Defensive Carry banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is a question for any of you that reloads with the 135 grain Speer Gold Dot short barrel 38 special.

What is your favorite/best performing powder to use with this bullet? I've been using 5.2 grs of Unique , and my Colt Cobra really likes this load.

This is my carry/practice load. ( I don't buy factory ammo for my revolvers anymore)

My sp101 2.25" doesn't care for this load too much, which is too bad because I prefer to carry it over the Colt. So I'm gonna try and find a load it likes. This is from 10 yards standing.

I like W231 with an XTP, but it doesn't do so good with the Gold Dot, IMO. So , what's your go to powder with this bullet?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
In short barreled revolvers I tend to steer toward faster burning powders. The slow burning powders are great for full-magnum loads in a 4" pistol, but usually result in excessive flash and bang with the snubbies.

If the W231 didn't provide satisfaction, you might look at Power Pistol (I find this to be a very handy powder that meters well) or maybe AA#5. I haven't tried any CFE Pistol, but there is a lot to like about that powder.

Titegroup is one that continues to amaze me with it's versatility, too. You won't get full magnum power from it, but Titegroup burns quickly and consistently and is not position sensitive. I'd bet that 6.0 grains of Titegroup under a 135 GS would be a great starting point in a 357 Magnum (might blow up a .38 Special, but that would get a 135 GS moving nicely out of a 357 snubbie like the SP101.).




Hope you'll let us know what you end up with. :3a:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
I have been using Alliant power pistol for most everything .38 to .45 acp as of late , burns clean , goes bang ! a little flashy ..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nix

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
I have been using Alliant power pistol for most everything .38 to .45 acp as of late , burns clean , goes bang ! a little flashy ..
I've been messing around with Power Pistol in 45 ACP lately, so far...good results. I definitely like it in 357, I use it with a 140gn XTP with great results from a 3" SP101. :3a:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,914 Posts
I think you'll find that AA#5 is what you're looking for in 38 Sp. Good for all the way into +p velocities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll head to town tomorrow and see if I can find some Power Pistol or AA No.5, and give that a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
This conversation prompted me to get off my backside and pick up a can of CFE Pistol today.

Sometimes I think you guys are a bad influence..... :rofl:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Some people on this forum have done some experimenting with that bullet for snubbie .38's. On their suggestion, I worked up to a near max load of Power Pistol. In my 642, it is quite stout, but gives good velocity and hits POA at 7 yds or so. Lots of powders will work, of course. Even good 'ol Unique will do the trick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Some people on this forum have done some experimenting with that bullet for snubbie .38's. On their suggestion, I worked up to a near max load of Power Pistol. In my 642, it is quite stout, but gives good velocity and hits POA at 7 yds or so. Lots of powders will work, of course. Even good 'ol Unique will do the trick.

Question for ya, ETX: do you find that you get much benefit from the near-max loadings in a snubbie? Either in velocity or accuracy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Nix, I haven't really tested for accuracy (bench rested), but just shooting paper plates at combat distance, it seemed like it grouped pretty well for the heavy trigger, DAO platform I was using. The velocity, if I remember correctly was close to 900 fps, with 6.4 grains of Power Pistol. You could probably back off a few tenths and not lose too much speed, but I was trying to duplcate factory +P velocities so I kept going till I got to the max published data. I don't plan feeding my J-frame a steady diet of this stuff. Always remember, that with a fairly low pressure round like the .38 Special, you won't see pressure signs until you are WAY over the SAAMI limit. As always, start low and work up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
OK, I'm loading 'light' 357's for my snubbies. My load is 9.2 grains of PP under a 140 XTP. This gives me about 1200fps from a 3" and, shooting supported, one ragged hole at 10 yards. Defintiely has some oooomph in the hand, but is still manageable.

As you, say, probably not ideal as a steady diet, but I like it as reload ammo for carry purposes. (I use a 155gn DEWC as a primary load.)

Bottom line: Power Pistol continues to impress me as a useful powder in several handgun loads. :3a:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,251 Posts
It's been so long since I ever played with light bullet performance loads in the .38 Special and shot them over the chronograph screens.

In my chronograph tests through the years, the same powders that achieved the highest velocities in the long barrels unfailingly provided highest velocities in the shortest barrels as well. Perhaps it sounds counter intuitive, but velocities of performance efforts with faster burning powders were disappointing when compared to those achieved with slower burning powders. To a point, that is. IMR 4227 and powders with similar burning rates are just too slow to build up a good head of steam from straight-walled revolver cartridges and are wholly unsuitable for semi-automatic pistol loads.

In short barrels the slower powders are generally way more "flashy," to the point that some are spectacular, but they gin up the velocity just the same.

I was done with playing with light bullets in the .38 Special before ever acquiring the first snub. In a four-inch barrel, a healthy charge of Unique provided really high velocities with 110 grain bullets. Never explored any bullets with weights between 110 grain weight and an old 150 grain Sierra JHC. "Healthy" meaning maximum published velocities from the 1978 Sierra manual or the early 1970s Lyman manuals.

With .357 Magnum revolvers Blue Dot and 2400 have given highest velocities within seemingly reasonable pressures in barrel lengths from 4-inch to 6-inch. In the .44 Magnum the 180 grain jacketed hollow point bullets deliver best velocities with 2400 and H110, no matter if a 4-inch or an 8 3/8-inch barrel is used.

Then wha' d' ya' do when you find that your 6-inch Colt Python shoots everything 150-200 fps slower your other .357 Magnums of comparable barrel length?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,251 Posts
Hah!

Or not, as the case may be.

I'm OCD about keeping the guns scrupulously clean.

Maybe a bunch of gunk in there would actually cause a load to yield higher velocities.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top