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idleclamp

.38spcl IDPA load

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I’m going to be picking up a new revolver (not sure which one yet) to compete in IDPA.  It will be .38spcl and a 4-ish inch barrel.  I will most likely run 142-158 grain either plated or jacketed bullets.  I’m new to .38spcl but not new to or reloading or IDPA.

 

I’m looking for suggestions on powder and loads.  It needs to be somewhat accurate and make power factor of 105, so at least 665fps with a 158 grain bullet.  I would probably like the velocity about 700fps to give some wiggle room.  

 

Suggestions? 

 

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I’ve gone through this process with lots of experimentation. I recommend bayou bullets 160 gn. Their bullet profile makes for very fast entry in the charge holes.
In therms of powder, i tried a few. W231 was accurate but both temperature and case position sensitive. Bullseye was great but a little dirty. N320 is great but expensive. I tried the new Sport Pistol and it was pretty good but i haven’t tested it enough to give a full opinion, but all things point to it being a great powder.
My favorite right now is American Select, as long as you can get it to meter right, since it is large flakes. Super soft and super clean super accurate.
4.0 gns over a 160 gn bullet gives me 127 power factor. You could scale it back to get the power factor you’re looking for.


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That is some good information.  I haven't tried the new Sport Pistol powder.  I use bullseye pretty much exclusively for a long time.

Berry's 158  round nose. SNS 160 or 147 xtreme .357.  The last seem to work good in a 9mm as well.

 

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I have a bunch of N320.  Maybe I’ll try that.  I’ve also heard some like American Select, but sounded like there is some issues with metering.

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4 hours ago, dannyd said:

easiest round you will ever load  there's about 116 years of load data  :)

 

And yet, there doesn’t seem to be any clear winning combinations.?

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4.0 or 4.3 gr of Win 231 and any 140 to 160 gr bullet. I prefer the Bayou 147 or the Blue Bullets 147. 231 can be case sensitive, but, as long as you are not trying to go too low on the charge it's not too bad.

And/or you can cut the cases down (mine are @ .900) and use around 4.0 gr 231. Soft, accurate, quicker on the reloads.

Good luck and happy shooting.

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19 minutes ago, Dr. Phil said:

4.0 or 4.3 gr of Win 231 and any 140 to 160 gr bullet. I prefer the Bayou 147 or the Blue Bullets 147. 231 can be case sensitive, but, as long as you are not trying to go too low on the charge it's not too bad.

And/or you can cut the cases down (mine are @ .900) and use around 4.0 gr 231. Soft, accurate, quicker on the reloads.

Good luck and happy shooting.

 

What gun are you using and what is the velocity?

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3 hours ago, idleclamp said:

 

And yet, there doesn’t seem to be any clear winning combinations.?

4.0 or 4.3 of 231 work good with a 150 or 160 gr bullet also HP-38 and 231 are the same powder.

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I have some HP-38 that I tried in .45acp. Didn’t like it. I plan on trying it again with .38 special. Played bullets? Moly coated?

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12 minutes ago, idleclamp said:

I have some HP-38 that I tried in .45acp. Didn’t like it. I plan on trying it again with .38 special. Played bullets? Moly coated?

I only use lead bullets.     I have used HP-38 and w231 for 30 years good powder if use with right load.

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I shoot mostly coated. Bayou, Blue, etc are moly. I have a guy that makes powder coated bullets. Really nice. No need for more at min PF and under.

I use the above load in a 6" 686at a 128PF (147 gr bullet) and a TRR8 at slightly less (126 or 127PF I think due to the 5" barrel). That is in .900 cases so the load is a bit more efficient AKA powder not position sensitive.

YMMV

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My IDPA revolver load is 3.6 grains HP-38 or Win 231 under a 160 grain coated SNS RN, 1.55 OAL.  The 160's seem to have a longer ogive which aids in reloads compared to the 158 grain RN.  One thing to note is that most 160 grain bullets don't have cannelures for roll crimps, so I use a taper crimp.  This load makes 700 FPS out of my 686 SSR.  However, the last time I was chronographed as a sanctioned match is was about 100 degrees outside and I chronoed closer to 750 FPS.  Like others have said, win 231 can be both temp and position sensitive.  I've tried Sport Pistol as well but wasn't too impressed with the SD

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I shoot mostly Ibejihead 160 RN and the 165 gr. NLG RN is a really great bullet . I will use Bayou 160 gr. when he runs a free shipping special on a case order. My Dillon 550 will not meter Clay, Clay Dot or American Select powders consistently so I've settled on RamShot Competition as it's clean burning and doesn't seem to be as position sensitive as some powders. I am loading 3.0 grs with the 160 gr. and 2.8 grs with the 165 gr. NLG both with a 1.53" OAL at about 112 PF from a 4" S&W 66 .

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Awesome, thanks.  I just ordered a 686SSR and some various 100 round packs of plated bullets that I found.  Hopefully, I’ll get some reloaded and tested in the next month or so before it goes to the gunsmith for some improvements.

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