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Old June 12, 2000, 12:33 PM   #1
Bill Hebert
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Join Date: May 15, 1999
Posts: 180
Took my chrony out to the range yesterday, and was amazed at the difference between velocities of various powders. I was shooting 168grain flat nosed jacketed and had readings from 862 to 982 ft/second. Since this is a new "game" for me, what's the objective - to get the fastest velocity without blowing up my Browning high-power? Needless to say, there was a lot of difference in felt recoil with the Universal Clays 982ft/sec and the 862 hp-38 powders. The HS-7 chronied at just under the Universal Clays (940) - but the recoil felt more like the HP-38. I'll be shooting action pistol match this weekend and will be shooting 192 rounds in about three hours. So what should be my game plan in reloading for the match? Should I use the Univ. Clays as-is? Should I "bump" up the HS-7 since the rounds I shot were starting loads? Or what other suggestions? Thanks, Bill.
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Old June 12, 2000, 12:54 PM   #2
Join Date: April 6, 2000
Location: Winterville, Ga. USA
Posts: 50
It would seem to me that you would want to use the most accurate load that produces the least felt recoil.
Old June 12, 2000, 02:20 PM   #3
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Join Date: February 23, 1999
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 4,273
Bill - The objective is up to you. What are you personally trying to achieve?

For example, I load for accuracy, not balls-to-the-wall pressure. Velocity don't mean jackdammit when your bullet goes whistling past your target.
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Old June 12, 2000, 02:56 PM   #4
Guy B. Meredith
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Join Date: August 29, 1999
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 1,581

In action pistol you will want to have a fair degree of accuracy and quick recovery for sequential shots.

Most action pistol is done at ranges under 25 yards or even under 15 yards so accuracy is not super critical.

You will want the least felt recoil allowed for the required power factor. In USPSA the power factor is 125 for minor calibers (most of them) and 175 for major (.357 magnum, .45 ACP, etc.). In serious competition the steels are calibrated to fall when hit by standard 9 mm rounds. Local matches may not have calibrated steel.

The power factor is determined by:

(bullet weight) X (velocity) all divided by 1000. So a 158 gr bullet at 790 fps is:


So go for a round of suitable accuracy and speed, add another 50 fps or so for environmental vairables like temperature and altitude.

By the way, one late afternoon I chronoed one of my .38 spl at 3000 fps. Gotta watch those environmental factors.

[This message has been edited by Guy B. Meredith (edited June 12, 2000).]
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