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WSF for 38 super

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rdtompki, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. rdtompki

    rdtompki Member

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    Hodgdon shows WSF loads for 9mm, but nothing for 38 Super. Obviously manufacturers don't develop loads for every bullet, but I'm wondering if this relates to WSF not being suitable for the hotter loads for which the 38 Super is well-suited or is it a case of the case volume being too larger for the powder to function consistently? Any thoughts out there?

    We're buying a second Kimber HD Pro Carry II and this one I'm probably not going to convert to 9mm. I know cases are expensive, but this isn't going to be a competition gun so I won't be loading in high volume.
     
  2. floydster

    floydster Member

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    I use WSF in my 38 Super for one of my steel plate loads, very accurate.
    Floyd
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Hodgdon online data for .38 Super Auto +P shows 6.0 to 6.6 Grs WSF with a 125 Gr FMJ @ 1.280 OAL.

    I tried it from 6.0 all the way to 6.6 in a 5" 1911 race gun.

    6.0 Grs with a 125 Gr JHP @ 1.270 OAL gave about 1150 FPS.

    6.6 Grs with a 125 Gr JHP @ 1.270 OAL gave about 1300 to 1325 FPS.

    Start low and work up, use at your on risk.
     
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  4. rdtompki

    rdtompki Member

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    Thanks. I'd definitely be starting low as I don't have a need to get the max out of the round. I hadn't looked at +P, but makes perfect sense that they would develop that sort of load. Our steel challenge 9mm 1911s set up for very soft loads will cycle 115gr with as little as 3.7gr WSF although our standard load uses N320; I won't be changing the springing in the Kimber so I'll try the bottom of +P and see how that feels. Might be able to go a bit lower. I've got a ton of WSF so I'm looking for "opportunities" to load with that.
     
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  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    6.0 was logged as "a lot of fouling". It cleaned up as I increased the charge. I did not see when in the notes. WSF worked well in 9MM. I chose other powders in .38 Super, but it would have done the job.
     
  6. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    In my experience with a Kimber Target II in 38 Super, WSF turned out to be one of my favorites. Also on that short list is VV N340 and Accurate No7.

    However, be advised 2 other factors turned out to be bigger contributors to reliability, which you should probably consider...

    ► There is more than one cartridge case design for 38S. When using mixed range brass I noticed that my Kimber refused to reliably extract 38 Super Comp brass. I swapped extractors to a high-end Brownells model and the problem persisted. I don't have enough 38 TJ brass to draw a conclusion. Zero issues with standard 38 Super Auto brass.
    ► Wide mouth hollow points failed to negotiate the Kimber feed ramp. Berry Mfg 124gr target HP repeatedly failed to negotiate the feed ramp at any OAL and with multiple brands of magazines. This led me to surmise that bullets with a meplat of 0.200" or larger should be avoided, including FP and HP. However, all weights of Speer Gold Dots and Hornady XTPs fed reliably.

    Hope this helps !
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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  7. DeadEye9

    DeadEye9 Member

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    I used to shoot/load a good bit of .38 Super and my notes show 6.3gr WSF at 1.275" was accurate and very pleasant to shoot. I was using Federal and CCI primers, commercial Rem/Fed/Win brass and 125gr .356 FMJ from Zero. I eventually ended up moving to different powders and then getting away from most of my .38 Suoers in general, but it worked pretty well. Just for kicks I did some testing a few months back with CFE Pistol and .38 Super and got some Super accurate loads with that powder.
    (Pun intended)
    My .38 Super test beds are Colt 1911 Gov't Competition model w/ dual springs and a RIA 1911 A1.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I was shooting the Zero # 161 .356 125 Gr JHP. Bought 3K of them. I need some more, although I have other options that shoot well.
     
  9. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    My older .38 Supers as you would expect failed with the new Super Comp brass. In August I bought a new SS Colt Govt. It will extract all 3 of the .38 Super Ctgs. It was a pleasant surprise. :)
     
  10. DeadEye9

    DeadEye9 Member

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    How do you like the new SS Colt? I'm not big into .38 Super anymore as I've just gone to other cartridges but I've been eyeing one at the LGS the past couple weeks. Thing looks so good clean but I want to take it out and get it good and dirty lol.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I shoot .38 Super Comp brass with no issues. This Powerbond bullet shoots well in .38 Super. Hard to beat the Zeros though.
     
