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Similar recipe for Gold Dot 135 Short Barrel

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hikingman, Nov 25, 2007.

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  1. Hikingman

    Hikingman Member

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    Any ideas for working up a load similar to the Gold Dot 135 gr. load for a short barrel revolver? I'd like to work on the 38 and 357 loads for my Taurus 605. Was curious what they are likely doing to decrease the flash.
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    jfh on this forum has done a lot of work replicating the Speer 135gr Short Barrel round. I'm sure he will give you a few hints when he reads this thread.

    I personally feel 6.8gr AA#5 under a Gold Dot 135gr bullet feels very similar to the Speer Factory 135gr Short Barrel .38 Special +P round. (in a 1 7/8" S&W Model 638)

    I personally feel 8.8gr of Powder Pistol under a Gold Dot 135gr bullet feels very similar to the Speer 135gr .357 Magnum Short Barrel Round. (in a 3" Ruger Police Service-Six)
     
  3. jfh

    jfh Member

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    Heh--I went to bed at 1:30, so my comments are late.

    As for flash--the powders are formulated by the factories to control this factor; in the aftermarket, we have a limited number of powders to work with (at least for 2"-barrel revolvers). When I did my testing, I did not observe for this factor. IIRC, it was noticable with one powder--but which one, I don't remember.

    As ArchAngelCD pointed out, recoil "feel" of the reload is probably the most important component in developing a PD practice round. There are other factors, typically the ones that reloaders usually strive for--velocity, accuracy, burn characteristics--but there is nothing like shooting a round that is subjectively similar to the recoil experience of the factory round. Further, one can easily "back up" the load to build lighter-recoil rounds for acclimation.

    Speer tested eight powders with their GDSB135JHP in 38 Special loads. Of the five I've worked up so far, only one--Power Pistol--matches the factory velocities. It also is the one that feels least like the factory round; it has a sharp, quick recoil as opposed to the "full" recoil of the factory round.

    As Archangel said, AA#5 is the one that feels most like the factory round. In my 640 and M&P 340 (both 38/357 j-frames), the recoil is quite similar to the factory round. For me, the Speer 38 Special MAX load of 7.0 grains runs about 850 fps, which is at or just below the Speer specification for that bullet.

    Both reloads are / can be extremely accurate, albeit to a slightly-different POA. Groups under 1" at fifteen yards can be obtained if the shooter can do it.

    Loading the Speer 135 JHP costs about 23 cents a round--and that includes a 1.5 cent case amortization. You can also use a 140-grain lead bullet to load good practice rounds, and that gets the cost down to 10 cents a round or so. Barrel leading is not really an issue with these short barrels at these velocities, but there can be leading at the frame / forcing cone. They are dirtier, generally, and mostly because of the (lead) bullet lube.

    Lead bullets should be sized to match your barrel, I think, if you are shooting a .38-only revolver. All these reloads are at or near Speer's 20,000 PSI spec, and that was chosen before SAAMI lowered the 38+P specification to 18,500.

    So, in summary: AA#5 under the GDSB135JHP bullet, near-or-at the Speer MAX load of 7.0 gr., results in a reload that 1) feels most like the factory load, and 2) runs about 30 fps slower than the typical factory velocity with the. Back off at least 5% to try it out in your gun, and back up .5 gr in trying the lead-bullet version. If you build these, be sure to roll-crimp on the cannelure and to produce a firm crimp.

    The complete reloading data for this bullet can be found in the new / current Speer manual--the 13th, I believe.

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  4. Hikingman

    Hikingman Member

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    Thanks for the comments!





    Reloading saves money!!!
     
  5. Crazy4nitro

    Crazy4nitro Member

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    Great Info jfh,

    Thank You

    'Nitro
     
  6. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    This might help...

    Here's the LE ATK site, look in the upper right corner for a hotlink to the Gold Dot 135-gr technical data

    http://le.atk.com/Interior.asp?section=2&page=pages/ccispeer/ccispeer_Home.asp

    There you will find a .pdf file that tells you all you want to know about the bullet. If you read to page nine you will see that they load the Gold Dot 135-gr Short Barrel bullet to 860-fps from a 1-7/8" S&W Model 640.

    http://le.atk.com/pdf/SpeerTech38_135HP.pdf

    I hope that I could be of some help.
     
