The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 4, 2007, 12:43 AM   #1
oldcars
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Posts: 375
38 special load question

a friend of mine, who has been reloading for about 45 years recently loaded 500 rounds of 38 special ammo for me as part of a trade. I have shot some of them and they seem fine, but I wanted to check with some of the experts here just to make shure they are safe. 158g lead swc with 6.5g of Unique in cleaned 38 special cases. In my reloading manuals, its way high for 38 special but the starting point for 357. Is it to much pressure for a 38 case? They will be shot in K frame s&w's (65&10) I have about 460 left so I hope they are safe to shoot.
oldcars is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 01:30 AM   #2
mutski
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2006
Location: fairbanks, alaska
Posts: 127
Caution advised

Alliant http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...17&bulletid=41 suggests 4.3 grains of Unique

Lee's Modern Reloading says don't exceed 4.3 grains of Unique for a 158 gr lead bullet.

MD Smith's reloading page http://www.reloadammo.com/38loads.htm has some loads to 4.5 grains of Unique.

Handloads.com http://www.handloads.org/loaddata/de...Powder&Source= suggests 4.3 grains of Unique; a guest user says 5 grains.

I'm no expert at this, and for that reason I stick to the published limits. A .357 magnum case is engineered for higher pressures than a .38 special case. Besides that the volume of the .357 case is larger than the volume of the .38 case; I'm guessing that means the same powder and bullet may produce more pressure in the .38 case than in the .357 case. I'd say you're pushing the limits. For me, it's not worth the risk.
mutski is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 02:19 AM   #3
James A. Mullins
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2006
Location: Vancouver Washington
Posts: 124
I'am no spert on this how ever according to my books max unique +p loads are maxed at 4.8/5. Such loads are battering your guns. Sooner or later something is going to blow. I have heard that cast .355/.356 under sized SWC's loaded to 5.5. Personelly I would not shoot them in the guns you mentioned.
James
James A. Mullins is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 10:16 AM   #4
Trapper L
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2006
Location: South Texas
Posts: 804
He most likely has an old loading manual and used that data. There are loadings that tall in the old manuals but the big difference with Unique is that it has changed over the years. It is a faster, cleaner burning powder than the old Unique. I would ask him about the data and where he got it. I would also confirm that the numbers you have are correct. If he used new Unique and is loading that tall, I wouldn't shoot it especially in a K frame.
Trapper L is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 11:03 AM   #5
oldcars
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Posts: 375
Hmmmm..... sounds like a whole lot of bullet pulling in my future.
oldcars is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 03:46 PM   #6
jdmick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Posts: 130
Quote:
Hmmmm..... sounds like a whole lot of bullet pulling in my future.
Or find a .357 Magnum to shoot em through.
jdmick is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 05:06 PM   #7
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,083
Quote:
He most likely has an old loading manual and used that data.
Must be a really old manual then. My 1974 edition of the Speer Number Nine manual lists 5.3 grains of Unique as a max load for 158gr jacketed bullets and 4.7 for lead.

For 158gr Jacketed bullets, max loads shown are:
.38 Special 5.3g Unique = 918 fps
.357 Magnum 7.8g Unique = 1118fps

For 158gr lead bullets, max loads are around 4.7 and 7.0 grains respsectively.

Disclaimer:
WARNING: The above loads are from an older, 1974 reloading manual. Use only the published listings in a current reloading manual or guide for these calibers. TFL and the author of this post assume no liability for use of the above data!
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 06:05 PM   #8
Rimrod
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 19, 2005
Location: Behind enemy lines
Posts: 1,309
Speer No. 8, 38spl. 158gr LSWC max load of Unique is 6.0 grains.

Hornady Volume Two, max load with 158 LRN is 6.1 grains.
Rimrod is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 06:11 PM   #9
Russ5924
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2005
Posts: 1,874
Myself I have never been crazy about shooting other peoples reloads you just never know what you are going to get and just how careful he is reloading. But look on the bright side you should have lots of leftover powder to reload more
__________________
Russ5924
Russ5924 is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 06:49 PM   #10
oldcars
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Posts: 375
Is it safe to shoot them in a 357 the way they are?
oldcars is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 09:14 PM   #11
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,099
This is why you should never shoot other people's reloads. That one is 1.1 grains over max. for .38's. It's ok for a .357 IF the bullets have gas checks. No gas checks and you'll get leading.
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old May 4, 2007, 11:52 PM   #12
epr105
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2005
Location: NYC METRO AREA
Posts: 240
You shot some allready look at the cases and see if there is signs of excess pressure. Flattened primer is a sign of high pressure. Also cracked cases are a bad thing as is flattening of the writing on the case head. The pressure limit is for the case and chamber combo the smaller case capacity of the .38 to the length of the .357 could make them unsafe in a .357
Ed
__________________
Two to the chest and one to the head
epr105 is offline  
Old May 5, 2007, 12:12 AM   #13
skeeter1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 11, 2006
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 3,403
Same here.

