Who Loads and Shoots for the .38 S&W (Not Special), .380 Rimmed, etc.

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Ed Harris posted this 17 January 2017

As FYI, now in the Accurate catalog 36-151H is based on the 45-240H1 for the .455 Webley, simply reducing the diameter to .360” with tolerance positive to provide correct fit for .362” cylinder throats as-cast without sizing.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 17 January 2017

I do as I collect Iver Johnson revolvers and like to shoot them. I have over 75 IJs, most of which are too old and nice to shoot. However I have made sure I have some shooters of the various models. I am hoping to do a FS article featuring some of my one-of-a-kind prototypes, rare models and on handloading/shooting them. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Larry Gibson posted this 17 January 2017

I have two 38 S&W revovlers; an Iver Johnson and a Harrington and Richardson, both hammerless DA only.  I shoot them occasionally for fun.  I load a 105 gr Lee SWC as cast (.360 - .361)  over just enough Bullseye to poke holes in paper or to penetrate both sides of a pop can........

 

They are fun to shoot. 

 

LMG

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Ed Harris posted this 17 January 2017

Larry,

What would you recommend as a safe charge of Bullseye in the top-breaks with Bullseye using 125-155 grain bullets?

A friend is using 1.8 grs. of Bullseye with Accurate 36-155D and 2 grains with 36-125T in his British Bulldog, in Fiocchi .380 Rimmed Short brass (.687” case) with good results on barnyard pests, skunks, etc.  But he hasn't tried these in his S&W New Departure Safety Hammerless yet.  I think they are “probably” OK, but we don't want to risk a valuable collectible without validation from somebody who has stepped in this pool already.

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 17 January 2017

Ed,

I load these for my IJs break-tops. They are all chrono at about 550 - 630.

2 gr.- Red Dot,

2.8 gr.- Unique,

2 gr.- Bullseye,

1.9 gr- WW-231

2.2 gr. -700X

with Arsenal 360-135 RF

and 

1.8 gr. - Bullseye

1.8 gr. - Unique

2.2 - WW-231

with Arsenal 360-162 RF

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Larry Gibson posted this 17 January 2017

Ed

 

My pressure testing of the 38 S&W is incomplete at this time.  I've pressure tested 2 loads of 38 S&W with an Oehler M43 using a Contender .357 barrel.  The extra length of the 357 chamber also approximates the cylinder throat length.  Granted there is no barrel/cylinder gap but that means the measured psi will just be a bit higher in the Contender barrel.  Given the nature of strain gauge psi measurement it requires about 7 - 9000 psi to get a measurement.  SAAMI MAP for the 38 S&W is 14,500 psi (transducer/strain) which is intended for solid frame guns.  As a reference the 38 SPL has a MAP of 17,000 psi.  Most all factory 38 SPL psi's I've measured run 14,500 to 16000 psi.....that's a typical fudge factor between the SAAMI MAP (Maximum Average Pressure) and actual measured factory psi's.  Contrary to popular belief most factory ammunition is not loaded to SAAMI MAP.

As to my tested loads;  while 38 S&W cartridges do not chamber I used R-P match 38 SPL cases trimmed back to 38 S&W length. They are the thinnest back to the web of any 38 SPL cases I've found cut back to .38 S&W length and are very close in dimension to modern 38 S&W cases.  I loaded the same load as I load in 38 S&W cases using 2 gr Bullseye under the 105 gr Lee SWC and the 150 gr Lyman 358477 with a CCI SPP.  After 10 rounds tested with the Lee bullet I got no psi measurement.  That means the psi was less than the required 7 - 8000+ psi needed to put a strain on the barrel to measure.  After 10 test shots of the 358477 bullet there were 2 very low erratic measurements indicating barely any consistent strain on the barrel at all. 

 

Thus I have had no problem shooting either bullet with 2 gr Bullseye in either of my revolvers. I prefer the Lee bullet simply because it uses 2/3 the alloy per shot and hits to point of aim at tin can distance.........

 

If you'd like to send me some of your bullets or your friends bullets and load info I'd be glad to pressure test them?

 

LMG

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RicinYakima posted this 17 January 2017

Data! We need Data! Watching closely for this information. Best wishes, Ric

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M3 Mitch posted this 21 January 2017

For my old top-break 38 S&W, one so old the cylinder revolves in the same direction as a modern Colt, based on the Lyman 45th handbook, I stick with a starting load of Unique.  I have not tried Bullseye, but no doubt it works well too, although, I would stick to a starting load here too.

