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Old November 5, 2013, 12:33 AM   #1
skizzums
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.38spl load

hi, i just got my first revolver, a taurus 605 .357mag. i finally got to shoot it today and i must say i am so happy with this gun. i am so glad i didnt go with the hammerless DAO revolvers. i have never been able to shoot that accurate in my life. but anyway, i am loading up my first batch of hand-loads tomorrow morn, i am using swaged HBWC 148gr. i have hp-38 and titegroup, i would like to try out both, although i am fully aware to expect better results with hp-38. but i gotta use the titegroup some day. so from what i gathered i should be starting 2.8gr of hp38, standard primers and light crimp. but i hear that snubbies are different. can you give me a good start point for using a short barrel please. heavy crimp or light? i am only familiar loading 9mm.
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Old November 5, 2013, 03:02 PM   #2
Nick_C_S
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I have no experience with titegroup, but I think you're in the right track with the HP-38 loading. Sounds just about right. I don't know that you should make any changes because you're shooting them through a snubbie.

Just remember that a HBLWC is a target-only bullet. It is not recommended to load them above target levels. You just want them to shoot nice n straight.
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Old November 5, 2013, 04:55 PM   #3
marineimaging
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HP 38

I am sure you have found out by now but the powders that fill the cases are the best. HP 38 is a fast powder I use in .380 loads and that is just a few grains. I would look to load .38's with a slower powder and the .357 with something like 2400.
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Old November 5, 2013, 05:57 PM   #4
m&p45acp10+1
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HP 38 works well with my home cast 158 grain swc. I have not had any luck with TiteGroup using lead. It works great with 9mm jacketed, and that is what I use it for. Bull's Eye works great with full wadcutters as well.
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Old November 5, 2013, 06:01 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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Snubbies are not different. My usual .38 target load is a 148 gr wadcutter and 3.2 grains of HP38. It works as well in my Bodyguard as my Python.

I don't know much about Titegroup, I went through one can when it was new to see what the hulaballoo was about and did not see anything unusual.
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Old November 5, 2013, 06:08 PM   #6
g.willikers
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Nuttin' wrong with Titegroup.
3.2 grains with a 158 grain swc is a nice, middle of the road, practice and plinking load.
If any powder seems less accurate than another, in the good ole' .38, it's more likely the loading technique or bullet size.
It's a very forgiving and easy to load for caliber.
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Old November 5, 2013, 07:12 PM   #7
Nick_C_S
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Quote:
I would look to load .38's with a slower powder
It's not about the cartridge as much as the application. If you're loading target rounds, you want a fast powder. And HP-38 would (and has for years) work wonderfully.

Quote:
and the .357 with something like 2400.
Only if you're loading for high performance/defense rounds, going through a longer barrel than a snubbie (4" minimum - preferably 6" or more). Again, it's about application, not cartridge.
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Old November 6, 2013, 02:39 AM   #8
ljnowell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick C S
Only if you're loading for high performance/defense rounds, going through a longer barrel than a snubbie (4" minimum - preferably 6" or more). Again, it's about application, not cartridge.
Longer barrel is irrelevant. If you are loading 357 magnum for power, the powder that gives the most fps in a longer barrel will give the most fps in a shorter barrel also.
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Old November 6, 2013, 11:50 AM   #9
Nick_C_S
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Barrel length is far from irrelevant. There's is more to loading than maximum velocity. Yes, a slower powder may yield a slightly higher velocity in a short barreled gun, but it will come at the expense of a lot more muzzle flash, report (loudness), and recoil. None of these things are conducive to a truly effective defense loading. Nor is it practical or desirable in a range/practice application.

Choosing a powder for the barrel length is of the utmost importance when one is trying to create a loading that is both practical and balanced. Fast powders will be far more expended by the time the bullet leaves the barrel. This is the better choice when factoring in muzzle flash, report, and recoil. Slow powders are still in well into their pressure peak by the time bullet leaves a short barrel. The result is a whole bunch of powder burning in the air - outside the barrel - where it does nothing but create muzzle flash, report, and recoil.

The beauty of hand loading is the loader gets to choose what powder to use. I create balanced loads, specific to the gun's barrel length. When I choose a powder, purpose - of course - is my first consideration. But my next consideration is barrel length. Most of my 38 Special shooting is through 3" and 4" barrel guns (Smith 686's). I don't use anything slower than AA5, and usually AA2 or W231. And with full power 357 Magnum, I don't use anything slower than Power Pistol or HS-6 (they're very close to the same speed).

I have a 38 snubbie (Smith 60) with a 2" barrel. I never load anything slower than W231 or AA2 for it. Even the medium-fast speed AA5 falls out of balance and yields the above-mentioned adverse effects associated with using too slow of a powder.

I have W296 - a slow powder. But I only use it for my 8 3/8" barreled guns - which I rarely shoot. Using W296 in a 4" barreled gun boarders on nonsense.

Barrel length is far from irrelevant.
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Old November 6, 2013, 12:05 PM   #10
Chaz88
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I load and shoot a lot of .38 target loads in my 357's. I hand cast and load mostly 158grn SWC and round nose. I almost exclusively use Bullseye at around 3.0 grn for these loads. I might work the load up or down a bit depending on the gun and shooter it is for.

