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View Full Version : Decent loads for the .38 S&W (and .45 ACP!)


genmeagher
July 21, 2014, 22:09
Buffalo Bore has been churning out some spicy loads for handguns out of late. A buddy clued me in to their 200 grn JHP that cranks out at over 1K FPS. Not bad. My 1911A1 eats these like a fat kid eats cake.

They also have a hard cast 125 grn .38 S&W that clock in at 1K FPS.

I like these loads.

SWOHFAL
July 22, 2014, 02:53
.38 S&W Special or .38 S&W? I'd be more impressed if they started producing the 38/200 loads so I can get my Webleys on target.

idsubgun
July 24, 2014, 17:35
If it's .38 S&W, what firearm are you shooting them thru? The older revolvers in .38 S&W don't like hot loads.

jdmcomp
July 25, 2014, 08:44
Let me add that speed is not everything, you must hit the target. Most of the hot loads I have tried failed badly at target hitting.

genmeagher
July 26, 2014, 21:43
.38 S&W, not .38 Spcl.

No breaktops, only WW2 era S&W revolvers.

For my particular purpose, I am not that concerned about accuracy. I plan on testing next weekend, however, and would like to post the results at 25 yds.

I too am curious to see where these print on paper.

Retired Bum
July 26, 2014, 23:20
I agree, never use anything but the low pressure factory loads in the old top break hinged frame revolvers.

However S&W made the J frame chambered for the .38 S&W round. The Model 32 aka the Terrier and the Model 33 aka the .38 Regulation Police. Both of these models were discontinued in 1966. I have a four inch Model 33 and hand load the .38 S&W for them using a 150 grain LSWC I cast loaded over Red Dot powder. This load does almost 750 fps in the four inch barrel per my chronograph. That is standard pressure .38 Spl performance and this load is safe in MY Model 33.

But you will never see any hotter .38 S&W factory ammo than the present low pressure loads from Winchester and Remington. I chrono'd the Winchester 145 grain RNL load at 615 fps in the Model 33.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

SWOHFAL
July 27, 2014, 00:21
I agree, never use anything but the low pressure factory loads in the old top break hinged frame revolvers.

However S&W made the J frame chambered for the .38 S&W round. The Model 32 aka the Terrier and the Model 33 aka the .38 Regulation Police. Both of these models were discontinued in 1966. I have a four inch Model 33 and hand load the .38 S&W for them using a 150 grain LSWC I cast loaded over Red Dot powder. This load does almost 750 fps in the four inch barrel per my chronograph. That is standard pressure .38 Spl performance and this load is safe in MY Model 33.

But you will never see any hotter .38 S&W factory ammo than the present low pressure loads from Winchester and Remington. I chrono'd the Winchester 145 grain RNL load at 615 fps in the Model 33.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

Weren't those considered I-frames, not J?

Retired Bum
July 27, 2014, 15:49
The S&W I frame evolved from the Model 1896 double action solid frame chambered for the new .32 S&W Long round. This was S&W's first solid frame revolver with the swing out cylinder.

S&W refined the 1896 into the I frame in 1903 and used it for all of their small caliber rounds including the .22 LR, .32 S&W Long, and the .38 S&W. But in 1950 S&W introduced what at first was called the Improved I frame which later became the new J frame. This frame came about because S&W wanted to have a small frame revolver that could compete with the Colt Detective Special which was chambered for the .38 Special round. The new J frame was labeled the Chief's Special. In 1957 S&W introduced the model number system for all of its handguns and the CS became the Model 36.

S&W used up all of the older I frames for the other calibers until the supply was exhausted. Then only J frames were produced for all of the above mentioned rounds.

And so it goes.


The Retired One