s&w 637 158 xtp load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ericuda, Nov 8, 2021.

  1. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    Anyone have any good suggestions for the above. Been carrying the little guy for while now loaded with 3 snake shot and 2 wadcutters. Now looking to kick it up to some xtp's possibly at +p level. In looking at the data it looks like cfep and hs6 gives the best velocity but shows highest pressure too.

    Anyone have any better ideas in powder for such a short barrel? Have longshot, hp38 and titegroup which are all listed in manual too.
     
  2. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Follow published load data for the performance you want. It's that simple.
     
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  3. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Titegroup works ok in plus p loads.
    You won't get great results from 158 xtp at those velocities.
    A 125xtp or swaged 158 lswc would be more effective.
     
  4. Strainer

    Strainer Member

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    I also would suggest a lighter bullet if you want to go with an XTP in an airweight J frame. And you’d have to load a 125gr XTP with a max load of a slower powder than tite group (Power Pistol comes to mind…maybe your Longshot would work well too) to maybe get enough velocity for expansion with that bullet in such a short barrel. You might rather consider a 110 gr XTP; that would be easier to drive to a higher velocity to allow expansion given the short barrel in your snubby. Hornady has the data you need online for a modest cost to help you select the right bullet and powder for what you want to do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
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  5. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    Bfh_auto, thx that is what I was figuring. I have some 125's too.
     
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  6. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    You're welcome. What are your sights regulated for? Mine are for 158s. So I've moved to swaged 158s in mine. They are soft enough to deform. While having the penetration of as heavy bullet. A box of Hornady cowboy bullets used to be cheap.
     
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  7. forrest r

    forrest r member

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    Something to keep in mind is the poi compared to the poa.

    Most of the s&w snubnosed 38spl revolvers are setup (sights) for 158gr bullets. The lighter bullets will impact low with some of them being extremely low. The other thing to keep in mind is that some powders do better with heavier bullets (158gr and up) in the 38spl's compared to the lighter bullets.

    Not all bullets are created equal, the different material they're made out of (lead/jacketed/plated/coated/etc) makes a huge difference. The size/shape/depth of the hp comes into play along with the bullets body & bottom drive band. Most of this doesn't matter with the longer bbl'd firearms but with the short bbl's everything makes a difference.

    I you do a little searching on the web you'll find articles on reloading for the snubnosed revolvers. This came from 1 of those articles/searches.
    YYZeHpD.png

    Back in feb-mar of 2012 handloader magazine (#276) did an article on 38spl p+ reloads for the snubnosed revolvers using a snubnosed ruger lcr (1.875" bbl) for a test revolver. In that article Brian Pearce stated the lcr compares to the s&w 637, he was also trying to duplicate the 20A Buffalo bore 158gr lead swc gc hp 1000fps snubnosed revolver load. Pearce ended up duplicating that load using 6.3gr of power pistol and a rimrock 158gr lead swc gc hp. If you look at the table above the 5.6gr load using a zero bullet is about worthless.

    A couple of years ago I did a little testing with a charter arms undercover 38spl that was p+ rated (2" bbl). Found out rather quickly that cast & cast/coated bullets had higher velocities then their commercial/store bought jacketed counterparts. I also found out that the lighter faster bullets shot a lot lower @ 7yds compared to the heavier bullets. I was getting 1100fps from a 110gr cast/coated bullet in that 2" bbl'd revolver but it was hitting 7/8" low. Same with mey 125gr cast/coated bullets, 1050fps and 6/7" low. So I started testing these 150gr to 160gr bullets in that snubnosed revolver.
    0A0Ga7O.jpg

    As you can see big differences in the hp's, typically the slower the bullet the larger the hp. The top right bullet and the bottom center bullets are interesting. The bottom center has a small hp hole that is a cramer bullet from the 1940's called the "hunter" bullet that was designed for the 357mag. The top right bullet is a common lyman 358156 (similar to rimrocks & buffalo bores lead swc gc hp), what makes it different is years ago you could special order the hp size for the hp. Standard hp sizes for the lyam hp pins were .125" for the 9mm/38spl/357mags but you could order a custom mold with a .140" pin or a .156" pin (both common in 44/45cal molds). That bullet was cast with a .140" pin.

    Out of those 8 bullets pictured above and 2 that weren't in the picture, testing 10 bullets and 5 different powders. 4 bullets kept having the highest velocities. I'm talking as much as 70fps more velocity by simply choosing 1 bullet style/design over another. These are those 4 bullets.
    vlZBK9y.jpg

    What they have in common is the ability to seal the cylinders and bbl quickly with their large bullet bases or long solid bodies.
    Left to right: cramer # 26 158gr swc hp/mihec 148gr hbwc turned backwards/lyman 358156 154gr swc gc hp/home swaged 150gr fn hp

    That mihec 148gr hbwc mold can also cast a 170gr wc that is an absolute thumper. I ended up going with this bullet a mihec 640 series rfn bullet design that casts a large hp holed 158gr bullet or a 170gr solid nosed rfn bullet. I'm getting 950fps using 6.2gr of power pistol and either bullet (158gr hp or 170gr solid nose) in that 2" bbl'd snubnosed revolver.
    3f3FUJ4.jpg

    All the bullets I cast are 8/9bhn pictured above, same alloy for the core in that jacketed bullet pictured above made out of a 9mm case.

    An excellent tool that a lot of people don't use or talk about is a forester case trimmer. You can buy a hp tool for that case trimmer to put your own hp in any solid nosed bullet or re-design existing hp's. It comes with a 1/16" and 1/8" hp bit. But you can also use a .1875" (3/16") drill bit or 60* center point drill. I used a forester hp tool that I picked up on e-bay (trimmer/collets/pilots/hp toll) for $35 delivered to the door. What a bargain!!! Anyway I make these 210gr hollow point hollow base lead/coated swc's for a 1000fps 44spl snubnosed revolver load.
    FTFbMo6.jpg

    It all starts with the bullet selection. Pick the wrong bullet and the rest doesn't matter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
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  8. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    I honestly don't know, I have only shot coated lswc and 148 wc out of it to date. I think the only bullet I have lighter is some 125 xtp's that I even rarely load for 357.

    Forrest, that is exactly what I was looking for. Interesting the longer bullets have higher velocities. Makes sense though as they would seal faster. Looks like the best option now is to find some 110's and experiment a bit with bullseye to see how low my gun shoots as compared to 158's.

    Awesome info on the trimmer. I have one and will look for that kit. EBay isn't currently listing one and of course forster is backordered. That would be interesting to make and experiment with homemade hp's made from lswc.
     
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