The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 28, 2012, 07:13 PM   #1
kgpcr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2005
Posts: 944
.38 spec. Titegroup load question

Ok here is my question. I have a .357 snubnose that i want to take with Halibut fishing to dispatch halibut. I want to load 140grn Speer hollow point bullets. I dont want to go up to .357 power as its not needed and the noise is a bit much. I would however like a bit more power that a standard .38 load. I also want to load it in .38 brass so i wont get it mixed up with full power .357 ammo. My question is the max for a .38+P is 4.6grns or Titegroup. Max for a .357 is over 6grns. can i go to 5grns in .38 brass and be OK?
__________________
Colt King Cobra .357 Colt Anaconda .44mag
Springfield Armory .45 Double stack Loaded
XD40 service XD45 Taurus 617 .357mag
Smith M&P 40
kgpcr is offline  
Old May 28, 2012, 07:21 PM   #2
griz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2000
Location: Middle Peninsula, VA
Posts: 1,427
I would think it would be fine if fired in a 357 chamber. But I've just moved most of my ammo, and discovered a few partial boxes of unlabeled 38's. It's those unexpected situations that keep me from loading +P+ sort of loads anymore.
griz is offline  
Old May 28, 2012, 08:38 PM   #3
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,050
Quote:
can i go to 5grns in .38 brass and be OK?
Who knows?

You could work up slowly to that in your gun looking for pressure signs along the way.

But I wouldn't. Titegroup is a fast powder and too unpredictable for me to try outside published ranges. I'd load light .357 and swipe a magic marker across the primer to tell them apart.

I'd rather have a few light .357's around that wouldn't hurt ANY .357 mag gun than a few .38's that could tear something up.
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old May 28, 2012, 10:04 PM   #4
crowbeaner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 1,938
Titegroup is a fast powder and you would be better off to use one a bit slower. My favorite loads for the Speer 140 grain HP in 38 brass is 5.5 grains of Unique or SR4756. The SR4756 will be much cleaner burning even though it's expensive. Terminal ballistics are very good with either. CB.
__________________
If you want your children to follow in your footsteps, be careful where you walk.
Beware the man that only owns one gun; he probably knows how to use it.
I just hope my ship comes in before my dock rots.
crowbeaner is offline  
Old May 30, 2012, 10:32 AM   #5
bull bob
Member
 
Join Date: October 29, 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 76
The biggest difference between the 2 cases is length. Much less space in the 38 than the 357. This will raise pressures considerably. You might be better off loading light 357s in mag cases than to take a chance trying it in the 38 cases and creating really hot loads.
bull bob is offline  
Old May 30, 2012, 11:38 AM   #6
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 4,834
What's wrong with light target loads?
How large is this fish you are executing?
How about 3.2 grains of Titegroup with a 158 grain swc.
Makes about 750 f/s.
It should do nicely without getting you too wet.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Old May 30, 2012, 09:18 PM   #7
valleyforge.1777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 148
I was going to ask exactly the same question, but for different reasons. We know that the 357 Mag case is a bit longer than the 38 Special case. Some people claim that the 357 case is stronger than a 38 Special case and can withstand pressures beyond what a 38 Special case can stand. I've seen people post on forums that the 38 Special cases can only withstand 20,000 CUP, just above the 38+P pressure. Other people have posted that 38 Special cases and 357 Magnum cases can each withstand 100,000 CUP, but I do not know who is right and who is just repeating Interweb fiction.

This discussion involves the results of possible loadings that exceed the published data and are inherently dangerous. This discussion is for educational purposes only and should not be the basis for actual practice on anyone's part.

I have thousands of once-fired 38 Special cases, and less than a thousand 357 Mag once-fired brass. I use a Winchester 357 Magnum Model 94 Trapper for shooting at the range. The 38's, even 38+P just pop out like a 22, and I want something more than that, but factory-loaded 357 is too much to enjoy shooting if I shoot more than 30 rounds or so. So, I want to load some of the 38 cases with a higher-than-38+P load, but not quite into the 357 territory, using Titegroup. I was going to work up from the highest load for 38's and go up by 0.2 grain increments to about 1 full grain above the published 38+P load. For the 125 grain JHP's that I am going to use, the max load for 38 is 4.6 grains of Titegroup, and the 38+P load is 5.0 grains. The lowest 357 load is 6.8, but it is for the 357 cases, which are larger than the 38 cases. Same load in a 38 case would be higher pressure. To work it up, I was going to go from 4.6 grain up to 6 grains in 0.2 grain increments, monitoring cases for pressure signs, chronograph results for velocity, and group size for accuracy. I am thinking that 6.0 grains in a 38 case is probably beyond the pressure generated by 6.8 grains in a 357 Mag case, but hopefully not beyond the pressure generated by max 357 Mag load in a 357 case.
valleyforge.1777 is offline  
Old May 30, 2012, 11:31 PM   #8
7624452
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2012
Posts: 3
Many decades ago I used to go shark hunting with friends. The only handgun I had at that time was a .38spcl. revolver. The sharks just loved that revolver, as it had little effect on them. I bought a surplus carcano rifle and several hundred rounds of ammunition at Sears or Wards for less than twenty dollars. After that I had no problem getting one shot kills. I even shot a few in the water to good effect (at the surface). What we were doing was catching the sharks on a very heavy cable, winching them in, shooting them as they were up in the air, removing the hook and tossing them back in to attract more. Maybe your pistol would be effective on halibut - I never shot anything other than sharks.
7624452 is offline  
Old May 31, 2012, 04:52 AM   #9
warningshot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 7, 2009
Posts: 995
Fishing from shore or from a boat?

