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Ultralight .38spl loads?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bp78, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. bp78

    bp78 Well-Known Member

    I don't reload. I'm just a young professional with just barely enough time to make it out to the range and IDPA matches. That said, where can I find some very *very* mild recoiling .38spl loads for my 2" S&W 640?

    I'd like my wife to get some range time with the sw 640 before she takes a CCW class. The wadcutter and 158gr target rounds recoil pretty stiffly despite the stainless frames heft. I'd love to find something that is down right anemic for some range sessions as she's pretty recoil adverse.

  2. JJE

    JJE Well-Known Member

    Factory ammo isn't going to vary much. Any particular load, like a 158 gr SWC, is going to have similar velocities and similar recoil for any manufacturer - they're made to the same specs. Sometimes the remanufactured ammo they sell at the range seems a bit weaker than factory stuff. But even if they load down compared to factory ammo, I wouldn't expect the difference to be significant.

    Have you already tried putting some big rubber grips on that 640? That's going to make a much bigger difference in felt recoil than any variation in ammo. I have a S&W Model 10 snubby and I could not shoot factory ammo through it (yes, I am a recoil wimp) until I put some big Pachmyer service grips on it - made a huge difference.
  3. IDriveB5

    IDriveB5 Well-Known Member

    I hear you on time... being a working college student doesnt leave me a whole lot of time for reloading. If you do decide or know someone whos willing, I like 3.2gr 231 behind a 148gr HBWC.

    Factory loaded: The lightest Ive shot would be the Winchester White Box.
  4. RON in PA

    RON in PA Well-Known Member

    The lightest recoiling load that is easily available to most people is the 130 grain full metal jacket load made by Winchester White box and Remington UMC. Also the cheapest. The 148 grain hollowbase wadcutter load is also a light kicker, but much harder to find in this day and age. It is made by Winchester, Remington and S&B.
  5. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

    Another light load, if you ever reload, would be a .38 with a 125 Grain Bullet behind 3.0 grain of Bullseye. I shoot this in a Colt 38, 6 inch barrel, vintage 1914. Not allot of recoil and very accurate for my gun.

    About the only other factory loaded ammo you could shoot, would be to find some Cowboy Action Ammo. It will be ligter than Winchester white box....
  6. Jkwas

    Jkwas Well-Known Member

    try the S&B 148 gn wadcutters. They are very anemic. You can even see them leaving the barrel.
  7. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Well-Known Member

    I use a very similar load (3.5g BE instead of 3) in my S&W 37. It's as pleasant to shoot as standard pressure 38special 158s in my GP100.

    Why 3.5 instead of 3? Because I can load either 158s or the 125s without changing the powder measure (pure laziness on my part). Both loads are safe in any 38special, so I don't have to worry about mixing them up. The bullets I use are easy to differentiate even after being loaded, so I'm not likely to mix things up afterwards.

  8. PointOneSeven

    PointOneSeven Well-Known Member

    I second the cowboy action loads. They run about $15 a box of 50 here at the local Sportsman's Warehouse (in the 'personal protection' ammo aisle). Not super cheap, but if you don't shoot much, it's still a cheap date.
  9. jondar

    jondar Well-Known Member

    My daughter is sensitive to recoil in her S&W Model 36. I asked the range owner for a mid-range cartridge and he sold me a box of, I think, American Eagle .38 Specials. Marked on the box, "158 grain, velocity 775 fps." This is pretty low velocity. However, in the 36 it will still jolt your hand a tad. In my Trooper MkIII very tame. I think American Eagle is made by Federal but could be mistaken.
  10. vta33

    vta33 Well-Known Member

    The Magtech 158gr, SJHP, 755fps, 230fpe caused a complaint from my youngest kid even tho I thought this round was enemic.

    I switched to white box Winchester #Q4171, FMJ, 130 grain and he likes 'em.
  11. Muncus Agruncus

    Muncus Agruncus Well-Known Member

    I would suggest the American Eagle 130gr FMJ. IMHO this load seemed to be even milder compared to the Winchester equivalent. I shot both loads thru a rental Charter Arms FWIW.
  12. vta33

    vta33 Well-Known Member

    Milder than the Winchesters? I'll give 'em a try. Thanks.
  13. Roca

    Roca Member

    So very true.
  14. JFrame

    JFrame Well-Known Member

    Agree with the recommendations on the 148 grain wadcutter. This load was even shootable in the old Model 40 Centennial lemon-squeezer -- the one with the grip safety carefully engineered to tattoo parallel grooves in the shooter's hand...

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