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Old June 20, 2011, 08:37 PM   #1
chewie146
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Super Heavy .38 Special?

I did some searching on this today, and didn't come up with much. I would like some very heavy .38 special reload recipes for my Ruger Blackhawk. From what I gather, I can't really buy a stronger .357, especially for the money. For those of you who would ask "why," it's because I have tons of .38 special brass, with very little .357 brass. I was given a bunch of it. I'd like something with a little more pop than a .38 +P. If any of you have recipes, I'd like to see them. Particularly, I'd like to see recipes for 158 grn bullets. Anything lighter, I feel is a waste in a .357. I can shoot the little bullets plenty fast in a 9mm without the blast.
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Old June 20, 2011, 09:14 PM   #2
Slamfire
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I think it is a bad idea to hot load 38 Specials in anticipation of using them in a 357.

Maybe you can find someone who would trade 38 Special cases for 357 cases.
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Old June 20, 2011, 09:30 PM   #3
Locoweed
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If your hot handloads ever got away from you and were fired in a standard .38 Spl revolver there could be catastrophic results. Use the correct case for your loadings. If it's going to be like .38 Spl +++P then use .357 Mag cases.
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Old June 20, 2011, 09:39 PM   #4
zxcvbob
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I've been shooting these lately: 148 grain DEWC, 38 Special brass, 7.0 grains of WSF powder, and whatever small primer is handy. Here's the important part: OAL = 1.36" They will not chamber in a .38 Special because the wide meplats (noses) are too long.

This is not a max load for a .357, but it's a lot hotter than a .38 +P.

If you don't have WSF but you do have Herco, you can substitute that.
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Old June 20, 2011, 10:29 PM   #5
chewie146
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The idea of the double-ended wadcutter interests me. I may have to check that out, working up of course.
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Old June 20, 2011, 10:55 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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I'm not much for "recipes" but if you search on .38-44 loads or Skeeter Skelton Loads or Elmer Keith Loads you will learn a lot about overloading .38 Specials for strong guns. But you MUST keep them away from lesser revolvers.
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Old June 21, 2011, 09:06 AM   #7
overkill0084
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Anything I wouldn't fire in a alloy frame snubbie is built on .357 brass.
That said, the Lee reloading book has a fair selection of +p loads worth looking into.

My general purpose load is 6.6 gr of AA#5 with a 158 gr cast (or plated). It's above +p .38 but falls short of true .357 pressure. It's quite accurate in all my .357s with plenty of power for day to day range use.
Caution: Sanity check all load data from the internet against reputable published sources.
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Old June 21, 2011, 11:49 PM   #8
chewie146
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No worries. I'm either going to scratch something in the headstamp or mark the rounds with a sharpie in addition to labeling the containers. I have plated 125s for my only other .38 capable gun, and those duplicate my defense loads in recoil, if not ballistics. The loads I'm looking at involve hard cast bullets. I don't shoot the SWCs out of the snubbie, as they don't feed well for speedloader practice. The SWCs go only in the Blackhawk. It's a new model...not a flat-top.
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Old June 22, 2011, 11:13 AM   #9
44cal
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Im with Jim Your looking for a 38-44 load.
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Old June 22, 2011, 12:19 PM   #10
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I gather you want to shoot LSWC bullets in 38 Special cases that surpass or duplicate 357 Magnum velocities? About the easiest way I can think of is start with hot 38 +P and work up. Limited case capacity and resulting pressures comes to mind when trying to put 357 loads in 38 special brass. But, I wouldn't try because if I want 357 ballistics, I'll shoot 357 Magnums, brass and all (and if I want more power, I'll go with my .44 Mag.), and I can get 357 Mag. once fired brass fairly easily for around $15 per 100.
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Old June 23, 2011, 09:40 AM   #11
chewie146
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I'm not necessarily looking to surpass the .357, just get as close as I can. If I want to really blow my hair back, I'll use the magnum cases. I just want something with more pop than your standard +P. That's a big area between +P and .357.
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