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

What's is your favorite 38 Super powder?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rbernie, Oct 7, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,598
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    I'm fixing to start loading for 38 Super after a 20+ year hiatus, and it seems as if I have no suitable powders on hand. If I have to buy into a new powder, I'm open to suggestions.

    I'm interested in decent velocities using 115gr to 125gr jacketed bullets - I see no sense in shooting 9x19 velocities in such expensive brass. :)
     
  2. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    838
    Location:
    KY
    I started out with Unique, about 30 years ago. At some point I started using Power Pistol. Last time I loaded any, I used Longshot.

    The Finnish VV powders have a lot of users, but I have no experience with them.

    Since I don't hot rod the .38 Super any longer, I am more than content with the Longshot loads. Power Pistol is good, but flashy.

    If maximum velocity at reasonable pressure is your goal, look at the VV powders.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    47,514
    Location:
    Alabama
    3N37 is superb for pushing a 124 Gr plated (Berrys 125 Gr HBRN-TP) or a 125 Gr jacketed bullet to a little over 1300 FPS. I have shot them at up to 1400 FPS with it.

    True Blue will work, as well as Longshot, but I settled on 3N37 and a 1300+ FPS load.

    As you get hotter with the .38 Super, you can get some primer smear. the 3N37 load at 1300 FPS minimizes it. At least in my SA .38 Super.
     
  4. noylj

    noylj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,086
    This may not be true for you, but I find my .38 Supers are quite a bit more accurate than my 9x19s, so I am happy shooting light target loads in them.
    I find 0.356-0.357" jacketed bullets are the most accurate.
    121-135gn bullets are the most accurate.
    L-SWCs are more accurate than other lead designs.
    JHPs are more accurate than other jacketed designs.
    Zero 121gn 0.356 (actually 0.3555" for the batch I have) are about the most accurate of all bullets tested, with the Montana Gold 124gn JHP close.
    The Hornady 140gn "Cowboy" L-RNFP is surprising accurate at low to mid-range loads. The 0.358" diameter keeps leading to almost nil in all my guns, including the comps.
    With 121-125gn jacketed bullets:
    5.9-6.5 gn is quite accurate.
    6.5-7.4gn of Herco is good.
    8.3-8.6gn 540/HS6 is good.
    8.5-9.2gn 571/HS7 is very good.
    5.6-5.8gn Silhouette is quite accurate.
    6.5-6.8gn Silhouette is quite accurate (mid-range?)
    7.3-7.5gn Silhouette is quite accurate (near full power?)
    7.7-8.3gn True Blue is accurate
    5.5-5.9gn WSF is accurate, with 5.9gn being "best" with this powder
    If I wanted to shoot full power, I would look first at Silhouette and True Blue. If I needed more power, I would go to VV N105.
     
  5. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,598
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    It's a bit of a veer, but - can you really get 1350fps from a Berry's bullet without it shedding its coating?
     
  6. Mac Attack

    Mac Attack Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    751
    Location:
    Georgia
    Back in the 90's my favorite was AA#7.
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    22,318
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    When HS-7 was still available it was the hands down best powder for the .357 Sig IMO. Now that it's gone HS-6 is also a good choice. If you can't find HS-6 Longshot isn't a bad choice either.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    47,514
    Location:
    Alabama
    I would not try it with their standard bullet, but the thicker plating bullet I noted will take it, at least in my gun, and that barrel isn't the smoothest in the world.
     
  9. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,863
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    I shoot the Berry's 124 gr. RNFP in my 357 Sig at a little over 1,300 fps without any problems. However, at 1,450+ fps they will tumble and take out the right skyscreen strut on your chronograph....................

    I also use this bullet in my .38 Super.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  10. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,240
    Location:
    MINNESOTA
    Sr 7625
     
  11. superbee922

    superbee922 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Longshot with Berry's plated 124 grain 9 mm. HP.

    I wouldn't mind trying some of the VV powders, but they are never available in my area and they seem expensive.
     
  12. squarles67

    squarles67 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    I've had good luck with Blue Dot and Power Pistol. Power Pistol gives me single digit Standard Deviations.

    I shoot alot of the 125g Hornady HAP bullets, reasonably priced and they shoot well for me.
     
  13. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,414
    Location:
    wichita
    I use Hodgdon Longshot it also works well in 10mm.
     
  14. crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    AK
    Can anyone post a light (1000fps or lower) load using power pistol? I'm loading for 38 Auto/ACP which is the same cartridge but at lower pressure/velocity. Unfortunately there is a huge lack of info available for it.
     
  15. noylj

    noylj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,086
    crazysccrmd: About all you'll find for .38 Auto are Bullseye, Red Dot, 700-X, and Unique. I doubt if any manual company feels any desire to load new powders in that old and dead cartridge. Then, at the cartridge's working pressure, Power Pistol is not going to be a "first choice" any way.
    If I wanted to load that cartridge, I would work up loads with Red Dot, AA2, 231/HP38, and Solo 1000. Those are really well-behaved powders that are easy to work with.
    You'll have to work up your own loads or find a .38 Auto forum for like-minded people.
     
  16. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,035
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Currently it is SR4756 and I am making up loads by the thousands with it. As I make them though I am debating trying something a bit different.

    I have had good luck with Unique also.

    I shoot pretty much only lead 135 grn LRN's though.
     
  17. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,598
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    I've got a friend who recommends Blue Dot - anyone tried it?
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    47,514
    Location:
    Alabama
    No reason it would not work well, but I have not tried it. Maybe I'll try a few.
     
  19. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,035
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I have not played with Blue Dot and the Super myself. It should be fine as the powder speed is in the useable band.
     
  20. squarles67

    squarles67 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Orange, Texas
    I've had good luck with Blue Dot, for me it doesn't seem as snappy as power pistol and gives similar velocities. Alliant lists 9.2 as the max with a Speer 124 GDHP.

    I've gone as high as 8.0 behind a 125 HAP and that gave me 1258 fps out of a 5" Colt bbl. I've got some loaded with more but haven't had a chance to test them yet.
     
  21. noylj

    noylj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,086
    crazysccrmd: please do not confuse the answers for Super with your .38 Auto. KaBoom would be a strong possibility. You need low pressure loads--can the powder companies and see if they have data for you.
     
  22. crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    AK
    No worries, I'm tracking. Was just curious about PP, going with something different. Found that Lee has data in their book.
     
  23. AABEN

    AABEN Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    973
    Location:
    Priceton IN
    I like the Winchester 231 very clean burring powder.
     
  24. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,035
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I would have thought that Power Pistol would be a touch fast for the Super. It should work fine, but I would tend to lean toward something a bit slower. Playing around with powders is what led me to 4756 so far.

    I really need to finish my testing though and settle on a load.
     
  25. noylj

    noylj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,086
    If the goal is to maximize velocity and try to maintain a sane pressure lever, then the powders to try are in the Blue Dot, N105, AA9, Enforcer region. Not sure if you could get enough 2400 in for any sort of performance.
    Anybody have access to Vectan SP2 or Nobel PP1?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page