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38 spl primer question for beginner

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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...."
… hence the name "UNIVERSAL"
Seriously though, it's close to Unique in the burn chart, another common/old school powder used for most all pistol calibers.

As far as the oft mentioned "double charge", it's not a common occurrence, just something that's parroted and can be eliminated thru proper loading techniques.

Here's a VMD (volume/density) chart to cross reference the bulk of individual powders that relates to "case fill".

Here's another chart with VMD, scroll down:

Reloading is a science as well as a hobby and can be taken in many directions.
:)
 
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As a new reloader I'd stick to powder manufacture's load data for awhile. It will tell you what primer to use and what is a safe powder load.
As you get better at this you can then start looking at powders that can also be used in other cases.
The reason I mention primers is some .357 loads will call for a Mag primer, so watch for that. Some people will tell you that you don't need Mag primers, and some will tell you that they load everything with mag primers. But for awhile it's best to stick with the load data from the book. If for no other reason than to get used to looking for this info. Good Luck and enjoy reloading! DR
 

Capn Jack

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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.
I've been using 4.5gr of Accurate #7, with a 145gr. cast HP., in a 9mm. It's a compressed load, but it's accurate, with no signs of over pressure.:)

I found BullsEye was too dirty for the 9mm.:(
 

Mikej

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I found BullsEye was too dirty for the 9mm.:(
I agree. And unique I thought was dirty too. Someone mention 700X? If you're using an RCBS Uni-flo that 700X, being a flake powder, SUCKED! But then unique and Bullseye are both flake powder also. Not terrible, but noticeable. That is the reason I've stayed with ball powder in all hand gun loads
 

ageingstudent

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I agree. And unique I thought was dirty too. Someone mention 700X? If you're using an RCBS Uni-flo that 700X, being a flake powder, SUCKED! But then unique and Bullseye are both flake powder also. Not terrible, but noticeable. That is the reason I've stayed with ball powder in all hand gun loads
700x metering definitely sucks:eek:. Unfortunately still the best accuracy load I have found for a 38/125gr cast target load and very clean. Red dot and bullseye are a close second for me anyway. I just hand weigh my 700x loads if I want to make a few for my m36.
 

po18guy

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I would stay away from, "Computer based load programs" and stick with Manufacturers recommendations.;)
Exactly right. How many times have we heard, "Well, in theory..." With 24,000 (.38 Spl) to 36,000 psi (.357) a few inches from your face, for my money, it is far better sticking with the sweat of ballisticians who have worked up and pressure tested these combos.
 
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Dyjital

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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?
Never a silly question. I learned 90% of my reloading from this forum and members showing me hands on at their bench.

You can use a small pistol primer (Magnum or Standard). I've done testing with both primers in .38 and .357 without much enough of a difference to write home about.
 

DirectDrive

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Things to remember :

Always use load data published by the manufacturers.

In our quest to skimp and save money we look to loads that use smaller powder charges.
Therein lies the problem.
Small powder amounts open the door to double charges.
Recipes that fill the case 2/3 full or more can't be double charged.

Powders that "meter well" are your huckleberry.

If shooting 38 Special and .357 Magnum in the same revolver, same range session, shoot the .357 ammo first.
The shorter 38 Special will leave a carbon ridge at the case mouth and often you can't insert the longer .357 until the chamber is cleaned.
 
OP
Knebel
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I was looking to mainly load some light shooting 38spl. Im sure my walking dead fan kids would enjoy shooting "Ricks gun" but two out if the 3 are very hesitant and recoil sensitive. I was also gonna show my oldest how to reload them if he wants to shoot.

But yeah, light recoil for the snub would be awesome too! I have kind of a love/hate relationship with the snub, it really hurts my hand after a few cylinders...Little taurus ultralight.
 

ageingstudent

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I was looking to mainly load some light shooting 38spl. Im sure my walking dead fan kids would enjoy shooting "Ricks gun" but two out if the 3 are very hesitant and recoil sensitive. I was also gonna show my oldest how to reload them if he wants to shoot.

But yeah, light recoil for the snub would be awesome too! I have kind of a love/hate relationship with the snub, it really hurts my hand after a few cylinders...Little taurus ultralight.
If you want light recoil 700x will be pretty hard to beat. It's really clean and really fast but as others and myself have mentioned it meters like "S" in any automatic measure I've ever tried. Another good thing is it's usually dirt cheap so if you try a pound you aren't out that much. @Certaindeaf turned me onto a red dot load with a 105 gr cast swc bullet a year or so ago and it's become a favorite. Shoots really nice in a J frame.
 
