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Your favorite .38 special load for CAS.


Deuce Stevens SASS#55996

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125 gr TC bullet. Rifle and pistol.

 

1.40 OAL

 

3.0 Green Dot or Clays

 

740 fps

 

I use coated bullets. I also like to spread my business around the SASS community, so I buy bullets from SNS, Chey-cast, and Bullets by Scarlett. Also used Deuce's bullets with the same load with no problems.

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I load my cowboy loads the exact same as I load all of my standard .38 Special loads, 4.3 gr of WIN 231, with a 158 gr lead bullet.  For standard loads, I do these with LSWC bullets, loaded to standard length;  and for cowboy loads, I use TC bullets, loaded to 1.5" OAL.

 

My loads match up to my regular carry load for my .357 revolvers, so whenever I'm shooting, whatever load I'm shooting, and whichever revolver I'm shooting (SP-101, Security-Six, New Vaquero), I'm getting practice.

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13 hours ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

In celebration of load data being allowed on the wire again what is your favorite .38 Special load for our game. I'll start. 

2.9 grains of Titegroup with a 110gr. bullet loaded to 1.42 OAL and have used this load for the last 12 years and it has served me very very well. Have been loading Alliant Sport Pistol commercially and have been very happy with it and it reminds me a lot of VVN320. When I get through my last 8 pounder of Titegroup I will probably move to that. 

 

Any chance you might share your Alliant Sport Pistol load for .38 Special?

 

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About 750fps out of my Vaquero's last I checked. Since you felt the need to ask.

Thanks Slim for being the sole poster ... get my point regards the others?;)

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(Pistol) 105grn Badman Bullet with 3.2grns Titegroup powder. COL 1.450. Fed GM100M s.p primer.

 

(Rifle) 127grn Badlands Bud Badman Bullet with 3.0grns Clays powder. COL 1.500. Fed GM100M s.p primer. 

 

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3.0 grains of Clays under a 105 grain semi conical bullet. I’ve switched to the coated bullets, and my hands and dies stay clean even after hundreds of rounds loaded.

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Guys, I'm a semi-newbie.  Been shooting CAS for less than a year.  Just started reloading a couple of months ago.  My impression was light powder with a heavy bullet = light recoil.  I've been loading 158 gr. bullets with about 2.8 gr. TightGroup.  Most of the post here have lighter bullets with more powder.  Am I missing something?

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7 hours ago, John Boy said:

Thanks Slim for being the sole poster ... get my point regards the others?;)

Most can recognize a legitimate question vs. being poked at. Suppose to just be a fun thread for info. 

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4 hours ago, Clint Steele said:

Guys, I'm a semi-newbie.  Been shooting CAS for less than a year.  Just started reloading a couple of months ago.  My impression was light powder with a heavy bullet = light recoil.  I've been loading 158 gr. bullets with about 2.8 gr. TightGroup.  Most of the post here have lighter bullets with more powder.  Am I missing something?

 

Light powder(single base) with a heavy bullet(for caliber) are a good recipe for lighter recoil(relative) when needing to make a power factor and/or cycle a slide.  CAS allows for very light loads.  Lighter bullets being cheaper and the lack of a power factor allows us to meet the rules with them at very light load levels.  At the levels we're talking about, lighter bullets will have less to similar recoil than heavier bullets.  You might split hairs and say one has less "pop" or "push" instead, but for practical purposes finding a load that works well in your weather conditions or shoots to your sights, or shoots to your preferred level of cleanliness becomes more of a factor.

 

I'd suggest talking to the pards at your local shoot and see if they won't share some load data and let you shoot a few rounds of their preferred load next to yours for comparison to get an actual feel and decide for yourself if a change is worthwhile.

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2.7 Gr of Solo 1000 (going to 700x when the last 8 pounder runs out) behind a 125 RNFP, in 357 cases for my 73 and in 38 sp cases for Jersey Bratt's 94m. All with Fed SP or SPM primers. This load has worked well in over a dozen rifles and half a dozen sets of pistols.  Around 650 FPS in pistols, mild recoil. Original data from Willy McCoy on 2003, he had same results.

