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38spl can’t get it right!!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ohihunter2014, May 10, 2019.

  1. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I agree, once we know what works in the OP's gun we can narrow the focus.
     
  2. ray15

    ray15 Member

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    He's already got the bullets, and they shoot poorly in both his 642 and his full-size gun. What works for lead or wadcutters isn't material to what he needs to get his 125FPs working, or least it wasn't for me. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I've already been there with this projectile.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  3. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    That's pretty bad.

    For laughs and giggles, I loaded up some MBC 9mm 124 gr RN (Small Ball!) sized .356" with 3.5 gr of Promo at 1.45" OAL - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/light-loads-for-38sp-for-the-wife.581801/#post-7178310

    Shot them out of snub nose 357 (I believe S&W) and produced light recoil and fairly decent accuracy (I got 3" DA shot groups at 10 yards).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  4. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    As others have said, try different weight bullets. If you have access to a Ransom Rest it's an eye opener.

    I'd suggest, trying some ~142gr bullets and some 158gr.
     
  5. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    High left but all over. Some got really bad and just shotgunned all over.
     
  6. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Were any of them showing evidence of yaw or tumbling?
     
  7. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I have a newer model Detective Special and qualified with the local Sheriff's Dept. with it with no trouble out to 25 yards with DE wadcutter reloads.
     
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  8. Ej3

    Ej3 Member

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    I agree. Try .358” dia & 158gr SWC with Accurate #2 or Titegroup. Trim and use a roll crimp.

    AcmeBullet
    snscasting
     
  9. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Slug your barrel. That is the only way to really tell what diameter of lead bullet you need to use. A couple of thousands over bore size should do it unless the barrel is so oversized the load won't chamber.
     
  10. NMPOPS

    NMPOPS Member

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    Years ago I had similar issues with 125/130 gr Lead bullets which eventually lead me to 148 DEWC under 3 gr Bullseye for plinking. Very accurate will consistently shoot to 2 inches at 15 yards. I also use a cast 158 SWC under 4.6 gr Unique for a good, accurate general purpose load.
     
  11. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Not that I could tell. I’m not sure if I’m not pushing them fast enough or what because my 110gr FTX +p shot almost POA.
     
  12. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    How much powder are you using?
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, lead is more forgiving than plated with light loads.

    Light taper crimp = No more than .002 inward movement at the very top on the case mouth. Doesn't bother 90/95% of the bullet seated inside the case. No worries about squeezing the bullet undersized.

    Berrys 148 Gr HBWC in .38 Spl. A light taper crimp.
    Light Taper Crimp on a Berry's 148 Gr HBWC In .38 Spl - Pic 1.JPG


    X-Treme 158 gr SWC in .357 brass, works just as well in .38 Spl brass.
    158 Gr X-Treme SWC .357 Mag Light Load.JPG
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Light taper crimp on a Zero (?) 148 Gr HBWC. If this doesn't shoot in your gun, it's all you. (Or your gun's broke.)
    Light Taper Crimp on a 38 HBWC Pic 3.JPG
     
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  15. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I tried 4.8 and 5.0 of BE86 with an OAL of 1.440.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    A fast powder will fair better IMHO. I have shot a bunch of the Berrys 125 Gr TrFP with Clays with very good success.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Light taper crimp on a Berrys 125 gr TrFP. Barely touches the case, removes the bell and a hair more.
    Light Taper Crimp On Berrys 125 Gr TrFP In .357 Pic 2.JPG

    I bought the X-Treme 125 Gr TrFP last time, and they also shoot well. WST, Competition, Clays, Solo 1000 wotk well. I bet Sport Pistol will.
     
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  18. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I hear lead is a pain to clean from a revolver so I haven't tried it. I was doing some reading and saw a few post on 158gr being more recoil than 125gr. Not sure how true that is because I have never fired 158gr bullets. I will give this a shot! literally. :)
     
  19. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I was really hoping the BE86 would work because I love it for 9mm. I did have a load of I believe 4.4gr (don't quote me on that) of HP38 with Berry's 125gr and those shot well. I got the extreme for a good price so kind of stuck with them. You know in my few years of reloading I still cant figure out what you guys mean about fast powder? Should I go back to HP38 and scrap the BE86 journey?
     
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  20. ray15

    ray15 Member

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    BE86 does work very well in 38 special, but you have to load it heavier. 5.4gr. is the max for standard pressure and 6.1 for +p. In that charge weight range it works pretty darn well, but the velocity is actually less than faster powders, especially Titegroup.

