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38 Special Loads for Wife

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gabe1, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. gabe1

    gabe1 Member

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    So the good news is that my wife now shows an interest in shooting. All I had to do was get her 'her own' gun and slap some pink hogue grips on it. I wanted something in the house that she could handle "just in case" and I have too many automatics or big (.480 ruger) revolvers. So I bought a taurus 38 2" ultralight SS and put some hogue grips...pink on it.

    So I loaded up some 110 win HPs with a starting load of Power Pistol (I think 4 grains per the Hornady manual). Recoil is manageable for her compared to some other loads I had, but after 30 or so rounds she did say she could feel it. They are also pretty accurate I put a cylinder full into about 1 1/2" offhand at 15 yds.

    I was considering trying some wadcutters, do you all think that even though these bullets will be 30+ grains heavier I will be able to get felt recoil down? What about different powder suggestions? I used power pistol thinking that is on the slower end of 38 powders so might help reduce felt recoil, plus I have tons of it.

    I plan on keeping the light 110 loads as her self defense load, but want something really light to get her out shooting a lot more so that she continues to develop her shooting skills and don't want her worrying about recoil.

    The other option in the back of my mind is to sell this revolver and buy the same thing in a 32. I almost did the first time, but I just had so much 38 special stuff already.

    Thanks in advance,
    Gabe
     
  2. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    Welcome to THR.

    I would ditch the 110 gr. as if they expand they usually don't penetrate enough. A wadcutter does not need to expand. It cuts like a cookie cutter and penetrates very well with very little recoil.

    Wadcutters are what I use in my .38 snub for dispatching critters and they work very well. Sometimes I carry them in my airweight for s/d.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The old standard Match & Target load of 2.7 Bullseye & a 148 grain HBWC is about like shooting a .22.

    110's and Power Pistol is the wrong bullet & powder for what you want.

    BTW: I hope you are not loading 4.0 grains PP as that is 1.6 grains less then the lightest starting load Hornady lists.
    You are lucky to not be sticking bullets in the barrel if that is really what you are using.

    rc
     
  4. gabe1

    gabe1 Member

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    Thanks for the input.

    Now that I think about it 4 grains of PP is probably what I was shooting in my .380. I did not load under the minimum, I was just going from memory which has obviously degraded in the 5 days since I've loaded these.

    It sounds like the wadcutters are a good choice for a managed recoil load. I hear both comments on the 110s I was just thinking to get her something loaded that I had on hand as light and as slow as possible would be best.

    Any advice on the best wadcutter available? I usually get my reloading supplies from Graf & Sons, but am open to alternatives.

    Thanks again,
    Gabe
     
  5. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    I use 4 gr, Unique on a 158 gr. SN--very lite load for my alum Smith--it keeps the frame from bending --about 1 1/2" barrel
     
  6. gabe1

    gabe1 Member

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    Ok, I checked Grafs and no HBWC in stock. However they do have...

    MO BULLET CAST 38c (.357) 148gr DEWCBB PPC #1 500/B ... for less than $30.

    Can I use the same loads as with the HBWC? Sorry, for all the questions, I've been reloading for quite some time, but in all my time have never loaded wadcutters. I know that traditional loads in bullets of equal weight won't work because of all of the space that the wadcutter occupies in the case.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Hornady, Speer, Winchester, and Remington make HBWC and any of them should do well.

    But you might consider Missouri Bullet 148 DEWC for the price, quality, and shipping time.
    http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php?category=5&secondary=9

    At any rate, you need a different faster burning powder to really work well with light target loads. Power Pistol is great for full charge peddle to the metal loads, but it isn't real suitable for very light target wad-cutter loads.

    rc
     
  8. gabe1

    gabe1 Member

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    Wow, you guys are great. RC answered my question as I was typing it. I will order some of the MO Bullet CO DEWC and a pound of Bullseye if that is the recommendation.

    The power pistol I have for 38 super loads so just had plenty to work with. Thanks you guys have been great. Amazingly fast responses too.
     
  9. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    Gotta watch the wording of those thread titles.... ;)
     
  10. gabe1

    gabe1 Member

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    Nuts. I keep striking out, no Bullseye in stock. How about Red Dot? Any noticeable increase in recoil going this route?
     
