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158gr JHP .38 Unique loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Parke1, Mar 17, 2005.

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  1. Parke1

    Parke1 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Akron, OH
    Hey all,

    I'm fairly new to reloading. I recently took the plunge and started reloading .44 for my S&W 629. I found a load that I really have a lot of luck with for plinking (9.0 grains of Unique behind a 180 gr JHP) with the .44, but now I want to start reloading .38 Spl for my Model 66's.

    I've got a box of 158 grain Remington JHPs. A friend of mine bought me 3 pounds of Unique as a present, so I won't be switching powders for a while.

    So what's your pet load with Unique behind a 158 gr bullet in a .38 Special? I'll be shooting out of a couple of S&W 66's, one with the 2.5" barrel, and one with the 4".

    I'm thinking of starting with 5.0 grains and working up to around 6, since these are revolvers chambered for the .357. I have wrist problems, so I'm not looking for anything wild, just comfortable, accurate plinking loads. Most likely I'll be sticking right around the 5.0 grain mark. Hopefully I can get something cooked up and take it to the range this weekend.

    Any suggestions?

  2. P-32

    P-32 Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    the dry side of Washington St
    I think your plans are right on the money, but you might want to start a little lower. I have a Hornaday book that shows your 158 with 5.0 grs is a +p load. I use 5.0 grs Unique under a 140 gr Hp in 38 and they shoot very well out of my 6 inch 686.
  3. jamz

    jamz Member

    Nov 28, 2003
    Seacoast NH
    I started at 4.7 and it went well, then moved up to 4.9 and loaded a bunch of that. I'm leaving it thre for now, because I'm about to switch over to a different, slightly hotter primer and wanted to leave a little room for error.

  4. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Wabash, IN
    Try 4.0gr with the 4" barrel - that works great in my 4" Ruger Security Six. I doubt you'll see NEAR the accuracy with the same load in the snubbie - I know my little Rossi Snubbie hates that load. I've found that faster powders are more accurate with the short barrels usually.

    For .38Spcl loads, you really ought to keep them in the 4 to 5gr range. If you want a little more power, go ahead and use .357Mag Cartridges and load 6 to 7gr in those cases with 158gr bullets.
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