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  #51  
Old 09-02-2021, 12:43 AM
ArchAngelCD ArchAngelCD is offline
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Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
You make a good point. The old load manuals are great reference sources; guess I have between forty and fifty of them and refer to them regularly. As you well know, much of the information is not available online.

The method of pressure measurement may be considerably more accurate today and less dependent on operator interpretation than it was when #26 was published about thirty years ago; another good reason to be cautious with old data. There is also a suggestion in #26 that the data is not recommended for small frame (presumably including steel) and alloy frame revolvers.
You also make good points but current data is not always lower because of better testing methods.

Right now on the Hodgdon Load Data Site they list
In the .38 Special data with a 158gr LSWC bullet they say the max is 6.3gr HS-6 with pressures of 16,200 CUP.

In the .357 Magnum data with a 158gr LSWC bullet they say the max is 7.0gr of HS-6 with pressures of 15,500 CUP.

I find those numbers to be strange. The .357 Magnum case is only slightly longer yet .7gr more powder generated less pressure than the .38 Special. That is hard to believe. Also, only 15,500 CUP in a .357 Magnum round, not hardly a Magnum, is it?
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Old 09-02-2021, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
You also make good points but current data is not always lower because of better testing methods.

Right now on the Hodgdon Load Data Site they list
In the .38 Special data with a 158gr LSWC bullet they say the max is 6.3gr HS-6 with pressures of 16,200 CUP.

In the .357 Magnum data with a 158gr LSWC bullet they say the max is 7.0gr of HS-6 with pressures of 15,500 CUP.

I find those numbers to be strange. The .357 Magnum case is only slightly longer yet .7gr more powder generated less pressure than the .38 Special. That is hard to believe. Also, only 15,500 CUP in a .357 Magnum round, not hardly a Magnum, is it?
Yes; looks like they didn't complete their work.
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  #53  
Old 09-02-2021, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by moosedog View Post
For me it's 11.5 grs of 2400 under a Lyman # 358156 SWC HP with a gas check.
I only load 11, guess I'm just not adventurous.......
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  #54  
Old 09-02-2021, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model 15-4ever View Post
HS-6 works wonders in .38 Special +P. But current published loading data is so watered down that it stops well short of the pressure limit.

Speer Number 8 (aka "The Atomic Manual") lists the starting load as 7.0 grains of HS-6 under 158 grain lead bullet. That load exceeds the lame maximum charge on current Hodgdon website. The Speer Number 8 maximum was 8.0 grains... I've tried it and it's full power no doubt.

There are those who go into a catatonic trance and scream when Speer Number 8 is mentioned. Fine. Speer Number 10, published in 1979 (back when +P actually meant something) writing in the .38 Special section, states "+P working pressure is 22,400 cup."

SAAMI later watered down the .38 Special +P specification. In its 2015 publication, "American National Standard Voluntary Industry Performance Standards for Pressure and Velocity of Centerfire Pistol and Revolver Ammunition for the Use of Commercial Manufacturers", the pressure spec for .38 Special +P was lowered to 20,000 CUP. The nominal velocity for a 158 grain bullet is listed as 880 fps from a 4" vented test barrel.

Based on the performance of some historical hi-speed factory loadings (158 grain bullet at ~1090 fps), the "new" .38 Special +P level is fairly weak sauce.

Take a look at the current Hodgdon HS-6 data for .38 Special with 158 grain cast bullet, and it stops at 16,200 CUP. Having tried Hodgdon's low pressure .38 Special HS-6 loads, the results are dismal - unburnt powder, low velocities, mediocre accuracy. It's obvious how watered down the Hodgdon HS-6 data is in .38 Special. No data is provided for +P loads with a 158 grain lead bullet. Why?

Oddly enough, Hodgdon decided to provide 158 grain cast bullet data for .357 Magnum: 7.0 grains of HS-6 gives only 15,500 CUP. Hmmmm, something fishy is going on here...

A little bit of analysis indicates that whether you intend to stay within the current 20,000 CUP +P limit, or the traditional pre-watered 22,400 CUP limit... you can increase the charge accordingly. Pop a magnum primer in the .38 Special case, and bump up the powder charge to normal levels and you have something really good. My personal HS-6 loads with 160 grain LHP bullets make 985 fps in 4" barrel revolver, and 900 fps in a 2" gun. The loads are very accurate and hit POA in fixed sight revolvers.

Buffalo Bore sells loaded factory ammo at these levels. Their choice of powder is unknown, but obviously the pressure levels are safe.

Note these pressure figures are for copper-crusher CUP, NOT transducer PSI. The numbers are not the same. Hodgdon still lists its 38 Special and 357 Magnum pressure data in CUP... I'm surprised because you are now able to see how weak these loads have become since the SAAMI downgrading. Once pressure figures are expressed in PSI, you have no way of comparing them to older CUP data.

As always, YMMV, and practice safe and prudent loading practices. Inexperienced reloaders should adhere to published data. What is acceptable in your guns is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Happy trails!