  7. jfh

    jfh Member

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    Thanks for those links, Nitesite.

    FWIW, here's the chrono results from my testing of the 38+ P factory round this summer: Each result is the average for five rounds--

    S&W M&P340 (1 & 7/8") - 906 fps; 895 fps; 923 fps.
    S&W 640 (2 & 1/8") - 886 fps; 901 fps
    S&W 442 (2 & 1/8") - 861 fps.
    S&W M60 (3") - 987 fps.

    Jim H.
     
  8. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    There is actually, a very good powder for this. AA#7 will get you some of the highest velocities obtainable from short barrels. Very comparable to factory loads and better in some cases. It is also one of the lowest flash powders on the market. It is a very dense fine grained powder that will meter exceptionally. Your tolerance to recoil will be the determing factor as pointed out.

    #5 is a good powder, but #7 is even better for this task. E-mail Accurate and they should be able to help you with a load for the 135 if it isn't in the latest manual from SPEER.;)
     
  9. jfh

    jfh Member

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    AA#7 is in the Speer Data sheet--

    and, for 2" barrels, AA# 7 was the worst-performing powder of the powders Speer reccommended for 38+P loads that I have tested so far.

    At Speer's MAX load (8.2 gr.) under the GDSB135, the recoil felt very smooth and full, and POA was about 1/2" low. I then loaded up some #7 under the lead bullets and tweaked it to the same nominal subjective recoil--again, smooth, and slightly low for POA.

    When I got out the chrono, NONE of the #7 loads broke 800 fps average--and that includes the ones at .2 gr. OVER the Speer MAX. It surprised me--but the chrono doesn't lie.

    I haven't tested it yet in 3" or 4" barrels, but I did do a successful 'translation' into "357 lite" loads that will run 900 fps nicely. However, it simply doesn't match up with AA#5 or WSF for 38+P loads in 2" barrels.

    Subjectively, I disliked it as well--it leaks from any of my Lee measures, although it does appear to meter accurately.
    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  10. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    YMMV. And you didn't mention the charge, or which case your loading it into. For .357 Magnum, try using Accurate data. I've been using #7 for years with a 3" M65 LadySmith as well as a Ruger SP-101. I've recommended the load at Ruger Forum to other guys with SP-101s and they reported their results as excellent. You don't want to use #7 for .38 Special, but how are you going to replicate a .357 Magnum carry load with a 135 at .38 Special velocity?

    The start charge for a 140 gr. JHP is 11.0 grains. Velocity from a 6" revolver was 1267 FPS in Accurates data. So, naturally, your velocity will be a good bit lower with a 2" revolver, but it should still be over 1100 FPS, not 800-900.;)

    There's a cure for #7 leakage from a LEE powder measure. It's called the RCBS Uniflow.
     
  11. jfh

    jfh Member

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    Actually, CZ57,

    I did mention the charge--both directly and indirectly: but I did omit the actual charge and the cartridge--which was a typing error. The Speer 38+P MAX charge is 8.2 gr. I loaded it to that MAX, and, as it turned out, also loaded the two different 140 lead bullets I had to 8.2--and did a run under the Speer GDSB135 at 8.4 gr. as well.

    The cases used were new and used Starline; primers were WSP, for all my testing done so far.

    The 2004 Accurate Manual (latest I have), downloaded as a pdf lists no #7 charges for 38 Special.

    As for the Accurate data for 357 Magnum--my reloading goal for this project was to load ammo that 'replicated' the perceived recoil the GDSB 38+P 135-gr. factory round in a j-frame lightweight--and, replicate in ballistics as well, as possible. I did want to gain the benefit of 357s--i.e., cleaner chambers, a larger margin of safety. But, the primary goal was to build a practice round that would work well for acclimating to 357 lightweights--my carry guns, and the factory round I had selected for use in those--that's the GDSB 135-gr. 38+P factory round.

    Those 2" barrel results were obtained from both a S&W M&P 340 and a 640.

    I am just beginning to do more complete chrono results analysis, but at this point I would categorically say that #7 is not a suitable power for 38 Spl / 2" barrels. I wonder why Speer tested it in the first place--they did use a 6" barrel--where, there is no doubt it performs much better. In those tests, it was over 1000 fps (1030), just 35 fps behind PP and just 22 fps below #5.