It might just be my imagination but I think the new Bullseye I have been using burns cleaner than the stuff we used back in the 70's and 80's when dad taught me to reload.
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Old November 14, 2013, 09:51 AM   #11
skizzums
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i only have the tg and the hp to play with. i didnt care for the tg, too jumpy and i couldnt get the groups i got with hp. someday i hope to find something appropriate to do with the several pounds if tg i have. its really not good for 9mm. but ill test it out with some other style .38 bullets. thanks for the input everyone. after testing, i am stuck on 3.2gr hp38, but that was only 15yards and under.
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Old November 14, 2013, 10:33 AM   #12
Real Gun
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I think of 158g as too heavy to achieve optimal velocity in a snub barrel. I use Hornady 110g XTP in my little 38. The 125g leads from my small frame .357 Mag supply work fine too.
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Old November 14, 2013, 12:49 PM   #13
Nick_C_S
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Quote:
I think of 158g as too heavy to achieve optimal velocity in a snub barrel.
^^ In defense applications, I agree. ^^

I guess it would be okay for punching holes in paper.
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Old November 14, 2013, 04:20 PM   #14
skizzums
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i also agree, but it makes a nice low-recoil target round. it's 148 btw, but i did just get a 158 mold today
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Old November 15, 2013, 08:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Barrel length is far from irrelevant. There's is more to loading than maximum velocity. Yes, a slower powder may yield a slightly higher velocity in a short barreled gun, but it will come at the expense of a lot more muzzle flash, report (loudness), and recoil. None of these things are conducive to a truly effective defense loading. Nor is it practical or desirable in a range/practice application.

Choosing a powder for the barrel length is of the utmost importance when one is trying to create a loading that is both practical and balanced. Fast powders will be far more expended by the time the bullet leaves the barrel. This is the better choice when factoring in muzzle flash, report, and recoil. Slow powders are still in well into their pressure peak by the time bullet leaves a short barrel. The result is a whole bunch of powder burning in the air - outside the barrel - where it does nothing but create muzzle flash, report, and recoil.

The beauty of hand loading is the loader gets to choose what powder to use. I create balanced loads, specific to the gun's barrel length. When I choose a powder, purpose - of course - is my first consideration. But my next consideration is barrel length. Most of my 38 Special shooting is through 3" and 4" barrel guns (Smith 686's). I don't use anything slower than AA5, and usually AA2 or W231. And with full power 357 Magnum, I don't use anything slower than Power Pistol or HS-6 (they're very close to the same speed).

I have a 38 snubbie (Smith 60) with a 2" barrel. I never load anything slower than W231 or AA2 for it. Even the medium-fast speed AA5 falls out of balance and yields the above-mentioned adverse effects associated with using too slow of a powder.

I have W296 - a slow powder. But I only use it for my 8 3/8" barreled guns - which I rarely shoot. Using W296 in a 4" barreled gun boarders on nonsense.

Barrel length is far from irrelevant.
First what you say is purely opinion. If you want low flash loads, then yes, you want a different powder, but that would hold true in a longer barrel also.

My point was that the old myth of a faster powder makes more velocity in a shorter barrel is simply that, a myth.

Believe it or not, some people WANT those things you are saying are negatives. Some people like the report, flash, and blast of hotter loadings. So, I say again, your post is merely your opinion.

If I want a soft load, then I load one. IF I want a hotter load then I load that. I shoot my loads in all of my guns, I dont tailor to one gun or another.
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Old November 15, 2013, 08:49 PM   #16
Chaz88
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Quote:
I shoot my loads in all of my guns, I dont tailor to one gun or another.
I used to be the same way, then I bought a Coonan. Have not had it long and am doing a fair amount of tailoring. I can shoot those loads in my revolvers but not necessarily the other way around.
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Old November 15, 2013, 09:36 PM   #17
Nick_C_S
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That's the beauty of loading our own. If we want to customize our rounds for the gun that is going to shoot it, we can do that.

Or, if we want to load with all the customization of factory ammo, we can do that too.
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Old November 16, 2013, 09:36 AM   #18
Real Gun
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What do I know, but it seems to me that I want a good powder burn before the bullet leaves the short barrel.
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Old November 16, 2013, 01:55 PM   #19
lee n. field
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Quote:
hi, i just got my first revolver, a taurus 605 .357mag.
I like mine. It shoots dead to point of aim with 158gr LSWC, 3.7 grains of Bullseye. Just sayin'.

Quote:
i finally got to shoot it today and i must say i am so happy with this gun. i am so glad i didnt go with the hammerless DAO revolvers. i have never been able to shoot that accurate in my life. but anyway, i am loading up my first batch of hand-loads tomorrow morn, i am using swaged HBWC 148gr. i have hp-38 and titegroup, i would like to try out both, although i am fully aware to expect better results with hp-38. but i gotta use the titegroup some day. so from what i gathered i should be starting 2.8gr of hp38, standard primers and light crimp. but i hear that snubbies are different. can you give me a good start point for using a short barrel please. heavy crimp or light? i am only familiar loading 9mm.

Light crimp. (I have no experience with that powder. )

The only time I've needed a heavier crimp was with my Charter Undercover, which is a much lighter gun. I had a couple of my previously loaded handloads jump crimp on the lighter gun.
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Old November 16, 2013, 02:52 PM   #20
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3.1g W231......
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