 

Imis

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9 hours ago, John Boy said:

Thanks Slim for being the sole poster ... get my point regards the others?;)

Don't thank so. After your reminder, I did post fps data.

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3.2 grains of TiteGroup, 125 TC coated bullet from Missouri Bullets. I always use Federal primers as well.

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12 hours ago, Clint Steele said:

Guys, I'm a semi-newbie.  Been shooting CAS for less than a year.  Just started reloading a couple of months ago.  My impression was light powder with a heavy bullet = light recoil.  I've been loading 158 gr. bullets with about 2.8 gr. TightGroup.  Most of the post here have lighter bullets with more powder.  Am I missing something?

 

You will find that a lighter bullet at the same or a little higher velocity will have lower felt recoil.  Figure the momentum = velocity X weight for an estimate of felt velocity.

 

Some use energy which is velocity squared X weight but I find the momentum formula to work pretty well.

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3.5 grains of Trail Boss under a 100 Gn coated bullet from Precision Bullets with 1.50 OAL.

 

If I want a knockdown round, I use the same powder load and just use a heavier bullet (147 or 158 depending on what I have).

 

Totes

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For me it's:

 

3.4 grains of 700x under a Badman 125Gn RNFP poly-coat.  This is so that I can use the same powder measure for my 9mm that shoot speed steel with.

 

As for speed and PF data... well it goes bang, and clang (most of the time... :))

 

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2.6 ClayDot with 125 gn. TC bullet     CD is much more consistent in cold weather than the Aussie-made Clays was.   750 FPS in revolver for PF of 93 +/-.   Rifle or pistol, load works well.

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I like 2.8 gr Titegroup with a Federal SPM primer under a 125 TC Cheycast crimped into their crimp groove.... delivers about 750 fps over my Pact chrono

3.2 grains of Titegroup with a Federal SPM primer under a 147 Moulton TC at 1.5 COL. This runs nicely in both my Marlins or '73's at a touch over 800 FPS out of a 20" barrel. When I run out of those bullets (still have about 5 or 6 K) I will switch to something else.

Shotgun is Remington STS or Nitro hulls, 1 oz of 7 1/2 shot 15.5 grains Clays with a Remington STS primer. Have never chronographed them but typically get 8 or more reloads out of them before they "crystalize" the folds and leak.

YMMV

Regards

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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Question for experienced re-loaders (safety minded ones that is)

 

I use 125 grain TC bullets and CLAYS powder.  Hodgdons web site says to use between 2.5 and 3.5 grains in a 38 special case and regular small pistol primers.  I have been using exactly the middle load of powder but get unburnt powder???  If I go up a bit I get less unburnt powder and some more recoil.

The midpoint load gave 700fps and mild recoil but the unburnt powder requires me to brush out the cylinders mid match.  I use a strong crimp.

 

Local pards recommend using small pistol magnum primers and a bit less than mid load.  Small pistol magnum primers - are not - specified on Hodgdons web site.  Is that safe?  

 

Thanks

Chestnut Louie

    

heavy crimp.jpg

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I use magnum primers to clean up SR4756 and HS-6, so yes, I would say give it a try. Long term, you might try ClayDot instead. Magnum primers just support a longer burn for slow powders, so that makes them effective to chase otherwise unburned granules.

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5 hours ago, chestnut louie said:

Question for experienced re-loaders (safety minded ones that is)

 

I use 125 grain TC bullets and CLAYS powder.  Hodgdons web site says to use between 2.5 and 3.5 grains in a 38 special case and regular small pistol primers.  I have been using exactly the middle load of powder but get unburnt powder???  If I go up a bit I get less unburnt powder and some more recoil.

The midpoint load gave 700fps and mild recoil but the unburnt powder requires me to brush out the cylinders mid match.  I use a strong crimp.

 

Local pards recommend using small pistol magnum primers and a bit less than mid load.  Small pistol magnum primers - are not - specified on Hodgdons web site.  Is that safe?  

 

Thanks

Chestnut Louie

    

heavy crimp.jpg

No it's not safe... But we do it anyway.

