Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-28-2018, 02:31 PM
kci-mia kci-mia is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 127
Likes: 2
Liked 152 Times in 40 Posts
Default Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977

I got a box of ammo from my dad last week. It was in a ammo box of 100 rounds and according to the paper inside it was loaded in January 1977. It was on one tray of 10 (1,000 rounds) that was loaded as one lot and it consisted of...

Once shot Winchester nickel brass
158gr SWC hard cast bullet sized to 0.358"
Unique power
Winchester primer
The exact details of the load was noted simply as #31. My father said he believe it was loaded with 5.5gr of Unique and that he had fired few thousand rounds of that load through his K frame 38 special revolvers. According to my dad it was the last of that load as he had shot all the rest over the years.

I was curious what kind of velocity it would give so few days later I set up my chronograph and fired couple rounds. Using my 4" model 15 revolver first round gave 962 fps. I shot 5 more and got average velocity of 979 fps. Using my 6" model 10 I got average velocity of 993 fps.

Today this would be called +P+ load but back then 5.5gr of Unique was what many people loaded and shot without ever know the pressure of such loads.

I shot total of about 40 rounds and put rest away. I'll use it when I carry my model 10 out in the woods.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-28-2018, 02:51 PM
.455_Hunter's Avatar
.455_Hunter .455_Hunter is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Front Range of Colorado
Posts: 756
Likes: 586
Liked 740 Times in 282 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kci-mia View Post
... Using my 6" model 10 I got average velocity of 993 fps. Today this would be called +P+ ...
Why?

2007 factory production Remington 158 gr LSWCHP +P gives right at 1000 average fps out of my 6" Colt Official Police.

Sounds like a good load.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 08-28-2018, 03:03 PM
kci-mia kci-mia is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 127
Likes: 2
Liked 152 Times in 40 Posts
Default

I've chronographed several factory 158gr SWCHP +P ammo over different times and I've never had one go above mid-900 fps from 6" barrel with most running just above 900 fps. Fastest box I've found was Remington brand that gave about 900 fps from 4" and about 940 fps from 6" barrel.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-28-2018, 03:30 PM
.455_Hunter's Avatar
.455_Hunter .455_Hunter is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Front Range of Colorado
Posts: 756
Likes: 586
Liked 740 Times in 282 Posts
Default

Interesting. I also shot some 1977 vintage Remington 158 gr LRN +P at the same time. Here are the results, out of my 1942 production Colt Official Police with the 6” heavy barrel:

1977 Remington .38 Special +P (158 gr. LRN)

Average Velocity (3 shots) = 1007 fps
Average Energy (3 shots) = 356 fpe

2007 Remington .38 Special +P (158 gr. LSWC-HP)

Average Velocity (3 shots) = 1000 fps
Average Energy (3 shots) = 351 fpe

Maybe my Colt is fast!
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #5  
Old 08-28-2018, 04:15 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,560
Likes: 3
Liked 1,177 Times in 652 Posts
Default

I recently chronographed 5 grs. Unique with a 156 grain gas checked SWC bullet cast from Lyman mould #358156. Muzzle velocity from a 4" Model 64 was about 850 fps and just under 900 from a 6" Python. According to the Lyman book, that's about a maximum standard pressure load. 5.5 grs. would certainly put it in the +P or greater category.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old 08-28-2018, 05:01 PM
oink oink is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Southern FL
Posts: 367
Likes: 244
Liked 310 Times in 143 Posts
Default

Yeah, all my books would indicate that to be at least a +P with Unique. My Lee book shows several faster non-+P loadings but with other powders I've never used (5.6GR of R Silhouette at 1046fps). The Lee book has a separate section for +P 38 Specials listing a maximum of 5.2GR of Unique for 919fps.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-28-2018, 05:23 PM
shocker's Avatar
shocker shocker is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 697
Likes: 219
Liked 456 Times in 247 Posts
Default

1973 Hornady
Model 14 6"
158gr LRN
Unique 6.1 gr 1050 fps
2400 10.6 1100
700X 5.6 1100
4756. 6.6 1100
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-28-2018, 05:34 PM
kci-mia kci-mia is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 127
Likes: 2
Liked 152 Times in 40 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shocker View Post
1973 Hornady
Model 14 6"
158gr LRN
Unique 6.1 gr 1050 fps
2400 10.6 1100
700X 5.6 1100
4756. 6.6 1100
Yeah but that was pre global warming when temperatures were cooler and pressures were lower
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #9  
Old 08-28-2018, 08:00 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 6,942
Likes: 267
Liked 4,018 Times in 2,087 Posts
Default

I have old manuals that list 5.5 grs of Unique with that load.....
so I guess it was safe in those K frames, that they used in their testing?

Pretty sure that load was not used as the standard target load, though, back then.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #10  
Old 08-28-2018, 08:01 PM
daddio202's Avatar
daddio202 daddio202 is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bradenton, florida
Posts: 854
Likes: 1,397
Liked 1,081 Times in 408 Posts
Default

I think the point being made here is that "back in the day" 38 special was not the wimpy round we know today. Of course many reloader in the past could load up some powder puff 148 gr. wadcutters for target shooting and even the major companies used to sell 148 grain full wadcutters for target practice. But jacketed ammo, hollow points and even just lead swc or lrn were loaded to do a job back then. Many dirt naps being taken due to 38 special rounds. The beauty of becoming a reloader is to make loads to suit your own preference. I know most of my regular lead rounds in 38 special are between 850 to 1000 fps but I only use heavier weighted projectiles so my revolvers do not feel a thing.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-28-2018, 11:11 PM
indie_rocker's Avatar
indie_rocker indie_rocker is offline
US Veteran
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 181
Likes: 129
Liked 135 Times in 69 Posts
Default

When my uncle passed I found a box of handloaded 38 specials without any label. I'm assuming they were handloads. I ran them through a Ruger Sp-101 and I'm glad I did. Those suckers were hot! It was before I had a chronograph, no numbers to post.

I understand data pushed 38 special faster years ago, and I have no problem running stout loads through my 67-3, but I would not have felt safe with what I found in a 38 revolver.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-29-2018, 11:34 AM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 22,959
Likes: 2
Liked 13,840 Times in 7,656 Posts
Default

Remember there can be widely different MVs when fired from different revolvers having the same barrel lengths and identical loads. That is why no one should believe the MV values given in reloading manuals. +P .38 Special loads typically produce MVs somewhere in the 900-1000 fps range with 158 grain bullets. Standard .38 Special loads will run 800-850 ft/sec. Back when the .38-44 ammunition was being made, the factory-listed MV was in the low 1100 fps range. And it was considered to be safe to fire in any .38 Special revolver.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #13  
Old 10-05-2018, 06:56 PM
ddixie884 ddixie884 is offline
Member
Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977 Hot loaded 38 special ammo from 1977  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Avery,Tx
Posts: 1,227
Likes: 772
Liked 428 Times in 253 Posts
Default

Your colt probably has a tight bore, .355 to .356..........
__________________
dd884
JMHO-YMMV
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sold to forum member!Lowered to $50! S&W 125th Anniversary Book, Special 1977 Edition mikey52 Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 7 05-10-2018 11:09 PM
Colt Police Positive Special 1977 Mfg. Help please? Biginge Firearms & Knives - Other Brands 16 07-27-2015 05:57 PM
Will my 1977 Model 36 shoot +P ammo? Will Carry S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 20 11-17-2010 09:05 PM
Duty Ammo for Phoenix PD @ 1977 RedBerens Ammo 5 08-09-2009 07:34 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:33 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2018
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)