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.38 Special Load Data?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by pcwirepro, May 24, 2010.

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  1. pcwirepro

    pcwirepro Member

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    Search isn't playing nice for me tonight. I'm looking for a load for my $100 RG .38 Special. Nothing fancy for accuracy or max power. Just something for plinking. Should I use a lighter load in the "Revolving Garbage"?
    I have enough Unique to last a lifetime so I would prefer to use it if possible. I'm looking at ordering Missouri's 158gr SWC (.38 Match) or their 125 gr TCFP (Cowboy #2) because they're the cheapest thing available. The closest I can find to those boolits: Lyman 49th is a 125 gr JHP 4.5-5.0 gr of unique. Speer calls for 4.7 gr of Unique behind thier 158 gr LSWC.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Both Lyman and Speer are good resources & Unique is great with lead and .38 Spl, as well as others. Hard to go wrong there.
     
  3. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    I'm running 4.3gr of Unique behind a 148gr wadcutter.
     
  4. pcwirepro

    pcwirepro Member

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  5. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    I use 4.6 grains of Unique as that is what the Lee Powder Dipper dumps with a 148 grain DEWC.
     
  6. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    My current box of bullets is Dardas .358 H&G-pattern wadcutters, yes they have a nub on the nose. I'm sure the Missouri bullets would be fine. I've run up to 5.0 gr of Unique if I want a load with a bit more ooommph.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    4.7 gr of Unique behind with a 158 gr LSWC make a nice load.
     
  8. pcwirepro

    pcwirepro Member

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    I failed to mention in the original post that these will be my first revolver loads. To-date, I have only loaded cartridges that headspace on the mouth. Dies are a second-hand RCBS 3-die set. The seating die seems pretty tolerant as it accepts a spent case with little resistance. Any words of wisdom with regard to the actual loading. No crimp right?
     
  9. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    4.0 grains of Red Dot with a 125 grain bullet is a good accurate load and not too snappy. Unique would take about 5.5 grains to get to the same thing.

    With 148 grain wadcutters, use about 3.5 grains of Unique. With 158 grain bullets, use 4.5 grains of Unique or 3.2 to 3.5 grains of Red Dot. (the wadcutters use less powder even tho' they are lighter because they are seated much deeper; the pressure is actually higher)
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    What makes you think that?
    A proper revolver bullet has a groove for a roll crimp. Use it.

    I think I'd load roundnose bullets in a cheap gun that might be a little shaky on timing and alignment. They have a SLIGHT self-centering capability.
     
  11. Lorenzo Rojo

    Lorenzo Rojo Member

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    I use 4.6 grains of Unique under a 158 grain moly-coated RNFP. I agree with Jim Watson; put a beautiful roll crimp into the cannelure.
     
  12. pcwirepro

    pcwirepro Member

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    In looking at the Sellier & Bellot FP stuff I have been shooting there appears to be no crimp at all.
     
  13. hub

    hub Member

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    I made some .38 special loads out of the same 158gr MBC bullets and unique a couple of weeks ago. I wanted a light loads too for plinking and loaded them at 4.2.gr. They shot great out of my GP 100 with no leading and was pretty accurate too.

    I did put a light factory crimp on them too using the Lee factory crimp die.
     
  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Never owned a RG revolver, my memory is that those are fixed sight. Most likely sighted to shoot to point of aim with 158's.

    I use a 158 L with 3.5 grains Bullseye. Any case any primer.

    This shoots exceptionally well in every 38 Spl that I have tested.


    Code:
    [SIZE="3"][B]Taurus M85 B2UL  2" Barrel[/B]  		
    					
    158 LSWC 3.5 grs Bullseye thrown, Mixed Brass WSP 11-Dec-04 T = 54 F
    Ave Vel =	686.3	 		
    Std Dev =	13.63		 
    ES	58.48	 
    High	718.8		 		
    Low	660.3		 		
    N =	30		 		
    shot little high and centered	
    
    			
    158 LRN  Master Factory Ammo 30-Dec-04  T = 56 F
    Ave Vel =	698.2		 		
    Std Dev =	20.56  		
    ES	105.8		
    High	753.5		
    Low	647.6		 		
    N =	50
    
    
    
    
    [B]Colt Police Positive  Special 4" Barrel  mfgr 1930[/B]	
    					
     
    				 	
    158 LRN  3.5grs Bullseye Mixed cases Fed 100 	4-Sep-05  T = 72 F
    Ave Vel =	759.2				
    Std Dev =	36				 
    ES	104.8				 
    High	813				 
    Low	709				 
    N =	50				 
    						
    158 LRN  3.5grs Bullseye Mixed cases WSP 	29-Jan-06  T = 68 F
    Ave Vel =	760.3				
    Std Dev =	27.53				 
    ES	111.4				 
    High	814.1				 
    Low	702.6				 
    N =	29[/SIZE]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    You definitely DO CRIMP !!!!

    Otherwise the recoil can walk your bullets all over the place.

    For 125 jhp I use 5.0 gr titegroup (this is a +p round) SD/HD

    For just plinking 4.2 gr will get you about 700 fps out of a 4" barrel S&W Model 10
    OAL 1.445"

    For lead 125 SWC 3.5 grains will do just fine for plinking/target (same OAL)
     
  16. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    If you already have a ton of Unique try 4.0 grs with a 158 gr lead bullet for about 650-700 fps. It is a pretty accurate load. I agree with use of RNL in your RG for the same reasons. The other loads mentioned would work fine but 4.0 grs will put much less stress on the gun.

    I always crimp revolver ammo as it helps ensure complete burning of the powder no matter how fast a powder.

    I don't know if it's true but I've been told the RGs made in Germany (before 1968) were better as they had to be proofed unlike the US made ones.
     
  17. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Your S&B most likely has a less noticeable taper crimp which maybe adequate for that load.
    I believe a cannelured bullet with a good roll crimp is better insurance to prevent bullet movement when used in a revolver or rifle with a tubular magazine.
     
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