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It's not going to happen at reasonable pressures.

I once worked up to the maximum load that the Lyman 41st manual listed for the .38 Special with 2400 and their 195 grain cast bullet, only I used a Remington 200 grain round nose lead component bullet. This load was nominally safe, i.e. nothing let loose. From a S&W Model 14 with an 8 3/8-inch barrel it chronographed around 925 fps. From a 4-inch barreled S&W Model 10 it managed 830 fps. No other powder would come close to propelling that heavy slug to those velocities for me and my guns. I took a small Texas whitetail with the 2400/200 grain load and then retired it.

Can't see any purpose in toting long barreled .38's around in order to milk the last foot per second from the cartridge.

The .38 Special is my favorite handgun cartridge, and has been a lucky round for me. I think it is much underrated. I've turned it every which way but loose in handloading and shooting experiments, and have determined that a Unique propelled 158 grain SWC handload at 850 fps does most of what I require from a handgun. For defensive use, another 75 fps from a factory +P or similar handload represents about top end of .38 Special performance for me. I don't personally care much for any of the modern light bullet +P factory offerings.

I suppose that Lyman Manual is at least 35 years old now. One should use caution when utilizing data from the older manuals for their handloading recipes.
 

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While I always enjoy and respected the writings of (Chic) Gayload,who I think(?) you are referring to,something is NOT correct about 1200 FPS out of .38 Special-WITH the 200 gr. bullet, 1220 with a 158 lead gas check was considered the absolute maximum in the older reloading manuals from the 50's and early 60's-and this with a heavy dose of 2400-and only in large frame revolvers.

The figures that "bc" gave are correct. The 1200 fps with 200(or 195) grs. would be pushing the limit in a .357 Mag!

I too enjoy the .38,and consider one of the most "flexible" of all handgun cartridges. Always have said that 99% of all homeowners desiring a "one gun battery" for defense,plinking ,and smaller game hunting,would best be served with a good .38 revolver,or a .357 revolver. From the mildest 148 gr. wadcutters for target/plinking up to the vaunted 125 gr. JHPs in .357 magnum(or 158 gr +P LEAD SWCHPs) in factory ammo,few guns are as "simple,safe,and user friendly".

If you are a handloader-all the better for "flexibilty".

While there are better defense rounds,such as the S&W M-610 revolver I carry at times,they are not for beginners,or "non gun cranks". As far as "only 6 shots",I have always believed in a "New York reloader",a BUG. In my case it is usually a 2" O.P. backing up a 4" "357" Model. The snub carries hard cast 160 gr. hollow points,loaded to 1200fps.(out of a 6") 38/44 level reloads; the "357",.357 mags,with 125 jhps handloaded to 1500fps.

Shot placement,not "spray and pray"!

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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That would be well up into the 357 mag territory. You can push a 158 to 1200 in a 38/44 6" gun but it is a very hot load that I would not try in anything other then a shooting master. 200 at 1200 is the old 10mm load levels, thus you need like a 610 to shoot it. The best I have seen 200grns out of a 38 special is the 720+/- fps range on a very hot plus P load out of a 6".

My advice is don't go there, not in a Colt.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=197986

Can anyone here comment on this thread I posted over on the firingline? Has anyone ever tried this with a Colt or any handgun for that matter? Since it was posted in a reputable handgun book (or magazine at the time) by a reputable police advisor wouldn't this be a safe tactic to use?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes. No, not and had enough hands left to write about it. No. Re-read the thread you linked to. They explain quite well.

Please be careful. I know that you are trying to gather all opinions and make your own decision, but some opinions are worth more than others, and some mistaken decisions have worse consequences than others. It is very unlikely that you will come to harm by staying with factory ammunition, but it is quite possible to destroy a gun or a hand by following the untested musings of someone who will not replace your gun or your hand if you destroy one.

Best wishes.
 

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Not much to add....

Keep in mind several things...the old load info was guesstimate at best, even in many loading manuals, the manual writers extrapolating from info provided by powder makers, and then looking for obvious signs of high pressure...those signs are NOT a good indicator of pressure, as we know today...my '63 Speer manual cheerfully recommended 11gr/2400 under a 160gr JSP (which has even more friction/pressure than plain lead) while claiming pressure was only 18,000 (mystery units)...the last time Alliant listed 2400 as a +P load, they had a 158grSWC over 7.8gr/2400 at 17,400...modern 13grs/2400 under a 160gr should net somewhere in the 30,000psi, while manuals used to list 13.5 and 14grs....both 2400 and Unique are hotter today, also...about 10% hotter...in maximum loads, pressure trends up sharply while velocities do not, and in smaller cases a smidge more powder, a stronger magnum primer, a heavier bullet, or even one seated a bit deeper can all lead to catastrophic pressure spikes...I've done a fair amount of playing with hotrod .38S&W Special, and you need to remember it's a small case....I have no idea what that 200gr bullet over that kind of charge would actually do in a pressure barrel, but imagine it is getting into CF rifle pressure readings in chamber walls that are paper thin in comparison...be very careful....and you must be pretty young to be depending on liability lawyers and lawsuits to protect you from your own lack of knowledge....it didn't use to be that way at all.....and still isn't....but it WILL clog the courts and it WILL provide a living to the growing population of lawyers....
 
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