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Old June 30, 2000, 05:41 PM   #1
Guy B. Meredith
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I would like to use ammo that is powerful enough to cause the three cut compensator on my PC
627 V-Comp to be effective. I would also like to do this using .38 spl brass to have the
shorter length for faster reloads.

The questions are: 1) what bullet velocity combination are necessary to make the
compensator effective and 2) is there a load for the .38 spl brass which is SAFE that will
run at that power factor? Which powder? 2400 slow speed powder? 296? Does the minimum
limit for 296 apply in .38 spl brass as it does in .35
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Old June 30, 2000, 08:25 PM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
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It is not velocity that will make the compensator work, it's pressure. Even a plus P 38 Special does not generate enough pressure to make that comp do any work. IMO you need at least 30000 PSI.

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Old June 30, 2000, 11:27 PM   #3
Art Eatman
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.357 Magnum brass is longer than .38 Special brass so the former cannot be loaded into the cylinder of the weaker gun. You can readily load .38 Special brass to .357 pressures and shoot them in a .357 revolver with no particular problem.

That said, I would examine a charged case, and see how far you can seat the bullet before seating that-there bullet. As with any experimentation, start low and work up.

I'm happy for somebody to correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there is any more strength around the case-head of a .357 Maggie than of a .38 Special. You can always cut one of each longways, and mike them.

Whatever you work up, make sure you mark the loads somehow, so they don't wind up in a Model 36 or equivalent...

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Old July 1, 2000, 12:30 AM   #4
Robert the41MagFan
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Cases are the same, strength wise. And he has a very strong gun. I load mine to 42K every once in a while. Just have never seen a cross reference to load .357 Mags in a 38 Special case. The shorter case may cause pressure problems. That .135" can make a big difference, specially with progressive shotshell powders.

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Old July 1, 2000, 08:46 AM   #5
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The smaller case capacity really boosts pressures quickly - it is called progressive powder & volume has a lot to do with it all.

Pressure doesn't always equate to added velocity. Take alook at some loading data & the +P aren't always faster.

I'd watch it & if you decide to work 'em up, please do gradually, looking for all pressure signs, etc.

Back in the olden days, I loaded up some .357 loads in .38 special cases & yes, they shot fine but blew 'bout 1/2 the primer pockets - not a good thing.

Somewhere between "real" 357 loads & 38 is where you'll end up I suspect & I'd still keep a close eye on that brass.

Oh, & I'd mark those loads very well (each cartridge, not just the box) to make sure they never get into a .38 revolver.
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Old July 1, 2000, 08:57 AM   #6
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Don't do it!! The chances of an accident is too high.
If you want to shoot 357 pressures use 357 cases. If you lose track of those hot loads and they get into a 38 you could ruin the 38 and your day, week and month while you recover from the gun coming apart in your hand. Or worse yet someone else shooting the hot loads or some bystander that gets a piece of metal driven into them by the cylinder that came apart.
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Old July 1, 2000, 09:45 AM   #7
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Old July 1, 2000, 11:07 AM   #8
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While I sort-of agree that it might be a dangerous practice to load .357M loads in .38 Spcl cases since they might find their way into a standard .38 gun. I also look at it this way - if we trust Guy enough to shoot a gun, why not trust him enough to have the intelligence to not let that happen. There are several ways to make an incident unlikely. Clearly marking the box of hot loads, perhaps even marking the rounds with a red Magic Marker.

As an example, I load .45 Colts for 3 different guns. The ones for my Vaquero would probably turn an SAA into a cheap bag-'o-parts. But that doesn't mean I'm only going to load relatively weak .45 Colts because that might happen. I trust myself and my procedures enough to not let it happen.
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Old July 1, 2000, 10:12 PM   #9
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Okay. You can reasonably safely load 357 loads in a 38 case. HOWEVER, you must seat the bullet out so that the internal case capacity is the same as for the longer 357 casing. I've done it; it looks goofy and if you use lead bullets the lube gets all over.

I have to side with the cautious side. You're better off not doing it.

Your concern about "faster reloads" should not be a real problem. The extractor rod should get magnum cases pretty well out of the cylinder. I've shot DA revolvers in combat matches for years, and have very seldom had any such difficulty.

