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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and good morning,

I have been toying with this thought for a while now and figured I get some opinions from the forum, so here goes.

Seems to me that a lot of folks who use .357 revolvers, civilian and police, load with the excellent .38 Special 158grn LSWCHP+P. I too use this load. This round runs about 890 fps according to the ammo companies’ statics, using a 4”V barrel.

I have always felt that bumping this up to approximately 1000 fps (no more) would make an excellent performing load, not over-penetrate, minimal leading if any, and attain reliable expansion.

This charge would probably be a bit much to be classified as a .38 +P so, use .357 brass and call it a .357 magnum –P or, because it would not be a true “magnum” loading, a “light magnum”.

Labels aside, I feel it would be a great defensive loading; it would not beat the heck out of the revolver (or the shooter), and be a good seller for the ammo companies.

Years ago, when I reloaded I played with the idea; a cast 158grn LSWC bullet in .357 cases and it was a fun round to shoot. Alas, I had no chronograph so I played with the charge by splitting the difference between a .38+P and .357 mag. for the same bullet.

In addition, the same theory could apply to the .44 Special/magnum cartridges. A 200grn LSWCHP loaded in .44 mag. brass.

Thoughts and comments?
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Take care,
KG59 out!

"There ain't no freekin' Indians around here..."

G.A. Custer 1876

[This message has been edited by kilogulf59 (edited 06-20-2005).]
 

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Remington has already thought of this.
They make, or did make a "reduced charge" .357 Magnum load.

I think as a purely marketing factor a -P or Minus Pressure name would not be a winner.

A better marketing idea might be to call these loads "CCW", or Personal Defense loads.

I think the idea, especially in .357 would be a winner.
The +P .38 is a little too light, and the full charge Magnum is too much.
A load that's closer to the Magnum, but with reduced muzzle blast AND the "right" advertising name might be a winner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Morning all,

I know a few companies made/make reduced loads and that is why I thought it had a slot in the market place. Buffalo Bore makes a hot .38+P but those rounds are a buck apiece!

However, the craze is JHP and with the .38 Special 135gn GDJHP +P from Speer coming on so strong that will probably be the wave of the future.

My concept would probably considered a bit antiquated by the “corporate marketing wiz kids”, unless, of course, someone else is successful in marketing them first, then they all will make a version.


------------------
Take care,
KG59 out!

"There ain't no freekin' Indians around here..."

G.A. Custer 1876
 

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The load you describe,is only about 100-150 fps below the "old" 38/44 loading,introduced by the ammo compamies circa 1930 for the newly introduced S&W "38/44 Heavy Duty",and target sighted version,the 38/44 Outdoorsman. This meant .38 cal. gun on a .44 frame. A couple of years later,Colt chambered the New Service and its target version,the Shooting Master,in .38 Special,and this heavy load could be fired in these two. (Colt catalogs from this era also certify that ALL their .38 Special Revolvers can handle it. This is a subject of debate today-but common sense should prevail.)

Many of the rounds for the .38/44 were made in "metal piercing".

This cartridge is generally recognized as the "forerunner" of the .357 Magnum. It was a "hot load" designed to give the police more ability to penetrate car bodies,and b.p. vests,used by the perps!

Last load,in .38 Special,that I recall,that was made by factories,was a very nice .38 Special load by Norma in the 60's; 158 gr. at 1050 fps;cant recall the type of bullet.

You are smart to want this type of velocity in a .357 magnum case,so a "hot" .38 won't accidently be chambered in a not so strong .38 Special gun!

In Dave Scovil's book,"Loading the Peacemaker",he goes over these 38/44 level loads,using modern powders,and emphasizes only to fire them in Heavy Framed guns(Peacemaker included!) or guns chambered for the .357.

BTW,you may get leading,using the swaged H.P.s.

There was(is?) a .38 Special +P+ load. A hot 110gr. jhp,I think. It is also refered to as Treasury Dept. load! Supposed to be for cops only!

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input guys, maybe someday.

Perhaps I should make the suggestion to the ammo companies, what can I loose?

In reality it doesn’t matter much, it is shot placement that counts, period, always has and always will.

Looks like I’ll be reloading again by next year so I can play around with it then. If plans work out for me, I’ll be in a rural setting and can shoot and hunt on my own property – OUTSTANDING! A dream comes true.

Lonewolf, I am a bit familiar with the 38/44 but was not sure it could be chambered and fired safely in .38/.357 firearms.

In so far as the .357 cases goes, I thought that one through quite a bit. I remember the “magnumizing” days, in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I saw people hand-load 9mm’s, .38 Special’s, and .45 Colt’s, so HOT that the primers flattened and the cases had extraction marks on them. Not only was this dangerous but it beat the hell out of the guns…and for what?