 

This is a very small, old revolver, 5-shot, and I don't want to over-stress it.  I have shot it quite a bit with the Lyman 133 grain bullet, which casts a big fat .360, and with the starting load of Unique it shoots “minute of beer can” out to say 30 yards anyway. 

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tturner53 posted this 21 January 2017

My old S&W top break .38 S&W is accurate enough with a cast 128 gr RNFP over 3 gr. of Unique. My notes say it's a 'light' load. Done with .38 Special dies. The primers do look a tad flat, may back off a bit.

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Ed Harris posted this 21 January 2017

The flat primers are probably not due to pressure alone, but likely from the primer cup being forced back during the initial primer blast, followed by the case head being slammed driven against the recoil shield as pressure builds and drives the case back to take up any existing head clearance and/or end shake.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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RicinYakima posted this 22 January 2017

Tim, I solved that by using a thicker primer cup, as in Fed 200. Small pistol power but thicker cup, and still my oldest single action Baby Russians will pierce one once in a while.  HTH, Ric

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Ed Harris posted this 22 January 2017

+1 on the Federal 200 primers.  I also use these as a reliability check on carry guns to ensure adequate striker energy.  A revolver which has 0.010” copper indent on the government gage might misfire once in 100 with Federal 200s.  If your gun runs 100 straight of these you have no worries.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Larry Gibson posted this 24 January 2017

Ed

 

Rummaging through my brass I found some actual Starline 38 S&W cases I didn't know I had...

 

Sizing them in a steel 30/357 FL die the chamber in the Contender test barrel.  Have them all prepped ready to load and test.  Just waiting on the bullets.

 

LMG

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Ed Harris posted this 24 January 2017

The Accurate 36-151H mold blocks arrived today, tomorrow I plan to cast bullets for you, Ric Bowman and Joe Gifford to test and get them all in the mail by the end of the week.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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RicinYakima posted this 24 January 2017

We will be awaiting their arrival.

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Ed Harris posted this 25 January 2017

Multiple boxes of sample bullets out to everyone this morning.  

Watch your mail.

Ric, you got a double-ration to share with Joe Gifford.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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tturner53 posted this 25 January 2017

I think Ed's right about the flat primers on my S&W brass. Not terrible flat. Compared them to fired Winchester factory ammo (148 gr. lead) and there's little difference. That old girl really smacks the primers and leaves a deep firing pin indent. I used Fed 100's in my handloads, no 200's on hand. I save most of my Fed. 100 primers for 'carry' ammo for my Charter Arms Undercover. Next time I load the .38 S&W I'll try different primers.  _On a side note years ago Sacramento was a manly place. One of my favorite gun stores was also a major importer of surplus guns. I recall buying S&W .38 revolvers for give away prices. Many were Lend Lease returns, I believe. Got a batch of 5, 2 were .38 S&W. Shoulda kept them.

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Larry Gibson posted this 01 February 2017

 

Bumping thread; received bullets from Ed yesterday and loaded the test loads.  Ran the test today. compiling data sheets for write up.  Trying to figure out how to post picture and data sheets.  Obviously I haven't figured it out........

 

LMG

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Ed Harris posted this 01 February 2017

 

Bumping thread; received bullets from Ed yesterday and loaded the test loads.  Ran the test today. compiling data sheets for write up.  Trying to figure out how to post picture and data sheets.  Obviously I haven't figured it out........ 

LMG

THANKS for the effort!

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

38 S&W Pressure Tests 

Earlier in this thread I offered to test some of the loads mentioned for pressure to determine what level of safety there was for the different strength of revolvers made for the 38 S&W cartridge.  Ed Harris graciously sent me some bullets and the data for several test loads.  I also had on hand three 38 S&W factory loads plus my own 38 S&W load I use in my Harrington & Richardson revolver.

 

The test handgun is a TC Contender with a 7.94” long 357 magnum barrel. The bore is .347 and the groove is .357.  A strain gauge is attached over the center of the chamber (as per SAAMI specifications).  With a 38 S&W cartridge chambered the gauge is over the case just below the base of a factory seated bullet.   The strain gauge is attached to an Oehler M43 PBL that is interfaced with a laptop computer which has the software.  As you will note on the Oehler data sheets there is considerable data input on the conditions, test firearm and load information prior to testing.  Each strain gauge is calibrated by the manufacturer and that is also input.  I also use factory ammunition as a “reference”.  Before each test the M43 runs a check on the gauge to ensure all is correct.  A test cannot be done if that test is not correct.