Fishing...boating...what's missing....oh yea, I know! Hand me your pistol thar pal. Hold my beer a second.

If the Skipper says , O.K., I'd go with blanks & contact shots.
warningshot is offline  
Old May 31, 2012, 07:52 AM   #10
Uncle Billy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2009
Location: Small city in New York
Posts: 482
I never shot .38 Special cases in my S&W 686 because the chambers would have had to endure the wear of hot gasses in areas where .357 brass would have to fit which seemed to me to be unnecessarily hard on the gun. Also the bullet would have to make a longer jump to the forcing cone which didn't seem the best idea to me for a number of reasons, although none of them would matter in nearly point-blank use.

I used a pretty light load in .357 brass (mid .38 Spl numbers according to the manual with the understanding it would have less bullet energy than the same load in a smaller case) with wadcutters and magnum primers to meet the regulations of my club's indoor range with no ignition difficulties, no FTF's.

It seems to me that downloaded .357's would be less a problem for the gun and especially the cases than excessively hot loaded .38's would be even if magnum primers were used in the .38 cases. I had no convincing evidence that there was any difference in the brass between .38 Special and .357 Magnum so I decided to reload in a manner that it didn't matter if there was any difference or not.

I kept the cartridges in different boxes and never mixed them at any time - the boxes of reloads were labeled appropriately and not next to each other in the ammo locker, and that's as close as they ever got. To be sure I could easily tell which was which I reloaded .357 Mag in some nice .357 nickel-plated cases and used brass cases downloaded for the indoor range. I was happy all round.
Uncle Billy is offline  
Old June 1, 2012, 12:55 AM   #11
warningshot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 7, 2009
Posts: 995
Yup, I'd be careful about shooting .38 special blanks in a L Frame Smith & Wesson. I myself try to keep the sunshine and wind off my favorite revolvers.
warningshot is offline  
Old June 1, 2012, 07:48 AM   #12
Bailey Boat
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 365
I was faced with this same situation several years ago. I decided to live a little since I'm getting older and to actually USE some of the stuff I had been "saving".
One of those items was a S&W M19, P&R, 2.5" barrel, a sweetheart revolver if there ever was one. I wanted more than a +P but less than a full house 357. I set about developing a 38 Magnum or 357 Lite, your choice of terms. I knew that in the short 2.5" barrel I needed roughly 1100fps in order to properly utilize the 125 grain JHP I wanted to use. Load development with my Chrono and several powders led me to a load that gave me 1165fps and 3" groups at 25 yards. Water jug testing showed that I was getting full expansion and I was a happy camper.
With all of that said, I purposely developed the loads in 357 cases just to make sure they stayed out of 38's.
Bailey Boat is offline  
Old June 1, 2012, 08:50 PM   #13
valleyforge.1777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 148
Right on.
But is it safe to overload a 38 Special brass case, given that it will be fired in a 357 Magnum firearm. GIVEN that fact, can one exceed 38 +P pressures in a 38 brass case?
valleyforge.1777 is offline  
Old June 1, 2012, 09:01 PM   #14
warningshot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 7, 2009
Posts: 995
Is it safe to overload a .38 Special?

Is it safe to drive a SUV dangerously?

Doesn't everyone know what happens when you ask, 'Is it safe?' Don't they remember what happened to that POS Hoffman in the 1977 film, Marathon Man, after he was asked about safety?
warningshot is offline  
Old June 2, 2012, 07:01 AM   #15
Bailey Boat
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 365
Next weeks project; cross section a 38 special, a 38 +P and a 357 case. Stay tuned, I'll report back with a photo and measurements.....
Bailey Boat is offline  
Old June 2, 2012, 12:49 PM   #16
Uncle Billy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2009
Location: Small city in New York
Posts: 482
I don't know if it's okay to load cases that were standard .38 Specials to +P pressures, I never had that come up before. If the base of factory-loaded +P loads are in the same cases as standard .38 Specials are, then the primers come into question. I don't know if standard .38 loads use the same primers as +P loads but whether they do or not ought to be checked out.

I think Bailey Boat wrote the most important issue here: "With all of that said, I purposely developed the loads in 357 cases just to make sure they stayed out of 38's" which means something to me since my favorite CCW is a S&W Model 36 snubby which is not strong enough for +P's and certainly not up to greater pressures than that.
Uncle Billy is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09907 seconds with 9 queries