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Old October 4, 2018, 11:11 AM   #1
Grant 14
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38 special shot shells.

I have an old 38 sp that I used to carry with snake shot when out hunting. I cant seem to find the 38 sp shot shells that are just the length of the case with a wad holding the shot in. My chamber wont take the newer shells with the plastic shot holder that extends forward. It takes regular bullets fine but the plastic containers have no taper. I dont want to change the chamber. Are the older type of 38 shot shells available anywhere or is this a hand load only situation? Thanks, Grant
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Old October 4, 2018, 11:55 AM   #2
TJB101
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Not sure of the older capsules but I’ve produced 38 and 357 shot shells with cardboard discs and melted wax.

They work great. In my 357 I used about 90gr of shot over a mid range dose of 700x separated by cardboard discs and topped with one more disc and then wax. Cut the discs with a sharpened 38 case
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Old October 4, 2018, 01:23 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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"...chamber won't take the newer shells..." Something is right about that chamber. If a shot shell doesn't fit a regular cartridge shouldn't either. OAL might be the issue though.
You been shooting cast bullets out of it? That can cause a ring of lube gunk to form in the chambers. Comes out easily with a .45 calibre brush.
Anyway, the only loaded ammo available uses either CCI or Speer capsule. And shot fired out of a rifled barrel send the shot string in a spiral causing great big holes in the pattern.
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Old October 4, 2018, 02:11 PM   #4
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What TJB101 suggested. I fit a 357 gas check over the powder and an inverted gas check over the shot. Light crimp. No wax required.
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Old October 4, 2018, 02:20 PM   #5
FITASC
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Guess it depends on how old the 38 is. I have one from the late 1920s, another from 1950 and a few more from the early 80s and all shoot the Speer cartridges well (as far as loading). As was said, with the rifled barrel, the effective pattern is measured in feet, not yards
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Old October 4, 2018, 04:24 PM   #6
Salmoneye
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WARNING: NOT A PUBLISHED BOOK LOAD...Use at our own risk...

Instead of gas checks, I use a chamfer tool and sharpen the inside of an empty case...Then cut over-powder and over-shot 'cards' from a piece of thin, stiff cardboard or styrofoam take-out containers...

I dipper a 'few grains' of a fast powder like Bullseye, Red Dot, etc., fill to just under the case mouth with shot stolen from low price 12ga promo loads, and then cover the top card with Elmer's School Glue to seal...

Always a few on my belt when in the field...

Though the page below is specific to .44 Mag, I got the idea from here:

http://www.castbullet.com/reload/44shot.htm
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Old October 5, 2018, 09:55 AM   #7
Grant 14
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The gun (2 barreled Darringer type) was bought new in the 60s and is miserable to shoot regular loads, so it has very few rounds thru it. It is great as a Rattlesnake snuffer with the light snake shot loads. What my Dad and then myself used was commercial snakeshot that was the length of a regular case. It doesnt seem to be available anymore. If I could find it, a box would probably last my lifetime, my sons and maybe a few grandkids. The new rounds with the plastic extending out the front wont chamber because the plastic has no taper. Regular lead bullets are tapered so they fit. I wont alter the chamber because someday some fool might slip a 357 into it and loose fingers. I liked the video about the 44 mag so I suspect I will load up some 38s using that technique. I think I will use wax rather than Elmers glue because glue tends to crack after a while. I had not thought about #12 shot, but it makes sense to me. Thanks for the advice. Grant.
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Old October 5, 2018, 01:08 PM   #8
T. O'Heir
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A .357 won't fit. Be too long.
The best rattlesnake snuffer is a Mk I stick. Their bones/skulls are really brittle and a whack on the head kills 'em and another snake deader 'n spit.
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Old October 7, 2018, 11:10 AM   #9
Grant 14
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I think I have figured out what to do. I ran across some of the Speer shot capsules and slipped one into an empty case and then pushed the case into the chamber. That pushed the capsule in enough for the case to fit. I pulled it out and it is just a little shorter than the commercial snake shot, so I am going to load a few with the capsule deeper and try them. I only have Accurate#5 for pistols so I might buy some bullseye. I cant seem to find any data on very light loads with the accurate. Thanks for all of the advice. Grant.
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Old October 7, 2018, 04:10 PM   #10
Salmoneye
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Just a side note on experience with the capsules...

The only time I tried them, I found that they 'doughnutted' the pattern more than my home rolled no capsule loads (even with the same powder charge)...

I am of the opinion, that even though the capsule breaks on the rifling, that it stays together enough to get more spin out of the shot charge than loads without the capsule...

YMMV
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Old October 7, 2018, 04:50 PM   #11
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The only snake loads I ever used were for my .44 mag. The Speer capsules and 7 1/2 shot which was handy. Only had to shoot one rattler with that load but it hamburgered the heck out of his head. At about 3 feet from the muzzle the shot charge couldn't have donutted all that much. When I used to hike the desert I always saw rattlesnakes plus various harmless snakes. I left them alone. They don't bother me I don't bother them. The one I did have to shoot was bothered by me when I accidently stepped on him. My fault.
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Old October 8, 2018, 11:34 AM   #12
Salmoneye
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lol

Yeah...I was talking 15 feet, not 3 when I mentioned the doughnut effect...

I have been pretty successful on rats from 10'-15' with my .44 loads...

.357 I usually reserve for inside 10'...
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Old October 8, 2018, 01:35 PM   #13
FITASC
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As far as recipes go with the Speer capsules, they print them on the box
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