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Old March 27, 2013, 08:59 PM   #1
idek
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loading quiet .38 special ammo?

I've been loading 38 special ammo for about a year (just for fun range shooting). I'd never reloaded anything else before, and so far, I've always used HP-38 powder and 158 grain LSWC. I use the "starting load" of powder (3.1 grains). Recoil and muzzle blast are both quite mild.

However, I'm wondering if I could get even quieter loads. I recently bought 125-grain bullets (because that's what was available). I see that bullet size calls for 3.8 grains of HP-38 powder. Would more powder mean more noise?

I was looking at some charts and see the Trail Boss powder (which I believe people use for cowboy action shooting?) produces lower velocity. Would it also be quieter?
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Old March 27, 2013, 09:11 PM   #2
Misssissippi Dave
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The quietest load I know of for .38 special.

http://www.speer-bullets.com/product...g_bullets.aspx
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Old March 27, 2013, 11:21 PM   #3
david_r
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wax bullets and primers would work about the same.

haha. trailboss makes me laugh. I load DEWC with light loads of it for fun at the range. I don't recall it being noisy but I mostly shoot indoors so always have ear muffs on and usually plugs under those. You aren't going to eliminate the cylinder gap so the only way to reduce noise in my opinion is to reduce velocity.

People use hp-38 for reduced rifle calibers. This would indicate that reduced loads don't run into the inexplicable issue of pressure spikes that powders like h-110 do. Why not reduce your hp-38 load further? You need to watch for squibs.

I've been toying with cutting down some 38 special brass to 38 S&W length and running a couple of grains of trailboss in them. Or just seating my bullets deeper -- as long as I don't compress the trailboss, I should be safe. I think I'll paint the brass pink while I'm at it.
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Old March 27, 2013, 11:57 PM   #4
idek
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Thanks for the responses so far..

Another question...

The cast bullets I've used the past have had listed diameters of .358" and that's what is suggested on the reloading charts I look at, but the last box of bullets I bought is listed as .357." Can I still load them the same way I would load .358" bullets?
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Old March 28, 2013, 12:21 AM   #5
david_r
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Yes, maybe, probably, no, depends. You can use them. If you get more leading than usual in your bore, it could be because the bullet diameter is too small for the bore. This allows gas cutting along the sides of the bullet.

Load them up and test them.
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Old March 28, 2013, 12:33 AM   #6
GP100man
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idek

Be careful going low , ya can stik a bullet in the bore !

For my bunny poot loads I load round balls flush with the case mouth over 2 grs. of reddot.

On the primer powered side of things first ya gotta drill the primer pockets out a bit on brass cases to shoot wax bullets or glue stiks cut to length .

If ya wanna get fancy get ya self a bullet mold & a good glue gun & cast ya some glullets,then seat em as usual in the primer drilled case .

There`s a stiky over on Castboolits.com on gloolits ,do a search & have fun !!

PS: the glue stiks & gloolits can be powered by srm primers, build a trap (big pasteboard box with rags works great) & ya can catch em !!
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Old March 28, 2013, 06:14 AM   #7
TimSr
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Quote:
The cast bullets I've used the past have had listed diameters of .358" and that's what is suggested on the reloading charts I look at, but the last box of bullets I bought is listed as .357." Can I still load them the same way I would load .358" bullets?
Are the most recent bullets you purchased in 125gr cast/lead or are they jacketed?
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:06 AM   #8
SL1
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Be REALLY careful about shooting ultra-light LEAD bullet loads with small charges of powder. It is pretty easy to stick a bullet in the barrel. If you do not realize that you have stuck one before you fire another, you can AT LEAST damage (slightly bulge) the bore and hurt future accuracy and increase future leading potential. Even though they are light loads, you MIGHT actually split the barrel or cylinder, which can lead to serious injury to yourself or somebody else nearby.

Shooting wax, glue, plastic or rubber bullets using ONLY primers avoids these safety issues. But, these light bullets are not much use at outdoor ranges unless distances to targets are kept very short. But, those projectiles can still break windows (and kill rats) at short ranges, so do NOT treat them like they are a toy.

These are really two quite different types of rounds. You were not clear on how "quiet" you really want, so respondants offered both types. But, neither is close to silent. Even with a wax plug acting as a bullet, a primer makes a significant "pop" that can make the wife upstairs ask if you are shooting those wax things again. Even with light powder charges behind lead bullets, you should be wearing hearing protection.

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