Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

I think I'm hooked on .38 Special

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Arkansas Paul, Sep 30, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,401
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Wanted a double action revolver, and I've been wanting something the wife could handle with no difficulty so I picked up a Taurus 82 .38 Special the other day. It's a police trade in that was carried a lot more than it was shot. The blueing wasn't even faded at the muzzle. Cast a few 125 grain flat nose bullets and loaded up twenty or so rounds each with different powders. I think I like W231 with it the best. Very soft shooting and dead nuts accurate. I wasn't shooting for groups or anything today, but I was knocking a can around from 15-20 feet every time.

    The revolver is great. I've heard bad things about Taurus, but this one is very accurate and has the best single action trigger I've ever felt. The double action is okay, but it's obviously no Smith. Overall, I'm hooked. The .38 Special is awesome. So accurate and easy to shoot. Lovin it. Now I've got to get me a 158 grain mold.

    Anyway, not really a question here, just lovin some .38 Special.
     
  2. jim8115

    jim8115 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    249
    Of the dozen or so handguns ( 22, 32,38,40,357,45,454 Casull) my wife and I have, our various 38's get shot more than anything. They are just plain fun to shoot. As far as defense goes, shot placement is so easy, I figure they are as good as about anything.
    FYI, 3.5 Grains of bullseye, or 4.3 Grains of W231 with a 158 gr SWC gives me right about 800 FPS from a 4" barrel

    JIM
     
  3. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,194
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of IL
    Me too! I load a ton of 38s! I buy the Missouri Bullet 148gr DEWC 5k at a time. The 158 SWC from them shoots great in all my loads too. I buy it as the 357 action in the harder alloy so I can double use it in hot 357 loads and 38 loads, no leading ineither.

    Its a very fun caliber to reload and to shoot! I used it all last year in bullseye competition. Stepping up to a 45 this year, just got a Sig GSR Revolution to use!
     
  4. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    Arizona
    What's not to love?

    The haters and trend chasers ensure a supply of inexpensive platforms.

    Neither the round nor the owners tend to "use-up" the guns that often.

    Brass lasts forever.

    Easy to cast for.

    Easy to re-load for.

    You can hunt with it, defend yourself with it, compete with it, recreate endlessly with it and introduce folk to shooting and reloading with minimal impact and maximum return.

    It's rapidly re-becoming one of my favorite "go to" calibers along with a couple of other old stand-bys, my 9mms and .22s
     
  5. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,206
    Location:
    Hills west of Denver
    I'm with you on the .38 spl. , and as the round to be shot. 3 mos. ago I picked up a Colt Cobra, 4", then about 3 weeks ago I picked up a Colt Trooper, 4", things were going good, until I walked back in where I bought these first 2. Now I own a 1937 38-44 S&W Outdoorsman, going to have to quit frequenting that place! The Cobra and the Trooper are phenomenally accurate, I haven't shot the 38-44 yet, I might, and I might not shoot it at all. They can be addicting. YMMV
     
  6. Stainz

    Stainz Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    3,117
    Location:
    Pinson, AL
    Some of the best .38 Special revolvers you can buy have '.357 Magnum' emblazoned on their barrels. For an example, have you ever seen a 7 or 8 shot .38??

    Stainz

    PS My SD choice: Remington R38S12 +P .38 Special 158gr LHPSWC.
     
  7. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I love my 357s but there is something about a gun made for 38s that makes it a nail-driver.

    My S&W model 64-3:

    My38SPLSWmodel6410.jpg
    My38SPLSWmodel649.jpg
    My38SPLSWmodel6411.jpg





    This little short barreled revolver is easily one of my most accurate wheelies. I shot this one better than some of my 6" barreled guns. I mean look:


    VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD7CU-6hGVg#ws


    161.gif
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  8. snooperman

    snooperman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,143
    I am also with you too. At age 72 I find myself shooting the Colt and S&W 38s more than any other caliber. I most often carry the Colt Magnum carry in .357 mag , but it is no fun to shoot in that caliber.
     
  9. snooperman

    snooperman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,143
    Mesinge2, Where did you get those grips for your 64-3 ?
     
  10. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I bought them from a member of the S&W forum. They're Bianchi Lightning Grips sometimes called Hammer Shroud grips. Unfortunately, they are no longer made but can be found on GB and eBay once and a while.
     
  11. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Ukiah, California
    Yep, my K-38 Combat Masterpiece (15-4) is one of my all time favorite handguns. Extremely accurate, easy recoil and fun to reload. I use W231 exclusively and it burns clean and consistent (5.0 grains under 125 grain plated flat nose).

    Dan
     
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    5,170
    Location:
    Wet Oregon
    They didn't name it Special for nothing.
     
  13. 06

    06 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Too close to Charlotte, NC
    38 Specials were the "go to" carry of all LEOs for a couple generations. 357s came into vogue then 9s. 38s are hard hitting and accurate. My brother hit a target we were shooting at 200yds. Got my daughter a shrouded hammer S&W right out of college. She still shoots it and puts her husband's accuracy to shame--lol. I use 38s in my 357 Taurus to plink with.
     
