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Old 07-04-2017, 06:16 PM
Drill Sergeant Drill Sergeant is offline
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Default Favorite .38 SPL Snubbie loads?

How about it. What are your favorite loads for all steel, S&W snubbies?

Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:48 PM
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A 160 grain cast lead wadcutter, Lyman #358432 or the NOE version 360-160-WC-PB(360432), sized .358.
Target load : 2.8 grains of bullseye...it's a tack driver, 700 fps. 15 shots grouped into 1 1/2 inch one ragged hole with I flyer...my fault.

General purpose: 5.7 grains AA #5...warmer, close to 900 fps and accurate. 10 shots grouped into 1 3/8 inches....one ragged hole !

Gary
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:24 PM
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I prefer 110-125 grain bullets BUT since snubby .38 sights are calibrated for 158 grain bullets, my lighter bullets shoot low.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:20 PM
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Since a "All Steel" 38 will normally take more pressure than a standard J frame of old...........

you can up the fps a little to maybe get a load that works for you.
My AS 38 snub does well with the 148 with Bullseye but it also
does great with a lead 158gr RN from 572 to 648fps with several powders.
The 158gr Lswc works from 580 up to 740fps in the mild loads.
Medium hot loads up to 792fps are ok for a hand full of power
and any thing over 800fps is going to need your attention.

I just like the large 158gr since you have a lot of options with this bullet from powder puff
up to "Hang on" loads, which are fun for some of us.

Have fun.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:58 PM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is online now
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For every day fun shooting I use 158gr Plated SWC or Target HP from Xtreme or Berrys over 3gr Bullseye. For serious work I like 125gr Speer GD HP over 7.5gr HS-6. This is a +P load and are very accurate in my K frame snubbies. Have not tried in a J frame but I think it would be a handful.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:02 AM
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ArchAngelCD ArchAngelCD is offline
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A replicate FBI Load using HS-6 and a magnum primer @+P pressures.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:06 AM
38SPL HV 38SPL HV is offline
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Standard velocity - 158 gr rnl 3.5 grs Bullseye ("Police Service")
+P - 158 gr LSWC or LSWCHP:
5.6 grs Power Pistol
4.5 grs W231
5.0 grs Universal

Loads within Speer Manual parameters.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:06 AM
Benchrest1 Benchrest1 is offline
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158 LSWC and 3.4 grs. of 231.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:37 AM
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138 grain Bayou Bullets wadcutter 5.5 grains longshot 900fps 2 inch barrel.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:05 AM
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A hard cast, flat base, 150 grain wadcutter, dropped from a H&G 244 mold. (I don't cast them, I buy them from Matt in Ar-Kansas.) I like them better than the Lymans because of their sharp, rather than beveled corners. 3.2 grains of BE. Roll crimp into the groove thoughtfully provided.
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2017, 04:20 AM
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Default Heavier lead bullets.....

The heavier cast bullets to me are most consistently accurate in all my guns. I shoot very few jacketed bullets these days but those are 125 to 140 grain.

I like 135 grain, short barrel, Gold Dots for SD. Pushed from warm to max.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:10 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Can't suggest a load for a steel snubby,mine is alu framed(mod 37).+P is if not ''verbotten'' at least not recommended.I cast my own swc(150gr old NEI mould that comes out lubed at 154gr),Put it on top of 3.8 Titegroup(chronoed at a little above 900fps out of a couple of 6''tube;guess must be still doing around 800 from the Lilliput tube).Accuracy is good for a shorty.The kick is not objectionnable.It will kill a bear provided the bear is very close,very calm and doesn't weight more than 168#s!
Qc
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  #13  
Old 07-08-2017, 06:12 PM
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135gr Speer GDHP Short Barrel 6.4 gr Power Pistol 38 +P
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  #14  
Old 07-08-2017, 06:29 PM
Hang-Fire Hank Hang-Fire Hank is offline
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Default COMFORTABLE, BUT NOT TOO LIGHT

S&W 66-1, 2 1/2"

SAECO 160gr SWC over 3.3 grs. of Titewad in a 357 case.

Hank M.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:37 PM
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For my 36-6, I have 2 fun loads that can serve a defensive role.

Load 1 is a 150gr quench cast BNWC over 3.1 WW231, general paper punching.
Load 2 is a 160gr quench cast SWC over 3.3-3.5gr WW231.