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  12. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    Now I understand. You're replicating the .38 Special +P load. Accurate does not recommended #7 for .38 Special or hardly any other low pressure cartridge. If on the other hand you want a load that is comparable to factory .357 Magnum. #7 is an excellent way to go. At 985 grams/liter it is the densest handgun propellant available and is very fine grained.

    Not to open a can of worms, but some of the .357 Snubbies are prone to sticky extraction as are some full size 7 shot .357 Magnums like the Taurus Tracker. For that application, I have used #7 and V-V 3N37 as well as others in shortened .357 Magnum cases for +P+ loads for use in .357 Magnum Revolvers ONLY. Both are excellent and will eliminate the extraction problems with the shorter case.

    Regarding standard loading for .357 Magnum revolvers in .357 Magnum cases, #7 is one of the few powders available that is optimum for magnum loads in short barrelled magnum revolvers. Many reloaders and even the ammo manufacturers often fail to recognize this. There are good factory loads that are geared specifically to snubs, but if you load your own, there's a better way to do it than with H110 or 296. Powders just slightly ahead of those rated magnum like #7, V-V 3N37 & N350 and Blue Dot (if flash is not a concern) will actually have a lower percentage of velocity loss in shorter barrels by virtue of the slightly faster burn rate. Faster powders (medium and faster) won't get the velocity to begin with

    Ramshot True Blue is another powder that will work very well if you are loading the .38 Special cases to +P, but if you want to replicate a .357 Magnum factory load, or even exceed it with a snub, #7 will do it with about as little muzzleblast as your likely to encounter while maintaining the velocity to make your snubbie an effective stopper, or as in the case of many, a good back-up for field use. As a starting point, Accurate's data for the 140 is a good place to start for SPEER's 135 if it's not given in the .357 Magnum data. I don't have the latest SPEER manual.;)
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    CZ57,
    AA#7 isn't the way to go to replicate Speer's .357 Magnum Short Barrel round at all, Powder Pistol is. Like I said above, a charge of 8.8gr of Powder Pistol under a Speer 135gr bullet feels and shoots very close to the Factory round. As a matter of fact, Speer suggests seven different powders when working up the short barrel .357 Magnum round and AA#7 isn't one of them, AA#9 is though.

    Speer Data for the Short Barrel .357 Magnum round:

    135 gr Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel HP
    COLA Tested @ 1.590"

    H110* 17.5 gr - 1313 fps --- 18.5 gr - 1387 fps
    W296* 17.5 gr - 1264 fps --- 18.5 gr - 1377 fps
    2400 15.0 gr - 1299 fps --- 16.0 gr - 1377 fps
    AA #9 14.5 gr - 1234 fps --- 15.5 gr - 1345 fps
    Powder Pistol 8.6 gr - 1192 fps --- 9.6 gr - 1291 fps
    Viht. 3N37 7.7 gr - 1093 fps --- 8.7 gr - 1185 fps
    Unique 6.8 gr - 1082 fps --- 7.8 gr - 1185 fps
    * – denotes use of CCI Magnum primer

    This is their recommendations:
    To approximate the Speer .357 Magnum Gold Dot Short Barrel service load in a snub nose revolver, load the 135 gr bullet with:
    8.8 gr Powder Pistol
    8.4 gr VihtaVuori 3N37
    7.6 gr Unique
    These loads should give you 1,000 ft/sec from a 2" 357 Magnum revolver
     
  14. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    Well, if you want your snub to flash like a flamethrower, you might try alternating PP with Blue Dot on occasion. Without a doubt, Power Pistol is one of the brightest flashing powders you can use in any high pressure cartridge. That is most often the case with extruded flake powders. You might want to actually try these loads at night, assuming you've actually used #7. In the real world, there's a pretty good chance that that's where they may get used! I've tried pretty much all of them. I shoot at night when I test any load that might see defensive use.;)

    I'd skip the first three to start with unless you really love muzzleblast. #9 is worth a try and #7 is not on your/SPEER list. I'm sorry to see SPEER missed it.
     
  15. jfh

    jfh Member

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    CZ57--that flamethrower problem.