 

 

 

 

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

 The Contender has a 2.5X scope mounted and with quality 357 cast loads will put 10 shots into one raged hole less than 1” ctc at 25 yards. However, with the shorter 38 S&W cartridge the bullet exits the case it is not supported as it is in a revolver by the cylinder throats before entering the barrel.  In the Contender chamber there would be considerable space around the bullet in the longer chamber for probable misalignment before the bullet enters the leade.  Previous testing showed accuracy could be quite good and very poor.  Since I’m probably the only one shooting any 38 S&W out of a Contender that isn’t a problem those of you with bullets that properly fit your revolvers cylinder throats have. The test groups were cut out and pasted to the Oehler data sheets. 

With low pressure loads the M43 PBL will not provide any measurements unless sufficient data is measured.  This means any data from such shots will be “lost” including the velocity.  To alleviate that problem I also set up a M35P Oehler in tandem with the M43 PBL screens to at least capture the velocity.  It also is interesting to compare the measured velocity data.  If the M43 PBL doesn’t measure all the shots in a test string the M35P still provides velocity information (generally a lower velocity shot wasn’t measured) for study.  An example of that will be shown.  The M35P print out is pasted on the Oehler M43 data sheet left of the “shot Data” and “Summary” data.

 

 The start screen for the M43 PBL was at 15’ and at 12.5’ for the M35P.  Shooting was done from the bench with a Hoppe’s pistol rest.

 

The chamber on the Contender is to minimum specifications for the 357 magnum and most 38 S&W cartridges will not chamber.  However, the R-P factory 38 S&W cartridges would chamber,,,,very tightly.  I had on hand 50 new Starline 38 S&W cases and W-W and R-P 38 S&W fired cases.  All of the Starline and most of the fired R-P cases would chamber when FL sized in a steel RCBS 357 FL die.  With bullets larger than .358 seated they would not chamber.  Thus all the test bullets other than the R-P factory that would chamber were sized .358 or .357.   The R-P factory bullets measured .362 in front of the crimp and .354 on the seated bullet diameter.  The W-W factory bullets were .350 - .352 on the seated portion.  It is no wonder, as you will see, that accuracy was less than stellar out of my H&R with its .362 cylinder throats, .351 bore and .360 groove diameter. 

 

 In the post below are pictures where we see the bullets used: left to right; R-P factory, W-W factory, Western Lubaloy factory,  Ed Harris provided the 36-125T, the 36-155D and the 36-151H and I provided the Lee 356-105-SWC.  Also is a picture of the 3 bullets Ed provided loaded and another of the three factory loads.

 

 CC! 500 primers were used.  A roll crimp was used in the crimp groove of each bullet.  All powder charges were weighed individually on a Redding scale.

 

 

 

 

 

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

 

The R-P factory load was tested first as the rounds would chamber so it would give a “reference”.  Previous chronograph results out of the H&R revolver showed the R-P to give 60 – 100+ fps greater velocity than other factory loads.  It also had more powder; 2.2 gr vs 1.7 and 2 gr, than the W-W and Western factory loads.  The MAP (Maximum Average Pressure) measured was 16,300 psi.  SAAMI MAP for the 38 S&W is 14,500 psi.  The SAAMI MAP for the 38 SPL is 17,000 psi and all 38 SPL factory ammunition I have tested (numerous actually) in this barrel fall below that MAP so the psi measurement is correct. 

 

 I also pulled bullets of the W-W and Western factory and loaded them and the factory powder charges into sized W-W 38 S&W cases that would chamber.  Neither of those two factory loads produced enough psi for a measurement.  It takes 5 – 7,000 psi to expand the case to put pressure on the barrel and another few thousand psi for a “strain” on the barrel to be measured.  I have measured as low as 9,000 psi with this test barrel with target 38 SPL loads.  However, given the expansion ratio and loose fitting bullet in the longer chamber the lowest psi measured during this test was 11,700 psi.  Thus the W-W and Western factory loads were all less than 11,700 psi as were any other load that did not measure. 

