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Old February 5, 2013, 03:27 PM   #1
Live45
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Old 2400 for .38spl???

I have a bunch of .38spl brass and 125 JHP's and about 1/3 lb of old old 2400 powder. Years ago I used this 2400 to load for my .357 with good results. What I'd like to do is use up some of this old powder in this .38spl brass I have in abundance. What would be a good (i.e. safe) load to start off with? Oh, and the only small pistol primers I can get my hands on are sm magnum CCI 550 that I'll be using. I don't want to use this ammo for anything other than plinking.
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Old February 5, 2013, 03:40 PM   #2
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Alliant's web site doesn't show any 2400-based loads for .38 special, not even +P. Someone here may pull a safe load out of an old manual but 2400 is intended for higher pressure cartridges than .38 special. Magnum primers just complicate the equation. Best bet would be to discard the "old old" powder as lawn fertilizer (it's only 1/3 lb) and get some fresh Bullseye or Unique for plinking.

An alternative would be to trade some of your .38 special brass for .357 brass.
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Old February 5, 2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Have not worked with 2400 in 38 special but perhaps I can help you on the mag primer issue. All I have is mag pistol primers and since it looks like it might be a while before I can get standard I started using them in my 38 special/unique/cast bullet load. I had to drop powder by 1/2 grain but they are working out great. In fact, I may not go back to standards.
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Old February 5, 2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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There are some old loads floating around for using 2400 in 38spl. Here is a link, http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/default.html it will provide you with older reloading manuals that publish some of those loads. Remember with any old load data work up with caution, I recommend starting at no more than 80%. Also if you can't find loads for 125gr jacketed look for jacketed loads in heavier bullet weights.

Expect one dirty revolver too.
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Last edited by Adamantium; February 5, 2013 at 05:50 PM. Reason: typo
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Old February 5, 2013, 04:13 PM   #5
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The problem is two-fold: low peak pressure and light bullet. Both conditions ask for faster powder. The light bullet would be OK at magnum pressures, but not at half that pressure. If I put this powder in QuickLOAD I get very large charge weights and, with a 6" barrel, 40% of the powder is thrown out the muzzle still unburned, so lots of powder flakes will be left in the barrel.

So what, you say. You just want to use the powder up. Well, here's what: I tried this exact same thing with .44 Special in a Charter Bulldog revolver back in the 1980's. The amount of unburned powder flake spread around from between the barrel/cylinder gap was so great it actually jammed the cylinder rotation after a not too many rounds. I had to remove the cylinder and clean it all out in great detail. Way too much bother.

The very old Hornady second edition load manual says that with a 125 grain JHP, they used 11.1 grains to start. Don't trust it. Those old Hornady manual loads were developed in a production gun and never pressure tested. Their starting load for my .44 Special was already at maximum in the light Bulldog. QuickLOAD says its just over SAAMI maximum pressure. 10 grains is a better start number, but don't say Adamantium and I didn't warn you about the dirtiness of it.
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Old February 5, 2013, 04:28 PM   #6
Live45
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Great info Adamantium. Couldn't find any 125gr JHP but I've got some 158gr that several of the old manuals give data for so it looks like I'll be set. Thanks!
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Old February 5, 2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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The 158's greater mass will offer enough additional reaction force that the powder will burn better with it than with the 125.
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Old February 5, 2013, 06:10 PM   #8
Clark
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Looking at "Lyman 44" 1967
38 special
112 gr cast 8.0 - 12.5 gr 2400
121 gr cast 8.0 - 12.5 gr 2400
141 gr cast 8.0 - 12.0 gr 2400
146 gr jacket 9.5 - 11.0 gr 2400
150 gr cast 8.0 - 11.5 gr 2400
158 gr cast 8.0 - 11.0 gr 2400
158 gr jacket 9.5 - 11.0 gr 2400
160 gr jacket 9.5 - 10.8 gr 2400
168 gr cast 8.0 - 10.5 gr 2400
195 gr cast 8.0 - 9.5 gr 2400

357 mag
121 gr cast 11.0 - 15.5 gr 2400
141 gr cast 11.0 - 15.5 gr 2400
146 gr jacket 11.5 - 15.5 gr 2400
150 gr cast 11.0 - 15.0 gr 2400
158 gr cast 11.0 - 15.0 gr 2400
158 gr jacket 11.5 - 15.0 gr 2400
160 gr jacket 11.5 - 14.5 gr 2400
168 gr cast 11.0 - 13.0 gr 2400
195 gr cast 9.5 - 11.0 gr 2400

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.

If you combine the two sets of loads, which I do. I shoot any 357 mag load in any 38 sp, and visa versa, then 2400 is good for an extremely wide range of loads.

OTOH, I never seem to get accuracy from light loads of 2400.
Unique, Bullseye, and Red Dot are much better.
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Last edited by Clark; February 5, 2013 at 06:15 PM.
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Old February 6, 2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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I expect the ignition is too irregular in light loads for good accuracy. That % unburned powder in a 6" tube predicted by QuickLOAD is high. The ballistic efficiency prediction was in the mid-teens, as if it were an overbore rifle. Might be a case where a Dacron tuft would help by holding the powder over the flash hole, but I sure wouldn't want to bother with that for plinking. I still can't get past my jammed cylinder, which I don't intend to repeat.
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Old February 6, 2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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2400 has certainly been popular for the magnum cartridges .I never used it because; it's a very dirty powder. you can't burn it all .For defense loads that means even one grain of unburned powder can get under the extractor star and jam the cylinder.
Old powder has another problem , formulation , new vs old may make for pressure problems !!
It makes excellent fertilizer !
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Old February 25, 2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
I shoot any 357 mag load in any 38 sp
Highly inadvisable, however you do like to blow up revolvers. 16 grains of H110 under a 158 gr. JHP would be fatal for just about any .38 I am pretty sure.
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:16 AM   #12
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Dakota,

I made your post into a new thread so you didn't hijack the topic here. New thread is:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=517862
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