OP
Knebel
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In regards to the pressure concern. I mean... I'm loading the 38spl mainly for the new 357mag. That sould be able to handle some hot 38special, no? Im sure the 357 mag are way hotter rounds. Now in the aluminum framed snub nose.... I'd be hesitant to do that.

I've been doing some research on the WST powder in 38spl. There is not a lot if data out there, however, it looks like most reloaders use about 3 to 3.5grains for 158gr bullet. and 2.5 to 2.7grains for a 125gr bullet.

So on the topic of lighter vs heavier bullet. Is it correct that the heavier bullet needs more energy to be propelled and is somewhat "lagging" when the powder ignites, causing the pressure to rise and a more complete burn. Whereas a bullet with less mass would get accelerated quicker and even with the same grain amount of powder would relatively quick come out the barrel but the powder still burning/not burning complete wasting energy. That why less grains are used to have all the powder burn more complete with a lighter bullet? Anaology, small light sportscar accelerates fast with a small engine vs a tank or heavy truck accelerates slower with a bigger engine.

I have shot some 125gr and some 158gr through my snub before and noticed that the heavier bullet is more pleasant to shoot and hits closer to POI. The 125gr were very snappy and shot ridiculously left and low!?
 
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Mikej

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In regards to the pressure concern. I mean... I'm loading the 38spl mainly for the new 357mag. That sould be able to handle some hot 38special, no? Im sure the 357 mag are way hotter rounds. Now in the aluminum framed snub nose.... I'd be hesitant to do that.

I've been doing some research on the WST powder in 38spl. There is not a lot if data out there, however, it looks like most reloaders use about 3 to 3.5grains for 158gr bullet. and 2.5 to 2.7grains for a 125gr bullet.

So on the topic of lighter vs heavier bullet. Is it correct that the heavier bullet needs more energy to be propelled and is somewhat "lagging" when the powder ignites, causing the pressure to rise and a more complete burn. Whereas a bullet with less mass would get accelerated quicker and even with the same grain amount of powder would relatively quick come out the barrel but the powder still burning/not burning complete wasting energy. That why less grains are used to have all the powder burn more complete with a lighter bullet? Anaology, small light sportscar accelerates fast with a small engine vs a tank or heavy truck accelerates slower with a bigger engine.

I have shot some 125gr and some 158gr through my snub before and noticed that the heavier bullet is more pleasant to shoot and hits closer to POI. The 125gr were very snappy and shot ridiculously left and low!?
My thoughts....And, I've only been doing this since Dec 2011...

We'll presume we're talking quality, jacketed bullets? Such as Hornady XTP. Not cast and not plated bullets.

Certainly your .357 designated guns will handle more pressure than your .38 special designated guns.
(disclaimer) (Always use established loads,at least for now)

Generally less powder would be used with a heavier bullet. Pressure peaks shortly after ignition. A 158gr bullet would cause a higher peak pressure than a 125gn bullet using the same amount of one powder. All data I'v seen shows less of the same powder for the heavier bullet.

Using this chart...
Set your sights on pistol reloading data | Hodgdon Reloading I see they only list WST for the 158gr jacketed bullet. Now look at the powder burn rate chart for the WST. You'll see where it places in burn rate. You see powders listed for .38sp that are faster and slower.

1579970804296.png


What this tells me is that Hodgdon, in the process of providing you with recipes, didn't test WST. OR, they didn't care for the way it ran in .38sp? They are not saying it wouldn't work. Maybe WST didn't ignite completely being that a .38sp case is quite large, where the heavier bullet stays in the case longer giving the WST a chance to burn completely? Hogdon is giving you plenty of tested powders to load your rounds with.

I can't explain you finding the heavier bullet more comfortable to shoot. Factory loads? If these are your loads I would suggest something is off. Heavier bullets at similar velocities should always have more recoil.

And as far as you shooting low left with the snappier 125gr bullets....:D
here's another fun chart for you...
1579972852873.png

Mirror image for southpaw shooters. :s0090:
 

Hemlock

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If you have WST and Green Dot powders, you must be some what used to reloading. Maybe shotgun? Metallic ammo is a different animal. Reloading manuals have a lot of "How to's" in them. A better source would be to go buy yourself a copy of ABCs of Reloading. It covers a lot of different aspects and problems of reloading all types of ammo. After all, a little mistake can haunt you a long time.
 
OP
Knebel
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Yes. I recently got into 12ga reloading.using the wst for birdshot and the green dot for 12pellet 00buck. Thats got some good thunder to it lol. I've recently picked up some really rusted shells that I'm using. Check out the before/after

IMG_20200125_234336.jpg IMG_20200126_133633.jpg
 

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