What is your favorite 38 special load?

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1ruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
151
My current favorite load is 158gr cast SWC bullet with 3.8gr Winchester 231. This is standard pressure load and will go about 770 fps from 4" barrel revolver. Very accurate and pleasant to shoot.

What about you?
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,200
Location
So. Florida
Mine is almost the same. 158gr Rainier copper plated bullet over 4.0gr of HP-38 (same as W-231). Just a little cleaner. :D

But if shooting in a 357mag gun I will use the same bullet and 5.0gr of HP-38 in 357mag brass to prevent the carbon ring from building-up in the chambers. :D

...Jimbo
 

frontstuffers

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
243
Location
Fort Worth, TX
RugerSP101, mine is close to yours. I use 4.6 gr of Unique with either a 158 gr LRN or SWC. Fun to shoot and pretty accurate. Great plinking/practice load.
 

VAdoublegunner

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
459
Location
Virginia, USA
A 158 LRN or LSWC (depending on whether it is a CAS load or not) and 4.5-gr WSF with a WSP. It gives me 810 fps out of most 4" K-frames.

However, I like my CAS loads to be a little more on the +P side, a little flip helps with recocking when shooting Gunfighter, so I usually load them up to 4.7gr WSF for around 850fps with a Speer 158gr LRN out of my 5.5" Vaqueros.
 

The Preacher

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
409
Location
South-Central PA
Mines a bit on the +P side: 10.5 gr. of A 2400 with a 158 gr. LSWC Hpt. I've gone to 11.0gr. in mid sized frame 38's and never had a problem. But I don't use these loads for a ton of target shooting. They're my "serious social shooting" carry loads.

The Preacher
 

Sharp Shooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Messages
110
Location
MCCammon,Idaho,USA
It depends. For general, all-around use, on my daily exercise hike I carry a .38 Special loaded with Keith 168 grain SWCs over 4.6 grains of Unique. That load gives me 825fps average from a 4" barrel. I've never tested it from a shorter barrel.
On the other hand, for short barreled, +P rated guns and possibly serious use, I like Speer, 158 grain, soft, swagged lead SWCs over 5.9 grains of Power Pistol. Those are the loads that are in my wife's Smith snubby that she's carrying right now. They go 845fps average with a very low SD from either of our 2" barreled revolvers.
For plinking I just use Hornady 148 grain HBWCs over 3.5 grains of Bullseye. I don't know how fast they're going.
 

pps

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
306
Location
PRK
3.4 grains of bullseye, Hornady swagged 158gr swc for target/plinking. 750 fps

For a little bit of heat in 38, My hardcast Lyman 158 grain 358156 gas checked over 7.5 grains of SR4756 about 1250fps from a 5" barrel
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
Hi,

Mostly 150 gr LSWC (Lee mold, straight wheelweights) over the max load of Green Dot for a regular .38 Spl--not the +P--from the Alliant book recipe for a 158 gr LSWC.

Rick C
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,645
Location
Texas
158 lead SWC, 4.7 Unique, Winchester or Federal primer.
Easy to shoot and very accurate. Power-wise, it perty-much duplictes the old 38 Spl service load, but throws a better bullet.

DGW
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2004
Messages
404
158gr LSWC and 3.5 gr of Bull. I've used that same load for years. If I happen to buy a gun that doesn't like that load it usually doesn't stay around long. :( :wink:

Dennis.
 

tomiswho

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Messages
323
Location
Georgia
I've used a lot of 3.7g HP-38 behind a HBWC, but I heard that Universal works good, so I bought a pound and loaded up 200 SWC in front of 4.0g Universal. I've fired 50 of them with my GP-100 and have been very pleased.
 

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