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revolver pressure signs

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by captain117, Jan 30, 2010.

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  1. captain117

    captain117 Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    I have read a lot on here about primers not being a good pressure sign indicator. Would someone like to elaborate what to look for in loading for a revolver? I have loaded for a lot of rifles but am new to pistols and would apreciate some advice.

    I am also looking for plinking loads for a snubbie 38 special. I have ordered some 125 grain RNFP and 500 truncated cones to start with. I have Unique and Power Pistol on hand and would like to use those powders if possible. They should be low recoil so the wife would be comfortable shooting a lot.

  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    In Magum calibers, flattened primers and hard extraction are both good pressure signs to look for.
    In .38 Spl however, your first sign of excess pressure could be a blown-up gun.

    Use .38 Spl standard pressure load data from any good reloading manual and you can't go too far wrong.
    There will be no pressure signs you should notice with that data.

    Unique will work, but Power Pistol might be better suited for full power +P pressure loads.

    I would try 4.0 grains Unique with 125 grain lead bullets for a nice light load giving around 725 FPS.

    You might could do better for a cleaner burning light target load with faster powder like 700X, Bullseye, Red Dot, or WW231 though.

  3. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    About the only dependable "pressure sign" for revolvers is difficult extraction. As RC says, don't try to hot rod the book loads and you should be fine
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    IMO Unique is the way to go with the .38 spl. I've found that Power Pistol works great with high pressure 9mm but leaves carbon burns on the outside of the case in the .38 spl even at +P loadings.

    For truly light loads I'd use something a bit faster like Red Dot, Bullseye or any of the other fast powders.
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