Fun with the .38 Spl....

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DGW1949

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My daughter (who now lives in Fla) mentioned to me on the phone awhile back that she was having problems finding 38Spl ammo for her carry gun. So me being a responsable Dad, decided to load her up some today.

Well, after FINALY locating all my "little" reloading tools(which haven't been used for years).....meaning the apropriate pocket cleaner, shell-holders, primer-punch, and stuff for my antique LEE Hand Primer tool....and after FINALY digging through enough dusty boxes to find the one full of old 38 brass, and after digging-out my old Speer Manual, and locating my LEE dipper set, deciding on a powder charge, etc, etc, I got to it.

First thing that struck me was just how easy it is to "work" them little .38 cases....And just how fast it was all going.
Then it dawned on me how little powder I was putting in them cases, and just how small them 158 SWC's looked.....Wow....A lot different than the 45LC's that I've gotten so used to. And which BTW, has been about ALL the loading I've done, for how long now?....dunno....years, I'd guess. Well that, and 30-06's.

Anyhow...... after about 2 hours or so, I had 300 of them loaded-up, so I decide to test a few by running them through my wife's old Smith 36. And being's how I haven't fired my old 3-Screw Blackhawk in quite a while, I took it along too.....you know, just to make sure it still worked OK.

As it turns out.....10 rounds turned into 20....then 20 turned-out to be the whole 50-round box.....which meant that I was out...which meant a trip back into the house to get more, plus some empty cans from the trash. One thing lead to another, and now I gotta start all over again....'cause as it turned-out, I shot-up ever stinkin' one of my daughter's "new" cartridges.....all 300 of them.
But that's OK.....I can make more. And UPS don't ship untill next Monday anyway, huh?

Seems I'd forgot just how much fun the little .38 can be. And just how easy it is to load for.

Wow, this could be habit forming.

DGW
 

Jimbo357mag

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So. Florida
DGW1949":1nub0k07 said:
My daughter (who now lives in Fla) mentioned to me on the phone awhile back that she was having problems finding 38Spl ammo for her carry gun. So me being a responsable Dad, decided to load her up some today.


DGW

+300 :D :D
If you can find the bullets somewhere don't forget to make a box for her of XTP's, Gold Dot's, or jacketed HP's or Lead HP's.

...Jimbo
 

DGW1949

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Jimbo357mag":24ps0a6i said:
DGW1949":24ps0a6i said:
My daughter (who now lives in Fla) mentioned to me on the phone awhile back that she was having problems finding 38Spl ammo for her carry gun. So me being a responsable Dad, decided to load her up some today.


DGW

+300 :D :D
If you can find the bullets somewhere don't forget to make a box for her of XTP's, Gold Dot's, or jacketed HP's or Lead HP's.

...Jimbo

Wow Jimbo.... That would be a good idea but...aint nothing like that available around here these days.
Actualy, there aint any 38-anything available around here.

I was lucky that I have a bunch of custom-cast SWC's left-over from way back when....and that I allways have plenty of Unique, on account of my 45's....and that I was able to find a brick of small-primers localy.

But what was realy lucky, was that I actualy found that big dusty box of empties that I stuck out in the shed back in the early 90's. :shock: .

DGW
 

btrumanj

Single-Sixer
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Jan 29, 2005
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490
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Louisville Ky
The .38Sp is often overlooked by a lot of folks nowadays. Not big or powerful enough for many, don't kick hard enough and not available in auto loaders with magazines that hold almost a box of ammo. It's a fun caliber that is very accurate, easy to reload and it's a right good self defense caliber with the right ammo. I'd been kinda neglecting it myself until about a month ago when I loaded a couple of hundred rds and fired them at the range. I did some get strange and inquiring looks. An old guy shooting a couple of old S&W revolvers in .38Sp is an oddity at the indoor range I shoot at. :)
 

wixedmords

Blackhawk
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Aug 5, 2006
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Wixed - Lakes Region of NH
I have to agree. 38 Special is very very fun to shoot.

I think reloading them yourself makes the fun just that much more.

Shootin' lead is really the best of all worlds. I don't know any other way.

Thanks for the post DGW. ;)
 

Enigma

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Houston metro area, TX
I learned how to reload loading for a Ruger (what else?) Security Six .357 Mag. I cast and loaded a lot of the Lyman 358429 173 grain SWC in .38 Special brass in that gun, using scrounged (read free) lead. I can't think of another cartridge that would have been better to learn on!

I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges, even if I was foolish enough to let that old Security Six slip away.
 

Rick Courtright

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timalso":18zd7154 said:
Load her a bunch to practice with but buy something commercial to carry. More jury friendly.

Hi,

Call me a doubting Thomas if you wish, but until I see actual documentation (law, court case, something that can be used as precedent, not some gun rag writer's opinion), I'm keeping that one in the "urban legend" file...

When asked directly about this idea, the prosecutors who used to shoot skeet at my range told me they'd never heard of anyone prosecuting on the basis of what ammo was used in a defensive shooting.

