Recommend a 38 SPL powder for low ES/SD

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ncav8tor, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. ncav8tor

    ncav8tor Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    The title sez it all.

    I used up a stray pound or so of Tite-group for 38 SPL but I was extremely disappointed in the consistency of what I have reloaded with respect to extreme spread and standard deviation.

    Those of you that reload this round, which powder is your "go-to" for consistent performance? I am confident in my reloading skills and so I think I need to tap the 38 SPL reloading brain trust here.

    I have a spare pound of Bullseye but my suspicions are it won't be much better that the TG. What say you 38 SPL experts?
     
  2. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix freak on a leash Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I'm watching a couple threads over @castboolits and 5gr of Unique seems to have a following.
    That's with a 158-160gr bullet.
    What are you shooting these in and weight of the projectile?

    My first foray into 38spl was with 3.4gr of Bullseye, 158gr SJSP in a 2in barreled Taurus UltraLight. Only made about 595-600 fps, my goal is around 800 with no signs of overpressure.
    My next load is going to be with 4.7gr Unique & the same projo.

    *You should always check reloading guide for established loads and work up/down from there.

    Sent from notthedroidyourelookingfor
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  3. ncav8tor

    ncav8tor Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I have loaded everything from 125 gr cast/fmj to 160gr cast and everything in between. I am an equal opportunity reloader with regard to bullet weights, :D.

    Tite-group is a crappy powder for all of these in 38 SPL. It works, but not well. Well, with not the consistency that I want. I am looking for something that is better.

    I do have a some Unique. What kind of ES & SD are peeps reporting and what weight projectiles are they reloading? I was hoping someone here would have experience they could share and not have to search it out on another forum.

    Thank you for the reply though!
     
  4. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Super Moderator Staff Member

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    5.0 grains of Unique with 158 grain lead has been a good load for decades.
     
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  5. JimB

    JimB Picking it up slowly. Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I’m curious what numbers you’re chasing and from what gun.

    I’m away from my book, but I think that I get good results from 3.4g of TG over a 158g coated RN out of a Marlin 1894. It’s a load that suppresses well.
     
  6. J R Green

    J R Green Member Charter Life Member

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    I used WIN 231 for just about everything and never had a problem.
     
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  7. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Senior Member Charter Member Benefactor

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    Why are you chasing SD and ES numbers?? You should be chasing ACCURACY not numbers that no one but you will ever see??
    I have loads with horrible es/sd numbers yet excellent accuracy.... No explanation.... Chase what matters, not what is unimportant...
     
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  8. ncav8tor

    ncav8tor Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Accuracy is fine for the distances that one would shoot this round. But, I am seeing extreme spreads of 70-80 fps with Tite-group and 38 Spl out of a 4 inch Rossi revolver. It just seems to me that I should be able to cut that number at least in half. I don't see that kind of variation with other cartridges or loads.

    Anyway, thanks for the replies.
     
  9. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Thus endth the lesson.
     
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  10. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
     
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  11. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Senior Member Charter Member Benefactor

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    Define "fine for the distances"..... What's fine to you could be totally unacceptable for me. What is the average group size for 12 shots at 25 yards??
    As to the numbers, who cares??? No one see's them except you....
     
  12. BowWow

    BowWow Happy to be here

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    Ive been happy using 231 or WSF, but I dont remember doing any data on them, just happy with my shooting results. I generally use 140-158 grain bullets.
     
  13. spittinfire

    spittinfire Well-Known Member Charter Member

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    I've never checked any data on my 38 loads but I've always been happy with Universal or Unique.
     
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  14. B00ger

    B00ger Das B00G Charter Member

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    I haven’t reloaded in a while, but I always had good results from unique.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. dave33

    dave33 Member

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    How accurate is your powder measure, are you getting consistent throws? If its not doing its job it wont matter what powder you use. I've always had pretty low SD numbers with TG.

    That said I would say Accurate #2 would be a good candidate for you. Not position sensitive, meters like water, shoots clean and accurate.
     
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  16. Charlie R

    Charlie R You can't take ammo home! Supporting Member

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    I generally do not worry about ES and SD for pistol or any ammo for less than 600 yards, or where ballistically the ES and SD can cause you to miss a 2 MOA plate when holding center of the target.

    That said, with .223 and I imagine the same is true with 38 SPL, I have found that crimping adds considerable variation in muzzle velocity. Case trimming is critical to consistent crimping, and frankly on 223 and with pistol brass, I pay it very little attention as long as I am under max length. It is too much of a pain to trim it and just setting a neck tension to 0.002 has done the trick for me on .223.
     
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  17. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    I've used most of the mainstream ones, BE/TG/W231-HP38/Unique...but my current favorite and a downright value is IMR Target. It's basically similar burn rate to Bullseye but it meters better. It also seems to be insensitive to position in the case.
     
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  18. ncav8tor

    ncav8tor Well-Known Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I went back and looked at my previous loads with heavier bullets. Those were 148-158 gr. projectiles (lead, coated & FMJ) and they were way more consistent with TG than these 125 gr Berry’s.

    Ill check my powder drop for consistency once I get back home but I’ve never had problems with it before but ya never know.

    Thanks for the reply.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  19. BudE

    BudE Hillsborough, NC

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    I'm perfectly satisfied with Bullseye.
     
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  20. Crazy Carl

    Crazy Carl seriously?

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    I like Unique for .41Mag plinker loads. It doesn't meter well, it's tough to keep charges within +/- 2 grain & the ES/SD numbers aren't that great, but it shoots well. I'm OCD as hell & it drives me nuts, but it works.
     
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  21. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    For decades at Camp Perry, where Only Accuracy Counts. The standard charge for the centerfire aggregate was 148 HBWC over 2.8 Grains of Bullseye.