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.38 Spl - Load Work & Testing

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  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,650 Senior Member
    FYI, In new Starline 357 Mag cases, the long ones DO fit in a S&W 686 cylinder
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,566 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Zee said:
    GunNut said:
    Zee said:
    Thanks guys. I pulled the Bullets. 

    What load should I start with?
    How the hell did you pull the flush seated ones?
    Kinetic 
    Do you recover the powder when you do that?
    With rifles cartridges, I do. There was so little pistol powder........I didn’t worry about it. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    GunNut said:
    Zee said:
    GunNut said:
    Zee said:
    Thanks guys. I pulled the Bullets. 

    What load should I start with?
    How the hell did you pull the flush seated ones?
    Kinetic 
    Do you recover the powder when you do that?
    With rifles cartridges, I do. There was so little pistol powder........I didn’t worry about it. 
    Ok, that makes sense.  Thanks!

  • pjames777pjames777 Senior Member Posts: 1,421 Senior Member
    edited July 2020 #155
    I'm no help fore SD loads I use factory ammo.  Carry a .38SPL as my primary.  I expect IF I had to use it it would be a short distance shot.  Factory +P SD ammo Hornady or Federal.

    I should clarify that using factory/commercial ammo in my CC guns is also about not being challenged that I "made and extra lethal load" to insure bodily injury or death.  As I'm sure some attorney/DA would attempt to show as 'intent' of some kind.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,650 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:


    I know it's been a while since I posted the ammo. Finally getting my stuff together to go test them. 
    Watch this space for results in a few hours 
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,584 Senior Member
    Looking forward to it. Go test already, collect as much data as possible including velocity.
    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

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,650 Senior Member



    These 2 are from the 4"  Left is 6.0gr of unique, seated "zee height"  (seated flush) MV was 1108 from the 4"
    On the right is 17.0 of  Li'L gun, seated long and they had a MV of 1250fps. Both dented the side of a fourth just and the faster one BARELY made it into #4



    Same pic, with the addition of the Li'l gun load from the 6" on the top center. MV 1290fps. It made it into the 4th jug. The 6.0 unique load, from the 6" made it out of jug #3, dented and bounced off #4 and headed off to parts unknown

    Here are the test platforms. Both 686-3's
    The 6" has been D&T'd for the scope base



    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,650 Senior Member
    Accuracy, from 10 paces. Li'l gun from scoped 6" was a ~5" group.
    Unigue load from the iron sighted 4" was ~3"
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,584 Senior Member
    edited August 2020 #160
    I'm impressed with the terminal performance. I kinda expected more petal shearing and loss of bullet weight but they held together really well.
    I'm a little let down on the accuracy. Assuming you don't have a really long stride, 10 paces isn't too far. 5 inch groups, 3 inch groups. Any ideas why this could have happened? Shooter error or do you believe it's just the bullet?
    Still, at bedroom distances, it would make a reasonable round. But I certainly would want to to see better accuracy.

    Great info Knite. Thx. 👍
    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

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,650 Senior Member
    edited August 2020 #161
    Since the 6" has been tuned, coned, cylinder squared, and a detent added to the crane, I have to put it on the bullet.

    Since they were experimental loads, I trickled and weighed each charge. I will say, at that distance, I probably had some parallax error in the scope which might be why the iron sighted one shot better

    Since these bullets were sold as "seconds", something wonky in the manufacturing hurting accuracy could be why they sold them instead of loading them. Otherwise, they could have probably made more $$ selling them in loaded ammo instead
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Being light in the nose might be more novel than practical?

    Still pretty good for factory second bullets .
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,650 Senior Member
    Since 1K was my target velocity with unique, I'll probably load some at 5.5gr of unique and see what they do, though the 1100fps seemed to work well enough that I might just load up 40 more and call it good
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,566 Senior Member
    The lack of accuracy has been my consternation as well. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,791 Senior Member
    Digging this one back up to the top…



    Finally got some small pistol primers, and loaded up some test loads with Titegroup. Loaded 4.2 grains. 
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,854 Senior Member
    Digging this one back up to the top…



    Finally got some small pistol primers, and loaded up some test loads with Titegroup. Loaded 4.2 grains. 
    What projectile is that?
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,791 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I just ordered 200 of these. I was waiting for reviews and they are all good so far. That, and free shipping. So, with great reviews and free shipping.......they are on the way. 


    It's this one (Discussion of this bullet starts at the bottom of page 2)
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,650 Senior Member
    38 spcl+ Fed 130gr HST
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,566 Senior Member
    Wonder how that would handle .347 Mag velocities. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,584 Senior Member
    How fast is .347 mag velocities?
    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: 26,566 Senior Member
    Shut up, you. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
    Slightly less than .357, just under .348, but a little faster than .327 😁
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,375 Senior Member
    Slightly less than .357, just under .348, but a little faster than .327 😁
    I don't know, stuffing a .358 down a .347 bore I suspect will slow it down dramatically :#
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
    sakodude said:
    Slightly less than .357, just under .348, but a little faster than .327 😁
    I don't know, stuffing a .358 down a .347 bore I suspect will slow it down dramatically :#
    But it will accelerate other parts flying off the gun 😁
    I’m baaaaaaaaack… 😬
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,194 Senior Member
    I ordered a box of those bullets back then too.  They are still sitting on my shelf, where I put them when I got them... I'm slacking... 
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,194 Senior Member
    edited September 23 #176
    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. 

    I’ve got a couple other tricks up my sleeve. I’m getting ammo loaded for my annual 25 yard shootout. I’ve got some brand new 38 and 357 brass. I’ll try to get something stuck together and test while I’m getting my 25 yard stuff dialed in. 
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,566 Senior Member
    It’s an interesting concept. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,791 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
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,650 Senior Member
    Should be fine, as long as you're not seating them flush.
    Having that big honkin' HP, they're: 1) LONG for their weight;  2) take up a LOT of room in the case; 2) have a lot of bearing surface.

    I was surprised with the shape of my primers with 6.0gr of Unique in magnum cases. For reference Alliant lists 7.7gr of unique with a 158gr in 357mag
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,791 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Should be fine, as long as you're not seating them flush.
    Having that big honkin' HP, they're: 1) LONG for their weight;  2) take up a LOT of room in the case; 2) have a lot of bearing surface.

    I was surprised with the shape of my primers with 6.0gr of Unique in magnum cases. For reference Alliant lists 7.7gr of unique with a 158gr in 357mag
    You think the seated flush ones would be unsafe?  Because I did both.  I can pull them no problem
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,194 Senior Member
    edited September 23 #181
    I think I would definitely rethink the flush seated loads. Your long loads seem fine. Gotta keep in mind, seating those flush is taking up a lot of space in the case, which will cause pressure to increase. Also, there’s a lot more bearing surface of the bullet contacting the case, so it will take more force to get the bullet to start moving. Those two things could cause pressure to spike. And title group is a powder than can spike quick anyway. I’d look more at load data for 148 grain wad cutters, since that’s basically what you’re building, just with a jacketed hp. Hog don says 3.6 as max load with with the 148 wc. That’s why I was thinking 4.2 might be a little on the warm side. Could be fine. But I’d be more inclined to start at 3.6 and maybe work up to 4. Keep in mind, .2 doesn’t sound like much. But with titegroup, the difference between starting and max load with the 148wc is 1/2 a grain. 
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