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Thread: .38 Specials Shooting and Loading.

  1. #11
    Site Supporter 03RN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost River View Post
    Rim Rock makes some nice looking hard cast bullets.

    They sure do
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Lost River View Post
    The load tested was 4.7 grains of Unique and a 148 grain hard cast SWC from Rim Rock.

    ...

    The 4" Model 15 Combat Masterpiece they averaged 820 fps.

    Nice.

    Unless it's changed, 4.7 is book max for standard pressure for 158gr cast and one of the few powders that could comfortably make 125 PF without going +P. I got similar results from a 4" L-frame, almost 130 PF on the nose.
    Last edited by jh9; 09-20-2020 at 04:06 AM.

  3. #13
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    @Lost River - Loading those wadcutters with the same charge as the SWCs and seating them to crimp in the crimp groove will result in higher velocity and pressure. I’d back off a half grain and go from there.

  4. #14
    158gr LSWC 3 grains of Trail Boss .. one of favorite..

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    My older S&W model 36 .. this was my Dads only DA/SA centerfire handgun ..
    Seems like its point of aim with 158gr bullets pushed at standard velocities..

  5. #15
    Member Wheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye63 View Post
    158gr LSWC 3 grains of Trail Boss .. one of favorite..

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    My older S&W model 36 .. this was my Dads only DA/SA centerfire handgun ..
    Seems like its point of aim with 158gr bullets pushed at standard velocities..
    As a rule of thumb, all of the older S&W 38s were regulated for the 158 grain bullets running at around 750-850fps. That's not a big deal with the adjustable sight guns but is kind of a big deal with any of the fixed sight guns.

    I have a 3", round butt model 36 that's not nearly as nice as your dad's. They are great little pistols.
    Men freely believe that which they desire.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheeler View Post
    As a rule of thumb, all of the older S&W 38s were regulated for the 158 grain bullets running at around 750-850fps. That's not a big deal with the adjustable sight guns but is kind of a big deal with any of the fixed sight guns.
    My 642 is unfortunately set up for 125s. I have 2k 158 RNL loaded plus 3.5k Berry’s 158 plated RNs in boxes, had to buy some 125s and work up a load for them.

  7. #17
    Member Wheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck38 View Post
    My 642 is unfortunately set up for 125s. I have 2k 158 RNL loaded plus 3.5k Berry’s 158 plated RNs in boxes, had to buy some 125s and work up a load for them.
    The 642s and 442s are relatively new having come out in 1990, discontinued in 1993 and reintroduced in 1996. S&W got sort of weird during that time period with some of the newer guns being regulated for 125/130 grain bullets while continuing to produce others that were still regulated for 158s. I should have been more clear about what I mean by "older guns."

    With that being said, it's quite obvious that you just need to get yourself a model 10 to run all those 158s through.
    Men freely believe that which they desire.
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  8. #18
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    @Wheeler- I’ve got two M10s, two M14s, a M67, plus a 681, a 27 and a 28, and they’re all zeroed/registered for 158s. I was just hoping I could feed everything from the same ammo can.

  9. #19
    Member gato naranja's Avatar
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    I prefer a 158 gr LSWC to almost anything else for both .38 Special and low- to mid-range .357 Magnum. One of my "causes for puzzlement/pet peeves" is that for nearly 30 years, my local ranges never seem to have them available.
    gn

    (un VIEJO gato naranja... and still skeptical about humans)

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck38 View Post
    @Lost River - Loading those wadcutters with the same charge as the SWCs and seating them to crimp in the crimp groove will result in higher velocity and pressure. I’d back off a half grain and go from there.
    The bad part about all of this is that I have used a bunch of Unique as well as Clays for .38 loads in the past. However unless it is written down on the box I loaded I cannot recall, as I have been very bad about not documenting my handloading. Plus the short version is that I have memory issues that apparently stem from getting my bell wrung (rockets and mortars) while in Iraq, so some of this is just confirming what I think I remember, as I have found a couple of instances not related to loading that what I remember is a little off. Times, dates, names, etc.

    Now I write everything down in multiple places, and testing everything over and over just to confirm.

    I am glad you posted, what I should have caught.

    The higher pressure obviously makes sense with the reduced internal capacity. I will load some and see what kind of velocity they produce. I don't want them to be uncomfortable for people to shoot in their snubby guns.

    In the past I have used a fair bit of Clays and it works great for low recoil loads, however it is not ideal for higher end loads as compared to Unique. It makes a great small game getter.



    The Trader Joes tin will hold 24 wadcutter rounds and a pair of earplugs. Toss a rubber band around it as insurance against inadvertent opening in your pocket and you are G2G.




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