Smokey 38 Specials


December 7, 2013, 03:09 PM
I'm new to reloading.

I made up about 90 38 Specials using Accurate #2.
They fired fine but man were they smokey - and they blew gray soot out all over my off hand.

I use this power with 9mm without noticing any smoke or soot at all.
And the label on the power sayings it's good for 38 loads.

Is the fact that the shell contains so much empty volume the reason for the smokey/sooty burn?

Any suggestions for a different powder?

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N.M. Edmands
December 7, 2013, 03:18 PM
What weight and type of bullet? How much #2? Fired in 38 or 357?
Lead bullets will smoke. To low of a powder charge will give a poor seal in the chambers.

December 7, 2013, 03:21 PM
My bet is you were shooting cast bullets in your .38. If so, you're going to get some smoke. It's caused by a combination of the powder and lube on the bullets. Some powders will smoke more than others when shooting cast bullets, but none are completely "smokeless".

Hope this helps.


December 7, 2013, 03:27 PM
I'm loading158 gr lead semiwadcutters - with a blue lube ring.

4 gr of Accurate #2.

December 7, 2013, 03:29 PM
Fired from a S&W Model 36 Chiefs Special

December 7, 2013, 03:45 PM
Cast bullet lube will smoke when fired, just one of the many benefits of using cast bullets. Also the aroma adds ambiance to the shooting experience and tends to raise testosterone levels in males that enjoy such activities.

Shoot, smell, enjoy.

December 7, 2013, 03:52 PM
Dunno about #2, but some powders also add greatly to the soot and smoke when they are in low power loads...Some powders 'clean up' when run at near max pressures for their respective loadings...

December 7, 2013, 04:41 PM
Sounds like I'll stick with Accurate #2 for now.
Maybe try some copper plated bullets to see what difference it makes.

Thanks for the info.

December 7, 2013, 04:44 PM
Revolvers always get your hands dirty. Even with factory loads.

N.M. Edmands
December 7, 2013, 04:46 PM
4gr of #2 is max W/158gr SWC and I use this load myself. Smoke - yes but you should not have a lot of soot. Maybe some grains of unburned powder from that 1 7/8" barrel but not a lot of soot. what is your OAL? How do they feel power wise?:confused:

December 7, 2013, 06:45 PM
Power-wise these loads feel fine - maybe a little weaker than what I would usually expect from a factory load. No great recoil.

I didn't record the COL. I seated the bullet just to the point where the last ring on the bullet was covered by the shell casing.

December 7, 2013, 06:49 PM
I'm getting the soot on my left index finger when I hold the gun in my right hand and cup the gun and right hand with my left hand.
The "soot" is blowing out from the gap between the cylinder and the barrel.

N.M. Edmands
December 7, 2013, 07:19 PM
Are you using a good roll crimp? Sometimes to little crimp releases the bullet early reducing pressure and mimicking lower pressure rounds.
Are the cases sooty down the sides like bunny fart loads? If they are verify your scale and powder. If not check your cyl/barrel gap. This seems strange.:confused:

December 7, 2013, 10:05 PM
I have used AA#2 in the past and noticed more than normal smoke and it tended to be more "dirty". MHO

December 7, 2013, 11:33 PM
I load Missouri Bullets 158gr SCW over 3.6gr of AA#2 as a bullseye practice load. I use a light crimp on it basically a taper crimp. They are very accurate. A little smokey but not dirty. In fact they are much cleaner than a similarly loaded round with 231 or bullseye.

December 8, 2013, 12:22 AM
Case bullet will smoke anyway due to the lube.

When I get a little too smoky for me I tumble with Johnson's paste wax. If that does not work I add a little Alox. It seems to work for me in most cases. Your mileage may vary though.

N.M. Edmands
December 9, 2013, 07:02 PM
Montman: Any progress?

December 13, 2013, 10:51 AM
Clays and AA#2 have "Nice soot" :)

Remington factory crap = bad, smelly acrid soot that requires more than a wipedown

December 14, 2013, 02:24 PM
Could try to moly coat them with an inexpensive kit. Just don't tell the other half when the tupperware disappears.

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