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38 SPL and AA #5 questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by glockster157, Dec 3, 2008.

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  1. glockster157

    glockster157 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    I traded into about 8 pounds of AA #5 and I am trying to develop a good +P load for my 357's. I tried the book loads. Started at 5.4 grains w/158 Copper coated bullet, taper crimped, WW primers. Chrono'ed the load and was only getting 700fps from my 4" GP100. My normal load is 5.2 grains of WW 231, anybodies 158 SWC, ww primers for 950fps. Been shooting that in numerous 357's for years and I wanted to match it with AA #5. #5 is a little slower than 231 so I new I would need a little more. 5.4 was'nt coming close plus it was getting a lot of blackening at the mouth of the case. I started raising the powder charge a little at a time and to make a long story short(too late, right) I am now at 7.2, finally reached 950 fps in my GP and my M19, no extraction issues, no brass shine marks, primers are still nice and rounded.....looks like I go go more, though I will not. I also tried this load with a roll crimp and got a little more velocity, I am using a taper crimp because I don't want to cut the copper coating on these bullets. I tried some lead SWC's and got close to a 1000fps, need to back off on that one to about 6.5 looks like, though it showed no signs of pressure either.

    Just curious as to others experience with AA #5. I don't like to be 1.3 grains over published max, and I have never had to before with the other powders I have used like Unique, bullseye, 231, etc., but I don't want to cruise these bullets out at 750fps either.

    BTW, I am a 30 year reloader-bullet caster and I understand the implications of this load. Not trying to make a magnum out of a 38 case, Ray Thompson already did that, just trying to test #5's performance limits.
     
  2. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    7,728
    Location:
    Alabama
    In my experience, each and every lot of Accurate Arms powder is different. Also, their load data is wildly incorrect. I have AA manuals going back to the second edition. Their data varies all over the place.

    In one manual, their minimum data will blow the primer out. In other manuals, the maximum charge is pathetic.

    As an example, I developed 44 Spl loads with AA#5. I followed the manual's recommendations and had lots of unburnt powder and extremely low velocities, at the listed maximum.

    So I had to reload again, this time using powder charges that greatly exceeded the AA manual.

    I think I settled on 8.5 grs AA#5 with a 240 L.

    I have one data point with AA#5, 38 Spl case and a 158.

    With AA powders, just develop your own data, and consider the manual a distraction.


    Code:
    4" M624   			
    					
    240 LSWC   6.1 grs AA#5  Lot 35 590 thrown,  Mixed Brass WLP	25-Feb-07 T = 62 °F
    		
    Ave Vel =523.1				
    Std Dev =31.1		 		
    ES =121.9		 		
    Low = 585.1				
    High = 463.1				
    N =28				
    Accurate light recoil, lots of unburnt powder
    				
    240 LSWC   6.7 grs AA#5  Lot 35 590 Mixed Brass WLP	25-Feb-07 T = 62 °F				
    Ave Vel =571.1				
    Std Dev =34.46		 		
    ES =142.6		 		
    Low = 645.4				
    High = 503.4				
    N =32				
    accurate, light recoil, lots of unburnt powder					
    	
    240 LSWC   8.5 grs AA#5 Lot 35 590  Mixed Brass WLP	3-Mar-07
    					T = 64 °F
    		 			
    Ave Vel =790.4		
    Std Dev =30.69		
    ES =134		
    High = 845.7		
    Low = 711.6		
    N =32		
    Accurate					
    	
    	
    240 LSWC   9.0 grs AA#5 Lot 35 590  Mixed Brass WLP	3-Mar-07
    				T = 64 °F
    		 			
    Ave Vel =845.5				
    Std Dev =17.43				
    ES =51.74				
    High = 869.9				
    Low = 818.1				
    N =10				
    Very Accurate			
    					
    240 LSWC 9.5 grs AA#5 Lot 35 590  Mixed Brass WLP	3-Mar-07
    		V		T = 64 °F
    		 			
    Ave Vel =	901.3				
    Std Dev =	13.6				
    ES =	41.57				
    High = 	922.6				
    Low = 	881				
    N =	8				
    
    

    158 gr Hornady XTP 7.4 gr AA#5 WSP W/W brass OAL 1.460 38 Spl brass
    14 Oct 2008 T = 80 °F

    Ave Vel =842
    Std Dev =125
    ES = 380.7
    High = 977.4
    Low = 596.7
    N = 13
     
  3. glockster157

    glockster157 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    Thanks for the info. I was afraid that I had bought a bunch of powder that maybe was degraded, even though it was in sealed containers. I will just use a chronograph with all load development and AA #5 from now on.
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    22,574
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    I did some work last year to replicate the Speer .38 Special +P short Barrel round and used AA#5. I found a charge of 6.8gr AA#5 under a Speer 135gr or Hornady 140gr XTP bullet will closely replicate the original in both velocity and felt recoil.

    Those loads are in a .38 Special case using a standard small pistol primer. (CCI or Winchester)
     
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