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Dirtchevy841

38 special load data and powder

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Didn’t see a place in reloading forum so I’ll put it here. Just bought my first revolver in 38 special and was wondering what powder to use and any load recipe anybody may have with bullets grains of powder OAL etc. thanks. 

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I'll be interested to see the replies.  I've stayed with 38sp unlike so many that shoot long/short colt.   I've gotten used to reloading with the longer cartridge and now that I have a really nice chamfer on my cylinder, I don't feel it's holding me back all that much at my level (C) of shooting.  Way more other stuff that I need to work on improving!  Anyway, when I first started shooting revolver there was a powder shortage and the only thing I could get was American Select and I've stuck with it since then.  I've never done any accuracy testing or anything but my groups are decent and I like the way it feels.  But, on the other hand, I've never really compared it against anything else.  Data seems hard to find for 38sp for competition shooting.   I load 4.2gr with a 160 Bayou bullet at 1.50 oal.  It made 172 pf at last years area 7 match.  Again, I'm interested in what other folks are using.

 

Edited to change 172 pf to 132 pf!!!!!!

Edited by kimmie

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1 hour ago, kimmie said:

It made 172 pf at last years area 7 match.

Hoping you meant 127 PF

 

I use 3.5-6 grs of Clay Dot, 160 Bayou, Fed spp, COL 1.500

5" 627 its 127PF , used mostly in ICORE where PF is 120

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1 hour ago, jcc7x7 said:

Hoping you meant 127 PF

 

I use 3.5-6 grs of Clay Dot, 160 Bayou, Fed spp, COL 1.500

5" 627 its 127PF , used mostly in ICORE where PF is 120

Oooopppss. I meant 132, lol.

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3 hours ago, kimmie said:

I'll be interested to see the replies.  I've stayed with 38sp unlike so many that shoot long/short colt.   I've gotten used to reloading with the longer cartridge and now that I have a really nice chamfer on my cylinder, I don't feel it's holding me back all that much at my level (C) of shooting.  Way more other stuff that I need to work on improving!  Anyway, when I first started shooting revolver there was a powder shortage and the only thing I could get was American Select and I've stuck with it since then.  I've never done any accuracy testing or anything but my groups are decent and I like the way it feels.  But, on the other hand, I've never really compared it against anything else.  Data seems hard to find for 38sp for competition shooting.   I load 4.2gr with a 160 Bayou bullet at 1.50 oal.  It made 172 pf at last years area 7 match.  Again, I'm interested in what other folks are using.

 

I agree with you, now that my cylinder has been properly chamfered, I don’t see a large gain in loading. However, I have noticed ejection is a lot cleaner with Short Colt. Now that I’ve bought the brass and worked up a load I’ll stick with it. Another vote for American Select even though the number one powder for revolver at the Nationals this year was Clays.

Edited by Mcfoto

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11 hours ago, Mcfoto said:

 

I agree with you, now that my cylinder has been properly chamfered, I don’t see a large gain in loading. However, I have noticed ejection is a lot cleaner with Short Colt. Now that I’ve bought the brass and worked up a load I’ll stick with it. Another vote for American Select even though the number one powder for revolver at the Nationals this year was Clays.

What is your recipe with American Select?  I could go down a little but really don't want to risk the chance of going sub minor. I don't think there's any significant difference in feel between 125 and 132.  I agree that ejection has to be done very purposefully or the cases can get hung up.

Edited by kimmie

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12 hours ago, Mcfoto said:

 

I agree with you, now that my cylinder has been properly chamfered, I don’t see a large gain in loading. 

 

You would if you used SWC's.

 

I do use Titegroup, but the gun gets too hot after about 50 or rounds.  Much prefer Bullseye.  Yeah, yeah I know, dirty.  The reformulated isn't as dirty as the original.

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1 hour ago, kimmie said:

What is your recipe with American Select?  I could go down a little but really don't want to risk the chance of going sub minor. I don't think there's any significant difference in feel between 125 and 132.  I agree that ejection has to be done very purposefully or the cases can get hung up.

 

I’m at 3.7 gr at 1.19 OAL for short colt which gives around 125 PF. If I ever get the courage to shoot Revolver in USPSA I’d bump it up some more.

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Clays or ClayDot would work good.  The secondary reason I stick with the 38 short colt is it takes less powder to make PF.  

With a 160 Bayou coated RN it takes 2.8 gr ClayDot for 820 f/s in a short colt.  With 38 special using the same bullet and same powder it took 3.6 ClayDot to get 740 f/s (only 118 PF) to get to a 130 pf would probably take 4.1 grains.

So there is a price savings you get with the shorter case. 

I can get more loads per pound 2500 rds vs 1700 rds. 

By my calculations with all things equal except the amount of powder and the case my costs come out for 1000 rounds.as $134.26 for 38 Short Colt vs $137.60 for 38 Special.

For a savings per 1000 rounds of $3.34.  Depending on how much shooting you do, for me it works out to around $33.40 per season. 

About the price of a box of 1000 primers or 2 pounds of powder.

The more you shoot the better it gets.  Or the way I look at it, I get to shoot 100+ extra rounds per average season.

Since we rarely lose brass with a revolver the cost of the brass becomes less important.

 

Edited by pskys2

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I use 95 be. Bayou and either Bullseye or Unique mostly because I wanted to get rid of the powder. Can't remember the charge weight. More than you'd think because I had a problem with too light a charge causing the primers to back out. Next time around I'll load with E3, I like it in my revolvers.

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Go with Clays or Clay Dot (I'm reasonably sure they are the same powder now that they both come from Canada) then you can forget how to clean you gun because it will stay so clean inside

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23 minutes ago, MikeBurgess said:

Go with Clays or Clay Dot (I'm reasonably sure they are the same powder now that they both come from Canada) then you can forget how to clean you gun because it will stay so clean inside

 

They are basically the same, I found that I needed a hair more clay dot over clays for the same PF, and clay dot was slightly dirtier. 

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7 minutes ago, alecmc said:

 

They are basically the same, I found that I needed a hair more clay dot over clays for the same PF, and clay dot was slightly dirtier. 

I had similar experiences with the old Clays from Australia but had heard that the new Clays from Canada was also a touch slower than the old version. I have yet to try new Clays as I bought a couple 8lb kegs of Clay dot. Basically once the difference gets to be similar to lot variations I'll call it the same

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21 minutes ago, MikeBurgess said:

I had similar experiences with the old Clays from Australia but had heard that the new Clays from Canada was also a touch slower than the old version. 

 

I've also had the same experience with Australia clays and new Canada clays, I had to bump up my load 0.1 grains to maintain velocity with new Canada clays.

 

 

 

 

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Xtreme 158gr FP plated bullet

5gr Win 231 

Winchester or Tula or Wolf small pistol primer (whatever I was able to get my hands on over the years, but prefer Winchester)

 

These are shot in a GP100 and not sure what FPS they are traveling but they sure put a smack down on steel.

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