Good Load for COLT Det. Spec.?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Brucev, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Brucev

    Brucev

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    I've just about had enough of reading ballistics tables from the various manufacturers and trying to calculate the ins and outs of this and that particular load. I've got a very nice COLT Detective Special from the early 1970's. I got it to replace my father's COLT which was taken by a family member. That's all water under the bridge. What I want to suggestions based on actual experience of what load would be good for use in this pistol. I don't expect it to be a long range target pistol. I enjoy using it at 7-10 yds., which I figure is about as far as this pistol would ever be used. If you have some experience with this type of pistol, if you have a load that you have found works well, please post what you are using, etc. As far as I know this is a strong revolver. I think it would be at least as strong as a K-frame S&W, which is what I have always used. Your suggestions will be appreciated.
     
  2. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

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    Are you looking for a self defense load or just paper punching? I've always used Winchester +P 158gr LSWCHP's in my 38's for self defense. It has a long track record of effective use, CorBon's DPX makes a stellar SD load as well.
     

  3. Brucev

    Brucev

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    "...self-defense load or just paper punching?" That's something I hadn't considered. I haven't actually used a .38 Special for anything except target shooting since about 1983. I would like to be able to shoot this pistol more than just a few times. What I'd like is a load that would be as effective as possible for what I hope would be a never to occur SD situation. I'd also like something that would let me use the revolver for practice... some double-action type shooting, etc. Fired it yesterday with some 125 gr. JHP Remington ammo. POI is below POA at 10 yds. I figure a heavier bullet will be better, but at the time all the store had was the 125 gr. load. I was not aware of the Win. load. I have used Cor-Bon ammo but not recently.
     
  4. NonPCnraRN

    NonPCnraRN

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    If you reload, a 148-150 gr full wadcutter will do you well at the range and can be pressed into service for SD. The hollow based target wadcutter ammo is usually underpowered for SD. Double ended bevel based wadcutters can be pushed as fast as other lead bullets of the same alloy. For something that would let you know that you are shooting something and would work for SD are the Penn Thunderheads. They are 230 gr full wadcutter shaped bullets that were developed for bowling pin matches. If you used them for SD I am sure you would get excellent penetration with full caliber sized holes. With a full caliber meplat they would rival the meplats found on .44 cal bullets. It is meplat size, not caliber size that determines wound diameter. These bullets have 2 crimp grooves so they can be loaded in both .38 and .357 brass. The bullets are good to 900 fps without leading so they would be perfect for your Det Special. I have a S&W M-19 that I need to load some of these bullets for so I will have a handy DA trail gun. It is a 4" barreled gun with a round butt. It would be comforting to know that one has ammo with the bullet weight of a 45 ACP with a .35 inch meplat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  5. Brucev

    Brucev

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    Way cool suggestions. Profound thanks. Took my little COLT out this afternoon while making visits to church members. Fired 30 rds. of Rem. 125 gr. JHP at 10 yds. firing one-handed single-action and later double-action. That little revolver is a hoot! Put all 30 rds. into 4 inches and that's w/ me using a pair of reading glasses so that I can see the front sight. Target was a steel plate found on an abandoned railroad bed.
     
  6. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    If you're just looking for a do it all type load, just load up on 148gr wadcutters and keep one box of 135gr +P Gold dots for serious use.
    The Det Special won't withstand +P use like a K frame will, but it's still a fine gun and a handful of +P's won't hurt it.
     
  7. MURRAY

    MURRAY Millennium Member

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    for the older stuff I dont have any issues with a 148 full wadcutter load its going to do some damage if you do your part