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  #1  
Old 11-24-2014, 10:26 PM
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Default 38 SPL +P and HS-6

I just registered to post this (been lurking for a few months)

I bought some Buffalo Bore 38+p heavy for SD loads (158gr LSWCHP) in my S&W 642 (+P) Airweight. 1-7/8" bbl.
However, after shooting these sticks of dynamite, i decided to load something close but not THAT hot. The recoil was painfull and follow-up shots would be difficult. But it chrony`d at 1024 avg.

I read some excellent data on HS-6 by ArchAngelCD for FBI replica loads.

I bought some RimRock 158gr LSWCHP and put them atop some HS-6 with CCI-550 Primers and I got 860-900 (avg 876) ft/sec.
Recoil still had some sting but was manageable.

No leading, no flash and no smoke. Primers looked good too.
only thing I noticed was a little discoloration on one side of each case?

Anyway, just want to say thanks to ArchAngelCD and others that did the load testing on this great combo.

Question: does this 40 ES sound ok? ( My cheap chronny doesn't do SD)
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:20 AM
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I'm glad HS-6 and the tests helped you out. I do like using HS-6 for FBI replica loads.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:39 AM
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An ES of 40 is in the ball park for that load.

It really depends a LOT on the different types of powders used
to get that high of a fps out of that load. I have had some
powers at that speed with a ES of 26 to a high of 123 but this
does not mean that either is not accurate.
I had a fast power at just 15 ES and it was all over the place.

In my steel J frame I have two loads that average 851 and 861
velocity but my most accurate load in this weapon is at only 822
fps that will group and shoot at the same spot every time I shoot it.

Some J frames with the factory FBI ammo only clock 800 fps
which leads to.......... do you really need the extra fps in a load?
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
An ES of 40 is in the ball park for that load.

It really depends a LOT on the different types of powders used
to get that high of a fps out of that load. I have had some
powers at that speed with a ES of 26 to a high of 123 but this
does not mean that either is not accurate.
I had a fast power at just 15 ES and it was all over the place.

In my steel J frame I have two loads that average 851 and 861
velocity but my most accurate load in this weapon is at only 822
fps that will group and shoot at the same spot every time I shoot it.

Some J frames with the factory FBI ammo only clock 800 fps
which leads to.......... do you really need the extra fps in a load?
The RimRocks are gas checked so I figured I could treat them like jacketed, Do I need +850?
No, I guess I don't, but its nice to know that it can and now I can try for accuracy. What I did was strictly chrono. I have yet to see what it does on paper. Hope to try some this weekend. I may find that a little slower is much more accurate.
Thanks for the reply

Dave
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Old 11-29-2014, 01:26 PM
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By chance did you do the finger nail test on those Rimrock bullets?

Just wondering how "Dead soft" the lead was..........( Swaged )
or if they were around the 15-18 hardness of the cast lead bullets.

Good shooting.
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:20 PM
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I spoke to the owner of Rim Rock Bullets about a year ago before I ordered a bunch of the bullets. He told me the 158 gr. LSWCHP-GC they sell to the public is exactly the same bullet as they provide to Buffalo Bore for their +P loading. He told me Rim Rock uses a 30 to 1 mixture of lead to tin (which makes it 97% lead and 3% tin). That mixture appears in an old Lyman manual I have as a recognized mixture and makes about as soft an alloy as one can cast, short of pure lead.

I load mine over 8.0 gr. HS-6 and a mag primer in a Winchester Nickeled 38 Special +P case to duplicate the Buffalo Bore +P load. Found that load on this forum.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummer007 View Post
I load mine over 8.0 gr. HS-6 and a mag primer in a Winchester Nickeled 38 Special +P case to duplicate the Buffalo Bore +P load. Found that load on this forum.
You should put a warning on that load! Anything over 7.2gr HS-6 under a 158gr LSWC bullet in a .38 Special case is over the SAAMI pressure limits for a .38 Special +P load. I use 7.0gr HS-6 and some reloaders consider that too hot. The safe charge is even less if you go by current load data. A charge of 8.0gr is into the pressures of a .357 Magnum and should not be shot in a .38 Special revolver.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
By chance did you do the finger nail test on those Rimrock bullets?

