Blackhawk .38 loads?

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Blackhawk .38 loads?

Postby greener » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:36 am

Anyone have a favorite load for .38 special in a Blackhawk?

I've been cussing my ability to shoot the BH for a while. Just didn't do as well as the .45 Colt BH. Figured it was the shooter-gun combo. Didn't think about my loads because they did pretty weill in everything else. Saturday I was shooting at a 5.5" selfmarking target (Caldwell) on a silhouette torso at 25 yards. I was lucky to put rounds into the Caldwell target. Switched to .357 and they all went there. (When you have an aha moment, remember not to slap your forehead while holding a Ruger Blackawk).

Shooting 158 gr semi wadcutters.

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Postby blue68f100 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:57 am

One thing I discovered years ago shooting my Python, is if I shoot 38spl I had poorer accuracy than with 357mag loads loaded light. What happens (I think) is that extra 0.135" gap difference between the brass causes a not so smooth transition in the cylinder. Beside it can leave a carbon and/or lead ring that you need to clean out for 357 mag to drop in freely. You have two options. You can actually shoot 38spl load in a 357mag brass. Pressures will be lower and it may be a little dirtier, but works. I just shoot the min load listed for 357mag with 2400 or W231 powder. Don't over crimp when it comes to light loads, not needed. Just enough to hold the bullet in place under recoil.
David

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Re: Blackhawk .38 loads?

Postby bearandoldman » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:04 am

greener wrote:Anyone have a favorite load for .38 special in a Blackhawk?

I've been cussing my ability to shoot the BH for a while. Just didn't do as well as the .45 Colt BH. Figured it was the shooter-gun combo. Didn't think about my loads because they did pretty well in everything else. Saturday I was shooting at a 5.5" selfmarking target (Caldwell) on a silhouette torso at 25 yards. I was lucky to put rounds into the Caldwell target. Switched to .357 and they all went there. (When you have an aha moment, remember not to slap your forehead while holding a Ruger Blackawk).

Shooting 158 gr semi wadcutters.

OOOOOOOOOh, that would smart intensely.
It is the bullets you are using. Most likely you have purchased bullets intended for the .357, they are not the same as for the .38, different hardness and yes it does make a difference.
A while back my shooting bud and I were trying to get some light loads for our .38/.357 lever guns and we discovered the bullet problem. When we loaded them to .38 or reduced .38 the would not shoot accurately at 25 yards. But when loaded to .357 levels they worked fin. Found out from the place we were buying our bullets that the .357 bullets were 18 Brinell and the .38 Special bullets were 12 Brinell. The harder bullets were just not grabbing the rifling and getting stabilized properly, until they went faster. Have been shooting some 158 grain rnfp IN THE LEVER GUNS WITH 2.8 GRAINS OF Green Dot AND THEY WORK FINE. also A 10 bRINELL lhbwC WILL SHOOT WEELL WITH AS LITTLE AS 2.3 grains OF tRAIL BOSS.
You have great day and shoot straight and may the Good Lord smile on you.
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Postby bearandoldman » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:08 am

blue68f100 wrote:One thing I discovered years ago shooting my Python, is if I shoot 38spl I had poorer accuracy than with 357mag loads loaded light. What happens (I think) is that extra 0.135" gap difference between the brass causes a not so smooth transition in the cylinder. Beside it can leave a carbon and/or lead ring that you need to clean out for 357 mag to drop in freely. You have two options. You can actually shoot 38spl load in a 357mag brass. Pressures will be lower and it may be a little dirtier, but works. I just shoot the min load listed for 357mag with 2400 or W231 powder. Don't over crimp when it comes to light loads, not needed. Just enough to hold the bullet in place under recoil.

It's the hardness of the bullets, .357 bullets are harder than .38 Specials and will not shoot accurately until driven to .357 velocities. My Bud and I proved that as we both shoot Marlin 1894C .357/.38 lever guns,he uses .357 cases and I use .38 cases. When we wanted the lighter loads or even sttandard .38 loads, they sot accurately in both guns when we started to use the softer .38 bullets.
You have great day and shoot straight and may the Good Lord smile on you.

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Postby blue68f100 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:07 pm

The ones I had were BHN 8 for 38/357 so they did work in the 38 and 357. But Fit to throat/barrel is the key to getting a good seal, low/no leading and accuracy.
David



SS MKIII 6 7/8" Fluted Hunter. Mueller Quick Shot, Bushnell 2x Scope, Hogue Rubber Grips

Custom Built 1911

greener

Postby greener » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:42 pm

Should have described the bullets better.

.38 spl 158 gr lswc, 4.5 gr Universal--~974 fps (book)
.357 125 gr JHP, 8.3 gr Bullseye--~1500-1550 fps

Thinking about trying something that reduces the mv by about 100 fps.

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Postby bgreenea3 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:35 pm

you could try loading the 125's into a special load, maybe it likes lighter boolits...
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Postby bearandoldman » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:45 am

greener wrote:Should have described the bullets better.

.38 spl 158 gr lswc, 4.5 gr Universal--~974 fps (book)


Thinking about trying something that reduces the mv by about 100 fps.

Have used a similar load myself with good results, 158 grain SWC or RNFP with 4.3-4.5 grains of Green Dot. Green Dot and Universal burn rates are very close and the loads will shoot pretty much the same. Have also used 2.5-3.0 grains of Green Dot with the same bullets with good results. Use Green Dot because when I got out of shotgunning I had a few pounds in stock. Most of my shooting has been in the 1894C but some in the Blackhawk and the J frame.
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Postby Hakaman » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:29 pm

I shoot 125gr Berry's plated that do well with 4.3g of BE.

greener

Postby greener » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:47 pm

Loaded 158gr LSWC's with
3.6gr Universal (~800 FPS)
2.6 gr Trail Boss (~660 FPS)
4.0 gr Trail Boss (<800 FPS)
4.0 gr W231 (<898 FPS)

At 25 yards, the BH order was W231, 2.6gr TB, 4.0gr TB, then 3.6gr Universal
The GP100 order was 2.6gr TB, 4.0 gr W231, 4.0 gr TB and 3.6 gr Universal
The S&W didn't care but seems to do better with 2.6gr TB.

The 2.6gr TB and 4.20 gr W231 loads fired pretty well in the 442. I kept the rounds in an 8" circle.

Lee doesn't provide any information on Trail Boss for its autodisk. The .66 cavity gives 2.6gr and the .95 cavity gives 4.1 grains

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Postby bearandoldman » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:36 am

Those under 3.0 grains of Trail Boss or Green Dot are real sweet low recoil shooters in the GH and in the 1894C it's like shooting ..22 shorts but very accurate at 25 yards. We have bee using s 148 grain 10 Brinell LHBWC, great 25 yard, but have never been able to hit the target board at 50 yards, that bullet get really weird and may even hit the ground before it gets that far out.
You have great day and shoot straight and may the Good Lord smile on you.

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