Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > Reloading
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-07-2010, 10:13 PM
bgrafsr's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Elyria, Ohio US
Posts: 2,842
Likes: 4,594
Liked 1,210 Times in 528 Posts
Default .38 Special loads with Unique

I was reading about some of the loadings for .38 Special, using Unique, and decided to try 5.0 grains with 158 grain lead SWC's and JSP's.

I went to the range with my Model 66 and .38-44 Outdoorsman. At 25 yards, single and double action, off of a rest, the loads were fantastic. I was very happy.

I also tried 5.0 grains of W-W 231 and that load was very accurate too.

I was so happy with the Unique load, that I loaded up another 150 rounds this evening.
__________________
Bill Graf
Member #2272
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-07-2010, 10:20 PM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida, NRA CERT RSO
Posts: 14,240
Likes: 4,097
Liked 4,066 Times in 2,254 Posts
Default

Kinda, sorta of in the +P range.

Alliant Powder - Reloader's Guide
__________________
But Wait! There's More!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-07-2010, 10:50 PM
Andy Griffith's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northeast Georgia
Posts: 4,873
Likes: 62
Liked 467 Times in 237 Posts
Default

Unique burns a bit cleaner in the +P range than at lower pressures. It's one of my favorite powders to use, and it is fairly adaptable across most of the cast loads too. I prefer it personally over 231 for most of my cast plinking loads. Anywhere from the 4.7grn range, IIRC for the 158grn LRN bullets I quite frequently use, and it works fairly well with some 200gr. "super police" type LRN bullets too in the sense that the standard deviation is quite low.
__________________
Lost it all in a boat accident
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-07-2010, 11:12 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 219
Likes: 4
Liked 41 Times in 21 Posts
Default

I concur, Unique and the .38 SPL is like America and apple pie. It may not provide the fastest velocities in this cartridge as other powders do. However IMHO it has no equal across the entire spectrum of bullets that are suitable for the .38 SPL. It covers standard as well as +P loadings very well with either jacketed or cast bullets.

I'm Glad to hear that 5.0gr worked for well for you. I found that my particular M10 didn't take a shine to that charge weight at all much to my dismay. But it does very very well with 4.3gr, 4.6, 5.3gr and 5.4gr under a 158gr bullet. I stick with 4.6gr and up as I find it cleaner burning than the 4.3gr loading.
__________________________
If numbers killed I'd be hunting with a calculator
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-08-2010, 12:10 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 381
Likes: 5
Liked 37 Times in 25 Posts
Default

OCD1, You are not "wrong" mentioning that 5gr of Unique is "kinda in the +P range" but I would submit that it is really in the standard velocity and pressure arena. Much of the current factory fodder is rather anemic and much of the data has been surpassingly so in the past 15 years or so. Alliant was particularly pathetic until the adquisition of Speer then suddenly their data became Speer data which is more realistic. 5 grains lands in the middle of max standard and max +P in their data........ However, much pressure tested data from Lyman and other sources spanning many decades has put 5 grains of Unique at standard pressures-often that is actually a tenth or two under max. Real world chronographing shows 5gr of Unique producing the long published ballistics of the .38 special (158 grain lead bullet at 860fps-6" barrel).Very little of current production ammo is matching the traditional ballistic standard. Some will say "better testing has resulted in charge weight reductions and the old ammo probably never delivered what was claimed".........but reading published testing spanning 8 decades has shown me that while not all of the factory ammo of decades past matched the advertised data, much of it DID.(Acknowledging of course that actual performance from revolver to revolver varies and some 4" guns are faster than some 6" guns with the same ammo) Given that tested data from the 1930s till now has shown 5 grains of Unique and 158 grain lead bullets to yield safe pressures while approximating standard performance for the caliber and that MANY past manuals often showed 10-20% heavier charges to be safe loadings, I am very comfortable with my own case measurements and chrono readings that indicate that 5gr Unique is a STANDARD pressure load with 158 grain lead bullets in .38 spl with every lot of Unique which I have tested.
Depending upon which powder lot I run through my measure using the same charge disc I get 4.8-5.0 grains and the variation in performance is small enough that I simply consider that charge volume as my standard load and label my reloads with the actually charge dropped (while finding that they will all shoot the same whether a batch is loaded with 4.8, 4.9, or 5.0)

All of which is of no great importance -but I think Bill is on the right track for a longterm satisfying .38 spl load that won't wear his revolver unduly but will deliver the goods.

