I have came to a conclusion.........


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ljnowell
May 16, 2012, 11:16 PM
I have/do reload for 223, 45acp, 9mm, 380acp, 357 mag, 38 spcl, 45 colt and 40 S&W. I have probably reloaded the most 45acp of anything up until now. I have decided though, that 38 special is my favorite cartridge to load.

I load a lot of 357 mag, but the brass is harder to scrounge, and it definately cost more to purchase. I have also noticed that due to slop in the shell holder I have to align the cases more with 357 mag. 38 special just glides through the dies and is a real pleasure to reload. Not to mention at 2.9gr of AA#2 at a time, it sure is economical to load when using wadcutters.

I also recently found a new pet load using the same Missouri Bullet 357 action(158gr LSWC @ 18bhn) that I use in my 357 mag loads. I find that loading those over 6gr of Power Pistol gives a nice full powered 38 special load that will really ring the bell and is accurate to boot.

What about you guys, whats your favorite 38 special load?

I think its quite likely that 45 colt and 38 special are my two favorite cartridges, this month at least!

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ArchAngelCD
May 16, 2012, 11:30 PM
What about you guys, whats your favorite 38 special load?
My favorite .38 Special load is a 158gr LSWC over 4.0gr W231. Next would be the 148gr DEWC over 3.4gr W231.

I also load a FBI Load replica with HS-6 I'm fond of...

JRH6856
May 16, 2012, 11:39 PM
Missouri Bullet 9Cone (125gr.) over 5 grains of Bullseye. Very accurate out of my 6" Security Six and no leading.

Josh45
May 16, 2012, 11:40 PM
125 Gr
W-231
4.1 Gr
Winchester Case
CCI 500 Primer

Light plinking load in my Ruger GP100. Love it.

ljnowell
May 16, 2012, 11:44 PM
Some good sounding loads here. Arch, I also have my own "duplicate" though I doubt its that perfect of a duplicate. I load a Hornady 158gr swaged LSWC-hp over 6.0gr of Power Pistol, same as the 158gr LSWC from MoBullet. Speer says 6gr will do 1037 fps out of a 6 inch barrel with thier LSWC. Im guessing its a pretty decent duplicate for the FBI load. I have found that after about 30 of them I start to get some "appreciable" leading in the first inch of the barrel, but nothing extreme, and it doesnt get any worse. I attribute this to the swaged bullet being pushed so hard, but I dont worry a whole lot about it, I load those to carry in my LCR, so I wont be shooting more than 10 of them in a time of need, ten is all I carry.

BossHogg
May 17, 2012, 10:34 AM
I really like the Hornady swaged 158 gr lswc-hp with Bullseye. The Hornady bullets help with the smoke on low lead rounds. 3.3 is the Bullseye load I use the most right around 750 fps . But I also shoot as low as 2.9 for light plinking loads.

Stormin.40
May 17, 2012, 12:36 PM
What about you guys, whats your favorite 38 special load?


I am fairly new to reloading, but I love Trail Boss, I only load .38 special for a S&W 642 snubnose.

I really like 4.0 grains of TrailBoss this will push a 158gr LSWC @ 670fps
4.2 grains will push the same bullet 700fps. Keep in mind these are coming out of a 1 7/8" barrel.

Very accurate and clean burning.

I plan to try 231 next...

beatledog7
May 17, 2012, 12:46 PM
4.9 gr of Bullseye and a CCI 500 behind a 125 gr Winchester JHP set to 1.450" is a great 642 load.

I have no facility to chrono the load, but it produces very manageable recoil, making follow-up shots no issue. And it's very accurate.

odie1
May 17, 2012, 04:06 PM
4.0 grains of titegroup using a home cast (lee mold) 148 gr SWC.

Can stay at the range and shoot them all day.

Like you I have reloaded (and shot) more .45acp than anything, but in the last few years have enjoyed shooting revolvers (GP-100) more and more....

Odie1

Salmoneye
May 17, 2012, 04:45 PM
158gr TCBB Penn Bullet over 3.5gr Red Dot...

Hondo 60
May 17, 2012, 05:15 PM
My favorite & most accurate is a 125 gr HP made by The Hunting Shack (HSM)
over 3.7 gr of Tite Group.
That's on the very low end according to Hodgdon
It clocks about 750 fps over my chronograph using a 4" S&W Model 10.
(closer to 700 out a 1 7/8" S&W Model 38)

MMCSRET
May 17, 2012, 05:36 PM
My favorites, equal in every quality are: Lyman 358311, 158 gr. RN and Lyman 357443, 158 gr. SWC. Both cast soft and loaded over 3.5 grains of Bullseye. They shoot equally well in three different Colt Officers Model Target, Special and Match 6" revolvers. Those loads and those three revolvers will make any shooter look good.

