The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 21, 2000, 02:49 PM   #1
Join Date: July 29, 1999
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 72
Hi guys, I am handloading my ammo in 38, and I am trying to find, and tune my loads for my plain-jane, average revolver.

What should I hope to strive for, accuracy-wise, from a stock S&W 586 with 6" barrel? I am talking about single-action, rested at the bench, 25m groups and/or 50m groups.

What is considered good, what is considered above average, and what is considered exceptional?

Please help to give me something to strive for.
SharpCdn is offline  
Old August 22, 2000, 01:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 12, 2000
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,124
Whoa. MOA is not a realistic goal for a revolver. For a fine field revolver such as the S&W L-frame, I would be happy if my skill in loading and shooting would get me in the 2-inch group range at 25m. 1 inch would be outstanding accuracy, and will comfortably exceed the capability of 99% of shooters under field conditions. When we used to shoot IHMSA, a revolver that would hold 1 inch off sandbags at 25m was "good to go".

There's no comparison in achievable accuracy between revolvers and varmint rifles.
Hutch is offline  
Old August 22, 2000, 01:55 PM   #3
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 15,470
xxero, Hutch is absolutely right. Have you ever seen a common handgun that will put 5 shots in roughly 1/4" even from a Ransom Rest? (T/C's and the like don't count.)
Mal H is offline  
Old August 22, 2000, 02:55 PM   #4
Join Date: July 29, 1999
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 72

I was about to get very depressed because the best group I've been able to get has been about 7 MOA !

I feel more encouraged now. I don't think I a 1/4" group is within my ability. Sure would make me content with my ammo/revolver combo though!

Is 1/4" really attainable with a handgun?

I am still trying to work out a decent load for my 158 gr SWC's though. Not much luck so far.

Thanks for the input so far!
SharpCdn is offline  
Old August 22, 2000, 04:34 PM   #5
Member In Memoriam
Join Date: November 29, 1999
Location: west of a small town, CO
Posts: 4,346
Whoa (again) ...

1 MOA at 25 yds is 1/4" - it's (roughly, without going to many decimal places) 1" at 100 yds. 25 = 1/4 100 & so on ...

7" at 25yds is 28 MOA

MOA is an angle measurement. Further away = same angle, but the variances are bigger - just like the beam of a flashlight. Close up = it's a tight spot - further away = it's a bigger spot but always the same angle of beam ....

Quantity of powder, primer & crimp (& don't forget bullet hardness - especially with cast) matter.

Try some .38 special cases with 2.7 gr Bullseye w/a 148 gr HBWC & see what you can do with that at about 10-15 yards. It's the standard bullseye loading & about an accurate combo you can get.

If you're having troubles with that load, it may not be your loading combo ....

& hutch is right. Had a very accurate, tricked out Python upon a time & was way plenty pleased with anything under 1" at 25 yds (& that's 4 MOA - no matter what distance you're talking).
labgrade is offline  
Old August 22, 2000, 05:19 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: February 28, 1999
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 725
According to the NRA publication, "Cast Bullets", the MOA of the factory 148gr wadcutter (the most accurate of all .38sp bullets) is 2.5moa. Handloading with all the properly coordinated components could net you as low as 3moa. For comparison, the 10 ring in a 50 yard bullseye target is 3.39" or 6.75moa. According to the article on page 52, the factory loading is the goal to be strived for in accuracy of the .38sp. Quantrill
Quantrill is offline  
Old August 22, 2000, 06:00 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
Also suggest W231, and finish using a Redding Profile Crimp die. Light taper, tiny (just a hint) roll at mouth.

Bullets, cast from Bull-X, or swaged from Hornady or Speer (prefer Speer).

Sight alignment, trigger control.

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old August 23, 2000, 12:10 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: April 28, 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 936

May I suggest that you try light 357 magnum loads with 158gr SWC Lead bullets. I have a Python that will shoot under 1" at 25 yards with several 357 magnum loads but I have not been able to find a 38 special load that will do under 1".
taco is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07848 seconds with 7 queries