For concealed carry, I use Hornady Critical Defense ammo (not +P), since my 36-6 is not recommended for +P loads.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:10 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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150-160 gr cast and 3 gr Bullseye.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:12 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgianni View Post
150-160 gr cast and 3 gr Bullseye.
Sounds good to me.Ever had it chronoed?Just curious here.
Qc
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  #18  
Old 07-10-2017, 12:59 AM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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Yea and it is written down somewhere. I am in the latter part of my last move preceding the funeral home and we were i a rental for 1 year previous. Take a bit to find it. IIRC it was just over 850 fps 6" K frame.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:26 AM
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All time favorite is 158 LSWC with 5.0 Unique, standard primer. My 1976-vintage Model 19 has probably pushed out close to 100,000 of these and remains as tight and accurate as it was when new. Model 10 3" and Model 64 2" shoot very well with these as well.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:51 AM
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I'v chronographed some loads using a cast Hensley & Gibbs #51 160-grain SWC in a 2" barrel. My notes don't indicate whether these were fired in a Detective Special or a Chief, but I'm pretty sure it was a Chief.

3 Bullseye - 648
3.3 Bullseye - 683
3.5 Bullseye - 730 good accuracy
3.5 Titegroup - 702
4.3 231 - 729 good accuracy

Same loads also chronographed in a 6" K-38. Velocities are approximately 100 - 125 fps greater than in a 2" gun.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:25 AM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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My favorite 38spl load for many years was 5.0 grs of Unique w/158gr cast bullet . It was what Skeeter Skelton called a " good working mans load " . If I wanted a bit more power , 5.4grs / Unique did the trick . Before Unique I used Bullseye , even in 357 as it was the only powder I had / could afford at the time . I didn't get magnum performance but the accuracy was great and a bit more power too .
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:58 AM
at_liberty at_liberty is offline
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4.2 HP-38 with 125 gr cast TCFP, BHN 12 shoots to POA from my 3 1/2" Stallion and Lightning. I don't make any distinction for my all steel 38 Snub carry, because I only use purchased SD ammo, invariably Winchester Train and Defend.

Last edited by at_liberty; 07-10-2017 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:39 PM
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3.2 of Bullsey with a 148 grain DEWC
2ND IS same bullet with 3.8 of BE86
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
A replicate FBI Load using HS-6 and a magnum primer @+P pressures.
Bullet on the right is ArchAngelCD's load.

Don
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:49 PM
Service Rifleman1 Service Rifleman1 is offline
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I have been duplicating the FBI load using some Hornady LSWCHP's with some Unique 5.1 grain and Titegroup loads. I shot up my supplies of Hornady and I have some 158 SWC from Hunter's Supply with Titegroup 3.8 grains standard pressure loads. I also loaded some Nosler 158 JHP with 3.9 Titegroup. Winchester 125 JHP with 4.5 gr Titegroup. The loads all were accurate at a range of 10 yards. The 642-2 is not all steel and the grips I had on were Factory J frame wood grips that are checkered. The Airlight was pretty snarky in recoil and I will drop down and work up to a load that shoots to the point of aim. I have spoken to Mr Craig Spegel about ordering some of his bootgrips and I have read great things about the shootability of his grips. I have alot of +p loads that I worked up for my 64-5 Smith but I think I will stick to regular pressure loads for awhile with this Airlight. Makes me wonder how the all steel versions shoot? Have to look for an original M49 or the 649, and 640 versions to compliment the 38's I have. Safe shooting.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:55 PM
Bakebfr480 Bakebfr480 is offline
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12.5 grs. of 2400 with Elmer's bullet.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:37 PM
Fide686 Fide686 is offline
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158 gr berrys 4.4 gr hp-38 nice load
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:00 PM
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3.5 Bullseye under 158 SWC.


Defense I carry Gold Dot short barrels in my 640. Really pleasant to shoot
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:14 PM
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A 158 gr LSWC for practice or JHP using Bullseye, 231, Universal, WST, Clays, and a few others.......
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:36 PM
riverrat38 riverrat38 is offline
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My snub is a M442.
125gr Xtreme plated flat point over 4.8 gr HP-38.
I also load the same bullets over 5.0 gr Trail Boss.

Best,
Rick
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:21 PM
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My preference is 158 gr hard cast swc and Unique to a bit over 800 fps in my M38's.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:25 PM
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I just tried the 158gr Lwc in my 6" 38 special with the new BE-86.
There is not much data out there but I loaded up in the middle of Alliants data
to see what turned out on the drawing boards with the
148, 110,125 and 158 standard target bullets.

The 158gr lead with 5.2 grs of BE-86 out of the 6" 686 revolver
turned out 951fps and a POA group that I could live with.

In my 38 snub nose a full load of Bullseye with my new box of 148gr BBwc
hit at POA and was right at one inch, with no flyers, off a bag.
Sorry no chrony with this test.
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