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Old November 18, 2002, 07:21 PM   #1
Pendragon
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Need help with .38sp and Power Pistol

Need some help with my first .38sp loads.

I have a couple of older S&Ws - a 1965 Model 14 and a 1977 Model 10.

I want to baby these guns and at the same time, shoot them a LOT.

I bought 1000 bullets - 158gr LSWC from Bear Bullets - these are "dry lubed"


What I need to know is - are there any good mild .38 loads for "Power Pistol" powder? I have been using this with my .45ACP loads and so far it works great.

I would like about a 700fps load for my Smiths using this same powder.

Unfortunately, I have found very little infor for Power Pistol powder and the .38special

Also - any advice on OAL would be great too.

Thanks,
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Old November 18, 2002, 08:33 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Power Pistol is a medium slow burning powder; really too slow for light target loads in .38 Special. I guess if you had the use of a chronograph you could develop a 700 fps load, but it would likely be a bit erratic and dirty. I suggest you get a can of fast burning pistol powder like Bullseye, Win 231 or Titegroup. It will last a loooong time.

OAL - I would expect a .38 SWC to have a crimping groove. Do yours? If so crimp into the groove and take whatever OAL comes out. If not, load just shorter than the maximum which is, I think, 1.59".
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Old November 18, 2002, 09:18 PM   #3
labgrade
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One thing about rimp grooves, cast bullets & some cylinders ....

Using a Keith style (158 grs) in an old Python, I had to crimp over the first driving band (I guess you'call it that - the portion just in front of the crimp groove) 'cause the Python's cylinder was too short for this heavy cast bullet.

No sweat with any 'Smiths.

Just as a quick check & precaution, seat your bullet & "crimp" just enough to remove any semblance of belling so the loaded round will slide easily into the cylinder & check to make sure the bullet isn't sticking out past the cylinder front.

Could save you a bit of bullet pulling & reseating, etc.

Always a good idea anyway to make sure everything fits right before you see if it works right.
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Old November 18, 2002, 09:37 PM   #4
Old Fuff
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I am delighted that you have the good sense to not try and turn your two older Smith & Wesson's into junior magnums. However S&W has been heat treating cylinders since about 1920, and the two guns you have will easily stand up to any standard .38 Special load or handload. Just stay away from +P or +P+ data.

3 grains of Bullseye behind a 158 grain semi-wadcutter or Round Nose won't hurt the guns and should come close to your point of aim. Experiment a little and you'll find the right combination. Also try 2 to 2.7 grains of Bullseye behind a 148 grain full-wadcutter seated flush with the mouth of the case.
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Old November 20, 2002, 04:59 AM   #5
WESHOOT2
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JUST ME (?)

I've experienced less than stellar accuracy with Power Pistol in revolver calibers.
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old November 20, 2002, 04:36 PM   #6
Pendragon
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Thanks guys - bought a pound of Bullseye.

$20 in Roseville, CA - owie.
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Old November 20, 2002, 05:31 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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Yeah, but a pound of Bull at 3.5 grains a pop is 2000 shots or a penny a round for powder; less than the primer.
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Old November 20, 2002, 06:55 PM   #8
Ala Dan
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Bullseye Powder is $15.75 a lb. here in central DixieLand!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
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Old November 20, 2002, 08:10 PM   #9
Old Fuff
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Now that ypu've got some Bullseye powder be very careful. It's easy to double-charge a case when the charges are so small. After the cases are filled with powder check before you seat the bullets.
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Old November 20, 2002, 09:02 PM   #10
Pendragon
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Thanks for the warning.

I actually clean, decap, resize and prime my brass before I really start reloading.

I then use a turret press to

1. flare and charge (Lee Disk thingy)

2. Seat

3. Factory Crimp


Always possible to double charge, but pretty unlikely in this case.

What would 6 grains of bulls eye do to my .38s?
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Old November 20, 2002, 09:11 PM   #11
Old Fuff
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"What would 6 grains of Bullseye do to my 38's?"

You don't want to know.
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