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Thread: .38spl/2400 load data needed

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    .38spl/2400 load data needed

    I would like to work up some maximum 38spl loads using the LEE 158gr Flat Point and 2400 powder for use in a .357 revolver. Was wondering if any of you have been loading this bullet/powder combination in the 38spl. Thanks

  2. #2
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    That combination has been used for years in heavy 38 loads. I'd start by looking for data for the 38/44 Outdoorsman. If memory serves 12-13.5gr of 2400 behind a 158 was Elmer's load, but do the research as I may be wrong.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    If you have 2400 laying around, and you want to try it, the 13.5 gr load is the classic, but do remember these are 38 loads, which are in truth , HOT 357 loads in 38 special cases.

    You might want to go with bullet 358156, it has two crimp groves, and the deepest grouve is for the hot 357 loads in 38 cases. That way you will not mistake these hot loads and drop them into a 38 special.

    I have fired a ton of the old 13.5 gr Skeeter Skelton load, and it is ok, but in truth, I would rather use 5 gr of Unique. That gives about 900 fps, where the Skelton load gives about 1050 from my testing.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have read some articals on the 38/44 loads , and that is what I'm after but was wondering if the crimp groove placement on the LEE bullet is comparible to the bullets that were used for the 38/44 loads. Would one of you guys happen to have a 358156 bullet that you could measure from the base to the crimp grove and post the measurement ? thanks

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy dgslyr's Avatar
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    My old copy of lyman #45 says 11 grs. of 2400 as a max load in 38 spl cases with a 158 gr cast 358311 for 1010 fps out of a 6 inch S&W model 14.I have used this load with other 158 cast boolits in my 586,a dan wesson,a security six,my dads colt trooper,a model 10 S&W that I used have and the model 66 S&W I have now.I'm going to use the lee 158 RNF with that load in 38 cases for field pistol silhouettes week after next.I would like to see those old loads for those 38/44 S&W's.

  6. #6
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    I have a single cavity 358156. Overal boolit length is.682. From the base to center of the first crimp groove is: .285 From base to center of second crimp groove is: .375

    Hope this helps out.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyMetal View Post
    I have a single cavity 358156. Overal boolit length is.682. From the base to center of the first crimp groove is: .285 From base to center of second crimp groove is: .375

    Hope this helps out.
    thank you, thats what I needed.

  8. #8
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    If memory serves, Skeeter Skelton used the 358156 HP bullet over 13.5 of 2400, not the solid point. I've shot thousands of them myself, and I prefer the 11.0 grain load instead. My older M19 shot them into 1 hole groups at 25 yards. I've shot the 11.0 with Lyman 358477, RCBS 38-150-KT, Lyman 357446, and 358156 HP. The 5.0 of Unique is great in smaller guns, but for the Airweights I use 4.5 grains. CB.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by crowbeaner View Post
    If memory serves, Skeeter Skelton used the 358156 HP bullet over 13.5 of 2400, not the solid point. I've shot thousands of them myself, and I prefer the 11.0 grain load instead. My older M19 shot them into 1 hole groups at 25 yards. I've shot the 11.0 with Lyman 358477, RCBS 38-150-KT, Lyman 357446, and 358156 HP. The 5.0 of Unique is great in smaller guns, but for the Airweights I use 4.5 grains. CB.
    Would it be possible to get some measurements from the base to the crimp groove on some of these bullets that you have used ? Thanks

  10. #10
    Boolit Master jimkim's Avatar
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    This is from Handloader Issue #18.
    It was worked up using a pressure Barrel.
    It was described as 38 special super vel load.
    158 lead
    Alliant 2400
    10.5gr
    1,090 fps
    Remarks: energy: 414; psi: 19,300
    It isnt near as hot as the old Keith load. I also have the data from Handloader #243. They are a lot hotter than the 10.5gr load listed above. If you would like them PM me and I will send you a copy. They are hot!!!!

    "A Smith & Wesson .38-44 Outdoorsman with a 6 1/2-inch barrel was used to test loads."
    Handloader Issue #243

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  11. #11
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    I've loaded 10.5grs but I only shot them in my 357s. It's not the kind of load that fits well with an airweight or chief's special.