Quote:
Myself I have never been crazy about shooting other peoples reloads
I'd never buy any reloads at a gun show in particular. You never know if the reloader got distracted by something and double-charged a cartridge. It's not worth the risk.
skeeter1 is offline  
Old May 5, 2007, 12:52 AM   #14
oldcars
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Posts: 375
Normaly I wont shoot "mystery" reloads, but I the friend who loaded these for me has been reloading a long, long time and pretty much got me into reloading. I trust his reloading skill much more than my own ( I'm just begining) I just question this because its so much higher than the manual. He normally loads 357 rounds and just loaded 38 special cases because I asked him to so they would work in my girlfriends model 10. I shoot a S&W model 65 .357 and a Ruger security six .357 but I can't see the 65 being any stronger than the 10. even thou its not marked as a plus p or magnum, its the same frame isnt it? The loads seemed to shoot fine in both guns, I just need to know if it realy is a hazard or just one of those "not recomended" things that will work fine but no one wants to have the liability for; like shooting 5.56 in a .223, or drilling a hole without safety glasses, or talking on the phone while driving.
oldcars is offline  
Old May 5, 2007, 11:14 AM   #15
The Real Wyatt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2006
Location: South Central KY
Posts: 339
Your friend has made an error. You need to call him on it.
That load is WAY to hot for a 38 special and SHOULD NOT be fired in any 38 special revolver.

The load is fine as a mild 357 load in a 357 chambered revolver in which case it would be much better to load them in 357 cases.
The Real Wyatt is offline  
Old May 5, 2007, 01:58 PM   #16
cheygriz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2002
Location: high up in the rockies
Posts: 2,232
Are you sure he used Unique? If you've used 40 of them and seen no adverse effects, he may have used a slower powder and they might be perfectly safe.


That doesn't sound like the kind of GROSS mistake that an experienced reloader would make. Especially, if after 45 years of reloading he still has all of his fingers!

BTW, I totally agree about NOT using another person's reloads.

My son and I don't even use one another's reloads. And we trust one another implicitly!
__________________
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
cheygriz is offline  
Old May 6, 2007, 12:40 AM   #17
Rimrod
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 19, 2005
Location: Behind enemy lines
Posts: 1,309
The model 10 and 65 are both on the same frame but that is where the similarity ends. The model 10 is different in manufacture and will not take the pressures the 65 will.

The length of time a person has been reloading has nothing to do with how careful or trusty he is.
Rimrod is offline  
Old May 6, 2007, 11:30 AM   #18
Peter M. Eick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,814
For decades I used to shoot 5 grns of Unique under a 158 lead with a 38 special because that was a safe load when my manual came out. This was out of a small frame colt. Over time it did beat the gun up but I also got more manuals and realized how over I was for pressure with current load specs. Thus I went back to 4.2 grns for a while. About the same time I got more handguns (big 38/44's) and 4.2 grns just seemed wimpy even out of my old colt. Lots of postings consideration etc.... Time passes.

Now I am back to 5.0 grns of unique in my 38 specials for my 38/44's and save the popgun loads of 4.2 Unique or Trailboss for my colts.

My point of this story? While they may be hot by todays standards, he may have loaded them up for a 38/44 or a 357 mag in the day when they were considered reasonable loads.

If it were me, I would obtain a 357 magnum or 357 Maximum and shoot them up, salvage the brass and get after reloading it. If the guy has been loading 45 years and still has all of his body parts then he probably has a reasonable clue of what he is doing.

By the way, I never shoot someone else's loads in my guns, and at the same time I never offer my loads for someone else to shoot in their guns. It is a calculated risk that you must weight.
__________________
10mm and 357sig, the best things to come along since the 38 super!
Peter M. Eick is offline  
Old May 6, 2007, 03:33 PM   #19
oldcars
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Posts: 375
Well, I gave the offending rounds back to my friend and he will shoot them up in his gun. He has worked up that load and has been shooting it for years in all of his 357's so he's comfortable with it. He's going to load me 500 more that are not even plus P right out of the ol' speer #11 so they are definantly safe in the Model 10 as well as the 65. I realize shooting other peoples reloads is frowned upon by most here, but he has taght me alot about reloading and like I said before, I trust his reloads more than my own. Plus, I have a single stage press and he has a progressive so he can do it in a couple of hours and it would take me all day. Thanks again for all of the answers and information.
oldcars is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10768 seconds with 9 queries