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Old 01-13-2015, 11:21 AM
FTR FTR is offline
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Default Bullet Point of impact and reloading

I'm a long time reloaded and just not getting into loading for a S&W "J" frame 38 Special w/1.75" barrel that my wife will carry. I'm new to reloading pistols.
Now my loads are doing pretty good. I have good accuracy using Red Dot and Rainier plated bullets so she can practice, my issue is the sites are fixed and even stair stepping the powder charge in my load development I cant get the bullets to hit where the sites are aiming.
Any advice on tweaking my loads to hit where the sites are aiming? Maybe powder is to hot or gun hates plated bullets? My reloading expertise is very limited with pistols.

I'm using Rainier 158 Grain Plated Flat Nose
3.2 - 3.8G or Red Dot

What I may need to do is break down and buy ammunition and see if factory loads hits the point of aim.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:42 AM
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If you're hitting too high,you need to increase velocity and vice versa.Windage can sometimes be helped by trying other bullets,but mostly it's the shooter.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:15 PM
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Heavier bullets shoot higher.

David
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:26 PM
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At least some of the trouble is the 1.75" barrel. Usually a slower vel. will hit higher because spending more time in the barrel with recoil "lifts" the bullet. If you or your wife are shooting high, then you might need to shoot a lighter bullet and reduce your load to see a noticeable change (lower) in POI vs POA.
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:24 PM
Vortec MAX Vortec MAX is offline
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Factory loads hit pretty much dead on with my wife's 638 and with my 438. I have had similar issues as you are having with my Governor. The light (200 and 225 grain) factory loads hit much closer to point of aim than my 250 grain reloads. Impact with my reloads in the Governor is higher.

I use 125 grain bullets in my 38 SPL reloads. My point of impact has been close to factory loads, but I have a hard time matching their velocity.

Mike
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:04 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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158's are the gold standard in my 4 S&W short barrels (2-J and 2-K). I have never tried the plated bullets just lead (cast and swadged) and 158 JHP's. If they were close to factory non+P velocity, they were on the money.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:15 PM
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The J frame S&W's in 38 special should be ( at least they used to be ) regulated for standard velocity 38 special loads with 158 grain lead bullet.
An Email to S&W would verify if that is still the case. Obtain some factory ammo and shoot to verify. Load a same weight bullet at similar velocity , this is usually on the box, and everything should be OK.
Gary
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:22 PM
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As mentioned, the 148 and 158gr LEAD bullets are the
bread and butter loads for all 38 special revolvers.

I have yet to shoot plated in my 38 or 357 weapons but
have had very good accuracy with Red Dot in all lead bullets.

If just for target work........
You might try a box od 125gr "Cowboy" LRN or truncated design
bullets with 3.2-4.0grs maximum (recoil) of Red powder, in your
J frame snub nose. 3.2 is around 533 fps and the lowest that
gave me starting accuracy groups. 3.5grs at 675 fps for a nice
medium loading. The 4.0gr load works in my 2 & 6" barrels.

My best 158gr lead target load with RD was filled with 3.5grs of powder
for my 2 and 6" revolvers.
Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay View Post
If you're hitting too high,you need to increase velocity and vice versa.Windage can sometimes be helped by trying other bullets,but mostly it's the shooter.
I disagree. Most guns are sighted for a specific load. Increasing vel, with the same weight bullet, often only increases recoil which changes POI. Heavier bullets will often shoot higher, lighter bullet lower. Most 38sp are sighted for 158gr std vel loads. If it's shooting low with that, try heavier bullets. In a snub though, not sure that is viable. Your snub is a under 10yd weapon. If the POI is within 2", you are fine right there IMO.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:44 PM
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I don't see where the OP is off. Left, High?

My 3" model 36 shoots low I had to file a little off the front sight. I also did that with my Bulldog.

My 2" model 36 shoots 158 a little high, so I use lighter bullets and its right on. 138 grain Button nose wadcutters @ 850 fps.

David
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:45 PM
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Self defense weapon (as aposed to a "target"revolver) should hit within an 8" circle from 7 yards (average gun fight distance, at least it used to be 20 years ago). Any more accurate is icing on the proverbial cake.

Note: This is my opinion so please don't flame me
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:12 PM
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Here is proof.

8" at 7 yards? Ouch!

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Old 01-13-2015, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter Magaven View Post
Self defense weapon (as aposed to a "target"revolver) should hit within an 8" circle from 7 yards (average gun fight distance, at least it used to be 20 years ago). Any more accurate is icing on the proverbial cake.

Note: This is my opinion so please don't flame me
I am in complete agreement.

Keep in mind that half of all shots fired in a self defense situation miss the intended torso completely. Pin point precision is not important (OK, I know that everybody reading this is much better than average ).
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:32 PM
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Since the 158gr are plated and just target loads no big thing.

My J frame snub nose shoots ALL over the place with different
bullet weights and powder. I only have a handful of loads that
shot at point of aim with target or maximum loads.

Even if not at POA, the main thing target loads are for is to get
to know your weapon and establish the target, trigger, brain trip.
Learning trigger control, stance, grip is a lot easier with light
loads with minimum recoil. When you feel comfortable you can
test out a few SD loads and see if any are near your POA and
if the recoil and noise will work for the shooter.

If you find a SD that works, maybe then you can match its POA with
a target load that you have logged that shots the same.

Good loading.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 01-13-2015 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTR View Post
I'm a long time reloaded and just not getting into loading for a S&W "J" frame 38 Special w/1.75" barrel that my wife will carry. I'm new to reloading pistols.
Now my loads are doing pretty good. I have good accuracy using Red Dot and Rainier plated bullets so she can practice, my issue is the sites are fixed and even stair stepping the powder charge in my load development I cant get the bullets to hit where the sites are aiming.
Any advice on tweaking my loads to hit where the sites are aiming? Maybe powder is to hot or gun hates plated bullets? My reloading expertise is very limited with pistols.