    Yup, I'd experienced that flash when I was testing / chrono'g as dusk approached--but I was shooting various powders, and I didn't note which did that. Your post tells me which one.

    Your comments on other powders are really, really intriguing, being the typical OC (that's Obsessive-Compulsive) reloader than I am. For the 38+P and 357-lite loads I've worked on, I already segued over to V. N350 and then V.3N37. The N350 loads (under all three bullets so far--GDSB135JHP, MC140 LTC-357, and PB140LRNFP-358) produce low velocities with "replica recoil" criteria--but typically good SDs and clean burns at the upper charge range. 3N37 MIGHT hit the Speer guidelines at absolutely MAX (V. says 7.1 gr)--and again, clean burns. More testing and die tweaking is needed, and maybe a slight boost into the +P+ realm.

    The one powder I am currently really interested in is WSF. It appears to be the wonderpowder, and some basic pressure calcs done by someone else says it should be OK.

    The first time I moved it over to the 38 / 357 cartridges, I put it into 357 and made some judicious guesstimates for the charge weight. Low and behold, I obtained the Speer 135-gr / 357 Magnum velocities, with a smoother and lower (subjective) recoil than the Speer 135-gr 38+P factory rounds. I then backed it into 38 special, and I've hit the factory 38+P velocities at charge weights below PP. There are no conventional symptoms of overpressure, none.

    I originally bought WSF to load in 10mm, .40S&W, and perhaps .45ACP--that was about twelve years ago, so I am rusty on what my notes say from those reloads. This year, the reloading has been the 38/357 round, with only a smattering of 10mm.

    I remain sold on the Speer 38 / 357 135-gr. bullets as the most attractive factory PD round for the lightweights, although I don't know of any data from PD shootings that would validate their performance. I suspect there will be some issues with jacket separation / breakup as that data is obtained--but their benefit in terms of increased "shootability" cannot be overstated.

    I can now shoot a cylinder of the 38+P round, reload, and shoot another cylinder in rapid-fire and keep 4/5 of my shots in a fist-sized group at 5-7 yards. That's from the 13.3 oz M&P 340; in the 640, I could keep on going for quite awhile longer. I attribute that level of proficiency to the "acclimation" reloading paradigm I've followed in the last five months. If I can shoot enough to keep my hand in shape this winter, I am probably ready to move on to the GDSB 135-gr Magnum loads, like ArchAngelCD is doing.

    OTOH, that BuffaloBore 158LSWC-HP 38+P (+P+) is calling--it will do over 1000 fps out of my M&P340, and it appears to currently feel about the same as the Speer 135-gr 357 round....VBG.

    So, I bought a box of the Hornady 158grLSWC-HP bullets....

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  16. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    J, I've done more than a little research here myself. In the list of powders AA put up, the velocities appear to have been obtained in a longer barrel, then SPEER is making a recommendation for lighter than max charges for snubs. My latest SPEER manual is the #11 and I still use it for all revolver loads, particularly Magnum loads. I don't mean to sound contradictory to any manual, but recommending H110, 296 and 2400 for this use makes them appear to bit a bit short sided in their testing. If you loaded to an equal velocity for say a 6" .357 Magnum, with all of the powders listed and throw #7 and even WSF in there to say 1300 FPS, then fire the rounds in a snub and chronograph, you'll find that the only thing you'll get extra from the "Magnum" powders is Magnum Muzzleblast.

    Of those listed, 3N37 and #9 are the only powders I could take seriously since Unique would only be slightly better than PP, as far as flash. Most often, lower flash is best obtained with dense ball powders like #5, #7, SP-2. HS-6 isn't bad and neither is 3N37. I have used all of these for my "Short Magnum" load as well with good results. Blue Dot works well, but like PP, it is going to produce a fireball at night over one foot. If only one shot should be required to stop a fight, you're probably going to survive if you make the first one count, but if you don't, your visual aquity will be seriously impaired.

    I have considered WSF (but not used it) and I'm not surprised that you are getting good results. I've tried to get Ramshot to publish data for this type of load with Silhouette that has a flash retardent added. Like WSF, there is no data. It took some careful cross referencing to find a "Start Charge" but I finally settled on 8.0 grains of Silhouette with a 140 gr. Rem SJHP, CCI-500, .357 Starline case. The results were good. Good enough that I really hope that Ramshot will give it a look. They use the same ballistician for Ramshot and Accurate powders. Western Powder Co. is the parent of both. I consider Silhouette to be the closest American powder to 3N37 and max charges in most high pressure cartridges, run only a couple of tenths less with Silhouette vs. 3N37.