  11. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    A cast lead bullet and Bullseye is a good light load and works accurately in most 38spls.
     
  12. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    The Taurus 85 UL is not meant as a range gun. It becomes uncomfortable after a few cylinders. Consider getting a Taurus 82 with a 4" barrel as a range/practice gun. Triggers are similar and can be had for less than $200. You can also pick up a Smith Model 10 for about the same. The point is to get her used to shooting and a snappy snubbie won't do it.

     
  13. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    Red Dot can work too or even Clays for light loads in 38spl.
     
  14. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    I have to agree with what Onward wrote regarding the choice of handgun.

    Giving a new shooter a lightweight short barrel pistol is handicapping them from the start.

    There are 2 components to recoil, the first is ammunition bullet weight and velocity, the second is the weight of the gun. Lightweight guns have more recoil, its simple physics and there's little you can do about it.

    Reducing the power of the ammunition is counter productive in ammunition you will be using to potentially save your life. On the other hand there's nothing wrong with practicing using a low power wad cutter to develop shooting skill and simply loading a good personal defense round for the one in 10,000 chance you have to use it to defend yourself or family. If you are paying attention to recoil in a life and death situation you are not in much fear of loosing your life. Many people, including trained police officers, can't even tell how many shots they fired or remember how loud the gun was when in a self defense shooting.

    Personally I'd suggest training with a .22 lr to develop the fundamentals of trigger control, hold and sight alignment and then go to a few rounds with the .38 spl. If a new shooter can learn that recoil is just something that happens and is nothing to fear or anticipate they can will have no problem with any moderate recoiling center fire.
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It did just dawn on me that you said you have a 17 oz Ultra-Light Taurus.

    And I agree it is going to spank her hand a little, no matter what light load you shoot in it.

    rc
     
  16. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Red dot, Bullseye, Unique, W-231/HP-38, Titegroup, Universal, Trail Boss, Clays should all make soft, controllable loads for the 148 WC.
     
  17. gabe1

    gabe1 Member

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    I understand the physics involved in the recoil situation. I do have 22s that she can shoot and honestly she was not flinching with the light 110 grain loads I worked up. What physics can't explain is why my stubborn a$$ wife doesn't WANT to shoot my gun she wants to shoot her PINK gun. It is possible that this is where my kids have also inherited this trait.

    I already have a pink stocked single shot crickett for my other two girls (5 & 3) and now a pink taurus for my wife. Honestly I'm not sure how many more pink guns I can stomach.

    The reason I went with this gun is because it is something she could, in the future, carry in a purse or keep in a glove box. I am simply trying to reduce recoil as much as possible for now. I will follow previous advice and try the wadcutters.

    Thanks all.
     
  18. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    Physics wont explain it either, she's prolly just thinking of what outfits it will go with. ;)

    But seriously she should learn to shoot with something that will be effective and is not too cumbersome for her to carry. A lightweight 38spl fits that need. imo.
     
  19. bobelk99

    bobelk99 Member

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    (Old guy comment)
    Bob Chow won a great many competitions with his wadcutter and 2.5 grains Bullseye load. I have used it for years.
     
  20. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

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    How about changing out your guns' grips with pink grips? :eek: Maybe she'll want to shoot them then?
     
  21. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    For her self defense load, use what a helluva lot of old time detectives swear by for snubbies.

    Factory 148 grain hollow base target wadcutters.

    Effective, and controllable.
     
  22. gabe1

    gabe1 Member

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    This is what I did with her gun. Stainless revolver with pink Hogue grips. Actually I really like the grip....except for the color. With 3 women in my house there is enough pink already, now it is bleeding into my gun room :banghead:
     
  23. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    I used to load my 148 gr. HBWC loaded upside down with 2.5 gr Bullseye. Fun to shoot and very accurate. Try them on pumpkins.
     
  24. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    4.0 grains of Red Dot with a 125 grain bullet is a really nice .38 Special load -- and accurate (I use Berry's copper-plated HP's as a target load.) You can reduce it quite a bit if it's still too hot for ya, but it probably won't be.
     
  25. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    3.0 gr. Trail Boss and 125 gr. LRNFP are very accurate and mild to shoot from my S&W 442 Airweight. Trail Boss is a great powder for reduced lead bullet loads in big cases.
     
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