,38 acp ammo
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    ,38 acp ammo

    What are folks using for loads for their .38 ACP handguns? I did some research in some old loading manuals and founds some data in them. I decided to try 2.8 Grains of Bullseye with a 125 Grain FMJ bullet. Will try them out on Friday.
    USMC(RET.) 1969-1993

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    That might not be enough to cycle the action. From Lee #2 for 38 ACP

    For 130 gr. Jacketed OAL = 1.260

    W231 4.4 gr, 875 fps, 20,000 CUP
    Green Dot 4.2 gr, 910 fps, 19,000 CUP
    Red Dot 4.0 gr, 910 fps, 19,400 CUP
    Bullseye 4.0 gr, 935 fps, 18,100 CUP
    Herco 5.3 gr, 945 fps, 19,600 CUP
    Unique 5.3 gr, 945 fps, 18,800 CUP

    OAL = 1.300
    Acc #2 4.0-4.5 gr, 995 fps, 23,000 CPU

    As always, start low and work up. And loading lighter bullets with data from the next size heavier is accepted practice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Heywood View Post
    That might not be enough to cycle the action. From Lee #2 for 38 ACP

    For 130 gr. Jacketed OAL = 1.260

    W231 4.4 gr, 875 fps, 20,000 CUP
    Green Dot 4.2 gr, 910 fps, 19,000 CUP
    Red Dot 4.0 gr, 910 fps, 19,400 CUP
    Bullseye 4.0 gr, 935 fps, 18,100 CUP
    Herco 5.3 gr, 945 fps, 19,600 CUP
    Unique 5.3 gr, 945 fps, 18,800 CUP

    OAL = 1.300
    Acc #2 4.0-4.5 gr, 995 fps, 23,000 CPU

    As always, start low and work up. And loading lighter bullets with data from the next size heavier is accepted practice.
    Will see if it does cycle the action. My data books start at 2.4 of Bullseye for the 125 grain FMJ. Thanks for the input.
    USMC(RET.) 1969-1993

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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc69 View Post
    Will see if it does cycle the action. My data books start at 2.4 of Bullseye for the 125 grain FMJ. Thanks for the input.
    I loaded and thousands of 148 Grain .357 semi-Wadcutters intended for .38 Special, through my Colt 1902 Sporting back in the 1980s...I used "Unique" and it was a fairly mild Load meant for 50 yards and closer, indoor Range. I think they dropped about 10 inches at fifty yards, so who knows what FPS, but likely in the mid 7s I'd guess. But they dropped consistently, so I was happy, my groups were good.

    They fed fine.

    I evolved the Load empirically by starting out too low to cycle when fired straight down in to a Bucket of dry Sand with a Cloth over it...upping in tiny bits till it just would cycle, then up one tiny bit more...I wantged a Target Load which would be reliable and easy on the Pistol.

    Worked perfectly, was a fun round too, since it made perfect round Wadcutter Holes in the paper Targets.

    A few months back I loaded up a Box of .38 ACP with 125 Grain RNL and 6.1 Grains Vihtavuori 3N37.

    I have not tried them yet nor clocked them, but my guess is they will be around the 1000 FPS mark.

    Vitavouri 3N37 is one well worth working with for .38 ACP and is THE one to have for 9mm Largo, so even within a range of loadings, that general Case size seems to be it's "Sweet Spot".
    Last edited by Oyeboten; 07-03-2019 at 11:38 PM.
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    Last few Days I got back in to Casting and cast up a bunch of the old "IDEAL" 356 472 Bullets, which in my instance weigh 142 Grains with pure Lead...and drop from the Mould right at .360, so I wil size them down to .357 for the old Auto-Colt.

    These - or their slightly shorter version - so far as I have gathered, were intended for Paper Target use with the 9 mm Luger and the early Colt 38 Automatics ( hence the 'nose' for feeding properly ) but would do fine in .38 Special also of course, or likely do well in .38 S & W too.

