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  #1  
Old 08-19-2014, 05:13 PM
Clovishound Clovishound is offline
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Default Power Pistol in .38

Been getting very low on pistol powder, and managed to snag a pound, not 14 ounces, of Power Pistol 2 weeks ago.

I looked up the data for 158 gr LSWCs and got 5.4 gr as max. I loaded up some 4.6 and 4.9 loads and headed to the range. They were accurate, but the recoil seemed excessive. I was a little gun shy of using PP, but got online and made sure I had not made an error in my max powder load.

Rather than give up, I decided to back down one more notch. I loaded a handful of 4.2 grain and took them to the range today. Recoil was fine, accuracy was good.

Any downfalls to using this reduced load?

I do realize that I have been shooting a lot of mid range loads with PB lately. That has gotten me used to a really soft recoil.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:42 PM
OKFC05 OKFC05 is offline
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I would check it over a chrono and keep the speed above 700, if it were I. It is possible to stick a bullet if you go low enough, and power pistol is not BE or HP38. I don't have any PP on hand to check it for you.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:50 PM
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Power pistol gets really fast velocities in all loads I have tried. 5.4 grains under a 158 grain lead mustered 850fps from my j frame 2 inch barrel. In my six inch L frame it is over 1000fps.

I find this to be a virtue!
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:56 PM
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I really like PP in high pressure calibers like 9mm and 40 SW. Some complain that is is a very "loud" powder and produces a lot of flash. This is perhaps what you are experiencing.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:27 PM
Clovishound Clovishound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
I really like PP in high pressure calibers like 9mm and 40 SW. Some complain that is is a very "loud" powder and produces a lot of flash. This is perhaps what you are experiencing.
No, it's a heavy recoil. Like I said, I've gotten used to a really light recoil using PB, so it may not be as bad as I think.

The 10 I ran today at 4.2 did not seem to be underpowered. I do have access to a chronograph, but it may take a while to get it out to the outdoor range where I can actually use it.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:44 PM
JeepinSoldier JeepinSoldier is offline
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I will be watching this thread.

Getting low on the 231/HP 38 that I use for most handgun loads and then I will be into the pound and a half of Power Pistol that I have on hand.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:18 AM
Clovishound Clovishound is offline
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Well, I finally got a chance to run some of the PP rounds over the chrony yesterday.

Good news. The mid range loads were in the 800s.

The low end loads were in the 700s.

Published data says mid 900s for max load.

I will probably do a little playing around with the load to identify the most accurate load, but I suspect it will be the middle of the road, as usual. At least I know I am where I should be MV wise.

I also found that the recoil was not as bad as I originally thought. I switched back to my heavy barrel model 10 this time. It was still at the gunsmiths first go round having some trigger work done. I shot the first loads through my pencil barrel model 10. Didn't realize it would make as much difference in perceived recoil.

This was my first chance to use a chrony. It was definitely an interesting experience.

I also found out the 55 grain soft points in .223 were running over 3000. This means I can probably use them for my first foray into feral hog hunting this fall.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:50 AM
RussellD RussellD is offline
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Power Pistol is a LOUD powder. Using equivalent loads across several calibers and hand guns, it is always the loudest.

Its easy to develop accurate loads using PP. The recoil may may only mildly sharper than some faster burning powders, but the muzzle blast sure makes it feel much worse

I believe it was designed for Nato 9mm.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:32 AM
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I understand how hard it is to find any pistol powder these days but IMO Power Pistol is a poor choice for mid-level .38 Special ammo. Power Pistol, HS-6, Longshot and the like are good choices for .38 Special +P loads but the speed of PP is too slow for lighter loads in the .38 Special. If you can find something faster you will like the results better.

There are plenty of good choices for the .38 Special and I will leave out the ones we all know can't be found like Bullseye W231/HP-38 and Clays.
Red Dot, Promo, WST, AA#2, Titrgroup and Solo 1000 on the faster side.
American Select, Silhouette, Zip, Green Dot, True Blue and AA#5 if you want a little slower.

Question, why did you specify a full pound over 14oz? Power Pistol was never sold in 14oz weights that I know of. Trail Boss which is very fluffy is sold in less than a full pound but not PP. (that I have even seen)
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  #10  
Old 09-04-2014, 03:52 PM
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Most Alliant pistol/shotgun powders are sold in "honest" 16 oz quantities. Trail Boss is so bulky, only 9 ounces fits in the typical "1 pound" bottle. Many Hodgdon powders (IMR, Hodgdon) come in only 14 ounce bottles.

