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Airweight J-Frame, looking for a good light load.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by LivewireBlanco, May 23, 2013.

  1. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Well-Known Member

    I've been loading up some 93 grain LRN with Trailboss and this combo is nice and light recoiling but shoots about 3 inches low from 15 yards. I'm looking for suggestions on a load that will be low recoil and shoot point of aim. The 105 gr SWC looks interesting but I don't want to buy a new mold and have the POI still low.
  2. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Well-Known Member

    3.3gr of Red Dot, 158gr LSWC. Low recoil, shoots pretty flat at point I aim out to 25 yards or so through a 2" Ruger SP101 and Ruger GP100.
  3. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    I assume you were shooting from a bench rest.
    Is this a target shooting gun or a self defense gun?
    1.5" @ 7 yards is "good enough for gov'ment work" you know

    Most 38/357 guns are set up for 158g bullets. I know that will be a hand punisher in your gun, but try out some factory 158g loads to first establish that your gun shoots where you aim it (unless you've already done that).

    You might want to work up higher recoiling loads (faster) to see if the POI goes up or down, then you may need to increase the charge with a slower powder (like Unique) for some higher velocities.
  4. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Well-Known Member

    I've shot some 158 gr with the lightest load of Unique in the book and still was not comfortable for my little woman. Gun shoots POA with some 110 gr Hornady HP self defense loads with 6 gr of Unique. I'm thinking a heavier bullet will raise the point of aim a bit but I don't want to get too heavy and her not want to shoot as much. She loves the light loads now, but hates that she has to aim high.
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Badabing.. that's exactly what I was thinking. A smidge up in weight will move it up and that's a sweet bullet for 9mm also. Spend the $20 for a better paper punching/game killing profile.
  6. mavracer

    mavracer Well-Known Member

    3.0gr of WW231/HP38 or 2.8gr of Bullseye and a 148gr wadcutter either hollow base or solid should work beautifully
  7. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

    No offence intended, but for an extra light handgun you have to expect some recoil with any useful load you shoot in it. Reloading can only go so far, it is an extra light gun in .38 caliber and even blanks will give some recoil. The laws of physics are difficult to manipulate too, a light bullet will shoot lower (because of recoil) and POI will always be lower than POA. There will always be trade-offs.

    If a .38 Special reloaded with Trail Boss is recoiling too much, perhaps a .32 S&W is in order, or a .22. Mebbe a heavier gun would help. For a recoil shy shooter or a new shooter a smaller caliber and/or heavier gun should be used. My 14 year old daughter didn't like my Taurus M85 with wadcutter loads (the lightest I would consider) so she learned to shoot my Single Six (smaller caliber, heavier gun).

    I can't give any load advice for a 93 grain bullet in a .38 as I've never tried anything that small in my 38s/357s.
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    The recommended starting loads of trail boss felt like squibs to me... I can't imagine anything lighter.
  9. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Well-Known Member

    I already have a light load that recoils next to nothing, I'm just looking for something that hits a little higher. Maybe I didn't phrase my question right. Have any of ya'll shot 105 gr SWC out of your snubby and where did it hit? Should I go with 125 gr SWC? I don't think I want to go the full wadcutter route but I may end up doing so. Just trying to find the right casting mold to buy to get the POA up a little without making my fiance flinch. Trailboss is the powder I'm going with, just gotta settle on a bullet weight.
  10. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Well-Known Member

    My go to target load for my 638 is a MBC Cowboy #16 105gn TC over 5.2 grains of AA#2. VERY accurate at 7 yards and also very light on recoil and very clean as well. Great load for intro shooters with an airlight.
  11. docsleepy

    docsleepy Well-Known Member

    OK, maybe I have all this wrong, but isn't where a short-barreled revolver ends up putting the round

    VERY DEPENDENT on the interacton of the rotating recoil toque on the shooter's hand/wrist???

    I'm thinking that the only thing one changes with the powder/bullet changes is the velocity, timing, and accleration given to the line of the extended barrel centerline at the moment the bullet is leaving the muzzle. One person's point of impact may be very different from anothers' with the same load if I am correct.

    I have used 3.0 grains of Win231 with 158 grain SWC in .38 spc in very light snubbies, and it was much more fun. I have even gone down to 2.7 grains and verified that (in my gun atleast!@!!!!!) they still left the barrel going 450 fps, enough energy to prove they had enough to make it through the barrel without trouble.

    If the shooter doesn't like recoil (and I'm with you there) then the only solution is a lower mass bullet going at a lower velocity in a heavier gun (whichever of those you have control over), since momentum is mass * velocity. A very light charge in a .38 spc may be acceptable to the user, and sure, it isn't going to do as much damage to the perpetrator, but at least it is something the victim is WILLING TO USE!!!! Any bullet lucky enough to strike the heart is going to have a really bad effect on the recipient, same for one to the eye or forehead.
  12. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Might be nice if you include what caliber... ;)

    But I take it you're talking 38 Special.
    I have a Model 38 Airweight.
    I use 3.7 gr of Tite Group under a 125 gr plated bullet.
    They run about 700 fps on my chronograph.

  13. rchery59

    rchery59 Well-Known Member

    To keep your point of aim I would suggest a 148 gr wadcutter. Load them light with your powder of choice and they will punch holes right on the money all day.Cheap as all getout too.
  14. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Well-Known Member

    Yes it's a 38 SPL, and these are strictly for target shooting. I appreciate all the suggestions that have been given. My fiance and I both shoot low with my current loads so I am thinking of adding weight but how much I'm not sure.
  15. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    Before you put money into buying a mold, you can probably go to the pay it forward thread and get someone to mail you a few slugs to try.

    You didn't mention what you had for powder. It can make a difference.

    And what is your carry load? It helps to shoot a couple of cylinders at the end of a practice session. If you're carrying a factory load, loading a similar round for practice is a lot cheaper.
  16. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Well-Known Member

    Self defense is hornady 110 gr with 6 gr unique. I have unique, HP-38, and trailboss for pistol powders.
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    For the most part when shooting a fixed sighted revolver the only load that will shoot POA=POI is the load the gun was sighted in with. When shooting a fixed sight revolver you will need to change your POA so that the bullet will impact where you want it to. Sorry there is no magic, only changing your POA. That's why you need to practice a lot with your carry ammo, so you know exactly where it hits. In my M442 my carry ammo impacts slightly low and to the left so I aim slightly high and to the right. When I fire a 158gr LSWC no adjustment is necessary.
  18. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Well-Known Member

    I have changed point of impact by changing bullet weights and loads, I was just seeing if somone out there had a any imput specific to bullet weight moving the POI with the J-frame snubby and the 105 gr slug. I'll get it figured out. Thanks guys.
  19. warhwkbb

    warhwkbb Well-Known Member

    In general, heavier bullets will shoot higher in pistols. A light loaded 158gr will almost always shoot higher than a lightly loaded 110g bullet. You could probably get your pistol to shoot closer to poa with only a marginal increase in recoil. You gotta pick which matters the most to you. I load 158 lswc's with a starting load of Trailboss for my wife out of her LCR and get close to point of aim, but this is only at 7 yds
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  20. mavracer

    mavracer Well-Known Member

    where does this load shoot, I can't imagine it shooting much higher than a trail boss driven mouse phart load.

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