Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Boomstick Bruce

38s&w

Recommended Posts

Anyone load 38 Smith and Wesson? Where do you get to lead? There apparently is a shortage of factory ammo and I have a bunch of brass so I want to work up a good sd/hd load and a side match load... Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I cast a 125 grain soft lead bullet using a .38 special mold.   Then lube it with a sizer using a 0.360" die.    It could even be shot unsized.

 

A few of the semi-custom mold makers will cut you a slightly-large diameter mold so you can get 0.360 or larger instead of 0.358 diameter common for .38/357 loads.  Accurate Molds is one maker that I really like.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend gave me a revolver marked 38-200. It appears to be a MK-5 Enfield of Belgium origin with a 3 inch barrel. I found some Lee dies and use one of Lee's loads with my 158 gr. bullets I use for 357. At 12 yards it hit the target and the gun did not blow up. As it is double action only with a hard trigger pull, I stopped there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I load a coated 125 gr tcfp .358 bullet from Chey cast Bullets,with a magnum primer and 2.2 grains of unique powder. I shoot it in a Iver Johnson top break. Runs great. Very mild recoil. Makes keeping the front site on target a breeze. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I use this bullet...

 

https://www.kingshooters.com/bullets-better-bullets/8-357-38-40-38-55-3014/bb-38-sw-158-grain-round-nose-sized-360-30141269

 

It's the proper .360" and gives me great accuracy out of everything from an antique Merwin & Hulbert to a S&W Victory model and everything in between.  They also have a 180 grainer as well.

 

If you use Winchester nickel brass however, this bullet will bulge the case and the cartridges will bot chamber.   For that brass, I use a .358" hollow base bullet brom Buffalo arms.   I also use that one for .38 short and long Colt, but its a much more expensive bullet.  I'd say just avoid the Winchester brass..

 

.38-200 uses the exact same brass as the .38 S&W.  It is essentially a "super" version of the older round.   Intended for use in Mark IV Webley and the S&W Victory model.  Any gun chambered for .38-200 can handle the S&W round.   But NOT the other way around.    .38 S&W is a great round.  Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Home-brewed .38-200 rounds. :)

38-200.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call me weird and yes I know there are better options for a SD gun, but I've been shooting and collecting these old top breaks for the better part of 15 years now and no matter what SD gun I get, I always drift back to the Iver Johnson 38. Currently I'm carrying a 3rd model with a 2" barrel. It's old and ugly but it's light, carries nice (in comparison to my 3x3 judge or 1911) and shoots well. I did some polishing and smoothing and it's nearly as smooth as my judge. I cut X's into 5 of the rounds and tapped a flat point into 5 others for ballistic gel tests. Unfortunately I only have 20 rounds left over from the last box I bought so 10 for test, 10 for carry. Also, I discovered a speed loader for a j frame holds 5 s&w rounds perfectly. Eventually, when I get back to work, I'm going to pick up a 357 j frame for EDC. But for now this will do..

 

Oh and the reason I switched back to the IJ is my old EDC, a Kel Tec p3at, has started to stove pipe constantly... Wheel guns don't jam... Not even pos Iver Johnsons... Old, not obsolete...

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My S&W Lemon Squeezer in 38 S&W works fine with .358 bullets. We run a 25 yard long range pocket pistol event and it does better than most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't load for it. The local toy store has it for $9 a box so the few times I shoot it the work isn't worth it.  Mag tec ammo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive been buying mine as well but i do want to set up to load - been keeping all my brass , i have webeys and enfields as well as the pre-victory in 38S&W , 38/200 , 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, THAT kinda SD load - now I get it.  

 

0.358" 148 gr hollow base wad cutter upside down and perhaps taper crimp the flange of the hollow base slightly to enable speed load without glitches.  Cheap and has been effective for years.

 

Original reply was what I do for pocket side matches....

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Boomstick Bruce said:

Anyone load 38 Smith and Wesson? Where do you get to lead? There apparently is a shortage of factory ammo and I have a bunch of brass so I want to work up a good sd/hd load and a side match load... Thanks!

 

Ugh...   Initials.   Okay, I think I've guessed that sd is Self Defense, but what is hd?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Boomstick Bruce said:

 Eventually, when I get back to work, I'm going to pick up a 357 j frame for EDC. But for now this will do..

 

Oh and the reason I switched back to the IJ is my old EDC, a Kel Tec p3at, has started to stove pipe constantly... Wheel guns don't jam... Not even pos Iver Johnsons... Old, not obsolete...

 

And another one.   EDC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure about EDC, but before you ask BUG = back up gun. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

And another one.   EDC?

SD- self defense

HD- home defense

EDC- every day carry

BUG- back up gun

SHTF- $-?! hits the fan

TEOTWAWKI- the end of the world as we know it.