Last edited by Treeman; 08-08-2010 at 12:15 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-08-2010, 12:19 AM
Andy Griffith's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northeast Georgia
Posts: 4,873
Likes: 62
Liked 467 Times in 237 Posts
Default

Also, I forgot to add that the "new" Unique is a bit cleaner than the stuff made in the past. I don't know what they have changed, but it is marginally cleaner.
__________________
Lost it all in a boat accident
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-08-2010, 12:42 AM
bgrafsr's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Elyria, Ohio US
Posts: 2,842
Likes: 4,594
Liked 1,210 Times in 528 Posts
Default

Treeman:
That was a good dissertation that you provided. My hat is off to you.

OCD1:
I am very comfortable using that load in my .38-44's and .357's. I would also not hesitate to shoot it in my Model 10, 15, & 64. I more than likely would not shoot it in my Model 14's, except for the 14-2 Dayton gun (maybe).
__________________
Bill Graf
Member #2272
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-08-2010, 01:44 AM
Paul5388's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Rusk Co. Texas
Posts: 1,326
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Default

I checked some Unique loads a few years ago and found 5.5 gr to be a little more than standard loads, but certainly less than .38-44 loads by a good amount. The gun used seemed to make a lot of difference in the velocity of the two lots of powder. One lot was from the 1930s or 1940s and the other lot was 2005.



You'll notice I did shoot these out of a 1949 M&P with no ill effects to the gun.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-08-2010, 02:10 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 207
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I concur with Unique's 'uniqueness' for the .38.

In a 66-5 3.25" barrel and 158 - 160 LSWC, it seems, as I have read, that less than 4.5 contributes to leading (tho the bullets were swaged and I have since bought some Dardas hard cast 158.)

Overall, 4.5 seems to be fine, and any more than that seems unnecessary for target shooting. I tried 5 grains and saw little if any difference except the gun might have sensed it

I don't believe in loading any more than is acceptably accurate and clean in the barrel. Loading higher may not 'hurt' the gun but, IMO, it shows no benefit except to further tax the gun w/o good reason. I would rather save that for serious applications.

Last edited by kewpie; 08-08-2010 at 02:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-08-2010, 02:18 AM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida, NRA CERT RSO
Posts: 14,240
Likes: 4,097
Liked 4,066 Times in 2,254 Posts
Default

Alliant lists 4.7 max of Unique

Speer lsts 4.0 to 4.7 for standard 38 spl, 4.7 to 5.2 for +P

Lyman lists 4.0 to 4.5

That's all I was saying.

The OP mentioned he was using 5. I did not know where that data came from.Never said it was good or bad.
__________________
But Wait! There's More!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-08-2010, 07:48 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 502 Times in 276 Posts
Default

I am one of the weirdos I guess. Never took a shine to Unique until much later in my reloading experience. I don't cotton too much to something that works well in most because it seldom works best in anything. Just my opinion, don't lynch me!

I do know of folks that have been shooting the 5gr load for years and years with no ill affect. Most likely it is one of the victims of litigation.

At any rate, in a 357 firearm, it ain't really gonna matter.

336A, good to see you post again!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-08-2010, 08:56 AM
pdg45acp's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kokomo Indiana
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

My Unique load for K and J frame Smiths is 4.5 grains and a Lyman cast 162 grain SWC that really weighs in about 165 grains.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-08-2010, 10:25 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Upstate, S.C.
Posts: 929
Likes: 2
Liked 90 Times in 59 Posts
Default

158 grn SWC over 4.7 unique has become my .38 spl load. At 15 yards on the sand bag, Ihave been able to keep a 1" group with my "beater" model 19 (4" barrel). Shoots pretty well out of just about every revolver I have.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-09-2010, 02:32 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,126
Likes: 25
Liked 441 Times in 265 Posts
Default

The late Skeeter Skelton referred to 5 gr of Unique and 158 gr bullet in .38 as "the thinking mans +P."
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-09-2010, 02:56 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Surprise, Az. USA
Posts: 338
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I just found the 5.0 grain Unique load with my 158 gr RNL bullets. It's a tack driver printing 1 inch groups at 25 yards from the bench.

%.4 grains with a 180 grain LBT bullet also prints under i inch and I'll be using that for my major caliber loads.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-09-2010, 10:18 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NW PA
Posts: 332
Likes: 5
Liked 29 Times in 13 Posts
Default

I have a few loads I use that are similar with varying results. Keep in mind these loads are only shot in .357 frame guns. I don't crono, just go by feel and accuracy.

