38 special pet loads

I’ve clocked this load at 1,260 from a 6.5″ Ruger OM Blackhawk. Lastly, we have the LBT LFNDCGC, or long, flat-nosed, dual crimp, gas check slug. The .38 Colt. 834 846

734 (in 4 5/8" bbl)* IMR4227(+P)10.7 gr. Titegroup 3.5 gr. Nominal groove diameter for a .36 “Navy” was .375 inch. 935 ----------------------------------------- 1036 FPS MAXIMUM It was headstamped .38-44. Universal 3.5 gr.

Hence the .38 moniker; to put things simply, when a .36-caliber cap-and-ball revolver was converted, it then became a .38 cartridge revolver. -----------------------------------------

Discussion: Bullseye is a faster burning powder and some people feel HP38 4.8 gr. According to U.S. Cartridges and Their Handguns 1795-1975 (1977) by Charles R. Suydam, original rounds of .38 Colt heel-base factory loads carried bullets from .378 inch to .381 inch in diameter. Sources for hollowbase bullet moulds are nearly dried up. and N321 fall in this range for burning times. 697 (mild load) (Note (+P) means higher pressures, use in guns I prefer the slower burning Unique,

ZERO AMMO (commercial) 795 (reference only)

All newly manufactured .38 Special revolvers must be proof tested to the same higher proof pressure level. Velocity is around 1,300 FPS, give or take. Note: More and more test are conducted with all rounds fired .44 Special.

A load that duplicates .38-44s is 11.0 grains of Alliant 2400 with 150-to 158-grain SWC, RN or RNFP bullets. 2400 (+P)7.5 gr. 760 FPS Bullseye 4.5 gr. articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where 180 grain LEAD (Truncated Cone) Flat Point Here’s Tank’s S&W model 28 and a Simply Rugged holster carved by Rick Gittlein, Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense. Unique 4.9 gr. 2400 (+P) 8.2 gr. 540 6.8 gr. Depending on the exact load, revolver barrel length and barrel/cylinder gap, velocities of all these black-powder .38s ran from about 650 fps for the shorter ones, to a maximum of 850 fps with .38 Specials. Unique 5.6 gr. 860

798 Hi=823, Lo=742, ES=81 Nice cowboy load Bullseye.

120-grain radiused flat-nosed bullet. *Blackhorn 209 11.7 gr. 720* 110 grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) 965 FPS All three can be fired from the same revolvers. 711

540 (+P) 8.2 gr. Most DNR (Do Not Reduce) loads are well over 900-fps. 158-160 grain JHP or JSP (Jacketed Hollow or Soft Point) like qualities. Since black powder loading for Old West handgun cartridges is covered in depth in my book, Shooting Sixguns of the Old West, the accompanying table only shows chronograph results with smokeless propellants. 125 grain Lead RNFP or SWC 926 MAX I take pride in my handloads and using them in my guns just makes the circle complete.

2 4.2 gr. 882 .41 Magnum. 5 6.0 gr. WAP 4.3 gr. In 1930, Smith & Wesson introduced its first .38 Special revolvers on .44 frames, including the Heavy Duty (top) and Outdoorsman (bottom). True Blue 3.78 gr. from my 8 3/8" Model 27 and is the most accurate load I have found for it. Clays 3.5 gr. Not to be outdone by Smith & Wesson, around 1905 Colt got a few ammunition companies to make a round called the .38 Colt New Police. Load it like Trail Boss 5 4.6 gr. 231 3.4 gr. If you have any questions, give me a shout [email protected]. No. higher when powder is next to primer.

Load it like Trail Boss seem to take the number of resizings that plain brass cases do. (Hi=930 Lo= 885.4 Spread=44.2 fps) WAP 4.0 gr. Due to different barrel lengths, 895* FPS 796 (mild) Only if you see more than one load, is it less than maximum. Moving on to .38 Special, it is impossible to come up with something that hasn’t been said many times over in the past 118 years. choices as listed, since these ARE reduced loads for that sport, There are scores of bullet designs available commercially and for the home caster. How did .36 get translated to .38? 681 It clocks over 1,200 FPS and is deadly accurate and has taken a lot of game for me, including a cow elk.

1,090 752 (in 7"bbl)* Lyman’s catalog weight for this bullet with its harder No. 985 Maximum Unique 5.3 gr. Bullseye 3.6 gr. Anyway, we get 1,400 FPS using 21 grains, which is plenty fast. No.

For .38 handloaders, stick with the fastest-burning powders available: Bullseye, Titegroup, W-231 (HP-38), Nitro 100, etc. 898 (actual in 7" bbl revolver) 158 grain Copper PLATED SWC 910* 1,000 Bullseye 4.4 gr. It was simply the .38 S&W in all respects, except its bullets were flatnose. Except. HS-7 (+P)7.6 gr. HP= Hollow Point, RN= Round Nose), 2 and No. W231 4.0 gr. It is just a guide and the reason you should start under these charges and work up. 838 I’ve got two favorites here, and they’re oldies, but goodies, and considered +P loads. N32C Tin Star 4.2 gr.

Titegroup 3.8 gr. 5 5.8 gr. load above). 955* A soft alloy bullet will expand to take up a few thousandths of an inch.

808 This is a Carolina Cast bullet SWC-great cowboy load) To modern shooters focusing on handgun precision, it might seem fantastic to expect any sort of performance from a bullet expanding .018 inch before engaging the rifling. Titegroup 3.8 gr.

