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Old 02-07-2013, 02:39 PM
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125JHP 125JHP is offline
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Default Range Report 1- Gold Dot SB

Tues, Feb 5th I decided not to go to work and go shooting instead. Since I'm retired, I can do that. Over the past few weeks, while cleaning up around my loading bench I loaded up various odds and ends to fill in the gaps of previous chrono sessions or to play what-if with a few new loads. Due to the variety of topics explored, I have broken this range report into multiple threads as discussions may wander.

I had a partial box of 135gr Gold Dot Short Barrel and for a while I've wanted to try and duplicate factory velocity out of my snubbie. I easily found the Speer GDSB load data sheet online and had two of the listed powders on hand. The Speer load sheet shows the following expectations from a 6" bbl.
AA-5 - 6.6gr 1000 fps to 7.0gr 1052 fps
3N37 - 6.0gr 969 fps to 6.4gr for 1007 fps

They also state that these loads should produce the 860 fps required for expansion of the GDSB from a 2"" (nominal) barrel. Ancient American Rule-of-Thumb says to deduct 25-50 fps per inch of barrel (depending who cites the rule). Using other load tests, I've confirmed it works out to be 32 fps/inch (+/-). For a delta of 4.125", this should work out to be about -132 fps ... seems to be well within the required ballpark.

I also plugged those numbers into my self-made handi-dandi Charge & Velocity Excel Calculator (CVEC) after compensating for velocity loss in the 1 7/8" bbl. Indeed my CVEC predicted 868fps for 6.6gr AA5 and 920fps for 7gr. Checking 3N37 shows I should get between 837fps and 875fps.

Feeling confident I would make the desired velocity, I made up 5 test rounds each: 6.6gr AA-5, 6.8gr AA-5 and 6.2gr 3N37, hoping to pick the most accurate for future practice (etc.) with my snubbie.

The Results:
Group accuracy was slightly less than I had hoped for, but acceptable for defensive purposes. The largest 5 shot group was under 3.5" and the best 4 shot was under 1" and the flyer in the bull to boot. I'm sure these could be improved upon with more practice with this gun. The real disappointment was the velocity readings, as shown below:
Charge Actual
6.2 3N37 - 713fps (144fps less than predicted) - 3.5" group
6.6 AA-5 - 727fps (141fps less than predicted) - 2" group
6.8 AA-5 - 782fps (112fps less than predicted) - 1 3/4" group

For this test I didn't want to go for the max load and it appears that even that won't produce the required velocity in this gun. I was a little surprised that 3N37 produced less velocity but it probably was due to the short barrel not burning all of the powder. There is likely a little more room in this load as No pressure signs were noted and primers were only just starting to slightly flatten on top but still have rounded shoulders. I could probably add a little powder and keep trying but in the final analysis it looks like these loads would be better suited for a 3 or 4" bbl. I think exploring a different powder combo might be better than pumping up the charge. Oh the pains of doing more range sessions... I'll just have to call off work again!

Last edited by 125JHP; 01-18-2021 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:53 PM
Rule3 Rule3 is offline
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Did you use a chronograph to arrive at those velocities or your CVEC formula??
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:03 PM
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All final results are with a CED M2 chrony - the CVEC is only used when trying to interpolate expectations from book data when the loaded grains are between published data.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:33 PM
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Here is a picture of the 135gr Factory Speer out of my snub nose at ten feet............

I will send you a pm of what worked better in my handloads.

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Old 02-10-2013, 05:51 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Default Range Report 1- Gold Dot SB

How are you folks holding your firearm for testing accuracy?

I suggest that you use a rest. It is the only way to tell the accuracy of the load. After you determine accuracy from that, then you can go on to your defensive stance and see how well you shoot each load.

At 10' I should be able to make them all touch from a 1 7/8" barrel using that method. If not, I would scrap that load.

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Old 02-10-2013, 06:24 PM
tappedandtagged tappedandtagged is offline
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125JHP, what did the factory Speer chrono out to be in your gun? Nevada Ed showed he got 860 fps from the Speer SB. I'm only just starting to dabble in loading 38's for my wife's snub. Using a 158 grain SWC and a mid dose of Unique I was able to duplicate factory FMJ plinking loads.

As far as her carry ammo, I picked up a box of Speer +P, not the SB version. I haven't been able to chrono those yet. From the reading I did on Mouse Gun Addict (a blog site), the SB and the regular weren't that far apart. And I could get a box of 50 +P for the same price as a box of 20 SB.

In the below tests you can see the SB version penetrated the gel 0.5" more and expanded 0.0215" more than the regular.

http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com/2...125-grain.html
http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com/2...-speer-38.html

Last edited by tappedandtagged; 02-10-2013 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Added links.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:18 PM
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I haven't tried the OEM loaded stuff, just went off their load sheet where they say the SB needs 860reliably expand. Granted I was 2/10 under their max but still 100fps+ shy of 860 so I doubt that extra little bit of powder will make up that much.

.... there is too big a gap in their data and my results. I will try some more loads now I know the target velocity.

Skip, I shoot off sand bags on the red rest, off my tailgate at 1" dots on 9" paper plates set at 10yds with the chrono at 10'. I use the orange rest to put one knee on to get into position. Old pic of a different location but similar to what I use now.

Last edited by 125JHP; 01-18-2021 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:25 PM
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Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
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Being a retired Ironworker, I made a steel rest that can be raised and lowered with a lock nut and hold a sand bag on top
to steady me and the gun or remove the SB and shoot off of a rug sample set inside the upper "U" bracket,(plus some duct tape) large enough to hold a rifle stock.

As you can see, my gun does not like w 231 powder........and my target paper is only 8x11 inches so
I have to keep them tight if possible.............

I have pictures of 5 bullets touching one another, just that this is not one of them.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 02-10-2013 at 09:29 PM.
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