 

 Looking at the time/pressure traces to the uninitiated they can be of concern.  Those are quite normal for low psi loads where the powder is not burning that efficiently.  A comparison of the average velocities between the M35P and the M43 demonstrate very good consistency.  The accuracy of the R-P load was extremely good.

 

 

Ed Harris 1 test is the 36-125T bullet over 3 gr Bullseye (Alliant).  That is a short stubby bullet that was presized at .357 and lubed with LLA(?).  I feared accuracy would not be that good given the loose fit in the 357 length chamber and was correct.  Nine shots went into 2.137” but a flyer (note the oval bullet hole) enlarged the group to 3.2”.  The MAP measured 15,300 psi.

 

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

 

Ed Harris 2 test is the 36-125T bullet over 7.0 gr 2400 (Alliant).  It proved to be a very erratic load and the 3.86” group demonstrates that.  Obviously there is not enough bullet mass for 2400 to burn efficiently at this low of a load. 

 

 

Ed Harris 3 test is the 36-155D over 2.5 gr Bullseye (Alliant).  The 36-155D is a very efficient looking bullet.  It was presized at .357 and lubed with LLA.  This is a very good load demonstrating excellent accuracy potential and a MAP of 16,600 psi which is very close to the R-P factory load.  Note the 1st shot was out of the previously 2400 fouled barrel and was out of the remaining 9 shot group.  Those 9 shots went into 1.32” which is very good.

 

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

 

Ed Harris 4 test is the 36-155D over 6.2 gr 2400 (Alliant).  Here we see while we may assume accuracy to be good based on 8 shots the 2 high flyers tell us something is amiss.  The internal ballistics identify that something; again 2400 at this low of a load is not burning efficiently as indicated by the very large ES figures for velocity and pressure measurements along with the erratic time/pressure curves. 

Ed Harris test 5 is the 36-151H over 2.8 gr Bullseye (Alliant).  This is a very consistent load and note  that by seeing how the time/pressure traces are smoothing out.  Also note the low psi ES’s across the board.  Hey, accuracy was pretty good too!  The one high shot was the high velocity.  The bad news here for the 38 S&W is this load is pushing into 38 SPL+P psi range.

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

 

Ed Harris 6 test is the 36-151H over 6.5 gr 2400 (Alliant).  Here again we see the powder beginning to burn efficiently with low psi ES’s and much smoother time/pressure traces.  Accuracy was excellent with 9 shots in 1.4:.  The lone flyer, shot #9, was an abnormally low velocity.  This load had the highest velocity and test MAP at 19,600 psi….definitely into 38 SPL+P range.

 

This test is my own 38 S&W load developed for the break open H&R and Iver Johnson revolvers.  I use W-W 38 SPL cases trimmed back to 38 S&W length.  WSP primers wer used.  The bullet is the Lee 356-105-SWC which drop the bullets at .361 with COWWs + 2% tin alloy.  I leave them unsized and Lube with LLA.  They are loaded over 2.5 gr Bullseye.  Out of my H&R hammerless revolver (3 3/16” barrel) they hit point of aim out to 25 yards with very good accuracy.  However, for this test so they would chamber in the Contender the bullets were sized .358 and the cases were sized in the 357 steel FL die.  As we see from the Oehler M43 data sheet only one of the ten shot test gave sufficient psi to measure.  That was shot #4 and the psi was 14,300 psi.  The remaining nine shots then had a psi less than the SAAMI MAP for the 38 S&W (14,000 psi).  Note, as mentioned earlier, the M35P printout (pasted to left of Shot Data and Summary gives the velocities for each shot.  Thus we still have a record of the entire test string.  Accuracy was very good with a 1.235” group.

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

 The last test was to chronograph and test for accuracy the 3 factory loads out of my H&R hammerless revolver.  I was quite pleased with the ES and SD of all 3 loads from the revolver.  As we see the R-P gave 60 – 100 fps greater velocity.  That was as it should be given the higher psi of the R-P load.  Accuracy was very poor, consistently poor for all 3 loads actually, which given the undersized factory bullets didn’t surprise me.  On the target the R-P bullets are in the lower circle, the W-W in the middle circle and the Western Lubaloys in the top circle.  As the velocity increased the point of impact lowered as usual for a revolver. 

 

 

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 February 2017

And there we have the test results.  My only caution is that with the exception of my load which was developed for the break open revolvers to keep under the SAAMI MAP that all the other tested loads, including the R-P factory load, were over the SAMMI MAP for the 38 S&W.  A couple test loads were over the SAAMI MAP for the standard 38 SPL.  Due caution should be exorcized to use those only in appropriate revolvers which are also chambered for the 38 SPL. 

