getting ready to load .38 special?


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kennedy
January 27, 2012, 03:43 PM
just waiting for my Lee dies to show up. I am loading for a colt official police with 4 in barrel made in the 1940`s and a Tauras model 850 snubbie. I am loading 158 gr laser cast RN flat point bullets. I have unique, win 231, and universal powders on hand, suggested loads for plinking?

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soloban
January 27, 2012, 03:56 PM
I like Universal Clays in my .38 Special loads. Meters fairly well. I would check your load book and pick a Universal Clays load towards the top of the range.

rcmodel
January 27, 2012, 04:21 PM
Win 231 = 3.5 to 4.0 grains will make a nice load.

Unique = 4.5.


rc

ArchAngelCD
January 28, 2012, 03:23 AM
Win 231 = 3.5 to 4.0 grains will make a nice load.

Unique = 4.5.


rc
One of my favorite .38 Special loads is a 158gr cast bullet over 4.0gr W231. You won't be unhappy with that load but you should start lighter and work up to the 4.0gr load. (start @ 3.5gr W231)

kennedy
February 1, 2012, 08:14 PM
Well everything is here to start reloading .38, I decided to use the win 231 since I am not using it to reload for anything. Anyway had a problem with the load data, the chart that came with the lee dies says starting load is 3.1gr but my lee book says 4.0 grs, so I contacted Lee and they said to use the data close in age to the age of the powder. The chart has a copywrite of 2011 and the book 2003, I bought the powder in 2008, but it may have been made in 2006, I think I will split the difference and use a starting load of 3.5. Anyone ever heard these instructions before?

oneounceload
February 1, 2012, 08:47 PM
I always prefer to follow recipes from the powder makers first, then by the bullet makers. These folks actually test the loads, not only for accuracy, but also for pressure

rcmodel
February 1, 2012, 09:01 PM
so I contacted Lee and they said to use the data close in age to the age of the powder.BS!
Win-231 has not changed formula or burn rate since it was introduced many years ago.

Use the load data I told you to use in post #3.

My work is done here!
We Ride!

rc

Jeff H
February 1, 2012, 09:54 PM
Use the load data I told you to use in post #3.


As usual, RC has the appropriate comments. I have about 1k loaded with 3.8gr of HP-38 right now. Nice middle of the road load out of the revolvers but an absolute blast to shoot out of the lever guns at 50 yards.

kennedy
February 3, 2012, 04:30 PM
Well I loaded up some with 3.5gr and some with 4.0gr of win 231, the taurus snubby did not like the 4.0(ok my hand did not) but liked the 3.5. With my colt official police, the 3.5 felt like I was shooting a .22 and the 4.0 felt great. I am going to teach my daughter to shoot the official police and I will use the 3.5 gr loads to start her out. thanks.

mdi
February 3, 2012, 04:46 PM
I'd suggest Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook for any lead bullet reloading data. I have found the Lee Modern Reloading load data section lacking...

docsleepy
February 4, 2012, 12:36 AM
I've used 3.0 gr of Win231 under a 158 gr lead SWC. This is a very light load but every bullet has left the barrel! The key in my opinion is to be very certain that you never err and miss putting ANY powder into the case -- it is quite long. Get a chrony and you'll have much more fun.

ArchAngelCD
February 4, 2012, 04:16 AM
I've used 3.0 gr of Win231 under a 158 gr lead SWC. This is a very light load but every bullet has left the barrel! The key in my opinion is to be very certain that you never err and miss putting ANY powder into the case -- it is quite long. Get a chrony and you'll have much more fun.
Hodgdon lists a minimum of 3.1gr W231 under a 158gr SWC so it's probably not a good idea to suggest using a charge weight under the min. (especially to a new reloader) Always take care to be sure the bullet leaves the barrel before you pull the trigger again. (or things can become very interesting)

bubbacrabb
February 4, 2012, 01:05 PM
I don't have my notebook around, but I like unique and I think it was 4.2 grains with a 158 kieth mbc. Shoots well in my gp 100

Lovesbeer99
February 4, 2012, 01:19 PM
I load that same bullet with the same powders in shoot them from a 4" smith with great results.

Unique - 4 grains
231 - 3.6 - 4 grains.

Good luck

beatledog7
February 4, 2012, 02:49 PM
I like rc's recommended 4.0gr W231 behind a 158gr SWC, but not for a snubby. My 642 handles them fine as it's a +P gun, but they're not fun to shoot.

OTOH, these are very comfortable to shoot from my Security Six, a gun that weighs roughly twice the 642.

larry syverson
February 4, 2012, 07:10 PM
I use 2.8 to 3.0 gr. of Hodgdon Clays powder with a 158 gr. jacketed hollow point bullet and a CCI small pistol primer in my 4" Ruger GP-100 (stainless model). Works just fine and its a cheap reload with only 3.0 gr. of powder. More than 2300 bullets per pound. Hodgdon says 3.0 is the minimum load and 3.1 is the max load, but I've shot hundreds of 2.8 gr. without any problems. They always came out the end of the barrel. However, I've settled on using 3.0 gr, now that I know there is a recommended minimum load. Didn't know that when I started reloading many years ago. Everyone said start low and work your way up. They didn't mention anything about a minimum load... The powder also meters very nicely with my Dillon Square Deal B reloader. Can't imagine using anything else. Obviously this won't tax the GP-100 much since it is designed as a .357 magnum.

Loic
February 9, 2012, 03:53 PM
with my plated 125gr rnfp I load 4.3gr win 231. works good for me

Walkalong
February 9, 2012, 06:30 PM
I've used 3.0 gr of Win231 under a 158 gr lead SWC. This is a very light load but every bullet has left the barrel! With lead you may get away with this, but try it with plated or jacketed and you will stick a bullet if you fire a round with the powder against the bullet. Maybe even with the powder against the primer. That is very light. I thought my 3.8 Grs WST under a 158 Gr plated bullet was light.

MrBorland
February 9, 2012, 09:07 PM
The CRC (http://www.amazon.com/CRC-Handbook-Chemistry-Physics-92nd/dp/1439855110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328835966&sr=1-1) and Lange's (http://www.amazon.com/Langes-Handbook-Chemistry-John-Dean/dp/0070163847) handbooks agree - "W-231 + Lead" is the chemical formula for smoke. :D

Nonetheless, I've had good results with approx 4 grains W-231 & a 158gr LSWC. Shot outdoors.

5thSFGroup
February 11, 2012, 02:27 PM
http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

joneb
February 11, 2012, 03:29 PM
"W-231 + Lead" is the chemical formula for smoke.

With certain bullet lubes W-231 can be really smoky, these same bullets with Bullseye produce very little smoke.

I have found Laser Cast alloy is to hard for my 38spl loads.

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