    I certainly agree that the 135 should excel here. If it were a 4" revolver, I'd probably use #9 and push a 125 gr. JHP to over 1400 FPS. But, when barrel length gets below 4" in a .357 Magnum revolver, I start looking at those powders just slightly ahead of the magnums in burn rate with an emphasis on reducing muzzleblast as much as possible because of possible defense use. I consider #9 and Blue Dot to be "Tweeners" but both are excellent .357 Magnum powders depending on application. For full power loads, I'm using #9 more than anything else and need to try Enforcer that has a very close burn rate with excellent energy potential for the .357 Magnum. I also favor bullets over 125 grains for better penetration from snubs and settled on the 140 gr. SJHP. Not that I'm recommending handloads for defense, but I do live in Texas and the laws here do apply a good degree of common sense. The 135 gr. Gold Dot should be outstanding for these types of loads. Just for discussion, I'd say that anyone that uses a .357 Magnum snub should seriously consider a regimine using .357 Magnum cases and starting with the lowest charge listed by bullet weight, work your way up to a level of recoil that is not beyond your own personal threshold. Then, if you carry a factory defense round, you're a bit more likely to be able to get good bullet placement. Selecting the right powder is the key!;)
     
  17. jfh

    jfh Member

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    thanks for all that powder info, CZ57--you've given me a lot to digest. I may have to incorporate some changes in my "38+P 135-gr replica loads reloading project."

    Jim H.
     
  18. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    My pleasure!;)
     
  19. KODB

    KODB Member

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    jfh/ArchAngel/Cz57,

    I've been reading this thread and the several posts jfh made earlier regarding his load workups with great interest as I was sifting through looking for a load utilizing the GDHP-SB that I could load into both 38's and 357s. Given what looks like superb terminal ballistics for SD use, I guess I am not sure what if any benefit stepping up to the 357 version would yield. Further, it looks like the 38+P load would still work and be in the velocity window if fired out of a 4" gun.
    My question(s):
    1. Given a 4" M10 and M66 (my typical working 38/357 revolvers) why not load a version in 38 cases as well as 357 cases to yield approx 950-1000fps and essentially have the same performing load with respect to terminal ballistics, point of aim/impact. This should give great SD performance but be easier on the guns and my slowly/rapidly aging wrists and elbows :)

    2. jfh- I saw you did do some workup previously with Titegroup. Have you gone any further with that or has anyone else? I still have tons of that laying around from building up midrange loads. Looking at the Hornady and Hogdon manuals it seems useable and would fall into this same area.

    3. I currently use standard pressure 148gr wadcutters for snub loads and will probably stay there until I see more data/actual shoot results with a snub and this ammo. I am, however, very intrigued with using these loads in standard 4" service revolvers as the above illustrates. Have you done any chrono work with the 4" guns or only the snubs?

    Thanks guys; great info and very stimulating experimentation!

    Regards,
    Bob
     
  20. jfh

    jfh Member

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    GDSB135 38+P / 357 loads, and 2-3-4" barrels.

    The cold weather has put a bit of a halt to meaningful objective data--meaning I will NOT wade through the snow to set up a Chrono whose battery won't last.

    From last year, I did get some minimal data for 4" barrels, with both 38 and 357 cartridges. I have more data for 3" barrels, and I am trying to read into this data what I can tell about both two-tenths grain charge changes and about barrel lengths in one inch increments.

    Because I chose to standardize on the GDSB135 38+P round for my carry round, I used that data to chase 'replica' reloads--e.g., 135 gr, 880 or so FPS from a 2" barrel. I've accomplished my goal now of 'complete' acclimation--I can shoot repeated cylinders of that round from the M&P340 (13.3 oz empty) without undue discomfort, and in a measured rapid fire.