Therefore, I would NOT want this load in .38 cases, at all. The new guns could take it but why beat them up? Besides all that, the point of the cartridge is to give slightly enhanced performance, to an already excellent load, but for .357 revolver users.

Pushing it past 1000fps would be counterproductive as I pointed out earlier and you mentioned in your post leading and over-penetration.
------------------
Take care,
KG59 out!

"There ain't no freekin' Indians around here..."

G.A. Custer 1876

[This message has been edited by kilogulf59 (edited 06-27-2005).]
 

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From what I 've read, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police carried a load similar to what you're proposing. It was however in .38 Spl cases as they were issued S&W Model 10's with 5 inch barrels prior to switching to autos. The bullet was the 158 gr. LHP loaded at +P+ velocities near 1000 fps. It was supposed to have been quite effective.
 

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kilogulf; I don't think you are as familiar with the 38/44 round as you think,when you say about it being "safely chambered in 38 and 357 guns! Notice i did NOT say 38/44 Smith and Wesson. This is an obsolete target load,with the 145 gr. bullet completely inside the case,and was used in target revolvers,starting 125 years ago(#3 top breaks)

The 38/44 hi speed was the immediate predecessor of the .357 Magnum,by about 5 years.

The load used by the mounties is very similiar to that made by Norma,which was the last true 38/44(a 158 gr, bullet at 1000+ fps.)

All this said and done,your "ideal load",is probably surpassed by a .40 S&W with 155 or 180 gr. hp at 950-1000 fps,or what I consider,"practice loads" in my M-610 S&W revolver! Chambered for the 10mm,170-180 gr. hollow points & hard cast SWCs are easily pushed to 1250 fps. out of its 5" bbl.

Only advantage I can see of using a .38 Special,in a .357 magnum for a "real world" shooting,is the lack of over penetration,and that a lawyer might have "less ammunition"(pun intended!) to go after you in a wrongful death civil suit,as you downloaded to .38 Special!!!


Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello all,

CFPython, interesting tidbit about the RCMP, I will have to look into that. Sounds like they were a bit rough on their M10 with that load.

Lonewolf, the line from my post “I am a bit familiar with the 38/44 but was not sure it could be chambered and fired safely in .38/.357 firearms.” Should have been “.38 firearms” that was a typo. Also in that line I said “I am a bit familiar with the 38/44”, I did not say I was an expert on them.

That not withstanding, my thread is about neither the .38/44 nor a .40 S&W or a 10mm for that matter; it IS about a defensive load for a .357 revolver.

As far as your last paragraph in concerned (?), please reread my post carefully.

Hope this clears up my point, have a nice, safe 4th of July.

------------------
Take care,
KG59 out!

"There ain't no freekin' Indians around here..."

G.A. Custer 1876
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good Morning All,

I did contact five of the major ammunition companies.

So far I received two replies, one a polite blow-off (expected) and this one from CCI/Speer.

Kenneth: I think we are ahead of you. We have new "Short Barrel"
ammunition either in the marketplace or about to get there. Our #23921
is a 135 gr. Gold Dot Hollow Point (GDHP) 38 Spl. +P load at 860 fps
from a 2" barrel. Our, about to be introduced, is #23917 is a 135gr.
GDHP 357 Mag. load at 1000 fps from a 2" barrel.

We have the ability to "tune" the GDHP for a velocity spectrum, far
batter than a LSWCHP. By tuning, we can get the expansion and
penetration demanded by Law Enforcement on the FBI tests. The benefit
is that they are now available to the concealed carry customer. Our
GDHP will perform far superior to a LSWCHP type bullet.

In the 44 Spl. we have our part number 23980, again with a GDHP bullet,
200 gr.

The changing of case length and calling a cartridge by another name gets
confusing to the user and would have to be identified with the Sporting
Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute. As a rule, packaging
warnings will tell the customer to only shoot ammunition that is marked
the same as the barrel on the firearm.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Shoot Straight!
Coy Getman
CCI/SPEER Tech. Service Coordinator

I found this line to be encouraging: Our, about to be introduced, is #23917 is a 135gr. GDHP 357 Mag. load at 1000 fps from a 2" barrel.

Apparently, the disclaimers work as you can see from his last paragraph. However, I did notice that the .38+P load is listed at 860fps and the .357 is 1000fps¬Öcoincidence?

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Take care,
KG59 out!

"There ain't no freekin' Indians around here..."

G.A. Custer 1876
 
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