*I load a 148 hard cast DEWC with 4.9 Gr. current Unique, CCI 500 primer and seat to the top of the crimp groove with a mid taper crimp. This has been a total "powder puff" load, very accurate and virtually no recoil, tiny bit of leading. Very cheap to load. My favorite plinking load now.

*For a bit more heat I use a 158 Semi JSP with 5.7 Gr. current Unique, CCI 500 primer and seat to the middle of the cannelure with a mid tamper crimp. This load is VERY accurate but feels like a bit lighter .357 Mag. to me. It is not a target or plinking load by any means. It gets a bit more expensive to load these. I would use these for cheaper .357 practice and possibly a lighter hunting round.

I am working on a .357 158 Semi JSP load with Unique and a CCI 550 primer...

I take no liability for these loads...milage may vary.

Have fun and be safe.
Nightshade2x
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-04-2010, 12:45 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 223
Likes: 4
Liked 29 Times in 14 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightshade2x View Post
I have a few loads I use that are similar with varying results. Keep in mind these loads are only shot in .357 frame guns. I don't crono, just go by feel and accuracy.

*I load a 148 hard cast DEWC with 4.9 Gr. current Unique, CCI 500 primer and seat to the top of the crimp groove with a mid taper crimp. This has been a total "powder puff" load, very accurate and virtually no recoil, tiny bit of leading. Very cheap to load. My favorite plinking load now.
I take no liability for these loads...milage may vary.

Have fun and be safe.
Nightshade2x
This is very interesting information on your 148 DEWC Hard Cast Load in 38 special cases.

I am working with some loads using Unique and 38 special cases using the DEWC lead bullets. This is one I just finished this week. I haven't loaded for some time now and this is my first time back at the reloading bench, in a while. So, take it for what you will.

The 148 grain DEWC seats very low in the case. The lower the bullet is seated the more the pressure rises. I was very concerned with pressure when I loaded my 148 DEWC (not hard cast). I settled on 3.5 grains of unique with CCI SP Primers in 38 special cases. This worked very well for me. This is a little hotter than what is advised by some who really know much more than me. The general consensus is to drop this load to about 3.1 Grains of Unique. I may try this next time I load the 148 DEWC in 38 special cases. I shoot the 3.5 Unique loads in a loads in a 4" revolver.

I got some good advice about the DEWC Lead Bullets...Don't shoot them in a rifle. Bad things can happen. I have not tried this and will take others word for it.

Below is from another forum I posted.
Pictures and information of my results.
I am no expert and this is just my experience.

Thanks everyone for all your help.

I spent the day at the range today helping some Friends sight in their deer rifles. I took my 38 special reloads with me and shot a few rounds at the end of the day. I must say I am very pleased with the results. I was a little concerned that the loads might be a little hot, so I took my 4" L frame smith cs-1 357 to test the loads, as it is a stronger frame than my K frame Smith. I must say that for Unique it was a little cleaner than I remember. You may not even notice the powder residue on the revolver in the pictures below. There were no signs of pressure and only a very slight recoil to the revolver. A very smooth shooting and accurate little thumper. I may experiment with just a little less powder, but I would be happy to live with it just as is.

Here are pictures of the results. I only shoot standing off handed with my hand guns because I like to keep it real. I don't shoot any better off the bench anyway. Go figure!, I don't know why.
It was a beautiful day in the mid 60's and lots of sunshine in these 61 year old eyes. I am so thankful the pressure in my eyes from Glaucoma is under control. I love shooting hand guns at 15-30 yards, but I kept it at 7 yards today. I tend to think in terms of feet instead of yards at this point in my life.

Powder: Unique 3.5 grains
Primers: CCI small Pistol
Cases 38 Special
Bullet: 148 Grain DEBBWC... this is not hard cast bullets
Bullet seated to the top crimping groove with a light roll crimp


Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-04-2010, 12:56 PM
Ceapea's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Midwest
Posts: 486
Likes: 123
Liked 85 Times in 45 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray45 View Post
This is very interesting information on your 148 DEWC Hard Cast Load in 38 special cases.

I am working with some loads using Unique and 38 special cases using the DEWC lead bullets. This is one I just finished this week. I haven't loaded for some time now and this is my first time back at the reloading bench, in a while. So, take it for what you will.

