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Old 02-22-2014, 01:00 PM
mtu164 mtu164 is offline
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Default Perfected mod 38 S&W loads

I have a Perfected model 38S&W that is good shape mechanically. Four inch bbl. I would like to shoot it some, just plinking, and wondered what a good load would be for it. I would keep it on the low end due to it's age. Cast bullets.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Tom
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:45 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is online now
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Some would tell you that only black powder loads are safe in these old S&W's. I disagree, I use a Trail boss load, or a light WW 231 load. On Trail Boss there is a weight of powder listed, but there is more to it than just dropping a powder charge and seating a bullet. Every time you change one or more components, you need to start over. Trail Boss powder MUST NOT be compressed. You need a space between the powder column and the bullet base, 1/8" to 1/16" (1/16" being best). Measure the distance from the crimp groove to the bullet base, subtract that length plus 1/16 from the total inside depth of the case. That is the volume of powder space. After getting that much volume of Trail Boss, weigh it; There is your charge weight for this bullet case combo. Cross check this weight to Hodgdon's reloading guide, and go for it. This is how to determan the accuracy load with Trail Boss. (If you load is over weight for the loading guide, start again, you made a mistake. This small cartridge is one you shouldn't mix brass brands on. (this is easier done than said) Ivan
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:52 PM
mtu164 mtu164 is offline
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Thanks Ivan. I have never used trail boss, so I will follow your suggestions. The gun is very sound, and was made in the 30's I was told, I don't really know, so it should be fine with smokeless. Can I use 38 spec. dies to load it ?
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:50 AM
Treeman Treeman is offline
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38 special dies are NOT correct for 38 S&W-some die sets will let you cobble rounds together but dimensions are not correct. OTOH 9mm makarov dies are correct for 38 S&W as are 38 S&W dies that will work fine for Mak rounds Lyman #49 has pressure tested loads for many Powders in 38S&W. No problem at all to make low pressure loads for your perfected model.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:16 PM
mtu164 mtu164 is offline
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Thanks Treeman, I will start hunting a set of dies for it.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:31 PM
metrotps metrotps is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtu164 View Post
Thanks Treeman, I will start hunting a set of dies for it.
I have a set of Hornady Titanium Nitride Makarov dies that I would sell for $30 + shipping. I think it would fit in a Priority small box or a little cheaper by regular mail.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:00 PM
mtu164 mtu164 is offline
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Thanks for the offer, but I picked up a set of old lymans over the weekend.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:11 PM
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Missouri Bullets sells a good 145gr .361" bullet for the .38 S&W.
Powders which work well include W231/HP-38, Red Dot, Unique, Universal and Bullseye. There are probably more but those are the most common. Keep the pressures down because that round was never meant to be a high pressure round.

Don't forget the range report...
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:20 PM
metrotps metrotps is offline
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Quote:
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Thanks for the offer, but I picked up a set of old lymans over the weekend.
Glad you found some. Enjoy shooting the Perfected...A very cool revolver IMHO
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:32 AM
merl67 merl67 is offline
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The proper size bullet is .360 that being said I used my own 158 Grn SWC that I cast for my 38 Specials, and they work fine. I also use my Makarov dies and have gotten good results I think 38 special dies would over work your brass. You can get a set of Lee dies for the cost of a box of ammo. Also any loading data that you find for the 38 S&W round will be perfectly safe in your Perfected I have shot mine quite a bit with Speer manual loads.

Last edited by merl67; 03-30-2018 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:03 AM
Kiwi cop Kiwi cop is offline
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First off you can use any 380 auto dies for ,38 S&W as outside case dimensions are identical. And .38 Colt is the same as the .38 S&W. Lee make dies Marks’s .38 S&W/.38 Colt and the sizing/recapping die in my set is marked .380 auto.

If you can’t find .360/361 bullets then you will probably be best served with a 148 gn HBWC. They expand the skirt to fit the bore. I have used both lead (Zero) and plated ( Can Pro) in my .38 S&W Victory.

I find 2.4 gn Mulwex AP50N gives nice mild recoil, cases drop free of the cylinder easily, and good 25 meter accuracy. Do not go over 2.5 gn, the load will be too hot for the calibre
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:02 AM
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And to add to the list of substitute dies, 38 Super dies have been used successfully to load 38 S&W. Personally I use a 126gn SWC cast bullet for my 38 S&Ws. It is a homemade mold that I bought at a flea market for around $10 several years ago. I think someone was trying to make a mold for 9mm and got it too large of diameter as it casts .360 bullets.
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Old 03-30-2018, 06:25 AM
lebomm lebomm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi cop View Post
First off you can use any 380 auto dies for ,38 S&W as outside case dimensions are identical. And .38 Colt is the same as the .38 S&W. Lee make dies Marksís .38 S&W/.38 Colt and the sizing/recapping die in my set is marked .380 auto.

If you canít find .360/361 bullets then you will probably be best served with a 148 gn HBWC. They expand the skirt to fit the bore. I have used both lead (Zero) and plated ( Can Pro) in my .38 S&W Victory.

I find 2.4 gn Mulwex AP50N gives nice mild recoil, cases drop free of the cylinder easily, and good 25 meter accuracy. Do not go over 2.5 gn, the load will be too hot for the calibre
I think it should be specified that it's the .38 Colt New Police that's the same size as .38 S&W. .38 Short or Long Colt are not, being the same size as .38 S&W Special.

Larry
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:08 PM
eddie76 eddie76 is offline
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You an buy the proper 38 S&W dies from Midway for $33. As stated, you can get the correct bullets from Missouri Bullets. So what's the problem?
I have a 33-1 and a older Regulation Police that I shoot quite a bit. One of revolvers I take to the range a lot. I use 2.5 to 2.7 gr. of AA#2 with the 145 gr. bullet.
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  #15  
Old 04-06-2018, 11:34 AM
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I'm betting the,OP found a good load over the past 4 years or already gave up. Zombie thread lol.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:42 AM
walnutred walnutred is offline
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Quote:
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I'm betting the,OP found a good load over the past 4 years or already gave up. Zombie thread lol.
True, but How do I load for 38 S&W seems to be a recurring thread theme.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
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True, but How do I load for 38 S&W seems to be a recurring thread theme.
Most times a new thread will get more answers. Many readers will see the old date on the posts and pass on reading the rest.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:21 PM
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There is no shortage of reloading data for .38 S&W. And in most cases, .357-.358 bullets (.38 Special) will perform completely satisfactorily. .360-.361 bullets are recommended, but by no means are they essential. I have used .38 Super dies for many years for loading .38 S&W with no problems. My standard .38 S&W load is 124-125 grain cast bullets with 3.5 grains of Unique. I have used 4.0 grains of Unique with no problems in old top break revolvers, but I feel more comfortable with 3.5 grains.
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