1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Loading for .38 S&W(components, data, etc)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Matt-J2, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Well-Known Member

    Maybe I should say the .38 Colt New Police. ;)
    Bought an old Colt Police Positive today, pick it up Thursday. Found a whopping one box of ammo at ~$32, and that's just not going to fly. Unfortunately, I seem to be having a hard time finding components as well. I can find more brass(Starline only so far, but that's ok), but what about bullets? I found that Penn Bullets will size some of their .38/.357 bullets to .360 for use in .38 S&W, so there's one option. Anyone know of others that are proper size? Can't really cast my own at present. I hear about using standard size .357dia bullets as well. Should be in softer alloy, right? Anyone know who casts that soft? One of the companies that does mainly CAS stuff maybe?

    How about data? There's a smidge in my Lee manual, and I found some more at reloadammo.com. Any more? Any fun loads folks here have made?
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    It is a fun little caliber to shoot. Most manuals have data, as well as online data from the powder companies.

    I just use plated or jacketed .357 bullets. They work fine. Lead does need to be sized properly, and yes, it needs to be a soft alloy.
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I've been reloading 160gr .360" bullets and 200gr .358" bullets (38/200 round) for my Enfield No.2. I found the 160gr bullets to shoot very well and accurately.

    You will be tempted to load the rounds "just a little hotter" because 600 fps just doesn't seem right, Don't Do It! Most older revolvers shooting a .38 S&W round can't take the pressures. Look around the net and you will see using a 146gr bullet the charges will run very light. I would suggest using a powder like W231/HP-38, Bullseye or Unique.
  4. dardascastbullets

    dardascastbullets Well-Known Member

    Hi Matt,

    To determine what sized diameter your firearm requires you should slug the bore and add 0.001" to arrive at the sized diameter. You should then be able to realize success in shooting cast bullets in your Colt.
  5. DickM

    DickM Well-Known Member

    I've always used regular .38 caliber bullets in my Smith Model 32 snubby, both jacketed and lead, and get reasonable accuracy (as good as I can expect from the gun/shooter combination, anyway). The jacketed bullets can be a bit tricky to load as they like to slip through the case mouth when you seat them. One of these days I'll try the "correct" .360 lead bullets and/or slug the bore, but there always seems to be something more important I need to do first.

Share This Page