Thanks for the assistance getting this test completed and especially helping me through the puzzle of posting.........

 

 

 

LMG

 

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Ed Harris posted this 02 February 2017

Bravo Zulu Larry!

Your results validated my “gut” feeling on these loads and it looks like 2.5 grains of Bullseye with either 155D or 151H will be the loads of choice.  The 155D hollow-point at 146 grains might get a slight increase to 2.7-2.8 grains only if needed to get some expansion with 1:40 tin/lead alloy, but if the bullet starts to rivet with 2.5 grains, I'm inclined to leave well enough alone.

The 125-grain bullet will be relegated to the .380 ACP.  Having reliable factory duplication loads with two bullets approximating factory weight and shape with Bullseye powder is the way to go.

Thanks a bunch for your efforts.  I have some of the Lee SWCs somebody sent me for samples, I need to load them and see where they shoot in my revolvers.  Your T/C velocities track closely with my tight 4” Colt and the 4” India Model Ruger.

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 02 February 2017

thanks larry ... and ed ...

this might get me started to assemble my plastic bag full of parts and frame for an ” iver johnson arms and cycle works “  classic .  timing is tight, probably as good as it ever was ( g ) ...     i wonder why people take these old last resort revolvers apart  ... there certainly isn't any golden eggs to be found within ...

ken

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RicinYakima posted this 02 February 2017

Thank you Larry! That is very informative.

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Larry Gibson posted this 03 February 2017

Data! We need Data! Watching closely for this information. Best wishes, Ric

 

Was that enough data Ric.....LOLs

 

LMG

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RicinYakima posted this 03 February 2017

Yes, LMG! I love data! When the weather improves, we will be shooting for accuracy with the ones Ed sent us. However, Joe had new pacemaker put in today (out for two weeks)  plus 5” of snow tonight.

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Scearcy posted this 03 February 2017

Good luck to Joe.  I am on my 3rd one and replacing them, aside from the cost, doesn't seem to be too dangerous.

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Larry Gibson posted this 03 February 2017

Yes, tell Joe speedy recovery and.......keep that white stuff up there!!!!!!  I shoveled too much when I lived in NE Oregon.  When I moved down here I left 2 things up north; a snow shovel and a lawn mower......

 

LMG

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tturner53 posted this 04 February 2017

Wow! Thanks for sharing all that effort with us. Very interesting.

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argie1891 posted this 05 February 2017

actually still have the same pacemaker. one of the leads was placed in the heart incorrectly so I got a new lead placed in the correct place. if you ever get the chance to lay on one of those stainless tables for 3+ hours without moving a soft bed never felt so good. joe

if you need me I will be at the range

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Larry Gibson posted this 05 February 2017

Got to cogitating on the tests and it seemed something was lacking.....we tested Bullseye powder and 2400 but nothing in between.  Seems like Unique should work well also.  I've loaded up some 105 SWCs (3, 3.5 & 4 gr) and 120 RNFPs (2.5, 3 & 3.5 gr) over Unique to test.  I also had 5 each of the 36-155Ds and the 36-151Hs left so I loaded those over 3 and 3.5 gr Unique.  Hopefully will get out in the next day or two and test them. 

 

LMG  

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Ed Harris posted this 05 February 2017

Larry,

I can send you some more 36-151H and 36-155D bullets if you would like a larger sample.

Louisiana Man has gotten good results with HP38 and W231, 2.7-2.8 grains tracked closely velocity-wise with 2.5 of Bullseye

It would really be great if you would write up these results for a Fouling Shot article.

If you have a similar set-up for your T/C in either .45 ACP or .45 Colt, I could send you 45-240H1, 45-262H and 45-290H bullets to try when  get around to casting more.

I have been using 3.5 grains of Bullseye in the .455 Webley MkVI, 4 grains in the S&W .45 ACP Hand Ejector and 6 grains in the .45 Colt with all three bullets.

Accuracy and ballistic uniformity have been very good, especially in the small .44/.410/28-ga/ frame single-shot H&R “American Rook Rifle” at 100 yards. 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Larry Gibson posted this 06 February 2017

Ed

 

Yes I'd really like some more of the 36-151H and 36-155D bullets to test.  I'd like to get a more thorough testing of Unique and maybe TightGroup in the 38 S&W.  The 38 S&W cartridge is pretty much neglected, especially for lower end loads for the break open revolvers. I would really like to get a good handle on the two different levels of loads.  I can certainly write it up for the Fouling Shot. 