    I'll decide on a loading sometime soon and load up a Box to try out in my Colt 1902 Sporting Model.

    I do not know of any place which sells the old IDEAL 356 742 Bullet or it's equally obscure and forgotten slightly shorter Brother...I wish someone would sell them! They deserve to be available...and a 125 Grain smaller Brother one would be a delight.

    Hosted on Fotki
    Last edited by Oyeboten; 07-03-2019 at 11:34 PM.

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    I'd like to shoot mine, I've had it for 15 years and never have. I'm getting inspired. Would be fun to see one filmed in slow motion cycling.

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    The older Lyman Manual #45; page 169:

    "For the "Standard 38 Auto" cartridge, it is recommended that you use a bullet of 133 grains or less. reduce the starting load by 1/2 grain and work up to the starting load.
    Do not exceed this load with the "Standard Auto" cartridge."

    Cases: Remington
    Primers: Remington 1 1/2

    130 Grain Jacketed
    Bullseye..... 3.4..... 870
    Unique...….. 5.0 …..961.....I'd keep this load at 5.0, same for Herco.
    Herco……….. 5.5.... 974
    Red Dot..... 3.5..... 825

    Later editions do not have this statement, although I think #46 does, so I'm not so sure if this will apply to any load data. If you keep the FPS below 1000 you should be okay as the .38 Auto is listed at 1040 factory.
    Factory .38 Automatic loads are pretty stout comparable to any standard 9mm Luger load.

    Hornady publishes data for their bullets

    Winchester data is 4.4 grains of 231.

    These old Colt 38 Automatics are tougher then what might be suggested, but I would not try to load up past reliable functioning. These guns also seem to have weak headspace.
    Last edited by kenhwind; 07-04-2019 at 07:20 AM.
    Ken
    "I like Colts and will die that way"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenhwind View Post
    The older Lyman Manual #45; page 169:

    "For the "Standard 38 Auto" cartridge, it is recommended that you use a bullet of 133 grains or less. reduce the starting load by 1/2 grain and work up to the starting load.
    Do not exceed this load with the "Standard Auto" cartridge."

    Cases: Remington
    Primers: Remington 1 1/2

    130 Grain Jacketed
    Bullseye..... 3.4..... 870
    Unique...….. 5.0 …..961.....I'd keep this load at 5.0, same for Herco.
    Herco……….. 5.5.... 974
    Red Dot..... 3.5..... 825

    Later editions do not have this statement, although I think #46 does, so I'm not so sure if this will apply to any load data. If you keep the FPS below 1000 you should be okay as the .38 Auto is listed at 1040 factory.
    Factory .38 Automatic loads are pretty stout comparable to any standard 9mm Luger load.

    Hornady publishes data for their bullets

    Winchester data is 4.4 grains of 231.

    These old Colt 38 Automatics are tougher then what might be suggested, but I would not try to load up past reliable functioning. These guns also seem to have weak headspace.
    I have that manual. I have been using Sharpe's "COMPLETE GUIDE TO HANDLOADING". I have been using the 2.8 grains of Bullseye with a 148 Grain WC in my Colt .38 Special MidRange and it cycles well and shoots well, actually much better than I do.
    USMC(RET.) 1969-1993

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    Fellas - I purchase 2 boxes of shells from a reputable seller on GB. Made the mistake of taking the gun to a show, and a guy made me an offer I couldn't refuse! Never even got to put a round through it!
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    sumthin_nu

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumthin_nu View Post
    Fellas - I purchase 2 boxes of shells from a reputable seller on GB. Made the mistake of taking the gun to a show, and a guy made me an offer I couldn't refuse! Never even got to put a round through it!
    The last I saw at a gun show was offered at $70.00 a box. More than I want to pay. I did find a box not long after I bought the pistol, I was in Pa. and a small gun shop had a box of Aguila for $20.00. Of course I bought it.
    USMC(RET.) 1969-1993


 
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