So far I haven't found anyone who can refute what they told me, but I try to keep an open mind.

Rick C
 

Yosemite Sam

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I_Like_Pie":1n1sp3e6 said:
.38 is by far my favourite pistol round
It was mine too, until I recently discovered .44 Special... :D

Still love my .38s, though. I always wanted a Bisley BH .357 to shoot .38s out of, even had a WTB ad running here for a while. Had a Bisley Vaquero for a while, but it wasn't quite the same.

-- Sam
 

toysoldier

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Hutchinson, KS USA
After I bought a well-used Police Security-Six in .38, I started reloading for it. I got lucky at an auction and came home with a box of several hundred assorted cast lead bullets, mostly for .38. Adding a Taurus .38 snubbie for my wife gave me even more reason to reload. I load to two levels---moderate for the snubbie, and very hot (bottom-end .357 loads) for the Ruger. I keep them VERY separate. I use Bullseye, and load slowly and carefully. It's fun, relaxing, and satisfying.
 

Rclark

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Oh, yeah, when I bought the 50th Ann .357 .. it was to be used by my wife.... I thing she has shot it once :roll: ... Yeah I understand :) .

very hot (bottom-end .357 loads) for the Ruger.
... Ya know ... I used to be that way :) . Gotta load 'em hot. Craaaack.... cool .... Then something happened.... I got a bit older and found that, really, to have a lot of fun you don't need to load so hot. Holes appear in the target just as close together as holes shot at high speed... Cans dance just as hard... Steel targets still fell over... Well you get the idea! Hmmm...

I don't have any .38 Spec cases, but I load all my .357 cases to .38 special velocities when shooting lead (as opposed to jacketed). No reason to go 'hotter'. Same with my .44s and .45s... My 'defensive' gun is the Vaquero in .45 Colt. I firmly feel a 250g bullet at 800-900 fps will stop just about anything I might run into around here and it is pleasant to shoot! And no, it isn't factory. Never have bought a 'factory' round in .44 or .45 that I can remember.

Oh, yeah, last night was a three revolver evening ... brought out a .357, .44, and .45 (All SA of course). Shot them all 8)
 

Shyoldman

Bearcat
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Lincoln,Nebr
I, too, love my BH's. Have 2 357 and 2 44mag SBH. Introduced a buddy to the joys of 38spl and 44spl in the last 2 months. We have shot up close to 2000 rds in the last 4 saturdays. Boy am I busy making bullets!
 

gifford

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Jun 19, 2009
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The Show Me State
I see you have the .45 hence the Unique; only powder for handguns that I routinely buy. I've got an old can of W291 which I use for the full bore .357s. Although there may be better powders out there for .38; I'll stick with my Unique for both my .45 and .38.
 

Hombre

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Aug 21, 2009
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South Central Kansas
Howdy guys

The 38 spec. is my favorite, even bought a S&W combat masterpiece to shoot my load of choice. Just take any old cases from the same lot, reg. small pistol primer, 2.8 grn. Bullseye powder and top off with 148 grn. Spear HBWC. With this recipe will produce one ragged hole at 25 yrds. off the bench full cyl group. Just like lays potato chips, just can't shoot one group. My friends want me to load up some of these for them, just ain't got time to do mine and theirs. One buddy of mine offered good money for a couple of boxes, I just told him he needs to get a reloading outfit of his own and he could replicate my results. Happy shoot'n.......Hombre
 

DGW1949

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quote="Hombre"]Howdy guys

The 38 spec. is my favorite, even bought a S&W combat masterpiece to shoot my load of choice. Just take any old cases from the same lot, reg. small pistol primer, 2.8 grn. Bullseye powder and top off with 148 grn. Spear HBWC. With this recipe will produce one ragged hole at 25 yrds. off the bench full cyl group. Just like lays potato chips, just can't shoot one group. My friends want me to load up some of these for them, just ain't got time to do mine and theirs. One buddy of mine offered good money for a couple of boxes, I just told him he needs to get a reloading outfit of his own and he could replicate my results. Happy shoot'n.......Hombre[/quote]

...........................................................................................

Yeah on the .38 Spl being easy to load for. It's been around so long that there are many time-proven loads for it....one of which will surely do whatever needs done with a .38 .

Tried your Bullseye/HBWC load (or something therebouts) way back when, and as I recall, it was very accurate....and about the cheapest thing to shoot out of a CF revolver that there is.
For me though.... I prefer the plain-jane 158 service load, except with a SWC bullet. I guess that's the cop coming back out in me.

DGW
 

Rick Courtright

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Hombre":1fb06c8z said:
...my load of choice. Just take any old cases from the same lot, reg. small pistol primer, 2.8 grn. Bullseye powder and top off with 148 grn. Spear HBWC. With this recipe will produce one ragged hole at 25 yrds. off the bench full cyl group.

Hi,

I dunno how to prove it, but I'd be willing to bet at least one beer there have been more .38 Spls loaded w/ THAT basic recipe than most, if not all, others combined!

It's one of those classic "shoots well in anything" loads.

Rick C
 
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