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38 special load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sacnho, Oct 3, 2012.

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  1. sacnho

    sacnho Member

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    Hello All

    New reloader here. Been loading up 38 special loads for defense for a S&W mod 10-5. Got 125 hp xtp bullets and been using up to 4 grains 700x. After firing 12 rounds front of cylinder is jet black and a very dirty barrel. Max load according to IMR website is 4.2 grains of 700x. Is 700x a "dirty" powder? Open to suggestions for different loads for defense as well.

    Thanks
     
  2. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    I'd up the bullet weight to 158 gr, like a Keith-style SWC and use 3+ -ish grains of 700x.

    Actually, 3.5 gr of PB should produce a little lower pressure, and maintain velocity vs the 700X

    Now, with that being said, my pet .38 load for years was a 145gr LSWC over 6.0 gr of VV N350.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    700X is usually very clean. Do you have good neck tension and a good roll crimp?

    AA #5 is much better suited for loading self defense power .38 Spl with 125 Gr jacketed bullets.

    Welcome to THR
     
  4. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I like power pistol in 38 defensive loads myself. It burns pretty clean and makes decent velocity. It does have a, well, decent amount of flash. Ah, who am I kidding, its got a tremendous amount of flash if loaded to max in most cartridges. I like it.
     
  5. sacnho

    sacnho Member

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    Walkalong

    Crimp is something I am trying to get down. First batch was probably more of a taper crimp. Second batch went with more crimp but not sure if I had quite a roll crimp. Both times left very dirty pistol. Will check into AA #5 powder

    JLDickmon

    i have some 158 xtp's that I have not tried yet. Getting ready to order lead for both my 38 and my 44 mag so I will give that a try as well.

    Thanks guys
     
  6. 4895

    4895 Member

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    I recommend loading practice ammo with Winchester 231. I use a 158 grain plated bullet with 3.5 grains of W-231 with a medium roll crimp for excellent accuracy, low recoil, and a clean firearm.

    Buy your own defensive rounds from a store.

    They are sure to get you top velocity, clean burn, low flash, and excellent accuracy without all the fuss of working up a "carry load."

    Just a box should last you forever unless you live in a bad neighborhood.
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Like said above, AA#5 is a very clean powder in the .38 Special as is W231/HP-38 and HS-6. I load mostly W231 for the .38 Special and I use HS-6 for .38 Special +P ammo.
     
  8. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    On Hornady's information slip that they included with their XTP pistol bullets you need a minimum of 800 fps at impact to insure expansion. If you check the +P data on Hodgdon's website you will see that the max and only +P load is 4.4grs for IMR 700X with the 125gr XTP. If you intend to load this ammo in your handgun for defense then I'd suggest you load at the maximum to ensure adequate velocity.

    It is essentially useless to work up a .38 spl looking for pressure signs as any level of pressure generated with published loads will be much less than needed to show indications of over pressure. Work up in the .38 spl is for accuracy but when velocity becomes important a max +P load is the way to go. In general these loads are quite accurate too.

    The S&W model 10 is a strong revolver and can take such +P loads without any problems. The Hodgdon data shows velocity from a 7.7" test barrel, actual velocity from a 4" revolver will likely be in the range of 900 to 950 fps. If your pistol is has a 2" barrel then the muzzle velocity will be likely be close to 800 fps and may fall below the 800 fps threshold, only by using a chronograph can you tell for sure.

    As to crimp its best to emulate factory ammo. If you have a factory load look at the crimp applied and adjust your crimping die to produce a crimp that looks the same.

    38plusP700X.jpg
     
  9. floydster

    floydster Member

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    For you guys that haven't tried Trail Boss in your 38 SPL. loads---you are missing out:)
     
  10. Frogman

    Frogman Member

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    I don't have my reloading book handy but something I always do is use Magnum primers to get better powder combustion = less burnt powder in firearm. If there's no warning try it,
    but follow all your usual safety procedures the books recomend.
     
  11. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

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  12. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    This is what I was thinking as well.

    I am new to loading .38 Special myself, but so far, I like 231 the best out of what I've tried. 4 grains and a 125 grain cast bullet, and just like you said, a medium roll crimp and it's very accurate and soft shooting. I'll likely play around with a few others though, just for fun. I hear AA#2 and Red Dot are great for the round as well.
     
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