Non-selfdefense plinking loads for 2" .38spl snubs
I hope with the title I can attract those using their 2" .38spl snubnose revolvers for plinking, at least part of the time, to comment here. This place seems to have among the most interesting and interested posters, so here goes...
I recently got into the .38 special snubnose revolver when a neighbor asked me to load him some plinking ammo. Eventually, I liked his little Colt-DS so much I bought one for myself.
I started with Berry plated 125 grain FP with W231. My first load was 3.6 grains which shot into a 2.5" group at 30 feet (10 paces). Unfortunately there has been so much snow this winter, I've not been able to set up my chronograph to fully analyze this load. I also loaded some Speer LHBWC with 3.0 grains of W231 — very tight 1.5" group.
I am going to be doing some tests of greater amounts of W231 powder as well as Titegroup powder — all with the 126 grain bullet. When I can see a pattern, I'll branch out to 148 grain HBWC.
What I want to do with my tinkering, is establish a floor for stable and accurate .38 special ammo loadings in a 2" barrel, and compare that with what I get in a 4" barrel. None of my loading books mention 2" guns. They all use data from 4" or, more commonly, 6" barrels.
My expectation is that you get into real borderline squib loads in 2" guns sooner than in 4". So I'm trying to see where that happens with various bullets. I hope my info will be usefull for some of you.
Please feel free to join me in my experiment, and share your results.