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richhodg66
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Posted: January 11 2017 at 5:54pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

OK, now I am kind of wondering, what exactly was the original 38/44 load? I assume 12 grains of 2400 and a 158 grain bullet? Would the classic 358311 be a proper bullet?

Won't shoot it in a .38 special, but might have to try it in the 27-2 now.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 11 2017 at 7:27pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

When I get nostalgic and stuff I strap on my ancient leather PD rig complete with the Don Hume made Jordan Border Patrol holster with the old .38Spl M&P loaded with 158gr LRN. Reminds me of foot patrol when rookies walked a beat with an old hand. One learned faster in dealing with people when you're on the pavement with them than driving by in a patrol unit with the windows up.

In fact this afternoon I went for my daily "walkabout" on the place with my dogs and lone outside cat armed with the aforementioned rig. And I sure didn't feel unarmed!

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RT58
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Posted: January 12 2017 at 1:28pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

richhodg66 wrote:
OK, now I am kind of wondering, what exactly was the original 38/44 load? I assume 12 grains of 2400 and a 158 grain bullet? Would the classic 358311 be a proper bullet?

Won't shoot it in a .38 special, but might have to try it in the 27-2 now.


The only book I recall reading that had factory smokeless load data is Julian Hatchers "Textbook of pistols and Revolvers". He talks about the .38/44 cartridge and revolvers, but doesn't give their load data.

The older data I have doesn't list your bullet, if they listed any at all, so it's hard to say where you should start, or end. With the data being older you will probably get higher pressures and lower velocities than they did, but since your using it in an "N" frame .357 you shouldn't have too much trouble.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 19 2017 at 7:56am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

My old Ideal #39 (1953) lists the following for ".38Spl High Vel. for Heavy Frame Gun Only":

160gr Keith HP & HB 12.0gr, 2400, 1228fps.

158gr Thompson Cast Plain Base: 13.5gr, 2400, 1220fps.

It is my personal belief that either of those loads, especially with today's powder, are excessive and potentially dangerous. I have listed them as quoted from a very outdated manual for historic reference only. I do not encourage, nor recommend either load to ever be actually used.

In a more recent study by John Goins (ref. High Speed .38Spl Loads 2003) he was getting the following results:

171gr 358429 Keith SWC, 11.0gr, 2400, 1064fps.
And the same bullet with 5.5gr Unique, 1111fps. And 6.0gr Unique got 1218fps! (I'd hate to see the pressure spike between those last two loads!)

John was also "inspired" by the .38/44 loading of Keith and some others. And primarily the idea was a 158gr service bullet, or larger, at 1,000fps. All his shooting was with a Ruger .357mag Blackhawk.

I do not personally condone the practice of overloading cartridges, especially the .38Spl due to the potential dangers involved. Far too many weapons were damaged some years ago and now, with the many alloy framed revolvers, the potential for disaster is a serious danger!

Say or think what you like, but I am very much against the practice of overloading due to the lurking dangers involved. All it takes is one hot round to be inserted into a lightweight alloy framed revolver and it could become a grenade. If one wants .357mag velocity then get a .357mag.

Off my safety soapbox. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programs.

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JimH
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Posted: January 19 2017 at 8:08am | IP Logged Quote JimH

RT58 wrote:
I hate it when the good guys lose their lives.

richhodg66 wrote:
If memory serves me, the .357 came out in 1935, seems like by 1949, seems like most LEOs would have been carrying Model 19s or similar?


The "Combat Magnum" which later became the Model 19, wasn't made until 1955. Not every officer bought into S&Ws sales hype of the superiority of the .357 magnum or the .38/44 cartridge, and those that did couldn't afford to run out and buy one on a police officers salary.


Boy howdy! I recently retired from about 35 years as a Peace Officer - 30 years with one agency - but I have trained several agencies/departments.

In those 35 years I've seen the .357 fail a lot. Certainly not most of the time though, almost anything works most of the time since people tend to quit when you shoot at them (which is why so-called "data bases" don't mean much - you can't tell if it is a "quit" or a "stop").

I have a bunch of .357 handguns, I certainly don't dislike them but a good .38 Spl. load (like some of the Heavy Duty load available since 1930) were just as hot as a modern .357 Factory loads.

