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Old February 16, 2016, 12:19 PM   #1
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Question re: loading .38 special

Can you really use the same charge weight of Accurate #5 as you do with 231? For many years I have been using 3.1 grains of 231 behind a 148 grain HBWD.
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Old February 16, 2016, 12:29 PM   #2
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3.1 gr. is below the 38 Special starting load for both powders according to the respective powder manufacturer's published data. In case you didn't check there already, the powder manufacturer's online data sources are a good place to begin when looking for suitable powder charges.
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Old February 16, 2016, 02:47 PM   #3
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231 is quite a bit faster burning than No. 5. Number 28 vs Number 41 on the burn rate chart.
Like BBarn says, 3.1 is below minimum for either powder with a 148. 3.5 is the start load for 231. 3.6 of No. 5.(was 4.0 is 1988) So no, you can't.
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Old February 16, 2016, 03:38 PM   #4
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Not a good idea to substitute powder charges among different powders, and even the "close" ones aren't the same (ie.; Unique and Universal). Even though they may be next to each other on a Relative Burn Rate chart, they may be way different in burn speed, there might not be a powder in between. Use only what is the recommended charges...
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Old February 16, 2016, 08:51 PM   #5
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My 2000 issue Accurate data manual specifies 3.6 to 4.0 of #5 with that bullet.
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Old February 16, 2016, 10:03 PM   #6
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Burn rate, "Quickness" and ENERGY CONTENT (by weight or by volume) may or may not be related to one another.

My money is on the not related.

Unless you have your own ballistics lab, pay close attention to the published, authoritative loading data. Deviate from that under advisement and very cautiously because stretching the established performance envelope is even more at your own risk than loading your own.

Reloading is not rocket science, but it does involve smoke and flame and objects and event that move and happen very fast.

Be safe. Always, all ways.

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Old February 16, 2016, 11:05 PM   #7
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Not a good idea to substitute powder charges among different powders
Like mikld, I found the OP's question itself concerning.

Every propellant is of its own merit and has nothing to do with another. It is just not a good idea to take a mindset of relating one powder's charge weight characteristics with another's. If that made any sense.

View them individually.
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