As for the OP's observations, Power Pistol is a low pressure powder meaning that it does not generate high pressures until it pushes the bullet really fast. That's why people buy it. A high pressure/fast powder like Clays, Red Dot, e3, 700X generates full pressure without driving the bullet very fast. Bullet speed x bullet mass is what produces recoil (yes a small amount of gas/powder does too, but it's very small). Fast powders are good for low speed/low recoil loads because they burn completly and generate full pressure to expand the case without driving the bullet too fast (or the shotgun wad/shot too fast).

I'm glad you didn't complain of unburned powder or sooty residue because that is also a result of low pressure/underpressured loads.

I understand that at this time, you use what you've got. I love Power Pistol, but mostly for the effects (big recoil, muzzle flash and blast). Keep your eyes open for Bullseye, Unique, Red Dot. These powders are starting to show up on shelves again a little at a time.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:18 PM
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Default As long as.....

As long as they are clearing the barrel well I'll bet dollars to donuts that the load is fine. Your load doesn't sound THAT reduced.

How heavy is the gun are you shooting them out of? .38 generally doesn't kick much. I did use a +P load out of a Sierra manual one time that kinda surprised me, and it wasn't anywhere near max! I decided I didn't need anything hotter so I quit there.
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  #12  
Old 09-04-2014, 07:53 PM
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You will know when PP is under powered, it will keyhole like crazy....
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:49 AM
David Sinko David Sinko is offline
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Lately I've been eyeballing my Model 64 snub for pocket carry, so I checked my records, knowing I had some very positive experiences with Power Pistol. My notes indicate a hard cast 158 gr. SWC with 6.6 grs. of Power Pistol for 925 FPS. Velocity was the most consistent of any load tested and extraction was very easy. It also says 7.0 grs. is "too sticky." A 158 gr. plated bullet with the 6.6 gr. charge gave 840 FPS. Velocity was not as consistent as the cast bullet, but the plated bullet load is easily the most accurate load I have ever shot through this revolver. I also tried the 125 gr. Hornady XTP with 7.2 grs. for 950 FPS, again with very easy extraction and excellent accuracy.

It's worth noting that my Model 64 is the "weak sister" among my .38 revolvers and the first to experience sticky extraction during load development.

I use Power Pistol mostly for highest velocity 9mm and .45 ACP revolver loads, but I'd say it's also an excellent powder for service grade loads in .38 Special.

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Old 09-05-2014, 11:34 AM
JeepinSoldier JeepinSoldier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clovishound View Post
This was my first chance to use a chrony. It was definitely an interesting experience.

I also found out the 55 grain soft points in .223 were running over 3000. This means I can probably use them for my first foray into feral hog hunting this fall.
Confused. You loaded .223 with Power Pistol? Where did you find load data for that?

Or are you saying that you loaded .223 with rifle powder and tested them on the chrony?
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:31 PM
Clovishound Clovishound is offline
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Yeah, I loaded the .223 with 4198.

I have some that I loaded with Titegroup. It is a published subsonic round. I fired a couple of them. They work. Very quiet. Very low recoil. Not as accurate, but not too bad.

I was afraid of sticking a bullet in the barrel, but they did well.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:47 PM
JeepinSoldier JeepinSoldier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clovishound View Post
Yeah, I loaded the .223 with 4198.

I have some that I loaded with Titegroup. It is a published subsonic round. I fired a couple of them. They work. Very quiet. Very low recoil. Not as accurate, but not too bad.

I was afraid of sticking a bullet in the barrel, but they did well.
Thanks for the reply!

I usually load .223 with 748 or 4895. Interesting to know that there is a Titegroup load out there. I guess with the relatively small case capacity (For a rifle) .223 could load a small charge of fast pistol powder like 231 or Power Pistol in a .357case.

Seems like the rifle powders are mostly in stock and pistol is hard to find, but lately you never know what you will be able to get and its interesting to know what can be substituted safely.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:52 PM
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I just checked my notes to be sure, but I recorded PP as working quite nicely in my pre-Model 15 with Zero .357 130 FMJ (I wanted to try them!). Blast and flash I recorded as "moderate".
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:35 AM
Clovishound Clovishound is offline
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Hodgdon also lists a subsonic Trailboss load. Not sure if any of the other powder manufacturers list this type of load.
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