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Old July 16, 2011, 08:37 PM   #1
ipscchef
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Loads for a Colt Official Police

Hi Guys,

I am getting ready to develop a load for a nice Official Police. It looks to be of 1960's vintage, and is in excellent mechanical condition. I am interested in getting a load that shoots to point of aim from the fixed sights.
It is marked "Richmond PD." on the backstrap.

I am assuming for the moment that the original load was a 158gr. lead bullet of some configuration or other. What I have on hand for bullets are 158gr. Kieths' plain base bullets from Leadhead Bullets and some Hornady 158gr. SWCHPS' that are swaged. Powder on hand includes Universal, Unique, and HP38. As a guess, I imagine the original load, given that bullet weight would be around 850fps, + or -. This is fine for what I want to do with it, even though it could probably take somewhat hotter loads. But again I want to get it to shoot to point of aim. If a different bullet or powder is required, I can do so, but I think these components should get me where I want to go with this gun.

What do you guys think? I realize that this is a pretty straightforward and simple project, but any advice or knowledge about the older .38 LEO loads would be appreciated. My main question would be do I go with the hard cast Keiths' or the swaged Hornadys'?

Willy
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Old July 16, 2011, 09:45 PM   #2
T. O'Heir
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Hi. A 60's vintage .38 Special load used a lead, 158 grain RN. SWC's came later, but not much later. Jacketed SWC's after that. Each Police Department decided what ammo would be issued. The ammo makers would bid to fill the contract.
Any cast 158 grain load will be fine out of your revolver. You'll have to work up the load to find a load that'll shoot POA. Think in terms of a load that gives 750 to 800 fps. Universal will do it with mid range loads. HP38 and Unique will be a bit lower with max loads.
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Old July 17, 2011, 08:20 PM   #3
Para Cassatt
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I have been using a different powder in Bulleye but with 3.5 grs. using Speer swaged SWC,SWCHP and Oregon Trail SWC. I have been getting pretty good results. My Official Police has US Customs on the backstrap.
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Old July 19, 2011, 05:52 PM   #4
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3.8 grains Bullseye, 150 grain SWC, CCI 500. Max load, most shooters use 3.5 grains.
5.0 of Unique, 158 any design, CCI 500, any brass. Should shoot right on the front sight with both loads.
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Old July 20, 2011, 11:37 AM   #5
ipscchef
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Thanks

Thanks for the help guys!
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Old July 20, 2011, 12:30 PM   #6
Clark
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10 years ago I got (5) Colt police Positives for $80 each from AIM.
They have the name of the police agency on the back strap of the frame welded over.
They had lots of holster wear, but like new inside.
On a couple of them I have cut ~1" off the butt and put on a gripper grip made for a Colt Agent.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ghlight=police

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

The max load for Hodgdon 357 mag LIL'GUN 158 gr is 18 gr.

And the Police Positive is a 38 special, not a 357 mag.

But I have been shooting 26 gr LIL'GUN in my Colt Police Positives and it kicks harder than a 44mag!
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Old July 20, 2011, 07:35 PM   #7
Para Cassatt
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Clark you must be using one heck of a drop tube. I loaded an empty/spent 38spl. case with said 26 gr. charge of Lil'Gun and it overflowed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 38 lil gun 003.jpg (175.6 KB, 10 views)
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Last edited by Para Cassatt; July 20, 2011 at 07:50 PM.
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Old July 21, 2011, 11:17 AM   #8
Clark
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It is extremely hard to get that powder in there.
It takes lots of double compression with something stiffer than the bullet.
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Old July 23, 2011, 08:20 PM   #9
fredneck
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5 grains of Universal Clays with a 158 SWC cast bullet. Works well in my Police Positive and would do well for yours also. Any mid range 158 load should shoot to the sights.
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