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38 spl. vs 357 mag reloading question

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by MR.T., Feb 19, 2019.

  1. MR.T.

    MR.T. Sharpshooter

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    Ok, another nasty day of not being able to go work, so I spend the day at home & get to do some reloading.
    Starting to work on some 357 mag & then decided to do some 38 spl also. I have never actually reloaded 38 spl before cause I don't shoot it that often-but I have a 1 gallon jug almost full of it, I've always messed with the 357.
    I use H110 cause it also goes with the 44 mag & 300 Blackout.
    Here is my question:
    I use 20.5 grains H110 in the 357 with a 125 grain jacketed bullet- as that suited the accuracy that I was after. How come H110 isn't on any list for use with a 38 special?
    I have noticed a few of the powders are on both lists ( Bullseye, Unique, Power Pistol)
    & the charger weight is 50 to 60 percent less for the 38 depending on the powder.
    Can I do this with the H110? Can I take my 20.5 grains & cut that in half (plus a little less) & say start with 8.5 or 9 grains of H110 in the 38 spl & see how that acts?

    What do you guys say?
     
  2. Cowcatcher

    Cowcatcher Sharpshooter

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  3. MR.T.

    MR.T. Sharpshooter

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    Interesting info,
    Thanks for the link.

    Kinda what I was wondering, its got something to do with burn rate & pressure.
     
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  4. Shadowrider

    Shadowrider Sharpshooter

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    H110/296 is a ball powder. Most ball powders are harder to light hence the need for magnum primers. With H110/296 once you get it lit, it needs a lot of pressure to burn efficiently enough to get good velocities and that's just not going to happen at .38SP pressures.
     
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  5. dlbleak

    dlbleak Moderator Staff Member

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    Found some info over on ‘the high road’. Looks like Sierra and a couple other boolit makers used to post loading info for H110 in 38. The bullet weights were heavier though, 158 to 180 gr. The heavier bullets probably helped get the pressures up.
     
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  6. Shadowrider

    Shadowrider Sharpshooter

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    Probably so.

    Every powder is formulated to burn at a given pressure with a time component added in. Some are a lot more versatile than others. 296 was what Winchester loaded their .357, .41 and .44 magnum factory loads with. Maybe it still is?
     
  7. Dumpstick

    Dumpstick Sharpshooter

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    Personally, HS-6 would be about as slow a powder as I would care to go in a 38Spl, and that only with heavy-for-caliber projectiles - maybe 180gr and up.

    A faster powder is more suited to the 38 Spl. IIRC, Bullseye was the factory load for decades, or at least the "go-to" powder for reloads. I've never used it myself, but have tried several powders, from Promo (very close to the speed of BE), to HP-38.

    Almost any powder in between those 2 speeds will work fine.
     
  8. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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    Look up Elmer Keith loads 357 mag in 38 cases.

    I have made his loads in 38 cases with cast lead gas checked bullets that weigh 170gr.
    They did not shoot as accurate as the same load in 357 cases but they shot just fine.
    You can get a crud ring in the cylinder from using a lot of 38 cases in 357 magnum chamber.

    You did not specify if you will be shooting the loads in a 357 mag or in a 38 special.
    I do not own a 38. But use those 38 cases i have in my 357.

    I do like AA5 and Bullseye and HP38/231 and then I use 2400 for my hot stuff.
    Bullseye will not reach the velocity without leading the barrel neither will 231.
    But there are some very accurate loads at mid range velocities.

    Pressures come up too fast and lead the barrel with the slow powders.
    Too bad you have the short 125gr bullets something longer and heavier in the 38 case with a good crimp may get you a decent load with the powder you have.

    You would have to experiment. Yea that sounds like a bad idea.. But how do you think The fathers did it like Elmer and others.
    A new powder comes out and no data on it ..someone had to experiment.

    Just do not blow yourself up!
    I experiment all the time and found some fun loads you will be hard pressed to find on the internet.
    But they are safe in my guns and I do not advise it unless you have a good understanding of powders etc.
     
  9. Dumpstick

    Dumpstick Sharpshooter

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    I dug around a bit in my files, and found this. It shows some H110 loads for 38Spl. I've not tried any of these.
     

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  10. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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    I could not stand it anymore. I loaded up 2 38 special cases with Powder coated 168gr weighed lead bullets.
    No gas check it is a Lee 158 gr mold that these came from ..I have 296 powder not 110 so I loaded 8 gr and 10 gr and crimped the cases a little and primers are cci 500.
    Seated the bullets to 1.502" and shot them from my 6" 357 mag revolver.

    Powder puff load is one thing I will say.
    I really expected more kick or something. barely any muzzle climb.
    Not loud either.. but I did have ear plugs in.
    This is Winchester 296 ball powder from 2016 and I just opened it today for these 2 bullets.
    I shot them into an old encyclopedia and recovered the lead.
    Here you go.
     

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