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.38 Spl - Load Work & Testing

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  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    Thanks guys. I pulled the Bullets. 

    What load should I start with?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,369 Senior Member
    If you seated to the canelure you could probably do 6.5 grains. Seating them like a wadcutter, I’d probably start with 4 grains, chronograph and adjust from there. I plan to seat mine to the canelure. I don’t have a 38 special chambered gun, so mine will only be used in 357 mag chambers. 
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,369 Senior Member
    edited July 2020 #94
    If Lyman say you can do 4.2gr with a flush seated 158 grain lead, I’d feel pretty good with 4 grains and a deep seated 130gr jacketed bullet. If one really wanted to play it safe, 3.8 grains might be a good start. 
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    Thanks again, guys. Probably saved my Carney Hands. 4.0gr Unique loaded.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    I'd crimp them in the canelure if they don't exceed the cylinder length. They're likely not prone to entering the throats crooked because of the cylindrical shape so maybe flush seating is fine.

    Im glad you didn't shoot those in that danty little gun.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,369 Senior Member
    Looking forward to seeing the results with that load. 👍
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Ah, didn't realize that. It'll take less powder to get the desired speed with em' seated flush. Good economy in a drought......
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    edited July 2020 #99
    Probably won’t seat in the cylinder. 
    I’ll go try one. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    edited July 2020 #100
    Well, they fit fine!
    Guess I’ll load some up that way as well!
    Then I can use 6.6gr Unique! 😁

    Yes?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member

    Alright.....THESE are loaded with 6.6gr Unique!  The same load I used for the 125gr Magnus Bullets earlier in the thread. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    They look pretty both ways.

    Your pics are so good, I just noticed the elaborate full length scoring of the jacket for aiding symmetrical expansion. Impressive.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Be interested in your chronograph results between the 2 charges. 2 COALs
    I am too. That’s why I did it. 
    Science!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,369 Senior Member
    Yeah, they might be a little warm for a non +p rated gun with that bullet. But I don’t think they’d be unreasonable if you’re not gonna shoot a lot of them. 6 gr would probably be a bit better for something that’s going to be shot much. Just my guess. I’m looking forward to the report as well. 
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,369 Senior Member
    They do look cool. 😎 Can’t wait to get mine and give them a try. Wonder what the upper velocity threshold is on those?.... 🤔 
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member

    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. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    Without velocities........it’s incomplete data. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    Interested to see how accurate they’ll be at that speed. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    The target with the heavier charge has two holes out of the three that appear slightly elongated as if the bullet may not have been completely stable in flight.

    The expansion looks to be completely in depth back to the full length of the cavity. Expansion could maybe be as good at reduced speed?

    Given the better accuracy of the slower load and above observations. A slightly slower speed could maybe offer a desired effect?
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    Eh, I may try a Trail Boss load then. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Zee said:
    Interested to see how accurate they’ll be at that speed. 
    Considering I'll only be loading 1 or 2 that fast, won't really know
    Though I suspect it would be "okay" 
    If you’re gonna do it.......might as well get the data. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,746 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Eh, I may try a Trail Boss load then. 
    I finally got some free time and read all the other posts. I'm really glad you didn't blow yourself up or damage that gun experimenting. 😌

    Anyway, there should be a load in 38 that your revolver actually likes. Considering how thoroughly the bullet expanded tells me you have wiggle room to go up or down (most likely down) in velocity where the groups will tighten up without losing too much performance.
    Like you, I'm waiting for what the other guys come up with.
    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: 12,083 Senior Member
    Hmm.  I may have to load some in the Titegroup powder I found today and see if I can get some tighter groupings than you did.

    Might actually chrono them as well
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,369 Senior Member
    I’d bet Titegroup will give better accuracy and velocity, based on my experience with it. Playing the 25 yard bullseye game, I tend to go to that powder a lot. But, I caution everyone I tell about that powder, it’s not Unique. Often you’ll see book data with less than 1/2 a grain difference between starting load and max load. It’s a fast powder. You’ll see better velocity and accuracy pretty frequently. But .3gr could be the difference between bang and boom... on the plus side, at 4 grains per charge, you can get 14,000 charges out of 8 pounds of powder..

    Ill be trying those bullets seated to the canelure with Titegroup when I get mine. Only thing is, the shortest gun I haven’t is a 6” GP100. 
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    edited July 2020 #115
    Trail Boss loads are made. Was able to put 4.6gr in the case just below the bullet base. I don’t  expect it to be fast. But, if it’s accurate, I’ll do an expansion test regardless. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    Oh!  The recovered bullet weighed 121 grains of its original 130 grains. 
    Stopping in the 3rd jug. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    Trail Boss load was NOT accurate (hand size at 10yrds) and only running 560 fps. 

    No go. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JunkCollectorJunkCollector Posts: 1,090 Senior Member
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,746 Senior Member
    edited July 2020 #119
    Zee said:
    Trail Boss load was NOT accurate (hand size at 10yrds) and only running 560 fps. 

    No go. 
    Here's what Alliant says:

    38 Special +p
    125 GDHP 6" barrel and Unique @ 6 grains (1082 f/s)

    38 Special standard pressure
    125 GDHP 6" barrel and Unique @ 5.7 grains (980f/s)

    Also, 38 Special +p
    135 GDHP  6" barrel and Unique @ 5.2 grains (988f/s)

    The trend here when using a heavier bullet is to use a lighter charge (maybe 5.6).

    Since you're already off the reservation. You might want to try something between 6.0 and 6.3
    If you want something "safer" or less "wear and tear" on the gun, I wouldn't go above 5.7 (4.7-5.3 in the standard pressure-ish range)
    Yeah, velocity is going to suffer but if you can find something in the neighborhood of about 850 f/s, I think the performance of those HST's will be good enough.
    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

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    edited July 2020 #120
    👍🏻

    Oddly though, I’m using the Sierra Loading manual for my powder charges and I’m still below their book max. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,746 Senior Member
    edited July 2020 #121
    I'm sure Alliant is dumbing down the numbers because I have a older Speer manual with higher numbers than what's on the Alliant website but that's what they're listing today.

    I'm thinking, creep the load down until the groups tighten up a bit (6.4, 6.2, 6.0, etc). If the groups don't tighten up then there's not much you can do. Find a speed/performance combo you like and call it good.
    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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