The 148 grain DEWC seats very low in the case. The lower the bullet is seated the more the pressure rises. I was very concerned with pressure when I loaded my 148 DEWC (not hard cast). I settled on 3.5 grains of unique with CCI SP Primers in 38 special cases. This worked very well for me. This is a little hotter than what is advised by some who really know much more than me. The general consensus is to drop this load to about 3.1 Grains of Unique. I may try this next time I load the 148 DEWC in 38 special cases. I shoot the 3.5 Unique loads in a loads in a 4" revolver.

I got some good advice about the DEWC Lead Bullets...Don't shoot them in a rifle. Bad things can happen. I have not tried this and will take others word for it.

Below is from another forum I posted.
Pictures and information of my results.
I am no expert and this is just my experience.

Thanks everyone for all your help.

I spent the day at the range today helping some Friends sight in their deer rifles. I took my 38 special reloads with me and shot a few rounds at the end of the day. I must say I am very pleased with the results. I was a little concerned that the loads might be a little hot, so I took my 4" L frame smith cs-1 357 to test the loads, as it is a stronger frame than my K frame Smith. I must say that for Unique it was a little cleaner than I remember. You may not even notice the powder residue on the revolver in the pictures below. There were no signs of pressure and only a very slight recoil to the revolver. A very smooth shooting and accurate little thumper. I may experiment with just a little less powder, but I would be happy to live with it just as is.

Here are pictures of the results. I only shoot standing off handed with my hand guns because I like to keep it real. I don't shoot any better off the bench anyway. Go figure!, I don't know why.
It was a beautiful day in the mid 60's and lots of sunshine in these 61 year old eyes. I am so thankful the pressure in my eyes from Glaucoma is under control. I love shooting hand guns at 15-30 yards, but I kept it at 7 yards today. I tend to think in terms of feet instead of yards at this point in my life.

Powder: Unique 3.5 grains
Primers: CCI small Pistol
Cases 38 Special
Bullet: 148 Grain DEBBWC... this is not hard cast bullets
Bullet seated to the top crimping groove with a light roll crimp


Nice shootin'!
Do you shoot PPC? That kind of shooting would make for some nice scores. It looks like you use a pretty heavy crimp. But that is subjective I guess.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-04-2010, 01:07 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 223
Likes: 4
Liked 29 Times in 14 Posts
Default

I have done a little 3 gun but I am honestly not a very good shooter now days. I think most shooters could shoot this load as well or better at 21 feet. I did have a fun day.
It is a heavy crimp and I am thinking it's not needed. I am going to work on that next time.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-04-2010, 05:58 PM
kennyb's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: griz.va@att.net
Posts: 6,344
Likes: 504
Liked 691 Times in 454 Posts
Default

i would add that unique is a darn good powder for 41mag.as well
__________________
SWCA#2208
KK4EMO
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:30 AM
bgrafsr's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Elyria, Ohio US
Posts: 2,842
Likes: 4,594
Liked 1,210 Times in 528 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyb View Post
i would add that unique is a darn good powder for 41mag.as well
I concur KennyB. I shoot a 210 grain swc bullet in front of 8.0 grains of Unique in my Model 58 and it is mild and accurate.

I also use Unique in my .45 Colt & .44 Special loads.
__________________
Bill Graf
Member #2272
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #22  
Old 12-05-2010, 01:10 AM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,034
Likes: 1,061
Liked 631 Times in 307 Posts
Default

I love Unique!
I use it in all my handgun rounds from .38 Special to my .475 Linebaugh. Both it and 231 work as good as anything available for light medium to heavy medium loads with about any bullet weight.


I have an article here with pressure tested data for the .38 Special that shows 5 grains of Unique under a 173 grain Keith SWC as being within SAAMI specs of 17,000 psi, while 5.5 grains is shown as being within SAAMI +P specs of 20,000 psi with the same bullet. I have fired quite a few of the 5.5 grain loads from my M-15 Combat Masterpiece with no troubles what-so-ever. It is a stout load no doubt in such a relatively light gun where recoil is concerned, but I am not worried about it blowing up my gun.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #23  
Old 12-05-2010, 01:34 AM
Bruce Lee M's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Left coast
Posts: 1,022
Likes: 111
Liked 204 Times in 118 Posts
Default Unique

I have been using 5 grains of Unique with 158 grain bullets in .38 Special for quite awhile. Nothing has worn out or blown up in the process.
I tried this load in a Rossi 5 shot stainless steel model 88.
I just kept shooting and shooting expecting this inexpensive import gun to blow up from this plus p load.
Darn if I didn't run out of ammo and the gun was still in one piece.
I guess I will have to load some more and just keep shooting.

