Planning first 38 sp load - Smokey?


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Gadawg88
April 1, 2013, 06:21 PM
Planning on using the following: Missouri Bullet .38 sp Match 12 Brinell LSWC, HP-38, CCI 500 primer and 38 sp brass. Have consulted my manuals and read some good posts here and feel that 3.5 gn is where I will start, working up to 4 gn. Intended purpose is punching holes in paper at an indoor range primarily. Will be using Colt Trooper mk iii .357 mag "6 barrel and Ruger LCR snubbie.

I have read a post or two that Hp-38 and lead bullets produces a lot of smoke. Is this generally true? If so, any ways of minimizing? should i be concerned using at an indoor facility. They do have good filtration. Anybody have first hand experience with this combo? Any other constructive comments appreciated as well. Thanks.

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ReloaderFred
April 1, 2013, 06:57 PM
The lube on the bullet causes most of the smoke, but some powders do produce more smoke than others. It depends on the lighting condition as to whether or not it will be an issue. You just need to load some up and see if it bothers you.

Hope this helps.

Fred

rfwobbly
April 1, 2013, 07:01 PM
99% of the smoke is going to come from the bullet lube. Get rid of the lube and the smoke will clear. Black bullets do better; plated bullets do even better.

Why would you not begin at the "starting load" ?

Gadawg88
April 1, 2013, 08:05 PM
I don't have first hand experience, obviously, but I have read that starting low with lead bullets is not necessarily a good thing due to possible leading or possibility of a squib load due to position of powder in the relatively large case. I have read other posts from experienced HighRoaders saying their favorite load was 4gn of hp-38 using the same type/weight bullet. I thought I would start close to the middle of the published data at 3.5 and try working up to 4gn. That being said, I am here looking for any and all advice from those that do have the experience. Thanks.

David E
April 1, 2013, 08:09 PM
First off, I'd get the bullets at the 18 Brinell hardness instead of the much softer 12, low velocity loads or not.

Second, I'd use something other than Bullseye for your first foray into reloading. Maybe Unique.

rcmodel
April 1, 2013, 08:18 PM
First off, I'd get the bullets at the 18 Brinell hardness instead of the much softer 12,And that would be a huge mistake!!!

See this thread running right now.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=710905

Now, I am really going to get flamed.
But I never start at the Starting load with low pressure handgun rounds.
Maybe it is foolhardy?
Maybe it is due to 50 years of experience and knowing what is going to work and what isn't?

But loading .38 Special is not the same thing as loading .257 Weatherby or .220 Swift in a new rifle.

Chamber throats and forcing cones and bore diameters are all pretty much the same in .38 revolvers.

The pressure is very low. Especially since 1971.

As long as your powder scale is right?
You will not get in trouble with about any modern revolver and any published .38 Spl load if you start in the middle with soft bullets!!

And you will not get nearly as much bore leading.

There, I said it, and I meant it.

Just don't do as I do, or do as I say.
Especially when loading .257 Weatherby or .220 Swift in a new rifle.

rc

sellersm
April 1, 2013, 08:39 PM
+1 to what RCModel has said. I personally don't use HP38 (or W231, same thing) with lead in 38special, but if that's what you have, it'll be fine. You may get a little smoke, it's a bit of a fast powder. See the thread that rc mentioned above...

I happen to prefer Bullseye for plinking 38special loads, but you'll be fine.

Gadawg88
April 1, 2013, 08:46 PM
I am new to reloading, but this is not my first foray. I started with 45 acp. I have about 500 of those under my belt (I know that's nothing and some of you guys load that befor breakfast). I intend on using HP-38, not Bullseye. I also have the MB .357 action 18 brinell bullets, but I was planning on putting those over some 2400 for my .357 mag. Again, from what I have read only, those are better suited for the higher pressure loads in .357 mag.

rcmodel
April 1, 2013, 08:48 PM
YES!

They are!

rc

USSR
April 1, 2013, 09:11 PM
Agree with rc - save the BHN 18 bullets for .357 loads. While you didn't say the weight of the lead SWC you are using, I am assuming 158gr, and if so, then your 3.5gr load falls neatly in the load range of 3.1gr to 3.7gr specified by Hodgdon for that powder.

Don

ReloaderFred
April 1, 2013, 09:17 PM
I cast most of my .38 bullets at BHN 12, sized .358", and get no leading in my pistols, my wife's pistols, or our Marlin rifles with those bullets. They are all loaded with a mid-range load of Bullseye, but once in awhile I load some with Win. 231/HP-38. The only time we actually notice the smoke is if we're shooting into the sun. The rest of the time it's no big thing.

If you want to see smoke, shoot with some blackpowder shooters. Now there's smoke!

Hope this helps.

Fred

gacajun
April 1, 2013, 10:25 PM
I shoot CAS and occasionally shoot blackpowder. I use 3.0 grains of Clays and a 125 gr TC bullet from Missouri Bullet. That load is about middle of the max recommended for that particular bullet. It does not make too much smoke and it is comfortable to shoot.

When I shoot CAS blackpowder category (Frontier Cartridge) I use 1 cc of Triple Seven black powder substitute and then add .3 cc of filler (I use grits). This provides just enough volume to seat a 125 gr TC bullet with little or no compression. The recoil is not too stout but the smoke is something to see. You just need to make sure you clean your guns immediately after shooting black powder.

ljnowell
April 1, 2013, 11:03 PM
And that would be a huge mistake!!!

See this thread running right now.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=710905

Now, I am really going to get flamed.
But I never start at the Starting load with low pressure handgun rounds.
Maybe it is foolhardy?
Maybe it is due to 50 years of experience and knowing what is going to work and what isn't?

But loading .38 Special is not the same thing as loading .257 Weatherby or .220 Swift in a new rifle.

Chamber throats and forcing cones and bore diameters are all pretty much the same in .38 revolvers.

The pressure is very low. Especially since 1971.

As long as your powder scale is right?
You will not get in trouble with about any modern revolver and any published .38 Spl load if you start in the middle with soft bullets!!

And you will not get nearly as much bore leading.

There, I said it, and I meant it.

Just don't do as I do, or do as I say.
Especially when loading .257 Weatherby or .220 Swift in a new rifle.



Definately a +1 to what RC says. I never start at the starting load for any handgun load. In semi-autos even moreso. No sense in wasting the components.

As far as lead hardness goes, if I could get it I would run a 10bhn in any standard 38 special load, thats plenty hard enough for the velocity and pressure in a 38. Now, that being said, I do load some 18bhn 38 loads. I stock 158g LSWC for 357 mag, so I use them in 38 special too. No real problems as they fit the throats good. Its still not ideal and if I were buying bullets specifically for 38 it would be the softer bullets for sure.

4895
April 1, 2013, 11:11 PM
I use 3.5grains of W231 with MBC 158 SWC 12 bhn as my wife's standard target load. They shoot about as soft as cotton in 38 special. No worries.

Hondo 60
April 1, 2013, 11:19 PM
Gadawg88 - one thing you'll find very quickly is that rcmodel is opinionated & sometimes less than a bastion of congeniality, but almost never wrong.

If you listen to him & take his advice, it'll keep you outta trouble.

Gosh, he's gonna get a big head from this one! ;)

Gadawg88
April 1, 2013, 11:34 PM
Well I have only been trolling the HighRoad for a few months, but I figured that out pretty quick. Thanks everybody.

joneb
April 1, 2013, 11:46 PM
I have shot 158gr LSWC with W-231 in 38spl that were very smokey at 4.0gr.
Same bullet with 3.5gr of Bullseye way less smoke.
Both loads were accurate, a bit more with Bullseye.

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