 

:mellow:

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I was using 2.9 of Clay Dot but did not like how little went in the case so recently changed to 3.4 of Trail Boss.  Had thought about Aliant Sport Pistol but had no data for it and did not know anyone using it so I went with TB.  Would love load data on Aliant Sport Pistol and also would like to know about how much it fills a case.  I use SNS coated bullets both in 105 and 125 size using the same amount of powder for each.

 

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I've been using 2.9 gr of SOLO 1000 and 125 gr lead or coated 38spl. Its been a great reliable load in pistol and rifle. But now that I've run out and can't find any more I appreciate all the info in this thread. I've also use 2.0 gr of SOLO 1000 in my 32S&W long for pistols. Need to find something good for that one too.

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I like to have enough pressure to make the case seal the chamber to eliminate blow-by.  To do that generates a little more recoil, which actually helps when shooting Gunfighter.  That load is 3.4 gr Titegroup/158gr RNFP, seated 1.43”.  It’s been a while but Ithink it chronographed 730fps from pistolsand 1000 (?) from rifle.

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12 hours ago, Dream Chaser, SASS #79316 said:

I was using 2.9 of Clay Dot but did not like how little went in the case so recently changed to 3.4 of Trail Boss.  Had thought about Aliant Sport Pistol but had no data for it and did not know anyone using it so I went with TB.  Would love load data on Aliant Sport Pistol and also would like to know about how much it fills a case.  I use SNS coated bullets both in 105 and 125 size using the same amount of powder for each.

 

I find 3.0 of TB sufficient with 125 gr, and it is no poofer.

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1 hour ago, Dream Chaser, SASS #79316 said:

Based on others responses I think I will try a little less Trail Boss powder.  Thanks. Really good to see this topic.

 

2 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

I find 3.0 of TB sufficient with 125 gr, and it is no poofer.

FWIW....my experience with TB in 38 was that it was not as accurate as I desire (perhaps it is the 20+ years of a more precision shooting back ground) unless at a charge that produced more felt recoil that I enjoy.  Great powder to fill space in case but I just did not get performance/recoil level to appreciate in my revolvers.  Maybe I am just to "picky"...TiteGroup produced a crack in sound that i did not like and VVN320 did not always completely burn leaving little pellets of unburn that I could literally blow out of pistol cylinder.  Pellets could often cause just enough resistance to making seating shell in chambers of my FAs difficult.   But, in my early years of CAS, price was right for me to use TG and VV.  Now,  I use Clays and suspect several more like Clay Dot, RD, 700, & 231 ,would be good choices also.

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3 minutes ago, Billy Boots, # 20282 LTG-Regulator said:

 

FWIW....my experience with TB in 38 was that it was not as accurate as I desire (perhaps it is the 20+ years of a more precision shooting back ground) unless at a charge that produced more felt recoil that I enjoy.  Great powder to fill space in case but I just did not get performance/recoil level to appreciate in my revolvers.  Maybe I am just to "picky"...TiteGroup produced a crack in sound that i did not like and VVN320 did not always completely burn leaving little pellets of unburn that I could literally blow out of pistol cylinder.  Pellets could often cause just enough resistance to making seating shell in chambers of my FAs difficult.   But, in my early years of CAS, price was right for me to use TG and VV.  Now,  I use Clays and suspect several more like Clay Dot, RD, 700, & 231 ,would be good choices also.

The VMD of Trailboss, making it easy to verify powder charge before placing a bullet, and quite adequate accuracy at the ranges we shoot, make Trail boss a winner for me.

BTW I saw another post where a Clays user was looking for a solution for unburned powder.

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1 hour ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

The VMD of Trailboss, making it easy to verify powder charge before placing a bullet, and quite adequate accuracy at the ranges we shoot, make Trail boss a winner for me.

BTW I saw another post where a Clays user was looking for a solution for unburned powder.

No doubt sufficient for our distances.  Old habits are hard to shed sometimes for me in my accuracy desires.  And, my 4.25" barrel revolvers may have just not liked the TB as much as yours..  Certainly the ability to verify levels is a plus for TB, and not for 3 grains of Clays..  

Yes, I have read of unburned powder in Clays use and see the hint of it on occasions with 105s..  I would like to try some Clay Dot some time but for now have  a supply of Clays to do around 20K rounds which should get me into next summer.

Good shooting.

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