  14. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,194
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of IL
    I like it!!
     
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,346
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    in my experience, generally speaking, women are better natural shots than men.

    Better eye hand coordination, manual dexterity and more apt to listen to instruction.


    I remember my father and I teaching a woman to shoot, she was using a Ruger .22 that I had given to him..

    Popping a Dr. Pepper can at 40 feet with regularity, often on the roll, with about 10 minutes of instruction. Standing behind her and loading for her my father and I looked at one another and shrugged.

    When she was done she checked the gun and handed it back to him, thanking him for letting her use it. He said "honey...I think you just need to keep that."

    I wish women would shoot more. They tend to be good at it.
     
  16. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7,774
    Location:
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    Everone agrees with you and you won't get anything but agreement from me either. A great round for plinking that works with some of the nicest guns to shoot ever made.

    I WILL take some exception to the 231 as your powder choice. I found in light loads that it was INCREDABLY sooty. Even Bullseye, which is still pretty dirty, is better.

    I recently went with light charges of 3.6 gns of Tightgroup in my cast lead loads for my Cowboy Action ammo which I also use when shooting our local Speed Steel event with my revolvers. The Tightgroup turned out to be a little less sooty than Bullseye even with these soft shooting rounds of 124gn FRNFP bullets. And it's got a reputation for being very position tolerant. A reputation that seems well founded so far judging by how nicely they are grouping on paper when I get a chance to shoot at stuff that doesn't go DING! when I hit it. And I've read that Clays ("just" Clays) is even a little cleaner burning. I gotta try a pound of that at some point. But in the meantime the Tightgroup is fine.

    But after all that is said the BEST groups came from shooting 2.9gns of Bullseye behind the Hornady 148gn HBWC rounds that I made up. Those darn things seemed almost like they were laser guided.... :D Both my Model 6 inch Model 19 and 6 inch Model 10 LOVED those rounds.
     
  17. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,076
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    You did with the Taurus what I did with a retired Model 10 a few years ago. Nothing to look at but beautiful inside. 38 Special is my most loaded round, none of the others come close in numbers loaded. My half dozen 357s get 90% 38 specials. Best of all, it is comfortable for my small-ish wife to shoot. Gives her a break from just 22LR.

    Jeff
     
  18. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    4,708
    Location:
    TEXAS!
    My one true progressive press (a Dillon) is in .38 spl.

    I only shoot two cartridges alot. .38s and 9mm. And I do mean alot.

    Deaf
     
  19. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,401
    Location:
    Central Arkansas

    I'm not saying that 231 is going to be my go to powder. I just liked it better than what I happen to have on hand right now. I tried Bullseye and Unique as well and did like 231 the best of the three. I liked Bullseye the least actually. The Unique wasn't bad at all either.
    I may have to give Tightgroup a try.
    Any other suggestions would be welcome as well. I would imagine Universal would be good for the .38 as well, as I know it is known to be very versatile.
     
  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    5,170
    Location:
    Wet Oregon
    Try some Red Dot. It's like bacon and flapjacks. It's like bacon and.. uh everything.
     
  21. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,319
    Location:
    Ukiah, California
    I use W231 exclusively for:

    1) .32 S&W Long
    2) .32 Auto
    3) .38 Special
    4) 9mm
    5) .357 Magnum (some loads)
    6) .45 Auto
    7) .45 Colt (some loads)

    It has worked fantastically in all of my handguns for decades: clean, consistent, accurate. It is handy for me to stock one powder instead of a smorgasbord.

    Dan
     
  22. skidder

    skidder Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,115
    Location:
    Montana
    Apart from my outdoor carry. The 38 is my primary weapon. I have a couple old beaters I keep in my shop and firewood truck. You never know when those black helicopters from the eighties might return :rolleyes:. If they show up when I'm in my reload shack I'll be well armed. I think I have close to 1000 rounds loaded up for the big day. :D That day could be the end of the Mayan calender.... you never know.:scrutiny:;):D
     
  23. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Texas
    "...those black helicopters from the eighties might return"

    Return? They never left.

    This reminds me, I need to stock up on .38. I was cleaning my closet and found an ammo box with 500 rounds of .38 that I'd forgotten about. I'm working my way through that; time to get some more.

    The .38 special is a great round, no doubt about it.
     
  24. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    all over Virginia
    The only disadvantage of .38 Special is magazine capacity.

    It will always be a very able cartridge for handgun purposes.
     
  25. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,400
    Location:
    NC


    I had to check my CRC manual to be sure, but yep, the chemical formula for "smoke" actually is "W231 + lead". ;)

    Despite the smoke and the dirty loads, W231 worked as well for me as bullseye for target loads. Some of the dirt, IMO, is from the use of a lead bullet. But the lower pressure of very low-powered rounds can often lead to an inefficient powder burn (i.e. soot), no matter the powder.

    FWIW, my IDPA load is Clay's over a 158gr plated bullet. Chronos @ 800 fps, and is much cleaner than W231/lead. Some use Solo1000 over plated as well.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page