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.38 Spl - Load Work & Testing

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  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    If you lay a bullet next to an empty case and mark where the base is when seated flush compared to where it is when seated out. It will at least give you a visual reference for thought. Well it's not hard data for reference, it's still good for organising perspective.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,739 Senior Member
    Jay said:
    Just went back through the thread and refreshed my memory, remembering why I ordered a box of these. It seems nobody has posted decent accuracy results with those bullets yet. I’ve got fingers crossed bullsi’s TG loads will be good. If the flush seated round is 4.2 grains, that might be on the warmer side with TG. But just going off memory. 


    There is almost ZERO load data for 130GR jacketed bullets in 38spl.  I went of 125gr loads for title group off the Hodgdon website at the lowest starting load. I’ll fire the first ones from an N-frame 357 just to make sure there are no pressure signs on the primer before I fire them through the Model 10s
    Are you going to use Titegroup or something else?
    I have load data for 130 grain jhp using HS6 and HP38 in standard pressure.
    If you're using Titegroup, I think 4.2 would be a very safe load as long as you load long at the cannelure. It's my guess that even 4.5 would be a safe load (plus-pish maybe but would work). Certainly safe in a 357 Mag revolver.
    Anyway, let us know what happens.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,348 Senior Member
    I had the impression the loads were 38sp. If they are 357 mag using mag primers, interestingly Hodgdon shows a smaller charge of Titegroup. 3.3 grains is max with a 148 wad cutter using a magnum primer. I would still proceed with extreme caution. Granted, the bullet being used is a 13 grains lighter. But almost 1 grain of powder over book max on a 13 grain heavier bullet still gives me a little pause... It COULD be ok.  It might not. I would still start well below 4 grains and work up .1 at a time.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,348 Senior Member
    Again, keep in mind, the long seated bullets are just fine.  But you definitely should not use regular JHP load data for the loads where the bullets are seated flush with the case mouth. You've just changed a major dimension and the load data will not be the same. That's why I'd stick with wad cutter loads.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,038 Senior Member
    Cranked one of the long loaded one across a chrono out of a 4” barrel and came up with 858 FPS. 

    Slower than I thought it would be. 
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,739 Senior Member
    Cranked one of the long loaded one across a chrono out of a 4” barrel and came up with 858 FPS. 

    Slower than I thought it would be. 
    (212 ft-lbs and 111 PF)
    What was the load out for it (how many grains of what powder?).
    So far so good though, it seems. Room for improvement maybe 👍
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,038 Senior Member
    This load was 4.2 Grains of Titegroup on the 'long' (crimped in the cannelure) load.  

    I'll try and get to the range and see if they are at all accurate before popping a few in gel to see if they will expand.

    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,038 Senior Member


    Offhand at 10 yards, single action. Running at just under 900fps, this just may work. Stand by for gel test
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,038 Senior Member
    One shot into bare gel-



    Expanded to .73” and penetrated 10.2” inches of gel from a 4” barrel. 

    Need to load a couple more and see how it does from a sub2” barrel. 

    If nothing else, it’s some interesting results
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 2,969 Senior Member
    One shot into bare gel-



    Expanded to .73” and penetrated 10.2” inches of gel from a 4” barrel. 

    Need to load a couple more and see how it does from a sub2” barrel. 

    If nothing else, it’s some interesting results
    Oh I like that!
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,447 Senior Member
    Nice!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,739 Senior Member
    That looks good 👍

    Any noticeable signs or hints of excessive pressure?
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,038 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    That looks good 👍

    Any noticeable signs or hints of excessive pressure?
    Nope.  Very mild recoil, primers are very rounded, and the cases extracted very easy. Very mild mannered from what I can tell.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,739 Senior Member
    That's good to hear.
    Blazer runs their 158 grain 38 +Ps at about 850 fps (barrel length unknown) so I figure you can leave them as is, or you could also bump them up slightly.
    In a vintage 38 spl, I'd leave them be and call it good but if you want to carry them in your 357 revolver, you could bump them up a bit (maybe 4.5). Should make a nice trail load.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,038 Senior Member
    Here is what it did in a snub barrel. 10” penetration and incomplete expansion


    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,447 Senior Member
    Zee said:

    Neither load was very accurate in my gun. Noticeable difference in recoil between the two loads. And velocity!

    The deep seated 4.0gr load was slower than I want for this Bullet. So, I didn’t even expansion test that load. It was a powder puff in recoil, though. 

    The long seated load with 6.6gr Unique was more to my velocity liking at 989 fps but, accuracy still wasn’t great. 
    It was an impressive 3 Jugger on penetration. The best of all the loads I’ve tried in consideration of penetration + expansion. 





    Not sure what I’m going to do. I could play around and try for better accuracy. But I’m not sure 10ths of grains are gonna do it for me. I don’t want to lose velocity, that’s for sure. Or at least not much. 
    I’ll see how the other guys fair with their loads and maybe go from there. 
    Right at 1,000 fps seemed to work well for my loads. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Two of the holes of the faster load look like possible bullet wobble. The tighter group of the lighter load and the concentric edges of those holes could be indicative of better stability at slower speed.

    Carry on.
    :-)
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,739 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Zee said:

    Neither load was very accurate in my gun. Noticeable difference in recoil between the two loads. And velocity!

    The deep seated 4.0gr load was slower than I want for this Bullet. So, I didn’t even expansion test that load. It was a powder puff in recoil, though. 

    The long seated load with 6.6gr Unique was more to my velocity liking at 989 fps but, accuracy still wasn’t great. 
    It was an impressive 3 Jugger on penetration. The best of all the loads I’ve tried in consideration of penetration + expansion. 





    Not sure what I’m going to do. I could play around and try for better accuracy. But I’m not sure 10ths of grains are gonna do it for me. I don’t want to lose velocity, that’s for sure. Or at least not much. 
    I’ll see how the other guys fair with their loads and maybe go from there. 
    Right at 1,000 fps seemed to work well for my loads. 

    Looks good for close range work 👍

    Sure the accuracy could be better but roughly ~ 2.5" at 10 yds is workable.
    On the plus side, 282 ft-lbs and a PF of ~ 128.6 is pretty good.
    In IDPA stock revolver, the PF floor is 105 and the BUG category is 95. So your loads are up there with the 9mm guys. 😁

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

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