There are some good loads available from specialty shops (Buffalo Bore, Underwood, Double Tap, etc) but we started to refer to the big 3 factory loads as ".357 Minimum" back in the '70s.

I did get a chance to chronograph rounds from a box of Remington 158 SWC (gas check) loads manufactured in 1935 once. It was from a 6" Colt New Service and they got 1500 fps - now that might leave a mark!

Onward and upward,

Jim H.

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RT58
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Posted: January 19 2017 at 9:33am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I agree with Ranger, with the selection of firearms today it is stupid to try to overload any of them. But I do feel it's the firearm that's being loaded for and not the brass being used. Anyone that loads hotter than normal loads into brass that is not rated for it, and doesn't clearly mark it as such is courting disaster. And anyone that loads them and ends up putting them in firearms that can't handle it, can only blame themselves, just like the person that doesn't know what they are and puts them in a good firearm anyway.

Personally I don't load anything hot, I usually go the other direction and load high pressure brass down. I also think the hobby has suffered greatly thanks to the "wanna-be" gun writers that know nothing except what they learned from Elmer Keith. I have many books dedicated to the subject of loading ammunition and not one of them was written by Elmer Keith, because as far as I know he never wrote any. He liked to shoot big animals at long range and that was the basis for much of his writing. He was a popular writer and sold a lot of books and magazines and Smith and Wesson used him to sell firearms too. But now it seems that everything you hear is about getting the highest velocity you can out of every cartridge ever made. Maybe todays writers need to read some of the books Elmer learned from years ago, they are a lot different than what we have today.
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M700
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Posted: January 20 2017 at 8:10am | IP Logged Quote M700

For my entire LE career, I carried a .45 1911 as my duty sidearm. Mostly, since 1997, I used this Kimber. That's my own leather gear, which I only wore concealed, in plainclothes. It's nice to have all that gear still:



Heinie "straight eight" tritium night sights. I like them!





Was allowed to carry this ol' .357 Model 19 for a while as a detective. Very glad of that opportunity! I think I was the last officer at my department to carry a revolver except as a backup gun:


And of course, like a lot of officers, even today, a little .38 J-Frame Smith & Wesson was often my backup gun:


I also qualified with my .44 mag S&W 629 revolver. Shooting that, left and right handed, with one hand only, was not easy! I never carried it as a primary, but time to time it would ride in the patrol bag on my front seat. Just because.



The revolvers were fun to carry and shoot, but day in and day out, I relied on the .45 1911. It was my favorite handgun, no doubt.

Guy

Edited by M700 on January 20 2017 at 8:13am
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joed
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Posted: January 20 2017 at 12:41pm | IP Logged Quote joed

Guy, I'm a Kimber fan too.   First time I ever had an auto was in the service.
The happiest moment of my life was when they took away the 1911 and issued
a revolver to me.   I was glad my life never depended on the Colt, I couldn't hit
anything with that gun and I'm being serious.   

Sometime in 2002 though I came across a Kimber Pro Carry II that a friend was
selling.   To shorten the story the friend taught me all about 1911s.   The
Kimber was my first auto and is still my favorite.   I shoot it as well if not better
then any of my revolvers.



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joed
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Posted: January 20 2017 at 12:53pm | IP Logged Quote joed

Old Ranger wrote:

I do not personally condone the practice of overloading cartridges, especially the .38Spl due to the potential dangers involved. Far too many weapons were damaged some years ago and
now, with the many alloy framed revolvers, the potential for disaster is a serious danger!

Say or think what you like, but I am very much against the practice of overloading due to the lurking dangers involved. All it takes is one hot round to be inserted into a lightweight alloy
framed revolver and it could become a grenade. If one wants .357mag velocity then get a .357mag.


I have to agree with you on this.   At one point I thought about loading 358429 in .38 Spl cases with loads for the N frames.    I then thought about the alloy framed Colt Cobra I owned and
the Det Special. Didn't take me long to put the idea out of my mind.

I'm a firm believer in not having any cartridges in my home that are to hot for any gun I own marked for that cartridge.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 20 2017 at 3:25pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Sound wisdom.

If I want roaring thunder, a cloud of smoke the size of a Freightliner, and see the target obliterated, I wheel out my 1/5th scale Parot 10 pounder cannon. You boys with the .50 cal go-get-em pistols are outclassed with that little cannon. And I do mean cannon! That's when even I holler "Yee-haa!"

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