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Old 05-09-2016, 12:49 AM
alwslate alwslate is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Indiana
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Originally Posted by 38SPL HV View Post

I use Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook 3 Rd Edition and noticed a big difference between HP38 and 231 data. HP38 with the 158 gr 358311 38 Spl +P is 4.5 grs. 231 38 Spl + P data for same bullet is 5.2 grs. I know that this data originates from 1980, it could be that HP38 and 231 were different powders, but Hodgdon told me that they were always the same even when they were different companies (?)... guess they had a third party OEM make the powder for them or had one slow batch of 231.

I have current HP38 (2015 vintage). I'm reluctant to use Lyman 3 231 data using the HP38 for 38 Spl +P loadings.

What are your opinions about this difference and which one to use?
All of the controversy over the old 38 spl in the last 30+
years with the +P vs std pressure ratings and the wide
disparity in published data along with the confusion about
powders has created a generation of handloaders so fearful
that I'm surprised they even dare to load the old 38.
Questions posted on here usually result in lots of answers
that are simply opinions and have no relevance to what
reliable data is available. I think Alk is right in that lots of
data in manuals was published without actually being
pressure tested. I truely doubt that anyone will ever see any
load that exceeds the 20,000 psi limit for +P listed in any
manual that does pressure test their loads. Also I remember
a product evaluation of W231 way back when it was new that
strongly emphasized that 231 was designed to be consistant
from lot to lot by volume, NOT scale weight because most loaders used measures instead of scales. This was either not
read by most handloaders or just ignored because they just
know better. And lastly I am bemused by all the handloaders
who seem nearly scared to death to load steel K frames
with anything but light 38 spl plinking loads when a fairly
common practice by "gunsmiths" back in the late 60s-early
70s was rechambering K frame 38 spls for the .357 mag ctg.
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