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Old April 10, 2013, 11:50 PM   #1
Join Date: March 28, 2013
Posts: 31
First .38 Super Loads Results

Some of you may recall me asking about loading .38 Super a week or two back. I went to the range today to test some different loads I cooked up and I thought I would share the results.

My test consisted of 60 rounds, all 115 grain .355 full metal jacket and once fired (I assume) brass. 30 were loaded with blue dot, starting with 10.0 grains. 5 10.0, 5 10.1, 5 10.2 . . . up to 10.5 grains. The other 30 were loaded with red dot. Starting with 4.0 grains. Same deal, 5 4.0, 5 4.1. . . up to 4.5

All tests were conducted standing, two handed, no rest of any kind. The target was at 20 feet. The test gun was a Taurus PT1911AR 5" It's a big, heavy gun, please keep that in mind.

Those loaded with red dot had very little recoil, quite a bit less than a standard 115gr 9mm load out of my M&P9 4.25" but not quite .22lr soft. The 4.0 and 4.1 loads functioned perfectly but dropped noticeably at 20 feet. 4.2 a little less drop, 4.3 seems to be ideal with no noticeable gain in accuracy for 4.4 or 4.5

Those loaded with blue dot went off like a flippin' cannon compared to the red dot. Very loud, a lot more recoil and a huge muzzle flash. The recoil was by no means unmanageable but was quite surprising, especially out of such a heavy gun. The 10.0 and 10.1 had decent accuracy but by the time I got to 10.4 they were noticeably spreading out. for this powder, 10.1 or 10.2 seem to be ideal. They were also quite a bit of fun.

None of these loads failed to feed, cycle or eject, which was awesome.

Understand that I do not claim to be a master pistolero and I understand that "accuracy" varies from person to person and is prone to shooter error, I'm just relaying my experience and impressions. That being said, I have taken a legitimate 8 hour pistol course and train on a weekly basis with the same instructors. So, take my results with a grain of salt but know that I can hit the broad side of a barn on a good day, if the wind is right and the sun isn't in my eyes.

I'm interested to see the performance of the red dot loads at 50 feet and how lighter charged blue dot loads would do. I will be working up more loads to take with me to the range on Friday.

I hope this was helpful and informative for someone and I appreciate feedback. Thanks.
BusterValentine is offline  
Old April 11, 2013, 01:02 AM   #2
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Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 6,100

Buster, you need to get you a chronograph. I went years w/o one, and finally Santa dropped one off this Christmas. Chrono's are to the point now that they are very affordable and a casual loader and shooter can pick up a useful one for under (well under) $100.

I learn something every time I set mine up. Usually its down the line of a certain load not getting anywhere near the perfomance I thought.
bamaranger is offline  
Old April 11, 2013, 08:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 26, 2008
Posts: 472
Buster, I use .356 sized bullets in my 38 Super.
floydster is offline  

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