Marlin 45 carbine
May 17, 2012, 09:09 PM
good thread I don't own a .38spcl but do a gp100 .357.
158gr swc over 4.5 gr RDot is nearly recoil free and shoots good.
a lady friend is very handgun/recoil sensitive but likes to shoot this load in my gp

ArchAngelCD
May 17, 2012, 09:59 PM
Some good sounding loads here. Arch, I also have my own "duplicate" though I doubt its that perfect of a duplicate. I load a Hornady 158gr swaged LSWC-hp over 6.0gr of Power Pistol, same as the 158gr LSWC from MoBullet. Speer says 6gr will do 1037 fps out of a 6 inch barrel with thier LSWC. Im guessing its a pretty decent duplicate for the FBI load. I have found that after about 30 of them I start to get some "appreciable" leading in the first inch of the barrel, but nothing extreme, and it doesnt get any worse. I attribute this to the swaged bullet being pushed so hard, but I dont worry a whole lot about it, I load those to carry in my LCR, so I wont be shooting more than 10 of them in a time of need, ten is all I carry.
My FBI replica is also made with the same Hornady 158gr LSWC/HP bullet. I get 927.0 AV from a 4" barrel and a surprising 889 fps from a 2" barrel. I'm very happy with that load because it's very accurate and produces no leading to speak of. I have a feeling it's the Power Pistol that causing the leading in your load because that's a very hot burning powder. HS-6 seems to play well with lead bullets.

16in50calNavalRifle
May 18, 2012, 03:45 AM
Just in my first half year of reloading but yeah, I like 38 special. That caliber and 45ACP have been the easiest to load.

For low-recoil plinking and practice (and use in the informal steel/action shoots I do), I like the MBC Cowboy #17 (125 gr LRNFP) over 5 gr of Trail Boss. Out of a 4" Model 66 it feels like a staple gun, not a real gun.

Penn 158 gr TCBB over 3.6 gr of HP-38/W-231 is also good, just a bit more recoil of course.

One fun thing about reloading is making specialty loads. I have a Colt Magnum Carry snub .357 in excellent condition that I like to shoot a lot, but I'm trying to pamper it a bit, avoid the carbon rings in the chambers and any leading, so I load a 125 gr MasterCast (PA) FMJ flat-nose in .357 brass over 6.2 gr of Silhouette or 4.4 gr of HP-38. And Federal primers to avoid FTF (had one or two with CCI in this revolver). Snappy (don't want to stick a bullet), but fun.

Some day I can see doing as some of you do and trying to replicate various loads (the FBI and Treasury come to mind, and the Speer GD 135 gr short-barrel ammo as well) - sounds like fun. And at some point I'll have to try some full-house .357 loads (have a decent amount of the brass, and H110 for my 30 carbine loading, so ......).

Down the road I can imagine moving to mostly revolver shooting and reloading, at which point I can see adding 44 or 41 to the mix, and maybe 45LC. I actually read those threads already, and those calibers (and revolvers) sound like a lot of fun.

Wait - did someone call this sickness a hobby???

chrome_austex
May 18, 2012, 12:53 PM
I don't have the dies yet, but I am collecting the brass.

HS-6 and titegroup... check and check.

If my snubby weren't my least favorite pistol (hey, at least it's still a 'favorite!), I think I'd be reloading for it already.

So... HS-6 or Titegroup? HS-6 is slower, and should fill the case better, right? I'd probably go with FMJ rounds, but I guess if lead is cheap enough...

ArchAngelCD
May 19, 2012, 12:35 AM
I don't have the dies yet, but I am collecting the brass.

HS-6 and titegroup... check and check.

If my snubby weren't my least favorite pistol (hey, at least it's still a 'favorite!), I think I'd be reloading for it already.

So... HS-6 or Titegroup? HS-6 is slower, and should fill the case better, right? I'd probably go with FMJ rounds, but I guess if lead is cheap enough...
I'm not a fan of Titegroup but I'm a big fan of W231 and HS-6. I use W231 for most of my standard pressure .38 Special ammo and HS-6 for most of my +P pressure .38 Special loads. HS-6 will generate less pressure with superior velocity and accuracy than most powders in it's burn rate range. My only problems the HS powders is Hodgdon discontinued HS-5 and HS-7!

Clark
May 19, 2012, 09:31 PM
I like 158 gr and LIL'GUN for the 38 Special.

ArchAngelCD
May 19, 2012, 10:38 PM
I like 158 gr and LIL'GUN for the 38 Special.
Don't do that to a new reloader! You know darn well Lil'Gun is a very slow powder and should be used for the .357 Magnum, not the .38 Special!

coalman
May 20, 2012, 12:59 AM
The more I chase 9mm and .45acp brass around the more I want to reload .38spl again.

hentown
May 20, 2012, 08:54 AM
I just hope the title of this thread is a typo!! :D

Lost Sheep
May 20, 2012, 06:45 PM
I like 158 gr and LIL'GUN for the 38 Special.
Why?

Any advice is always made more valuable by the addition of the reasoning behind it.

So, why that combination and what purpose does it serve? Are there any cautions you would put on it? (I am of the same mind as ArchAngelCD on this.)

While Li'l Gun is useful in the 38 Special, mostly for heavy bullets and at the high end of the power/pressure/velocity performance range it is not very forgiving.

Remember, this thread will be read by not only the original poster (who is experienced), but every 38 Special aficionado with the curiosity to click on it. And they will be of all experience levels.

Lost Sheep

Walkalong
May 21, 2012, 05:36 PM
Why?Cause Clark likes to hot rod stuff. ;)

Remember, this thread will be read by not only the original poster (who is experienced), but every 38 Special aficionado with the curiosity to click on it. And they will be of all experience levels.
Yes indeed.

4895
May 22, 2012, 03:57 AM
I like to load mid velocity 158 LRNFP or LSWC with Winchester 231. Good stuff.

bangaway
May 22, 2012, 02:52 PM
lyman 358242 in 92 gr. with 4 gr. red dot. About 890 fps/161 ft pds. No recoil. nor muzzle jump, dents a pop can before making a hole, and leaves alot of bunny to eat. Have fun and bangaway.

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