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Sydneywizard

Load needed for 38 Special brass

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Anyone have a good recipe for 160GR RN in 38 Special brass, using Unique, Universal or AP70N?

 

Aming for Major PF as I have a 357 Magnum 6 shooter.

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Posted (edited)

I never loaded your mentioned powders for major and dont have any load recommendations (not familiar with AP70N either). Im not sure why your looking for Major in a 38 special, I assume your shooting IDPA?

So you need 1,031 FPS minimum for major, No concern to be able to do that as far as safety goes in a .357 mag case & chambered revo as that is on the lower end of a magnum load. With a 38 special case that little bit shorter case and capacity does alter burn characteristics and pressure curves. So Id choose a powder that offers both published data for 38+p loadings and Light .357 magnum loads in your desired bullet weight. With that in mind Id go with Universal before unique. Unique has too much variation with case position for my liking in this application. Start with the load for 38 +P (don't jump into the starting load for .357 mag). Chronograph for a baseline and then work up gradually while choreographing each increment. Pay attention to the recoil impulse and check for pressure signs and inspect cases closely. Every gun reacts differently so you got to keep an on on all these things closely and abort if something doesn't seem right.  

If the recoil impulse gets uncomfortably sharp Id stop as it wont be comfortable for you to shoot in competition anyway. (Also take note of the .357 max load for the chosen powder & bullet combo and reduce by 15% and that's your max threshold).  

Another thing to consider in your quest is most commercial special brass is usually pretty thin walled and are not tolerant of elevated magnum pressures (starline would be best). Your gonna get split cases, not necessarily on the first firing, but you'll see it by loadings # 2 and 3. Good luck! 

Edited by BallisticianX

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Thanks for that. AP70N and Universal are the same thing and they're manufactured in Australia by ADI. The reason I'm looking for Major is I'm shooting a 6 shooter in IPSC and I'm trying to find some equalisation against the 8 round guns.

 

I know eventually I have to go down the 8 round shooter if I want to stay in revo but for time being, I'm just trying to defy the laws of physics. 😁

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I tried a load from an old Lyman manual that was designated as a .38/44 Heavy Duty load, meant to be used only in N frame .38s.  Six grains of Unique in .38 Special brass under a 170-grain LSWC gave 1077 fps from my 4" 681.  I loaded it for use in my 28-2.  Ain't no way I'd ever use this in one of my K frame .38s.

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I failed to ask what revolver model your feeding here. If its an L or N Frame Smith or a ruger your golden to work out those loads. If your using a K Frame Id re-think. Only because K frame .357's dont tolerate a steady diet of .357 magnum pressure loads without loosening. I can tell you its true; had a model 19 in 6" (my first handgun when I was 21). I shot  158 gr magnum loads out of it all the time (young and didnt know any better) and one day the hammer fell down into the frame and the gun locked up. I took it apart to find the hammer stud snapped off flush at the frame, so began my venture to learn Gunsmithing. Just food for thought.....

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It's a 6" Taurus Model 66, Medium frame so I think that makes it a "K" frame equivalent. I might have to stick to Minor PF until I get the S&W 627 later in the year.

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On 1/8/2019 at 2:58 PM, Sydneywizard said:

It's a 6" Taurus Model 66, Medium frame so I think that makes it a "K" frame equivalent. I might have to stick to Minor PF until I get the S&W 627 later in the year.

I never owned a Taurus but they are essentially S&W clones in copied parts and dimensions with a reputation of lower level fitment of parts compared to a genuine Smith, but Smith has slacked in that as of late too!. If memory serves me the Taurus 66 is a S&W L frame clone in that it's a 7 shot capacity. (A "K" frame or clone cylinder is too small to get 7 rounds). So the L frame equivalent size should be sufficient for what your trying to do. 

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It’s an entry level revolver and I have no illusions about that but she is very accurate and a lot of fun to shoot. The only thing I don’t like about it is the very heavy trigger but I’m hoping the Wolff springs I ordered will rectify that a little.

 

If you had to start again, which revolver would you get?

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