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Powder and load for 38spl

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Wobbley
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L. Boscoe
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Powder and load for 38spl Empty Powder and load for 38spl

Post by L. Boscoe Sat Oct 28, 2023 9:50 am

Been shooting 22 and 45 for some years now. Got a SW 52 and am interested in loads and powders suitable
for Bulls eye. I have on hand N310 and N320, Hogdon/Winchester 38/231.
Which for target use?  I will also use my revolvers some.

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Powder and load for 38spl Empty Re: Powder and load for 38spl

Post by james r chapman Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:04 am

WW231, 3.1 gr. 148 gr HBWC
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Powder and load for 38spl Empty Re: Powder and load for 38spl

Post by Wobbley Sat Oct 28, 2023 2:51 pm

With a 148 Wadcutter
    2.5-2.9 Bullseye
    2.5-3.0 WST
    2.7-3.2 231
    3.5 Unique has worked well but consumes more powder
    2.8-3.1 Titegroup
    2.9 Red Dot
    2.8 700X

The last 3 have not been as accurate as the first 3.  With the first 3 powders shoot the minimum that gives good function and accuracy.  I’m beginning to only factory at 50.  Speaking of which, Remington, Federal, Winchester, Magtech, and Sellier&Bellot are accurate and function in my gun.  Fiocchi is accurate but does not function.
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Powder and load for 38spl Empty Re: Powder and load for 38spl

Post by John Dervis Sat Oct 28, 2023 6:56 pm

Of the powders your have, 231 has been a good choice for .38. Somewhere around 3.0 grains will work.  I personally use 2.7 grains Bullseye powder. That load functioned my 52 perfect and was accurate in both the 52 and my revolvers. 

John

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Powder and load for 38spl Empty Re: Powder and load for 38spl

Post by tomd999 Sat Oct 28, 2023 7:59 pm

Hiya,
I used the Remington 148’s for years with 2.7 bullseye but I always had most of the bullets skidding at the long line. I decided to try a cast bullet, Saeco mold # 052, 148 button nose flat base. I’ve settled on 2.8 WST for the short line and 3.0 for the long line, I find only a trace of skidding at 50 now and then, holes are clean punches. I seat them so the button is just peaking out of the case and taper crimp with a 38 Super die.
Powders I tried in my two 52-2’s
Titegroup, shot OK, some leading in the throat section (hot burn maybe?) pistol didn’t “feel smooth”, sooty cases
AA#2, and #5, both shot well however, they left a lot of and unburnt granules in the trigger mechanism, enough to not allow the trigger to reset after 73 rounds into a CF 900…..
Old formula” Bullseye, it works, smokes, dirty cases
Unique, smokes more, dirty, oily consistency to the residue, inconsistent charge with light weight
700x, large flake, kind of like Unique with oily grunge, inconsistent charge, (Dillon measure with the “Xtra-small” shuttle
231, worked well around 2.9-3.0 in both guns but WST is a little more consistent in the Ransom at 50.
One note, with the small charges, I dump 10 in for an average after I set the measure, this shows what side of the tenth you are close to as scales are only accurate to a tenth and there is a difference between 2.81 and 2.89 grains that some scales can’t pick up.

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Powder and load for 38spl Empty Re: Powder and load for 38spl

Post by L. Boscoe Sun Oct 29, 2023 11:50 am

thanks guys.

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Powder and load for 38spl Empty Re: Powder and load for 38spl

Post by Texasref Mon Oct 30, 2023 4:12 am

I found that the faster powders did not equate well with 38spcl. A lot of case and not much powder.
Went to AA #5, 4.0gns to be exact. Works well and in my experience, burns completely.
This is over 158gn swc.

Just a thought to try. Good luck on your search.

I was incorrect about the powder charge: It's 5.0gns not 4.0. Everything else is the same.


Last edited by Texasref on Sun Nov 05, 2023 5:14 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : wrong powder charge)

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Powder and load for 38spl Empty Re: Powder and load for 38spl

Post by BE Mike Mon Oct 30, 2023 6:06 am

To answer your question about loads for your S&W model 52, I think of the powders that you mention, HP 38/ Winchester 231 (the same powder) have a great history with the 148 gr. HBWC bullet and I have loaded it with those powders, as well as, Alliant Bullseye. Of course, make sure that you seat the bullet flush with the case mouth or a tiny bit (a technical term;)) below flush. I have used a taper crimp for many years without any feeding issues, but I have added a slight roll crimp as a finishing touch. As far as accuracy out of a model 52, I haven't seen any 50 yard machine rest groups posted anywhere. I shot a model 52-1 for years. I only shot factory match for competitions. A couple of high masters on the old dial-up Bullseye-L convinced me to drop that pistol and just shoot an accurized 1911 for both centerfire and the .45 match. I think it was a good move and partially credit my going up in class from outdoor expert to master.
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