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Old July 8, 2015, 10:20 PM   #1
otisrush
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HS-6 & .38 Spcl

A local store had some HS-6 so I picked up a pound tonight. I'm considering doing my first .38 Spcl loads with it.

What are people's experience with this powder and .38 Spcl? Has it worked well for you?

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Old July 8, 2015, 10:28 PM   #2
rcmodel
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Not a good match with standard pressure .38 Spl.

Sure it will work.

But expect a lot of soot and unburned powder.

HS-6 likes high pressure to burn right.

Something you can't get in .38 Special.

Rc
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Old July 8, 2015, 10:37 PM   #3
otisrush
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Thanks. That's very helpful.

What's a/the mainstream "great" .38 Spcl powder for use with lead? I know I can use Titegroup but I hear it's temp (high) makes it susceptible to leading. Is that the case?

I assume Bullseye or Unique are the go-to powders for this caliber? I can't find them in my local stores.

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Old July 8, 2015, 11:47 PM   #4
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I loaded some Extreme 158gr plated in 357 mag. with HS-6 at the lower end with very good results. I would guess this powder at the upper end may work for 38sp, I have not tried this combo yet.
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Old July 9, 2015, 12:07 AM   #5
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HS 6 is good for +P 38 special or loading the FBI Load. A potent load.

Bullseye and HP 38 are the go to powders for "normal" 38 specials. Unique also but it doe not meter as well.
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Old July 9, 2015, 01:04 AM   #6
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I've loaded a lot of .38 spec with Winchester WST. That is my favorite target powder but I don't mind loading with Unique. Both shoot good.

Mark
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Old July 9, 2015, 03:01 AM   #7
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WST and AA#2 are about as good as it gets for 38 special.
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Old July 9, 2015, 03:38 AM   #8
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In line with what RC said, I use it only for +P, but it's a stellar performer for that, nearly as good as Longshot, which also needs to be run at full tilt +p levels.

But if your just wanting use it for target loads, you might be better off with something like HP38/231 I think. I'm not very experienced with target loads / powders though, so I can't testify with experience to such.

GS

Last edited by Walkalong; July 10, 2015 at 01:49 PM. Reason: removed language caught by filter
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Old July 9, 2015, 11:45 PM   #9
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I spent some serious effort trying to get a good .38spcl load using HS-6 and even at the top end of published loads I was getting a lot of residue and unburned powder. Some have recommended using magnums primers but I only have a bit of a 1lb can left and I think I will just move on.
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Old July 10, 2015, 01:35 PM   #10
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Bullseye, Unique, Red Dot from the Alliant side.

Also had great results with WSF, but not a lot of published load data for that.

Really, there are so many good choices that work well in 38 stright from the recipe book, that I wouldn't touch one you have to struggle with to get to work well.
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Old July 10, 2015, 02:00 PM   #11
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Another vote for AA#2 as a great target .38spl powder; I use it with 148 WC's and with 158 SWC's.
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Old July 10, 2015, 06:29 PM   #12
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HS-6 is my standard powder for .38 special. However, all of my .38 loads are +p.
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Old July 10, 2015, 07:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheygriz View Post
HS-6 is my standard powder for .38 special. However, all of my .38 loads are +p.
What primers are you using and how long is the barrel? Do you have any problems with unburned powder?
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Old July 10, 2015, 07:21 PM   #14
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I just realized that I have a second, unopened 1lb can of HS-6 so now I feel compelled to make the powder work for me. But my .38s are snubby LCRs.
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Old July 10, 2015, 07:37 PM   #15
Comrade Mike
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Unique and the .38 special is American as apple pie.
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Old July 10, 2015, 08:39 PM   #16
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HS-6 in 38 special with 158 gr lswc.

In 2010 i tested using HS-6 with my home cast 158 gr lswc ( true weight about 163 gr) in 38 Special with old standard primers. Working up, 6.3 gr produced 5 shot groups at 50 yards of 4" 4 1/2" and 3" from my 6" M28. Note that this is the maximum load listed by Hodgdon. Just wanted to use up the powder. Dont remember if clear or dirty, as accuracy comes first on my list. Used these old primers in above test. [IMG][/IMG]
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Last edited by 243winxb; July 11, 2015 at 07:55 AM. Reason: add primer photo, info
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Old July 10, 2015, 10:31 PM   #17
cheygriz
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What primers are you using and how long is the barrel? Do you have any problems with unburned powder?

Remington 1 1/2 SPP, and 6 inch barrel. No unburned powder.
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Old July 11, 2015, 08:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade Mike View Post
Unique and the .38 special is American as apple pie.
I can not find any load data for 38 special using Unique. Where did you yours?
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Old July 11, 2015, 10:02 AM   #19
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Years ago, I read one of Paco Kelly's articles. He said, "HS6 and the 125s are made for each other in 38 special cases. 8 grains of HS6 will give about 1200 fps." He was referring to 125 JHP bullets of any brand, and it is obviously a 38 special plus P load. I tried it in a S&W 686 and a Marlin 1894 and it worked well. Been years, however, since I have shot that combo.
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Old July 11, 2015, 07:17 PM   #20
243winxb
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Alliant Unique in 38 Special +P

Quote:
OldMan1151 I can not find any load data for 38 special using Unique. Where did you yours?
Go to the Alliant website. http://www.alliantpowder.com/products/default.aspx Click on Products, Handgun, Unique, Veiw all Unique recipes, 38 special or click 38 special +P Maximum loads, reduce 10% and work up. You will not find any 158 gr jacketed loads.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Alliant Unique 38 Special.JPG (61.7 KB, 14 views)
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Last edited by 243winxb; July 11, 2015 at 07:24 PM.
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Old July 12, 2015, 01:17 AM   #21
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HP-38 works for me. 4.0g and a 158g bullet. As already said hs-6 not the best choice.
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Old July 12, 2015, 02:08 PM   #22
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3 grains of bullseye with a 158 lswc has been a very accurate target load in every 38/357 I've tried it in. As previously mentioned, unique and red dot are great too but I typically keep my unique for +p and 357s as it thrives at stiffer loads.
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Old July 12, 2015, 10:18 PM   #23
otisrush
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Thanks everyone! I greatly appreciate it! It appears my search for .38 Spcl powder must continue on.
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Old July 13, 2015, 12:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
It appears my search for .38 Spl powder must continue on.
Well from what I gather If your revolver is safe for +P 38spl I would start at the upper end for 38spl with 158gr jacketed using small magnum pistol primers, and see where it goes with HS-6.
For upper end 38spl and +p 38 spl I have had good results with Accurate #5 and VV N-340.

Last edited by joneb; July 13, 2015 at 01:24 AM.
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Old July 14, 2015, 02:32 PM   #25
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I love HS6 with lead bullets, mainly 40 S&W for me but have loaded some 158gr SWC-HP (Swaged Hornady) up to max +P loading with a magnum primer and did not get unburt powder out of a snubnose. I would not use HS6 for standard pressure 38s though. W231 158gr SWC and Bullseye for 148gr HBWC are my favorite 38 special powders. I Have Used Trailboss (Lead Bullets) and Titegroup (Plated Bullets) with good success as well with light bullets and light loads.
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