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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at reloading for my newly acquired Army Special 38. I plan on being conservative, following SAAMI specifications. Does anybody have preference relating to cases, powder, bullet type, weight? Hope I can find the materials during this crazy time 🤪

Any information would be appreciated,
Thanks
 

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All the current loading manuals respects SAMMI specs. And many also show data for plus P. I have not fired one of my army specials chambered in 38 for sometime but my first army special 38 was made in 1925 as a 5“ nickel with its agency markings ground off. And I used to shoot it quit a bit, some with hotter loads as well.
2 of my standard pressure loadings are 3.0 grains bullseye and a plain base full wadcutter and about 4.3 grains Win. 231 with a cast 158 SWC. One could substitute a 150-158 round nose bullet for the SWC. The SWC puts almost as sharp holes in paper as the full wadcutter. There are so many powders that work for standard 38 special including common shotgun powders like 700X and red dot. And of course unique.
As a bullet caster with reloading, I have always made it through times like these.
 

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I don't shoot as much .38 Sppecial as I once did, but use the same load in everything from Chief's Special to .357 magnum. The 148 grain wadcutter over 2.7 grains of Bullseye is pleasant to shoot and very accurate. Don't have to adjust anything when I load .38 Special.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the information. Sounds like the WC or SWC with one of several powder choices will perform well. Do you happen to know what type of bullet(s) were used in original loads?
 

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I generally use the 158 LSWC for a basic .38 Special load for our Colt's and a few S & W revolvers.
I use 3.5 or 3.6 Bullseye
Sometimes I use some other powder.
 

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Original loading for the 38 special was a 158 lead round nose bullet at 800 FPS +/- 50 FPS. Most army specials have very fine sights and will shoot point of aim with that load. My 1925 made army special has thicker wider sights of the later official police and is sighted for a 6 o’clock hold. You didn’t say the barrel length or year of your army special.
 

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I am still "old school" enough to shoot a 38 revolver in NRA Action Pistol matches.
My match load is a 125gr JHP over 6.0gr of Winchester Super Target. It averages 1061 fps from my 6" barrel.
My plinking/practice load in the same gun is a 148gr BBWC over 3.7gr of WST for 869 fps.
 

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Most all my 38 spl loads have been 158 SWC lead over 3.0 grs Bullseye. Recently loaded up some plated 158 SWC. it took 3.7 grs Bullseye to get equivalent FPS ~700. My 148 WC lead ammo has been 2.8 grs Bullseye. Winchester SP primers. cases have most always been mixed except in PPC competition.
Vic
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again for the info.

smkummer
Mine has a 5” barrel and production date Is1922. What year did they make the sight change?
 

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Lots of places have cast bullets.

 
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