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Old January 23, 2013, 10:49 PM   #1
jambrdly
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Join Date: January 31, 2010
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Loads for Snub-nosed 38?

Hello:

Does anyone have any tried and true slightly-reduced loads for a snub-nosed 38? Specifically, a S&W model 36 of 1950s vintage?
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Old January 23, 2013, 11:22 PM   #2
Adamantium
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Honestly some of the best reduced loads out there are your 90% loads where you are supposed to start your load work-up. Very low pressure but no chance of a squib. In 38spl I shoot almost exclusively 158gr LSWCs, not for any reason more than thats the mold I use to cast my bullets. 3.6gr of Accurate #2 and 3.2gr of bullseye work well and are the very definition of soft shooting. Any fast pistol powder will work really. What bullets and powder do you plan on using?
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:08 AM   #3
tinkersdelight
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HBWCs

one of the light loads I shoot in my LCR is 148gr Meister HBWC with 3.3 grs of Titegroup. Clocks in with my chrony at 745. you can shoot these all day and great accuracy even in a snubby.
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:17 AM   #4
shootniron
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Quote:
one of the light loads I shoot in my LCR is 148gr Meister HBWC with 3.3 grs of Titegroup. Clocks in with my chrony at 745. you can shoot these all day and great accuracy even in a snubby.
Great snub load and easy on the hand.
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Old January 24, 2013, 10:48 AM   #5
kraigwy
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I shoot tons of 38s out of my 642, using 150 grn LSWCs (Lyman mold 358477) and 4.5 grns of unique.

Shoot the same load in my Model 64 for target shooting, accurate and I never hit a steel plate that didn't fall.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:31 AM   #6
Slamfire
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These older snubbies were sighted in for 158 grain bullets. I have shot tens of thousands of rounds of 158 LRN, LSWC, (did not make much of a difference) with 3.5 grains Bullseye in snubbies. This load is accurate, shoots to point of aim, is not +P so it is appropriate with older revolvers.

You can see the various revolvers I used over the years, the velocities with all the different primers and bullet shapes. Overall changing cases, bullet types, and primers did not make much of a difference.

Code:


Colt Detective Special mfgr 1963  

158 gr LRN 3.5 grs Bullseye thrown, CCI primers mixed  cases  24-Jul-99	T = 100 F !
		
Average 751 fps		
Standard Deviation 32 fps
Extreme Spread 90 fps
High 805 
Low 715		
Recorded shots 22		
					
158 LRN 3.5 grs Bullseye WSP Mixed cases	 8-Jan-06 T = 52 F

Ave Vel =	675.9				
Std Dev =	18.6				
ES	96.18				
High	723.9				
Low	627.7				
N =	50				 
					
158 LSWC 3.5 grs Bullseye WSP Mixed cases	8-Jan-06  T = 58 F

Ave Vel =	706.8				
Std Dev =	15.55				
ES	65.87				
High	742.9				
Low	677				
N =	50				 
					
				
Colt Detective Special  mfgr 1974 

158gr LSWC 3.3 grs Bullseye CCI 500 primers, Dillon Loads  17-Oct-93  T = 65-70F

Ave Vel =	682	fps			 
Std Dev =	33				
ES	96				
High	733			
Low	637			 	
N =	6				
					
					
Colt Cobra 2" barrel 

30-Jan-05 	T = 42 F 
158 gr LRN 3.5 grs Bullseye thrown, Fed 100 primers mixed  cases	
					
Average                        696.6	
Std Dev	20.49	
Extreme Spread	72.93	
High	745.5		
Low	672.6		
13 recorded shots	



Taurus M85 B2UL  2" Barrel  		
					
158 LSWC 3.5 grs Bullseye thrown, Mixed Brass WSP 11-Dec-04 T = 54 F


Ave Vel =	686.3		 		
Std Dev =	13.63		  
ES	58.48		 
High	718.8		 		
Low	660.3		 		
N =	30		 		
shot little high and centered	

			
158 LRN  Master Factory Ammo 30-Dec-04  T = 56 F


Ave Vel =	698.2		 		
Std Dev =	20.56  		
ES	105.8		
High	753.5		
Low	647.6		 		
N =	50
shot 6" high centered,until barrel leaded

		 		
					
158 LSWC 3.5 grs Bullseye Mixed brass Fed 100 30-Dec-04  T = 56 F


Ave Vel =	706.2		 		
Std Dev =	23.45		 		 
ES	81.94		 		 
High	748		 		 
Low	666.1		 		
N =	48		 		
					
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	

















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Old January 25, 2013, 04:32 PM   #7
Tennessee Jed
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I tried Power Pistol powder with cast bullets in j-frames, and it leaded the daylights out of my barrels in just 5 - 10 shots.

I almost gave up on cast bullets for my j-frames, until I read somewhere about the classic 3.2 - 3.5 grains of Bullseye for a 158 grain LSWC.

Boy, am I glad I didn't give up. It's perfect for target shooting. Little if any leading, enough recoil but not too much to make shooting painful. The lead bullets are relatively cheap, and it will take forever to work through a container of Bullseye at 3.5 grains per shot.
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:29 PM   #8
Hummer70
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Location: South Carolina
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For hotter loads in my Mod 36s and 60s I ran 11 gr 2400 under a Lyman 357446.
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