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Old January 14, 2011, 08:50 AM   #1
Clay
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Best powder for snub 38 special?

Hey guys,
Just wondering what your opinions are on the best powder for a snub nose 38, using 125gr bullets. I've got HP-38 already, but looking over available load data Winchester Autocomp looks to post some good numbers. I'm headed to the gun show tomorrow and thought I'd pick up a pound of something to try out. Just curious what everyone's opinions are that have tried out some different stuff.
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Old January 14, 2011, 09:05 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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There's no best powder.

But there are a lot of REALLY GOOD powders for that combination.

My personal favorite is WW 231, which is the same as HP-38 (different name on the jug).

AA 2 is another good choice.
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Old January 14, 2011, 09:37 AM   #3
Slamfire
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I just use Bullseye in the 38 Special. Every 38 Special I own shoots very well with this powder. I developed some 125 gr Lead loads in my Airweights, they shoot to point of aim with 125's, and I think I decided to use 4.0 grs Bullseye.

I have tried Green Dot, Red Dot, and W231. W231 and HP38 are the exact same powder and they are excellent powders. I also tried Blue Dot, horrible stuff. Go with faster than slower. Unique ought to work well too.

As long as you have W231, develop some loads with that.


Code:
S&W M638-3 Airweight Bodyguard  		
					
148 LWC Lead 2.7 grs Bullseye thrown Mixed Brass WSP	
18-Mar-07 T = 52 °F					
Ave Vel =	611.6		 		
Std Dev =	22.04		 		
ES	75.92		 		 
High	648.1		 		 
Low	572.2		 		
N =	25				
little high					

158 LRN 3.5 grs Bullseye WSP Mixed cases		
6-Apr-07 T = 48 °F		 	 		
Ave Vel =679				
Std Dev =16.48				
ES 56.11				
High 698.2				
Low 642				
N = 18				 
					
125 Lead BBRNFP 4.0 grs Bullseye Lot BE 532 Mixed cases CCI 500 	
6-Apr-07 T = 48 °F					
Ave Vel =	763.9	 			
Std Dev =	22			 	 
ES	78			 	 
High	806.5			 	 
Low	728.5			 	 
N =	15				 
Point aim OK					

125 Lead BBRNFP 4.0 grs Bullseye Mixed cases WSP 	
9-Apr-06 T = 59 °F					
Ave Vel =	760.4	 			
Std Dev =	27.33				 
ES =	82.1				 
High  =	798.9				 
Low  =	716.8			 	 
N =	19				 
					
					
125 Lead BBRNFP 4.5 grs Bullseye Mixed cases WSP 	
9-Apr-06 T = 64 °F					
Ave Vel =	827.9				
Std Dev =	23.21				 
ES =	92.27				 
High  =	879.4			 	 
Low  =	787.1			 	 
N =	20	
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Old January 14, 2011, 01:50 PM   #4
spacecoast
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I use AA#2 and Titegroup, both are fast powders and can vary all the way from wadcutters to fairly hot loads.
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Old January 14, 2011, 01:58 PM   #5
rg1
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Accurate Arms AA#2 works best for me with 110-125 grain bullets in 38 Special. It gives top velocity and the closest extreme spread than any other powder I've tried. Accurate Arms data is available on-line. Great powder for short barrels.
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Old January 14, 2011, 04:59 PM   #6
Clay
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Ah, cool...didn't think about AA. I'll grab a pound of #2.
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Old January 14, 2011, 09:03 PM   #7
testuser
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I've had good luck with Power Pistol in the .38 Special out of a three inch snub nose.
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Old January 14, 2011, 09:16 PM   #8
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Bullseye!
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Old January 14, 2011, 09:19 PM   #9
Sidewinder72
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Win. 231 for me. Hard to beat in 45 acp, 357 leads. Great powder.
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Old January 14, 2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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Bullseye would be my first choice; 231 is a very close second. Universal should be good but I don't know how "flashy" it is. Red Dot and Green Dot... Lots of good choices. Basically anything Unique or faster.
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Old January 15, 2011, 07:27 AM   #11
mtnbkr
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I use American Select with a 125gr bullet. I can't say if it's the best or not, but it works. Once I'm out of AS, I doubt I'll buy any more though. It isn't particularly well suited to the other stuff I load.

Chris
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Old January 15, 2011, 03:29 PM   #12
WANT A LCR 22LR
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For my Ruger LCR 38 ( 1 7/8" ) and GP 100 4"

Started using Unique then went to Bullseye ( the fastest powder Alliant makes ) Short barrels and slow powder don't work well as the powder is still burning after the bullet has left.

If the powder is too quick in burning and the barrel longer, the bullet will slow down from friction. However I don't know what the exact parameters are to cause slower bullets.

125 jacketed soft point ( Zero Brand ) 4.8 Grain Bullseye , Remington 5 1/2 magnum primer, seated to the middle of the groove. This is the top of a +P load and it feels ever so slightly lighter than a factory Remington 125 Bonded Jacketed Hollowpoint Golden Saber.

Don't have a chrono so can't put any # against the loads.
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Old January 15, 2011, 03:36 PM   #13
zxcvbob
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Green Dot and Red Dot are actually faster burning than Bullseye. The "relative quickness" takes into account the powder's energy level, and BE contains more energy per gram than any other powder except Power Pistol. (it's tied with slower-burning Power Pistol.)

BE is somewhere between Green Dot and Unique -- which is a great burn rate for .38 Special.
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Old January 15, 2011, 04:59 PM   #14
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I use Bullseye.
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Old January 15, 2011, 09:25 PM   #15
WANT A LCR 22LR
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Post 11 here has a master list of powder speeds for many brands. http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=436890

From the Alliant Reloaders Guide 2009

From Fastest to slowest

>>Bullseye
E3
>>Red Dot
Promo
Clay Dot
American Select
>>Green Dot
20/28
>>Unique
>>Power Pistol
Herco
Blue Dot
Pro Reach
Steel
410
2400
Power Pro 300-MP
Reloader 7
Reloader 15
Power Pro 2000 MR
Reloader 17
Reloader 19
Reloader 22
Power Pro 4000 MR
Reloader 25


Post 11 here has a master list of powder speeds for many brands. http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=436890
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Old January 16, 2011, 08:36 PM   #16
700cdl
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You didn't specify the bullet your using. If your using a jacket bullet try the following. If you like accuracy and are on the +P side of the spectrum I would use Longshot. I'm loading a charge of 7.0 grains of Longshot with a 125 grain XTP and it is chronographing very consistently at 1200 fps +/- 5 fps. That's from a snub nose S&W 66-5 .357 magnum. I was also really pleased with accuracy. I don't know of any data for this powder for a non +P load.
Another favorite, also with jacketed bullets, ( I don't shoot WCs or SWC out of my guns ) is AutoComp. 6.4 grains. This is also a +P load. This can be loaded for standard 38 special, or non +P with starting data 5.7 grains.
I've also used HS6 and it is 6.5 to 7.2 grains with jacketed bullets as well. Again, velocities are up thre and accuracy is very good. 7.8 is the +P charge with velocity almost mid 1100 fps range.
I have no experience with non jacketed bullets so cna't advise you there.
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