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Thread: 38 special and power pistol

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    38 special and power pistol

    I have a k-38 masterpiece 6 inch. Loaded 162 grain semi-wadcutter with 5.4 grains powerpistol. Velocity is 970 fps and is very accurate. Alliant says this load is fine for standard 38,s. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.

    please define "fine"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Welcome to CB.GL Forum!


    I am pretty sure, looking at the Alliant Power pistol load data they supply, that you are possibly in P+ load range. While I did not see your 162gr. weight boolit listed, the closest being a 158gr., the listed loads suggested MAX for that 158gr. was 5.4gr. in a 6 inch bbl. for 38 Special "standard".
    The data for a 158gr in the 38 P+ data was a suggested MAX of 6.0 gr..


    Sources: 38 Special P+ = http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...8&cartridge=27

    38 Special "Std." = http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...8&cartridge=26



    Since powder weight(charges) usually increases as the boolit/bullet weight gets lighter, then the opposite that powder weight(charges) would decrease with heavier boolits/bullets.

    If the MAX suggested charge for a lighter boolit(158gr.) is 5.4gr. in "standard" 38 Special, then the suggested MAX charge weight for a 162gr. should be/likely is, less than that 5.4 grains for a "standard" 38 Special.
    Thus, likely putting the charge you mentioned in the OP, into a P+ range.

    If your handgun is rated for P+ charges , then you should likely be OK. If it is not, then you are likely going over Alliants suggested MAX for a "standard" 38 Special using that charge & that weight of boolit. It is YOUR decision to exceed the suggested MAX loads or not.


    Age & condition of your handgun & how accurate you are in your reloading quality control can have an effect on your results. That is something to also keep in mind.

    So, YOU will have to determine if what you are doing is "fine", or not.


    Anyway, That is how "I" see it. Others may differ on it, but This post is "my" opinion based on what I think.

    G'Luck! & Be Safe!
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Looking in the .38 Sp. +P section of Speer's Manual #14 I see exactly what JB said above, with 6.0 being the maximum for a 158 gr. bullet.
    But, considering that your bullet is only 4 gr. heavier (I don't find it specifically listed in any of my manuals), a load of 5.4 gr. of PP is probably within limits. That load is shown a the maximum for standard .38 Sp. with a velocity of 948 fps., again for a 158 gr., so your bullet may put you slightly into +P. I think you're o.k. with this. I'd hand weigh each load.

    Welcome to the forum.

    DG

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Welcome !

    I don't use Power Pistol but I've loaded and shot a small truckload or two of 38 Special cartridges over the years.

    I don't think your load is super hot but I agree with the prior posts that with that 162 gr. bullet weight, it's likely slightly in the +P range. A S&W K-38 is a wonderful tool and I don't think that load is way out of line but.......why push a target load to 970 fps if you don't need to?

    The bulk of my 38 Special work was with cast bullets and WW231 [AKA HP-38] powder. I never saw a need to push target loads fast.

    My input would be to back the charge weight down a little bit and see if the accuracy remains.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    You must remember that the data on the alliant page is maximum loads. They will also supply you with a free loading manual. If you would like on i suggest giving them a call rather than singing up on line. The website does have most of the info but there is some stuff in the manual thats not on website. I have split a case or two using there data before i came across these are max loads and should be reduced and worked up. Some alliant loads are more than 10% over max loads listed elsewhere.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    In handloader #276 FEB-MAR 2016 brian pearce did an article call "Ruger LCR 38special". In that article he tested factory 38spl + 38spl p+ ammo in a ruger lcr. Page #76 has power pistol/38spl p+ loads.
    110gr sierra jhp 7.5gr pp
    125gr Hornady xtp 6.8gr pp
    135gr golddot hp 6.7gr pp
    158gr rimrock lead swc-gc hp 6.3gr pp 1004fps 1 7/8" bbl'd lcr
    173gr lyman cast 358429 5.9gr pp 950fps 1 7/8" bbl'd lcr

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I wouldn't lose too much sleep over a 4 grain heavier boolit. IF, (big IF), you are into the +P range, I would wager it is by such a small margin that the normal high to low variance between shots would make it very hard to determine with any certainty.

    My most accurate load in my most fired K-38 is a BRP 150 grain RF over 5.5 grains of Power Pistol. I count this as upper end standard pressure, just as I would label yours. Mine has digested many thousands of these, with no noticeable wear. A little oil goes a LONG way towards keeping guns tight.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
    In handloader #276 FEB-MAR 2016 brian pearce did an article call "Ruger LCR 38special". In that article he tested factory 38spl + 38spl p+ ammo in a ruger lcr. Page #76 has power pistol/38spl p+ loads.
    110gr sierra jhp 7.5gr pp
    125gr Hornady xtp 6.8gr pp
    135gr golddot hp 6.7gr pp
    158gr rimrock lead swc-gc hp 6.3gr pp 1004fps 1 7/8" bbl'd lcr
    173gr lyman cast 358429 5.9gr pp 950fps 1 7/8" bbl'd lcr
    I got to get some of that for my plus P loading. That really ups the plus P 38 special envelope. I bet that little Ruger has some hand bite to it with that load but for packing it sounds like just the ticket. Buffalo bore loads without paying a buck a round.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy

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    I shoot the 6gr load in my M15-3 with no problems. It has the same frame as your M-14. I have fired many even hotter loads with no problems. You should make your own decisions on this based on available info...........
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

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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