Just wondering how "Dead soft" the lead was..........( Swaged )
or if they were around the 15-18 hardness of the cast lead bullets.

Good shooting.
Yes, and they are very soft. Designed to expand at snub-nose velocities. Will this be a problem at 800-900 fps. I wouldn't think so, but I may be wrong.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
You should put a warning on that load! Anything over 7.2gr HS-6 under a 158gr LSWC bullet in a .38 Special case is over the SAAMI pressure limits for a .38 Special +P load. I use 7.0gr HS-6 and some reloaders consider that too hot. The safe charge is even less if you go by current load data. A charge of 8.0gr is into the pressures of a .357 Magnum and should not be shot in a .38 Special revolver.
I agree, 7.0gr is plenty hot enough, at least in my Airweight it is. Your brass has to be flowing in that chamber.
8.0gr might be BB power but no way would I try that in a scadium J frame.
Besides, .... that buffalo bore felt like trying to stop a baseball bat swung by a grown man with your palm.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter Magaven View Post
I agree, 7.0gr is plenty hot enough, at least in my Airweight it is. Your brass has to be flowing in that chamber.
8.0gr might be BB power but no way would I try that in a scadium J frame.
Besides, .... that buffalo bore felt like trying to stop a baseball bat swung by a grown man with your palm.
I disagree, it may be Buffalo Bore velocity but not power. You may need 8.0gr HS-6 to match the velocity BB is generating but they are not using HS-6, they are using a blended powder that is supposedly within the SAAMI pressure limits. I'm 100% sure a charge of 8.0gr HS-6 in a .38 Special case is well over the SAAMI limits of 20,000 PSI. In reality I have my doubts about 7.2gr HS-6.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
I disagree, it may be Buffalo Bore velocity but not power. You may need 8.0gr HS-6 to match the velocity BB is generating but they are not using HS-6, they are using a blended powder that is supposedly within the SAAMI pressure limits. I'm 100% sure a charge of 8.0gr HS-6 in a .38 Special case is well over the SAAMI limits of 20,000 PSI. In reality I have my doubts about 7.2gr HS-6.
Actually, I was agreeing with you that 8.0 is way too hot for .38spl+p and indeed should include a warning sticker. But anyway...I digress..
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:47 AM
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Ok, I have been wondering about this for a while now. Using HS-6, with 158 grain swc. At what point should a mag primer either be used or not used? I am not looking for a nuclear bomb here, just a safe and accurate load. Thanks!!
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:24 PM
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Accuracy trumps ES, you didn't mention group size . If you can hit with that load don't worry about ES.
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straight stick View Post
Ok, I have been wondering about this for a while now. Using HS-6, with 158 grain swc. At what point should a mag primer either be used or not used? I am not looking for a nuclear bomb here, just a safe and accurate load. Thanks!!
HS-6 is an older and slower ball powder and IMO you should always use a magnum primer when loading with it. A magnum primer will insure a more complete burn of the powder and a more even burn. Any time you can make things more uniform it has to help with accuracy.

Like I have said A LOT on this and other forums, a magnum primer will burn a little hotter and a little longer but it will not create a nuclear explosion. For some reason the word "magnum" scares some people but in reality a magnum is just a bigger bottle of champagne. For example, Winchester's LPP are rated for both standard and magnum use but nowhere in the industry is there a warning to reduce the powder charge when using a WLPP. If there were any chance at all of going over pressure with a magnum primer there would be warnings all over everything, especially in our litigious society.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:27 PM
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Thanks for the input, I appreciate it!
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:40 PM
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From my HS-6 Testing in 38 Special, I got the following:

38 Special - Hornady 125 XTP - CCI 500 1.450"
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Powder Chrg. Avg. Hi Low E.S. S.D. Est. CUP
HS-6 7.0 943 956 929 27 14 15,327
HS-6 7.5 1030 1038 1022 16 8 17,841
HS-6 8.0 1119 1123 1115 8 4 20,675

