38 Special Loads

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38 Special Loads

Post by rich.tullo on 3/28/2016, 10:23 pm

I have loaded wadcutters for plinking , Double end 148 grain,, mixed brass over 2.7 gn WST or Bullseye. 

For DR (Model 19, 6 inch barrel) I was thinking 158 SWC and I ordered some star line brass. 

So my questions does case length matter? And would i need to up the charge?

oops s/b 158 for the swc


Last edited by rich.tullo on 3/29/2016, 4:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by Guest on 3/28/2016, 11:06 pm

Most double end wad cutters are 148 grain, and DR bullets must be 158 grain. Did you cross post the bullet weight?

If you're going from 148 grain to 158 grain, the charge would be higher.

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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by SSgtG on 3/29/2016, 5:42 am

I use Bullseye powder but it's about the same burn rate. When using a 158 gr. head I use 3.2gr. I think you will find since the .38 special is headspaced on the rim your case length is very important to achieve your best accuracy. The load you use will be up to your gun. You may find it will need to be faster for good 50 yd. accuracy. At 25 you can get away with a lighter load.

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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by s1120 on 3/29/2016, 8:24 am

Im new to loading the 38 for accuracy, but the biggest issue I found with case length is your crimp. A longer case, with have a tighter crimp them a shorter one, what will lead to variations in pressure, and accuracy. As for the load... ya the 158gr will probably take a little more, but your gun will tell you how much more..

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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by JIMPGOV on 3/29/2016, 8:59 am

I SEE THAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT USE THE AMMO FOR D/R. YOU WOULD BE WASTING YOUR TIME TRIMMING THE BRASS. THAT TIME IS BETTER SPENT LEARNING HOW TO SHOOT THE REVOLVER IN THE RAPID FIRE PORTION.  2.7 GR WST IS TOO LIGHT FOR THE 50 YD LINE. IF YOU ARE USING SWAGED 158GR BULLETS 3.1 WILL WORK, IF USING HARD CAST 3.3 IS NEEDED. WITH THE SWAGED BULLETS REDDING SELLS A PROFILE CRIMP DIE. IT'S A COMBINATION TAPER AND ROLL CRIMP.  HAVE FUN JP

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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by ric1911a1 on 3/29/2016, 9:18 am

Zero 158 grain swaged SWC, Starline brass, Winchester or Federal primer, 2.8 grains of Bullseye, roll crimp. Shoots well in my K-38, 686, and a friend's K-38 at 50 yards in the Ransom rest. Haven't tried it in the Colt Officer's Model Match yet.
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by Rob Kovach on 3/29/2016, 3:46 pm

Read my very long thread about "DR loads that don't suck" http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t2221-distinguished-revolver-loads-that-don-t-suck

I have found that 50 yard DR loads are very difficult for me to make in an accurate way. Starting with all new Starline brass sounds like a good place to start if you are going to make it work!
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by rich.tullo on 3/29/2016, 8:57 pm

Thx so it seems like for the long line I need to get some sagged bullets. Does anyone have any luck with Jacked Bullets.
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by Rob Kovach on 3/29/2016, 9:07 pm

Jacketed bullets are not legal for Distinguished Revolver.

Cast bullets might work ok in your revolver....give it a try!
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by dronning on 3/29/2016, 10:09 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:Jacketed bullets are not legal for Distinguished Revolver.

Are you sure?  Rules say (e) Ammunition- Any safe .38 caliber ammunition using the 158 grain round nose or Semi-Wadcutter bullet only.  

I use a SWC round but I think I've seen some jacketed round nose bullets being used.

- Dave
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by rreid on 3/29/2016, 10:14 pm

3.7gr WST with Zero 158 SWC did the job for me. Never ransom rested it, but held 10 ring off sandbags. I always used mixed brass because it was all I had.

To answer the question about case length, I would guess it make it easier to make consistent ammo. I've noticed with mixed brass, that some rounds get flared more than others and some get crimped more than others.
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by ric1911a1 on 3/30/2016, 7:01 am

Jacketed bullets are legal for DR, as long as they are 158 grain round nose or semi-wadcutter. Hollow points are not.

That is the answer I received from the CMP when I inquired about it.
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by KenO on 3/30/2016, 8:15 am

I thought the DR program was NRA, not CMP. Or does the CMP make the rules for DR, and the NRA admins it?
Yes, I know all the other distinguished programs are CMP, I just thought revolver was different.

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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by ric1911a1 on 3/30/2016, 8:29 am

You are absolutely correct. I meant to say NRA. Too early...............
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by james r chapman on 3/30/2016, 11:24 am

I did not know that.
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by Rob Kovach on 3/30/2016, 5:07 pm

Are you sure? Rules say (e) Ammunition- Any safe .38 caliber ammunition using the 158 grain round nose or Semi-Wadcutter bullet only.

I use a SWC round but I think I've seen some jacketed round nose bullets being used.
^^^This is correct^^^
One of the recent changes in the rules....

Is there a 158gr jacketed RN or SWC available?
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Re: 38 Special Loads

Post by Chris Miceli on 3/30/2016, 5:44 pm

found these Rob

http://www.xtremebullets.com/38-158-SWC-p/xc38-158swc-b0500.htm

http://www.selwayarmory.com/armscor-bullets-38-357-caliber-357-158-gr-fmj-rn-bag-of-100.html
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