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Thread: 38 Spec 158gr +P Loads?

  1. #41
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    Save that fine model 14 for target loads and target shooting...that's what it was made for.

    Buy a 357 Magnum to hot rod with.....something made for magnum, then you wont have to worry about damaging it. Heavy loads take a toll on a gun not built for it.
    Besides ,life's too short to have just one revolver !
    I would bet money the 14-3 is not rated for +P loads...it will be stamped on the barrel, if it's not stamped on the barrel don't shoot them in it. Better safe than sorry .
    Gary
    They did not stamp +p on the barrels until sometime in the 1990s none of the 70s revolver I know were stamped that yet if they were steel, they were fine with + p

  2. #42
    Boolit Master

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    For what it's worth, I've handled quite a few 14's and other K's that were out of time. How much of that was from sheer mileage, how much from Gunsmithing By Bubba or other abuse, and how much from too-hot ammo, I couldn't tell you, but if I had a clean, tight 14, I'd only be using it for wadcutter level loads, and would be pick L-frames and GP-100's for the toasty experiments.
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master
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    Bigslug brings up good points:

    There are a lot of K-frames out there. Some are in excellent condition and some not so much.
    The ones that are less than ideal could be in that state due to Bubba Gunsmithing, excessively hot loads or just sheer mileage.

    For about as long as I can remember, I've had at least one S&W K-frame in my possession. Often I've owned several at once. The S&W K-frame is an outstanding DA revolver. However, it does have its limitations.

    With lead bullets, standard pressure 38 Special loads and a bit of care, they will outlast most people.

    Bigslug said, ".......if I had a clean, tight 14, I'd only be using it for wadcutter level loads, and would be pick L-frames and GP-100's for the toasty experiments. "
    /\
    Those sentiments have been expressed repeatedly in this thread and I think they are shared by many.

    I do have a clean and tight S&W model 14 and I do not wish to abuse it.

    I have abused K-frames in the past and I've seen many that were abused by others. I know what will happen if the guns are abused. The comments from Outpost75 concerning high pressure loads in a S&W K-frame are 100% spot on.
    The K-frame is a great gun but bad things happen when you push them too far. It's no different than automotive applications. I've seen good engines and drivetrains that would give decades of yeoman like service with a little bit care and common sense. I've seen the exact same type of engines and drivetrains fail early and spectacularly due to neglect and abuse.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The same admonishment applies to J-frames as well.

    Back in the day (1980s) I took a new 36-1, measured cylinder gap, headspace and endshake, as well as copper indent using the government gages. Then gun was fired with ONE BOX, a mere 50 rounds of Olin 110-grain Q4070 +P+ LE ammunition.

    After firing 50 rounds of ammunition which exceeded industry +P standard by about 15% the revolver developed 0.002" end play and the cylinder gap opened from pass 0.004/hold 0.005 to pass 0.006/hold 0.007". This was only ONE BOX of "hot" ammo.

    So, crane was stretched, end shake removed and gun tightened back up, with cylinder gap now 0.002" looser than when gun was new, but within spec. Changed ammo to ordinary +P Winchester X38SPD lead +P (FBI load) in it to continue the endurance test, having a designated student fire one tactical revolver course each day, clean and inspect the gun. After logging 500 rounds of full charge duty ammo end play back was back up to 0.002+ and gap exceeded factory specs, being pass 0.008"/hold 0.009".

    So, the barrel was set back 1 thread, the crane was stretched again, endshake corrected again, gap restored to new factory specs gap pass 0.004/hold 0.005" so no end shake could be felt. Timing was now a bit "slow" in DA if gun was held in the hand with only weight of the gun only as drag on cylinder, so also fitted new hand and oversized cylinder stop.

    OK, so no more firing +P. Gun returned to vault for training use to be shot with wadcutters only.
    After a couple years, intermittent new-shooter training use logging 5000 wadcutters the gun had loosened up again, so returned it to factory for rebuild. Fitted new barrel, new crane, new cylinder, new hand, new cylinder stop, factory reblue and pretty new box with tools. Sold as "surplus" immediately when it came back... The lesson is, don't shoot very much +P in a J-frame if you want it to last, regardless of what the website says.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 12-03-2017 at 01:02 PM.
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  5. #45
    Boolit Master Boogieman's Avatar
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    S&W made some K frames in 9MM. how did these stand up? 9MM pressures are much higher than 38+P.
    The 3 people a man must be able to trust completely are his gunsmith his doctor & his preacher ..,his gunsmith for his short term health ,his doctor for long term health ,and his preacher incase one of the others mess up.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogieman View Post
    S&W made some K frames in 9MM. how did these stand up? 9MM pressures are much higher than 38+P.
    According to French armourers I spoke to, not well, which is why they went to Rugers...
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  7. #47
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for all the input gentlemen, you've helped a lot.

