits. If you don't like the results you get with Clays within published limits change you powder. I use W231/HP-38 for most of my .38 Special ammo. (and most other handgun ammo too) You are 10% over the Max, that's a high number with any powder but especially with a fast and fairly unstable powder like Clays.

That said, did you send that ammo over a chrono? How do you know the ammo was "weak". You can't tell how strong or weak ammo is by felt recoil.

July 5, 2011, 01:56 AM
Try Bullseye powder. It has a much wider operating range than Clays. (Even Red Dot is more flexible than Clays)

Clays is for light target rounds. There's nothing wrong with that, but that is all you can do with it.

July 5, 2011, 07:43 AM
I worked up to 3.3 Grs Clays with a 158 plated bullet and they shot very well, giving velocities in the low 700's from a 6" barrel. Yes, it is over the max. Go figure. Use at your own risk.

For a 125 Gr plated (Berrys) I use 4.0 Grs Clays, and that shoots very well at around 900 FPS or so. 4.0 is max for a jacketed slug. Use at your own risk.

ArchAngelCD is correct. Clays gets real touchy as the charge goes up. Work up in .1 gr increments, and be careful.

July 5, 2011, 08:57 AM
Universal Clays works better - closer to Unique

July 5, 2011, 09:45 AM
It is definitely more forgiving.

July 5, 2011, 09:33 PM
CLAYS is a very fast powder , but completely insensitive to position in the case .

Where as BE is very sensitive to powder position.

1 drawback that has me wondering weither to buy more CLAYS is that it`s so dense , you really have to look for 2.8gr. even in a 38 case !!!

July 5, 2011, 11:12 PM
completely insensitive to position in the case In my testing when firing rounds, especially light target rounds, with the powder back and then the powder forward, in calibers like .38 Spl with a lot of extra room in the case, Clays proved to be one of the best at maintaining good velocities with the powder forward. Some powders are terrible in that regard, losing a great deal of velocity when the powder is forward against the bullet vs back against the primer. (SR-4756 ;))

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