 

I have test barrels for the 45 Colt and 45 ACP so we can test your loads with those 45 bullets whenever you're ready.

 

LMG

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Ed Harris posted this 06 February 2017

Sounds to me like I need to get into some serious bullet casting for Larry!

UPDATE 7 Feb 2017 - Medium flat rate box on the way Larry, Enjoy!

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 04 March 2017

Now have in the works a 176-grain ogival wadcutter for the  .38 S&W and .38 Special with .255” meplat (0.71 of bullet diameter) and parallel sided nose .357” diameter and .405” long with 0.1 radius blend to the meplat.

Nose tolerance is negative so that rounds will drop freely into chamber throats for using speed loaders, but the nose diameter is large enough to receive positive guidance and be engraved by the rifling before the bullet base leaves the cylinder throat!  The 0.1 radius from meplat to the bore-riding nose aids rounds entering the chambers easily using speed loaders.  

Overall bullet length is 0.66", so seating depth is only 0.255” to ease pressure and maximize powder capacity in the short .38 S&W case.  OAL is 1.56” when seated and crimped in .38 Special brass and 1.18” in .38 S&W brass.

Design intent is for a non-tumbling, smashing straight and deep penetrator which does not require expansion to be effective at low velocities (below 700 fps) required of standard pressure loads fired from the 2-inch snubbies. Looking to try 2.2 grains of Bullseye in the .38 S&W and 3.2 grains in the .38 Special in similar 2-inch S&W J-frames Model 32-1 and Model 36.

Larry, if you feel like doing some pressure testing of these in .38 S&W and .38 Special brass, I would be happy to cast and send you some once the mold arrives. 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 05 March 2017

Ed, just love the 36-176P. When I opened the box and looked at them, the first thought that came to mind was “bonecrusher". I can't wait until I play with these and give you some data.

But I want some of these in .44 for my Taurus 3” .44 special. I need them, the visions of hydrostatic displacement are dancing in my head. 

 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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Larry Gibson posted this 05 March 2017

Ed

 

Be glad to test those!

 

I have another test ready.  I've noticed a real disparity in the “hardness” and thickness of different cases.  I have the same load in R-P plain brass cases, nickel R-P cases and Starline cases.  Assuming harder and thicker cases might withstand some of the pressure applied to the chambers I'm going to see if there is any meaningful difference in measured psi between them.

 

LMG 

Concealment is not cover.........

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Ed Harris posted this 05 March 2017

In the radial-copper test barrels case wall hardness and thickness affects the “blanking pressure” needed to puncture the case to exert pressure on the piston.  That is why in government practice the case was pre-drilled, the hole covered with Teflon tape, and the cartridge carefully indexed when inserting into the chamber of the pressure barrel.  The same practice was used with the earlier piezoelectric transducers, in particular the Kistler “conformal” type and the “BRL Minihat” which I used in the 1980s.  SAAMI eventually went and used the same European system adopted by the CIP, which I am unfamiliar with, but I understand is better suited to production use, because it doesn't require pre-drilling, although the advantage of the government method, is that it doesn't care about case material or construction, being equally applicable to either steel, aluminum or brass cases and permitting the same measurement system to be used in automatic cannon ammunition as for small arms.
"

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 05 March 2017

Dave,  The 176P mold hasn't arrived yet, you might have an earlier version, either 155D, 178D or 193D, not remembering which I might have sent you...  36-178D differs from the 176P in having a tapered nose, rather than parallel-sided, with smaller meplat.

Better WEIGH the bullets before loading them.  My 10 BHN scrap alloy also runs a bit heavier than the wheelweights Tom used as a reference when calculating the bulets weights from his CAD program.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 05 March 2017

Dave, re the .44 Special, Tom Ellis at Accurate molds produces similar versions in .32, .44 and .45 calibers:

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 11 March 2017

The Accurate 36-176P mold arrived and I cast a bunch yesterday.  Small flat-rate boxes are packaged to go out to testers Monday. Dimensions as-cast in FBI Quantico backstop lead are about perfect for the S&W Victory, postwar S&W Model 32 Terrier, Webley & Scott, Enfield, and Albion revolvers having large (.362+) cylinder throats.  