  8. #48
    Boolit Man derek45's Avatar
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    I recommend an L-frame

    586/686

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    Last edited by derek45; 12-03-2017 at 10:41 PM.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    For what it's worth, I've handled quite a few 14's and other K's that were out of time. How much of that was from sheer mileage, how much from Gunsmithing By Bubba or other abuse, and how much from too-hot ammo, I couldn't tell you, but if I had a clean, tight 14, I'd only be using it for wadcutter level loads, and would be pick L-frames and GP-100's for the toasty experiments.
    I have shot a 14 until it needed retiming. The consensus is not necessarily hot loads but frequent DA shooting. The theory being that fast DA shooting wears the hand more than slower SA even SA with +P loads.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  10. #50
    Boolit Master pmer's Avatar
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    How would you consider the new N frames compared to the old ones. Is it true the newer ones are more durable than the older ones?
    Recent cast boolit hunts:
    doe, Accurate Molds 45-300G in a 50 cal. muzzle loader
    buck & doe, Accurate Molds 36-225AG Model 94AE
    Russian Boar Accurate Molds 46-405A Marlin 45-70

  11. #51
    Boolit Man
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    > -See the loads at this link http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data...erBW%5B%5D=158 two of the Cast LSWC are above 1000fps.
    > Thoughts on them?

    7.7" barrel length, not a 4" or 5" gun. Obviously a 4 or 5 " barrel will give less velocity than a 7.7" barrel.
    The difference between 4" and 7.7" could be a couple hundred FPS, especially with a higher pressure round
    like we are talking about.

    I also find it very interesting that the velocity and pressure given for loads for the 2 "Lead Semi-WadCutter" bullets
    varies significantly between the 2 bullets.
    The 2nd bullet, "MEI" is a commercial cast Meister brand bullet.
    I don't know what the brand/style the 1st bullet is or how it differs from the 2nd bullet.
    An excerpt from that website's data for CFE Pistol powder:


    158 GR. CAST LSWC ___ Hodgdon CFE Pistol 5.3 gr. 1,048 FPS 16,100 PSI
    158 GR. MEI CAST LSWC Hodgdon CFE Pistol 5.0 gr. 1,029 FPS 16,700 PSI


    Why does 0.3 gr more powder produce 600 PSI LESS?
    It shows that different instances of guns (even of the same make and model) and
    supposedly the "same" bullet (158 gr lead) can make a significant difference in velocity and pressure.

  12. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Getting 1000 fps with a 158-grain bullet from a 6" revolver cannot be done without exceeding industry +P pressure substantially.

    Factory lead +P loads will do about 900 fps. I don't recommend shooting very much of +P in your Model 14 if you want it to last.

    If high velocity is that important to you, you should sell that model 14 and get the 586...
    This information is incorrect. Power Pistol will do it easily. So will Unique, HS-6, longshot and others in this burn range such as Herco.

  13. #53
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnewcomb59 View Post
    This information is incorrect. Power Pistol will do it easily. So will Unique, HS-6, longshot and others in this burn range such as Herco.
    Please post the link where I can see that these loads are pressure tested to industry standards. I think you are citing "solid" test barrel ballistics, NOT from a 4" vented test barrel simulating revolver test conditions. BIG velocity difference (about 80-100 fps) between a 4" revolver or SAAMI "vented" test barrel versus a solid 6" test barrel which the powder companies use so they can publish an inflated velocity number, which you would only get in a Contender pistol.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Please post the link where I can see that these loads are pressure tested to industry standards. I think you are citing "solid" test barrel ballistics, NOT from a 4" vented test barrel simulating revolver test conditions. BIG velocity difference (about 80-100 fps) between a 4" revolver or SAAMI "vented" test barrel versus a solid 6" test barrel which the powder companies use so they can publish an inflated velocity number, which you would only get in a Contender pistol.
    Buffalo Bore loads a 158 lead at 1250 fps in a 6". I am not going to sit here and google information for you. You are the one making the assertion, so how about you find me proof that it can't be done? Do it yourself with the search terms "38 +p chronograph fps "power pistol" swc"

    Power Pistol gets over 1000 fps in my 4" model 10 and Unique is just shy.