Seriously having started reloading in the 70's there are some loads which may be on the hot side listed in the old manuals.
Still, in a modern .38, five grains of Unique and a 158 grain bullet is not going to be the cause of a kaboom.

Bruce
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-05-2010, 02:04 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,283
Likes: 480
Liked 916 Times in 422 Posts
Default

5.0 gr. Unique and a cast SWC is my standard .38 Spl. load for everything including my 442. It runs about 882 fps in a 4" barrel. For a defense load I make it a 158 gr LSWCHP and 5.5 grains.

Have been using Unique since 1962 in just about every handgun caliber. It's still a little smoky and dirty but compared to black powder revolvers it's downright antiseptic.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12-05-2010, 02:30 AM
bmcgilvray's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,244
Likes: 1,219
Liked 811 Times in 250 Posts
Default

I've been using 4.8 grains of Unique behind a 158 grain cast lead SWC in the .38 Special since the mid 1970s. Yields 858 fps from a 4-inch barrel. My favorite general purpose field and plinking load.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 12-05-2010, 06:30 AM
ARMinSC's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Aiken,SC
Posts: 372
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 3 Posts
Default

For those using 5.0grs of Unique under a 158gr LSWC, what primers are you using? Magnum or standard? My buddy loads 4.0grs of Unique under a 158gr LSWC as his plinking round and we were discussing him bumping up it up to something a little hotter. The 4.0grs makes for a nice round, but I want more. He was asking what I wanted and I was thinking of posting the question here but it's already started! We decided 5.0grs would be enough, I still want something alittle hotter but he's a "safe" fellow and after all he is the one loading, so I understand.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 12-05-2010, 07:49 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 502 Times in 276 Posts
Wink Other powders....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARMinSC View Post
For those using 5.0grs of Unique under a 158gr LSWC, what primers are you using? Magnum or standard? My buddy loads 4.0grs of Unique under a 158gr LSWC as his plinking round and we were discussing him bumping up it up to something a little hotter. The 4.0grs makes for a nice round, but I want more. He was asking what I wanted and I was thinking of posting the question here but it's already started! We decided 5.0grs would be enough, I still want something alittle hotter but he's a "safe" fellow and after all he is the one loading, so I understand.
Arm, It all depends on what you really want. There is data out there for tons of powders that will outperform Unique for those really "hot" 38spl loads.

Current Alliant data says that 5.2gr of Unique is maximum with a 158gr LSWC. It is listed as a +P load and should only be used in firearms designated as such.

I think the thing that needs to be asked of you is this: "What firearm are you going to be shooting these 38 "hotrods" out of?"

But, tell your buddy, if the firearm is rated as 38spl +P or 357Mag for that matter, you aren't going to hurt it running the 5.0gr rounds.

I have a load for a 158gr LSWC that is +P+ that develops 1100fps from a 3" barrel. Now, the gun may blow up after 5 rounds, it is an all stainless M60 though, but they are my carry ammo and if I am still standing after those 5 go off, I will be the "winner". I'll buy another gun then! (Tongue in cheek friends!)
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 12-05-2010, 09:45 AM
ARMinSC's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Aiken,SC
Posts: 372
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 3 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
I think the thing that needs to be asked of you is this: "What firearm are you going to be shooting these 38 "hotrods" out of?"
4" 686 or 3" SP101 are the revo's. But I also have a 3" 65 and a 4" 10 that might see some of them as well.

We were thinking Unique and this thread was about Unique, but he also has Power Pistol, Trailboss and W231.

Last edited by ARMinSC; 12-05-2010 at 09:50 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 12-05-2010, 10:32 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New Hampster
Posts: 172
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default

I have been reloading 38/357 for 14 years now and I just bought Unique for the first time. I have been playing around with other powders, some were not so kind to me, and since Unique has been around for so long and people like you have good results with it I figured that I too should get some. I have taken note of what some of you are using for loads and will try some. Sometimes this forum is better than reloading manuals.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 12-05-2010, 10:51 AM
VAdoublegunner's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,059
Likes: 8
Liked 59 Times in 39 Posts
Default

