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.38 Special Unique Powder question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Taildragger-J3, Aug 10, 2010.

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  1. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    I've been reloading my .38's with the traditional 158 gr LSWC and some JHP using 4 gr of Unique with very good results. I recently acquired some 180 gr JSP Speer bullets. My Allliant Reloading chart lists 3.8 gr of Unique for 160 gr jsp and 3.2 gr of Unique for 200 gr LRN but doesn't list anything for bullets between 160 & 200 grs.

    I'm confident I could begin with 3.2 gr of Unique under the 180 gr JSP bullets. Does anyone have a load they've already worked up for this powder & bullet?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Your main problem with 180 in the 38 is bullet depth. You have to seat the bullet deep so that the over all lenght will not be too long for the cylinder. When you seat the bullets deep your pressure goes up. Sometimes, way up. I have 4 or 5 loading manuals and none list 180 grs for the 38spl.
     
  3. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I concur - using the 200gr starting load will be fine so long as you mind your OAL and keep it the same as the OAL of the 200gr recipe.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    In more recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to find heavy jacketed bullet data in .38 Spl. Or even for 158 grain jacketed bullets. Speer for instance no longer lists jacketed bullet data over 125 grains.

    The reason is the increased risk of a stuck jacketed bullet at the necessarly low velocity and light powder charges you can get with .38 Spl pressure & heavy bullets.
    The increased bearing surface & friction of the heavy jacketed bullets increases that risk.

    The same does not apply with heavy lead bullets because the grease lubed lead has very little friction in the bore compared to a heavy jacketed bullet.

    rc
     
  5. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Ya know - that's an excellent point. :)
     
  6. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    According to Speers note in their number 13 manual its because the .38 spl can't produce enough velocity to get good performance out of a jacketed HP or SP.

    I wouldn't worry about sticking a bullet or jacket with any of the loads listed from start to max in any of the data that they used to list in their manuals.
     
  7. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    The reason I brought this up is I was given a partial box of Speer 180 gr JSP silhouette bullets. The local indoor range won't let us shoot un-jacketed lead bullets, so I've been shooting 158 gr JHP bullets there. I'd like to load and use these 180's just to shoot at this indoor range while our local temps are 100*+. I don't relish standing in the broiling Texas sun at an outdoor range where my lead bullets are just fine. Don't want them to blow up my revolver, just want to be sure they come out of the barrel.

    Here's a pic, etc. from the Speer website
     

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    According to the same Speer manual, they don't list the 180 grain TMJ in .38 Spl, .38 Spl +P. or .357 magnum in revolvers.

    They list it under .357 Silhoutte data, for a T/C Contender.

    They don't recommend it for revolvers for several reasons, including case bulge when seated short enough to fit a cylinder, and low velocity.

    rc
     
  9. Taildragger-J3

    Taildragger-J3 Member

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    OK, I guess they'll just get chunked out.
     
  10. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Don't just toss em. Be creative. Make the lady a necklace. Christmas ornaments. Presents for the trick or treaters.
     
  11. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    My Ruger GP handles the 180 XTP just fine. I've loaded AA#9 and H110 with no problems. This was on the recommendation of my gunsmith buddie. He said the rifling twist was right for the 180's and that the Ruger was one tough cookie. I've shot 4 deer with it.

    I don't think that I would try them in a 38 though.
     
  12. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Jenny,
    Sell 'em on the Reloading Components page - make someone else's day & recoup a buck or two.
    :cool:
     

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