  15. #55
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnewcomb59 View Post
    Buffalo Bore loads a 158 lead at 1250 fps in a 6". I am not going to sit here and google information for you. You are the one making the assertion, so how about you find me proof that it can't be done? Do it yourself with the search terms "38 +p chronograph fps "power pistol" swc"
    When I worked in the firearms industry, I used personally and supervised others who worked with pressure test barrels, SAAMI reference ammunition and our group fired acceptance tests of police service ammunition daily and also conducted audit shoots of contract weapons before being released to the customer. I probably personally pressure tested over 10,000 rounds of .38 Special ammunition over a 3-year period and again that much of 9mm. I know how difficult it is to obtain satisfactory safety, reliability, accuracy and ballistic uniformity in revolver ammunition, particularly when fired in barrels shorter than 4 inches.

    While you can get higher velocity and lower pressure by using slower powders there are trade-offs, like unacceptable levels of muzzle flash, unburned powder particles which cause functioning problems, which could get an officer killed, and issues with ballistic uniformity, particularly when firing in elevated or suppressed temperatures.

    This is an area which I know something about. I just wanted a published source if you had one. Too many people drink the Kool-Aid without validating the results. I just didn't want people to accept advertising claims on blind faith because some are pure snake oil.

    If a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no free lunch in ammunition performance. I destructive tested enough revolvers for a living before I retired to be highly skeptical...

    I'm not trying to start a urinating contest. I'm simply asking people to consider the source of a claim and try to validate it from reviewing independent test data from someone other than the buy who is trying to sell a product, or the shill gun writer who wants to get more free samples and will say anything...
    Last edited by Outpost75; 12-05-2017 at 01:55 PM.
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  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post

    While you can get higher velocity and lower pressure by using slower powders there are trade-offs, like unacceptable levels of muzzle flash, unburned powder particles which cause functioning problems, and issues with ballistic uniformity when firing in elevated or suppressed temperatures.

    ...just asking people to consider the source and try to validate from independent test data other than the buy who is trying to sell a product. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt...
    So your point is that it cant be done except when it can be done, but there might be muzzle flash and powder particles. Got it.


    The source is Alliant themselves. 5.3 gr of Unique or 6 grains of Power Pistol will get you 980-1020 fps in a 4" barrel. Let alone a 6" like your original claim that it can't be done.

    http://smith-wessonforum.com/reloadi...er-pistol.html

    http://www.coltforum.com/forums/relo...er-pistol.html

  17. #57
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    I trusted both Elmer Keith, and Skeeter Skelton.

  18. #58
    Boolit Master
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    Let me caution that a major publication devoted specifically to hand loading has recently published numerous loadings in a “special edition” in 38 Special and 380 that are really inadvisable to be shot in the guns they were fired in despite being “within pressure guidelines.” This applies to the other calibers as well.

    For instance, 1150 FPS from a 95 grain bullet from a Ruger LCP 380 is really not smart. Malfunctions become greatly more likely and battering of the gun increases greatly since slide velocity is a function of bullet velocity.

    Don’t believe everything you read. Think before emulating.

    No one has disproven the finding that lower powered loads make a gun last longer. The cost of flaunting this absolutely proven principle is on you.

    Your choice, your cost.

  19. #59
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    Well I have pressure tested +P loads, factory and my own, in a "solid" test barrel to wit a Contender barrel. The loads using Unique under the 358156 and TL358-158-SWCs were within SAAMI 38 SPL +P standards. The velocity from the "solid" test barrel was not given because, as mentioned, the barrel/cylinder gap and freebore of the cylinder throats will cause the velocity from a revolver to be different.

    Those pressure tested loads to within safe SAAMI 38 SPL +P pressures were then chronographed in a 5" M15 as previously posted and a 6" Ruger Security Six. The +P load with Unique gave over 1000 fps from the Ruger 6" barreled revolver. As I mentioned to the OP there is no reason such safe +P pressure level loads will not also reach 1000 fps in his 6" barreled M14 revolver.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  20. #60
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    Their choice...

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check