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38 spl primer question for beginner

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So, I have a seemingly stupid question. I have a bunch of different 38 brass that I saved and since I'll be picking up my new python next week (wohooo excitement) I bough the lee handloading kit for 38spl and 200 Hornady 110gr hollowpoints. I know the python is 357 mag but i also got a 38 snub, so that comes in handy and I want to shoot those more and also load defensive rounds.

Question is, would I use the same primers for all different casings in the picture? They seem the same size but I am not 100% sure. Or is there only one primer size for 38spl?

IMG_20200123_123821.jpg
 
OP
Knebel
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Next question, sorry. After some homework I did, Lighter bullet, faster burning powder?

Asking because I have some Hornady 110grain XTP and would like to use either WST or Alliant greendot that I have around... can only find data for 158grain with the WST...
 
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I would try to stick with what's listed in the manuals. Yes other powders can often work, but I'd look into other reloading manuals to see if your powder is mentioned. If not, grab some of the powder it mentions. Powder is relatively cheap and easy to get at the moment, and a can of powder will net you lots and lots loaded ammo for the 38 special.
 

ageingstudent

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Next question, sorry. After some homework I did, Lighter bullet, faster burning powder?

Asking because I have some Hornady 110grain XTP and would like to use either WST or Alliant greendot that I have around... can only find data for 158grain with the WST...
In general yes you will find more data for faster powders for lighter projectiles. Also good to note that a faster powder will work more efficiently in the snubby. More of the charge will burn before the bullet exits the barrel. Green dot and wst are probably a little slow in that application. I don't use anything slower than hp-38 in my snubbies. Slower powders = big flash and recoil in a snub nose when the bullet leaves the barrel and all that leftover powder meets the atmosphere. Looks cool at dusk though.

Edit: After review...I Don't use anything slower than N-320 in my snubbies.
 
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Mikej

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Next question, sorry. After some homework I did, Lighter bullet, faster burning powder?

Asking because I have some Hornady 110grain XTP and would like to use either WST or Alliant greendot that I have around... can only find data for 158grain with the WST...
Bullseye has been a go to powder, for like, ever, to long time reloaders of .38 special. I have a pound, unopened, that I'll let go for $20.00. I'd also part with a pound of HP-38 which would be more appropriate for heavier bullets in .38 special. Ping me if you find your self over in NE PDX due South of the airport three miles or so.

As @ageingstudent is saying. Powder burn rates relate to bullet weight and barrel lengths. A lot of powders will work in a lot of situations, but aren't optimal. And getting to far of track can be dangerous. That's why you always find written recipes that have been used and had pressures and velocities documented.

If you haven't seen one of these.... It's will help you get a feel for whats going on with the powders you select.
1579823894958.png
 

Capn Jack

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Download a,"Powder Burn Chart". That will help answer a lot of your question about interchanging powders.:)

I would stay away from, "Computer based load programs" and stick with Manufacturers recommendations.;)

As a beginner, you would be safest choosing powders that fill your cases enough to prevent double charging.:eek:

I know BullsEye is economical in a .38 spl., but it is dangerously easy to double load, as it only takes 3.5gr. for a 145gr. bullet.:eek::eek::eek:
 

ageingstudent

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What do you all think of Trail Boss for a .38? Relatively fast, easy to meter and double charges are going to be non-existent or at least *highly* unlikely, even in the big case.
Trailboss is okay but it was originally designed for cast and soft lead bullets. If It was me I'd try some red dot, 700x or hp-38. if you don't mind spending an extra 10 bucks some vv N-320 will make a nice clean burning load. Lots of data for your xtps with those powders. Relatively speaking the 38 Special case is so big it's rather challenging to find a powder that will fill it up. N-320 and 700 x would probably fill it up more than the rest.
 
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Download a,"Powder Burn Chart". That will help answer a lot of your question about interchanging powders.:)

I would stay away from, "Computer based load programs" and stick with Manufacturers recommendations.;)

As a beginner, you would be safest choosing powders that fill your cases enough to prevent double charging.:eek:

I know BullsEye is economical in a .38 spl., but it is dangerously easy to double load, as it only takes 3.5gr. for a 145gr. bullet.:eek::eek::eek:
What this guy said, been reloading for years and I still try and use powder that fills enough to prevent a double charge or would be super obvious on my powder cop die.

Also I try to pick powders that generally have a decent spread between min and max, I like about a .5gr or more so I have some more wiggle room.

I have been using Accurate No. 5 in the majority of my pistol rounds lately, found it works pretty decently in 38 spcl.
 
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Trailboss is okay but it was originally designed for cast and soft lead bullets. If It was me I'd try some red dot, 700x or hp-38. if you don't mind spending an extra 10 bucks some vv N-320 will make a nice clean burning load. Lots of data for your xtps with those powders. Relatively speaking the 38 Special case is so big it's rather challenging to find a powder that will fill it up. In 320 and 700 x would probably fill it up more than the rest.
I tend to run W231 (HP-38) in my 45's and 38's, but it's easy to double charge as it doesn't take much, but I load so light for the 38's that a double charge is close to a standard load... :)
 
OP
Knebel
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But HP38 is even slower burning than the WST or the Greendot???. Also...pretty weird, I saw a burn rate chart before and the Greendot was listed way slower than the WST!?

Fireballs are cool, id like that lol.
 
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But HP38 is even slower burning than the WST or the Greendot???. Also...pretty weird, I saw a burn rate chart before and the Greendot was listed way slower than the WST!?

Fireballs are cool, id like that lol.
I run it pretty close to stock for the .45's and with the light loads for my 38 plinker I crimp pretty well with a DEWC so it has time to build pressure. Great accuracy out of a 4" barrel at 25yd. Really doesn't like the j-frame barrel; there's your fireballs...o_O
 

ageingstudent

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I tend to run W231 (HP-38) in my 45's and 38's, but it's easy to double charge as it doesn't take much, but I load so light for the 38's that a double charge is close to a standard load... :)
Yep. Lotta space in the case. It's difficult to find a powder that will fill more than 2/3. N-320 fills about 2/3 case with a full charge. Besides Trailboss I can't think of another powder that even comes close to N-320. Most of the faster powders you're lucky to get 1/2 case. You just really have to keep an eye on it.
 

ageingstudent

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But HP38 is even slower burning than the WST or the Greendot???. Also...pretty weird, I saw a burn rate chart before and the Greendot was listed way slower than the WST!?

Fireballs are cool, id like that lol.
The burn rate charts are "ish". They are just a comparative tool for getting a general idea or a starting point. What manual are you referencing for your data? Perhaps someone can steer you in the right direction. I can pm you a pic from a page in a different manual for your reference if you like.
 
OP
Knebel
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I'm also looking to do 357 mag and 45acp in the future. I just did a lot of cross referencing the cartridges and see lots of UNIVERSAL used for all them. I was trying to avoid buying another powder and use what I have to load my shotshells but "oh well...."
 

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