38 Special - Speer 135 GDHP - CCI 500 1.460"
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Powder Chrg. Avg. Hi Low E.S. S.D. Est. CUP
HS-6 6.5 885 909 851 58 31 14,866
HS-6 7.0 959 963 956 7 6 18,300
HS-6 7.5 1024 1057 1005 52 29 22,412

38 Special - Magma 158 SWC - CCI 500 1.460"
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Powder Chrg. Avg. Hi Low E.S. S.D. Est. CUP
HS-6 6.0 848 853 840 13 7 14,934
HS-6 6.5 938 957 922 35 24 17,115
HS-6 7.0 988 1005 960 45 24 19,498

Note these are measured from a 4" 686 so I think the numbers are real representations of what HS-6 does. Also, the pressures listed are only guesses based on calculations from Hodgdon's published data. They are NOT measured pressure results.

Hope this helps,
Mark in GA
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:59 PM
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I did go up to 7.5 grs with the 158 cast which yielded an avg velocity of 1085 fps, but I would only shoot that in 357 mag chambered guns. It was accurate, but not really 38 special anymore, really getting more into 357 Magnum level.

Mark in GA
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:02 AM
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Mark, the only change I would recommend is the use of a CCI-550 primer instead of a CCI-500 primer. My FBI Replica load matches your 7.0gr HS-6 load under a 158gr LSWC bullet but with a Magnum primer.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:03 PM
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That load might be ok. It might not be ok. How much money do you have in the bullets? How much would it cost for a new gun if it blew up? I would not shoot them simply for my peace of mind. It is your call.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:11 PM
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Default Airweight?????

And a Hound Dawg Howdy to you from SC!

Don't push that air weight too much too often. It'll take a few defensive loads when needed but not a steady diet.

Pachmehrs or Hogues help, but they make the grip more bulky.

I can shoot my model 38 in stock form but I don't want to! Even target loads smack a little.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:29 PM
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Did you see the date on post #18 ?
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:37 PM
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Before you try some of the loads shown here, you might compare the data with loads from a reputable handloading manual.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:55 PM
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I'm guessing the stuff loaded 4 years ago has been shot by now
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
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Before you try some of the loads shown here, you might compare the data with loads from a reputable handloading manual.
If that load damages your gun, will the member that recommended it buy you a new gun?
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:25 AM
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Keep in mind the ES can be skewed (and resultant pressure) by the length of the brass, which affects the crimp. If all is not consistent the ES will vary sometimes a lot. I also recommend you obtain a current reloading manual, and keep within the guidelines.
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:02 PM
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My post is for anyone shooting +P in an " air weight " 38 spl . After about 1000 rounds of +P , mine required a trip back to S&W as it was just too loose to continue shooting . I recommend using the +P sparingly and shoot std 38spl most of the time . YMMV Regards, Paul
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
My post is for anyone shooting +P in an " air weight " 38 spl . After about 1000 rounds of +P , mine required a trip back to S&W as it was just too loose to continue shooting . I recommend using the +P sparingly and shoot std 38spl most of the time . YMMV Regards, Paul
Was that a recent manufacture gun? I may have to baby my 637 a bit more.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamacisa View Post
If that load damages your gun, will the member that recommended it buy you a new gun?
You brought back a 4 year old thread to talk down to others here? No one forces anyone to shoot data posted on a forum. I personally shoot the 7.0gr HS-6 load and I do have published data to 7.2gr. No need to buy anyone a gun, just don't shoot what you don't like but don't talk at others either.
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:57 AM
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It happened to my S&W 642 that I bought about 10 yrs ago . I called the factory , told them it wasn't a problem with manufacturing or assembly , that I simply shot it an enormous amount and it needed servicing . I had got it through " Davidson's " ( gallery of guns ) so it was covered for repair . Regards, Paul
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
You brought back a 4 year old thread to talk down to others here? No one forces anyone to shoot data posted on a forum. I personally shoot the 7.0gr HS-6 load and I do have published data to 7.2gr. No need to buy anyone a gun, just don't shoot what you don't like but don't talk at others either.
+1. I also shoot the 7.0gr HS-6 load. It's the ultimate +P load.

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