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Thread: Keith's heavy .38

  1. #11
    Member Wheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03RN View Post
    I would think if it was a .357 it would be fine
    Perhaps. Some of the Skeeter Skelton loads for .357 will shoot an L frame loose. Ask me how I know. I figured the .38/44 loads were developed for use in an N frame so Id stick with that for good measure. Besides, its hard to go wrong with a model 28.
    Men freely believe that which they desire.
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  2. #12
    I don't recall any Skeeter load except 13.5 2400 + 156 gas check, seated to bottom crimp groove in .38, top groove in .357. If an L frame can't stand that, it ain't much.
    Sharpe showed way heavy .38 loads, 35000 crusher psi.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  3. #13
    I'd wager that Skeeter's favorite .38 load (a Lyman 358156 gas checked) came from the long loaded Keith loads. That bullet was designed with 2 crimp grooves, one for .38 brass and one for .357 brass. Crimped in the proper groove in a .38 case it will only fit in a .357 chamber. I was never brave enough to take it all the way into Skeeter territory. I used it in .357 brass with 296 powder. But if I were out of .357 brass and running them in an N frame I'd do it.

    Edit: Looks like 2 of hit post at the same time.
    Last edited by Spartan1980; 08-18-2018 at 07:45 PM.

  4. #14
    The R in F.A.R.T RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Considering a steady diet of +P FBI loads will shoot a K-Frame loose, I wouldn't try shooting .357 level rounds in those guns or even a .357 K-Frame.

    L-Frame, N-Frame, GP100, Redhawk.

  5. #15
    Member Wheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    I don't recall any Skeeter load except 13.5 2400 + 156 gas check, seated to bottom crimp groove in .38, top groove in .357. If an L frame can't stand that, it ain't much.
    Sharpe showed way heavy .38 loads, 35000 crusher psi.
    Here's one for starters: "Some loading manuals list the 358156 HP bullet with as much as 16 gr. of 2400 in .357 cases, a top load which gives about 1600 fps velocity. Although well below the acceptable factory pressure level, this load is a bit hot, and I prefer 15 gr. of 2400 for better accuracy, less recoil, and longer case life."

    I have others on actual paper. The one in question was pushing a 125 grain at around 1800 from a 6" barrel. If your L frames will handle that then more power to you and them.
    Men freely believe that which they desire.
    Julius Caesar

  6. #16
    Sharpe shows a number of very heavy loads from back when the only guns were the .357 and a few New Service and SAA, heavy frames.
    Skeeter may have been citing Sharpe on 16 gr 2400 but 15 was pretty well standard for 150-158 grain bullets by the time I got into it with Lyman 44th (the Great Western .357 Atomic was reportedly loaded with 16 gr).

    I have not seen a claim for a 125 at 1800, did Skeeter use that? I wonder if even an N frame would hold up long term with that.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  7. #17
    Member Wheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    Sharpe shows a number of very heavy loads from back when the only guns were the .357 and a few New Service and SAA, heavy frames.
    Skeeter may have been citing Sharpe on 16 gr 2400 but 15 was pretty well standard for 150-158 grain bullets by the time I got into it with Lyman 44th (the Great Western .357 Atomic was reportedly loaded with 16 gr).

    I have not seen a claim for a 125 at 1800, did Skeeter use that? I wonder if even an N frame would hold up long term with that.

    I have some actual copies for loads attributed to Skeeter on paper as well as some .38/44 loads attributed to various sources. If I can find them in my piles of stuff I'll share for academic purposes.

    I've ran those super hot loads through my M28 and a Winchester Model 94 with no noticeable issues, an apples/oranges comparison to be sure but my 686 did NOT like them at all.
    Men freely believe that which they desire.
    Julius Caesar

  8. #18
    Hillbilly Elitist Malamute's Avatar
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    The Ns are heavier duty, but have a certain quirk Ive never quite understood. The cylinder is shorter than the K and L 357s, so a load that fits easily in the latter doesnt fit in an N 357. Some common cast bullets needed to be deep seated in 357 cases that easily fit in K and L cylinders, so its not a totaal win on the Ns. Ive never understood why they didnt lengthen the N 357 cylinders to match the K and L cylinder length, though all factory loads fit the N, which in the end is the likely answer. Its seldom that factories make changes to suit handloaders.

    Several have mentioned L frame 357s being apparently in the same class as some others, meaning way above Ks. LSP 972 and others mentioned that they were in improvement to a degree, but not in the class that many seemed to put them in. They held up longer with full magnum use, but were more in the "some better but not hugely better" to paraphrase.

    I thought I read all of Keiths books but dont recall him blowing up numerous guns. A couple old Colt SA 45s let go for various reasons, one that he attributed to a bad case with a 300 gr load with black powder. It was then that he focused on the 44 spl for the thicker chamber walls and I believe somewhat better brass. Its common for people to dis the old stories of "weak 45 Colt brass", but when I first started loading it in the early 80s, some of the brass I came into, and some very old shells found out in the hills were quite lighter construction than later brass. Keith is often characterized as pushing everything to the limits and beyond. He did experiment above then current loads,which ended up being further developed into factory 357 magnum and 44 magnum chamberings, but wasnt as reckless as many seem to characterize. When the 44 magnum came out, he wrote that the loads he worked up were obviously much less pressure than factory, and he was happy to leave it that way, he thought they went a bit farther than he was comfortable with. His heavy 45-70 loads (53 grs 3031/400 gr cast or jacketed @1800-1850 fps) ended up being a very useful improvement over the then factory level 400 gr loads, and where the levels ended up staying with 1886 and Marlin level loads by Speer and others. They run a shade under 30,000 CUP in pressure, much less than 30-30 factory load chamber pressure.
    Last edited by Malamute; 08-19-2018 at 11:53 AM.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by $teve View Post
    I know this in not from the reloading side of this topic but this is still partially related. Recently shot this Underwood load. It made for a very unpleasant sensation in my had when using my 640. To be honest it was pretty snappy coming out of my 4" 66 to. Attachment 29268
    Dang, that hurts just reading about it.
    ''Politics is for the present, but an equation is for eternity.'' ―Albert Einstein

    Full disclosure per the Pistol-Forum CoC: I am the author of Quantitative Ammunition Selection.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by $teve View Post
    I know this in not from the reloading side of this topic but this is still partially related. Recently shot this Underwood load. It made for a very unpleasant sensation in my had when using my 640. To be honest it was pretty snappy coming out of my 4" 66 to. Attachment 29268
    That's smoking for a 38 spl. My 357mag 158gr LSWC loads are cooking along at 1300 fps with 10gr of Blue Dot which is a max load.

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