The parallel-sided, bore-riding nose is about .359 as-cast, so will need to be sized .358” to enter tighter cylinder throats of the Ruger India models and pre-war Colts.

 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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delmarskid posted this 26 September 2017

I have a Colt Police Positive 4" that chased me home today. I got blinded by the condition and the price and did not notice the absence of "special" after the 38 roll marked on the barrel. The gun is very nearly unfired with a little carry wear. I'm hoping to not have to spring for a .360" or bigger mold. Who's up for helping me out in getting this old boy barking? It was made in 1930.

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Ed Harris posted this 27 September 2017

I had an article for loading for just such a critter in The Fouling Shot No. 241 and a followup in No.242.  If your 1930s Colt is dimensioned like mine, soft .358 bullets will work just fine with 2.5 grains of Bullseye.

To save you looking it up, here's the data:

Table 1 – Comparison of weight and dimensions Colt vs. Webley

                                                                Webley Mark IV .380 (1950)        Colt Police Positive .38 Colt NP (1930)

Barrel length:                                                    4”                                                                            4”

Overall Length:                                                 10.1”                                                                      9.5”

Height:                                                                 5.1”                                                                        4.5”

Weight:                                                               26.5 ozs.                                                               20 ozs.

Cylinder Diameter:                                         1.45”                                                                      1.40”

Cylinder Length:                                              1.30”                                                                      1.30”

Cylinder Throats:                                             .362                                                                        .359

Cylinder Gap:                                   0.005PASS/0.006HOLD                                   0.005PASS/0.006HOLD  

Barrel bore/groove:                                       .355/.362                                                             .344/.354

 

Table 2 - Velocity Comparisons Webley & Scott .380 Mark IV  vs. .38 Colt New Police Positive

 

Ammunition:                                                     Webley Mark IV               Colt Police Positive

Fiocchi 146-grain LRN factory load           750 fps, 19 Sd                     794 fps, 14 Sd

Accurate 36-125T, 2.7 grs. Bullseye          761 fps, 10 Sd                     803 fps, 10 Sd

“              “              “, 3.0 grs. Bullseye           837 fps, 16 Sd                     883 fps, 9 Sd

Accurate 155D-146-gr.HP 3.0 Bullseye    794 fps, 15 Sd                     852 fps, 12 Sd

Accurate 36-155D, 2.1 grs. Bullseye         640 fps, 8 Sd                       671 fps, 11 Sd

“              “              “,  2.5 grs. Bullseye          710 fps, 16 Sd                     756 fps, 11 Sd

Accurate 36-178D, 2.1 grs. Bullseye         595 fps, 10 Sd                     601 fps, 18 Sd

Ideal 195-grain #358430 1.7 Bullseye       513 fps, 11 Sd                     Would not chamber in Colt        

Accurate 36-201D, 2.1 grs. Bullseye         601 fps, 12 Sd                     612 fps, 20 Sd

NOE 201-grain Mk2, 2.1 grs. Bullseye      609 fps, 12 Sd                     629, fps 15 Sd    

 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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delmarskid posted this 28 September 2017

Thanks Ed, That is just what I wanted to see. I remember reading those articles but my attention span is not so good.

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Ed Harris posted this 03 November 2017

My plan is to do more shooting over the winter of a wider sample of factory loads to establish what they really did. 

In .38 S&W I now have a 2" S&W 32-1 Terrier, three 4-inch guns, a Colt Police Positive, Webley & Scott Mark IV and a Ruger India Model, and finally a WW2 S&W Victory Model .380-200 with 5-1/2" barrel. Plan is to chronograph WW2 era. WRA, Western and Remington UMC 146 LRN, also modern R-P, W-W and Fiocchi 146 LRN and 1984 vintage FN .380 Mk2z.

After having established the performancer envelope in various barrel lengths, bore and chamber dimensions and cylinder gaps, I will work up safe loads with TiteGroup and AutoComp in addition to our old standard Bullseye.

I will reshoot several loads tested previously in the Colt and Webley & Scott in the S&W Terrier, the Victory Model and the Ruger.

I'll use the strong Ruger as the test platform to work up loads with TiteGroup and AutoComp as well as Bullseye with the Accurate 36-151H, 36-176 and a new 190-grain bullet I have ordered based on shortening 36-200T to 0.75" OAL with .255 meplat and 0.03 bevel base.

