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What Powder(s) for .38 spl +p in a 19" carbine?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by wavetrain75, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. wavetrain75

    wavetrain75 Useless Member

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    Should I just stick with Unique or AA#5 when loading .38+p for a levergun or use something slower like 296 or 2400? Assume 158 grain SWC.

    I know .357 likes a slower powder in a longer barrel but I've never gotten a straight answer about the .38s.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  2. HAMMERHEAD

    HAMMERHEAD

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    I depends on what you want, are you looking for max velocities?
    My shooting partner gets terrific velocity and accuracy from HS-7 in a .38 carbine, but that might be discontinued. His 200 yard groups have amazed me.
    I stick with the light stuff, Titegroup, Trail Boss etc... because I'm after accuracy and a quiet load.
     

  3. dudel

    dudel

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    Are you loading for .38spl or .357mag? They are two very different rounds.

    What's your loading manual say for Unique at +P loads for .38? I don't think you'll find one. Good reason for that. However, I'm sure you'll find some yahoo on the net that will tell you to pack the case full, compress the load and go for it; but it won't be me.

    +P is an area where you tread very carefully. Most manuals won't even list P+ loads. Not a place for a newb to start (IMHO).
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  4. Demon

    Demon

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    I would also be very careful about what lever gun you run these +P rounds thru.
     
  5. wavetrain75

    wavetrain75 Useless Member

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    Speer Reloading Manual #14 page 883:

    .38 Special +P, 158 grain SWC, Unique: start charge 4.7 grains, max charge 5.2

    However, Unique is a relatively fast powder and is therefore more suited to shorter barrels. A slower powder such as 296, Li'l Gun or 2400 makes for very nice loads in a .357 carbine, but data for .38+p is lacking.
    Yeah, that's some great advice there.
    Max pressure, .38+p = 20,000. Max pressure, .357 mag = 35,000. Really not too worried about .38+p. But again, the data is lacking. That was what I was actually looking for.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  6. wavetrain75

    wavetrain75 Useless Member

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    Accuracy, I'll use the .357 for distance. .38+p for range days.
     
  7. HAMMERHEAD

    HAMMERHEAD

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    If you're looking for accuracy, stick with the same powders you would use in a .38 revolver. Trail Boss for lead, Titegroup. Unique, HP-38, Bullseye, etc...
    If you try to use slower powders at low pressures, you'll get erratic velocities and poor accuracy. The slower the powder, the closer to maximum the charge should be.
    In my 22" single shot .357, I get excellent accuracy with Titegroup in .38 special brass with any lead bullet despite the low loading density.
    Unless you need to break 1,000 fps, you will do well with Unique.