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38 auto antique


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My dad has really gotten into antique colts recently. He's picked up some 1905's and 1907's pistols. He asked me about reloading them but they aren't in my Speer or Lyman book.

Does anyone have any older books laying around that can give me a recipe or direct me to a source? We have a few hundred 38 auto cases, but I have been told that after those are gone, I can use 38 super cases.

Any help is much appreciated.


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Looking at the 7th Edition from Hornady the 38 Auto and 38 Super cases are the same. SAAMI shows for the chamber and round drawings for the 38 Auto to see the 38 Super drawing. Please remember not to use the 38 Super load data for the 38 Auto! The SAAMI specs for the above are for case and chamber dimensions only and NOT chamber pressures, those are separate SAAMI specs.

The 7th Hornady shows the following for starting loads for the 38 Automatic.

110gr .357" dia

COAL 1.100"

700x 4.4gr

Bullseye 4.5gr

Unique 5.4

115gr .355" dia

COAL 1.115"

Red Dot 4.0gr

Bullseye 4.2gr

Unique 5.1gr

1.25gr .357" dia

COAL 1.060"


Bullseye 4.1gr

Red Dot 4.2gr

Unique 5.2gr

Herco 5.6gr

Take these for what its worth as I do not load this particular load. These are the lowest loads that the book lists.

Hope it helps.

Edited by 45PlottHound
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Those OAL's are all way too short for 38ACP (38 auto). They should start at 1.180 for the 110 to 115 grain bullets and up to 1.260 for the heavier / longer bullets. I also found a max koad of 4.4 of W231 with a 130 grain bullet and that would be at about 1.250 OAL.


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