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.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.
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.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 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.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."
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.
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.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!
Light Loads, heavier Bullet...well oiled slide, you can pretty well watch it cycle..!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.
I have 500 .38 ACP headstamped cases.Graf & Sons has .38 Auto brass:
38 Auto - Handgun Brass - Metallic Reloading - Graf & Sons
Keep an eye on Gun Broker as I've seen 38 auto listed for a reasonable price, but most want too much.
I have a decent stash of .38 Auto
I do cast my own at times. That is how I learned reloading many years ago. As of right now I have 18,000 slugs on hand.If loading our own, 38 Super Brass is the identical Cartridge, and perfectly alright to use it...it is a lot easier to find too. If not comfotable with possible confusions, then of course do not use .38 Super Brass, but stay with .38 ACP Brass proper.
As for me, I never liked FMJ, and I have never used it in Loading my own for anything.
Load your own, you can tailor your Rounds to be what you want, and to have the kind of Bullet you want, have the FPS you want.
Cast your own Bullets too, and it is just that much nicer.
If not for the Hague Convention of the 1890s which had the subscribers agree to no more use of "Dum Dum" Bullets in Rifles in context of formally declared War, no one in Civilian Life would have ever wanted or liked or had any reason to ever use FMJ in anything, and certainly not in any Hand Guns.
Being as the early Automatic Pistols Manufacturers wished for Military Patronage, ammo Makers elected to go along with the Hague Accord for those Pistol's Cartridges...otherwise, we'd have had Lead Bullets the whole time for all the Automatics, and some Semi-Jacketed Soft Points maybe, for those who may want them, and those likely only for the Luger P-'08 and .38 ACP, since .380 and 32 ACP likely would not be able to really justify their use for want of enough mass and FPS for a semi-Jacketed Soft Point to really expand well on impact.
Lead Bullet will go faster on the same Powder charge with less pressure, than FMJ, and are very kind to the Barrels and to the Pistol as a whole.
FMJ is hard on the Pistols and hard on the Barrel's Rifling and are much less efficient in every way...making for higher pressure, higher Heat, more wear and strain, and nothing gained in accuracy at all...
Load your own! And be Happy!
It's fun! and very satisfying!
I have 500 .38 ACP headstamped cases.
I do cast my own at times. That is how I learned reloading many years ago. As of right now I have 18,000 slugs on hand.
I am lucky in that I have access to a LGS that buys collections and estates. Since there is not a real market for used reloading equipment and broken boxes of components, I get first dibs. Lots of usable stuff.Yikes!
And here I was doing the Proud Pony Walk having cast about 300 odd!
It's been really enjoyable, and I am glad I sent off for the little Lee Electric Melter...it is working out very nicely.
You might look at the new IMR Red. Supposed to meter better, burn cleaner and use the same load data as Red Dot. I still have half a can of Red Dot, so I haven't bought the IMR, yetLooking at that old Lyman data Red Dot should make a nice load. I've never used any Red Dot, but might get some.
Yes, I suspected that those new IMR powders where marketed to compete with the old Alliant/Hercules standard.You might look at the new IMR Red. Supposed to meter better, burn cleaner and use the same load data as Red Dot. I still have half a can of Red Dot, so I haven't bought the IMR, yet