W231/HP38 4.9 gr. than trying to wire brush out a bunch of lead build up. Doing so decreases case volume and raises pressures. 2400 7.0 gr. In those days, firearms manufacturers were fond of designating caliber by a barrel’s land diameter instead of its groove diameter. Universal 5.6 gr. Perhaps now is the best time to mention Britain’s 380/200 Revolver Mk I (aka .38/200) cartridge adopted in the 1920s for the No. No. Universal 4.3 gr. hi=791 lo=625 ES=166 (Powder up and down) 820 W231 3.4 gr. Loaded over 10 grains of 2400 and sparked with a small pistol primer (SSP), I get around 1,200 FPS, depending on barrel length. 890* I have a Colt factory specification sheet dated 1922, and the barrel groove diameter for all its .38s was .353/.354 inch (minimum/maximum). Unique 4.5 gr. 756 (Cowboy load) 7, No. I quote those figures with some firmness, having indulged in handloading all with black powder, except the .38 S&W.

I still have a 150-grain mould from the now defunct Rapine Mould Company, but an even easier route for .38 Long Colt reloading is hollowbase .357-inch swaged wadcutters by Speer, Hornady and perhaps other makers. I’ve shot zillions of the Lyman 429421version of this iconic bullet.

hi=875 lo=685 ES=190.2(powder up and down)

921 (hot for normal 38)

The next load also uses the Miha “Keith” bullet, but its loaded over 21 grains of 2400, duplicating Elmer’s load of the then, slower burning 2400 of the day. HP38 3.1 gr. As you move up in loads, you at least need the gas check on the bottom of the bullet to 661 FPS minimum Pet Loads With Cast Bullets. Two of the loads use the same Miha “Keith” bullet used in the .44 Special and the third is a heavyweight LBT 320 grain slug. Clays 2.5 gr. hi=740 lo=648 ES=92 (powder up and down) Unique 3.8 gr. But these days, I use a Miha version of this bullet, which was copied from Hensley & Gibbs. Titegroup 3.0 gr. 756 FPS minimum N32C Tin Star 5.6 gr. Bullseye 4.8 gr. 920 Maximum --- 2400 (+P) 8.0 gr. 975 (actual in 7" bbl revolver) WAP 4.0 gr. Although a bit cluttered, Tank cranks out some quality bullets in his garage Competition 2.0 gr. Who needs .357 brass? 973 using a jacketed bullet. 830 (published MAX) be tested in the future (No. 856 minimum HS6 7.4 gr. It drops at 265 grains, 15 grains heavier than the Lyman “Keith.” This load clocks out at around an even 1,000 FPS and is pleasant, accurate and fun to shoot. The.38 Special factory loads include a (1) standard 158-grain RN, (2) U.S. military 130-grain FMJ and a (3).38 Special 200-grain RN. Get this: Upon its comeback, barrel dimensions were reduced to be more compatible with Smith & Wesson’s 1899 .38 Special. Unique 5.8 gr.

Always make sure your lead The revolvers are delightful little double actions, but the cartridge, as copied by the Brits, was simply the .38 S&W of the Super Police variety with a 200-grain bullet fired at a velocity of about 650 fps. ---------------------------------------- Bullseye 4.4 gr. 200 grain LRN (Lead Round Nose) As a handloader, nothing is more satisfying than taking game, or punching the bullseye with your own handloads. 745 Trail Boss 5.3 gr. 876 minimum 885 725 (in 7" bbl) designed for the +P cartridges.) to 4.3 gr.)

745 (published) 910 (+P) CAREFUL! Clays 3.5 gr. Both loads are extremely accurate and make the .38 Special a real performer. bullet for each shot, then gently bring to horizontal to shoot. My lightweight load uses 10 grains of Unique under the 265-grain Keith. The folks at Wilson Combat have a refreshing business model. Also internet references 2009. This small-bore dynamo has been underloaded for years because of the H&R revolvers still on the market. At about the same time, Colt did the same thing with the .38 Special, calling it the .38 Colt Special – again the only difference in factory loads being a flatnose on the 158-grain bullet. Bullseye 2.8 gr. 755 minimum 908 (5" bbl,powder UP) (Note: These are near maximum loads (in some cases ARE MAXIMUM), you should use 10%. In 1899, when S&W introduced its K-frame revolver with side-swing cylinder, the .38 S&W was a chambering option, as was its .38 S&W Special cartridge. [.38 Special] is a very versatile and useful round. The .44 Maggie provides me with three different load levels, and they all serve a purpose.

231 4.0 gr.

756 W231 5.5 gr. maximum. hi=763 lo=688 ES=75 (powder up and down)

856 772 Clays 3.1 gr. bottom of lead bullet).

The .38 Special factory loads include a (1) standard 158-grain RN, (2) U.S. military 130-grain FMJ and a (3) .38 Special 200-grain RN. 5 4.6 gr. HP38 3.7 gr. I get 1,100 FPS, just a tad faster than the .44 Special “Skeeter” load.

HP38 5.2 gr. 681 (published) 794 N32C(Tin Star)4.5 gr. 146-150 grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) Trail Boss 4.2 gr. A significant difference in speeds is usually noted. The .38 Special is still offered by virtually all American revolver manufacturers, and of course, it can be fired in all .357 Magnum revolvers. Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. copper gas check or copper plating is best for INDOOR ranges to keep lead vapors out of the air.


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