Mauser P-38 load help

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sublimaze41, Jun 7, 2009.

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  1. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Member

    Jul 28, 2007
    Peoples Republic of Western New York
    Monday I take deivery of a pristine Mauser P-38. I am going to reload for it but have no idea of what would work the best and be safe. Of course I don't want to hurt the pistol.

    Specifically I would like suggestions for bullet weight, OAL, Powder and such. Any other suggestions for this gun would be appreciated.

    I have on hand the following.....115 FMJ RN, 124 FMJ RN, various FMJ HP. The powders I have available are....... AA #7 ( 1st choice if applicable), HP-38, Universal, Unique, Bullseye and AA #5.

    Thank You !
  2. ilbob

    ilbob Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    I have a P1, just about the same thing.

    It did not like the light target loads I made that shoot really well in my P85. Plated 115g RN, forget how much bullseye.

    I think it wanted a little more powder.
  3. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    NW PA
    I've used all you mention aside from Universal and AA#7 in my Walther P1 with 115/124 FMJ's, HP's, and cast bullets, and all combinations work well when loaded to standard "power" levels with 100% functioning. In my experience, they like OAL's on the longer practical side, and their long well finished leades allow this. For military profile FMJ bullets, 1.150" has worked well, 1.11" or so for the WW and Rem HP's, and using the barrel as a gauge for cast bullets to determine proper OAL.

    Although your pistol may be in pristine condition, it is possible the recoil springs are original. I would very carefully evaluate their condition, and strongly recommend they be replaced. Standard power for these springs is 6.5 lbs x2, and can be gotten from Wolff. Also be very careful using the hammer drop function of the safety with a round chambered. It is possible the mechanism is worn, and will allow a discharge.

    FWIW, the best 5 shot group from my Walther was .87" @15 yards from a rest. Load was 4.7 grains of Unique under a Lee 125 gr LRN cast from straight unquenched wheel weights, sized .358"... So much for inaccurate military surplus pistols. Good luck, and enjoy that byf pistol!
  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    I have a P-38, a P5, and a tricked out Bullseye 9mm. I went and tested Bullseye in these pistols and chronographed them against a factory load.

    I have decided on 4.0 grains Bullseye with a 125 LRN as a standard load. I have shot about 500 rounds of this load and it shoots fine. I am in the process of loading a couple of thousand 9mm's, and I have loaded at least 1000 cases with this load, and to verify it the new batch works, I shot about 100 rounds this weekend in the P5. It shot great.

    Based on a Handloader article, today I loaded 120 rounds of 125 LRN and 4.2 grains W231. I am going to give that a test and see how it shoots.

    I don't have chronograph data in the P-38, but I do have it in the tricked out M92


    9 MM Parabellum

    M92 FS Beretta Bar Sto Barrel

    125 LRN .356" 3.5 grs Bullseye S&W cases WSP OAL 1.110"
    27-Mar-06 T = 58 °F

    accurate, high percentage failure to feed

    Ave Vel = 986.5
    Std Dev = 9.21
    ES 25.78
    High 992.9
    Low 972.9
    N = 14

    125 LRN .356" 4.0 grs Bullseye S&W cases WSP OAL 1.110"
    27-Mar-06 T = 58 °F
    accurate, consistant function

    Ave Vel = 1114
    Std Dev =20.63
    ES7 9.03
    High 1167
    Low 1088
    N = 32

    125 gr FMJ Olympic Factory 27-Mar-06 T = 61 °F

    Ave Vel = 1261
    Std Dev =20?
    ES 63.11
    High 1288
    Low 1225
    N = 10
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