As FYI the Ruger India Model I have was produced in late 1985 while I was QA Manager for Ruger's Newport Operations.  Cylinder gap is 0.004 pass/0.005 hold, cylinder throats .3580", bore .350/groove .357", no different than .38 Special or .357 revolvers produced for contract orders at the time.  My revolver, being of late production was purpose-built .38 S&W SAAMI chambering and not a reworked French model which had the outer circumference of the cylinder shaved to provide clip-clearance to fire either 9mm Parabellum with moon clips or .38 Mk2 without clips, as the early part of the India order was run in 1984.

Look a Fouling Shot Update on .38 S&W loads probably in the spring or early summer next year...

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 1 weeks ago

Update 9 Jan 2019

Soon to arrive from Accurate, 36-187H.

Design intent is to provide a long nose to exploit the cylinder length of the S&W Victory Models in .380 Mk2, having a long .360"+ cylindrical bore riding portion to align the bullet in the large cylinder throats of the S&W Victory Model as well as the Webley & Scott Mk4 and S&W .38 Regulation Police and Terrier revolvers.  Seating depth is only .275" in .775" long .38 S&W brass for 1.285" overall cartridge length, which fills the cylinder length of these revolvers. 

Will not fit in the Colt .38 New Police or Ruger India Model unless the forepart is sized .358"-ish to fit cylinder throats, which run smaller in those guns.

Also plan to try this as a small game and gallery bullet in my .35/.30-30 rifle, with 8 grains of Bullseye, as the long, parallel  .360" diameter bore-riding forepart will fit the throat of my relined and rechambered 1894 Winchester.

Appropriate charge is 2.1 grains of Bullseye for the British top-breaks and 2.5 grains for S&W Victory and post-1957 S&Ws. 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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BigMan54 posted this 6 days ago

Ed,

I thank you. I went shooting today with a Buddy who has one of those M&P 5" from WW2, I just fixed it for him. So he had to shoot it. Now he expects me to load ammo for him, all I know how to load is a 148gr swaged WC over 2.0grs of Bullseye. For my Grandma's old H&R breaktop. (Sorry David).

Now with this info I'll make him buy me another bullet mold.

Thanks, Ed   

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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Ed Harris posted this 6 days ago

Examine the front sight carefully and determine for sure that it was not cut down.  With original sights bullet weight and recoil impulse may affect windage as well as elevation.  Typical example with Aussie Victory Model which likes 36-190T.  Expect 36-187H to be little different. 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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BigMan54 posted this 2 days ago

NOT something to worry about with this Revolver. One of the guns out of Australia about 30yrs ago. This gun had no turn marks on the cylinder. I can't tell you why it was "frozen". Couldn't open it. I disassembled & reassembled it. Worked fine. Couldn't find why it was "frozen. He bought it that way from the gunstore. Half price of a working gun. 

Forgot it. Found it and brought it to me last month. Just one of those weird things. Now I have a box of once fired WIN nickeled toload.   

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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Ed Harris posted this 2 days ago

BigMan54,

I expect the "frozen" business was old, oxidized oil which set up like glue.  I picked up a Colt .38 Police Positive cheap that way.

Safe fix is to remove the grips, and place the gun in a shallow tray, or stand in an ammo can, pour over it enough Ed's Red to cover it, and let it soak overnight.  Then disassemble, clean, wipe, reassemble.

I keep a .30 cal. ammo can about 3/4 full of Ed's Red just for that purpose.

Also great for cleaning old loading dies and bullet molds you pick up at gun shows.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 5 hours ago

Here is what the throat-fit of Accurate 36-187H loooks like when chambered and extracted from the .38 S&W

"Lettuce Protector,"  aka The Infamous Bunny Gun or American Rook Rifle:

In 50-50 plumber's lead and wheelweights bullet drops 192-193grains and .362-.363" diameter, which is ideal fit for my S&W Victory .380-200 without sizing, and also fits S&W Terrier Model 32-1.  Must be sized to .358" to enter throats of Colt Police Positive or Ruger. 

John Taylor has the reamer for the .38 S&W Rook Rifle creation, and can also use it to rechamber 9mm Ruger revolver cylinders.  Anybody who would like the reamer print, PM me with your email address and I can send you the .pdf of Dave Manson's drawing. Unable to attach a .pdf to a PM here.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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