    AFAICT, "standardizing" on the 2" barrel creates no issues--for example, in a 38 Spl case, 6.4 gr. of Power Pistol runs about 890 from a 2" barrel, and 960 from my M60-3" barrel. ArchAngleCD reports the Speer data of 8.8 gr. of PP in a 357 case gets to about 1000 fps from a 2" barrel.

    The powders that work best in 2" are NOT the ones that work best in 6" barrels, that is for sure--but it shades off OK in 4" barrels. Right now I am setting up AA#5 to run in 357 cases under a 140LTC-358, with a target of 1000 fps from a 2" barrel (IOW, to replicate the GDSB135-357 load.) To do that, I am currently guesstimating that two tenths grain is worth 30 fps, and that 1" barrel length changes equals about 50 fps. If I work "backwards," that correlates somewhat with Accurate's data for full-power 357 loads with AA#5 under a 140JHP in a 6" barrel, as found in their 3.2 manual--at least enough to work up a development set to get the 1000 fps target from a 2" barrel. IOW, I did my calculations "coming up" from my translated 357-lite / #5 data, and then compared them to the manual from which I "worked down". I appear to be on the conservative side--which is right where I want to be.

    I've shifted to 357 cases, even to run 38+P and +P+ pressures simply to make gun cleaning easier, and because clearly the pressures are climbing beyond specs for 38 Special.

    What we don't know yet is when we are at the upper edges, so to speak, in 38 Special. I have pushed #5 in a 38 Special above 7.0 (7.0 is the Speer MAX, but below 20,000 according to them), and at a point not too much higher, found it did NOT generate the expected velocity increase and the SDs opened up again. To me, that's a sign of serious overpressure, so I quit. The gun is safe, of course; it's a 357--but if I'm not going to load that recipe in 38 Special, why bother?

    So, to answer your questions directly about 4" barrels:

    1. Yes, the 2" barrel loads work just fine in 4" barrels. Keep in mind that these GDSB bullets should not be driven much above 1000 fps, or they'll break up. It seems to me that the 38+P factory round will work the way you want it to in a 4" barrel. With that in mind, I would recommend the Speer 38+P PP loading--6.4 gr. max--to try out and see what it does in your gun(s). It won't feel like the factory round, but you may not consider that an important factor.

    For a 38+P load with similar subjective recoil, you could try the MAX AA#5 load--7.0 gr.--but I doubt it will break 950 fps in a 4" barrel.

    The number of different powders I've tested / will test tell me this kind of fine-tuning does depend significantly on burn rate, and what ever else happens in those microseconds when primary and secondary pressure waves build.

    2. I called Titegroup "too fast" early on, and haven't revisited it--yet. As you can tell from the above, I am re-reading dried tea leaves this winter.

    3. My 686P is a 4"--and the GDSB135 38+P is an absolute pussycat in it; I would probably carry the 357 load were that a carry gun. With the (hand) conditioning I have, I would also carry the 357 round in the M60--but the 340 is a carry gun; I just don't even know it is there in my pocket any more.

    Meanwhile, I have gotten interested in the Speer 158gr. LSWC-HP at 850 fps or so from a 2" barrel--but don't know anything yet.

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    KODB,
    I did some work with the Speer .38 Special +P 135gr SB round in my 4" M686 but I can't find the data right now.

    It has been reported that the SB rounds work just fine in a longer barrel and are being carried by some LEO who still carry a Service Revolver since their Department will buy only one .38 Special round. Sorry, I don't remember where I read that either but it was from a reputable WEB site, not a forum.
     
  22. KODB

    KODB Member

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    Thanks for the added info guys. I will try to work up some loads that run 850-900fps in my 4" guns so that they are in the "window" of performance for these sb bullets. Since I have gads of Titegroup and a fresh 8lbs of HP38 I will start here and see how we do. I am going to roll essentially the same load into both 38 and 357 cases with the goal of having a load that feels the same and shoots the same in both calibers AND is in the performance window for the GDHP parameters AND is easy to shoot fast and accurately. Once the blistery winter recedes from western PA I'll try to get some chrono data and post it up here.
    This is exactly the conversation and info that makes this such a great forum. Thanks guys!

