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Old 07-17-2017, 01:28 AM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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Default Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357

Normally I would go with Hodgdon H110 BUT this may be a too slow burning powder. I suspect I need a bit faster burning powder. With 3" barrel .357's being quite common I have to assume this is not new to this forum.

I'm looking to push a 158 gr. cast bullet at 38 +P velocities.

Suggestions?
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:49 AM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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Default Treat it just like a .38 special...

You are right. You don't need the slowest burning powders to make a .38 +P load. Just about any medium burning powder will do. Unique, BE-86, Power Pistol, Accurate #5, CFE Pistol.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:01 AM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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+1 on what rwsmith stated. Forget the H110 for those loads, that'd be a BAD combination.

If you like muzzle flash use Power Pistol. If not, use CFE-P.

.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:14 PM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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38 special or 357 cases ?

if 38 special cases - Unique and 231 work well with lead
if 357 cases - just use 2400 low end loads and work your way up from min charge to what you like
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:54 PM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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There are many many great powders for that. Hodgdon offers a boatload which you can ID pretty quickly on their reloading data center by filtering for .38 Special. Both Hodgdon and Winchester brands will pop up.

As mentioned Alliant BE86 and Unique will work great as well. Accurate #2 and #5 will get you where you need to be as well.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:56 PM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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In all my leadcast magnums I use UNIQUE powder. 38 special, 44 special gets higher velocities over the longer magnum cases same charge.
In all my jacketed magnums I use 2400 powder.
Keep it simple two powders two different types of bullets.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:34 PM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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There have been some good powder choices already mentioned here that will do a great job. I would also like to mention Hodgdon Longshot too. I first tried this powder out during the last Great Powder Shortage and was pretty impressed with it. I've loaded it in 38 Special +P, 357 Mag, 9 MM and 44 Mag and it's performed well for me with jacketed bullets, plated bullets and Hi Tek coated cast lead bullets.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:39 PM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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The norm is to knock off 30-70 fps per inch of barrel missing
due to weapon makeup and how tight it might be.

Green Dot is in the w231 ball park and in a 686 6" I can get it to
push a 158gr lead bullet with a full load at 1281fps.

My latest test with a full load of BE86 did 1271fps on 5/6/17.

Pick your poison..............
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:16 PM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLT223 View Post
There are many many great powders for that. Hodgdon offers a boatload which you can ID pretty quickly on their reloading data center by filtering for .38 Special. Both Hodgdon and Winchester brands will pop up.

As mentioned Alliant BE86 and Unique will work great as well. Accurate #2 and #5 will get you where you need to be as well.
I don't know if I missed them - but I only saw HDY XTP bullets in the +P data results for 158 grains bullets-----no lead
on the Hodgdon's site
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:02 PM
SLT223 SLT223 is offline
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forestswin View Post
I don't know if I missed them - but I only saw HDY XTP bullets in the +P data results for 158 grains bullets-----no lead
on the Hodgdon's site
No, the miss was my reading comprehension in regards to post #1.
Heres some info from pg 256 of Lyman Cat Bullet Handbook. It's for 160gr but show plus P data.



Sorry, not sure why the image is rotated.

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Old 07-18-2017, 02:13 AM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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Default Simply put....

You don't need magnum powders to make a .38 spec. +P load.
Putting a light load of magnum powder to a little over 1000 FPS with a 158 grain lead bullet will mostly likely get an incomplete and inconsistent burn. You can get it to WORK, but it's not at all the best. I don't use magnum powders in either .38 or .357 cases if I"m just looking for a .38 +P type load. I often put .38 loads in .357 cases because if I shoot .38 and .357 loads in the same range trip, I don't have to clean out my chambers.

I like 2400 for .357 but it's pretty messy in light loads.

This is just MHO and if somebody prefers to use magnum powders for .38 loads, they are no more right or wrong than I am. Like I said, It may work, but one may work better.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:28 AM
patrickd patrickd is offline
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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Hodgdon Titegroup will do well in a 3" .357
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:01 AM
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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As you see, you are getting very similar replies here as you are on the other forum you asked this question. I'm glad you added the .38 Special +P speeds info early in this post, it counts.

I agree Power Pistol is too flashy for what you are looking to do. I use HS-6 but AA#5, CFE-Pistol and the other recommendations are also good choices.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:03 AM
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Actually the powders that give the highest velocities in longer bbl's will also be the powders that give the highest velocities in short bbl's.

As far as 38spl p+ velocities go, that is sort of vague statement at best. Typical 38spl p+ velocities with 158gr bullets:
Snub nosed revolvers (around 2" bbl's) +/- 800fps
4" bbl's +/- 950fps
6" bbl +/- 1100fps

Then you have to figure in:
loose +/-10fps for using 38spl's in 357 cylinders
loose +/-10fps for every 1/1000th's of cylinder gap

At the end of the day you'll find that a 3" bbl'd 357 will be hard pressed to keep up with a 6" bbl'd 38spl (p+ loads) without using 357mag loads.

Some might think power pistol is too "flashy" but it can and easily will throw any of these powders a beating when loading 38spl p+ loads:
unique
ww231/hp-38
aa#5
titegroup
be-86
reddot/greendot

Short bbl'd revolvers are a real eye opener when it comes to velocity. Try some real world testing. Buffalo bore's website with it's real world data/their ammo tested in common firearms is a eye opener. Plus you have something to compare your loads/reloads/results with. They are 1 of the best ammo mfg's out there.

just another opinion
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:01 AM
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I use Titegroup and it has worked well for me for many years.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:46 AM
38SPL HV 38SPL HV is offline
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Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357 Best powder for 3" barrel S&W 686 .357  
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Power Pistol gets you the highest velocity 38 Spl +P loadings with 158 gr LSWC (Speer reloading manual). I use it nearly exclusively in +P loadings with the 158 gr lead bullet. I don't find it flashy at all using lead/cast bullets (it does has a nice boom but to me that is consistent with its performance levels and higher velocities compared to other powders).

Very accurate powder to with low ES/SD.

My favorite 38 Spl +P loading and Speer 158 gr LSWC and CCI 500 primers is 5.6 grs Power Pistol (within Speer's +P data). This load approximates velocity of Rem's 38 Spl +P 158 gr LHP. 5.6 gr load gets approx 970 fps in 6 inch tubes (at least the one I tested).
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