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Old July 2, 2000, 12:01 AM   #10
Guy B. Meredith
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I don't have too much concern about mismatching revolvers and ammo as I have only .357 magnums and do not lend out my ammo due to potential liability problems.

Actually, if .357 magnum pressures/velocities are not necessary, then whatever will noticable drive the comp to keep the muzzle down for a quick follow up is sufficient. Right now I am running 850 fps with 4.8 gr of AA#2 (maybe roll crimp would take that up a bit or reduce amount of powder?) and see much higher levels in tables, so if they can kick in the comp it's good. I'll have an opportunity over the next few days to get a feel for what the loads I do have will do with a comp.

Someone mentioned the progressive shotshell powder. I assume you mean double based powders like 231 ans AA#2. In the larger case the slower powders allow for lower pressure, but what do they do in a .38 spl case?
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Old July 2, 2000, 04:32 PM   #11
Paul B.
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Guy. See if you can locate data for the 38/44 S&W cartridge. At one time these were loaded for S&W revolvers known as the 38/44HD and the 38/44 Outdoorsman. These rounds were the predecessor to the .357 Magnum, and quite potent. I have an Outdoorsman and it is quite accurate. I once killed a black bear, many years ago, with one using the 38/44 factory ammo. This stuff is more powerful than .38 Spl. Plus P. The older Lyman books classed them as "High Velocity" .38 Spl. loads in their manuals. Data was for lead bullets only, as no jacketed bullets were available at that time. For bullets of 150 gr. or less, Unique was the powder of choice, while #2400 was used for those, and heavier bullets as well. Velocities slightly higher than 1200 FPS were recorded with #2400 and 158 gr. bullets. One thing though. Current Alliant #2400 seems to be a bit faster burning than the Hercules version. I had to cut my .44 Magnum load, which was the one Elmer Keith used, back by two grains, and my pet .357 Magnum load by one grain, and it still kicks a lot harder that any factory stuff out now. I shoot no jacketed bullets in any of my .38's and .357's other than factory ammo for defensive purposes. Frankly, I'd just as soon use my lead reloads, but we have enough trouble with an anti-gun county attorney as it is. She has already stated that reloaded ammo will automatically cause a murder one accusation, because you made special ammo to kill someone. Of course we all know that's B.S., but convince her.
If you look for the manuals I mentioned, try to find one earlier than Lyman's 43 edition. Mine does not have the data. I do have one that is earlier that has it, but the cover is missing. I don't give data over the forums, liability garbage, you know, but if you can't find the data, let me know and I'll pass on what little I have via E-mail.
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Old July 3, 2000, 11:23 AM   #12
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41st edition of Lyman reloading handbook has the .38 Spec. High Vel. data. The loads using 2400 ( old formula stuff ) are quite impressive. Give same results as their moderate .357 loads.

As previously stated......NEVER start with max or near max loads. Pressures will vary from gun to gun, case brand differences etc etc. favorite 9mm is the 9X32R
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Old July 3, 2000, 09:45 PM   #13
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Please mark the .38Spl "magnums" indelibly and very well, pretty please! I might be the fall guy that uses them in my K14....

But I still can't see the advantage in NOT using the correct case in the first place, either internal-externally-terminally ballistically or operationally !!

A thought from 'Big Bunny'...."The sword does not kill, it is a tool in the hands of the killer".... Seneca 'the younger' (circa AD 35)
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Old July 3, 2000, 10:38 PM   #14
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also I thought shooting .38s in a .357 cylnder can cause some accuracy problems,
and using near magnum .38s would really throw
shots off?just a thought
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Old July 4, 2000, 08:12 AM   #15
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Try AA#9 or N110 for more gas pressure.

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

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Old July 5, 2000, 12:56 AM   #16
Guy B. Meredith
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Big Bunny,

The reason for using the .38 spl brass is that the shorter brass reloads and extracts better than the longer .357 magnum brass. Requires less clearance and shorter extrator throw. Some competitors cut the .38 spl brass down even further for that reason.
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Old July 5, 2000, 09:44 PM   #17
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I have been shooting 357 loads in 38 spec brass. I can load it up till the cases stick and the primer flows in either 357 or 38 brass. 38 sp has plenty of web.
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