    Regards,
    Bob
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm sorry to say I highly doubt you will get the same feel as the Factory rounds with either of those 2 powders. I really suggest you use Powder Pistol if you want to use only 1 powder. (as recommended by Speer)
     
  24. jfh

    jfh Member

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    I see that HP38 is right next to Win231 on that Hodgdon burn rate chart I reference. With that in mind, it should built easy-shooting medium-power loads from a 4", I think. I built rounds with up to the max (4.6? 5.1?) with the 140LTC bullets early on and used them for 'basic' acclimation to the 640. Those rounds produced a medium recoil, a bit sharp, but felt-not-all like the GDSB135 factory round; they felt more like an overpowered softball wadcutter load.

    Titegroup, OTOH, is way up near the top. Not a suitable powder for replication at all--but wonderful for softball.

    Ballistically speaking, these two powders may get to 950 fps or so from a 4" barrel--I honestly don't know. Since Hodgdon now typically lists a 10" test barrel for their loads, you might try subtracting 200-300 fps or so from the velocities they list.

    You will be able to build rounds using these powders with the GDSB135 (or a lead 140), and they may even produce satisfactory ballistics--but they won't be "replica" loads for either barrel length.

    ArchAngelCD has sorted out the PP usage, too--try that one. My preference, of course, would be #5.

    Jim H.
     
  25. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    Joined:
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    You'll have to pardon me here, but anyone using a 135 gr. Gold Dot for a handload must be contemplating at least the possibility that it could be used in a defensive application. Try to keep things in perspective. SPEER is only interested in your ability to replicate ballistics. It is obvious that they are not considering an actual defensive application. Power Pistol will obviously get you the right numbers as far as velocity, but that is only one part of the total equation. For a defense load, PP is about the last powder I'd choose for this. Blue Dot will get the numbers you're looking for, but I ain't gonna use it, either; even though I've burned more Blue Dot that any other handgun propellant for 25 years now. It doesn't fit the application for a defense load powder. If a flake powder was the way to go, you'd probably be better served by Unique in this case.

    One thing anyone should do besides look at the manual when developing a defense load is to do some night shooting, or replicate it by shooting at an indoor range.

    KODB: JFH is making a very good recommendation here with AA#5, considering the performance level you're looking for. #5 is a very low flash powder and works well with cast loads. You should easily be able to get your performance requirement with the 135 gr. Gold Dot, as well.

    If this is really about a single powder working well for both cartridges, as well as many others, Ramshot True Blue will cover all the bases as well as any you'll find. Not necessarily in this particular order, but considering a compromise with these variables: Accuracy, velocity (as outlined), economy, and minimum flash and probably the lowest standard deviation numbers you're likely to see from the powders mentioned. Anything you can do with Unique, you can do with True Blue and get minimal flash and better ballistic uniformity in the bargain.

    I don't have data for the Gold Dot, but looking at Ramshot's data for a 140 gr. Sierra, 5.3 grains (Listed as max) of True Blue achieved 916 FPS with a standard deviation of 8! Single digit SD's are not that easy to come by. Now, the reality: the results were achieved with a 7.71" ballistic test barrel. Your velocity will be lower, but here's the good news, the pressure for this load is 15,945 PSI; over 1000 PSI below the max for STANDARD pressure .38 Special (17,000 PSI). You should be able to bump the charge by looking at +P data. I feel pretty comfortable in saying that you should have no problem getting 950 - 1000 FPS in your 4" revolvers with the 135 gr. Gold Dot. You might even get to 950 FPS without going into +P pressure, and even then, today's limit of 18,500 PSI is mild enough to eliminate concern for the M10.

    Only the newer manuals will have data for True Blue, but it's worth the trouble to get your hands on one. Ramshot's Start Charge for .357 Magnum and the same 140 gr. Sierra is 8.0 grains to achieve 1075 FPS and since the velocity was obtained with a 6" barrel, you should be very close with your 4" 686. That's considering that you'll actually be using a 135 gr. Gold Dot. In the past, I know that the Ramshot Ballistician used a 6" 686 to chronogragh velocity for testing of Accurate Powder's load data. My personal loads were warmer at around 1200 FPS from a 4" M19. There may be one inconvenience, but with a powder this dense (which will meter exceptionally, btw) and the lower charge level, I'd follow the recommendation to use a magnum primer for .357 loads, the only standard primer I'd use here would be the CCI-500. In .38 Special loads, standard primers are fine.;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2007
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