    By faster I refer to burn rate. BE86 is a medium-slow handgun propellant, which is why it takes more powder to reach a given pressure. HP38, AA#2, Titegroup and Sport Pistol all burn much faster and require less powder as a consequence. Usually the larger charge of a slower-burning propellant makes for higher velocities, but Titegroup makes the most in 38 special for me. The powders Walkalong is recommending are really fast. The large-case low-pressure nature of the cartridge seems to favor faster-burning propellants more than modern designs like 9mm Luger et al.
     
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  21. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    I think your powder charge is too low.

    Alliant load data lists 5.4 gr as max charge for 125 gr Lead RNFP. IME, plated bullets with rounded base leak more gas and you may likely need to increase your powder charge - https://www.alliantpowder.com/reloa...wderlist.aspx&type=1&powderid=38&cartridge=26
    +1.

    Since you also have HP-38, I would definitely give it a try - http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/pistol
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  22. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I had HP38 :(. Otherwise I would have just stuck with that load. I tried not taper crimping these, less flare but not upping the charge. I will do that tomorrow morning and report back.
     
  23. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Below is my "relative" groupings of powders derived from various published burn rate charts. As you can see, BE-86 is grouped with "moderately" slower burning powders like Unique, Power Pistol, WSF, etc. while W231/HP-38 is grouped with "moderately" faster burning powders like Zip, Sport Pistol, etc.

    If I am developing lighter target loads, I found using faster burning powders from Red Dot/Promo - Clean Shot group work better than slower powders. If I am developing higher velocity/full power loads, I found using slower burning powders from Unique - Silhouette group work better than faster powders.


    Faster burning pistol powders:

    E3 - Competition - Nitro 100 - N310 - Norma R1

    Red Dot/Promo - IMR Red - Clays - 700X - Bullseye - Vectan Ba 10 - IMR Target - TiteGroup - Vectan AS - Am. Select - Solo 1000 - WST - International - Trail Boss - N320 - Vectan Ba 9.5 - No. 2 - Clean Shot/Lovex D032.03

    W231/HP-38 - Zip - Sport Pistol - Green Dot - IMR Green


    Slower burning pistol powders
    :

    Unique - Universal - W244 - IMR Unequal - Vectan Ba 9 - BE-86 - Power Pistol - N330 - Vectan A1 - Herco - Vectan A0 - WSF - N340 - 800X

    No. 5 - Auto Pistol/Lovex D036-03 - True Blue - HS6 - AutoComp - Ultimate Pistol/Lovex D036-07 - CFE Pistol - Silhouette - 3N37

    N350 - 3N38 - IMR Blue - W572 - Blue Dot - No. 7 - Major Pistol/Lovex D037-01 - Vectan Ba 7.5 - Pro Reach - Long Shot - 2400

    Enforcer - No. 9 - Heavy Pistol/Lovex D037-02 - 4100 - Steel - Norma R123 - N110 - Lil'Gun - W296/H110 - 300-MP - 11FS - Vectan Ba 6.5 - H4227
     
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  24. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

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    I have some difficulty finding a very accurate load in my Ruger SP101, but I think it is mostly due to my eyes. I can't mount a scope on my Ruger SP101, so I have to rely on the open sights. On and off I have seen some good accuracy with plated 125gr FP bullets. Following are some of them and hopefully it will help, but no guarantees:

    38spl, SP101, 3"
    Case: MIX
    COL: 1.423"
    HSM, 125gr, PFN, BE86, 5.4gr, CCI500
    Average: 767
    ES: 40
    SD: 16.1
    Force: 163
    PF: 95
    Velocities: 751, 791, 756, 776, 764
    Grouping @ 10yd: 0.52"
    Test Date: 02/06/2016

    38spl, SP101, 3"
    Case: Federal
    COL: 1.423"
    HSM, 125gr, PFN, 700X, 4gr, CCI500
    Average: 700
    ES: 22
    SD: 10.6
    Force: 136
    PF: 87
    Velocities: 691, 698, 711, 712, 690
    Grouping @ 10yd: 0.64"
    Test Date: 02/06/2016

    38spl, SP101, 3"
    Case: PMC
    COL: 1.423"
    Berrys, 125gr, FP, Bullseye, 4gr, WSP
    Average: 715
    ES: 56
    SD: 21.4
    Force: 142
    PF: 89
    Velocities: 684, 706, 723, 725, 740
    Grouping @ 7yd: 0.61"
    Test Date: 10/21/2018
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  25. rskent

    rskent Member

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    My 642 likes 158 grain Berry’s plated and Oregon Trail 158 lead semi wad cutters over a mid-range load of Bullseye.
     
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