ITIAEICDFYJLMKIHAMAIC-if there is anything else I can do for you just let me know, I'll help as much as I can...B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Boomstick Bruce said:

SD- self defense

HD- home defense

EDC- every day carry

BUG- back up gun

SHTF- $-?! hits the fan

TEOTWAWKI- the end of the world as we know it.

ITIAEICDFYJLMKIHAMAIC-if there is anything else I can do for you just let me know, I'll help as much as I can...B)

SAI: silly ass initials.  :)Anyway, I just shot some 38S&W today.  2.3 gr Bullseye, reg'lar old 125 gr 357 bullet.  Hit every target every time at CAS distance out of an Enfield (38-200).  Not recommended for SD, HD, EDC, or any of that other stuff.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still new to the whole typing stuff on electric devices. So please enlighten me are these SAI supposed to save paper or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a question related question that doesn't necessarily deal with bullet size.  Can you reload 38S&W using a Dillon Square Deal B set up for 38 special?  I asked someone and was told no because the case diameter of 38S&W is "slightly wider" than the case diameter of 38 special.   I recently was given a Colt 38 Police Positive, bought two boxes of Magtech 38S&W, and shot almost a whole box.  Now I've got close to 50 cases and whenever I shoot that gun again, I'll have more.  My Dillion SDB is set up for 38 special.  I'm a relatively new reloader (only reloaded ~22,000 rounds so far).  I know I'll hardly ever shoot that gun if I can't reload the cases.  I'll just buy a box or two again whenever the urge hits me.  If the press can can be used, I'll shoot that gun more often.  What do the experts say?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You Are correct. The 38 Smith & Wesson is a larger diameter case

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, oak creek martin said:

You Are correct. The 38 Smith & Wesson is a larger diameter case

Thanks for verifying that for me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/25/2019 at 7:23 PM, Boomstick Bruce said:

Call me weird and yes I know there are better options for a SD gun, but I've been shooting and collecting these old top breaks for the better part of 15 years now and no matter what SD gun I get, I always drift back to the Iver Johnson 38. Currently I'm carrying a 3rd model with a 2" barrel. It's old and ugly but it's light, carries nice (in comparison to my 3x3 judge or 1911) and shoots well. I did some polishing and smoothing and it's nearly as smooth as my judge. I cut X's into 5 of the rounds and tapped a flat point into 5 others for ballistic gel tests. Unfortunately I only have 20 rounds left over from the last box I bought so 10 for test, 10 for carry. Also, I discovered a speed loader for a j frame holds 5 s&w rounds perfectly. Eventually, when I get back to work, I'm going to pick up a 357 j frame for EDC. But for now this will do..

 

Oh and the reason I switched back to the IJ is my old EDC, a Kel Tec p3at, has started to stove pipe constantly... Wheel guns don't jam... Not even pos Iver Johnsons... Old, not obsolete...

 

 

 

 

A word or two of advice on the legal side.  NEVER use reloads for defensive rounds whether SD, HD, or EDC.  NEVER change the slug with X's, homemade hollowpoints, flat points, etc. that you intend to carry as defensive rounds.  

 

An attorney in a wrongful death suit will play hobb with you in court.  They play on the premise you have developed special "Killer" rounds and were out to kill instead of defend.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 125 gr bullets if I have any or match the bullet/load in my old Lyaman handbook.  Usually use Bullseye powder.  Bullets sized .358 since property sized .360’s are hard to find.

 

Hellbender, I don’t remember seeing Dillon dies for 38S&W for the SDB.  Even if they have them, it would probably be cheaper to find a used single stage press and get a set of Lee dies than to set up your SDB for the cartridge.

 

I set up my 550 for 38 S&W back when caliber conversions were a lot cheaper.  But the 550 uses standard dies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

I use 125 gr bullets if I have any or match the bullet/load in my old Lyaman handbook.  Usually use Bullseye powder.  Bullets sized .358 since property sized .360’s are hard to find.

 

Hellbender, I don’t remember seeing Dillon dies for 38S&W for the SDB.  Even if they have them, it would probably be cheaper to find a used single stage press and get a set of Lee dies than to set up your SDB for the cartridge.

 

I set up my 550 for 38 S&W back when caliber conversions were a lot cheaper.  But the 550 uses standard dies.

Thanks for the info.  Cypress Sam, as little as I'll shoot this gun,  I'm just going to buy the Magtech ammo now and then (usually then!) even if the dies were available for the SDB,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hellbender said:

Thanks for the info.  Cypress Sam, as little as I'll shoot this gun,  I'm just going to buy the Magtech ammo now and then (usually then!) even if the dies were available for the SDB,

Save your brass and give it to a pard who does reload it. Always good for trade fodder too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are using the smaller .358 bullets the larger case wouldn't matter, the dies would size them smaller. But you still won't be able to roll crimp the 38 S&W as they are shorter, unless you want to grind the die shorter.  I load my 38 S&W cartridges on my 550, using my home cast .360 bullets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Michigan Slim said:

Save your brass and give it to a pard who does reload it. Always good for trade fodder too.

