Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-13-2018, 11:10 PM
zonker5's Avatar
zonker5 zonker5 is offline
SWCA Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Texas
Posts: 1,221
Likes: 2,337
Liked 1,185 Times in 429 Posts
Default Late 40s 38 special

I need to replicate the 38 special loads of the mid to late 40's using 158g lead round nose bullets.

Anyone got a pet recipe to share?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-13-2018, 11:47 PM
reddog81 reddog81 is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: IA
Posts: 939
Likes: 230
Liked 718 Times in 379 Posts
Default

Are you looking for light target loads, standard loads or high velocity loads? I imagine a variety loads existed back then just like today.

If you using powder of recent manufacture I'd just use current load load.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-14-2018, 02:32 AM
Forrest r Forrest r is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,058
Likes: 18
Liked 909 Times in 407 Posts
Default

3.5gr bullseye
4.0gr unique
3.5gr titegroup
4.0gr hp-38

Any load that will do 850fps from a 4" bbl.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #4  
Old 07-14-2018, 11:22 AM
gwpercle's Avatar
gwpercle gwpercle is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 3,617
Likes: 2,130
Liked 2,914 Times in 1,531 Posts
Default

38 Special Standard Loads , 158 grain RN ,cast lead bullet.
Sized .357 , S&W model 64 ...four inch barrel.

4.0 grains Bullseye (975 fps)
4.0 grains Red Dot ( 950 fps)
4.0 grains HP-38 ( 845 fps)

These are my pet loads for 38 special.
If you have Unique powder , 4.7 grains isn't bad , but the faster burning powders are more better.
Gary
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-14-2018, 11:34 AM
growr growr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,436
Likes: 1,704
Liked 2,397 Times in 977 Posts
Default

5 grns of Unique and a 158 does it for me...........

Randy
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old 07-14-2018, 05:42 PM
HKSmith HKSmith is offline
SWCA Member
Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 528
Likes: 227
Liked 317 Times in 143 Posts
Default

The 38 special cartridge was introduced in 1899 as a black powder round. It reportedly gave velocities of around 850 ft./s with 158 grain lead round nose bullet. Smokeless powder loads of that era were reportedly loaded with 3.3 grains of Bullseye and about the same velocity. While many different powders and components have been used over the years, the standard loading hasn't really changed very much. Given variations from going lot to lot of powders and components, it's obviously impossible to replicate 1940s loads exactly. The Speer manual shows a velocity of 752 ft./s with 3.1 grains of Bullseye and 814 ft./s with 3.5 g of Bullseye. That's from a 6 inch barrel K 38 and 158 grain lead round nose bullet. I think if you tried a 3.3 grains of Bullseye load, you'll come as close to average factory ammunition of the last hundred years as you're likely to get.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 07-14-2018, 08:11 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 6,937
Likes: 267
Liked 4,014 Times in 2,083 Posts
Default

Yep;

What they said.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-16-2018, 02:56 PM
alwslate alwslate is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 3,983
Likes: 1,110
Liked 2,621 Times in 1,384 Posts
Default

Try 3.0 grs of Titewad with a 158 gr cast RN. Yes, Titewad not Titegroup.
760 fps out of my 4" mod 10-5 with only 10 fps ES. Very clean burning.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-16-2018, 03:20 PM
zonker5's Avatar
zonker5 zonker5 is offline
SWCA Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Texas
Posts: 1,221
Likes: 2,337
Liked 1,185 Times in 429 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
Try 3.0 grs of Titewad with a 158 gr cast RN. Yes, Titewad not Titegroup.
760 fps out of my 4" mod 10-5 with only 10 fps ES. Very clean burning.
Titewad? You mean they have named a powder after me?

Thanks to all for the input, now it's off to the loading bench to see if I can make something appropriate for a 1940's vintage k-frame.

-Z-
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-16-2018, 03:57 PM
dr. mordo's Avatar
dr. mordo dr. mordo is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 806
Likes: 1,872
Liked 1,170 Times in 438 Posts
Default

FWIW, I read somewhere that Herco was common for early 38 SPL loadings, so you might look into that.

From the 1992 manual, max load for 158 LSWC is 4.5gr @ 930fps, so you might try 4gr.

Alliant Manuals

Last edited by dr. mordo; 07-16-2018 at 04:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-17-2018, 02:01 PM
ArchAngelCD's Avatar
ArchAngelCD ArchAngelCD is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeast PA, USA
Posts: 5,450
Likes: 273
Liked 1,820 Times in 1,098 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zonker5 View Post
Titewad? You mean they have named a powder after me?

Thanks to all for the input, now it's off to the loading bench to see if I can make something appropriate for a 1940's vintage k-frame.

-Z-
You didn't answer the questions on what type of load you're looking for. The .38 Special is fairly straightforward to load, just pick a velocity and replicate it.

