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Looking for 38 special reload info

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I just loaded some 38 special. 
Alliant e3...3.2 grains 

130 grain LRNFP with Hi-tek coating

Federal #100 primer

1.450” COAL

Started with 3.0 grains and went to 4.0 grains. 3.2grains had the best grouping of the two pistols I shot them from. 

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On 10/2/2020 at 9:07 AM, Radman17 said:

Hi all,  I'm new to reloading (getting ready to do my first batch), and I'm trying to be super careful with the powder. I'm using 147 grain lead bullets, and Hodgdon TiteGroup powder. The Lee chart says the max I should use is 3.3 grains (2.7CC), but the Hodgdon label says 3.8 grains is the max I should use (3.2cc). Just to be safe, I'd like to get some input from those of you who have reloaded .38 special. What's a good amount (CC) to use with 147 grain lead bullets? (I'm using lead bullets because that's all I could find! As you know, everyone is sold out of just about everything). I don't want to load the max powder load, but something that shoots well, accurate with minimal recoil. Any advice appreciated! Thanks.....


This may be helpful if you have not settled on a fix yet. Powder Valley has Nitro 100 in stock, just minutes ago. I have burned 1/2 a metric ton of this stuff in 38 spl.  A couple other notes. My sliding scale Lee Powder measure  indicated the .3 scoop threw 2.2 gr of Nitro 100. Western Powder edition 5.0 and 7.0 have identical loads listed.

140gr L start 2.7  max 3.0   158gr L start 2.4  Max2.7 . I started with a Lee reloading kit, it worked, life was wonderful. Now I use scales and presses.  As the others have warned you the 38spl is a large case, large enough for some powders to be a bomb. Be careful and welcome to the world of reloading.

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A suggestion on using a dipper, I started with one as well.


1) do not scoop through the powder, instead use a large bowl and push the dipper into the powder and let it flow into the dipper.  Then use a credit card or equivalent, wipe across the top to remove the excess powder.  With a little care you an get consistent powder charges, it's just SLOW!



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