Good suggestion, will do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104 said:

A word or two of advice on the legal side.  NEVER use reloads for defensive rounds whether SD, HD, or EDC.  NEVER change the slug with X's, homemade hollowpoints, flat points, etc. that you intend to carry as defensive rounds.  

 

An attorney in a wrongful death suit will play hobb with you in court.  They play on the premise you have developed special "Killer" rounds and were out to kill instead of defend.  

 

Has anyone ever heard of this actually happening?  I know Ayoob (I think that's his name) has done a good job of making this become conventional wisdom, but I have never heard of it actually occurring.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I think it's urban legend, but why take the chance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Better tried by 12 than carried by six."   :huh:

 

Anymore, as highly effective as commercial self-defense ammo is, I doubt a jury would be concerned about what bullet you shot a bad guy with, and whether it was commercial or hand loaded.  A 38 S&W cartridge will never be confused with a high power handgun round.  But then, I am NOT a lawyer.

 

That said, in my firearms reserved for self-defense, I use commercial ammunition because of it's high quality assurance and reliability - not for it's "judgement" effect.

 

Good luck, GJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dies for the .38 S&W are not at all expensive.   I recommend the Lee ones.   The cartridge is remarkably easy to load.   Finding brass can be tough though.  Almost all of my brass for this caliber started out as factory ammo.  

 

That stuff is supposedly "downloaded" in deference to the many old guns in this caliber.   I have developed several loads for the caliber, all of which are milder than factory, so that I can use them in any of my guns.   That being said, I do plan to eventually load up some .38-200 level rounds for use in my guns in that caliber, but because.   But finding data to reproduce that loading has proven elusive.   I suppose a "max load" of .38 S&W would suffice.

 

Here is a suggestion.   I would recommend that, IF you decide to develop different loads to use in different guns, that you be sure to identify them in some way.   For example....

 

Brass headstamped .38 S&W:  Standard smokeless round

Brass headstamed .38 New Colt Police (The exact same round.  This is just what Colt called it.)  Most of what I have in this headstamp is balloon head cases.  They therefore get a black powder loading.  (Oddly, some of this stuff was factory loaded with smokeless.) 

ANYTHING loaded with black, regardless of headstamp, also gets a Sharpie created X over the base of the cartridge.

Nickeled Winchester Brass.   Since I can't use the .360" bullets I normally use in this brass, it get's a .358" hollow base bullet.  The "length" of this bullet is also different, giving *SLIGHTLY* more powder capacity.   This allows me to create loading with a little more performance, but then they are only used in my guns ostensibly chambered for .38-200  Sometimes I will also use this brass for black powder. 

 

Also, depending on which bullet I use, the 158 grain .360" LRN or the 150 grain hollow base .358", different powder amounts may be used.   These two bullets are so visually different that I always know which is which, but I still load them with the above mentioned brass conventions in mind.

 

It does lead to a little more effort in sorting the brass, but part of the fun of this cartridge is that it is very easy to come up with variations.

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Has anyone ever heard of this actually happening?  I know Ayoob (I think that's his name) has done a good job of making this become conventional wisdom, but I have never heard of it actually occurring.

 

 

I first learned of this wisdom in the 70's from articles written by Massad Ayoob in Guns and Ammo.  He listed actual examples of how attorneys have used reloads and guns with lightened triggers against folks.  He testified in court for years as an expert witness in police and civilian shooting cases.

 

Attorneys have also attempted to use aftermarket grips/sights and hollow point ammunition against owners but those modifications were defenseable commercial upgrades for safer handling.  The ammunition was defensible as a commercially available product purpose made for defensive situations.

 

My position as a retired LEO Rangemaster is to provide an attorney with no leverage to discredit the owner or provide a jury with any reason to believe a person has any malicious plan when applying deadly force.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought 146 grain .360 sized lead from Midway a few years ago to load in .38 S&W. They work just fine for pocket pistol  side shoot. I have 2 loads 1.8 or 2.0 Gr. of Bullseye. They both work well in a Thames Arms Co. top break pistol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I greatly wish I could find a main match legal rifle in this caliber.

 

You can find pocket pistols, derringers, pistol caliber single shots, main match revolvers, but not main match rifles.   Not much call for it, I guess, but it sure would be nice!

 

Preference....

 

Colt Lighting

Winchester 92

Winchester 73

 

Clearly we are talking a modern reproduction, not an original.  :)

 

And as long as I am dreaming, maybe a left handed Spencer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.