Back then the powders were more limited than today so Bullseye and Unique will probably be reloaded used although there are probably two dozen powders that will do it today.

I would use the medium fast powder you already own and develop a 158gr cast bulletproof right around 800 fps and call it good. I would say 3.7gr to 4.0gr W231 will give you what you're looking for.

Bullseye, Unique, Red Dot, Zip, AA#2, Universal, Green Dot and a bunch of others will do it too.

I shoot a 158gr LSWC over 4.0gr W231 and a 148gr DEWC over 3.4gr W231 all the time in my 1948 M&P.
__________________
Freedom is never free!!

Last edited by ArchAngelCD; 07-17-2018 at 02:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-17-2018, 02:03 PM
H Richard's Avatar
H Richard H Richard is offline
US Veteran
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Central IL
Posts: 17,769
Likes: 8,920
Liked 11,516 Times in 4,935 Posts
Default

My favorite load is 4.3 gr 231 behind a 158 gr. cast lead.
__________________
H Richard
SWCA1967 SWHF244
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-17-2018, 03:26 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,507
Likes: 136
Liked 1,555 Times in 884 Posts
Default

Take the alleged velocities of many old time loads with a sack of salt. Velocities in 1899 were most likely calculated from ballistic pendulum results and might also be padded a bit since there was no practical way for anyone to check them. Now if someone lately has produced some black powder loads and clocked those on a chronograph, we might have a better idea what the used to get way back when.

Around 4.5 gr Unique clocks pretty much the same as todays 158 RNL loads.

Last edited by WR Moore; 07-17-2018 at 03:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-17-2018, 10:01 PM
HKSmith HKSmith is offline
SWCA Member
Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 528
Likes: 227
Liked 317 Times in 143 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WR Moore View Post
Take the alleged velocities of many old time loads with a sack of salt. Velocities in 1899 were most likely calculated from ballistic pendulum results and might also be padded a bit since there was no practical way for anyone to check them. Now if someone lately has produced some black powder loads and clocked those on a chronograph, we might have a better idea what the used to get way back when.

Around 4.5 gr Unique clocks pretty much the same as todays 158 RNL loads.
One of the members here, Alk8944, actually chronographed some .38 Special black powder loads in 2016. He used 21.5 grains FFFg in old balloon head cases that I had and sent to him. This load propelled a 158 grain cast bullet to 822 ft/sec in a 6 inch barreled Model 10. He also got similar results with several smokeless loads from the 1960's and 1970's. These results are not really much different from claimed velocities from 1899 to the present.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-17-2018, 10:57 PM
Smithbug Smithbug is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Brodhead Wi
Posts: 38
Likes: 132
Liked 82 Times in 21 Posts
Default

I made a load using 158gr SWCs with vitavouri N350 that got me the low 1000s out of my 6in 66 and 850 out of my 36. I used 6.3gr of powder which is a max standard pressure load according to their load data
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-18-2018, 05:39 PM
alwslate alwslate is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 3,983
Likes: 1,110
Liked 2,621 Times in 1,384 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zonker5 View Post
Titewad? You mean they have named a powder after me?

Thanks to all for the input, now it's off to the loading bench to see if I can make something appropriate for a 1940's vintage k-frame.

-Z-
Titewad might be THE powder for tightwads. Cheaper than many
other powders, low charge weights and so clean burning that
you save money on cleaning supplies I have loaded and
chronographed many cast bullet 38 spl loads and several
different factory loads. Standard factory 158 gr RN loads
run around 800 fps or a bit less in 4" barrels and some will
barely break 700 fps in 2" barrels. Not very hot but even so
I prefer to keep my handloads no hotter for my old non
model marked K frames. My oldest was made around 1910
and is still tight.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-18-2018, 06:44 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
Member
Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special Late 40s 38 special  
Join Date: May 2016
Location: 30min SE Montreal
Posts: 1,425
Likes: 137
Liked 953 Times in 551 Posts
Default

I've got an old ''pre K''frame 5 screws 4'' in .38 Spl;when I tried to get the usual 158gr 850fps with it,I could've sworn that the frame was telling me''I've had enough...I quit!''
I stopped before it quitted.Nowadays,I keep them at around 750fps and the gun seems happy.After all,one has to have respect for an old lady!I'd hate myself if I'd bust that sweet long action.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My late Father's 38 Special LeVipre S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 13 02-09-2015 11:05 AM
late night pmag special heads up BadKarmaZeroSix Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles 1 02-14-2013 10:50 AM
Chief's Special, late 1950's DOB? Murphy2000 S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 3 07-08-2012 12:32 PM
Special find....Late 1930's .38 M&P Target HBH THREEDFLYER S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 23 12-07-2011 12:12 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:28 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2018
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)