38 SPL and HP38 issues

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38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby jloader » 29 Aug 2016 09

I've just tried using HP38 powder for my 38 SPL Smith&Wesson revolver.
I've used 3.2grn for 105grn swc bullet.

What a mess!!!
I had "gold flakes" all over the insides of the barrel and inside the cylinder!!!
The cylinder was so badly laden that I had difficulties inserting and removing bullets - there were times that I would have 10-20 of those golden flakes in each hole.

I use soft lube - that explains stickiness of the insides of the cavities but I never experienced anything like this with TiteGroup or BullsEye.
The grouping - forget it - they were landing all over the place with no consistency.
I have no issues with same bullet and lube with the other powders and get good consistency on the target.
I've noticed that some sites suggest starting at 4.4grn of HP38 - but would that help?

The only reason I've tried HP38 is that it is available at local store and TiteGroup is hard to dispense consistently at low grain count.

Any suggestions are welcome.
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Re: 38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby daboone » 29 Aug 2016 09

What does you manual tell you for start and max loads? I am away from my shop so I can't look anything up. But it sounds like you load is to low to obturate the base of a bullet of that weight.

Interestingly over the years I've used a lot of powders that were not the "best" but I could always get then to function properly in the gun and well enough make me like what they were doing to the target.
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Re: 38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 29 Aug 2016 11

Tight crimp and enough powder to get it to burn completely.

Make smoke,
Curt.......makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time +guns +guns
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Re: 38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby jloader » 29 Aug 2016 12

That makes sense - thank you guys!
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Re: 38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby Poppop » 29 Aug 2016 13

That load is for 158 gr. lead bullet
Hodgdon calls for 4.6--5.5gr powder for 110gr lead bullet
Try it again
If all else fails--look for the obvious
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Re: 38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby GasGuzzler » 29 Aug 2016 17

Yeah, that's a super light pill compared to original spec. There comes a point of diminishing returns trying to push a very light for caliber bullet with enough pressure to make it stable.
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Re: 38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby jloader » 30 Aug 2016 09

Poppop wrote:That load is for 158 gr. lead bullet
Hodgdon calls for 4.6--5.5gr powder for 110gr lead bullet
Try it again


You are absolutely right!!! My bad. I was making a batch with 158gr bullets and switched to 110s. Somehow I made a rookie mistake (as I am such).
Lesson learned... good thing that I was not loading 110s with 4.6 and than switched to 158 with same powder load... That could have made for a bad day on the range... :geek:

Now, I've got to disassemble additional 100 rounds of 38SPL with 110/3.2grn loads :oops: - a small price to pay for such a mistake. Maybe will just 'waste-fire' those... not worth the time using the bullet puller... +guns
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Re: 38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby GasGuzzler » 30 Aug 2016 17

I'd pull them but you didn't ask.
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Re: 38 SPL and HP38 issues

Postby Poppop » 30 Aug 2016 19

jloader wrote:
Poppop wrote:That load is for 158 gr. lead bullet
Hodgdon calls for 4.6--5.5gr powder for 110gr lead bullet
Try it again


You are absolutely right!!! My bad. I was making a batch with 158gr bullets and switched to 110s. Somehow I made a rookie mistake (as I am such).
Lesson learned... good thing that I was not loading 110s with 4.6 and than switched to 158 with same powder load... That could have made for a bad day on the range... :geek:

Now, I've got to disassemble additional 100 rounds of 38SPL with 110/3.2grn loads :oops: - a small price to pay for such a mistake. Maybe will just 'waste-fire' those... not worth the time using the bullet puller... +guns

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