    They are a great medium-load for a 357: stronger than 38s, but lighter than 357s. Nice way to shoot something stouter than the weak 38s, but still use the cheap, easily-avail. brass.

  12. #12
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    Keep in mind also Skeeters load was using 38 brass in a 357 gun. He got that load from the older Ideal/Lyman books I imagine. I 12-13 gr in light weight guns, but wouldn't today. 4-5 gr Unique works well in the 38 guns, heavier loads I'd save for the 357.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    it would be much safer to use 357 mag cases than over loading 38 spl. cases

  14. #14
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    There is one problem that I found when using the 10.5/2400/Keith load in .38 special. The powder leaves a lot of tiny granuals behind that are not burned. If you remove cases from a double action revolver, barrel down, these granuals get under the extractor star and tie up the gun. Other than that IMO it is good for max effort loads in the .38 spl with standard and slightly heavier bullets.

  15. #15
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    Also remember that HERCULES 2400 is not exactly the same as ALLIANT 2400, The Alliant powders seem to for the most part take less powder to achieve a given pressure/velocity than the Hercules powders. Supposedly grain size is more uniform in the Alliant powders.

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  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    ++ to what willbird said, Handloader has been saying for some time that the "new" 2400 is hotter than the old. As much as 10% hotter. Using the Keith loads of 2400 in .357 or .44spl could lead to a blow-up.

  17. #17
    Regarding the claims that the new Alliant 2400 is faster than the old Hercules 2400, below are some data I collected two years ago. The new Alliant 2400 was purchased around 2003. The old Hercules 2400 dates back to the early 1990s. The actual dates are recorded on the cans, but I don't feel like running down to the basement.

    The load was a moderately heavy .44 special load of 17.5 grains. The bullet was the RCBS 250 KT. I fired the load 3 times: twice with air cooled bullets and once with heat treated bullets. The gun was a 4" Mountain Revolver.

    The new 2400 clocked 987 fps with an SD of 14 fps.
    The old 2400 clocked 1008 fps with an SD of 30 fps.

    With the HT bullet:

    The old 2400 clocked 986 fps with an SD of 30 fps.

    From my perspective, the difference is inconsequential. With this medium pressure load (around 25 ksi as reported in Handloader) the burning rates would appear to be identical based on the velocities obtained.

    FWIW
    Last edited by Mack Heath; 07-30-2008 at 11:15 PM.

  18. #18
    Allow me to give you another data point for 2400.

    From my old Lyman Pistol & Revolver manual from 1978, there is a load for the .357 with the 357429 bullet in .357 cases. When crimped over the front edge of the front driving band the OAL Lyman got is 1.553". When loaded into .38 special cases and crimped into the crimp groove, the OAL I get is 1.545. The difference in length is not really significant.

    The gun used was a 4" GP-100 which is as close to a pressure gun as one will find if Lyman's data are to be believed. If Lyman says they got XXX fps, then that is what I get with this gun. This is to the point that I almost don't need to chrono them any more.

    Using 173 grain 357429 bullets seated into .38 special cases and crimped in the crimp groove, a 13.5 grain load of new 2400 gave me 1241 fps. Lyman got 1242 fps in their vented 4" pressure gun using the old 2400. And this is a high pressure load in the 40K CUP area.

    If there is a difference in the burning rates of the two powders, I am not seeing it.

    Again FWIW.

  19. #19
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    I can't find the data but back about 10 years ago I chrono'd some 1970's 2400 against the current 2400 of the time and got no meaningful difference between the 2 powders in both the .357 and .44 mag. To me it does not make any sense for a company to increase the speed of a powder that's been around that long. With all the load data that's out there you would be asking for trouble. If anything were to be changed I would think they would go slower not faster.

  20. #20
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    Alliant seems to have carried on the legacy of Hercules in trying to stick pretty tightly to the specs on their cannister-grade powders. This is one of the reasons I really like Alliant, even though they're not marketing as heavily as the other powder companies... That being said, there are always little lot-to-lot variations.

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