  12. DeadEye9

    DeadEye9 Member

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    Have you been able to get the Zeros for decent price as of late? I haven't found them for anything I would call good in a while now. Xtreme offers some good alternatives though. Haven't tried the Powerbond. XTPs/HAPs from Hornady have always proved very accurate in my experience as well in all calibers. Also Nosler sporting handgun JHPs. Neither of those tend to be volume friendly in price though, but they'll drive nails from a stock gun with the right charge all day long.
     
  13. rdtompki

    rdtompki Member

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    I'm going to dedicate my Hornday LNL to WSF for 38 Super and 45ACP. These guns are for change of pace from our 9mm compeition and self defense guns although I'm going to put either my DW CBOB or the Kimber in 38S on my permit. the good thing about the LNL is the ease of caliber change. My 1050 is 9mm only.
     
  14. DeadEye9

    DeadEye9 Member

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    Oh your local requires you to specify which pistols are to be carried with your permit? That's different, we just get the permit and then can carry whatever. I could go from carrying an M&P9 one day to an AR Pistol the next if I wanted to. I stay pretty boring with my daily carry though; for the past 7 years my primary has been either a Glock 19 or 32 although when I first got my CCW I carried 1911s or some other .45 ACP for the first 2-3 years. I think .38 Super with the right load would make a good defensive pistol. Go with something that is proven to expand and still penetrate deep enough and you should be good to go with either of those options for carry provided they are reliable and not ultra sensitive range guns. Competition/race guns and builds very rarely make good carry pieces.
     
  15. noylj

    noylj Member

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    WSF works in my .38 Supers, but no where near as accurate as Silhouette, True Blue, or AA7.
    Just for reference:
    Handgun Max, psi
    9mm Luger 35,000
    9mm Luger +P 38,500
    38 Super Auto +P 36,500 (SAAMI ordered cartridges to be marked +P to differentiate from .38 Auto. There is NO .38 Super that is not +P).
     
  16. DeadEye9

    DeadEye9 Member

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    Technically SAAMI does have a standard .38 Super but calls it .38 Auto and is rated for 26,500 psi.
     
  17. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    I really like the new Colt 1911 SS .38 Super. The only up grade is the Green Crimson Trace grip laser. I no longer shoot in competition so it will be my stock shooter.
    Walkalong,is a good source for loading the .38 Super. He is very familer with that caliber.:)
     
  18. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    It's a very strange, even after detailed examination. My Kimber trips up on extracting 38 Super Comp brass (~.384 rim), but with a barrel swap will feed and extract 9x23 Win (~.388 rim) just fine.
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I asked all the same questions when I got a .38 Super and when I wanted to get a 9MM barrel for one. I have always been told some will run with Super Comp and some won't. Some will run a 9MM barrel/brass without tweaking and some won't. I guess I got lucky. :)
     
  20. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Just as a bit of added info for hand loaders... back when powder was nearly unobtainable, super expensive and rare... I came across some Vihtavuori N105. Although it cost me an arm and a butt at the time, I absolutely LOVE this stuff in my .38 Super. My chrono won't work on the pistol, but the estimated velocity in the loading table for a 130 grain FMJ (9.4 gr of N105) is 1,348 FPS. That's smokin' right along. My Kimber Pro Carry HD (all stainless) eats this stuff like candy. If you see any of this powder around, give it a try. Accurate, fast, and clean. Too bad it's so expensive.
     
  21. DeadEye9

    DeadEye9 Member

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    I've found that's a good way to describe all Viht powders. 320/340 3N37 etc are all good choices. In fact I've used a few different rifle and pistol powders from them and it's all good quality, clean burning and accurate powder. The cost however is generally more than most choices from Hodgdon and Alliant though atleast in my neck of the woods.
     
  22. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Here too. I remember back during the height of the panic, one gun shop was trying to charge $58 for a pound of it!
     
  23. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    A series 70 1911 is the platform for my old .38sup. It is quite modified with custom SS barrel, sights, etc. Accurate to a fault but I fire mainly .38auto reloads and lead bullets and the cases barely tip over the edge of the ejection port eliminating the need to "chase brass". Velocity is just under 1100 fps.
     
  24. noylj

    noylj Member

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    >Technically SAAMI does have a standard .38 Super but calls it .38 Auto and is rated for 26,500 psi.

    I'm confused as to the point. .38 Auto was NEVER designated or called .38 Super. There was no change to .38 Super loads when SAAMI decided the round had to have a +P designation--but it sure has caused a lot of confusion.
    For 9mm, .38 spl, and .45 Auto, +P means about 2500 psi over standard pressure, so a .38 Auto +P would be about 29,000 psi, whereas .38 Super has always been a 36,500 psi round.
     
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