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Old 01-10-2020, 10:46 PM   #1
J_B
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Default Reloading .38 Special +P target loads

Well since the weather is nasty and cold out, been doing some reloading tonight
using up my Montana Gold 124-gr .356 Dia all brass jacketed flat nose bullets. These shoot very accurate in the Ruger GP100.

My load data is WW 231, 5.3 gr, various .38 Special case assortment, CCI 500 Small Pistol Primer.

I load 5 with weighted measured powder charged using an RCBS 510 scale, set the bullet, then seat using my hand press.
This way I don't get ahead of myself and make a mistake. After I get all my reloading done, I guess I'll have to bite the bullet
and use the indoor range to check for accuracy

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Old 01-11-2020, 10:49 AM   #2
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Those look good and should do great in that GP100 or even an SP101. If you have an LCR or a S&W 36, 442, 642, etc., I'd back off a full grain for a starting load. W231/HP38 is one of my favorite powders. Your load (5.3 gr W231 w/125 gr bullets) is what I shoot in my Rossi 92 for pistol caliber cowboy silhouette, except in .357 Mag cases. It's also my go to powder for .45 auto and .380 auto.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:23 AM   #3
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Thanks Rman, for the 38 Special data I used MD Smith page

Reloading The .38 Special by MD Smith
38 Special 231 (+P) 5.3 gr. 935 fps

I see with Hodgdon reloading Manual page for .38 Special

Winchester 231 .357" 1.455" 4.3 826 13,300 CUP 4.9 934 16,300 CUP

I'll inspect my .38 Special cases after each firing for the obvious signs of high pressure. If any show the obvious, such as hard extraction... it will be a stop for sure.. I realize that my load is for a .38 Special +P load.


I also used 231 for .357 Mag using a Speer 158-gr JSP where the data called for a low of 6.2 to 6.9 we loaded 6.5 grains of 231.

Winchester 231 .357" 1.580" 6.2 1,108 33,700 CUP 6.9 1,220 40,000 CUP

Glad I have my RCBS 5-10 powder scale.. my digital scale from Harbor Freight quit working as far as scaling low powder loads... they just wouldn't register on the digital screen.

Last edited by J_B; 01-12-2020 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:57 AM   #4
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Sounds like you are on top of it J_B.

I use 5.3 gr of W231, CCI 500 primers, Berry's hard cast 125 gr SWC bullets in .357 Mag Starline brass for my silhouette shooting. I've chronographed them in the 20" barrel and they average 1170 fps. In my 3" S&W Model 60, they average 824 fps. I use the .357 cases because they feed more reliably than .38 Special cases in the Rossi 92 lever action. In the longer case, they are mild, accurate loads. Berry's recently quit selling their hard cast bullets, so when my stash runs out, I'll have to find another bullet to try.
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