I'm using Rainier 158 Grain Plated Flat Nose
3.2 - 3.8G or Red Dot

What I may need to do is break down and buy ammunition and see if factory loads hits the point of aim.
Let somebody else shoot it.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R View Post
Here is proof.

8" at 7 yards? Ouch!

Nice shoot`n Dave. Extra icing on that.

I cheat with S&W 642. I use a Crimson Trace and adjust it to my favorite load.
This, of course, is only on my CCW revolver. All other pistols are fixed and adjustible irons. Pride has no place when its a SD situation

Last edited by Shooter Magaven; 01-13-2015 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:17 AM
FTR FTR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter Magaven View Post
Nice shoot`n Dave. Extra icing on that.

I cheat with S&W 642. I use a Crimson Trace and adjust it to my favorite load.
This, of course, is only on my CCW revolver. All other pistols are fixed and adjustible irons. Pride has no place when its a SD situation
I also have the crimson trace grips. At 3 yards with my arms resting on a bench the group is about 2". This was just the attempt to pull "me" out of the equation. I'm not sure how to resize a picture to upload here or I would upload the shot group.
I don't want her depending on the laser grips though. I would like her to learn to use the gun and it become more of a reflex. In a home invasion, I want her confident and the moment her arm is extended she has the confidence to pull a shot off with enough accuracy to end the threat.
I know very little about pistols but one of my friends is Special Forces out of Ft. Brag. This summer he will be taking her to the range to teach her fundamentals.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R View Post
Here is proof.

8" at 7 yards? Ouch!

You are right, heavier bullets shoot high.
While 8" groups at 7yds is adequate, certainly not acceptable. One reason I don't carry a mouse gun. You may have to shoot more than 7yds to save your life. You & the gun should be up to it. Two cars in a parking lot is pushing 15yds. Your 8" gun is now missing 50% on a man size target.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:04 AM
DanWales DanWales is offline
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Default J Frame Load

I have experimented a bit on finding a load that is comfortable for me and my wife to practice with. I learned quick it doesn't do any good for her or me frankly to have a big boom and lots or recoil. The pistol is a 642 with CT's.

Missouri 148 DEWC lead double ended wad cuter. 3.5 of 231 shoots real nice and at 10 yards I can stay on a 12 X 12 plate. The wife shoots it at 5 yards on paper ( don't like to sheet steel at 5 yards ). Step it up to 4.0 231 very noticeable increase in power and recoil I can still stay on the plate but I do have to concentrate more. I carry this as my every day defense load.

158 SWC lead 3.5 231 still does a good job I still can stay on the 12 X 12 plate at 10 yards. Up the load to 4.0 once again noticeable increase in power and recoil. Like the load above I have to concentrate more. My wide doesn't like the extra recoil so I keep the 148's DEWC with 4.0 as the every day load in the pistol.

The 3.5 of 231 with the 148 is a sweet practice rd that too me anyway is comfortable to shoot.

She has severely reduced eyesight, in bright daylight she does fairly well, good thing is she can see the red dot indoors and I have no doubt the length of the living room she could give someone a bad day.

Dan
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:46 AM
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Default Is this load???

Is this load what is used for carry in the gun??? You don't say in your post whether it's shooting high or low. If it's high, I think I'd try a lighter, faster bullet such as a 130 gr. Speer jacketed short barrel. It probably won't be as much fun to shoot, but training for defense is a different animal from target shooting.

Also, is the aim at the 6 o:clock on the sight window?? Target pistols use this setup but defense guns are usually rigged for point of aim. It may not hurt to try the six position. When I had a snub I wasn't that great with it, but I had no problems using it for defense at close range.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:37 AM
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FTR,

You did not state what you were using these loads for, but if I can assume you are simply Target Shooting you don't need any heavy duty loads. Defense situations would be different of course and I would NOT recommend he following for that purpose.

In general, I find that since the 1 7/8" barrel J Frames were originally designed for the 158 grain lead bullets, the older ones do shoot pretty accurately with them. I would suggest trying either a RNL or LSWC 158 grain Hard Cast Bullet over 3.2 to 3.5 grains of Titegroup. I use the 3.2 and its a "Puddycat" & accurate load that I can shoot all day out of my Snub Nosed J Frames.

Last edited by chief38; 01-14-2015 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTR View Post
I also have the crimson trace grips. At 3 yards with my arms resting on a bench the group is about 2". This was just the attempt to pull "me" out of the equation. I'm not sure how to resize a picture to upload here or I would upload the shot group.
I don't want her depending on the laser grips though. I would like her to learn to use the gun and it become more of a reflex. In a home invasion, I want her confident and the moment her arm is extended she has the confidence to pull a shot off with enough accuracy to end the threat.
I know very little about pistols but one of my friends is Special Forces out of Ft. Brag. This summer he will be taking her to the range to teach her fundamentals.
Actually, the CT laser can be used specifically for training point shooting. After un holstering and extending the arms, the laser is quickly activated instead of pulling the trigger to give instant feedback of where the bullet would have struck. Teaches hand/eye coordination and indexing the hand in the grip. This can be done indoors all day long.
As far as the fundamentals of pistol shooting, well ... I would use something with a longer sight radius as to instill some confidence to shooter. A 1-7/8 inch barrel could be a bit too short for the "beginners".

Again... my opinin.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:57 AM
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The 637 in the pictures above has a CT laser. Its adjusted to POI for my carry load that hits where I want which also hits with the sights.



Using the Laser, You can practice dry firing on the wall. Its a great trainer especially for a DAO hand gun.

David

Last edited by David R; 01-14-2015 at 09:56 AM.
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