They claimed the electronic pressure numbers were different so it had to be downgraded to 20,000 but then they made a mistake in the SAAMI info and said that both were equal at 20,000 psi. It is the one set of data where they both agree. Just one more big lie. They forget what they told and tell you that you have a bad memory.........
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  #55  
Old 09-02-2021, 09:16 AM
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I'm just gonna resurrect an old thread I stuck up on this topic. Post number 42 contains results of +P handloading efforts.
Some .38 Special Chronograph Tests
I used to enjoy sampling all the powders and combinations, sitting at the reloading bench imagining the benefits as I assembled new loads, but came to the realization years ago that it was simpler and more efficient to stick with what I know will work well. 5.4 grains of Unique behind a 158 grain cast lead SWC works well to provide starch in .38 Special loads. There's not much one could reasonably ask of a .38 Special revolver that it won't handle.
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Old 09-02-2021, 09:29 AM
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My guess would be that any guns, but some of the imported cheap garbage guns, made after WWII are safe to use with much heavier loads than the SAAMI specs indicate. They are simply erring on the side of caution, as in liability, for those who insist in putting +P rounds in a 1900s vintage gun.

It is also doubtful that a gun is gun is going to "blow up" due to hot loads...it is simply going to rattle faster.

My 649 is also fitted with a second cylinder that TK Custom modified to take 9mm and .38 Super via moon clips.. They both run ammo way over 30k psi and the rounds don't seem to be doing anything negative to the gun...

.38 Super is what snubbies should be chambered for...they don't back out of the cylinder like a tapered 9mm case does. I've had four snubbies in 9mm, two LCRs, one 940 and the 649 and everyone locked up tight with +P ammo...zero issues with with Super.

Bob
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  #57  
Old 09-02-2021, 10:26 AM
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My Pet 38 Special +P Load is :
one of the following bullets : cast of clip on wheel weights - soft lead 50/50 (bhn 8) and sized .357" or .358".

Lyman # 358477 - 150 grs. SWC
Lyman # 358156 - 155 grs. SWC
Lyman # 358432 - 160 grs. WC *

*This bullet is my Pet Bullet in this Pet Load , the other two will do OK , Hollow Point bullet is at your option . I'm not a big fan of casting hollow points but discovered NOE Bullet Molds has made it much easier with their moulds . www.noebulletmolds.com check them out.

Load any of these bullets over 5.2 grs. Unique powder .

That's it !
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  #58  
Old 09-02-2021, 10:47 AM
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My top load is 5.0 W231/HP38 with 140-160 Lead mostly for 4" Mags
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Old 09-02-2021, 11:19 AM
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I started loading .38's for my first revolver, a Ruger Security Six .357 4" in the mid-70's.
First started with about the only bulk lead bullets available at the time - the soft swaged Speer and Hornady 158 gr LSWC's and around 4.5 gr. Unique.

Not too long after, began casting bullets and my mentor gave me a Lyman 358156GC mold and I began making and lube/sizing them in profusion. Usually wheelweights with a little linotype thrown in.

Using that bullet, I settled on 5.5 gr Unique. Accurate, clean (for Unique) and actually a nice middle-of-the-road non-magnum round for my revolver of which I was so proud.

Although I don't cast anymore (too easy to 'click' and buy quality cast bullets), I still use that load with various commercial cast 158 gr LSWC's in steel K frames, N frames (a .38 HD and several .357's) and another Ruger S6.

Pretty sure it's over any published loads out there now, but I've never had the first issue with it.
It's a little snappy in the steel J frames. I usually practice with a plenitude of commercial 130 gr range ammo with those.
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Old 09-02-2021, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
Maybe my 2008 bottle of 231 is getting old......
Probably not too old yet. Just emptied a 1992 can of 231. Works just fine and cannot tell the difference compared to a batch made with new stuff.

The old can had a price tag of $7.99 . . .
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Old 09-02-2021, 02:21 PM
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Yesterday I made up a bunch of 148 grain plated double ended wadcutters from Rainier (now defunct). I load them with about 4.2 grains of Unique and seat them flush. The chrono says these are running around 800FPS from a 1-7/8 snubby..
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Old 09-02-2021, 05:00 PM
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Havenít had the chance to try them yet, but I recently loaded a bunch of 160gr RNFP lead in 38 cases with 5.5 gr of 231/HP38. Some data sugg sets these are a tad stout, others not so much. Loaded for use in guns chambered for .357 or for+P.
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Old 09-03-2021, 06:11 PM
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Default That does sound a little stiff for .38spl guns

Quote:
Originally Posted by epj View Post
Havenít had the chance to try them yet, but I recently loaded a bunch of 160gr RNFP lead in 38 cases with 5.5 gr of 231/HP38. Some data sugg sets these are a tad stout, others not so much. Loaded for use in guns chambered for .357 or for+P.
I'm sure it will be alright in heavy framed .38s and in .357s. Let us know how this turns out for you. I'm waiting with bated breath. My 15-3 is my most used side arm...........
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
Lots of variables here Ed, your powder is probably ok. Different
bullet, charge weight, crimp?, primer and your mod 49 has a
1 7/8" barrel and the K frame mod 10 has a 2" barrel. All
loads that I have chronoed in a 2" K frame run faster than
the same load out of one of my J frames. Bullet seating
depth, cast or swaged, crimp can make a big difference. For
some reason some handloaders insist on taper crimping cast
bullets that have a substantial groove for a roll crimp. Is
your bullet plated? I just measured the barrel of my 37-2
and it's not even a full 1 7/8", more like 1 13/16". Don't
throw your old bottle of 231 away yet. The bottle of 231
used in these loads is older than yours. Maybe 231 just
keeps getting better as it ages. I might sprinkle a little in
my food and see if it works for me!
I taper crimp because consistency of case length is not critical.
Roll crimp tension can vary greatly with just a few thousandths change in case length.
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Old 09-17-2021, 01:53 AM
Benchrest1 Benchrest1 is offline
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I use a copper plated 158 SWC with 3.2 grs of 231 for shooting steel.
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