I'll admit that I am not a Unique fan for most of my handgun loads. I have other powders that perform better. However, it does seem to be a good combination for the 38 Special at higher charges, and 5.0gr with the 158gr lswc is one of them. Another one I keep it around for is 110 JHP loads in the 38SP where 6.4 gr is a really exceptional (but definately +P !) load in my Model 67 and heavy barrel 64.
__________________
" I said, good DAY! "
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:29 PM
Black_Sheep's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,766
Likes: 904
Liked 618 Times in 227 Posts
Default

One of my favorite .38 loads is 4.7gr of Unique pushing a cast 158 gr LSWC. The modest recoil is perfect for extended practice sessions with j-frame snubbies...
__________________
"Shall not be infringed"
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 12-18-2010, 08:40 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 206
Likes: 17
Liked 20 Times in 14 Posts
Default

When I first started to reload back around 1975, I used 4.6 grains of Unique and a Speer or Hornady 158 grain SWC or RN. That load worked fine and I never had any problems. That is a good load for beginners. I was told that beginners should use Unique and that they should not start with using Bullseye (for safety reasons) Since then, I have loaded and shot many thousands of loads that were hotter than this load( some times using Unique, sometimes using other powders) If you are using a modern 38/357 revolver made by one of one of the major manufacturers, 5.5 grains of Unique with a 158 grain bullet, will be rather hot, but it won't blow your revolver up. I would not want to shoot a steady diet of this load simply because lighter loads are more fun to shoot.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 12-26-2010, 03:03 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Just found this thread...a cpl of thoughts...Old Unique burns dirty in everything I've tried it in...hand gun, rifle (.32-20, .44-40, .44 Magnum), and 12, 16, and 20 ga. shotgun.

New Unique (burns a little faster than the old lots I have on hand.) is a smidge cleaner but neither measures worth a c..p through an RCBS Uniflow or Dillon 550B measures.

I've had equal grouping from Win 231 or HP-38 (virtually the same powder according to my chronograph) and either measures infinitely better.

Rodfac
__________________
Vote the bums out!
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 12-30-2010, 05:59 PM
ChuckS1's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Stafford, VA
Posts: 1,161
Likes: 55
Liked 589 Times in 269 Posts
Default

Wow, how data has changed! I'm looking at a Lyman 41st edition and it shows 5.0 grains of Unique as a max load for the 148 gr HBWC, the 358156 and the 356429. In its ".38 Spec. High Vel." section, it goes up to 7.7 grains for the HBWC (1285 fps) and 6.4 grains for the 358156 (1154 fps). it does say "heavy frame guns only".
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
41mag, 44 magnum, 442, 686, bullseye, cartridge, chronograph, colt, combat masterpiece, crimp, hornady, k frame, l frame, m60, masterpiece, model 10, model 14, model 15, model 60, model 66, outdoorsman, primer, rcbs, rossi

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Reloading Thread, .38 Special loads with Unique in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; I was reading about some of the loadings for .38 Special, using Unique, and decided to try 5.0 grains with ...
LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://smith-wessonforum.com/reloading/149375-38-special-loads-unique.html
Posted By For Type Date
What is 38 SPECIAL LOAD DATA UNIQU? This thread Refback 01-04-2014 10:55 PM
38 Special Loads With Unique This thread Refback 04-07-2013 08:08 PM
38 Special Load Data Unique This thread Refback 03-31-2013 06:51 PM
(1) 5earch - unique reloading data 38 special Results This thread Refback 03-16-2013 12:11 PM
(1) 5earch - reloading data 38 special unique Results This thread Refback 03-07-2013 04:25 AM
(1) 5earch - 158 grain 38 special load data Results This thread Refback 02-22-2013 06:11 PM
(1) 5earch - 38 special reloading data unique Results This thread Refback 11-22-2012 09:44 PM
5earch - 38 special reloading data unique Results This thread Refback 09-14-2012 09:40 AM
5earch This thread Refback 05-27-2012 03:23 PM

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Same Lee .38 die for lwc + lswc? and Unique loads 1magi Reloading 9 08-27-2014 06:38 AM
Rduced loads, .38 Special with Unique, any good ones? canoeguy Reloading 18 10-15-2013 06:20 PM
.45 Colt Loads with Unique GypsmJim Reloading 13 03-20-2011 06:41 PM
357 loads with Unique for rifles stang68 Reloading 8 05-24-2009 12:04 PM
Unique for all my loads? xrmattaz Reloading 41 03-06-2009 08:30 AM

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 11:22 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)