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Old 09-13-2017, 04:55 AM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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I'd go to Lyman's 50th Edition. Then I'd supplement it with powder manufacturer load data as a double-check.

Old load data is more "adventurous" in .38 Spl because of differences in testing methodology. As testing equipment improved, ballisticians realized the powder was exhibiting all sorts of behavior they didn't like--pressure spikes and the like. So the maximum loads were reduced.

Okay, so why didn't guns blow up?

A whole host of reasons why--the specifics of which, you'd have to ask the ballisticians. Everything from what's a safe margin of error, to what a particular technician judges as being undesirable. Suffice to say, your gun does not automatically blow up if you go .1 gr over max (and sometimes a lot more after that), but you really don't want to play around up there, especially when you're starting out. Some cartridge/bullet/powder combinations have a lot less headroom than others.

For the .38 Spl, you have a wide variety of powders to choose them. I've enjoyed WST, HP-38/WW-231, Bullseye, and AA #2 for accurate, low-recoil loadings. All of them are subtly different, with their own pros and cons.

.357, dunno, I haven't gotten around to grabbing a .357 yet. Again, there are all manner of medium to medium-slowish powders that will work well. I've used Unique extensively, along with 2400 and AA #5. 2400 would be a good choice for a true magnum loading. Other people like Power Pistol, or some of the "newer" formulations.
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