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Old April 7, 2012, 07:07 PM   #1
Kilroy08
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Treasury and FBI loads

Disclaimer: Yes, I do realize and understand that the following question pertains to loads outside of current SAAMI specifications. The following supplied data, if any, will be for historical and educational purposes only. I like having all of my fingers and both eyes.

Does anybody have any load data or notes on the Treasury and FBI .38 loads?

I'm curious as to what was used and what would be used to re create these rounds. I'm working on organizing my shooting and reloading notes into a book and would like info on those loads for reference and educational purposes.
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Old April 7, 2012, 07:37 PM   #2
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What year are you talking about? They went to 357 mag in the 60's and 40s&w or 357 sig in the 80's. When they carried 38's I'm sure it was just a +p load. You can only go so hot before you blow your gun up.
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Old April 7, 2012, 08:17 PM   #3
Kilroy08
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I was looking for the .38 special loads with 110 grain hollow points.

And yes, I know you can only go so hot. I kind of like my Ruger in one piece along with my hands, and the rest of myself.

.357 sig didn't come along until the '90s.

From what I've been reading, agencies issued .38s because of the "perceived image" of sending out officers armed with magnum revolvers. This continued into the early '80s before the transition to semi autos. I found it interesting that they pushed the performance envelope of the .38 special due to P.R. reasons, and am curious as to how they did it. Despite the fact that Elmer Keith had solved this terminal ballistics conundrum quite neatly back in the '30s with the .38-44 and then the .357 magnum.
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Old April 7, 2012, 08:42 PM   #4
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If you find some data post it, I'm a fan of the 38 and have some 110 JHP's I can play with.
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Old April 7, 2012, 09:43 PM   #5
Shotgun693
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Many years ago Police Officers carried what the Treasury and FBI did. As it became more and more evident that both were highly over rated, not so much any more.
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Old April 7, 2012, 09:58 PM   #6
Kilroy08
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After a few hours of reading innumerable posts and paging back and forth between books and manufacturer's online load data, I think I have a reasonable approximation.

The FBI load appears to be just a regular .38 special +P loading with a 158 Gr semi wad cutter.

The Treasury load dictates 1020 fps out of a 2" barrel. It looks like you could get there outside of published data

My 6" GP100 would probably take it like a champ, but I'm just going to file this one away in my notes and not go there. My .357 magnum hand loads seem stout enough, no sense in trying to make a .38 load what it is not.
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Old April 7, 2012, 10:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
The FBI load appears to be just a regular .38 special +P loading with a 158 Gr semi wad cutter.
Not just any SWC, but a dead-soft lead hollow point.

I carry an approximation of the FBI load: Magnus bullets #515 (158 grain swaged soft lead SWCHP) with 4.5 grains of either Universal or American Select. You can go a little hotter using Unique powder, and probably a few others. For practice, I load the same thing using a Lee 158RF bullet.

The Treasury load is a very hot-loaded 110 grain bullet -- JHP I think. I've never worked up anything like that.
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Old April 8, 2012, 12:29 AM   #8
Kilroy08
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Quote:
The Treasury load is a very hot-loaded 110 grain bullet
.357 in a .38 package hot from what I discovered in my reading.

However, I did see a couple interesting loads featuring Power Pro 300-MP in Alliant's latest powder catalog. They have a 125 gr JHP thumping out at 2000 fps

From Alliant's product description

Quote:
Enables reloaders to duplicate certain factory loaded ammunition
Buffalo Bore-esque loads, maybe?
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Old April 9, 2012, 03:20 AM   #9
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I do not recall the ballistics,but I do recall that Norma loaded a 38spl +p that was a cut above the rest.

And,this may be back in the day of the Jurras Super-Vel,a high performance load of those days.They used copper half jackets and pure lead cores,light bullets and high velocity.
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Old April 9, 2012, 08:21 AM   #10
Kevin Rohrer
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If you want a HOT factory load, find some S&W brand (named Lawman?) ammo. We got issued it when we used wheel guns. The .357 Mag load used a 158gr soft point and would loosen the gun's screws when fired. After >20-years, I STILL remember how badly the load punished my hand, fired out of a 4" Model-19. I can't imagine being on the business end of that load.
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