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Posted: 11/13/2012 6:21:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/18/2012 2:13:37 PM EST by bluefalcon]
I've reloaded for 10mm and .233/5.56mm. Anything unusual or quirky. I just want to load up some cheap, super light practice rounds. I've got 250 125 gr LSWC, small pistol magnum primers (all that was in stock), 800-X, AA7, and AA9.

So you don't have to scroll to the end, I ended up loading 125 gr LSWC over 3.9 gr of W231 with CCI magnum small pistol primers. This load was super pleasant to shoot. Here are the chrono resulsts:

Out of a S&W 638 (2" .38 spl)


Avg = 518.78

Out of a S&W Model 13 (4" .357 mag)


Avg = 588.94

Thanks for the help, guys.
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 6:30:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/13/2012 6:31:39 AM EST by John87]
IIRC, 800x may be a bit much for .38 special. My loadout is 158g LSWC, 3.2g of IMR 700x and CCI 500 primers. kicks like a .22LR

it is kind of hard to screw up a .38. I do not crimp my .38's, and I put a mild crimp on my 357mag's. It is an easy round to load, in fact the very first bullet I ever made was a .38 in the above flavor, and have yet to change it after 500 rounds or so.

Also, the usual advice with using a magnum primer is reduce your starting powder load by 10%
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 6:36:52 AM EST
10% below the book's starting load?

How low below the book start could I go without causing problems?
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 7:59:56 AM EST
I've had fun loading a couple thousand 158 gr. LSWCs using 3.1gr. of Clays with a CCI/Win. small pistol primer. Very accurate load with my 4" Model 10-5. Also had good luck with Trail Boss (for nice, mild loads). Reloading this straight-wall pistol cartridge is easy and fun. Also, with a revolver I'm not chasing brass as I do with my 5.56 and 9mm.

I've found that my Model 10 doesn't like 125gr. jacketed or plated bullets, for accuracy or POI with the fixed sights. A LSWC 125gr. bullet design might work better. I'd give it a go! I've read that fixed-sight S&Ws were factory zeroed for the 158gr. SWC, though I don't know how much truth there is in that statement.

I don't have any experience with the powders you have listed nor magnum SP primers in the .38 Special.

Overall, shooting and reloading the .38 Special is a bit of "zen" for me in the realm of firearms.

Link Posted: 11/13/2012 9:34:47 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 10:15:40 AM EST
My super light .38sp load:

125gr TC lead
2.9gr of Clays
Fed SP magnum primer
mixed brass
1.43" OAL
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 10:46:59 AM EST
Since you've successfully loaded .223, then loading 38spl will be a piece of cake.

My first loads were with 357, and I used a Lee factory crimp die to crimp so I didn't have to worry about case length (as long as they weren't too long),
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 11:05:29 AM EST
Nope, nothing quarky. Probably one of the easiest rounds to reload.
I wrote this one a while ago using the 38 special. http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/377402_I_said_I_would_write_up_my_style_so_I_did__enjoy__I_hope____.html
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 4:18:53 PM EST
Went ahead with 3.9 gr of W231. 3.8gr is the starting charge but my Uniflow did NOT want to go that low. I'm a little concerned about how much room is left in the case but they wouldn't publish the load if it weren't safe, right?

I'm looking forward to seeing how they shoot. Should be almost no recoil out of the Model 13 and significantly less recoil than factory ammo from the 638. Incidentally, a pound of powder will load 1,750 rounds at that charge. Quite a contrast to the .270 Win that I loaded up for my wife today also with 54 gr of H4831.
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 6:41:33 PM EST
I load with Bullseye. There is a lot of room in a case afterwards. I dont worry about it. It shoots well. I shot a 1.25" 5 shout group and pulled the last shot that opened the group to about 2.5" from a rest at 10 Yards last week with it. Really easy to load a 38 spl.

Link Posted: 11/14/2012 3:13:36 AM EST
My pet load for 38 is 3.4 gr W231 with a 158 gr LSWC so your load with a lighter bullet should be about the same.

Light recoil and super accurate. 38 spcl is one of the easiest rounds to load.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 2:13:47 PM EST
Bump for numbers.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 6:44:38 PM EST
Just shot up a bunch of 125gr jacketed over 5.6gn. of Unique with Winchester SP. Easy shooter and very accurate. 1.450 OAL. Shot out of S&W 581 4".
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